The GCL Yankees put on their hitting shoes today.
The GCL Yankees 2 took it to the Tigers today 8-3, opening a 2.5 game lead and lowering their magic number for the division to 3. The offense banged out 13 hits, and every spot in the order had at least one hit except the nine hole. Second baseman Junior Valera, designated hitter Chris Gittens, right fielder/catcher Kevin Alexander, center fielder Jose Augusto Figueroa, and catcher Jesus Aparicio all had two hits apiece, while third baseman Tyler Palmer doubled and scored twice and first baseman Jake Hernandez drove in three. The only starter without a hit was left fielder Griffin Gordon, and he still chipped in with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
Jhon Morban did the heavy lifting on the mound, going 4.2 innings and striking out seven to earn the win. The game was started by Domingo Acevedo, who struck out two in his first inning of work since July 2. Acevedo, 20, is an exciting prospect making his United States debut this year after playing one season in the Dominican Summer League. The 6’7″ right-hander was reportedly suffering from a dead arm, and it is nice to see him back in game action.
The GCL Yankees 1 played a wild one today. If you heard a team scored 13 runs on 22 hits, you would think they’d need a two-out, three run, walk-off home run to win, but that’s what happened as the Yankees 1 got past the Pirates 13-12 in thirteen innings.
When the bottom of the thirteenth inning began, the Yankees 1 had just gone down by two runs courtesy of a passed ball by catcher Roybell Herrera and a wild pitch by Andre Del Bosque. Drew Bridges was not due to bat, and he was already 0 for 6 with four strikeouts and the only starter without a hit. But Bryan Cuevas walked to lead off the inning, and Allison Reyes reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at first and second. After an Alexander Palma flyout, the Yankees tried a double steal and Cuevas was thrown out at third. Dalton Smith walked with two outs, leaving runners at first and second and bringing Drew Bridges to the plate. In as dramatic a fashion as the GCL allows, Bridges hit a bomb to right center to win the game.
There was plenty of offense in this game, but a lot of it was one base at a time. The Yankees 1 had nineteen singles and three walks to go with the homer and two doubles. Infielder Bryan Cuevas had four hits, right fielder Alexander Palma and center fielder Leonardo Molina had three each, and shortstop Thairo Estrada, left fielder Dominic Jose, catcher Alvaro Noriega, and third baseman Ryan Lindemuth all had two hits apiece.
The pitching was not as good for the Yankees 1. Reynaldo Polanco can hold his head high, throwing 3.2 shutout innings with three strikeouts, but Francis Joseph and Travis Hissong combined to blow a five-run lead in the ninth inning, and Hayden Sharp and Del Bosque had trouble holding the Pirates scoreless in extras.
The Yankees 1 now have a two-game lead in the division, and their magic number is four.