Wenson’s homer helps Bees sting ‘Kings with 4-3 loss

New signage reflects the recent name change for Clinton’s home stadium. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The Burlington Bees beat the Clinton LumberKings 4-3 on Friday, which was Denny McLain bobblehead night at NelsonCorp Field.

A three-run homer by Harrison Wenson in the 2nd and an RBI double by Jordyn Adams in the 3rd gave the Bees an early lead they never relinquished, despite the LumberKings’ 6th-inning rally that pulled the home team within a run.

Burlington Bees catcher Harrison Wenson rounds the bases after hitting a three-run homer in the 2nd inning. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

J.D. Osborne (sacrifice fly), Evan Edwards (single) and Davis Bradshaw (single) drove in Clinton’s three runs. The LumberKings played without their hottest hitter, Peyton Burdick, who was struck by a pitch during Thursday’s game.

McLain — best remembered as the last pitcher to win 30 games in a season — was at the ballpark to throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs. He pitched in the Midwest League in 1962, going 4-7 with a 3.56 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 37 walks in 91 innings (16 games/13 starts) for the Clinton C-Sox. He made his major-league debut for the Detroit Tigers one year later, and in 1968, he won the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards after going 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA, 28 complete games, 280 strikeouts and 63 walks in 336 innings/41 starts. He won the A.L. Cy Young Award again in 1969 after going 24-9 with a 2.80 ERA, 23 complete games, 181 strikeouts and 67 walks in 325 innings (42 games/41 starts).

Denny McLain (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

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Burdick, Curlis named Midwest League players of the week

Clinton LumberKings outfielder Peyton Burdick and Dayton Dragons LHP Connor Curlis respectively were named the Midwest League offensive player and pitcher of the week for August 5-11.

In seven games during that period, Burdick batted .394 (13-for-33) with two homers, six doubles, one walk, 12 runs batted in, and five runs scored. After winning the award Monday, he played an afternoon game in which he hit two homers and drove in six runs in a 7-0 win over the Peoria Chiefs. He now has a 10-game hitting streak. A third-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins this year, Burdick is batting .319 with 28 extra-base hits and 49 RBI in 47 games with the LumberKings.

Burdick is also one of two Midwest League players named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week for the same period. The other is Cedar Rapids Kernels outfielder Gilberto Celestino, who batted .419 (13-for-31) with two homers, two doubles, two walks, three stolen bases, four RBI, and five runs scored in seven games. He went 5-for-5 against the Beloit Snappers on Saturday. The Minnesota Twins prospect is batting .276 with 35 extra-base hits, 48 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in 111 games with the Kernels this season.

Curlis made two starts during the past week, with his standout game coming August 5 vs. the Lake County Captains. He allowed only two hits in six shutout innings, striking out 10, and walking none. His second start was on Saturday vs. the Lansing Lugnuts. He allowed five hits and two unearned runs while striking out four and walking none in 5.2 innings. The Cincinnati Reds prospect is 4-4 with a 2.47 ERA, 58 strikeouts, and 23 walks in 58.1 innings (13 games/11 starts) for the Dragons this season.


Posted in Beloit Snappers, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Dayton Dragons, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs | Leave a comment

Greene, Abrams make Midwest League debuts

Two of this year’s top draft picks — No. 5 overall Riley Greene and No. 6 overall C.J. Abrams — made their Midwest League debuts this week, for the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Fort Wayne TinCaps, respectively.

Greene was impressive in his MWL debut Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a solo inside-the-park home run and a sacrifice fly. He also made a great catch in centerfield. (Greene and Austin Meadows will be splitting time between centerfield and right field for the Whitecaps.)

Greene, 18, spent the first month of his professional career playing in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn leagues, cumulatively batting .312 with 10 extra-base hits in 33 games.

Abrams went 0-for-4 in his debut with the TinCaps on Tuesday, but collected a pair of hits and a stolen base the next night. Before the 18-year-old shortstop was promoted to Fort Wayne, he feasted on rookie-level opponents, racking up a .401 batting average with 23 extra-base hits, 22 runs batted in, and 14 stolen bases in 32 games.

