Monday, August 27, 2012

Game 65: Bluefield Blue Jays at Greeneville Astros

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

ASTROS (35-31)

1 Marc Wik RF
2 Angel Ibanez 3B
3 Brian Blasik 2B
4 Michael Martinez 1B
5 Ariel Ovando DH
6 Jose Fernandez SS
7 Ernesto Genoves C
8 D'Andre Toney CF
9 Jose Monzon RF

RHP Francis Ramirez (5-3, 4.20)

BLUE JAYS (28-36)

1 Jorge Vega-Rosado DH
2 Dalton Pompey CF
3 Justin Atkinson 2B
4 Seth Conner 1B
5 Nico Taylor LF
6 Matt Dean 3B
7 Emilio Guerrero SS
8 Jacob Anderson RF
9 Hector Alvarez C

RHP Alberto Tirado (1-0, 4.50)


BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays Pregame at 6:50. You can catch the game on local radio as well on WKEZ 1240 AM The Rooster Classic Country.

WEATHER: For the second straight day, a very pleasant 82 degrees at beautiful Pioneer Park

UMPIRES: PLATE: Andrew Freed  FIELD: Jimmy Lott

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: Deivy Estrada picked up right where Alonzo Gonzalez and Brandon Dorsett left off. After Saturday’s three-hit shutout, Estrada pitched six scoreless innings of two-hit ball with a career-high and Bluefield season-high 11 strikeouts in the Blue Jays’ 3-2 win over the Greeneville Astros at Pioneer Park on Sunday. The win eliminates the Astros from the playoff race. Estrada (W, 3-6) worked around a first-inning single and walk to strike out the side. Ariel Ovando doubled off of him in the second, but that would the last hit he allowed. The Venezuelan lefty struck out the first batter in each of the first five frames and he struck out the side again in a perfect fourth inning. Estrada faced only three over the minimum. It was the second straight night that Bluefield’s starter posted six zeroes; Alonzo Gonzalez allowed only one hit in six innings in a win over Kingsport on Saturday. The Baby Jays got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning against Greeneville starter Frederick Tiburcio. Emilio Guerrero knocked a two-out single and Justin Atkinson followed with a fly ball to right center field. D’Andre Toney raced into the gap from center field and the ball glanced off of his glove as Guerrero scored from first. The play was originally scored an RBI double, but it was later changed to a two-base error. Jordan Leyland led off the top of the fifth inning with an opposite-field home run to right field for his first Bluefield homer and a 2-0 lead. The visitors added another run in the sixth. Nico Taylor doubled to extend his hitting streak to nine games and after Dalton Pompey singled him to third, Matt Dean drove him home with a groundout. Tiburcio (L, 3-5) allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in six innings of work. Recent call-up Erick Gonzalez impressed in two scoreless innings in his Greeneville debut. Mike Hauschild struck out all three batters in the ninth to keep the game close. Tucker Jensen allowed a run in the seventh on Ariel Ovando’s RBI groundout to end a string of 18 consecutive scoreless innings by Bluefield pitching. He dealt a 1-2-3 eighth before the Astros threatened in the ninth. Michael Martinez doubled with one out and scored on Rio Ruiz’s single. Jensen struck out Terrell Joyce for the second out, but Ruiz stole second to put the tying run in scoring position. Jensen (S, 1) buckled down to retire Ovando on a grounder to second and lock down the nine-out save.

VS. THE ASTROS: Bluefield took two of three from the Astros at Bowen Field to close the month of July. The Astros won the opener 8-7 on a ninth-inning wild pitch. The Jays won the next game 8-3 before winning 5-1 behind Seth Conner’s four RBIs and Kevin Comer’s pitching. The Blue Jays and Astros split their six-game season series in 2011, with the road team taking two out of three twice.

