Here’s a look at Monday’s minor league action from down on the farm.
AAA – Norfolk Tides 7 Charlotte Knights 0
The Tides must have been happy to get out of Durham, after dropping 3 straight games in a rain shortened series to the Bulls. On Monday in Charlotte, they broke out in a big way, picking up a 7-0 win in the first game of a 4 game series against the Charlotte Knights in Charlotte.
Chris Tillman got the start for Norfolk, going 4 hitless innings against the Knights and allowing no runs on 3 walks while striking out 4 batters. A victim of his pitch count, Tillman left after 4 innings of work, having thrown 71 pitches, 41 for strikes. Ross Wolf picked up the win in relief, adding 3 more hitless innings striking out 2 and walking 2. Bob McCrory added an inning of scoreless relief and allowed the Knights only 2 hits of the game before giving way to Andy Mitchell for a perfect 9th.
Matt Wieters had his first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout, and raising his average to .200 for the young season. Single runs in the 3rd and 4th innings staked Tillman to the early lead, and the Tides blew it open with 5 runs in the 8th including a grand slam for shortstop Jolbert Cabrera, who finished 1-for-4 with 3 strikeouts on the day. Nolan Reimold and Lou Montanez both managed to stay hot too. Reimold was 3-for-5 on the day with a walk and 2 runs scored, raising his average to .412 on the season. Montanez also picked up a 3-for-5 for the day, raising his early average to .588.
The Tides will look to keep their momentum rolling today behind the debut of David Pauley in the second of this 4 game series. The Knights will answer with right hander John Van Benschoten, who has been up and down between the majors and triple A for the last couple of seasons. It should be a nice test for the Tides young, sometimes impatient bats.
AA – Bowie Baysox 2 Erie Sea Wolves 1
The Baysox pulled back to within a game of .500 with a series opening win against the Erie Sea Wolves in Erie on Monday. Starter Bobby Livingston picked up the win, going 5 innings and allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and 0 walks, while striking out just 1. Ryan Keefer, Josh Perrault and Wilfrido Perez combined for 4 innings of 3 hit, scoreless relief, with 5 walks and 7 strikeouts.
The Baysox staked Livingston to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning, courtesy of back to back doubles off the bats of DH Paco Figeroa and LF Jonathon Tucker. The Sea Wolves would tie it back up in the 4th, before Brandon Snyder finished out the scoring with a solo HR in the top of the 6th inning, which the O’s relievers would make stand up. Snyder was 3-for-4 on the day, raising his average to .476 on the year, and 2B Miguel Abreau managed the Baysox’ only other hit in the game.
Jason Berken (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will get the start tonight for Bowie in the second of three games at Erie at 6:35. He’ll be going against right hander Jonah Nickerson (0-0, 9.00 ERA) for the Sea Wolves.
High A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans 8 Frederick Keys 6
The Frederick Keys dropped to 2-3 for the season on Monday when they opened their 4 game series at Myrtle Beach against the Pelicans with a slugfest. Keys’ starter Sean Gleason was respectable, but lost control of the game on a pair of 2 run homers. He took the loss, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5. In relief, Brett Bordes was worse, allowing 4 more runs, on just 3 hits and a walk, along with 2 wild pitches in just 2 innings. Jacob Renshaw had the best line of the night for any Keys pitcher, going 1 1/3 innings scoreless, with 1 hit and 1 strikeout. Not to be left out of the pitching woes though, Renshaw added a balk and a hit batsman in his brief appearance too.
Offensively it was a respectable effort for the Keys, and they even tried to make things exciting scoring 4 of their six runs in the final 2 frames. C Caleb Joseph (1-for-4) and 3B Tyler Henson (2-for-4, 2R, RBI, BB) each picked up their first home runs of the season in the loss. SS Pedro Florimon stayed hot, going 2-for-4 on the day and raising his average to .357. LF Kraig Binick raised his average to .353 with a 2-for-3 effort, and Billy Rowell (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) accounted for the Keys’ only other multi-hit game.
On Tuesday, the Keys will send LHP Brian Matusz to the hill for the second time this season for a 7:05 start in the second of this 4 game series.
Low A – Delmarva Shorebirds 2 Hagerstown Suns 1
For the second time already in this young season, the Shorebirds have had to trot out a pitcher who wasn’t on their opening day roster. This time it was Oliver Drake who came out of the woodwork, working 6 innings of 3 hit baseball, allowing just 1 run, while striking out 6 and walking just 2 batters, in taking a no decision. Eddie Gamboa picked up the win with 3 innings of scoreless, relief on 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3.
Offensively the Shorebirds were powered by Elvin Polanco, who was 2-for-4 with a double and plated both of Delmarva’s runs, picking up SS Greg Miclat in the 4th inning, and LF Ronnie Welty in the 8th inning to win it. 2B Jerome Hoes and C Luis Bernardo each added hits for Delmarva in the win.
The Shorebirds will play their second of 3 games at Hagerstown on Tuesday at 6:35. There’s no word on their web site as to who will be getting the start.