C.J. Abrams, this year’s No. 6 overall draft pick, made his Midwest League debut Tuesday. (Photo by Jeff Nycz)

Cantillo promoted to High-A

San Diego Padres pitching prospect Joey Cantillo — a star hurler for the TinCaps this season — was promoted to the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm on Thursday.

Cantillo was a dominating force for Fort Wayne, earning three MWL pitcher of the week awards, as well as the Midwest League Player of the Month Award for June. He leads the league with a 1.93 ERA and 128 strikeouts, which he accumulated in 98 innings/19 starts.

Marquez momentum carries to Carolina League

Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Brailyn Marquez carried his Midwest League momentum into his Carolina League debut Tuesday.

Marquez didn’t give up a hit in five innings for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, though he did walk three batters. This came after he made 17 starts for South Bend, going 5-4 with a 3.61 ERA, 102 strikeouts and 43 walks in 77.1 innings.

Posted in California League, Carolina League, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lake Elsinore Storm, Midwest League, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps | Leave a comment

TinCaps strike out 13 in one-hit win over Whitecaps

Fort Wayne TinCaps LHP Joey Cantillo (Photo by Mike Moore/The Journal Gazette)

Joey Cantillo pitched six hitless innings and combined with two other TinCaps pitchers to strike out 13 in Fort Wayne’s 8-0 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps at Parkview Field on Sunday.

Cantillo walked three and struck out seven in his 83-pitch outing. The 19-year-old Padres prospect improved to 9-3 with a 1.93 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 27 walks in 98 innings/19 starts for the TinCaps this season.

Sam Keating pitched a perfect top of the 7th for the TinCaps before the team scored seven runs in the bottom half of the inning. Jose Quezada pitched the last two frames for Fort Wayne, striking out five and allowing West Michigan’s only hit, a single by Daniel Reyes to lead off the 9th inning.

Quezada is 5-2 with a 2.20 ERA, one save, 71 strikeouts and 24 walks in 39 relief appearances (57.1 innings) for the TinCaps this season.

Justin Lopez homered and drove in two runs. Ethan Skender doubled and drove in two runs. Dwanya Williams-Sutton also plated a pair.

Dayton game postponed

The Lake County Captains-Dayton Dragons game scheduled for Fifth Third Field on Sunday was postponed in the wake of the mass shooting that took place in a popular entertainment district in Dayton early that morning. Nine people were killed and 27 others were injured in the shooting.

The two teams will play a doubleheader Monday evening.

Posted in Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lake County Captains, Midwest League, West Michigan Whitecaps | Leave a comment

The Force Awakens as Rey drives in record 8 RBI for Dragons

The Dayton Dragons snapped their five-game losing streak Saturday as Brian Rey led them to a 14-7 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps, driving in a franchise-record eight runs for the Cincinnati Reds affiliate.

Do the Dragons have a new hope at the plate? At the very least, their offensive force re-awakened for one night. (They lost their next game 7-1.)

Rey reached his eight-RBI total in the 4th inning, after hitting a grand slam, a three-run double, and a solo homer. Four previous Dayton players drove in seven runs in a single game: Adam Dunn (vs. South Bend on Aug. 8, 2000), Joey Votto (vs. Clinton on April 18, 2004), Juan Francisco (vs. Lansing on Aug. 19, 2007), and David Vidal (vs. Fort Wayne on June 18, 2011).

Rey is batting .268 with eight homers, 13 doubles, and 35 RBI in 56 games with the Dragons this season.

Schwarber plates seven

On Sunday, a former Midwest League player drove in seven runs at the major-league level.

Kyle Schwarber homered twice and drove in seven runs for the Chicago Cubs in their 11-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Schwarber played 23 games with the Kane County Cougars in 2014. He batted .361 with four homers, eight doubles, and 15 RBI. In 100 games with the Cubs this season, he is batting .228 with 24 homers, 16 doubles, and 54 RBI.

Kyle Schwarber bats for the Kane County Cougars in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Posted in Clinton LumberKings, Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Kane County Cougars, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment