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Baby Jays Weekend Roundup - Jordan Groshans Homers twice & Dasan Brown debuts

Rough weekend for the affiliates at 6-8.

Sea Dogs vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Buffalo (27-19)
Friday - Loss 9-8
Saturday - Win 5-3 in 10 innings
Sunday - Win 9-7 in 11 innings

Buffalo suffered their lone loss to Syracuse last week Friday night in a late game meltdown from the bullpen. Zach Logue started and didn’t have as good of a time this week. He went 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks and striking out 4. Jeremy Beasley, Jackson McClelland, Travis Bergen & Hobie Harris each allowed at least 1 run in their relief appearances, with Harris allowing a 2-run HR in the bottom of 6 to old nemesis Brandon Drury, which turned out to be the winning run.

On offense, Dilson Herrera had another HR, giving him 4 on the year. Herrera also took 3 walks. Christian Colon had 2 doubles and drove in 3 runs. Richard Urena & Juan Graterol each had 2 hits. Jonathan Davis had a single and 2 walks, as well as his first AAA stolen base of the year. Breyvic Valera singled and walked. Rowdy Tellez doubled and walked.

On Saturday, Buffalo scored 2 in the 2nd, and watched as Syracuse tied the game in the bottom of 9, before a 3-run 10th inning paved the way for the win. Logan Warmoth drove in 2 with a bases loaded single in the 2nd. In the 10th, Cullen Large started on second, and stole third, but with 2-out it didn’t seem like a good way to put up a crooked number. Then Jonathan Davis walked and Breyvic Valera launched a 3-run HR to put the Herd ahead. The Herd didn’t have a lot of offense outside of those two innings. Christian Colon had 2 hits and a walk. Rowdy Tellez went 1-5.

Conner Overton started and went 5 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. Curtis Taylor pitched an inning and gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk. Kirby Snead was perfect for 2 innings. Bryan Baker struggled with his first blown save of the year, allowing a run on 2 hits and 2 walks in the 9th. Dany Jimenez allowed the ghost runner to score, but didn’t give up a hit or a walk to get his 2nd save.

Sunday saw the Herd bullpen give away the lead a couple of times, but a 3-run 11th made the difference. Christian Colon hit a 2-run HR (7) in the 1st. Tyler White (1) & Dilson Herrera (5) each homered in the 4th. Herrera had a bases loaded walk in the 5th to score Valera. In the top of the 10th, Logan Warmoth had a sac fly to score Tyler White, but Syracuse came back to tie it. In the 11th, Kevin Vicuna put down a sac bunt which the pitcher threw away, scoring Rodrigo Vigil. Valera doubled in Vicuna and then scored on a wild pitch. Valera finished 3-5 with a walk and 3 runs scored. Kevin Smith had 2 hits and a walk. White & Herrera both had their solo HR’s and 2 walks.

Jacob Waguespack started and allowed only 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings. Waguespack only struck out 2, but needed 104 pitches to get through 5. Tommy Milone made a rehab appearance and struggled, allowing a 2-run HR and 3 walks in an inning. Casey Lawrence threw a scoreless inning, allowing a run. Travis Bergen struggled, allowin g a solo HR and 2 walks in his inning. Hobie Harris blew his second save of the weekend, allowing a run in the 9th on a solo HR to Brandon Drury. Harris then allowed the extra runner to score in the 10th, but picked up the win when Jackson McClelland got through the 11th. McClelland gave up a Drury double to score the ghost runner, but that was all he allowed.

New Hampshire (21-26)
Friday - Win 10-8
Saturday - Loss 10-0
Sunday - Loss 8-2

Friday night saw Jordan Groshans hammer the Bowie Baysox, as Groshans picked up 2 HR’s on the night, giving him 5 on the year. Groshans had a grand slam in a 6-run 3rd inning, and then a 2-run shot in the 5th. He also added a walk. Vinny Capra had a single and a triple. LJ Talley (4) & Otto Lopez (2) each had solo HR’s. Talley also walked 3 times. Chavez Young had a single and a walk. Tanner Kirwer had 2 walks on the night.

Maximo Castillo started and cruised through 5 innings, allowing only a solo HR to that point. Castillo then allowed 3 runs to get 2 outs in the 6th, 2 on a 2-run HR. Marcus Reyes allowed 1 of those runs, plus 2 of his own on a 3-run HR. Reyes was able to get through 1.1 innings allowing 4 hits. Will McAffer came in and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, while striking out 3 in 1.2 innings. Brody Rodning then came in and allowed 2 hits and a walk to get the final out. Not a pretty game from the pitching, but enough for the win.

