Rotations Rolling

Cincinnati continued to struggle when they opened up a series at Cleveland with their sixth straight loss. Meanwhile, while there have been some issues with their rotation, three of their minor league affiliates enjoyed solid starts from Tim Adleman, Jackson Stephens, and Mark Armstrong.

Though the Reds had a rough outing Friday at Cleveland and starter Mike Leake failed to make it to the fifth inning, there were some impressive performances by starting pitchers in the lower levels of their organization. Pensacola’s Tim Adleman continued to roll by throwing seven shutout innings in a 3-0 win over visiting Jackson. The former independent leaguer held the Generals to five hits/five walks while striking out three for the win and lowered his ERA down to 1.41.

Offensively the Blue Wahoos struck early in the first inning when Ryan Wright doubled and scored on an RBI single from Seth Mejias-Brean. That was all they would need, but two insurance runs were added by solo home runs from Zach Vincej and Kyle Skipworth. Kevin Shackelford and Kyle McMyne finished the shutout by tossing one scoreless frame each. McMyne picked up the save and lowered his ernie to 0.87.

Daytona won a defensive struggle by a score of 2-1 over visiting Jupiter in a game that wasn’t decided until the twelfth inning. Jackson Stephens stayed hot by tossing six innings of one-run ball while allowing six hits without a walk. Phil Ervin drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double in the third. Junior Arias was the offensive leader on the night with three hits including a walk-off double that plated Jeff Gelalich with the game winner in the last inning. The Dragon bullpen came to play and combined for six shutout frames from Nolan Becker, Alejandro Chacin, and Joel Bender with Bender getting the win.

Mark Armstrong pitched into the seventh inning for Dayton who lost at West Michigan 3-2 in ten innings. He allowed only three hits/two walks and was one out shy of completing the seventh without allowing a run, but was removed before a bases-loaded before walk. Brian Hunter was touched up for a run while pitching two innings before Joe Mantoni allowed the game-winner in the tenth and took the loss. Offensively Brian O’Grady and Garrett Boulware each had two of the Dragons’ eight hits and both drove in a run when their team took a lead in the seventh.

As the Reds are mired in a six-game losing streak they’re probably wishing that some of their prospects are closer to MLB ready. Struggles of the parent team’s starters could open a door of opportunity. Rookies Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias have both put up some impressive MLB starts recently and with Homer Bailey out for the season there doesn’t appear to be five other arms on the active roster capable of keeping one or both of them out of the rotation. Coming into the season turnover was a given after a couple of last year’s starters were dealt during the offseason. Should the team not be able to close a gap in the standings and the right offer comes along for Johnny Cueto the earlier change could turn out to be just the beginning.

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