Three Threshers combined to hit four home runs in Wednesday night’s game against the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Clearwater (52-38) scored first, continued to pile on runs, and defeated the Cardinals 9-1. Aaron Brown (2), Rhys Hoskins, and Carlos Tocci provided the power as their 4 home runs contributed to Threshers’ 13-hit attack.
Matt Imhof got the start and benefitted from the offensive outburst. Imhof threw a lot of strikes (42 of 60 thru the first 3 innings), but compiled a high pitch count by the fifth inning. He walked three but didn’t issue his first free pass until the fourth inning. He scattered 6 hits and the only run he allowed came across on a wild pitch. Imhof exceeded 20 pitches in 4 of his 5 innings. His line was 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 WP. He threw 104 pitches, 64 strikes In his last 2 innings, Imhof threw 44 pitches (22 strikes/22 balls). Imhof threw 73 fastballs between 86-89. He touched 90 once. And yet, he left with a 7-1 lead.
Four relievers finished throwing one inning each. They combined to scatter 3 base runners on 1 single and 2 walks. Jesen Therrien allowed a hit but struck out a batter. His FB was 89-91, T92. Harold Guerrero pitched a perfect inning with a K. His FB was 91-92, T93. Cody Forsythe issued a walk but struck out a batter. His FB was 90-91, T92.
Alexis Rivero made his Threshers’ debut in the ninth. He had been called up from Lakewood on the 14th. His first pitch was a 92 mph called strike. That must have settled him down because his FB ranged 95-97 the rest of the inning. Mostly 97. He threw 11 FB after the first pitch – 95, 95, 94, 97, 96, 97, 95, 97, 96, 97, 97. He also has a killer change up, reminiscent of Edubray Ramos who was recently promoted to Reading. Rivero walked one and struck out two. The two strike outs came on a 95 change after a 94 FB, and on a 97 FB.
The Threshers’ offense was very “on” tonight. They hit balls hard all evening. They set the tone early. Malquin Canelo led off with a hard line drive to second. The Threshers continued hitting the ball hard – Carlos Tocci lined a single to right; Andrew Pullin grounded a ball hard through the hole to right; Rhys Hoskins lined an RBI single to center; Chace Numata lined a single to left that loaded the bases; and Aaron Brown drove in the second run of the inning with a ground single to left.
The Threshers went down in order in the second, but picked up an opportune run in the third. Tocci singled on a line drive over the first baseman. He reached second on a hit-and-run ground out to second by Pullin. He stole third base (2). And, he scored on Hoskins’ SF to medium left. Tocci slid around a possible tag on the first base side of home plate.
The Threshers scored 4 runs the next two innings on solo home runs. Brown led off the fourth with a towering shot (5) to dead center that bounced about 15-20 feet up the batters eye. Harry Kalas’ “That ball’s outta here!” blared over the PA system. (That was pretty neat.) Tocci led off the fifth with a bomb (1) well into the Tiki Terrace in left (on a 3-2 pitch). One out later, Hoskins crushed one (4) halfway up the berm in left-centerfield. And one out later again, Brown pulled his second of the game (6) onto the right field berm.
The Threshers tacked on another run in the sixth when Derek Campbell was HBP and came around to score on Pullin’s RBI single. They scored their final run when Derek Campbell was hit by a pitch (again) with the bases loaded. The bases became loaded on a Numata single, Brown walk, and Willians Astudillo HBP. I swear, it looked like they were pitching around Brown with a runner on first, nobody out, and trailing 8-1.
Tocci (.265) went 3-5 with a SB, HR (1), RBI, and 3 runs scored. Pullin (.269) went 2-4 with an RBI. Hoskins (.282) went 2-4 with a HR (4), SF, and 3 RBI. He also hit 2 balls other balls hard to left that required the fielder to retreat against the wall for a catch and leap on the run for another. Numata (.296) went 2-5. Brown (.250) went 3-3 with a walk, 2 HR (6), and 3 RBI.
The Threshers are a season high 14 games over .500. They hit 4 home runs in a game for the first time this season. All 4 home runs were solo home runs. None were wind-aided. Cardinals’ pitching had given up 13 home runs all season going into tonight’s game.
Tonight’s losing pitcher was making his 5th start since being demoted from the Cardinals AA affiliate in Springfield. It should get tougher. Thursday’s starter was recently promoted from their A(Full) affiliate in Peoria, and is making his 2nd start/3rd appearance. He has a 2-0 record and 2.38 ERA. The Threshers should see two of #12 Luke Weaver(2.50 ERA), #4 Rob Kaminsky (2.13), #23 Trey Nielson (2.67) over the final 2 games of the series. The Threshers send Whitehead, Arano, and Leibrandt to the mound over the next 3 games.
Lehigh Valley (40-51) no game scheduled.
Reading (48-42) no game scheduled.
