The Miami Marlins newest affiliate is the Clinton LumberKings, based out of Iowa in the single-A Midwest League.
The Miami Marlins affiliate feeder system runs seven layers deep. At triple-A, the New Orleans Baby Cakes hold court in Metairie, LA. The double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp play in the Southern League. In the high-A Florida State League, the Jupiter Hammerheads play at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. At lower levels, the Batavia Muckdogs reside in the short-season-A New York-Penn League, the GCL Marlins play in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, and the DSL Marlins play in the Dominican Summer League. Marlin Maniac aims to bring you weekly updates on all seven affiliates.
The Clinton LumberKings have been around since 1937, when they were affiliated with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1937-1938). Since then, they’ve represented the New York Giants (1939-1941), the Chicago Cubs (1947-1949), the Chicago White Sox (1959-1965, 1976), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1966-1968, 1954-1958), the Milwaukee Brewers (1970), the Seattle Pilots (1969), the Detroit Tigers (1971-1976), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1977-1979), the San Francisco Giants (1980-1994), the San Diego Padres (1995-1998), the Cincinnati Reds (1999-2000), the Montreal Expos (2001-2002), the Texas Rangers (2003-2008), and the Seattle Mariners (2009-2018).
The club traces their roots all the way back to 1906, when the Clinton Minors made their debut. They’ve also gone by many other nicknames. The Infants, the Teddies, the Owls, the Cubs, the Steers, the Pirates, the White Sox, the C-Sox, the Pilots, the Dodgers, and the Giants. Currently managed by former Florida Marlins slugger Mike Jacobs, they won their last ML title in 1991, while affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.
The week started with a rubber match against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins) The LumberKings would then travel to Burlington Iowa to take on the Bees (Anaheim Angels) for five games in four days and finally return home to host the Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals) for the first two games of a three-game series.
The three-game set against the Kernels concluded with the two clubs matching zeroes for nine innings. Humberto Mejia struck out six and allowed four hits and a walk, then C.J. Carter continued to put up zeroes for two more innings, allowing two hits and striking one out. Nathan Alexander (3-2, 3.22) took the loss, allowing the inherited runner to score in the top of the 10th inning.
Offensively, the Kings couldn’t get anything going. Will Banfield drew a pair of walks, Christopher Torres hit a double to raise his average to .185, Marcos Rivera hit a single, and Sean Reynolds hit a single and stole a base. Thirty-two at bats came and went for Clinton without a batter getting past second base, but better days were ahead.
Second baseman Zack Scott ended up being the only reason the LumberKings escaped without being no-hit, as he would launch his first HR In his professional career.
Pitching struggled to throw strikes as they would walk 10 Bees on the night. The normally dependable Chris Vallimont accounted for half of those in just 2 1/3 innings. Alex Vesia (1-2, 2.79) would take the loss by waling another four in 3 2/3 frames.
The bats came alive tonight as Marcos Rivera (5), Jerar Encarnacion (8), Sean Reynolds (9), and Chris Torres (2) would all go deep for the good guys. The defense pulled off a 9-2-6 TRIPLE PLAY in the eighth as the Bees had loaded the bases with no outs.
Once again throwing strikes was an issue as the beleaguered pitching staff walked 11. Zack Wolf (3-1, 5.68) would pick up the win coming in relief. A great bounce back with a 9-5 win.
the LumberKings would draw six walks in the first three innings and jump out to a quick 3-1 lead only to fall 4-3. Davis Bradshaw would go two-for-three with a double and an RBI.
George Soriano started and walked five in 4 2/3 innings, along with four hits and two earned runs. Nathan Alexander (3-3) relieved him in the fifth, and surrendered the game-winner on an unfortunate bases-loaded HBP. The two pitchers combined to strike only one batter out.
All but one of the starting nine would strikeout at least once against the Bees pitching. Connor Scott went two-for-two and scored the only run, swiping three bases in the 2-1 loss.
Starter Tyler Jones (1-4, 2.84) would throw the ball well allowing just one earned run while walking two and setting four down on strikes.
In the final game in Burlington, Will Banfield (6) and Connor Scott (4) would go yard and the team would win the contest by a 4-2 final.
ML All-Star Humberto Mejia (5-1, 2.03) took the hill and the threw the ball well once again. He allowed just one earned run on just two hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking five and striking out three. He earned a tough luck loss, his first of the season in the 1-0 contest.
The offense was again was a no show Bubba Hollins would go 2-for-3. The LumberKings would however get the tying run to third in the 8th, only to see him stranded there.
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Chris Vallimont (4-4) would get the win tonight allowing two earned runs in six innings of work walking just one and striking out seven. Zack Wolf would work a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save of the year.
All-Star Jerar Encarnacion would land a triple shy of the cycle, and hit his ninth HR of the year in the second inning. Victory, 3-2.
The next week will see the final game in the Peoria series on the 13th. And a road trip out to Cedar Rapids to battle the Kernels for a three game series the 14th-16th. Then we enter the All-Star break.
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