(13-21) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (19-14) Norfolk Tides 2
Rio Ruiz, DH: 0-4, .241/.294/.338
Austin Riley, 3B: 0-4, SB, .250/.308/.292
Matt Wisler, SP: 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 3.90 ERA
Gwinnett put up 2 runs in the second inning on a home run from Carlos Franco and a couple of base hits, but had an otherwise quiet day at the plate in their 4-2 loss. Austin Riley went hitless in his four at bats for the first time in a Gwinnett uniform, breaking a 9 game hitting streak that spanned two levels, but he did reach base on an error and steal his first base of the season.
For six innings, Matt Wisler was on top of the world for Gwinnett as he was ripping through the Norfolk lineup, keeping the ball on the ground, and getting swings and misses. Wisler had only allowed 3 hits after 6 innings, with 6 strikeouts a walk and a couple of double plays forced. Wisler was also working efficiently and had only thrown 68 pitches when he was brough out for the 7th, but things unraveled quickly for Wisler after that. Wisler allowed a leadoff single and then a two run home run that erased Gwinnett’s lead and ended his shutout bid, but settled back in and was able to retire the next batter and then get a double play to end the inning. Wisler didn’t record an out in the 8th inning and allowed a single, a hit batter, and a walk to load the bases before being lifted for Evan Phillips. Phillips forced in a run when he hit the first batter he faced, but didn’t allow any more baserunners as a double play (which scored the fourth run charged to Wisler) and a strikeout ended the inning. Phillips pitched a perfect ninth for Gwinnett, and has been absolutely stellar in his last 7 outings with 11 2⁄3 innings pitched, 1 earned run allowed, and 16 strikeouts to only 1 walk.
Next Game: 5/13 vs (13-21) Gwinnett Braves @ 1:05 PM ET
GWN: Kolby Allard (2-1, 2.12 ERA)
NOR: David Hess (2-0, 2.12 ERA)
(16-20) Mississippi Braves 2, (19-16) Jackson Generals 0
Tyler Neslony, RF: 1-3, HBP, SB, .273/.321/.322
Alex Jackson, C: 2-4, RBI, .195/.304/.287
Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-4, .222/.323/.370
Kyle Wright, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4.03 ERA
Kyle Wright’s dominance on the mound was enough for Mississippi to take the win in a pitching duel. Scoreless in the fourth, Tyler Neslony got the offense started with a one out base hit, and then scored from first base on a single by Alex Jackson when the left fielder hestitated attempting to get the ball back into the infield. Neslony was key in tacking on the second run of the game as well, leading off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and stealing second base. Jackson got Neslony over to second base on another hit, and Daniel Lockhart bloooped one in to create some insurance for the cruising Wright. Jackson had sputtered through the early portion of the month, and this two hit performance broke a 5 game hitless streak. Overall his strikeouts have been a bit high this season, but despite making the jump to Double A his strikeout rate has dropped slightly while his walks have reached career heights at 10.8%. His power has been his major hindrance, as his ISO has dropped from .213 last season to just .092, but if you are looking for signs of resurgence his fly ball rate is at a career high, but his HR/FB has dropped from a career average around 14% to a paltry 3.7%, and his BABIP is only .267. If both numbers were actually around career average, his OPS would be closer to .820. Even though it’s May, small samples are still a problem and huge swings in peripherals can make a major impact on a player in a positive or negative way.
Kyle Wright put together the finest start of his career, and he needed every bit of that to take down the Generals. A couple of infield hits and bloopers that fell in had Wright looking a little rough early with 4 hits through 3 innings, but Wright only allowed one hit for the remainder of the game and didn’t allow his first walk until there were 2 outs in the 7th inning. Wright got 9 of his outs on the ground and limited hard contact, and threw 66 strikes on a career high 101 pitches. Corbin Clouse replaced Wright and pitched a scoreless 8th inning, and Jacob Webb closed out the game and earned his 6th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning.
