Sunday Games: Familia Returns, Gnats Play 18, Flores Keeps Hitting

AAA: Norfolk Tides 5, @ Buffalo Bisons 4

Josh Thole was 0-4 in his return to the Bisons and his first action in a week.  It’s understandable that he’s rusty, but for the year he’s now hitting .193/.258/.313 in 83 AB in AAA.  I’m surprised that he’s struggled so much with AAA pitching after hitting .328/.395/.422 in 103 games for AA Binghamton last year and .321/.356/.422 in 17 games for the Mets.
LHP Bobby Livingston (1-5, 4.35) was eh: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.


AA: @ Trenton Thunder 13, Binghamton Mets 7

The Thunder bombed Scott Shaw (4-2, 8.76) and Clint Everts (8.84) ERA for a combined 12 runs in 5.2 innings to hand the B-Mets their sixth loss in a row.
Nick Evans (.288/.380/.534) who had a slow week (.211 AVG) was 2-4 with a homer, his sixth, and three RBI.

A: St. Lucie Mets 5, @ Daytona Cubs 3
Jeurys Familia returned from the DL with three good innings in the FSL Mets win.  He gave up on run on two hits and a walk while fanning two.  Familia had been shelved with a burn that he suffered in the kitchen, trying to put out a fire a teammate started.  Chris Swinden (3-0, 1.83) followed Familia with 5.2 innings of two-run ball to snag the win.

3B Eric Campbell doubled and singled in a 2-4 day to run his season line to .352/.427/.552 in 125 AB.  In addition to his hot start with the bat, the 23-year old Campbell is versatile defensively; he’s played six games at first, nine games at third and 14 in LF, so finding a place for him at AA later this season should not be too much of a problem.  2B Josh Satin was 2-3 with a double and is up to .350/.442/.496.  The bad news for the 25-year old is that he has Reese Havens in front of him at second in AA.

A: @ Augusta GreenJackets 1, Savannah Sand Gnats 0 (18 innings!!)
The GreenJackets stopped the Gnats’ five game winning streak, but needed two games worth of baseball to do it.  With the win, Augusta moves two games behind the Gnats for first place in the SAL Southern Division which is shaping up to be a “Battle of the Bugs.”
The GreenJackets scored the game’s only run when Cesar Puello couldn’t handle a ball in right on a single with a runner at first.  It was the second time this year that a Puello error cost the Gnats in late extra innings.  Last Sunday, his error in the 15th inning helped Lakewood score the decisive run in a 12-11 win.  A pretty good defender in right, the extra-inning miscues are Puello’s only errors of the year.

Starter Armando Rodriguez gave the Gnats seven three-hit shutout innings.  He walked three and fanned two.  Collin McHugh (5 IP), Michael Powers (3 IP) and Brandon Sage (2.1) kept the game scoreless into the 18th.

SS Wilmer Flores just keeps hitting.  After going 3-6 with a double on Sunday, he’s up to .364/.418/.589 with 22 XBH in 151 AB and owns a 10-game hitting streak.  Flores was also walked intentionally twice.  He’s drawn five intentional walks this year; no other Gnat has drawn a single one.  The 18-year old leads the SAL in AVG, SLG, OPS and total bases, and is third in OBP.
LF Juan Lagares (.303/.318/.527 – pictured) extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-7 afternoon that included a double.   Lagares has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the Gnats this year.  Still just 21, he has improved his prospect stock dramatically.