In Lakewood Thursday night, the BlueClaws bunched their 4 hits into 1 inning, and rode good pitching to a clutch 2-1 win over Kannapolis. Alejeandro Villalobos drove in both runs with a double, which was good enough to get a win for Gabriel Arias, who threw 6 strong innings. Arias (4-6) allowed just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks in his longest outing of the year, and has really looked good since moving into the rotation. Luis Paulino and Zack Cooper threw scoreless relief. Bill Rice was 0 for 4 for Kannapolis, but threw out 2 runners on the bases to keep the Lakewood rally to just 2 runs and keep the Intimidators in the game.
The Claws are now tied with Hagerstown for 3rd place, half game behind rained out Hickory, and 1 game back of first place West Virginia. Lakewood has 23 games remaining, and none of their opponents have a winning record. With all the tribulations this team has had, it could steal this race and make the playoffs!
In Allentown, Austin Hyatt made his return to Lehigh Valley and allowed 7 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in the IronPigs'10-1 loss to Buffalo. The Pigs managed just 4 hits, 3 by Hector Luna. The game was completed early (just 7 innings) due to rain. With Pawtucket and Scranton also losing, the standings remain the same.
In Trenton, Adam Morgan, who was leading the Florida State League with 140 strike outs in 123 innings, made his AA debut, throwing 7 1-hit innings against the Thunder in Reading's 4-1 win. He walked 2 and struck out 6 for the R-Phils. Darin Ruf (.310) and Cody Asche (.242 and rising) had 3 hits each to pace the Reading offense. The victory moves the R-Phils (63-54) past New Britain and into the final playoff position.
Interesting game in Clearwater, where the Yankees pounded the Threshers, 12-0. Clearwater picked up only 3 hits, 2 of them by Anthony Hewitt. Mario Hollands started for Clearwater, and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks over 5 innings. Then Tim Kennelly tossed a scoreless frame. I hear Kennelly is throwing in the high 90's. In the 8th inning, Kenny Giles and Colton Murray combined to give up 9 runs on 9 hits. OUCH!!
In Adelanto, Domingo Santana (.286) smacked his 18th home run for Lancaster, but the JetHawks lost to the Mavericks, 7-5...........Down in Kodak, Lendy Castillo, who has been on the DL since May, made a rehab appearance for the Smokies, pitching the first inning of Tennessee's 5-3 win over Huntsville. Castillo allowed 2 hits and a walk, but no runs. Brian Schlitter picked up his 3rd save for Tennessee.