Stars of the Day:
AA: Roman Mendez / Chris McGuiness, Val Majewski, Guilder Rodriguez, Jared Hoying
High-A: Luke Jackson, Phil Klein, Jimmy Reyes, Ben Rowen / Tomas Telis, Hanser Alberto, Odubel Herrera
AA: Frisco 6, Corpus Christi 5
Frisco leads best-of-five semifinal 1-0
As his mother watched from the stands, Chris McGuiness belted a double to right-center field that (barely) scored Leury Garcia from 1st to end the game. Garcia had singled after failing to reach in his previous four at-bats.
Frisco led 5-2 after the 3rd. Houston’s Paul Clemens, who spent most of 2012 in AAA Oklahoma City with dire results, failed to complete three innings and allowed seven hits including a Val Majewski solo homer. Engel Beltre doubled to lead off the 1st and scored on a McGuiness single. In the 3rd, four consecutive hits (including a two-run double from Jared Hoying and a Guilder Rodriguez RBI single) chased Clemens. Rodriguez also played his behind off at shortstop.
Barret Loux allowed three runs in 5.2 innings on seven hits, a walk and four strikeouts. His fastball ranged from the upper 80s to 92. Unlike previous times I’ve seen him this season, he favored his curve heavily over his change and slider. Not coincidentally, it was his best pitch. All of the hits were well-struck, if I remember correctly. As usual, he wasn’t fluorescent but kept hitters off balance much of the time and prevented serious damage by the league’s best offense.
In an erratic 7th, Wilmer Font gave up a run on two hits and a walk while fanning one. Only two or three of his 31 pitches weren’t fastballs, and his location suffered both within and outside the zone. A foolish baserunning mistake by the Hooks gifted one of his outs. Roman Mendez fared better, throwing a lower percentage of his 26 pitches for strikes but also mixing in more sliders and mostly staying down. He struck out one and yielded a hit and walk in a 1.1-inning appearance. I should have video of several pitchers on Friday.
High-A: Myrtle Beach 4, at Winston-Salem 1
Myrtle leads best-of-three semifinal 1-0
I didn’t spell them out in precisely these terms, but contained in my preview were three keys to a Myrtle Beach victory: mitigate Winston-Salem’s high average on contact with plenty of strikeouts, string together some singles, and deliver a contest in doubt to the solid bullpen. The Pelicans largely followed this template in defeating the best team (by record) in the minors.
1) Luke Jackson fanned eight in five innings and allowed contact to only 10 of 21 hitters faced, resulting in a solo homer and two other hits. He departed down 1-0.
2) Odubel Herrera broke up a no-hitter with a two-out single in the 6th. Hanser Alberto then tripled him home. After walks to Brett Nicholas and Vin DiFazio, Tomas Telis cleared the bases with another triple. Outside of the 6th, Myrtle Beach had only three baserunners.
3) Relievers Phil Klein (2 IP), Jimmy Reyes (1) and Ben Rowen (1) permitted only two batters to reach.
Winston-Salem’s league-best offense had been held to one or zero runs 15 times during the regular season compared to 32 for Myrtle Beach. Scheduled Dash starters Scott Snodgress and Chris Bassitt have made three starts and three relief appearances against the Pelicans without allowing a run. These were among the reasons I predicted, ahem, a Winston-Salem sweep. Happy to be wrong.
Five Years Ago Today
Solo homers from German Duran, Brandon Boggs and John Mayberry weren’t enough for Frisco, which lost 5-3 to San Antonio in the opener of the Texas League semifinals. Clinton scored on a Chad Tracy homer in its 4-1 loss to Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League semis.
Spokane closed its regular season with a 6-3 loss using pitchers Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz and Tommy Hunter. The Indians finished out of the postseason with a record of 33-42.
AA: Wilfredo Boscan
High-A: Joe Van Meter (Nick McBride will pitch Game 3 if needed)