Lookout! Cincinnati's Farm System is Stacked
Unlike the night before, things started rapidly on Friday night. Birmingham's Scott Blewett ran into the train that is Matt McLain right now as he sent a wall-scraper over the wall for his second long ball of the series. As a result, Chattanooga quickly gained a 2-0 lead. That said,
Unlike the night before, things started rapidly on Friday night. Birmingham's Scott Blewett ran into the train that is Matt McLain right now as he sent a wall-scraper over the wall for his second long ball of the series. As a result, Chattanooga quickly gained a 2-0 lead. That said, they could've nabbed more as they ripped two more singles afterward, but Blewett stranded them.
Jose Rodriguez got his pitcher's back in the bottom half by ripping yet another solo home run. Doing so extended his home run streak to three games with a big fly and four over his previous five ball games. Entering that stretch, the Southern League's hits leader recorded one homer across 365 at-bats! Then, in the second, Yoelqui Cespedes reached first via single and then promptly stole second. Catcher Ivan Gonzalez brought him home with a single of his own, giving him his eighth of the year.
With the ballgame tied at two apiece, both Blewett and Chattanooga's Eduardo Salazar calmed down and, like yesterday's pitchers, finished off two scoreless innings. However, the Barons' stallion caved first because of MLB's No. 47 and Cincinnati's third prospect Elly De La Cruz. This 6'5" 20-year-old absolutely tattoed a line drive 113 miles per hour, 402 feet off the base of the left-centerfield wall. With ease, the youngster eased into third standing, but Birmingham's lackadaisical relay into third let Cruz cruise his way on home, giving him an inside-the-park home run.
Consequently, Scott Blewett's night ended after five innings of eight-hit, three-run baseball. Overall, the line is almost an exact copy from his previous start, but with the extra topping of seven strikeouts. In his place, Birmingham went with the newly added Lincoln Henzman. His return to Birmingham from AAA Charlotte was quite unceremonious, though, as he surrendered three earned runs. Of course, who but Elly De La Cruz, the No. 47 prospect in Major League Baseball, to drive in two of them. Even more impressive, his double also surpassed the 110+ mile per hour exit velocity while traveling a whopping 402 feet.
The onslaught continued in the seventh, as Chattanooga was not content with a 6-2 lead. Specifically, two singles, a stolen base, and a double scored two more for the Lookouts. Suddenly, this game ballooned out of reach. That said, Birmingham rallied with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Ironically enough, Chattanooga recorded three outs, but Colas reached thanks to a dropped third strike. Ian Dawkins singled behind him and, along with a throwing error, Colas came around to score.
Surprisingly enough, Birmingham didn't stop there. In the ninth, the bottom of the order produced a much needed rally thanks to an Ivan Gonzalez walk and Luis Curbelo home run. Even so, the last ditch effort was exactly that, and Birmingham's epic comeback fell short by three runs. Birmingham falls to 15-16 in the second half and 1-3 in this homestand, but this weekend offers them a chance at splitting and inching closer to Tennessee atop the Southern League standings.