Not the best day ever on the farm with three of four teams losing, but Birmingham’s pitching stood out, throwing 11 scoreless innings against the prospect-laden Smokies…
Trayce Thompson‘s 2-hit day represented half the team’s total as the offense couldn’t get going against Norfolk’s Mike Wright. Leury Garcia had the only extra-base hit with a double, but also made his ninth error of the season while playing shortstop. Starter Kyle Drabek gave up all four runs on seven hits in his 6.1 innings, striking out three without a walk. Onelki Garcia and Zach Philips added 2.2 innings of scoreless relief work.
Credit this win to the impressive threesome of pitchers the Barons ran out there, who combined for 11 innings of shutout baseball. Mark Blackmar went 7 innings in the start, allowing 5 hits and a walk while whiffing 4 and posting an impressive 14:3 GO:FO ratio. Tyler Barnette continues to perform well in AA despite his brief injury absence, adding two innings to the shut out. Undrafted left-hander Devon Davis, who has gone from rookie ball all the way to AA in less than a year, settled down in his second appearnce with the Barons to close it out. Offensively, the C. Marrero brothers provided oomph yet again – Christian hit an 11th inning home run to win it, with he and Christopher both booking 2-hit days. Recently-returned catcher Rob Brantly went 3-5.
The Dash built a 7-0 lead, then watched the Hillcats rattle off 9 unanswered runs to complete their comeback. Jordan Guerrero, whose prospect stock has been on the rise this year, made his Advanced A debut in this one and showed some encouraging signs. Guerrero struck out the first five batters he faced and didn’t give up a run until the 4th, but eventually gave four total in 5+ innings as both hitters he allowed on to open the sixth scored after he left. Jake Peter had a 2-5 day with a double, and he’s been on fire lately: .371/.463/.571 with 6 BB and just 3 K in his last 10 games (42 PA). Adam Engel, Trey Michalczewski, Nolan Earley, Toby Thomas and Ethan Wilson all had 2-hit days, with Engel stealing his 22nd bag of the season.
The Intimidators got blown out in this one, though it was a much closer 4-1 before the 9th inning. Zach Thompson, the White Sox’ 5th round pick last year, made his 2015 debut: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K and 6 groundouts vs 1 flyout. David Trexler wore it in the 9th, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits and a pair of walks in that frame (after he’d thrown a 1-2-3 8th). Not much to report offensively – Christian Stringer had a double in two plate appearances before being pulled from the game for reasons not yet determined.
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