The Biscuits had lost 4 in a row from the Suns to fall out of first place in the Southern League’s South Division. But even after a tough start, the Biscuits rallied back against the Suns this time around to come through with a big win.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 7, Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 4
Jake Thompson barely made it through a tough 4th as his season of struggles continued. Thompson had to wonder whether he would fall to 0-5 in his last 7 starts and keep his ERA rising higher and higher. But the Biscuits turned the game around between great offense and bullpen work as Thompson got to breathe a sigh of relief. Thompson walked on pins and needles over the first 3 innings but managed to keep the Suns at bay by stranding 5 baserunners. He even had a 1-0 lead on a bases-loaded HBP by Derek Dietrich. But his fortune turned around in the 4th. His control eluded him as he walked 2 batters and threw 2 wild pitches, and an error simply made things worse as the Suns scored 4 runs in the inning to take a 4-1 lead. But the Biscuits tied the game in the bottom of the 5th, scoring 3 on a Mikie Mahtook groundout and a 2-run single by Dietrich to tie the game at 4. Thompson went 5 innings allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits, striking out 3 and walking 3 as well although he did post 7-2 groundout to flyout ratio. His ERA stayed right where it was, at 5.48. In relief of Thompson, the Biscuits got great performances, with Neil Schenk tossing a 1-hit 6th before Marquis Fleming went 2 innings allowing just a walk, striking out 3. And Fleming got the win in the game for his efforts as the Biscuits rallied for 3 in the 7th on a 2-run double by Mark Thomas and an RBI single by Kyeong Kang to take a 7-4 lead. Matt Nevarez struck out 2 in a perfect 9th for the save as the Biscuits won 7-4. Dietrich went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and a run scored, Thomas went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, and 2 RBI, Omar Luna went 3 for 5 with his 19th stolen base and 2 runs scored, and Shawn O’Malley went 2 for 4 with a steal and 2 runs scored as well.
High-A Florida State League: Game 1: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2 (7 innings)
In Game 1 of the doubleheader, Albert Suarez struggled and the Stone Crabs managed just 4 hits. Suarez went 4 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, striking out 3 while walking none but posting just a 3-4 groundout to flyout ratio. Chris Andujar went the other 3 innings for Charlotte, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 1 and posting a 5-1 groundout to flyout ratio. On offense, Todd Glaesmann had a 2-run homer and that was basically it.
Game 2: Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 0 (7 innings)
This one was even worse. Ryan Sheriff tossed a (7-inning) complete game 4-hitter (they got 4-hit twice in one day!) as the Stone Crabs got next to nothing against him. Jim Patterson started for Charlotte and was great, tossing 5 innings of 2-hit ball, striking out 2 while walking 1, but Alex Koronis fell apart in relief, allowing a Chris Edmondson 3-run homer for the Cardinals’ winning margin. Robi Estrada did go 2 for 3 for Charlotte. If there’s any Rays affiliate playing like the Rays are right now, it’s probably the Stone Crabs.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 6, South Bend Silver Hawks 4
The Hot Rods got clutch hitting and took advantage of a couple of key South Bend errors on their way to a win. Roberto Gomez started for the Hot Rods and managed to toss shutout ball for 3 frames, although he allowed 2 hits, struck out just 1, and posting a bad 3-4 groundout to flyout ratio. Felipe Rivero tossed the next 3 innings but allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, striking out 3 while walking 2 although his groundout to flyout ratio was 6-0. Andrew Bellatti followed with two 1-hit innings, but he allowed an unearned run while striking out 2, while Austin Hubbard struck out 2 in a 1-hit 9th to close out the game. Backtracking, let’s talk about the offense. The Hot Rods scored 3 in the 3rd on 3 walks, a wild pitch along with an error to score 2 runs, and a Jake Hager RBI double. Then in the 5th, Kes Carter walked, stole second base, and scored on another error to make it a 4-3 game. And in the 8th, Matt Rice provided the winning margin with a 2-run single. Rice went 1 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI in this one for Bowling Green.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Staten Island Yankees 7, Hudson Valley Renegades 5
Renegades pitchers struggled and a late comeback fell short as the Renegades lost their 2nd straight after a 9-game winning streak. The Yankees started the game with 3 hits and an error to plate 3 runs before Jeff Ames could record an out. Ames lasted just 3 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 4 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1 but posting just a 0-2 groundout to flyout ratio. Ian Kendall followed and also got hit hard, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in 3 innings, striking out 3 while walking 1 but posting a 2-4 groundout to flyout ratio as the Renegades trailed 6-1. They finally mounted a come back in the 6th, scoring 4 runs on an error, a Joel Caminero groundout, and a Marty Gantt 2-run single, but 6-5 was as close as they would get in the game. Marcus Jensen tossed 2 innings but allowed an unearned run to make it 7-5 even as he allowed just 1 hit and struck out 5 (the other out was on batter’s interference), and Jose Alberto Molina‘s perfect 9th was meaningless as the Renegades lost 7-5. Jake DePew went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Richie Shaffer went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and 2 runs scored.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Elizabethton Twins 6, Princeton Rays 4
The P-Rays bullpen had a tough night to let this one get away. Jorge Rodriguez started for Princeton and was pretty good, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits in 4.1 innings, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 5-3 groundout to flyout ratio. Alex Keudell closed out the 5th without incident, striking out 1. Princeton jumped out to a 4-2 lead on a wild pitch, an Oscar Hernandez solo shot, a Daryl George RBI double, and a Daniel Duran bases-loaded walk. But then the bullpen fell apart. Willie Gabay and Zach Butler allowed a run each in the 6th and 7th to tie the game, and then Chris Kirsch allowed 2 more runs in the 8th, with Max Kepler singling home a run and 2012 second overall pick Byron Buxton stealing home as part of a double steal for the 6th run as the Twins won 6-4. Hernandez went 1 for 3 with his solo homer and a walk, George went 3 for 5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored, Andrew Toles went 2 for 5 with a double, Ariel Soriano stole his 19th base, and Willie Argo went 1 for 1 before leaving the game (could he be heading to Bowling Green to replace to suspended Josh Sale?)