The streaking Beloit Snappers finished off a three-game sweep of the first-place Cedar Rapids Kernels on Friday, winning 5-4 for their seventh straight victory. The Snappers (28-18) now trail the Kernels (30-16) by only two games in the Midwest League’s Western Division.
I went to this game on a lark, opting to stop at Pohlman Field instead of staying in Memorial Day weekend traffic on Interstate 39 during rush hour. I’m glad I did, because the weather was nice and I got to see RHP Tyler Duffey throw for the Kernels.
You may recall that Duffey pitched seven perfect innings of a nine-inning no-hitter against the Snappers earlier this season. He struck out seven in that game on April 7. He struck out seven again when he faced the Snappers on May 11; he gave up only four hits and one run (on a solo homer) without walking anyone.
He didn’t fare as well this time. Duffey gave up five earned runs on nine hits (including two homers) and two walks while striking out four in 5 IP. That’s the most runs he has allowed in a game this season.
His counterpart, RHP Derek DeYoung, didn’t fare much better, but he got the win, improving to 4-1. He gave up four earned runs on nine hits and two walks in 5 IP. He struck out two batters. RHP Vincent Voiro pitched the final four innings for the Snappers, earning him his second save.
(Side note: I just looked up DeYoung’s bio and stats and saw that he’s from Plainfield, Illinois. I’m curious if he’s related to Dennis DeYoung of the rock band Styx — he’s a Chicago native. I couldn’t find any such connection on the Internet, so alas, it may just be a grand illusion.)
The difference in the game was a two-run homer by Beloit’s No. 9 hitter, LF Ryan Mathews, in the 5th inning. Snappers 1B Matt Olson also hit a two-run homer that went over the batter’s eye in center field, in the 4th inning.
Snappers C Bruce Maxwell drove in Beloit’s other run with a RBI double in the 1st inning. He went 3-for-4.
Kernels RF Adam Brett Walker hit a 2-run single with the bases loaded in the 3rd inning. 2B Candido Pimentel and LF J.D. Williams also drove in runs for Cedar Rapids.
Pimentel, CF Byron Buxton and 1B Niko Goodrum each stole a base for the Kernels.
Attendance at Pohlman Field was 853.
Unsworth extends walkless streak
Clinton LumberKings RHP Dylan Unsworth allowed only two hits in five innings against the Burlington Bees on Friday, extending the Seattle Mariners prospect’s streak of not walking a batter to 42 1/3 innings. Clinton won 6-0.
To read more about Unsworth, read this story by MiLB.com’s Jake Seiner.
‘Prom Night’ at Parkview Field
The Fort Wayne TinCaps wore special tuxedo jerseys Friday as part of a “Prom Night” theme. Here’s a photo of two TinCaps players modeling the jerseys in a photo tweeted by the TinCaps:
Seeing those jerseys reminded me of this great photo of Minnesota Twins prospect Miguel Sano wearing a similar one when he played with the Beloit Snappers last year:
Nolin makes MLB debut
LHP Sean Nolin made his major-league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, but unfortunately for him, he lasted only 1.1 innings in the 10-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He was optioned back down to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats after the game, which was expected because he was called up only for a spot start.
Nolin went 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA, 113 strikeouts and 31 walks in 108.1 IP for the 2011 Lansing Lugnuts. He went 10-0 last year and is 2-0 for the Fisher Cats this season, which means that before Friday’s Blue Jays game, Nolin’s last loss came when he was with the Lugnuts.