After being no-hit the night before, Louisville went out early and got some hits and some runs. Jason Bourgeois reached base three times in the game, including hitting a home run. He has been on fire over his last 10 games, hitting .447/.488/.632 with 3 walks and just one strikeout. His season has been rather interesting. In April and June he had a .635 and .632 OPS. In May and July he posted an .825 and .815 OPS. Not only had he alternated good months with the struggling months, the good ones and struggling ones have been nearly identical.
Speaking of no-hitters, Ben Lively took a no-hitter into the eighth inning last night for Pensacola. After recording the first out of the inning he would give up singles to the next two batters and exit the game. In all he wound up being charged with two runs after both guys came around to score, tossing 7.1 innings with a walk and six strikeouts. Lively hasn’t transitioned well to Double-A overall, walking 29 batters in 44.0 innings after walking just 16 in 79.0 innings with Bakersfield. Last night was the first game in which he didn’t walk at least three batters. The difference was the control, he had it all night long. From the first inning on, he was on target and Tennessee couldn’t do much against him.
Juan Duran only had one hit in the game last night, but did he ever make it count. He entered the game tied for the Blue Wahoos lead for most home runs in a single season. He was tied with Travis Mattair at 13, but following a Seth Mejias-Brean solo shot, Duran took over the franchise record for a single season with a mammoth home run. As soon as he hit the ball I said words that I won’t repeat on the site, but it was that kind of shot. He hit the runs-total portion of the scoreboard on a fly, which if you check out this picture really puts it in perspective how far that ball went. Google Maps says its 400 feet from home plate to the place I am guessing is the base of the scoreboard where the ball hit. I’m also going to wager a guess that it’s about 25 feet from ground level where the ball hit. Unless the ball was traveling straight down when it hit, that puts the ball somewhere between 425 and 450 feet depending on the exact trajectory.
Duran’s teammate Ross Perez just keeps getting it done at the plate. Last night he went 3-4 with a double and four runs batted in. He has a 10 game hitting streak going right now, hitting an incredible .486/.568/.703 with six walks and only one strikeouts. For the season he is at .341/.402/.474 with 23 walks and 17 strikeouts. As I wrote last week, his signing last November has paid off very well for the Reds.
Left hander Joel Bender kept thins moving in the right direction as he fired 3.0 perfect innings out of the Dayton bullpen last night with four strikeouts. He has allowed runs in just one of his last seven games, spanning 11.1 innings where he has just two walks and 10 strikeouts. Bender hasn’t allowed a home run all season in 49.0 innings pitched, has just 14 walks and has struck out 45 batters. His ERA is not good, sitting at 5.33 on the season, but his peripheral numbers have been outstanding.
Mustangs reliever Brian Hunter tossed two perfect innings last night, stretching his scoreless streak to seven appearances that cover 8.0 innings. He lowered his ERA on the year to 1.56 in 17.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and just five walks. Hunter has had a strikeout in every appearance of the season except for the very first one.
The Arizona League Reds lost in extra innings last night, but Dalton Carter had a big night, going 4-5 and raising his average 38 points in one game, jumping from .262 up to the .300 mark. The 19-year-old outfielder is in his second year with the Reds and has really cut down on his strikeout rate from last season, dropping it from 28% to 19%. His walk rate has remained strong, still walking 10% of the time.