TRENTON, N.J. – Just a little over a year ago – April 7, 2014 – left-hander Miguel Sulbaran came to the Yankees system in exchange for shortstop Eduardo Nunez.
Sulbaran, who originally signed with the Dodgers as a 17-year-old in 2011, earned a promotion to Double-A Trenton after putting together a 4-5, 3,52 mark at Class-A Advanced Tampa in 2014. The native of Ciudad Ojeda, Zulia, Venezuela, made 22 appearances (20 starts) after the trade.
Having turned 21 March 19, Sulbaran is still developing. He achieved a milestone Tuesday night before 5,588 fans in Arm & Hammer Park, wearing his first Double-A victory as the Trenton Thunder (7-5) defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 4-3.
“I’m teal happy with that,” said Sulbaran. “It’s an accomplishment to get a first win at a new level.”
And he dd it in impressive fashion after falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, as former Thunder outfielder Melky Mesa, who was with Trenton in 2011-12, eventually playing eight games with the Yankees in 2012-13, doubled home a pair runs to give Toronto’s Double-A club a 2-0 lead.
But the Thunder, thanks to Eric Jagielo’s two-run homer in the bottom of the first, his third of the season, tied the score quickly and gave Sulbaran a clean slate.
‘”I was able to relax and hit my spots,” he’s said. “The team picked me up, and (catcher Gary) Sanchez and I got on the same page.”
Jagielo’s blast, a shot that cleared the left-field wall, put him in a tie for the Eastern League lead in home runs and his 11 RBIs are second in the circuit.
Following Mesa’s hit, Sulbaran retired the next 16 Fisher Cats batters while the Thunder took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning on Aaron Judge’s triple followed by Greg Bird’s RBI-double.
Sulbaran (1-0, 2.57) pitched 5.1 innings, allowing four hits and the two earned runs, walking just one and striking out six.Taylor Cole (0-1, 7.43) took the loss for the Fisher Cats (6-7).
“Miguel had a tough first inning, but really stepped up after that,” said Thunder manager Al Pedrique. “It was an excellent pitching effort.”
The Thunder made it 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Jose Rosario doubled home Cito Culver. The Fisher Cats got a run off Mark Montgomery in the top of the ninth after Cesar Vargas and Nick Goody combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The Thunder will conclude the series – and the seven-game homestand – at 10:30 a,m. Wednesday. Right-hander Taylor Garrison (1-0, 1.93) will pitch for the Thunder, facing New Hampshire righty Casey Lawrence (0-2, 4.38).