Saturday saw a rare off night for Simeon Woods Richardson, as SWR struggled with the strike zone. SWR allowed 6 earned on 4 hits and 7 walks in 2.2 innings, also giving up a HR and 2 doubles among the 4 hits. Sean Rackoski threw 2.1 innings of relief, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits. Mike Ellenbest allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Ellenbest did record all 4 of his outs by K, but struggled otherwise. Graham Spraker threw the final 1.2, allowing a walk and striking out 2.

At the dish, the Fisher Cats didn’t do much to write home about, as they were dominated by top O’s propsect Grayson Rodriguez and Cameron Bishop. Rodriguez threw 5 innings, allowing a Chavez Young single and a walk to Samad Taylor. Bishop pitched the final 4 innings, allowing walks to Taylor, Tanner Kirwer and Chris Bec. The only other noteworthy point here is that Vinny Capra started the game as the SS, and then took over as catcher for some reason unbeknownst to the writer.

Sunday’s game seemed like a continuation of Saturday, as the Fisher Cats were only able to manage 3 hits and 4 walks, but were able to score 2 runs. LJ Talley had a double and a walk, scoring both NH runs. Brock Lundquist drove Talley in once, while Tanner Kirwer had a walk that scored Talley the other time. Otto Lopez had a single for the other Fisher Cats hit. Chris Bec & Samad Taylor each had a walk in this one.

Reilly Hovis, a 2015 9th round pick of the Marlins, made his Blue Jays organizational debut on the mound. Hovis had been pitching in the Atlantic League after not pitching in affiliated ball since 2018, though he did have a stop with Quebec in the Canadian-American Association in 2019. Hovis went 4.2 innings, allowing 6 earned runs on 8 hits. Hovis struck out 4, but did give up 2 HR’s. Jon Harris pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowing 2 runs and striking out 3. Andrew McInvale struggled, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on a hit and 3 walks in 0.2. Will McAffer recorded the final out on a ground ball.

Vancouver (26-22)
Friday - Win 9-1
Saturday - Loss 4-3
Sunday - Loss 7-2

On Friday night, Luis Quinones started and was nearly unhittable for Vancouver through 5 innings, though his control struggles continued. Quinones allowed a run on 2 hits, 5 walks and a hit batter. Quinones did strike out 10 over those 5 innings. Alex Nolan and Cobi Johnson both pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing a single and a walk each.

Ronny Brito had a 2-run HR (4) in the 4th and Luis De Los Santos had a 3-run HR (5) in the 8th as the big hits in this one. Brito added a double and drove in a 3rd run. De Los Santos had a single as well. Tanner Morris had 2 singles and a walk. DJ Neal had a single, a double and a walk, scoring 2 runs. Eric River doubled and walked, scoring twice. Spencer Horwitz had a single and 2 walks.

Saturday’s game was a lower scoring, tighter game than Friday, though Vancouver came out on the losing end. Paxton Schultz started, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings. Schultz did strike out 9 in this one. Adrian Hernandez gave up his first run in High-A as he allowed a run on 2 doubles in 1.2 innings, to take the loss. Hernandez struck out 2 and threw a wild pitch. Justin Maese struck out the final batter, as his only batter of the night.

At the plate, Vancouver had 6 hits and 4 walks, but couldn’t scratch the tying run across in the ninth. Luis De Los Santos had a single and a double, driving in 2. Sebastian Espino doubled. Rafael Lantigua had a single, stole 2 bases and scored all 3 C’s runs. DJ Neal had a single and a walk. Ryan Gold had a run-scoring single and a walk as well.

Sunday saw Vancouver fall behind early and never really push Eugene. Brian Rapp made his second start for the C’s, allowing 5 earned on 4 hits and 4 walks in 3 innings. 2 of the hits left the yard, and another was a double. Sean Mellen pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 1. Conner Law allowed 2 earned on 2 hits in 0.2 innings. Roither Hernandez made his high-A debut with 1.1 scoreless. Hernandez allowed a walk and struck 1 out. Parker Caracci threw a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and a walk, striking out 1.

Dunedin (20-27)
Friday - Loss 5-0 & Loss 3-2
Saturday - Win 7-5
Sunday - Loss 5-4

Dunedin struggled in their Friday doubleheader, losing both ends. Sem Robberse started game 1, and wasn’t as sharp as he has been lately. Robberse allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 4.1. 6 foot, 9 inch Thomas Ruwe, an older NDFA who signed this year, threw the final 1.2 innings, allowing no hits and striking out 2. Ruwe can run his fastball up to 97.5 MPH, but seems to be very raw, considering he played college ball and is 25. Interesting if only because of his size.

