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Farmer's Only: Tyler Mahle, Taylor Sparks impress in AA debuts

Sparks took just one pitch to launch his first home run as a Wahoo.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Louisville Bats 6, Buffalo Bisons 9

Steve "Heltskey Seltskey" Selsky homered and drove in three in a losing effort, as the Bats fell on the road to Buffalo Thursday. Daniel "The Price Isn't Always" Wright had seen better days on the mound, lasting just five innings while giving up five runs on seven hits and striking out just one batter, raising his ERA to 5.73. The bullpen, in particular Dayan "Little Jumbo" Diaz, didn't do him any favors the rest of the way. Hernan "Wants To Be A Dentist" Iribarren went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk out of the leadoff spot, while Raffy "Duck" Lopez collected two more hits in the nine-hole. Sidenote: a lineup like the Bisons had Thursday, which included Jesus Montero, Junior Lake, Casey Kotchman and Domonic Brown, is a pretty great group of "Hey, whatever happened to those guys" names.

Keyvius Sampson and his 2.31 ERA will lead the Bats into their next series Friday, opposite Rocheter's Logan Darnell. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6, Tennessee Smokies 4

Tyler "Let's Go To The" Mahle got his first shot at AA action Thursday, and all things considered, seemed to handle the transition well. He tossed five innings, allowed three runs on six hits, struck out eight and walked just two. Mahle did nothing but dominate in High-A in the first part of the season, so if this is how he gets introduced to the Southern League, I think there's a lot more good times to look forward to as he continues to develop. Kevin "Garagechevy" Shackelford and Alejandro Chacin "Pavements" each tossed a scoreless inning out of the pen, so good for them too.

Offensively, Taylor Sparks decided to burst onto the AA scene in much more explosive fashion, smashing a pair of home runs in his Wahoos debut and driving in four runs. Zach "Lingering J" Vincej added a 2-run dong of his own, while Kyle Skipworth walked twice and scored twice.

Mystery Pitcher will hope to continue the excitement in Pensacola when the Blue Wahoos take on the Smokies again Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Daytona Tortugas 10, Lakeland Flying Tigers 5

Blake Trahan paced an offensive outburst for Daytona on Thursday with a 3-for-5 performance that included a homer, two RBI's and two runs scored. Brian "Beef" O'Grady added two hits including a double and homer of his own, while Garrett Boulware collected a pair of hits and a pair of ribbies. Aristedes "Heiress Titties" Aquino chipped in with his fourth triple of the year as part of a 2-for-4 evening.

Ariel Hernandez picked up the win with a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen, giving the 24-year old 7.1 scoreless innings since his promotion from Dayton. This came after Ismael Guillon lasted just 3.2 innings in his start, and allowed four runs on six hits with just three strikeouts.

Dayton Dragons 1, South Bend Cubs 11

Reydel Medina and Kevin Franklin highlighted another dull night at the park for Dayton, each going 2-for-4 and providing a double on a night that nobody in the lineup was able to post an RBI. The final score hides the fact that Dragons starter Ty "Burrell" Boyles actually had a solid night on the mound, lasting six innings and allowing just one run on four hits and four walks with a strikeout.

Austin Oreweiler will look to help Dayton right the ship against South Bend on Friday, with the game set to begin at 7:05 p.m.

Billings Mustangs 6, Missoula Osprey 7

Francis Guerrero hit a solo dinger, and Satchel "Not A Purse" McElroy and Montrell "Williams" Marshall each doubled and drove in one as the Mustangs fell on the road to the Osprey. Andrew "Like Mike" Jordan got the start for Billings and pitched five innings of shutout baseball, surrendering four hits, walking one and striking out five. Lucas "Illuminati" Benenati pitched an inning of scoreless pen work, but only after the rest of the pen had badly blown this one.

AZL Reds 1, AZL Royals 11

As you can tell, there isn't a whole lot of good news coming out of the Arizona League tonight. Michael Beltre was the lone Red to finish Thursday with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot with a double and a walk. The only pitcher not to allow a run for the Reds in this one, Connor Bennett, retired just one batter. Which, coincidentally, was as many as the starter, 2016 3rd Round pick Nick Hanson, retired before getting pulled after allowing five runs on four hits and a walk. Welcome to pro ball, kid. You'll get 'em next time.