DUNEDIN, FL - The Charleston RiverDogs finally found somebody who could cool of their bats as they fell to the Toronto Blue Jays' low-A affiliate 9-2 on Thursday.
Mason Williams went 1-4 with a strikeout in the loss and accounted for exactly one-third of the Charleston hits. He doubled down the right field line right over the first base bag and promptly stole third before scoring a run on a wild pitch. Even on an "off day" he still winds up producing.
Right-hander Bryan Mitchell got the starting nod for Charleston. He was once again showing plus stuff across the board, including sitting mostly 92-95 mph and topping out at 96 mph, and showing a knockout curveball that helped him strike out three batters. However, the command was still very inconsistent. Scheduled to go five innings but winding up only going four because of a high pitch count, he walked two batters and gave up just three hits but surrendered three runs. He just hasn't been able to live in the lower-half of the zone like he needs to.
Charleston Starting Lineup: Mason Williams, Cito Culver, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Ben Gamel, Reymond Nunez, Ravel Santana, Kelvin De Leon, Anderson Feliz, and Cody Grice.
Ravel Santana made his first spring start on Thursday, doing so as the team's designated hitter. He got just two at-bats, going 1-2 with a strikeout. His one hit was a nice line-drive to right field.
Tyler Austin was about the only Charleston batter to get good wood on Lansing left-hander Justin Nicolino. While the rest of his teammates struggled against Nicolino's plus changeup, Austin smacked the ball hard in both of his two at-bats. He lined out sharply to the third baseman in his first at-bat and later beat out an infield single where the Lansing shortstop made a great diving play to prevent it from going to the outfield but couldn't beat Austin to first on the throw.
Gary Sanchez sure couldn't figure out Nicolino, going 0-3 with strikeout offensively, but defensively he once again made some great throws. He picked off yet another runner leaning too far off first base and while he did give up two stolen bases, one was on a bad call by the umpire and the other actually beat the runner to the bag but Anderson Feliz [0-2, BB] couldn't hold on to the ball. Sanchez has been terrific in limiting opposing teams' running games.
Left-hander Francisco Rondon, like Mitchell, was showing some very good stuff but had a hard time commanding the baseball on Thursday. Sitting 91-92 mph and showing his normally good breaking ball, he walked two batters, gave up two hits, and threw a couple of wild pitches.
Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.
|Become an annual subscriber today!|