Lakewood (44-44) beat the Kannapolis Intimidators 8-4. Ranfi Casimiro evened his record at 5-5. He was lifted after giving up 4 runs on 8 hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out four and picked off a base runner. Calvin Rayburn and Matt Hockenberry combined to pitch 1-hit ball over the final 2.1 innings. All three BlueClaws pitchers combined to walk zero batters during the game. Leadoff batter, Herlis Rodriguez (.304) went 2-4 with a walk and 2 runs scored. Drew Stankiewicz (.250) went 2-5 with a double. Scott Kingery (.225 in 71 AB) went 2-5 with a double. Kyle Martin (.378 in 74 AB) went 3-3 with a double, walk, and 2 RBI. Cord Sandberg (.259) went 2-4 with a walk. Deivi Grullon hits his 4th HR.
Williamsport (18-6) beat the Batavia Muckdogs 6-5. Denton Keys threw 60 pitches (40 strikes) in 5.0 innings. He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk while striking out three. Kenny Koplove blew the save, giving up 2 runs in his 2.0 innings. Anthony Sequeira earned the win while striking out 3 in two perfect innings. Zach Coppola (.333 in 63 AB) went 2-3 with a double, 2 walks, and 2 RBI. Josh Tobias (.327 in 52 AB) went 2-5. Jan Hernandez (.260 in 73 AB; 7 for his last 37, .189) went 2-5 with a game-winning, solo HR (5) and 3 K. Austin Bossart (.364 in 33 AB) went 3-4 with an RBI. Grenny Cumana (.219 in 73 AB ) went 3-4 with a double and an RBI. Coppola stole 2 bases (10) and was picked off once. Venn Biter entered as a pinch runner and was caught stealing.
GCL Phillies (16-5) lost to the GCL Astros 3-2. Ranger Suarez gave up 2 runs in the first inning, then settled down until he was lifted after giving up a 2-out single in the fifth. Suarez had allowed 5 hits and a walk while striking out four. Carlos Indriago came on to pitch 2.1 perfect innings, striking out three. Edgar Garcia came in with the game tied and wild pitched the eventual game-winning run home.
Suarez started the game a little up in the zone. He got the leadoff batter out on a ground ball to first. And then caught a break when the second batter lined a single to the outfield and was caught stealing. However, he remained up, and the next three batters stroked line drive base hits – a single, double, and single – to score 2 runs. He began getting his pitches down; and that coupled with the strong wind blowing in from right, helped him shut down the Astros. Suarez’ FB was in the upper 80s, T90-91 a couple times.
Indriago continued the domination of the Astros. He faced 7 batters and struck out three, got 2 to hit come backers, induced a pop up to the catcher, and got a routine fly out to center. Garcia was unlucky giving up a one-out, ground single through the middle. The runner stole second and advanced to third when the shortstop couldn’t handle the one-hop throw. Garcia wild pitched the runner home. After walking the next batter, he unleashed another wild pitch before getting the final outs on a strike out and fly out. (So, without the wild pitches, the run may not have scored.)
The Phillies scored their first run in the fourth inning, when Cornelius Randolph singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on a fly out to CF. He scored on an infield single by Jesus Alastre. They picked up their second run in the seventh inning without benefit of a hit. Alastre walked and was sacrificed to second by Bryan Martelo. With Scott Tomassetti batting he took third on a wild pitch. Tomassetti followed with a sacrifice fly to score the tying run. Garcia threw away the tie the following inning.
The Phillies made one final try in the bottom of the ninth. Luke Williams started the inning with a single to left. He was sacrificed to second by Alastre. Martelo grounded a single to left but Williams was gunned down at the plate. Martelo took second on the throw. Tomassetti followed with a line drive single to left and Martelo was gunned down at the plate to end the game. Two perfect throws, that’s baseball.
Jonathan Arauz (.290) went 0-4. Cornelius Randolph (.290) went 1-4. Luis Encarnacion (.292) went 0-3 with a walk. Lucas Williams went 1-4. Jesus Alastre went 1-2 with a run scored, RBI, walk, and sacrifice. Scott Tomassetti (.409) went 1-1 with a SF and RBI. Bryan Martelo (.310) went 2-3. Greg Pickett wasn’t in uniform.
DSL Phillies (21-17) played the DSL Astros Blue. It’s 3:00AM and the game hasn’t posted to MiLB.
VSL Phillies (23-28) beat the VSL Rays 8-1. Mauricio Llovera gave up 1 run in five, 6-hit innings and struck out five. Williams Mendoza got the win with 2 shutout innings although he allowed 5 hits. Carlos Salazar mopped up with 3 strike outs in 2 perfect innings. Rafael Gamboa (.256) went 3-5 with 2 doubles, a HR (2), and 3 RBI. Enger Jimenez (.307) went 2-5 with a HR (3) and 3 RBI.
Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.
Extra Innings –
- Phillies Claim Dalier Hinojosa From Red Sox
- Philadelphia Phillies optioned Dalier Hinojosa to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
- Lino Martinez pitched a couple of simulated innings on Ashburn Field. The batters were Dylan Cozens and Scott Tomassetti. Cozens hit one hard and loud. Loud enough that it drew my attention away from the game. I think it cleared the fence. He hit another line drive up the middle that looked like it would have been a hit. I hope this means he might be back soon.
- RHP Alexis Rivero assigned to Clearwater Threshers from Lakewood BlueClaws.
- Jairo Munoz assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Clearwater Threshers.