The Undercards: Matsui Laces Walk-Off Hit, Dietrich Dominates
WIth the game on the line, the Durham Bulls can send up a former World Series MVP. Right now, the Rays can’t say the same.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 3, Charlotte Knights (CHW) 2 (10 innings)
Things were not going according to plan for Hideki Matsui. He was hitting just .120 in his first 25 at-bats for the Bulls as he looks to return to the big leagues. But when the Bulls needed him most, he came through.
Lance Pendleton gave the Bulls a solid outing, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 6 innings, striking out 4 while walking 3. He trailed 1-0 until the 5th, when the Bulls took advantage of an error to score on a Jesus Feliciano sac fly. Another error led to a second run and the lead for the Bulls in the 8th. But Brandon Gomes blew the game in the 9th, allowing a Jordan Danks RBI double to send the game in extra-innings. In the bottom of the 10th against Anthony Carter, Jesus Feliciano singled to begin the inning. After Matt Mangini was intentionally walked, Leslie Anderson flew out, bringing Hideki Matsui to the plate. And Matsui came through, lining a single tor right field to score Feliciano as the Bulls won 3-2. The Bulls stranded 9 in this game and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position- but they made their one hit count. The Bulls improve to 19-27 on the year.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 11, Brevard County Manatees 7
The Stone Crabs destroyed Brevard County starter Brooks Hall, tagging him for 8 runs in just 1.1 innings pitched, but they had to fight to hold on a wild game. What a day it was for the top of the Stone Crabs lineup. 1 to 4 in the lineup went a combined 8 for 16 with 4 walks, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 9 RBI, 2 stolen bases,and 9 run scored. Derek Dietrich went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, 1 homer, 5 RBI, and a run scored while Mikie Mahtook ranked just behind, going 2 for 4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Mahtook had a 3-run homer in the first inning and Dietrich had another 3-run shot in the second. The Stone Crabs got a halfway decent start from Albert Suarez, who allowing 3 runs on 3 hits in 5.1 innings, striking out 4 while walking 1, but a Victor Mateo disaster appearance (1.1 innings, 4 ER) made things relatively close before Chris Rearick nailed down the same with 2.1 shutout innings, striking out 5. This game could have been a little smoother for the Stone Crabs, but they came away with the win to improve to 22-21 on the year.
Low-A Midwest League: Fort Wayne Tincaps (SDP) 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
Sorry to end with a downer. This game mirrored the major league game, with errors and a lack of timely hitting downing the Hot Rods. Bowling Geen jumped ahead with two in the first inning on a Drew Vettleson RBI double and a Josh Sale sac fly. But Roberto Gomez gave up a run each in the first and second innings, with one of the runs being unearned, and then in the 5th he allowed a Lee Orr RBI double. Another unearned run charged to Gomez scored after Jason McEachern came into the game. But the Hot Rods loaded the bases in the 5th and Vettleson singled in a run to pull Bowling Green within 1. But Todd Glaesmann and Jeff Malm struck out to end the inning and 4-3 would be the final as the Hot Rods fell to 24-21 on the season. Ryan Brett went 5 for 5 in this game from the leadoff spot with 5 singles and a stolen base but scored just once as only Vettleson could come up with a hit behind him. Vettleson went 2 for 3 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Vettleson also had an outfield assist, his minor leagues-leading 11th of the year. It was a frustrating loss for the Hot Rods as they pounded out 12 hits to the Tincaps’ 6, but they stranded 14 runners and made 3 errors, and that cost them this game.