After a day that saw the Blue Jays rack up six losses as an organization, they turned it around on Friday with the big club holding on to a nail biter for a victory and all of the minor league clubs following suit on a day of fantastic pitching performances all around. For more details (although they missed the first game of the Dunedin double header), check out the Jays Journal Minor League Recap.
The first fantastic pitching performance came for Buffalo as Liam Hendriks owned the very talented Pawtucket Red Sox, throwing 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits but struck out eight batters. Bobby Korecky supplied 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts to complete the game. The runs in the 7-3 win came from all over with Kevin Pillar (1/3, 2 BB) driving in two runs and Ricardo Nanita (1/5) driving in another two. Juan Francisco was lifted from the game after just one at bat (he’s coming up to Toronto) and Dan Johnson, Chris Getz and Kevin Nolan each had two hits.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Kevin Pillar and Liam Hendriks
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats finally got a win against the Binghamton Mets, winning 6-3 thanks to three runs in the top of the ninth. The biggest story in this game was Aaron Sanchez who dominated, throwing six scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. The Fisher Cats were out to a three-run lead thanks to solo home runs from Gabe Jacobo, Ryan Schimpf and Brad Glenn but Wil Browning couldn’t hold on to the lead as the Mets tied up the game in the seventh inning. Scott Gracey, Tony Davis and Gregory Infante managed to close out the game while Jon Berti drive in the winner with a sac fly and Brad Glenn added two more insurance runs with a 2 RBI single. Andy Fermin also had two hits and Jonathan Jones had three while Schimpf added two walks to his home run.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Aaron Sanchez and Brad Glenn
The Dunedin Blue Jays played two games and swept their way to victory, only allowing one run on six hits in 16 total innings. Game 1 was a 4-0 victory over the Brevard County Manatees thanks to outstanding pitching from Daniel Norris (4 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K) and Kramer Champlin (5 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K). In fact, that one hit that Norris surrendered was originally scored an error and changed after the fact by the Brevard County official scorer, taking away a no-hitter from the Blue Jays’ pitchers. Norris lowers his ERA to an incredible 0.60 and has only given up 13 base runners in 15 innings with 17 strikeouts so far this year. Matt Newman continues to be an offensive sparkplug for the D-Jays, driving in two runs and Emilio Guerrero pushes his batting average to .293 with two doubles. Gustavo Pierre is hitting only .125 but hit a home run to drive in a pair of runs.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Daniel Norris and Kramer Champlin
In Game 2 for the D-Jays, it was a seven-inning game that visiting Blue Jays managed to win thanks to a single run in the top of the seventh. Jesse Hernandez went four innings, giving up just three hits while Blake McFarland earned the win with two strong innings of scoreless, one-hit, one walk ball with four strikeouts. Closer Arik Sikula notched his fifth save with a scoreless seventh. The one run was scored thanks to an RBI single by Emilio Guerrero, driving in Marcus Knecht who reached on a bunt.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Jesse Hernandez and Blake McFarland
The Lansing Lugnuts flirted with history too, with Kendall Graveman taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Beloit Snappers. Only walking one until the ninth, Graveman got the first out on a fly ball to D.J. Davis but the second hitter hit a hot shot to Dawel Lugo that he couldn’t handle cleanly. Jose Chavez was awarded a hit and manager John Tamargo, Jr. pulled the plug on Graveman’s day. Griffin Murphy gave up another hit but erased the runners on a double play with D.J. Davis doubling off Jose Chavez who got too far off second base.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Kendall Graveman
April 19 Preview
Buffalo Bisons (8-5)
The Bisons play a double header in Pawtucket against the 9-7 Red Sox. Sean Nolin (1-0, 4.22 ERA) goes against Red Sox’ prospect Anthony Ranaudo in the first game. Ranaudo hasn’t been a sharp as he was last year with eight walks in 14 2/3 innings but he’s still a strikeout machine, notching over one per inning. Nolin has had one outstanding start and one mediocre one but he’s been getting strikeouts at a career-best rate with 14 in just 10 2/3 innings. Nolin looks to erase the memory of his last start against the Red Sox, walking five in five innings.
In Game 2, the Bisons send Chad Jenkins to the mound for his first start of the season against Jeremy Kehrt. Kehrt has been hit hard already by the Buffalo Bisons (seven runs in five innings in his last start) and Jenkins has been very good, with only two runs allowed (both unearned) in nine innings of work out of the bullpen. Jenkins has allowed only three hits and one walk and has struck out eight. Game 1 for Buffalo goes at 1:05 and is available on MiLB TV.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (5-8)
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have an afternoon contest (1:05 PM) against the Binghamton Mets (8-5) with #2 starter Deck McGuire (2-1, 3.38 ERA) taking the hill against an unannounced starter. While McGuire isn’t striking batters out at the same rate that he did last year, he’s cut down on his walks in a big way, walking only two and striking out 10 over his first 16 innings.
Dunedin Blue Jays (13-2)
The D-Jays send ace Matt Boyd (3-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound against Tyler Wagner (3-0, 1.59) and the Brevard County Manatees. Boyd has been nothing short of sensational this season, and looks to continue his streak of 17 shutout innings. Over that span, he’s only given up 13 hits and two walks and has 16 strikeouts. I’d say that Wagner has been equally impressive but no one in the league has been. Wagner, 23, has been very good, though with only four runs allowed (three earned) in 17 innings on 14 hits and eight walks with 12 strikeouts. The game starts at 6:35 PM (ET).
Lansing Lugnuts (4-10)
The Lugnuts continue their series in Beloit, Wisconsin by sending B.C.-born Tom Robson (0-1, 8.10) to the hill. Robson has struggled early in the season, throwing only 6 2/3 innings in two starts, walking six and striking out five. His opponent is Ronald Herrera, an 18-year-old righty from Venezuela who has a 2.25 ERA through just 12 innings with two walks and six strikeouts. Catch the game on the radio at 3PM.
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