Omaha lost their series opener in New Orleans, 12-8. The Zephyrs led 5-0 after two innings and put up crooked numbers (three or more runs) in three innings.
Brett Tomko was ripped for eight runs on nine hits and two walks over 3.1 innings. He struck out three. Tomko left with two runners on base in the fourth and both came around to score once Justin Marks entered. Marks allowed four hits over 1.2 innings.
PJ Walters, who has shifted back to the bullpen, recorded just two outs, while allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. It could have been a lot worse, but Casey Coleman came in and left the bases loaded.
The Storm Chasers made a comeback, but it fell short. Johnny Giavotella‘s three-run home run in the 8th inning cut the deficit to four runs. He fell a triple short of the cycle. Every hitter but Pedro Ciriaco collected at least one hit, with Christian Colon and Melky Mesa picking up two hits each.
Andy Ferguson was the hard luck loser, as he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out seven. All three runs against Ferguson came in the second, as the Cardinals had three hits, a walk, and a sac fly. Ferguson went on to retire 14 of his next 15 (and the final 11 he faced).
Cody Fassold left with the bases loaded in the eighth and all three came around to score once Scott Alexander entered in relief. Alexander would also allow two runs of his own. Greg Billo pitched the ninth and struck out two. I guess he is no longer in the rotation.
On offense for the Naturals, Edinson Rincon collected two of the team’s five hits.
The Naturals now head to Tulsa for two games.
*In roster news, reliever Hassan Pena was released and Wilking Rodriguez was taken off the DL. Justin Trapp was also back off the DL, while fellow infielder Yowill Espinal went back on. No word on Cheslor Cuthbert, but he was not in the lineup.
Wilmington lost to visiting Carolina, 7-0.
Blue Rocks starter Jonathan Dziedzic lost his first game of the season, despite being solid. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over six innings. Two of those four hits came off the bat of the only left-handed hitter he faced, Logan Vick. In his previous three starts, Dziedzic had only allowed one hit to a lefty.
He struck out a career-high tying eight. Manager Darryl Kennedy said after the game that Dziedzic wasn’t as sharp with his offspeed pitches as he has been so far this season.
Things fell apart once Dziedzic’s night was over. Aroni Nina had trouble finding the strike zone, as he walked three over 2/3 of an inning. He also allowed two hits and a run when he was pulled in favor of Zeb Sneed. Sneed entered with the bases loaded and allowed a broken bat two-run single. He then went on to allow a run in the eighth (it was unearned), his first run allowed this season.
The usually stellar Matthew Murray even had a rough outing in the ninth after striking out the first two batters he faced in convincing fashion (seven total pitches). Murray then allowed three straight singles to plate a run before getting a called third strike to end the inning.
The Blue Rocks offense had plenty of chances early against the Mudcats, like bases loaded and nobody out in the first. However, they could not come up with a big hit. Zane Evans had two of their six hits and just missed a home run in the 8th inning. It is Wilmington and it just was not carrying on the cold night.
It was a sloppy game, with four errors, a number of wild pitches, two pickoffs at first base, and a Carolina ejection.
Lexington lost their series opener in Greenville, 9-4. The Legends fought back to make it a one run game (4-3) in the fifth, only to see the Drive come right back and score over the next three innings.
The Legends collected just three hits, including a two-run triple by nine-hole hitter Carlos Garcia. He would come around to score on a sac fly in their three-run 5th inning.
Luke Farrell took the loss, as he allowed four runs on five hits and three walks over four innings. He also allowed two home runs and threw a wild pitch. Alex Black threw two wild pitches (2IP, 2H, 2R, ER, BB, K), while Cesar Ogando threw three wild pitches (2IP, 4H, 3R, BB, K). Black and Ogando combined to throw 71 pitches in relief, just 38 strikes.