Josh Palacios had four hits, three walks and a stolen base in his last three games.
A lot of notable performances from a number of former Vancouver Canadians during the opening weekend of minor league baseball.
The Lansing Lugnuts got a two-run home run from Otto Lopez in the eighth inning of an eventual walk-off win over Fort Wayne at Cooley Law School Stadium Sunday. That was on the heels of a two-hit, two-stolen base game Saturday in the Lugnuts home-opening loss to the Wizards Saturday. So far, the Montreal-raised Lopez is batting .400 and slugging .700 over his first three Midwest League games.
Lopez’s 2018 C’s teammate McGregory Contreras had a hit yesterday and also is on a three-game hitting streak with four hits. However, he has struck out six times in 12 at-bats.
Sean Wymer (2018) cast a spell on the Wizards for five innings before surrendering a run in the sixth Sunday afternoon. The former TCU product scattered seven hits and a walk over six frames and struck out four. He induced eight groundball outs and threw 55 of his 75 pitches for strikes.
Wymer’s tandem-starter running mate Joey Murray also had a solid Midwest League debut Friday in Fort Wayne. He yielded two unearned runs on four hits and two walks over five frames. His strikeout and groundout totals were five apiece to help him earn the victory. North Vancouver, BC native Will McAffer earned the hold with two scoreless frames with Joey Pulido adding another. Connor Law surrendered an unearned run but had two groundouts to finish Friday night for the 2018 C’s pitching quartet.
Jake Brodt (2018) and Reggie Pruitt (2017) were running wild Friday. Brodt had two triples and a stolen base while Pruitt swiped three bags to complement a 2-for-5 night with a walk.
Dunedin Wins Twice
Like the Lugnuts, the Dunedin Blue Jays bounced back from a Saturday loss to pick up a a one-run victory as the “home team” Sunday at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater. The D-Jays have been kicked out of Dunedin Stadium due to stadium renovations. As for the game,Logan Warmoth (2017) singled, moved to third on a Cullen Large (2017) base knock and scored on a Demi Ormoloye base hit for the game’s first run. Large would score on a Christian Williams (2016) base rap to provide the winning margin.
Justin Dillon (2017) tossed 5-2/3 innings of scoreless ball on three hits and a walk. He struck out five and produced eight outs on the diamond. Kyle Weatherly (2017) stranded a runner for Dillon and struck out two over 1-2/3 scoreless innings for the hold. Dany Jimenez stranded two runners for Weatherly and wild pitched a run home in the ninth but he rung up three over the final 1-2/3 innings to save the win for Dillon.
Nick Allgeyer (2018) gave up three runs (two earned, including a home run) over 4-2/3 innings to take the loss Saturday. However, the lefty’s peripherals were good as he struck out eight with no walks and all five outs in play were on the dirt. Warmoth singled, walked, took one for the team and stole a base while Chavez Young (2017) doubled and Large was 1-for-4 with a run batted in.
On Friday, Young had a triple and two singles, Riley Adams (2017) had a double and two singles and Large walked three times to spark the D-Jays to a win over Clearwater Friday. William Ouellette spun three shutout innings out of the bullpen Friday with three strikeouts and three groundouts for the hold.
Fisher Cats Win Twice
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats had their first home run of 2019 and it came off the bat of 2016 C’s outfielder Josh Palacios. His two-run shot lifted the defending Eastern League champions to a victory over Binghamton Sunday.
2018 Vancouver shortstop Vinny Capra drew a walk to proceed Palacios’ blast. The former Richmond Spider has picked up two hits, three walks and a stolen base in his first two games in Double-A.
Palacios had a hit, two walks and a stolen base in Saturday’s extra-innings setback, a game that saw Zach Logue (2017) give up just an unearned run on two hits over six shutout innings. He struck out five and had five outs on the grass. Andrew Case (2014-2015) gave up a game-tying home run in the seventh but kept Binghamton off the board in the eighth and ninth. Jackson McClelland (2015-2016) got the final two outs in the 12th by stranding two runners and his own walk with a strikeout.
The Fisher Cats were led again by Palacios Friday when he chipped in two hits, a walk and a stolen base in their 11th inning triumph over Binghamton. Kacy Clemens (2017) had a two-run single and Ryan Hissey (2015) collected a pair of knocks and also stole a base. Hissey and Palacios extended the rally with two outs to load the bases after Forrest Wall tied the game in the 11th with a single to score Brock Lundquist (2017), who was placed at second base due to the overtime rule.
Francisco Rios (2015) contributed 3-2/3 shutout innings of one-hit relief with two strikeouts and four groundouts, stranding two runners for Hector Perez. Jake Fishman (2017) allowed a run in two innings but also struck out three.
Bisons Drop Two
Sunday was not a great day for the Buffalo Bisons as they were thumped by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Cavan Biggio socked his second homer of the year and walked twice. Andrew Guillotte (2015) had a pair of hits and Roemon Fields (2014) singled and scored.
The Bisons bats were more productive Saturday with Biggio getting on base four times with a triple and a walk as they erased a five-run deficit to outlast the RailRiders. Andy Burns (2011) had two hits, a walk and two RBI and Fields was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Michael De La Cruz (2014) also had a hit to help bail out Sean Reid-Foley (2014) who was roughed up for eight runs over three innings.
Burns provided the lone run with a home run in Buffalo’s loss to Scranton Friday. Biggio had a base knock and Danny Young (2015) pitched two-thirds of a scoreless frame.
All the best to 2016 C’s righthander Andy Ravel as he continues the road back from shoulder surgery.
Lansing broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler spoke to Lugnuts manager and 2018 C’s skipper Dallas McPherson. The former major leaguer had this to say about his season in Vancouver.
“A great experience. I can’t speak highly enough of Vancouver. The front office there, the fans there. The city itself is a great place to play especially for short-season and it’s a great place to learn. I made a lot of mistakes, we made a lot of mistakes. There’s a lot of things that we learned from them and that’s the great part about this.
Just like the players, as a staff, we’re all getting better every day. That’s another great part about the Blue Jays is that they allow that, they want that, they give us that freedom to kind of just be who we want to be and figure out who we’re going to be along the way.”
When asked which Lugnuts to keep an eye on, McPherson rattled off 2018 Blue Jays first round pick Jordan Groshans, Josh Winckowski “who’s got great stuff”, Dominic Abbadessa, Alejandro Kirk, Otto Lopez “great year last year in Vancouver” and Sean Wymer but singled out Joey Murray as the one to watch, “Joey Murray’s going to have a huge year on the mound.”