I was at last night’s game in Arlington. Sorry I wasn’t better luck.
AAA: Round Rock 6, at El Paso (SDP) 8
Round Rock: 7 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 6 walks, 4 strikeouts
Record: 35-24, 1 G up, 79-54 overall, elimination number 6
SP Zak Kent: 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 SO, 61 P / 35 S, 3.32 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 0 SO, 4.09 ERA
LF Evan Carter: 2-4, BB, .353/.436/.382
2B Justin Foscue: 1-4, 2B, BB, .265/.390/.443
Eight games into his journey through AAA, Evan Carter’s power hasn’t quite manifested. Scanning through the data, he might have been cheated out of a double or two, but he hasn’t hit anything homer-worthy yet. However, he’s making steady contact and excelling on first pitches. He’s put the ball in play on nine of 11 swings (an absurdly high 82%), batting .333 and slugging .444, and more than two-thirds of his takes are balls. That’s how you propel a .436 OBP.
Las Vegas and Tacoma both lost again, leaving them one back, and Reno has made up three games in three days to reduce its deficit to two games.
AA: Frisco 4, NW Arkansas (KAN) 0
Frisco: 8 hits, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 30-29, 5 GB, 61-66 overall
SP Dane Acker: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 85 P / 53 S, 2.79 ERA
RP Aidan Anderson: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.20 ERA
LF Wyatt Langford: 2-2, 2B, BB
C Scott Kapers: 2-2, BB, .222/.309/.362
Contra Monday’s AA debut, Wyatt Langford produced in every plate appearance, collecting a double, single, walk, and sac fly.
More than half of Dane Acker’s opponents couldn’t or wouldn’t make contact, resulting in an inflated pitch count despite no runs. He reached four three-ball counts in addition to the two walks. He also had 17 swinging strikes. Andy Rodriguez, Michael Brewer, and John Matthews had scoreless innings.
Hi-A: Hickory 7, Winston-Salem (CHW) 6
Hickory: 7 hits, 5 walks, 16 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 10 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 40-21, 3 G up, 67-55 overall, magic number 2
SP Aidan Curry: 3.1 IP, 5 H (2 HR), 3 R, 6 BB, 3 SO, 74 P / 44 S, 8.53 ERA
RF Alejandro Osuna: 1-5, HR (5), .262/.381/.392
1B Abi Ortiz: 1-2, 2B, BB, HBP, .292/.359/.623
3B Cody Freeman: 2-4, 2B, .231/.295/.385
2B Ben Blackwell: 1-4, HR (2), .250/.314/.375
Undrafted free agent Benjamin Blackwell clubbed a three-run homer with one out in the 8th to complete the comeback. Hickory trail 2-0, 4-2, and 6-4 during the game.
The jump from low-A to high-A is no picnic, with opponents growing into more power, generally more hitter-friendly parks in the Sally versus the Carolina, and a particularly better hitting environment in Hickory compared to Kinston. That doesn’t fully explain Aidan Curry’s first two starts at the level. Last week, he walked a season-high four batters in three innings. Last night, he trumped that total and surrendered two homers for the first time. Curry’s had a terrific season but not the ending he wanted.
Bowling Green won Tuesday’s suspended game and Wednesday’s regularly scheduled game in walk-off fashion by scores of 5-4, so Hickory shaved only one off the magic number. The Crawdads are three up with four to play (or five, if an earlier rainout has to be played).
Lo-A: Down East 1, Augusta (ATL) 0
Down East: 4 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 28-34, 9 GB, 65-58 overall
SP DJ McCarty: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 59 P / 34 S, 3.05 ERA
RP Kai Wynyard: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 2.38 ERA
RP Paul Bonzagni: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2.89 ERA
2B Devin Hurdle: 2-2, BB, 2 SB (3), .225/.295/.254
With one out in the 8th, Devin Hurdle singled, stole second, reached third on a balk, and scored on a Quincy Scott sac fly. Winning has been heavily dependent on the pitchers lately, and they were up to the task. The defense erased five baserunners: three caught-stealing, an outfield assist by newcomer RF Wady Mendez, and a double play.
Five Years Ago Yesterday
Spokane lost 8-3 to Everett to force a deciding third game in the Northwest League semifinals. Jake Latz was perfect for three innings but allowed six runs without retiring a batter in the 4th. In the other matchup, 31-45 Eugene eliminated 51-25 Hillsboro in two straight.