Quad Cities River Bandits RHP Mark Appel earned his first professional win Tuesday after throwing five full innings in a game for the first time as a Houston Astros farmhand.
Appel, the top pick in this year’s draft, is on a pitch count this season and thus has been limited as to how far into games he can throw. He has pitched well in most games, but this time he appeared to be on cruise control against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He shut down the first 10 batters he faced before walking Niko Goodrum for the only baserunner of the 4th inning. He gave up two hits in the 5th inning after Max Kepler reached on an error. Appel gave up two unearned runs, but the River Bandits held onto their lead and won 7-2.
Bobby Borchering and Brian Blasik homered for the River Bandits. Joel Licon drove in both runs for the Kernels.
The win puts the River Bandits a half-game ahead of the Kernels in the Western Division second-half standings. In the Eastern Division, the Bowling Green Hot Rods lead the Great Lakes Loons by 1.5 games.
Former Chiefs pitcher hurls no-hitter
Tennessee Smokies LHP Eric Jokisch no-hit the Jacksonville Suns on Tuesday, stopping Jacksonville’s winning streak at 11 games. He threw all 9 innings of the game, striking out eight and walking four batters. He also took over the Southern League lead in strikeouts with 114.
The Chicago Cubs prospect pitched for the 2011 Peoria Chiefs, going 9-3 with a 2.96 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 118.2 IP.
The last individual no-hitter in the Southern League was thrown by current Tampa Bay Rays LHP Matt Moore, for the Montgomery Biscuits on June 16, 2011. Moore pitched for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2009, when they were part of the South Atlantic League. He went 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 176 strikeouts in 123 IP.
Jokisch’s achievement wasn’t the only notable performance in Tuesday’s Smokies game. His teammate Javier Baez went 4-for-6 with two doubles and 3 RBI. Baez played for the Peoria Chiefs in 2012, batting .333 with 12 HR, 33 RBI and 20 SB in 57 games.
In other former Peoria Chiefs news:
Pittsburgh Pirates utility infielder Josh Harrison hit a walk-off homer Tuesday. He played with the Peoria Chiefs in parts of 2008 and 2009, hitting a cumulative .315 with 5 HR, 37 RBI and 22 SB in 110 games.
Chris Siegfried, a pitcher for the Peoria Chiefs in 2007, 2008 and 2009, won ABC’s reality show “The Bachelorette.” (Read his “Bachelorette” webpage for a chuckle.) In 61 games with the Chiefs, he went 7-9 with a 5.39 ERA, 105 strikeouts and 75 walks in 160.1 IP. He last pitched professionally in 2011, in nine games for the independent league Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.
MWL players of the week
The Midwest League players of the week for July 29-August 4 are Clinton LumberKings middle infielder Ketel Marte and Peoria Chiefs pitcher Dixon Llorens.
During that period, Marte had six multi-hit games and batted .667 (18-for-27) with six runs scored, four RBI, three stolen bases, four walks, two doubles and a triple.
Llorens pitched three times during that time frame, allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out eight batters and notching two saves in 6 1/3 IP. He hasn’t allowed a run during the second half of the season. The last time he gave up a run was at Cedar Rapids on June 14.
Wisdom promoted to Palm Beach
Finally, congratulations to St. Louis Cardinals prospect Patrick Wisdom, who was promoted from the Peoria Chiefs to the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals after Tuesday night’s game. He hit .231 with 13 HR and 62 RBI in 104 games with the Chiefs. The corner infielder played 63 games at third base, 28 games at first base, and was the team’s designated hitter in 13 games.