RHP ALBERTO TIRADO: 17-year-old Alberto Tirado cruised through five innings on Wednesday to earn his first Appalachian League win. He held Pulaski to one run on two singles. Tirado was called up from the Gulf Coast League on August 15 and in a GCL-leading 11 starts, the wiry righty posted a 2.68 ERA and held opponents to a .214 batting average. He dominated in his last two outings there, allowing one hit and striking out nine in eight innings combined. Hailing from Nagua, Dominican Republic, Alberto signed with Toronto on July 7 last year for $300,000 as an IFA.

RHP FRANCIS RAMIREZ: Six-foot-five righty Francis Ramirez will make his 13th start of the season tonight, pulling himself into a tie with Hudson Boyd of Elizabethton and Pulaski’s Rigoberto Garcia and Charles Kaalekahi for the most in the league. With 55 strikeouts in 49.1 innings, his 10.03 K/9 ratio is the third-best mark among Appy Leaguers with at least 40 IP. However, he is tied for fourth in the circuit with teammate and last night’s starter Frederick Tiburcio with 27 walks. Ramirez last pitched on Tuesday against Elizabethton, allowing three runs on three hits in three innings. Signed by Houston in 2008 out of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Ramirez debuted in the DSL in 2009, moved up to the GCL in 2010 and split last season between the GCL and Greeneville.

POISON DE-IVY: Blue Jays southpaw Deivy Estrada was outstanding in six shutout innings last night. He struck out a career-high 11 batters, the most in a single game by a Bluefield Blue Jay. The last double-digit strikeout game by a Bluefield pitcher was July 27, 2010, when Bluefield Oriole Jacob Pettit struck 11 Pulaski Mariners in a loss at Bowen Field. Estrada began each of the first five innings with a strikeout and he struck out the side in the first and fourth innings. Pitching four days after his 20th birthday, the Venezuelan retired the last ten Astros he faced. It is one of six 11-strikeout games in the Appalachian League this year. Jake Cose of Bristol struck out 11 Burlington Royals in a win last night.

CHECKING IN ON THE PENNANT RACES: Bluefield’s win last night knocked the Astros out of playoff contention and clinched the West Division Wild Card for the two-time defending champion Johnson City Cardinals. The Burlington Royals clinched the East Division title and locked in the Danville Braves as the East Wild Card as well. In the Appy League semifinals, Burlington will play Johnson City and Danville will play the West Division champion Elizabethton Twins. Burlington is the only team of the four that did not make it to the playoffs last season. Its their first trip since 2010, when they were swept 2-0 by the Cardinals in the semis. The two cities also squared off in the 1987 Championship Series, when the Burlington Indians beat Ray Lankford and Johnson City. Elizabethton and Danville have played for the title four times. Justin Morneau and the Twins beat Adam Wainwright’s Braves in 2000. The Twins won again in 2003 behind Denard Span and again in 2005 beating Elvis Andrus. Danville got revenge in 2009 and won the fourth matchup.

NINE IS FINE: Nico Taylor doubled last night to extend his hitting streak to eight games, his longest of the season. The McKinney, Texas native is 13-for-33 (.394) during the run and has raised his average to .280. The streak is the second nine-gamer for Bluefield this season, Christian Lopes had one from July 29 to August 10.

APPY LEAGUE HONOR: Bluefield right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski was named to the 2012 Appalachian League All-Star Team, which was voted on by opposing managers, executives and media and announced on Wednesday. The honor is more impressive considering there are only three pitchers on the squad. The 19-year-old was the league’s choice for right-handed starter and Princeton’s Blake Snell was the team’s lefty starter. Jeremy is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 games (nine starts). He’s only allowed 44 hits in 46 innings of work. ”Gabby” is just short of the league qualifier, but his 2.35 ERA would lead the league and is fourth among Appy Leaguers with at least 45 IP. The Crosby, Texas native has the third-lowest WHIP (1.04) despite striking out only 4.3 batters per nine innings (second-lowest among 40 IP pitchers). That success is due to his ability to pound the strike zone, as he’s only walked four batters in 46 innings (0.78 BB/9). That includes a streak from July 14 to August 12 in which he went 24.2 innings without issuing a free pass.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 8-27

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

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