Saturday, July 28, 2012

Game 34: Bluefield Blue Jays at Princeton Rays

Listen live right here and check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates


BLUE JAYS (15-18)

1 Jorge Vega Rosado 2B
2 Christian Lopes SS
3 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
4 Santiago Nessy C
5 Seth Conner 1B
6 Matt Dean 3B
7 Nico Taylor RF
8 Jordan Leyland DH
9 Dennis Jones LF

LHP Deivy Estrada (1-0, 4.23)

RAYS (18-18)

1 Brandon Martin SS
2 Reid Redman DH
3 Andrew Toles CF
4 Willie Argo RF
5 Ariel Soriano 3B
6 John Alexander 1B
7 Oscar Hernandez C
8 Julian Morillo 2B
9 James Harris Jr. LF

LHP Bruedlin Suero (2-3, 5.86)


BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:50. The games are also carried on local radio on WKEZ 1240 AM The Rooster Classic Country

WEATHER: 76 degrees with partly cloudy skies

UMPIRES: PLATE Jeremie Rehak  FIELD Jordan Albarado

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Princeton Rays made six errors in the field and had their ace give up six runs in three innings, but a late comeback gave them a crucial 9-7 win over the Bluefield Blue Jays at Hunnicutt Field on Friday. The Rays scored six runs in the sixth inning to cut Bluefield’s lead in the best-of-11 Mercer Cup series to four games to three. In a matchup of two of the top starters in the Appy League, the game was surprisingly tied at three after the first inning. Seth Conner knocked a three-run homer off lefty Blake Snell for his first homer of the season in the top of the frame. The three Bluefield runs equaled the total number of runs Snell had allowed this year in 32.1 innings. Princeton answered quickly against Jeremy Gabryszwski in the bottom of the first, putting the first three men on, including a game-tying three-run shot from Andrew Toles. The Jays took the lead back in the second when Jacob Anderson took advantage of a Toles miscue in center field and raced home from third to put Bluefield ahead again 4-3. Matt Dean, 4-for-4 with his first pro homer a night before, added a two-run opposite-field blast in the third inning to make it a 6-3 game. Snell was knocked out after the third, allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits. Gabryszwski settled in after the rocky opening frame, retiring seven straight before a leadoff single and one-out double in the fourth put him in a jam. With two in scoring position with only one out, the righty struck out Darryl George before setting down James Harris on a groundout to escape trouble. In five innings, the Bluefield starter allowed only the three first-inning runs, two of which were earned. Princeton won the battle of the bullpens as things fell apart for the Jays with Gabryszwski out of the game. In the sixth, Denny Valdez allowed a two-run homer to Ariel Soriano that let the Rays back in it and cut the advantage to 6-5. After a one-out single and walk, Brandon Dorsett was summoned from the pen and induced a grounder that was booted at short by Christian Lopes. Brandon Martin followed with a bases-loaded triple that put the home team in front 8-6. Martin came home on a Reid Redman sacrifice fly as the Rays batted around. Valdez allowed four runs in one third of an inning and Dorsett allowed a pair of unearned tallies. In relief of Snell, the quartet of Alex Keudell, Randy Davis, Zach Butler and Nick Sawyer worked the final six innings and allowed only an unearned run on one hit. Davis set down six of seven and picked up the win after the Princeton comeback. The Blue Jays scored on a pair of errors in the seventh against Butler, but he worked around Conner’s leadoff double in the eighth to keep it at 9-7. A walk and error put the tying runs at second and third in the ninth, but Sawyer struck out Santiago Nessy to end the game.

VS. THE RAYS: The Blue Jays won three of the first five games in this year’s Mercer Cup series. The Rays and Jays split two one-run games in Bluefield before the third game was rained out. Jeremy Gabryszwski and Griffin Murphy combined for a shutout in Princeton on Friday, then the two clubs split a doubleheader at Bowen Field on Saturday. The Blue Jays defeated Princeton in seven of 11 games last year to win the Mercer Cup. They took three of four in Princeton from June 30 to July 3 before dropping a July 4 meeting at home, 5-4. Princeton won two of three at Bowen Field at the end of July in a set that included a doubleheader split. So the Mercer Cup was tied 4-4 with three games to play in Bluefield on August 9-11. The Jays won 6-2, then Deivy Estrada pitched five shutout innings the next night to win the clincher and keep the Rays from retiring the Cup.

ESTRADA: Valencia, Venezuela native Deivy Estrada starts this crucial Mercer Cup game tonight. He allowed three runs on five hits in four innings of work in a loss to Princeton on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader. The southpaw had held opponents to one earned run or none in his previous four starts. Estrada potsed a 2.25 ERA in the GCL in 2011, but he had an ERA of 6.94 in Bluefield upon his promotion. He did contribute the clinching victory in the Mercer Cup last year, turning in five shutout innings on August 10. He allowed only four hits, striking out six without walking a man. He took a tough loss in the final game of the Appy League Championship Series when he gave up one earned run in five innings, but he took the defeat. He spent the 2010 season in the GCL and was in the DSL in 2009 when he K’d more than one batter per inning (48 in 44 IP).

SUERO: Dominican Southpaw Bruedlin Suero is coming off his best outing of 2012, and it came in a win against Estrada and the Blue Jays in a twinbill finale on Saturday. The lefty limited Bluefield to an unearned run and two hits in five innings as he recorded the victory. He pitched to an 8.66 ERA through his first five games. The 22-year-old from Santo Domingo was signed by the Rays in 2008 and spent last year in the GCL, registering a 2.63 ERA. In two-plus seasons in the DSL from 2009-11, he put up a 3.13 ERA.

DEAN’S LIST: Blue Jays third baseman Matt Dean kept up his production last night. A day after setting a new 2012 team high with four hits and knocking his first professional home run, he hit another opposite-field blast, a two-run shot in the third inning off Princeton ace Blake Snell. A 13th-round draft pick last year, Dean was ranked by Baseball America as Toronto’s 11th-best prospect before the 2012 season. He struggled out of the gate in his first 15 games as a professional, hitting only .189. He’s turned it on of late, hitting .324 (12-37) with eight runs scored and nine runs batted in over his last 12 contests.

SWING GAME: Last night, the Blue Jays missed an opportunity to set themselves up for a sweep and Mercer-Cup clinching victory tonight, now Princeton is back in the series. Bluefield still leads 4-3 and with a win in tonight’s rubber game, would only need to win one of the three remaining games against Princeton (August 7-9 at Princeton) to keep the Cup. However, if Princeton wins tonight, it would make the August series a best-of-three set for the title with the Rays holding home-field advantage.

GABBY ROAD: Bluefield right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski had his streak of ten and two-thirds scoreless innings snapped last night, but he still had a fine start. Up 3-0 before he threw a pitch in the first inning, he gave the lead back to the first three batters on a single, an error behind him and three-run homer. He recovered to retire eight of nine and seven straight to get through the fourth. He pitched five innings for the third straight outing, allowing only the three first-inning runs, two of which were earned. He stood to get the win before the bullpen squandered the lead. “Gabby” lowered his ERA to 1.86 (third-lowest among qualified Appy League pitchers) and his WHIP sank to 0.93 (second best).

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 7-28

Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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