Starter Scott Carroll was roughed up and the Knights offense was nonexistent as they were routed by the Gwinnett Braves on Wednesday night. Carroll could only last four innings before being lifted after giving up seven runs (six earned) on twelve hits and one walk. Terance Marin came on in relief and pitched well, only allowing one run over three innings. Onelki Garcia followed up with a perfect inning but Miguel Chalas could not keep it up as he allowed three runs to score during his lone frame.
*Birmingham was off Wednesday night but will be back in action at home against the Montgomery Biscuits on Thursday*
Starter Yency Almonte was cruising along until the 5th inning where things fell apart for him. Almonte, making only his second start for the Dash, allowed five runs to score over six innings and took the loss. Reliever Matt Cooper worked around a hit and a walk to throw his 17th consecutive scoreless inning to lower his season ERA to a sparkling 1.59.
Offensively, the Winston-Salem hitters were stymied by Potomac starter Reynaldo Lopez. The Dash finally broke through in the 9th when Adam Engel doubled and was brought in on a Trey Michalczewski ground out and Eddy Alvarez was driven in by a Keon Barnum single.
19 year-old Spencer Adams made his best start of the year as he blanked the Hickory Crawdads over seven innings, striking out four and only allowing four hits and not issuing a single walk. Adams, who is three years younger than the age of the average player in his league, has been simply unbelievable recently with a 2.33 ERA over his last ten starts and has only allowed four walks in his past 58 innings of work. Outfielder Michael Suiter went 1-4 to extend his hitting streak to 21 games and Ryan Leonards and Mason Robbins added two hits each to give Adams enough run support. Closer Jose Brito worked around an unearned run to throw two innings for the save.
Brannon Easterling was the tough luck loser as he allowed two runs over 6.2 innings of work. The usually potent Great Falls offense was muted on Wednesday, as they could only put one run on the board. Outfielder Landon Lassiter was a bright spot for the Voyagers, he went 1-3 with a walk and stole two bases out of the lead off spot. Johan Cruz went 1-4 and now has collected a hit in six straight games and eleven his past twelve. Shortstop Grant Massey, another 2015 college draft pick, went 2-4 and is hitting .285/.360/.325 thus far this season.
The AZL White Sox dropped the game to the Brewers, but the exciting news is that a couple big name Dominican prospects made their stateside debuts. Hanleth Otano, an outfielder, was part of international scouting director Marco Paddy’s first class in 2012 and spent 2013-2015 in the DSL. I am bit surprised he was promoted, he was only hitting .264/.326/.352 in the DSL this year, but he is age appropriate (19) and the Sox likely wanted to see what they had with him. Otano went 0-3 with a strikeout in his debut.
Maiker Feliz, a 17 year-old third baseman, is the most exciting addition to the AZL roster. Feliz was signed in 2013 but was largely overlooked by virtue of being in the same signing class as Micker Adolfo. Feliz hit .198/.315/.231 as a 16 year-old in the DSL last season, but burst onto the prospect scene this year by hitting .349/.455/.446 through 47 games in the DSL. Feliz doesn’t have the raw power Adolfo has (he was described as more of a line drive hitter), but he has displayed excellent on base skills so far in his career. Feliz went 1-4 with a strikeout in his Arizona League debut while playing third.
As a happy coincidence, 2014 top international signing Jhoandro Alfaro had his first multi-hit game of the year, as the catcher went 2-2. With the addition of Otano and Feliz, the Arizona League Sox now have the top players from the 2012 (Otano), 2013 (Adolfo and Feliz), and 2014 (Alfaro and Amado Nunez) international classes on their roster.
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