Bianchi was 3-for-4 on Tuesday
The Burlington Bees’ woes continued on Tuesday, but the three other affiliates all won their games. With their victories, both Wilmington and Omaha moved into first place in their respective divisions. Inside, RC recaps all of Tuesday’s minor league action.
Low-A: Burlington Bees
Kane County 6, Burlington 4
The Burlington Bees remain winless at home, as the club dropped its third straight game, 6-4. Zach Peterson got the start for Burlington and endured his roughest outing of the season thus far, yielding five runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks over five innings. Peterson picked up his first loss of the season in the defeat while his ERA climbed to 3.86. Three Bees relievers fared better, however, and Justin Garcia, Carson Bryant, and Barry Bowden combined to give up just one run in four innings of work. Bowden has yet to give up a run this season in four appearances.
At the plate, the Bees managed just five hits. Shortstop Kyle Martin led the way with a 2-for-4 effort, while Nick Francis (1-for-2) and Wilson Tucker (1-for-4) added RBI doubles in the fourth inning. Third baseman Antonio Jimenez was 1-for-3 with an RBI, and Eric Hosmer also knocked in a run on an RBI groundout in the first inning. Hosmer returned to the lineup after receiving a day off on Saturday in the Bees’ last game, and he finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
The Bees (2-8) and Cougars square up again on Wednesday night, with southpaw Brent Fisher making his second start of the season for Burlington. Fisher last pitched on April 15, also against Kane County, when he picked up a no decision after surrendering four runs (two earned) in 3.1 innings of work.
High-A: Wilmington Blue Rocks
Wilmington 8, Salem 3 (7 innings)
Salem 5, Wilmington 1 (suspended in the 4th inning)
The Blue Rocks struck early in often on Tuesday, winning their third straight game while snatching sole possession of first place in the Carolina League’s Northern division. The game was actually part of scheduled doubleheader after Monday’s rainout, but the second game was suspended by rain in the fourth inning with the Rocks trailing, 5-1. A recap of that game will be available in tomorrow’s report.
As for the first game, Danny Duffy started for Wilmington and turned in his third straight solid start. The 20-year-old southpaw limited the Red Sox to three runs on six hits and a walk in six innings of work. Duffy struck out a season-high seven batters while picking up his second win of the season, and so far this year he has struck out 19 batters in 15.2 innings, the second-highest total in the Carolina League. Brandon Sisk pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and the reliever has yet to be scored upon this season in four outings.
At the plate, the Rocks banged out 10 hits. Shortstop Jeff Bianchi pushed his surging batting average to .349 with a 3-for-4 night, including a double and an RBI. Bianchi has now hit safely in eight straight games. Clint Robinson was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while both Mike Moustakas and David Lough finished the game 1-for-2. Infielder Anthony Seratelli, whose three-run double was the big blow in the Rocks’ four-run first inning, finished 1-for-3.
The Blue Rocks and Red Sox on Wednesday night will finish Tuesday’s suspended game before playing a seven-inning game. Mario Santiago is likely to start the latter, looking to improve upon what has been to this point a rough season for the 24-year-old right-hander.
Double-A: NW Arkansas Naturals
Northwest Arkansas 9, Corpus Christi 7
Back-to-back errors by Mario Lisson and Brian McFall led to four unearned runs in the ninth, but the Naturals survived the late rally to win Tuesday’s game, 9-7. Anthony Lerew started for the Nats and pitched superbly, yielding three runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings pitched while striking out four batters.
Greg Holland relieved Lerew with two outs in the seventh, and he pitched 1.1 scoreless innings despite surrendering three hits and a walk. With a 9-3 lead, Gilbert De La Vara began the ninth, but the two errors were followed by a pair of hits and a walk, and Chris Nicoll was summoned from the bullpen with a man on third and the tying run at the plate. Nicoll walked the first batter he faced, but then induced a soft liner and an infield pop-up to finish the game and earn his first save of the season.
Offensively, the Naturals banged out 13 hits in the nine-run assault. Jose Duarte (2-for-5) and Kurt Mertins (3-for-4) hit two doubles apiece, while Cody Strait went 3-for-4 with a solo home run, his first of the season. Outfielder Jordan Parraz was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while McFall was 1-for-3.
The Naturals (6-6) have Wednesday off before hitting the road for a four-game series against the Arkansas Travelers. Blake Johnson (0-1, 7.56 ERA) will likely start the opener on Thursday night.
Triple-A: Omaha Royals
Omaha 15, Oklahoma City 9
The O-Royals exploded for a season-high 15 runs in a rout of the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Tuesday night. Every player in Omaha’s lineup had at least one hit and one RBI, as the O-Royals moved into a first place tie in the Pacific Coast League’s American North division.
Offense ruled the day, and Omaha starter Heath Phillips got roughed up for six runs (five earned) in 3.1 innings pitched. Greg Atencio pitched three innings in relief and got his first win of the season, while Tim Hamulack closed out the game with 2.2 solid innings. Antencio surrendered two runs in his appearance while Hamulack yielded one, and both pitchers struck out five batters apiece.
The O-Royals had plenty of heroes at the plate. Tug Hulett went 3-for-5 and scored three runs, while Kila Kaaihue scored four while going 1-for-3 with three walks. Third baseman Travis Metcalf was 2-for-3, and DH Ryan Shealy was 3-for-4, raising his batting average to .340. Nobody had a better day than right fielder Cory Aldridge, however, who was 4-for-6 with a triple and five RBIs.
The O-Royals (8-5) and RedHawks go again on Wednesday, with Brandon Duckworth on the mound for Omaha. Duckworth so far this season is 0-1 with a 8.59 ERA, and he last pitched on Friday against Albuquerque, picking up his first loss after allowing six runs in 3.1 innings pitched.