Next Game: 5/13 @ (19-16) Jackson Generals @ 3:05 PM ET
MIS: Bryse Wilson (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
JXN: Alex Young (4-1, 4.38 ERA)
(14-22) Florida Fire Frogs 3, (20-16) Tampa Tarpons 4
Braxton Davidson, 1B: 1-2, BB, HR, RBI, .123/.223/.263
Cristian Pache, CF: 0-4, .292/.310/.416
Brett Cumberland, C: 0-4, .233/.350/.397
Ian Anderson, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 3.77 ERA
Despite only 2 hits in the game Florida managed to score three runs, but that wasn’t enough in the game to take down the Tarpons. Braxton Davidson hit his third home run of the season in the 5th inning to open up the scoring for Florida and cut the Tarpons lead to 2-1. Fun fact: the Florida State League single season record for strikeouts for a batter in a season is 200, set back in 1965 by a guy who played both ways. Braxton Davidson is on pace to shatter that record with 229 strikeouts this season. Florida tied the game up in the 6th inning when a throwing error allowed Cristian Pache to get to second base, and then a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch brought him into score. The Fire Frogs added a 3rd run in the 7th inning on a home run from Taylor Murphy, but it wasn’t enough in the game as Tampa had already scored two runs in the sixth to take the lead back.
Ian Anderson has been hot and cold his entire career, and this game was a microcosm of that. Anderson started out in stellar fashion, getting Estevan Florial, Greg Bird, and Billy McKinney 1-2-3 in the first inning, but then with two outs in the 2nd inning struggled with the bottom of the Tarpons order and allowed 2 runs on three straight hits. Anderson allowed a walk and a double with one out in the third inning and seemed to be pitching himself out of the game, but then bore down and got the next two batters. Through 3 he had a walk allowed, 3 strikeouts, and a couple of runs. Anderson opened the 4th with a strike out, and then walked three consecutive batters to load the bases, bringing up the top of the Tarpons lineup. Anderson then got Florial to ground out and struck out Bird again to skate through trouble. The fifth inning for Anderson was his best, as he got two strikeouts and a pop out to retire the Tarpons in order. Jon Kennedy was brought on in the sixth to keep the game tied, but failed to do so and allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, and hit a batter, only getting out of the inning due to a pickoff and Shean Michel throwing out Florial trying to score from second. Kennedy pitched a clean 7th, but the damage was done and Florida wouldn’t catch back up. Chad Sobotka pitched a scoreless 8th and struck out two batters.
Next Game: 5/14 vs (15-19) St, Lucie Mets @ 6:31 PM ET
FLO: Kyle Muller (0-0, 9.00 ERA)
(21-14) Rome Braves 3, (12-20) Hickory Crawdads 4
Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, HR, RBI, .227/.284/.440
William Contreras, C: 1-4, 2B, .246/.364/.369
Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, .283/.319/.381
Odalvi Javier, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 4.11 ERA
Drew Waters hit a leadoff home run in the game, then with two outs in the first inning William Contreras, Kurt Hoekstra, and Jean Carlos Encarnacion doubled back-to-back-back, and it seemed like things were gonna roll in this game for the Rome offense. They didn’t score again. Izzy Wilson, who has a .728 OPS this month as has been trending up overall with hits in 5 of his last 7 and only 5 strikeouts in that span, led off the second inning with a double but was stranded there. Riley Delgado led off the third inning with a double but was stranded at second base, with the next 12 batters getting set down in a row before Encarnacion walked and was erased on a double play. Encarnacion is now on a nine game hitting streak and is hitting .382/.417/.500 in that span.
Odalvi Javier struggled early in the game, starting with a home run in the second inning that scored Hickory’s first run of the game. Two doubles led off the third inning against Javier to score the next run, but he settled down and got three ground ball outs to end the inning. A one out walk in the 4th inning turned sour for Javier, as a stolen base and a two out bloop hit scored the tying run and erased that big first inning for Rome. Javier was shaky over the next 2 as well and allowed baserunners in both, but was able to work out of trouble and protect the tie. Tanner Allison pitched a scoreless seventh to keep it knotted up, and Jacob Belinda came on in the 8th. Belinda allowed a lead off single but struck out the next two batters before another hit put runners at first and second. A ground ball to Derian Cruz was set to end the inning, but Cruz couldn’t come up with the ball (his tenth error) and the go ahead and eventual winning run scored on the play.
Next Game: 5/13 @ (12-20) Hickory Crawdads 3:00 PM ET
ROM: Drew Harrington (1-1, 5.28 ERA)
HIC: Tyler Phillips (2-3, 3.94 ERA)