Game Notes 7/5; Struggling at home, A rare lead, & Rengifo’s speed
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Burlington Bees (A, Angels) for the fourth time this season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 407–428, dating back to 1962, and trail against Burlington, 70–78, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings have lost each meeting with the Bees dropping two of three in Burlington April 13–15 when they were walked off in back-to-back games. The Bees took three of four in Clinton in the two teams last meeting May 18–21.
LumberKings Starter: Brandon Miller, 22, makes his 16 appearance and start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The Pennsylvania native was one of the four LumberKings all-stars this season and has been the most consistent starter for Clinton this season. He currently leads the teams in wins, 8, innings pitched, 84, and strikeouts, 77. Miller is in his second professional season and has now been selected to two all-star teams, making the Northwest All-Star team while pitching for the Everett Aquasox of the northwest League. In his last start, he threw the ball well against the Cedar Rapids Kernels logging six innings and striking out a professional high nine batters. The only blemishes that Miller allowed were two home runs accounting for his two runs allowed. A NCAA Division II product Miller is no stranger to the tarp ball where he said he was part of plenty while pitching ta Maryvale University. When he was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the sixth round he became the highest draft pick in school history.
Bees Starter: Erik Manoah, 21, makes his 16 appearance and 13 start of the season for the Burlington Bees. The Miami Florida native came to into the Angels organization in September of last year when he was traded from the New York Mets for pitcher Fernando Salas. In his last start he took the win with a five inning outing on June 30 in which he allowed just one run, on a home run, on four hits while walking one and striking out six. Manoah was originally drafted by the Mets in the 13th round of the 2014 draft out of high school. His fastball is listed at 90–94 and works off his curveball and changeup. Both the curveball and changeup are listed as secondary pitches that need a lot of work. Just 21 years old this is his second stint with the Bees and his fifth team of his professional career and he has stayed with one team for the entire season. He has been with the Bees since opening day but has not faced the LumberKings this season.
Last Time Out: A sellout Fourth of July crowd saw the Clinton LumberKings continue their offensive struggles in a 3–2 loss to the Burlington Bees on Tuesday night at Ashford University Field. The LumberKings (3–10, 34–46) ended their scoreless inning streak at 18 with two runs in the first but failed to score again in the series opening loss. The games scoring started early with the Bees (6–6, 36–45) jumping out with a run in the top of the first inning. Lane Ratliff allowed the first three batters in the first to reach against him, the last a Jordan Zimmerman RBI single to right that scored Jahmai Jones. The LumberKings answered right back in the bottom of the first inning to take their first lead in three games. Luis Rengifo drew a walk to lead off the inning, following two pop outs, moved to second on a Joe Rizzo single. Rengifo then stole third, his team leading 22 steal of the season, and scored when Gareth Morgan doubled into the left field corner for two runs. The single swing was the only offense for the LumberKings for the rest of the night. In the top of the third inning, the score was tied on a Jack Kruger solo home run to left center field off Ratliff. The home run was Kruger’s fourth of the season.
A Lead: For the first time in three games the Lumberkings took a lead. Gareth Morgan’s two run double to left in the first inning of Tuesday night’s loss put the LumberKings on top 2–1. The single swing of the bat proved to be the final runs of the game for Clinton. The two RBI game for Morgan was his eighth multi-RBI game.
Hitless Wonders: The second half has not been kind to the Clinton LumberKings and it has largely been due to a non-existent offense. Over the last 10 games for Clinton the team is hitting .201 (68/338) and an even worse .130 (21/162) over the last ten games. The LumberKings have scored just six runs in their last five games.
No Home Cooking: With just three wins in the second half thus far the LumberKings have found wins hard to come by. After taking the first game of the second half against Beloit the LumberKIngs have won just once at home an 11 inning walk-off win against the Cedar Rapids Kernels that avoided a four-game sweep.
And There He Goes: With Anthony Jimenez in Peoria rehabbing a right knee injury the speed for the LumberkIngs on the base paths has largely fallen on Luis Rengifo. The speedy utility player swiped his 22nd bag of the season in the first inning of Tuesday night’s game. He is currently fifth in the Midwest League in stolen bases. And still ranks two steals behind his teammate Jimenez who is tied for first with 24.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1989, Barry Bonds homers in Pittsburgh’s 6–4 loss to the Giants, giving Barry and father Bobby the major league father-and-son home run record with 408. The Bells (Gus and Buddy) and the Berras (Yogi and Dale) had shared the record of 407.
Broadcast Information: All games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via the TuneIn Radio App with the Erik Oas, in his first season as the “Voice of the LumberKings.”