Normally, we'd start you off with the Louisville Bats, but alas, the Louisville Bats did not play on Thursday. They'll pick things back up again tonight at home against the Indianapolis Indians, with first pitch set for 7:05 PM ET. Because the Reds are inexplicably odd and confusing sometimes, Alfredo Simon will again be starting for them. Why.
You've read these before. You know that the updates from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos follow the Bats, but alas, they had their Thursday tussle with the Mississippi Braves rained out. They'll match wits in a doubleheader today, however, with first pitch for Game 1 set for 6:15 PM ET. Barrett "Butler" Astin will toe the rubber in that one, with Sal "Bando" Romano on the hill for the second battle shortly thereafter.
Fortunately, the 'tugas at least played some ball on Thursday, and they did so in solid fashion yet again. Game 1 of the doubleheader was leftover from the night before, when rain halted things after a lone inning pitched by Keury "Numa Numa" Mella. It featured Blake "Okeechobee" Trahan going 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored from the leadoff spot, another double and a ribbie from Shed "Astaire" Long behind him, 2-hit games from Reydel "Tone Loc" Medina and Brian O'Grady - one of which was a dinger - and yet another homer by the incomparable "Prince of" Aristides Aquino. That all supported a "relief" appearance by Seth "Knowhutimean" Varner that saw him pitch 7 strong innings in which he allowed just 1 ER to go along with 6 Ks, 2 BBs, and 4 H...
...and they brought home a win in extra innings for good measure after trailing 6-2 early in the second contest of the evening. Said 6-2 deficit came because Michael "Who?" Sullivan was knocked around for 6 ER in just 2.1 IP - and considering it was just his 4th game started in 73 career MiLB appearances, odds are the former 29th round pick won't get too many more of them. His bullpen and offense picked him up, however, as Ariel "Mermaid" Hernandez fired 3 scoreless innings in relief (with 6 Ks and nary a walk), and the big bats of Gavin LaValley, Aquino, and Medina combined to go 7 for 13 with 2 dingers, 4 ribbies, a double, a walk, and a stolen base. Aquino launched his 22nd dinger of the year and 6th in his last 7 games, which is completely absurd.
TBD will be on the mound Friday for Daytona when they clash with the Clearwater Threshers on the road, with first pitch set for 6:15 PM ET.
The Dragons shutout Fort Wayne behind a solid start from Ty "Let's Hear it for the" Boyles, as he struck out 7 against just 3 hits and a lone walk in 5.1 scoreless innings. A balanced offense backed him, as Chris Okey went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a ribbie, Mitch "is Bat" Piatnik doubled for the Dragons' lone extra base hit of the night, and Brantley Bell walked twice and stole a pair of bases. It was a somewhat quiet night for Nick Senzel, who merely scored a run and stole a base. Still, the win meant the Dragons and their woeful overall record swept the four game series, which is rather awesome.
Jesus Reyes will get the start for the Dragons on Friday against the West Michigan Whitecaps, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.
Billings fell to the Chukars on Thursday, and it was newly added lefty Max "Time" Wotell on the mound doing the yielding for the future Reds. He allowed 4 ER in just 1.2 IP while failing to record a single strikeout, though I'm sure his delivery was just as herky-funky as ever. TJ Friedl came back to earth with an 0 for 4 night, but Jose "Que Sera" Siri went 2 for 4 with a double, steal, and run scored, and Hector "Hardly Even Knew Her" Vargas doubled and drove in a pair. Taylor Trammell had the night off, presumably for being awesome.
Andrew Jordan gets the Friday start for Billings as they tangle with Missoula, with first pitch set for 9:05 PM ET (in case you right coasters are going to stay up and watch).
The Baby Reds rode a 3 for 4 evening from Pabel Manzanero to a win over the 1908s, pairing well distributed offense with 5.1 innings of 1 ER ball from starter Gregory Reinoso to pick up the W. Look, there's not a lot in this box score that's going to do much of anything for your cockles or sub-cockles, but at least know that the Cubs sent a leadoff hitter out named Tolly Filotei, which is hat-tip level awesome.
TBD is scheduled to start for them on Friday, because Dan Szymborski hasn't yet entered a fake name into the simulator that runs the Baby Reds just yet.