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BLUE JAYS (7-12)
1 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
2 Chris Peters LF
3 Santiago Nessy C
4 Art Charles DH
5 Christian Lopes 2B
6 Seth Conner 1B
7 Dickie Joe Thon SS
8 Matt Dean 3B
9 Nico Taylor RF
LHP Daniel Norris (1-1, 3.52)
1 Terrance Gore LF
2 Humberto Arteaga SS
3 Bubba Starling CF
4 Patrick Leonard 3B
5 Kenny Diekroeger 2B
6 Fred Ford RF
7 Beau Maggi C
8 Henry Moreno 1B
9 Adrian Morales DH
LHP Patrick Conroy (2-0, 3.57)
BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:45. The games are also carried on local radio on WKEZ 1240 AM The Rooster Classic Country
WEATHER: It's cooled down to 88...maybe some rain coming around 8:30.
UMPIRES: PLATE Jeremie Rehak FIELD Jordan Albarado
ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: Patrick Leonard’s bases-loaded two-run single off Julio Carmona in the bottom of the ninth gave the Burlington Royals a 6-5 win on Sunday at Burlington Athletic Stadium. Chris Elder led off the Burlington ninth with a single against Carmona and he moved up a base on Jose Rodriguez’s sacrifice bunt. Carmona got two strikes on Humberto Arteaga before walking him. That set up a showdown with the game on the line against 2011 fifth-overall draft pick Bubba Starling. Carmona also got two strikes on the star center fielder before walking him to load the bases. Leonard, the Appy League’s leading home run hitter, followed with a flare to shallow center that dropped for a hit to score Elder and Arteaga and give the Royals another shocking come-from-behind victory. Bluefield struck very quickly in the first inning when Dwight Smith doubled to lead off the game and Santiago Nessy crushed a two-run homer two batters later to give the Jays a 2-0 lead. Burlington came back with three unearned runs off Tucker Jensen in the bottom of the third to take the lead. In the next half inning, Christian Lopes homered on the first pitch from starter Yender Caramo to tie the game at three. Lopes added an RBI single an inning later to put the Jays ahead, but the lead didn’t last long. The Royals rallied in the bottom of the fifth and tied it on a Leonard single that brought home Terrance Gore. Justin James nearly got out of a man-on-third, no-out jam, but couldn’t get the third out. Dwight Smith walked to lead off the seventh against Jossiel Martinez, then moved up on a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. He was still at third base with two outs when Art Charles broke out of his slump. The big first baseman snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a double off the top of the center-field fence to make it 5-4 Jays. Brandon Dorsett was outstanding in three innings of relief and stood to get the win before Burlington’s comeback. He worked a perfect sixth and seventh before running into trouble in the eighth. With one out, Leonard singled and Kenny Diekroeger doubled to put the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position. Dorsett retired Fred Ford on a shallow fly to right before he struck out Mark Threlkeld looking to preserve the lead.
VS. THE ROYALS: These two clubs met in Burlington two weeks ago and the visiting Jays won two out of three for their only series win so far in 2012. Art Charles belted two home runs in a 10-5 win in the opener on June 25 and Tom Robson, Kevin Comer and Colby Broussard combined on a four-hitter in a 3-0 win on June 26. The Baby Jays missed a chance at a sweep on the 27th, with Burlington coming back from 3-1 down in the seventh inning to win 4-3. The Royals struggled last year to a 24-44 finish and the Jays feasted on Burlington in 2011, going 7-2 in the season series. Bluefield took two of three at home from July 18-20, with the only loss coming in 11 innings. They swept the Royals a week later on the road by a combined score of 22-3. They played again at Bowen Field from August 16-18 and won the series again, winning a rain-shortened rubber game. Returning reliever Les Williams pitched five scoreless innings against the Royals spanning two appearances.
- TONIGHT’S PITCHING PROBABLES -
NORRIS: One of the most highly-touted prospects in the Toronto farm system takes the mound as the Jays look to avoid the road sweep. Lefty Daniel Norris last pitched on Wednesday against Danville. Despite walking four in three and one-third innings, he struck out seven and held the Braves to only run in an eventual Bluefield win. His opponent batting average of .151 is the second-best mark in the league behind Blake Snell of Princeton (.105). The 2011 second-round pick was rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Jays’ entire organization. In 2011 BA ranked him second among high-school prospects and 91st overall. The former Clemson signee struck out 123 batters in 68 innings as a senior at Science Hill HS in his native Johnson City, TN..
CONROY: Southpaw Patrick Conroy draws the start for Burlington tonight. He’s won his last two starts, one on the road in Johnson City (with six shutout innings) and one against Bristol on Wednesday. In that start against the White Sox, he allowed two runs on six hits, striking out seven with one walk. The six-foot-four native of San Rafael, California was drafted in the 32nd round of last month’s draft out of the College of Marin in Kentfield, CA.
DÉJÀ VU: Last night’s loss was the second night in a row and the third in eight days that the Jays lost a game in which they had the lead with two outs and two strikes in the ninth. The Jays were also a strike away from a win on Sunday at home against Pulaski before the Mariners rallied off Colby Broussard to win in shocking fashion.
MONSTER COMEBACK: Catcher Santiago Nessy homered again last night. It was his second straight game with a homer and his third in four games since coming off the disabled list on July 4th. In four contests after missing ten games with a hamstring injury, he’s 5-for-16 (.313) with a run batted in in each game (seven total).
EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Right fielder Nico Taylor went 0-for-4 with three groundouts and a flyout on Sunday, snapping his eight-game hitting streak. It was the Jays’ longest hitting streak of the season so far, one game longer than that of Carlos Ramirez, who was called up to Short Season-A Vancouver and replaced by Taylor as the regular right fielder. Taylor had been on an 11-for-25 tear (.444) prior to last night’s 0-fer.
NIGHTLY ART CHARLES ON BASE STREAK UPDATE: Art Charles walked and hit what would have been the game-winning double last night, extending his on-base streak to 19 games, spanning every Blue Jays game this season. He’s the only Appy Leaguer to reach in every game so far in 2012. Art’s on-base streak dating back to last season is up to 27. The day before he began that streak on August 23, 2011, he had just had a 15-gamer snapped, so the Bakersfield native has reached in 42 of his last 43 games. His .444 on base percentage is the third-best in the league, in part because his 21 walks also lead the loop. He’s tied for fifth in the league in home runs with four.
Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 7-9
Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates