While the Miami Marlins were topping the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on Saturday night, their minor league affiliates were winning three-of-four across the country.
The Miami Marlins minor league system had five games scheduled for Saturday, including a pair of seven-inning affairs between the New Orleans Baby Cakes and the Round Rock Express. The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and the Jackson Generals were rained out at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville after a half-inning. Here’s our more-or-less daily Farm Report.
New Orleans Baby Cakes
Triple-A Pacific Coast League
Hector Noesi started and earned no decision in the first game of the twin-bill with 2,912 in attendance at Shrine on Airline. He struck out eight and surrendered two runs over five innings of work. Jon Berti and Wilkin Castillo each collected a pair of hits in the 7-5 loss.
The Baby Cakes had their chances. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Harold Ramirez connected for his first long-ball of the season, a two-run shot that gave New Orleans a 2-1 lead.
After the Express tied it in the top of the fourth, Isaac Galloway drove in Castillo in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead, followed by an Austin Dean bases-loaded walk. They added another in the fifth when Castillo singled home Jon Berti for a 5-2 lead.
Unfortunately, New Orleans bullpen wasn’t up to the task of holding the lead. Mike Kickham retired one batter while allowing four baserunners. Three of them scored, on a pair of home runs off the former major leaguer. R.J. Alvarez allowed another shot in the seventh to give the Express their final margin.
In the back-half of the twin-bill, Round Rock jumped out to an early lead against starter Nick Neidert, with a leadoff Derek Fisher home run. That was the only time the Express crossed the plate, as Neidert buckled down after that.
Ultimately, Neidert lasted 5 2/3 innings, and allowed four hits and three walks while striking out four. Jose Quijada pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings to earn the save. New addition Matt Snyder brought all of New Orleans’ runs home on his first dinger of the season.
Advanced-A Florida State League
Riley Mahan slammed a pair of home runs to lead the Hammerheads to an 8-7, 10-inning win against the Palm Beach Cardinals on Monday night.
With 1,830 in attendance, Will Stewart took the hill for Jupiter’s home opener at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. You may notice that they had played two games previously at the site, on Thursday and Friday, but since they share the stadium with the Cardinals, those two games were considered “road” games.
Stewart allowed two runs on four hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four, and got 51-of-86 in the strike zone. Vincenzo Aiello whiffed four in two innings, but surrendered four earned runs on three hits and a walk over that time as well. Chad Smith earned the win after 2 1/3 mostly good innings, allowing two hits and striking out one. He allowed the Cards to score in the top of the 10th, but that was an “unearned” run due to the minor league’s policy of starting runners at second base in every extra inning.
The Sharks were trailing 2-0 going into the fifth, but tied it on an Isael Soto RBI-triple and a Nick Fortes sacrifice fly. Mahan hit his first homer in the sixth, a solo shot to take a 3-2 lead. Soto added an RBI-double in the seventh, scored on a fielding error, and Mahan hit a sacrifice fly to take a 6-2 advantage.
The Cards forced extras after scoring four runs in the eighth, and took the lead in the 10th on a Julio Rodriguez single. That set the stage for Mahan’s heroics.
Single-A Midwest League
The LumberKings topped the Kane County Cougars by a 6-1 final with 1,326 in the house at Ashford University Field on Saturday night.
Humberto Mejia allowed a run on two hits and two walks in a five-inning start, while striking out two. George Soriano, making his single-A debut, pitched four perfect relief innings, striking out five for a long save.
Kane County started their game in the same way that Round Rock started the second game of the double header, with a leadoff home run. Jorge Perez provided the Cougars their early advantage, which would last until the fourth inning.
Marcos Rivera hit an RBI-single, Ricardo Cespedes drew a bases-loaded walk, Bubba Hollins drove one in with an HBP, and Demetrius Sims collected an RBI with a groundout in that frame, and the Cougars never got close again.
Christopher Torres added a two-RBI double in the sixth for what would remain the game’s final score.
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1PM – Jordan Holloway will start for the Hammerheads in the series closer against the Cardinals.
2PM – The Baby Cakes will close their season-opening series against Round Rock tomorrow, although a pitcher has not been confirmed.
3PM – The LumberKings will go for their third win of the season opposite the Cougars once more. Peyton Culbertson will take the hill.
Undetermined – Since their contest on Saturday was suspended in the first inning, the Jumbo Shrimp and the Generals will likely play a pair of seven-inning games.
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