I got an email earlier in the week from dedicated Matt Spencer fan Andy Chesney, who sent me a list of 18 possible nicknames for the Left-handed Reliever Formerly Known As the Morristown Masher. Over the next week or so, I'm going to share them with you, although not all at once though.
So to start out with the Mountain-themed nicknames: The Appalachian Dealer, The Appalachian Authority, The Appalachian Inferno. I like the "Appalachian Authority," although it strikes me that "The Tennessee Valley Authority" would be better. Or maybe that's just the guy who wrote his Master's Thesis on the New Deal talking.
The Iowa Cubs shut out the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Astros), 7-0.
Rodrigo Lopez got his second win after giving up only three hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out two as he made a strong case for a return trip to Chicago. (Yes, I did write that just to bait Al.)
Esmailin Caridad threw one inning and Alberto Cabrera threw two to close out the shutout.
Third baseman Josh Vitters was 2 for 4 with a two-run home run in the seventh inning that was apparently an absolute bomb. (I'm still waiting for the game to be archived on MiLB.tv so I can see it myself.) It was home run number thirteen for him. Vitters had three total RBI tonight.
Center fielder Brett Jackson was 2 for 5 with a stolen base. He scored once and had one run batted in. Shortstop Alfredo Amezaga went 2 for 4 and also had one RBI and one run scored.
The Tennessee Smokies burned the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 10-8.
Starter Dallas Beeler got the win after giving up two runs on six hits. He struck out four and didn't walk anyone.
Fireman Frank Batista entered the game with a man on and one out in the eighth inning and retired five straight batters to end the game and collect his thirteenth save. Batista struck out one.
First baseman Justin Bour cranked his seventh home run of the year with the bases empty in the sixth inning. Bour was 2 for 4 with a walk and three total RBI. Bour scored twice.
Catcher Juan Apodaca hit a bases-loaded double that scored all three runners in the third inning. He was 2 for 4 and also scored once.
Right fielder Michael Burgess went 2 for 5 with a double and three runs batted in. He also scored once.
Jae-Hoon Ha was 2 for 5 and scored twice. Logan Watkins went 2 for 6 with a run scored and one knocked in.
The Daytona Cubs blew a 10-3 lead after five innings and were done in by the Dunedin Blue Jays, 11-10.
Frank Del Valle allowed three runs in the first inning and two in the sixth, giving him five runs over 5.2 innings pitched. The three runs in the first inning scored on two home runs. He was charged with two more in the sixth after he exited with two on and two out and Ryan Searle allowed a grand slam two batters later. Del Valle gave up five hits total and he walked three. Del Valle also struck out four Blue Jays.
Searle would allow another home run in the seventh inning before giving way to Scott Weismann, who pitched the final two inning. Weismann would allow a three-run home run with two out in the ninth inning to take the loss. Weismann allowed three hits total. He walked one and struck out one.
The D-Cubs did hit one home run of their own, a solo home run by second baseman Ronald Torreyes. It was his fourth home run of the year and second in two games. Torreyes also doubled and walked in a 3 for 4 game. He scored twice.
DH Matthew Szczur was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He scored three times and batted two in. Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara was 2 for 4 with two RBI.
Center fielder Rubi Silva went 2 for 5 and stole a base. He batted one in and scored once. Right fielder Elieser Bonne was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Peoria Chiefs were snakebit against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers), 8-7 in ten innings.
Starter Michael Jensen had allowed two home runs in 80.2 innings before tonight, when he allowed two home runs in the fourth inning alone. Jensen lasted five innings, allowing six runs on six hits, although only three of the runs counted as earned. Jensen walked one and struck out six.
Luis Liria took the loss after he entered the game in the bottom of the tenth and only retired one batter. Liria allowed a run on two hits and two walks, although one of the walks was intentional. The one out he did get was a strike out.
Shortstop Javier Baez went 2 for 5 with a triple. He also got picked off once, which led to his first caught stealing of the season.
Right fielder Anthony Giansanti was 2 for 5 with an RBI and left fielder Yasiel Balaguert was 2 for 4 and scored once.
Second baseman Zeke DeVoss was 0 for 3 with a walk and three steals. He scored twice.
The Boise Hawks were spooked by the Spokane Indians (Rangers), 4-1.
Starter Willengton Cruz gave up a home run to start the game and nothing else over five innings. Cruz allowed three hits. He did not walk anyone and he struck out five.
Second baseman Stephen Bruno went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple. He scored the lone Boise run after he doubled to lead off the ninth.