The opening game of the 2013 Midwest League Championship Series was a pitchers duel won by the Quad Cities River Bandits on a late-inning single by Rio Ruiz against the South Bend Silver Hawks bullpen.
The two starting pitchers — Chris Devenski for Quad Cities and Braden Shipley for South Bend — each gave up two runs. In seven innings, Devenski gave up six hits, walked none and struck out nine. In 6.2 IP, Shipley gave up five hits, walked three and struck out six.
All three of Shipley’s walks came in the 3rd inning, when the River Bandits scored first on a bases-loaded walk. The Silver Hawks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 4th inning when Fidel Pena hit a two-run homer for his second of three hits.
Quad Cities tied the score at 2-2 when Jordan Scott led off the 7th inning with his first home run since June 2012. Ruiz drove in what turned out to be the winning run an inning later.
Game 2 will be played at 7:05 p.m. ET at Four Winds Field (“The Cove”). The scheduled starting pitchers are LHP Joe Bircher for the River Bandits and RHP Blake Perry for the Silver Hawks.
The Midwest League Championship Series is a best-of-five contest.
Buxton gets another top honor
The accolades for Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton keep rolling in, and the latest is a big one.
Buxton, who played 68 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels to start the 2013 season, was named this year’s Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. Late last month he was named the Midwest League’s Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year.
The 19-year-old outfielder hit .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB for the Kernels. He finished the season with the High-A Fort Myers Miracle, batting .326 with 4 HR, 22 RBI and 23 SB.
Buxton is only the second Twins prospect to earn the Baseball America honor. The other was Joe Mauer, who batted .302 with 4 HR and 62 RBI in 110 games with the 2002 Quad City River Bandits. (Mauer won the award the year after he played in the Midwest League.)
Baseball America has named a Minor League Player of the Year since 1981. Besides Buxton, only one prospect was given the accolade the same year he played in the Midwest League: RHP Tom Gordon of the 1988 Appleton Foxes. “Flash” Gordon went 7-5 with a 2.06 ERA, 172 strikeouts and 43 walks in 118 IP for the Foxes before being promoted. He went on to pitch in parts of 21 major-league seasons.
Yankees acquire former Chief
The New York Yankees acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later.
Ryan batted .322 with 2 HR, 59 RBI and 30 SB in 105 games with the 2004 Peoria Chiefs. The seven-year MLB veteran starred with a buffalo in a Mariners commercial this year.