Returning to the minor leagues is never an ideal situation, but Donald Lutz finds himself in it and he’s taking full advantage of it. After going 3-4 last night, he’s now 7-18 since his return with two doubles, a home run, five runs scored, three walks and a stolen base just for good measure. He had only gotten two trips to the plate in the 12 days before going back to Louisville, so the 21 plate appearances against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the four games back must seem like a months worth of playing time.
Bats catcher Bryan Anderson has been getting the bulk of the playing time since Tucker Barnhart was promoted to the Reds and he hasn’t been disappointing. Last night he had three more hits, including two doubles. Over his last seven games he has hit an incredible .524/.615/.714 with six runs scored and just three strikeouts.
Pensacola start Ben Lively was back to his old self last night as he fired 6.0 shutout innings with just three hits and a walk allowed. The right hander also struck out seven batters. After having some real problems throwing strikes, Lively has walked just three batters in his last 19.1 innings pitched after walking 28 in his previous 36.2 innings. With only a few starts left in the season, a strong finish would be good for Lively after a bit of a rough start to Double-A.
Dayton Dragons shortstop Alex Blandino extended his hitting streak to nine games last night by going 2-4. He’s hitting .414 over that stretch with more walks than strikeouts. He’s only had two games where he didn’t have a hit out of the 16 so far with Dayton. Since the promotion from Billings, his bat hasn’t really slowed down much, hitting .322/.403/.475 compared to .309/.412/.527 with the Mustangs.
With another perfect inning last night, Dragons closer Alejandro Chacin moved his scoreless streak to 14.1 innings, but even more impressive is that he’s only allowed one run since July began. That spans 17 games and 20.2 innings where he has walked seven batters and struck out 30. When he is handed a lead, he keeps it.
Billings Mustangs first baseman/left fielder Argenis Aldazoro continues to swing a blazing hot bat. Last night he went 2-3 with a solo home run. After a very poor first week of the season, Aldazoro has hit .350/.392/.583 over the last 35 games. He’s also 8-8 in stolen base attempts. Last night pushed season average over the .300 mark for the first time thanks to the 1-20 start he got off to the first week of the season.
In the second game of a double header, Wyatt Strahan tossed 4.0 innings with an earned run, no walks and five strikeouts as he continued a strong run over his last six starts. In those six starts he’s posted a 2.33 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched with no home runs allowed. What’s been even more impressive is that Strahan has walked just one batter in that span while striking out 21. Over his first 12.0 innings of the season he walked seven batters and struck out just eight.