At the plate, Dunedin was held to 4 hits, 3 hit batters and a walk. Leo Jimenez had 2 singles. MacKenzie Mueller had a hit and was hit by a pitch. Zach Britton had a hit. PK Morris walked, while Harrison Ray & Zac Cook each were hit by pitches.

Game 2 saw the bats have a little more life, but 2 unearned runs were the difference. Alejandro Melean started and allowed 2 unearned runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings. Melan struck out 6. Wilgenis Alvarado allowed a run on 1 hit and 4 walks in 2 innings.

The bats showed up with 7 hits and 2 walks for game 2. PK Morris had 2 singles and a walk, scoring a run. Leo Jimenez had his second 2-hit game of the day. Harrison Ray had a double. Miguel Hiraldo singled and Anthony Morales had his first hit of 2021. Addison Barger had a walk and was hit by a pitch. Zac Cook also was hit by a pitch.

Saturday saw Dunedin fall behind early, battle back to tie the game up and then take the lead with a 3-run 7th and hold on for the win. Zac Cook had a big day at the plate with 3 hits, including a 2-run HR (4). Cook also had a stolen base. Harrison Ray had a single, a double and a walk, plus added 2 stolen bases. MacKenzie Mueller doubled, walked and scored 2 runs. PK Morris had 2 walks and a stolen base. Zach Britton had a single a walk and was hit by a pitch. Miguel Hiraldo & Addison Barger each singled.

On the mound, Naswell Paulino started, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings. Paulino walked 1 and struck out 4. Rafael Ohashi allowed 2 runs on 2 walks in 1.2 innings. Geison Urbaez got 1 out, giving up 2 hits to get out of the inning. Gabriel Ponce pitched the final 2 innings to get his 4th save of the year, allowing a hit and striking out 3.

Sunday saw Dunedin take a 1-run lead into the bottom of 9, but a 1-out throwing error by Harrison Ray allowed 2 runs to score and give the game away. Jol Concepcion started and allowed 3 earned on 5 hits in 6 innings. Concepcion walked 1, hit 2 batters and struck out 5. Cre Finfrock made a rehab appearance, giving up a hit and a walk in an inning, while striking out 3. Thomas Ruwe pitched a scoreless inning, striking out 1. Julian Valdez took the loss, getting a lineout, giving up a walk and a single, then the final play.

Harrison Ray had a 2-run HR, also adding a walk at the plate. MacKenzie Mueller had a double and a single. Zac Cook and Zach Britton each had doubles, scoring a run. Miguel Hiraldo had a single, scored a run and drove in a run. The other news was that Dasan Brown made his 2021 debut, picking up a hit in 4 trips to the plate. According to statcast, Brown hit the ball hard in 2 of his 3 batted balls, including a max exit velocity of 96.6 in his first game.

What’s next?

Buffalo takes their 9-1 record over their past 10 games back home to Trenton to take on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Washington’s AAA club). Buffalo still sits in 3rd in the Northeast Division, 5.5 games back of division leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Buffalo trails 2nd place Worcester by a game, and SWB & Worcester play this week. Lehigh Valley sits 21-27, 7 games back of Buffalo for 3rd in the division.

New Hampshire sits in 3rd place in the Northeast Division of the AA Northeast league, and welcome 2nd placed Portland (Boston’s AA Affiliate) to Delta Dental Stadium. New Hampshire actually has a 30 run lead over Portland in run differential, but trail the SeaDogs by 5 games. NH Is 10 games back of league leading Somerset. New Hampshire is 7-11 against Portland so far in 2021, though they have won the last 4 games in the series.

Vancouver’s tough schedule to start the season continues, as they hit the road to take on Everett (Seattle’s high-A team). Vancouver sits 3rd in the league, 4.5 games behind leaders Eugene. Everett sits 0.5 games back of Eugene and 4 games ahead of Vancouver. Of their 48 games so far this year, Vancouver has played 24 of them against the top 2 teams in the loop. The Canadians may catch a bit of a break as Julio Rodriguez is listed as Temporarily inactive, as he helped the Dominican Republic earn the final place in the Olympic baseball tournament. Not sure if that means Rodriguez will continue playing there or not.

Dunedin heads to Palm Beach (Cardinals low-A squad) to start a series with the basement dwellers in the East Division. Dunedin sits 5th in the West Division, so this will be an opportunity to make up some ground hopefully. Dunedin’s pitching has struggled mightily so far in 2021, but Palm Beach is the only club in the league who has allowed more runs. Dunedin also brings the 4th best offense into the series, so they have a chance to help their record this week.