After the three major affiliates went 2-1 in last night’s action (Tampa got rained out), the four teams will finish off June tonight looking for another undefeated record in the five games that will be played. This includes a fun pitching matchup at the Double-A level tonight. Read all about it in our Pinstriped Previews:
Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (33-13) vs. Worcester Red Sox (29-20)
Polar Park I 6:35 PM ET
RHP Nick Nelson (1-0, 2.28 ERA) vs. LHP Stephen Gonsalves (3-2, 4.08 ERA)
The RailRiders were able to get to 20 games over .500 with a 9-7 win on Tuesday night in the series opener against Worcester, the team chasing them in the Triple-A East division. Socrates Brito went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, Andrew Velazquez went 2-for-4 with a double and three stolen bases, and Rob Brantly hit a key two-run home run in the top of the ninth.
On the mound, Luis Gil bounced back for his first Triple-A win. Despite giving up home runs to Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs (both selected to SIRIUSXM Futures Game), he allowed only five hits and struck out six over five innings. Nick Nelson will look to continue that momentum tonight.
Since going back to being a starter, Nelson has thrown the ball well. The 25-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four outings this month and he has 14 strikeouts to 5 walks over the course of 16 innings.
On June 24 against Lehigh Valley, Nelson had his longest outing of the season. He went five innings, allowed two runs on three hits, walked three, and struck out three on 70 pitches (42 strikes) in the victory.
For Worcester, Gonsalves was claimed by the Red Sox in July 2020 from the New York Mets. The Twins selected the 26-year-old left-hander in the 4th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft and made his MLB debut back in 2018.
His last start came against Rochester on June 24 and he ended up taking the loss in a rough outing. The southpaw gave up seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits, allowed three home runs, walked three, and struck out two on 81 pitches (45 strikes) in a loss.
Somerset Patriots (31-17) vs. Harrisburg Senators (19-29)
FNB Field I 6:30 PM
LHP Ken Waldichuk (1-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Cade Cavalli (0-1, 3.09 ERA)
If you are looking for one pitching matchup to watch in minor league baseball tonight, this might be the one. Waldichuk has been one of the risers in the Yankees organization this year while Cavalli was selected to play in the SIRIUSXM Futures Game next Sunday and looks like a future star in the Nationals rotation.
Last night, the Senators picked up their second win in seven tries against the Patriots this year. In the loss, Diego Castillo continued his great season by going 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, his ninth of the season. In 24 games this month, he is hitting .378 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs. Oswald Peraza was 1-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases as well.
Let’s get to the pitching matchup. After a rough Double-A debut, Ken Waldichuk bounced back in a big way in his last start against Portland on June 22 for his first win with Somerset. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as he went 5.1 innings, allowed two runs on two hits, walked four, and struck out 10 on 95 pitches (56 strikes).
With another game of double-digit strikeouts. Waldichuk now has 72 strikeouts in 9 games between Hudson Valley and Somerset. He has struck out at least seven batters in eight consecutive starts. If he has six strikeouts tonight, he will have 40 over the course of 5 starts this month.
As for Cavalli, the 22-year-old was drafted with the 22nd pick in last June’s MLB Draft out of Oklahoma. He began his first professional season at High-A Wilmington and went 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA. He struck out 71 batters while only walking 12 over the course of 7 starts (40.2 innings).
Cavalli was promoted to Double-A on June 15. He has pitched into the sixth inning in both of his starts with the Senators so far. On June 24 against Altoona, he went 5.2 innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked four, and struck out 11 on 103 pitches (65 strikes in a no-decision. He has five double-digit strikeout outing this year (15 K’s in 7 no-hit innings on June 12) and he has at least seven K’s in eight of his nine starts. Expect the strikeout totals to be high tonight.
