In the minor leagues, when you play doubleheaders the games are 7 innings long. The people who leave after the 7th inning anyway at baseball games wish that was the case all the time. Cutting 2 innings creates an urgency to perform- if you don’t hold the opposition down or if you don’t score runs, you don’t have as much time to come back. Unfortunately, the Stone Crabs went just 1-1 in their doubleheader. But the one win was special for Albert Suarez.
Triple-A International League: Durham Bulls 8, Louisville Bats (CIN) 3
A 6-run 5th inning in this one vaulted the Bulls to their third win in their last four games. Jim Paduch gaves the Bulls four innings of 2-run ball before the bullpen allowed just one more run in 5 innings, as the Bulls battered out 13 hits included 5 from multi-hit games. Stephen Vogt had a 2 for 4 day with a double, a homer, and 3 RBI, and Matt Mangini went 3 for 4 with 1 double, an RBI, and a run scored. Henry Wrigley, Leslie Anderson, and Juan Miranda had 2 hits each, including a solo shot by Anderson, and Cole Figueroa had a 2-run double in four trips. Reid Brignac was one of 2 Bulls without a hit, although he did draw a walk. The Bulls improve to 25-32 on the season.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 4, Tennessee Smokies (CHC) 3 (10 innings)
The Biscuits managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit and come away with a walk-off win. Kyle Lobstein struggled for the Biscuits, going just 4.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 6 but walking 3. But Frank De Los Santos, Adam Liberatore, and Neil Schenk combined for 5.2 shutout relief innings, and along the way the Biscuits offense got on its feet. The Biscuits tied the game with a 3-run 6th inning including a 2-run shot by Kyeong Kang, and finally in the 10th inning, a walk-off walk by Michael Sheridan following a Brett Nommensen double, a wild pitch, and two intentional walks ended the game. Other than Kang, who had his big homer in three trips, other impressive performers included Hak-Ju Lee, who went 2 for 5 against his old organization, and Ryan Garko, who went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Tyler Bortnick went 0 for 4 but walked and amazingly stole his 15th base of the season, especially impressive since he is hitting just .238. Bortnick’s low batting average may be weighing him down, but he has managed to manufacture runs by drawing 24 walks compared to 34 strikeouts, stealing 15 bases in 16 tries, and he also has hit for more power than we’ve seen from before as he already has 8 doubles, 6 triples, and 2 homers. The Biscuits are now 30-26 on the year.
High-A Florida State League: Game 1: Charlotte Stone Crabs 6, Dunedin Blue Jays 0 (7 innings)
What a game for Albert Suarez. Suarez turned in his first career complete game (albeit of the 7 inning variety), allowing just 2 hits and striking out 5 while walking none in a dominant effort. He held the Blue Jays hitless into the 4th inning. He managed to beat Asher Wojciechowski, a supplemental first round pick by the Blue Jays in 2010. For the offense, Hector Guevara went 3 for 4 with a triple and 3 RBI, Alejandro Torres went 2 for 3 with a double and 2 runs scored, and Mikie Mahtook went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Brandon Allen went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in his rehab game.
Game 2: Dunedin Blue Jays 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3 (7 innings)
The Stone Crabs came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie this game at 3, but Jim Patterson gave up a 7th inning run after tossing shutout ball from the 4th to the 6th and that proved to be the margin of defeat. Victor Mateo lasted just 4 innings for Charlotte, striking out 5 while walking none but allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, All the runs came on a 3rd inning Ryan Schimpf home run. In the loss, Derek Dietrich and Riccio Torrez each went 2 for 3 and Mikie Mahtook went 1 for 4 with an RBI, a run scored, and his 11th steal. With the split, the Stone Crabs are now 24-29 on the season.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 3, Dayton Dragons (CIN) 2
Jake Floethe gave the Hot Rods and impressive outing and they managed to come away with a win. Floethe went 6 innings allowing just 1 runs on 4 hits, striking out 6 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was 8-2 and he also had a pickoff. He was backed up by a Ryan Brett solo homer and multi-hit games from Matt Rice and Taylor Motter. Drew Vettleson went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored. The Hot Rods are now 31-25 thus far in 2012.