The Brandon Larson Honorary Star(s) of the Weekend
Matt McLain hit a homer, a single, a double, and a triple for the Chattanooga Lookouts on Sunday, and my best and closest sources tell me that equates to the cycle. McLain has hit basically everything thrown his way so far this year, though, so that should hardly surprise you at this point.
Meanwhile, Austin Hendrick socked a trio of dingers over the course of his weekend action, making it quite the FOWH for former 1st round bats in the system.
Louisville Bats (AAA)
Louisville Bats 2, Omaha Storm Chasers 3 (Saturday)
Three up, three down for the Bats over the weekend against the top tier club of the Kansas City system. Considering 3 of the Top 5 prospects in the KC system are with Omaha, maybe that shouldn’t be too surprising.
Lucas “City 2000” Sims fired a scoreless IP of relief on Friday, which was a positive revelation. Lorenzo “The Llama” Cedrola doubled twice from the leadoff spot and somehow didn’t score a run, which is an interested scenario to process. Unfortunately, Matt “Pidscratch” Pidich and Kyle “Pedro’s Gonna Toss Ya” Zimmer got waxed from the bullpen, and that was all she wrote.
Ben “to Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma, Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, Tocapillo, Baranquilla, and Perdilla” Lively took the bump for the start on Saturday, and while he yielded 2 ER in 4 rather respectable IP, that served as the bulk of the Omaha scoring on a day where 3-2 was enough. Allen “La Mezquita” Córdoba socked a solo homer to try to fuel the offense, while Lorenzo Cedrola had another 2-hit evening (with another double) in the loss. Joel “Big Ka” Kuhnel continued to ride his early wave of success with a second consecutive day with a scoreless IP of relief.
A 4-run 7th inning from Omaha doomed Louisville on Sunday, and unfortunately it was former 1st round pick Nick “The Duck” Howard serving up that course of meatballs. On a more positive note, Lucas Sims fired another scoreless IP in this one, an outing that hopefully means he’s back with the Reds for at least the tail-end of their West Coast debacle. Lorenzo Cedrola had - get this - another 2-hit day in this one.
Chattanooga Lookouts (AA)
Chattanooga Lookouts 12, Birmingham Barons 1 (Saturday)
Jacques “Tober” Pucheu was socked around for 5 ER in 2.1 IP in the Friday start, a hole out of which the Lookouts could not dig. Matt “Yippee Ki-Yay” McLain tried hard, though, doubling, tripling, and adding a stolen base while scoring twice on the night. TJ “Lightnin’” Hopkins chipped in with a walk and a solo homer.
Saturday was another story, as the offense put up a dozen runs to back a solid 5.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 BB, 4 K performance from Brandon Williamson. Isiah “Terry” Gilliam swatted a homer as part of a 2 for 3 day, Lightnin’ Hopkins had a 2-hit day with a double, and Leonardo “Raisel” Rivas socked a homer as part of his 2- hit, 5-ribbie day.
After a day-off on Saturday, it was the Matt McLain show in full-force on Sunday. His cyclic day included a trio of runs scored and a trio of ribbies, and that led the attack behind a solid 5.1 IP, 2 ER start from Connor “Definitely Not the Same Guy As Brandon Finnegan” Curlis.
Dayton Dragons (High-A)
Dayton Dragons 4, Lake County Captains 3 (Saturday, F/7)
Dayton Dragons 2, Lake County Captains 1 (Saturday, F/7)
The Dragons plated a run in the Top of the 7th on Friday to seal the win. Former big leaguer Albert “Bacharach” Almora, Jr. had a pair of hits and ribbies while on rehab assignment, while Elly De La Cruz singled, doubled, and swiped a bag on the night. Newly acquired Connor “Hold On for One More Day” Phillips fanned 8 in 4.1 IP, but did yield 3 ER on the backs of 5 BB.
Saturday saw the Dragons sweep a doubleheader against the Captains, continuing their string of 1-run victories. Rece “57” Hinds walked thrice and scored in the 4-3 win, while J.V. “Junior Varsity J.D.” Martinez socked a homer in that one, too. The 2-1 win featured an absolutely brilliant outing from Andrew Abbott, who fanned 10 against just 2 BB and 3 H in 5 scoreless IP.
Daytona Tortugas (Low-A)
Daytona Tortugas 2, Palm Beach Cardinals 3 (Saturday)
Friday saw the Tugies lose to the Cardinals, but it did see the beginning of the Austin “Motorsports” Hendrick awakening as the former 1st round pick socked his 1st homer of the season. Chase “Also Motorsports” Petty, meanwhile, fired 3 scoreless IP with 3 K and nary a walk in a solid outing for the newly minted Red.
Saturday saw Palm Beach score in the 10th to take the game in extras. Hendrick went 1 for 2 and added 2 walks while Michael Triana had a 2-hit day, too, while Julian Aguiar fanned 7 against nary a walk in 4 scintillating innings of scoreless relief.
It was Sunday, though, when Hendrick took things to another level, as he homered twice as part of a 3 for 4 day that saw him score thrice and drive in said pair of runs to help Daytona salvage a victory over the weekend. Jay “Ducasse” Allen got in on the action with a dinger as part of his own 2-hit day, all of which backed a Daytona staff led by Alexander Johnson and his 4 IP of scoreless ball.