Chris Archer has put together one of the most fascinating stat lines around the minors, while Greenville has a pitcher putting together an impressive string of starts.
Kane County (Athletics) 6, Lansing (Blue Jays) 3
Justin Friend may be the most opportunistic pitcher in the Midwest League. The reliever made his fourth appearance of the season on Thursday and gave up his first run of the season. He also picked up his third win of the year. While the win-loss record is a fluke, Friend’s 17 Ks in 11 2/3 innings are legit.
SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
Lake County (Indians) 3, Lakewood (Phillies) 0
There’s wild and there is effectively wild. Up to now, Chris Archer has figured out how to pitch effectively despite plenty of wildness. Archer allowed two hits and four walks in five scoreless innings to beat Lakewood. In 14 1/3 innings, Archer has allowed only three hits and one run–pretty amazing right? Well there are the 12 walks that Archer has also given up. Archer will have to sharpen his command as he moves up, but the 20-year-old righthander has proven nearly unhittable.
"He’s got good stuff, I can say that much,” Lakewood’s Dominic Brown told the Asbury Park Press. "He’s kind of wild, but that’s actually better for him. He might be all over the place during the at-bat, but then he’ll throw the hard fastball at the knees on the black. It’s tough but you just have to stay in there and battle with it.”
Delmarva (Orioles) 6, Hagerstown (Nationals) 4
We touched on Justin Friend’s opportunism earlier, but he’s got nothing on Brian Parker. The Shorebirds righthander has made four appearances, rarely pitching more than two innings in any outing. And he’s now 4-0. Parker’s scoreless 3 2/3 innings on Thursday gave him his fourth win, and lowered his ERA to 0.93.
Lexington (Astros) 8, Hickory (Pirates) 3
Take away the home runs and Collin DeLome has struggled. His .250 average and .288 on-base percentage are below average, but his five home runs are among the minors’ best, and his four home runs this week are especially impressive. DeLome’s solo home run and additional two hits helped Lexington top Hickory. Lexington’s Matt Cusick saw his streak of three straight games with a leadoff home run end–he hit a double off the wall to start the first.
Greenville (Red Sox) 6, Greensboro (Marlins) 0
One of the great parts of following baseball in low Class A is watching players step up. Lefty Felix Doubrount is definitely one of the players emerging early this year. Doubrount improved to 3-0, 0.57 with 5 2/3 scoreless innings on Thursday. In his past two starts, Doubrount has thrown 10 2/3 innings with one run, zero walks and 15 Ks
"Felix did a great job," Greenville manger Kevin Boles said. "He was very efficient tonight. He attacked the zone and kept a good pace to the game."
Savannah (Mets) 6, Charleston (Yankees) 4
The Sand Gnats ended Charleston’s nine-game winning streak.
Asheville (Rockies) 6, West Virginia (Brewers) 3
Asheville’s Brian Billings gave up only one hit as he retired 15 of the 17 batters he faced. He didn’t get the win, but a pair of Power miscues helped the Tourists pull away in the late innings. First, a dropped fly ball allowed Darin Holcomb to score from first base, then a throwing error allowed two more runs to score.