The spotlight has been focused on Albert Almora lately, and for good reason given the hot streak he has been on, but he is not the only Smokies’ outfielder who is playing very good baseball right now.
Billy McKinney, the other guy in the Addison Russell trade, is hitting .284/.346/.418 in Double A. In August, though, that jumps to .317/.404/.512 over 10 games (sample size alert). McKinney has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, has had two hits in 4 of his last 5, has had an extra base hit in 5 of his last 6, and has not struck out more than twice in any one game since May 23. Yes, May.
He gets the headline today because it was his hit in the thirteenth inning last night that drove home Wes Darvill and Jacob Hannemann to set the Smokies up for their marathon win. If you’re getting a feeling of deja vu, it is because McKinney also hit a game winner in final inning just last week.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa turned their four hits into just enough runs to pull out a 3-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies scored twice in the thirteenth to pick up a 4-2 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans could not climb out of an early hole and ultimately lost 5-4.
South Bend – South Bend had just enough offense in this 2-1 win.
Eugene – A sixth inning tie turned into a deficit that led to a 6-1 loss.
Arizona – The Cubs piled on the runs in the late innings to win 11-5.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Javier Baez, at shortstop, tripled, walked, and finished 1 for 2.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli and Matt Szczur each doubled. Arismendy Alcantara launched his 12th homer of the year.
- [Iowa] Dallas Beeler gave up a run on 6 hits over 6.2 innings, walked 2, and struck out 3.
- [Tennessee] Felix Pena slid back into the rotation for this game. Over 5 innings he allowed 2 hits and a walk while striking out 5.
- [Tennessee] Andres Santiago (2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K) and Fernando Cruz (3 BB, 1 K) each pitched 3 innings of relief.
- [Tennessee] Albert Almora saw his multi-hit games streak come to an end. He only had one hit and got hit by two pitches in this one.
- [Tennessee] Billy McKinney, 2 for 5 with a double, had the only multi-hit game.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jen-Ho Tseng struck out 5 over 6 innings, but he also allowed 5 runs on 11 hits (4 of those runs came in the second inning). James Farris allowed nothing and struck out 2 in his 2 innings of relief.
- [Myrtle Beach] Pin-Chieh Chen doubled twice and finished 2 for 4.
- [Myrtle Beach] The Pelicans finished with a total of 7 doubles. The other five came from Chesny Young, Jason Vosler, Victor Caratini, Jordan Hankins, and Daniel Lockhart.
- [South Bend] Jeffrey Baez doubled, tripled and finished 2 for 5.
- [South Bend] Matt Rose hit his first Midwest League homer in this one. Gioskar Amaya added his 2nd triple.
- [South Bend] Trevor Clifton struck out 7 over 6 innings. He allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks.
- [Eugene] Frandy Delarosa doubled twice and finished 2 for 4. He had the only extra base hits and the only multi-hit day for the Emeralds.
- [Eugene] Carson Sands gave up a run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 4 over 5 innings of work.
- [Arizona] Darryl Wilson, with a triple (his 2nd), and Jose Paniagua both finished with 3 hits for the Cubs. P.J. Higgins doubled and tripled (his 3rd) on his way to a 4 hit game.
- [Arizona] Carlos Sepulveda and Daniel Spingola both doubled and finished 2 for 4. Andruw Monasterio homered (his 1st) and also finished with 2 hits.
- Javier Baez the outfielder? Sounds like he is on board. If he can play even average defense in center (and I have no idea if he can play center at the major league level at all), even with the strike outs his bat would be very valuable.