For the 2nd series of the season the AB’s went limping into downtown Harrisburg, AKA Shartlesville, for their next set against the Browns. The Browns were kicking off their inaugural OOTL season.
The tone for this series was set early as Kershaw squared off against Hamels and neither starter was willing to give an inch. The Browns would threaten in the 4th and 5th, but Hamels hunkered down to get out of back-to-back multiple-hit innings while the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the 8th. Russell Martin hit a PH double to knock in Gerardo Parra to make the score 1-0. Hamels pitched a clean 9th for a CG 5 hit shutout while fanning 11 w/ only 1 walk. Kershaw fanned 10 but took the tough luck loss. The two teams combined for 8 hits.
Gallardo squared off against Scherzer in this game. Trout led off the bottom of the 1st w/ a solo HR (trending….) for a 1-0 AB’s lead. Scherzer had a one-hitter through 8 innings as the score remained 1-0. The AB’s plated an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th on a SAC fly by Longoria which plated Andrus. Scherzer gave up a leadoff single in the top of the 9th to Odubel Herrera and a call to the pen was made for Wade Davis. Davis struck out the first two Browns he faced, but w/ two outs Billy Burns jacked a 2-run HR to tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the 10th Mike Trout ended what he started w/ a walk off solo HR (still trending…) and a 3-2 AB’s win. Thornton got the win while Hunter Strickland took the loss. The two teams combined for 10 hits.
Miller and Big Game James Shields matched up for game 3 as the scene shifted to Shartlesville. Giancarlo Stanton would open the scoring in the top of the 1st, knocking in Piscotty w/ an RBI single. But the Browns said, ‘we go early this game’ and immediately bounced back w/ a 2 spot in the bottom half of the 1st. Singles by Phillips and Burns were followed up w/ a 2 run double by Bruce Hairpin….um, wait….Bryce Harper. In the 2nd Shelby Miller lost control and walked Harper with the bases loaded to force in Salvy Perez for a 3-1 lead for the Browns. The game remained 3-1 until the 8th when Stephen Piscotty doubled home Elvis Andrus to cut the Browns lead to one. The Browns turned to their closer Brad Ziegler in the 9th but after a K to Stanton he walked Big Papi. Pillar pinch ran and stole 2nd as Parra struck out. W/ 2 outs Joe Panik delivered a double to plate Pillar and tie the game at 3-3. In the top of the 11th Kevin Pillar dropped a perfect bunt single to lead off the inning. He then stole 2nd, was bunted to 3rd by Parra, and then scored on a SAC fly by Panik for a 4-3 AB’s lead. Mark ‘the Shark’ Melancon came on for the save in the bottom of the 11th as AB fans wondered if there was a closer controversy brewing. Brach pitched 3 innings for the win while Gilmartin took the loss.
Salazar and Wacha would deal for 6 shutout innings a piece as both teams continued to pound the baseball. But Stanton led off the 7th with a solo HR (trend setting…); then the AB’s went BB, fly out, BB, single, single, and single to push their lead to 4-0. Salazar pitched a clean 7th to get a bump up in grade just in time to give up a single in the 8th to Burns followed by a 2 run jack by Harper to trim the lead to 4-2. Davis once again came on in the 9th and surrendered a leadoff double to Herrera followed by a one out single to Phillips putting runners on 1st and 3rd. Burns then hit a SAC fly to plate Herrera to set the stage for Harper once again. But this time Davis struck him out to end the game and complete the sweep. Salazar got the win, Davis the save and Wacha took the loss.
Additional Game notes….
The AB’s went 6 for 24 w/ RISP for a .250 clip while the Browns went 2 for 17 for a .118 clip.
The AB’s hit 3 more solo HR’s as all 7 of their HR’s have now come w/ no one on base.
AB’s are now 5-3 on the young season w/ a .168 team batting average.
The AB’s will host the Eliminators next Wednesday then will be taking the following week off (at least that is the plan).