The system’s lone loss of the day, the Yankees got beat pretty solidly by the Chiefs today. Doug Bernier, Jack Cust, and Dewayne Wise have all been hitting the ball well in the early going of the season, but they combined to go 0-11 in this one with five strikeouts between them. Ramon Ortiz was terrific on the mound allowing five hits and three runs in his five inning start, but the real goat was Jason Bulger, who came on in the sixth inning and turned a 3-1 deficit into a 7-1 hole for the Yankees. Five hits and a walk in one inning will do that, won’t it?
Trenton pulled out a much needed victory in Akron today, behind a good outing from starter Craig Heyer. Heyer lasted six innings, striking out seven hitters and allowing Akron’s lone run on five hits and not a single walk issued. The offense mostly scattered their seven hits, including a double each from Ronnier Mustelier and Melky Mesa, but managed to put up just enough runs to help out the staff on this day. Zoilo Almonte went 0-3 with a walk, so he’s now 1-13 with a walk and seven strikeouts in his last four games.
Andy Pettitte made his second start at High-A on his comeback tour, and so far so good. Pettitte lasted four innings, allowing just two hits with no runs and no walks while striking out three. All in all, a pretty easy outing for Andy, and I’d expect his next start to come Friday or Saturday in Trenton. Michael O’Brien came in in relief of Pettitte and finished the game, though he did allow seven hits. The offense was provided primarily by Neil Medchill and Jose Mojica, who each drove in three runs. Medchill went 3-3 with a home run.
Another day, another huge game for Tyler Austin, this time coming through in the biggest of ways. Austin has been on a tear over the past few days, and after Saturday night’s 4-4 performance, it was hard to imagine that Austin would be able to keep out doing himself, but boy did he ever on this day. Charleston entered the top of the 9th inning trailing 5-4 and saw their first two hitters make outs to put the bat in Cito Culver‘s hands. Culver worked a walk and Gary Sanchez singled, and that brought Austin to the plate. One swing of the bat later, Austin had a three run home run under his belt, and the Riverdogs went from being down to their last outs with one of their weakest hitters at the plate to having a two run lead. Pedro Guerra worked a perfect ninth to close out the win, and the Riverdogs left Rome on a high note. Austin finished the game 2-4 with a walk and the home run, and he’s now raised his season totals to .438/.471/1.031 with three home runs and a total of ten extra base hits in 34 plate appearances over eight games. What can you say? The kid can flat out hit.
Beyond Austin, Mason Williams went 2-5 with a double and a triple. He’s hitting .318/.333/.500 through his first 10 A-ball games with four doubles and two triples. Gary Sanchez also went 2-5 from the DH slot in the lineup, he’s hitting .324/.395/.382 with 9 strikeouts and just two extra base hits (both doubles) in 34 at bats. Catcher Francisco Arcia also had two hits in this one, going 2-4. Charleston really had this game in hand for most of the game, leading 4-1 in the middle of the eigth, but Fred Lewis was terrible in the bottom of the inning, and Rome scored four runs to take the lead before Austin promptly answered with his heroics.