September 5, 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Report
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Natural disasters made their presences felt in the baseball world on Tuesday with the Vancouver Canadians having the start of their playoff series in Spokane, Washington postponed and moved to Vancouver while the Dunedin Blue Jays began their playoff series, looking for the right to call themselves a "co-champion" of the 2017 Florida State League.
Dunedin Blue Jays 6, Tampa Yankees 8
The Dunedin Blue Jays (0-1) opened up the bottom of the first inning by scoring five runs, capped by a three-run home run off the bat of Connor Panas (Toronto, Ont.) but they couldn't hold off a late charge by the Tampa Yankees, losing 8-6 in ten innings. In the bottom of the first, Bo Bichette sparked a rally by leading off with a walk and getting to third on an error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt. Michael De La Cruz drove in Bichette with a single and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que.) followed him with another single. Panas homered and Cavan Biggio started another rally with a walk, scoring on Jake Thomas's double. That was it for the D-Jays until they scored a run in the bottom of the 10th inning, already down three. Juan Kelly was brought home by a Jake Thomas single with two outs but Ryan Hissey followed by grounding into a force out to end the game. Thomas was 2/5 with a double and two RBI while Edward Olivares was 2/4 with a double and was hit by a pitch. Guerrero Jr. was also 2/5 with a run and Panas was 2/5 with the home run and three RBI.
Josh DeGraaf was strong on the mound in his start but four home runs by the Tampa Yankees undid the Blue Jays. DeGraaf allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk with one home run against, striking out seven over six innings. Alonzo Gonzalez gave up two solo home run, getting just one out and Kirby Snead came on to shut things down for 1 2/3 innings. Jackson McClelland allowed a run in the ninth and was charged with three more runs in the tenth, pitching 1 1/3 innings, allowing a home run among three hits and three walks. Philip Walby allowed one of his two inherited runners to score, giving up two hits in 2/3 of an inning, striking out one.
Due to the approaching Hurricane Irma, the Semi-Final series are being used to crown co-champions for the Florida State League this year with the finals being cancelled. The semi-final series continues on Wednesday with a doubleheader. Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) starts the first game at 4:00 p.m. and an unannounced starter will follow in the second game.
Player of the Game: Connor Panas and Josh DeGraaf
Lansing Lugnuts 5, Michigan State Spartans 1
The Lansing Lugnuts played their annual "Crosstown Showdown" against the Michigan State University baseball team, winning 5-1 on Tuesday. Yennsy Diaz got the win, giving up one run in four innings. Otto Lopez and Nick Sinay hit doubles in the third inning and Jose Theran hit an RBI ground ball. Yhordegny Kelly hit a single to bring home Ridge Smith in the fourth inning. In the sixth, the Lugnuts scored twice after they loaded the bases with a single from Davis Schneider and walks to Ridge Smith and Kelly. Aldo Ovando and Lopez hit into RBI fielder's choices. In addition to Diaz pitching four innings in the seven-inning game, Emerson Jimenez pitched two frames and Maverik Buffo finished the game, walking one but escaping from harm.
Vancouver Canadians, Spokane Indians
The Vancouver Canadians had their first post-season game with the Spokane Indians postponed due to the fires raging in the Pacific Northwest. The series will begin on Wednesday night with all of the games hosted in Vancouver.
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