Hudson Valley Renegades (31-17) vs. Jersey Shore BlueClaws (20-28)
FirstEnergy Park I 7:05 PM
After having their eight-game win streak snapped on Sunday, the Renegades were able to begin their series against Jersey Shore with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday. Shawn Semple was dominant on the mound once again as he allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out 11 over six scoreless innings (58 of 91 pitches for strikes) in a win.
On offense, Elijah Dunham and James Nelson hit back-to-back solo home runs to get the scoring started in the fifth. Plus, the top three in the lineup of Josh Smith, Ezequiel Duran, and Josh Breauz combined to go 6-for-12 with two doubles and an RBI (Breaux),
No starters are listed for either team, but if the Renegades stay on turn, they would be going with left-hander Josh Maciejewski (3-3, 5.88 ERA). Maciejewski had a good outing in his last start against Wilmington on June 24. He went five innings, allowed one run on five hits, and struck out seven on 73 pitches (51 strikes) in a win.
Jupiter Hammerheads (22-26) vs. Tampa Tarpons (32-15)
GMS Field I 4:00 PM (Game 1)
Game 1: RHP Eury Perez (1-2, 2.33) vs. RHP Yoendrys Gomez (0-0, 4.50)
Game 2: RHP Chris Mokma (0-0, 4.50) vs. LHP Clay Aguilar (0-1, 4.50)
The Tarpons were supposed to start their series against Jupiter last night, but mother nature got in the way like it did for part of last week in Lakeland. So, they will have to begin their series with a doubleheader against Jupiter beginning today.
For the first time this season, the Tarpons will take on the Miami Marlins’ Low-A affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads. While the Hammerheads are four games under .500, they are just four games back of the St. Lucie Mets in the East division. However, they have lost three straight games and eight of their last ten overall.
This could be a good series for Tampa’s pitching staff when you consider Jupiter has scored the fewest runs (187) and home runs (14). Plus, they have the lowest batting average (.203), on-base percentage (.307), and slugging percentage (.281). Despite a struggling offense, OF Victor Mesa Jr. is still one to watch in this series as he leads the team in hits (40) in 45 games.
On the mound, Jupiter has the third-lowest ERA in the league (4.01) and the fourth-most strikeouts (513).
For Tampa, Yoendrys Gomez will go in Game 1 and he will be making his fifth start of the season. Due to rain in his last start, the 21-year-old was only able to pitch the first inning. On June 22 against Lakeland, he allowed two hits and struck out a batter in a scoreless inning on 16 pitches (12 strikes).
The Hammerheads will start Eury Perez in Game 1. The 18-year-old right-hander is in his first professional season and he has 37 strikeouts to 11 walks over the course of 27 innings. He has held opposing hitters to a .194 batting average while allowing only four extra-base hits.
Perez has struck out eight hitters in an outing twice, but is coming off of a rough outing in his last start against Bradenton on June 22. He allowed five runs on four hits, walked four, and struck out three on 66 pitches (40 strikes) in a loss.
In Game 2, Tampa will start Clay Aguilar. The non-drafted free agent out of Houston will be making his second start of the season. Back on June 20 against Bradenton, he took the loss as he went two innings, allowed three runs on two hits, walked a batter, and struck out three on 38 pitches (25 strikes). The 38 pitches were a season-high for the 22-year-old southpaw.
Jupiter will go with Chris Mokma in Game 2. The 20-year-old was selected by the Marlins in the 12th Round back in 2019. In 2019, he made 5 starts in the Gulf Coast League (0-1, 2.19 ERA, 12 strikeouts, 2 walks in 12.1 innings).
This season, Mokma has struck out 32 batters and walked 8 over the course of 41.1 innings. He has also struggled giving up the long ball as he has allowed nine home runs in eight starts. Four of those home runs came in his last start against Bradenton on June 23. He allowed four runs on eight hits, walked a batter, and struck out five on 95 pitches (61 strikes) over 5.2 innings in a loss.
While Mokma has yet to earn a win this year, he has pitched into the sixth inning in five of his last six starts and that can definitely help a team playing a doubleheader in terms of saving some pitching.