Baseball is a game of opportunity. The biggest difference between a win and a loss is typically the ability to take advantage of the scoring opportunities presented, or to take advantage of an excellent start. Unfortunately for the Montgomery Biscuits, they were unable to take advantage of either Enny Romero‘s one hitter or their scoring chances in a narrow 2-1 loss.
Durham Bulls 5, Gwinnett Braves 4
Through the first five innings, the Bulls offense was essentially silent, having not gotten a batter beyond second base while the Braves held a 2-0 lead. However, that changed in the top of the sixth. After back to back walks to start the inning, Chris Gimenez bunted for a base hit. A throwing error allowed a run to score, and the Bulls had runners on first and third. Another error, this time on a groundball by Leslie Anderson, plated the tying run, and the Bulls still had runners on first and third. A walk with one out loaded the bases, and a groundout scored Gimenez to give Durham the lead. The Braves came right back in the bottom of the inning, as an error by Cole Figueroa led to two runs with two outs, putting Gwinnett back on top. Yet the Bulls would not be deterred. Tim Beckham reached on a two base error, and scored from second on a wild pitch. Shelley Duncan had a two out single to plate Figueroa for what would prove to be the game winning run as the Bulls took a 5-4 victory. Matt Buschmann earned the win, giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits and four walks over 6.1 innings. Figueroa was 1-2 with two walks and two runs scored.
Jackson Generals (Mariners) 2, Montgomery Biscuits 1
This was a game of missed opportunities for the Biscuits. Romero set a career high with nine strikeouts, and held the Generals to one hit over his six innings, yet left with the score tied at 1-1 after six. Montgomery had several chances to take the lead, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth and squandering Curt Casali‘s leadoff double in the sixth. In the end, despite having only two hits all night, Jackson was able to take advantage of the Biscuits mistakes. With runners on second and third and two down in the bottom of the eighth, Ramon Morla grounded to third baseman Robi Estrada to seemingly end the threat. However, Estrada misplayed the ball, leading to what would prove to be the game winning run as the Biscuits lost 2-1. Braulio Lara took the loss, giving up an unearned run on one hit and two walks over two innings of relief. Shawn O’Malley was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
Things were going well for the Stone Crabs. Alejandro Segovia drove in the first run of the game with a two out single in the first, and Charlotte extended the lead in the fourth when Hector Guevara singled in a run. Jeff Malm was cut down at the plate attempting to give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead, and that play would end up being huge. The Cardinals finally got to Jacob Partridge, who had given up only two hits through four, in the fifth. With runners on second and third with two outs, David Popkins tied the game with a two run single to left. Charlotte had a chance to take the lead back in the top of the seventh, putting runners on first and third with one out, but Drew Vettleson and Richie Shaffer struck out to end the threat. In the bottom of the inning, the cardinals put together a two out rally. Jesus Montero doubled, and came around to score on a base hit by Ronny Gil. The Stone Crabs were unable to muster another scoring opportunity, falling to Palm Beach 3-2. Shay Crawford took the loss, giving up a run on two hits over two innings. Segovia was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) 0
Hot Rods starter Jordan Harrison and TinCaps starter Joseph Ross found themselves locked in a pitcher’s duel, with both sides producing almost the exact same results. Both pitchers had given up three hits over six shutout innings, but Ross was done after the sixth. In came Trevor Gott, and the Hot Rods were able to put a run on the board. Leonardo Reginatto singled with one out, and Marty Gantt followed with an RBI double, breaking the scoreless tie. Bowling Green tacked on three more runs int he top of the ninth, as Justin O’Conner homered to lead off the inning. Gantt had his second RBI double of the night, and scored on a sacrifice fly as the Hot Rods cruised to the 4-0 victory. Harrison earned the win, giving up three hits and a walk over 6.1 shutout innings. Gantt was 2-3 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk.