Tri-City and Inland Empire find a way to make three runs enough to win a game, while Rocket City gets shut out for just the fifth time this season on a quick yet fascinating night down in the minors.
Player(s) of the Day
It was a dominant pitching performance by two Inland Empire 66ers arms. Angels 2021 5th Round Pick Brett Kerry (2.2 IP) and reliever John Swanda (6.1 IP) combined for a one-hit, one-run night that saw a total of no walks and 12 strikeouts.
Since his assignment to the 66ers on August 11, Kerry has been nearly unhittable in three starts. The former South Carolina Gamecock has tossed 6.2 scoreless innings with opponents batting just .136 and a walk to strikeout split of 1 BB to 12 K. His teammate Swanda, who has pitched in 19 games (14 starts) this year for Inland Empire, is on a streak of seven consecutive games of throwing five or more innings while yielding five or less runs in six of those seven as well. With their pitching contributions, Kerry and Swanda have helped lowered the 66ers team ERA to 4.39, which ranks third in Low-A West.
Triple-A Salt Lake
As rain played a fickle friend in Salt Lake over the past week, the stormy weather foreshadowed the Bees poor performance as they dropped five of six against the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks). The lone win came on Sunday as the offense powered 11 runs on 13 hits with multi-RBI performances from four players (Rengifo, Stefanic, Schebler and Cecchini). During the entire series Michael Stefanic was a hitting machine slashing .524/.565/.619 in six games while driving in three runs and recording two doubles. He boosted his overall Triple-A numbers for the season up to a .346 average with 13 HR, 42 RBI and 12 Doubles.
Mike Stefanic is now 4-for-5 #Angels pic.twitter.com/sCyehqg9Xj— Jared Tims (@Jared_Tims) August 25, 2021
After yesterday’s off day, the Bees will make the trek up north to take on the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) for a six-game series to wrap up the month of August, before beginning September on the road as well against Sacramento RiverCats (Giants).
Double-A Rocket City
In just two hours and 19 minutes, the Rocket City Trash Pandas suffered a slim 1-0 loss on the road against the Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers). Even though the offense was nowhere to be found, starting pitcher Davis Daniel (Angels No. 22 Prospect) spun five innings of one-run, four-hit ball, tacking on seven strikeouts in an unfortunate losing effort. Reliever Connor Higgins also had a great night on the mound punching out four Shuckers and allowing no hits over two innings of work.
Davis Daniel tonight for AA Rocket City: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's. pic.twitter.com/hfUjXc6xrU— Angels MiLB (@AngelsMiLB) August 26, 2021
With a loss in two of the last three games, Rocket City (49-47) stands just 2.5 games back of the Birmingham Barons (White Sox) for first place in the Double-A South-North division.
Coming into the game, the Dust Devils had little success against the Eugene Emeralds (Giants) going 4-9 in their first 13 head-to-head matchups this year. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, third baseman Kevin Maitan crushed a two-run home run to left field, giving Tri-City a 2-1 lead. This was Maitan’s first home run in nearly two years, with his last coming on August 29, 2019 as a member of the Burlington Bees (Angels former Low-A affiliate). The Dust Devils would score again in the eighth on a wild pitch, but that would be extra insurance as they downed the Emeralds for the second consecutive night by the final of 3-1.
The bullpen came up big as RHP Kyle Molnar (1.1 IP), LHP Eric Torres (1 IP), RHP Chad Sykes (1 IP) and RHP Ivan Armstrong (3 IP) combined for 6.1 scoreless innings and nine total strikeouts. This would be Armstrong’s first save as a member of the Angels’ organization after being acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the Tony Watson trade.
Up next for the Dust Devils is a Thursday night matchup versus the Emeralds that will feature Angels No. 3 Prospect Sam Bachman toeing the slab for the fourth time this year. His last start (8/20 vs. Vancouver) was his longest outing thus far, shutting out the Canadians through 2.2 innings.
Low-A Inland Empire
After dropping game one to the Stockton Ports (A’s) last night 2-1, the famous quote: “Chicks dig the long ball” served as great motivation to blast off at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, CA. The night was won in the second inning as outfielder Bryce Teodosio and catcher Myles Emmerson each connected on their first home runs of the season to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The power stroke continued in the sixth inning as third baseman Paxton Wallace joined the home run parade with a solo shot adding the cherry on top to a 3-1 victory.
The pitchers were the top story for the Sixers as they (Kerry and Swanda) shut down the Ports batting lineup yielding just one hit early on in the second inning and the lone run scoring on a fielding error.
With a nearly picture perfect night on the mound, the 66ers (49-49, 4.5 GB of Rancho Cucamonga) will look to continue their dominant pitching ways tomorrow as Angels No. 14 Prospect Jack Kochanowicz will head to the mound for his 16th start of the year.
Triple-A: RHP Jake Petricka assigned to LA Angels from Salt Lake
Triple-A: RHP Elvis Peguero assigned to LA Angels from Salt Lake
Triple-A: OF Dalton Pompey released by LA Angels
Triple-A: INF Brendon Davis assigned to Salt Lake from Rocket City
Double-A: RHP Matthias Dietz suspended by Rocket City
Double-A: RHP Boomer Biegalski activated from 7-Day Injured List
Double-A: INF Livan Soto assigned to Rocket City from Tri-City
High-A: RHP Erick Julio released by LA Angels
High-A: OF Braxton Martinez assigned to Tri-City from Inland Empire
High-A: INF Kyren Paris assigned to Tri-City from Inland Empire
Low-A: RHP Justin Courtney released by LA Angels
Low-A: C Edgar Quero assigned to Inland Empire from CPX Angels
Low-A: OF Alexander Ramirez assigned to Inland Empire from CPX Angels
Low-A: INF Arol Vera assigned to Inland Empire from CPX Angels
Low-A: C Carlos Reina assigned to CPX Angels from Inland Empire
Biloxi Shuckers 1 | Rocket City Trash Pandas 0
Tri-City Dust Devils 3 | Eugene Emeralds 1
Inland Empire 66ers 3 | Stockton Ports 1
4:35 p.m. PT: Rocket City Trash Pandas (RHP Robinson Pina) @ Biloxi Shuckers (RHP Lucas Erceg)
7:05 p.m. PT: Eugene Emeralds (TBD) @ Tri-City Dust Devils (RHP Sam Bachman)
7:05 p.m. PT: Salt Lake Bees (TBD) @ Tacoma Rainiers (TBD)
7:05 p.m. PT: Inland Empire 66ers (RHP Jack Kochanowicz) @ Stockton Ports (TBD)