Break out the chocolate cake and brooms, it was a near org sweep in the Blue Jays minor league system last night. Sit down, DSL Jays, who dropped a 9-5 decision to the Padres.
We begin our tour in Midland, MI, where the Lansing Lugnuts took on the division-leading Great Lakes Loons. Starter Josh Winckowski held the Birds scoreless through 7, allowing only two hits, and Marcus Reyes and Jackson Rees tossed zeroes as the Lugs shut down the league leaders in Runs and OPS, 7-0. Winckowski was brilliant, giving up some contact in the first, and struggling just a bit with his command, but he was otherwise all but unhittable. He’s arguably been the best Starter in the Midwest League this year, and Rees the best Closer.
Hagen Danner hit a pair of shots to LF, his 5th and 6th of the year, in his first two ABs. Both were no-doubters. Danner entered the game hitting .150, and now 14 of his 21 hits have been for extra bases. Griffin Conine added an RBI Triple and a HR off the RF video scoreboard, while Jake Brodt added a two-run shot.
In Dunedin, starter Justin Dillon tossed his third straight scoreless outing, and the D-Jays scored a single run in the bottom of the 8th to top Charlotte, 1-0. Dillon allowed only 2 hits and 0 walks over 7, fanning 6 and inducing 11 ground outs. Dany Jimenez picked up the W with two innings of shutout relief. Alejandro Kirk reached in all four of his PAs, going 3-3 with a walk.
New Hampshire continued the shutout streak in the system with a 3-0 win at home over Bowie. Nate Pearson, in a scheduled two-inning stint, retired all six hitters he faced, fanning 3. The rapidly-improving Willy Ortiz, who has come on in relief in Pearson in his last several starts, threw five innings of scoreless relief, while relievers Jake Fishman and Ty Tice close the door to preserve the whitewash. Santiago Espinal went 2-4 and drove in a pair of runs for the Fisher Cats.
Finally, Buffalo starter Ryan Feierabend broke but he didn’t break, giving up 11 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings, but his offence backed him up with a 5-run 3rd inning to top Scranton/W-B 5-4. Jordan Romano, who has worked mostly in relief this season, picked up his 3rd Save with a clean 9th. Billy McKinney contributed a Grand Slam in that 3rd inning for the Bisons.