After sweeping their games on Wednesday, it was a tougher day for the Yankees' affiliates on Thursday. Luckily, Charleston came through with a big win that let them show off on both sides of the field, thanks in large part to a great outing by Caleb Smith. The bad news is that Tyler Austin is headed back to the DL with a "lower body injury" after sliding into a base on Wednesday. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Buffalo 6-5: The RailRiders trailed early on Thursday and managed to put together a ninth inning rally, but came up short against the Bisons. Buffalo scored four runs in the top of the second to take a healthy lead. Two back-to-back singles in the top of the third and an error by relief pitcher Fred Lewis gave Buffalo another run. With two outs in the fourth, Anthony Gose singled and stole second, later scoring on a single by Chris Getz and putting Scranton in a 6-0 hole. Scott Sizemore knocked a double to center in the sixth. Adonis Garcia and Corban Joseph drew walks and Ramon Flores worked a free pass, pushing Sizemore across the plate for the RailRiders' first run. With only three outs left in the game, Scranton had a lot of room to make up. Carmen Angelini lined a single to center and Antoan Richardson followed with a single to left. Sizemore singled in Angelini and Zoilo Almonte hit a three run homer, pulling Scranton within one run with no outs in the ninth. Garcia popped out and after a pitching change, Joseph flew out to left. Flores extended the inning with an infield single, but Jose Pirela popped out and Scranton took the 6-5 loss.
Richardson, Sizemore and Almonte all went 2-5. Richardson scored once, while Almonte scored once, had a homer and three RBIs. Sizemore scored two runs and had a double and a RBI. Flores, Francisco Arcia and Angelini all went 2-4, with Flores picking up a RBI. David Herndon made the start, lasting just two innings. He gave up four runs on four hits, a walk and a K. Lewis went 0.2 innings and gave up a run on two hits. Yoshinori Tateyama spent 2.1 innings on the mound, allowing one run on two hits, a walk and a strikeout. Mark Montgomery did not allow a hit in two innings, walking a pair of hitters and striking out three. Matt Daley ended the game, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one over two innings.
Trenton lost to Akron 4-1: Much like Scranton, Trenton found them in a hole early on Thursday. A two run double by Justin Toole in the second gave the RubberDucks their first runs of the day. Kyle Roller started the bottom of the inning with a double, but Robert Refsnyder lined out to center and Taylor Dugas hit into a double play to end the threat. Toole started the fifth with a walk and Tyler Holt singled. A triple by Francisco Lindor doubled the Akron lead, as they lead 4-0. This time, the Thunder wasted a double from Dugas in the bottom of the inning. A solo homer by Roller in the seventh gave the Thunder a little life, but it would be the last hit Trenton would get, as their offense continued to be quieted by the Akron pitchers, handing them a 4-1 loss.
Roller was the major offensive force for Trenton on Thursday. He went 2-4 with a double and a homer. Dugas went 1-3 with a double, the only other hit Trenton got (though all three were extra base hits). Mason Williams held the dubious distinction of going 0-4 and striking out in each of his at bats. As a team, the Thunder struck out fourteen times and only drew one walk. Joel De La Cruz made the start, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out five. Jairo Heredia threw 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing one hit. Pat Venditte went 1.2 innings and struck out four.
Tampa lost to Lakeland 4-3:The Yankees drew first blood, as Peter O'Brien singled in the top of the second and scored on a ground-rule double by Jose Toussen. O'Brien added to the Yankee lead with a solo homer in the fourth. Chad Wright singled to third in the sixth and Dixon Machado doubled. Wright scored on a ground out to second and Lance Durham singled in Machado, tying the game 2-2. Tampa had a chance to retake the lead in the top of the seventh, as Zach Wilson started the inning with a double and Toussen drew a walk. A sac bunt from Claudio Custodio moved over the runners, but ground outs by Jake Cave and Eric Jagielo left the runners stranded. A solo homer from Wilson to start the ninth put the Yankees ahead 3-2, but Lakeland still a rally left in them. Durham singled to right after James Pazos walked Jeff McVaney. Another walk loaded the bases and Curt Powell hit a two-run single, giving Lakeland the 4-3 walk-off victory.
The Yankees scattered eight hits, which came from just three players. Wilson had a great day at the plate, going 4-4 with a double and a solo homer. O'Brien went 2-4 with two runs scored and a homer. Toussen went 2-3 with a double, a RBI and a walk. Manny Banuelos made the start, giving up just one hit and one walk in his three innings. He struck out two. Eric Ruth allowed two runs on three hits and a walk, striking out three over four innings of work. James Pazos ended the game, giving up two runs on two hits, two walks and two Ks in 1.1 innings.
Charleston blanked Delmarva 6-0: While the other affiliates came up short on Thursday, the RiverDogs held Delmarva to just four hits en-route to their victory. Abiatal Avelino got things started with a double to right. Jose Rosario singled to center, putting runners on the corners. Avelino scored when Aaron Judge hit into a double play, giving the RiverDogs a 1-0 lead. Michael O'Neill drew a walk to start the second and stole second. Miguel Andujar singled and Kale Sumner did the same, loading the bases for Gosuke Katoh. A fly ball to left gave Katoh a two-run double. Sumner later scored on a passed ball and the RiverDogs held a 4-0 lead. Back-to-back singles by Judge and Mike Ford started the third inning. A single by Andujar loaded the bases and Sumner hit a sac fly to right, scoring Judge. Mikeson Oliberto started the fourth with a triple to center, scoring when Rosario singled to right, putting Charleston ahead 6-0. Delmarva got the occasional baserunner, but they were never able to score, as the RiverDogs took the 6-0 win.
Everyone in the Charleston lineup got at least one hit. Rosario, Ford and Andujar all went 2-4. Rosario had a RBI and Andujar had a run scored. Oliberto, Katoh, and Judge all went 1-4, while Avelino went 1-5 with a double and a run scored. O'Neill went 1-3 with a run scored, a walk and a stolen base. Sumner went 1-2 with a run scored, a RBI and a walk. While the offense was hot for the RIverDogs, the pitching was also outstanding. Caleb Smith started the game, going six innings and allowing just one walk and three hits while striking out thirteen batters. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that despite all those strike outs, Smith only threw 89 pitches (60 were strikes, so about 67.4%). Jordan Cote threw the last three innings of the game and allowed just one hit, while picking up three Ks.