Tag: Jordy Mercer

Arizona Fall League Wrap

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up with the Championship Game on Saturday.  The Scottsdale Scorpions beat the Peoria Javelinas 3-2.  Each team posted 7 hits, with RF Adam Loewen (Blue Jays) going 3-for-3 for the Javelinas.  Loewen's first single contributed to the Javelina's first run in the top of the 2nd, but the Scorpions came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning, which included an RBI single by RF Bryce Harper (Nationals).  Loewen also singled in Peoria's 4th run rally, when they tied the score at 2-2.  Scottsdale took the lead again in the bottom of the frame, with a pair of doubles.  Starter Sammy Solis (Nationals) earned the win for Scottsdale with 4 innings of work, and reliever Cole Kimball (Nationals) earned the save.

The Mesa Solar Sox played their second-to-last game on Wednesday, losing to Scottsdale by a score of 6-0.  The Solar Sox were held to just 3 hits.  2B Josh Harrison had one of them -- a double to lead off the 4th inning.  CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) and 1B Josh Satin (Mets) each had a single.  Harrison was the first Mesa player to reach base in the game, after they went down in order for the first 3 innings.  But he was left on base when Scottsdale's Josh Collmenter (Diamondbacks) struck out the next three batters.  Nieuwenhuis singled and stole second base in the 5th, but the other three batters in that inning struck out too.  Satin singled in the 8th, but was left on base.  The Solar Sox had their best chance in the 7th inning, when with one out, DH Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) reached base on a fielding error and RF Andrew Lambo walked (the only walk for the Solar Sox.  But C Tony Sanchez bounced into a force out, and a line out ended the inning.  

Mercer Hit On The Knee, Harrison With Two Hits

Surprise Rafters  7,  Mesa Solar Sox 2

It was a good news-bad news kind of game for the Pirates' contingent of the Mesa Solar Sox.  The good news was that 2B Josh Harrison had two hits in the game, raising his average to .329. Harrison had struggled in the early part of the Arizona Fall League season, but turned it on after that, and has finished strong.  The bad news is that Harrison's two hits were half of the Solar Sox' total for the day.  

The other piece of bad news is that DH Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch in the top of the 7th inning and had to leave the game.  

The Solar Sox missed out on a big chance in the top of the 1st, when they couldn't take advantage of three Rafters' errors.  Josh Harrison began the game by reaching base on a missed catch error at first base.  He was eliminated, though, when SS Andrew Romine (Angels) bounced into a double play.  3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) singled and RF Andrew Lambo reached base on a fielding error at third.  When the Surprise third baseman then made a throwing error, Lambo moved to second and Vitters went on to third.  A fly out ended the inning without a run scoring.  

The Rafters' SS Cale Iorg (Tigers) had a big day, beginning in the bottom of the 1st, when he hit the second of a pair of lead-off singles, stole second in a double steal, and scored the second run on a 2-RBI double.  Iorg's day got even better in the bottom of the 2nd, with Jake Muyco (Cubs) still on the mound for the Solar Sox.  Muyco gave up a single and two walks, and Iorg followed with a grand slam.  That gave the Rafters a 6-0 lead.  

Robert Fish (Angels) pitched a perfect inning for the Solar Sox in the 3rd, then BJ Rosenberg took the 4th inning.  Rosenberg gave up a single, then Iorg drove in another run for the Rafters with an RBI single.  Ryan Brasier (Angels) and Aaron Pribanic each retired the side in order in one inning apiece.  

Harrison led off Mesa's 3rd inning with a line drive into center field, and Romine walked.  A ground out moved both into scoring position, but they remained there when a strikeout and a fly out ended the inning.  The Solar Sox had only one base runner over the next three innings, when 1B Josh Satin (Mets) walks in the 6th.  The Solar Sox scored their only runs in the 7th.  Mercer led off by being hit by the pitch, and he was replaced on first by pinch-runner Ryan Flaherty (Cubs).  LF Tim Kennelly (Phillies) pushed Flaherty to third base with a line drive into left field.  Flaherty scored on C Kai Gronauer's (Mets) ground out to short.  Harrison's second single of the game, grounded through to left field, and Kennelly advanced to third base.  Kennelly scored on Romine's ground out.  The rally ended with another ground out, and that was the end of the game.  

All of today's AFL games were halted at 7 innings.  Tomorrow's (Wednesday's) games will all go 9 innings, then back to 7 innings again for the last games on Thursday.  The point is to help teams limit pitch counts and innings for the pitchers.  The championship game between the Scottsdale Scorpions and the Peoria Javelinas on Saturday will not have an innings limit, though.  

Tie Eliminates Solar Sox From Playoffs

Starter Justin Wilson pitched into the 4th inning and allowed 2 runs, but the game ended in a tie.  That means that the Solar Sox will not be able to catch up to the Scottsdale Scorpions, who have clinched the Arizona Fall League's Eastern Division.  The Solar Sox have three games remaining.  The Scorpions will play the championship game on Saturday, against either the Peoria Javelinas (1st place in the AFL West) or the Surprise Rafters (2nd place, 3 games behind with 3 games to play).

The Solar Sox got the early lead, with a run in the 1st inning.  2B Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) singled up the middle, and a wild pitch put him on second base.  1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) also singled up the middle, and Flaherty raced around from second base to score.  
Wilson worked around a pair of singles in both the 1st and 2nd innings, to hold onto the slim lead.  But in the top of the 3rd, Wilson hit the first batter of the inning.  Then with two outs, he gave up a 2-run homer to LF Brandon Laird (Yankees), and the Desert Dogs had a 2-1 lead.  

A pair of doubles, by 3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) and RF Andrew Lambo, drove in a run for the Solar Sox in the 4th inning, to tie the score.  A hit batter and a ground out by C Tony Sanchez moved the runners to second and third bases, but SS Jordy Mercer struck out to end the inning and leave both runners in scoring position.

Wilson began the 4th with a fly out and a walk, then was relieved by David Cales (Cubs), who got out of the inning without a run scoring.  Nicholas Carr (Mets) pitched a scoreless 5th inning for Mesa, then gave up two lead-off singles in the 6th.  A fielding error by Mercer brought in one run for Phoenix, and another single added a second run, giving the Desert Dogs a 4-2 lead.  

Jordy Mercer made up for his error in the 7th, when he led off with a solo home run.  DH Andrew Romine (Angels) singled following the homer, but was erased in a double play off the bat of Flaherty.  LF John Tolisano (Blue Jays) doubled and Rizzotti walked, but that attempt at a rally ended with a ground out.  The Solar Sox were closer, at 4-3.

Eric Neisen (Mets) finished the 6th inning for Carr, then pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning.  Brian Leach extended his perfect ERA streak with a perfect 8th inning -- two ground outs and a strikeout.  Eddie McKiernan (Angels) took over for Leach to begin the top of the 9th, and he gave up a double, then a fielding error by Rizzotti allowed that runner to score, and the Desert Dogs were back to a 2-run lead.  

Mercer began the bottom of the 9th with a line drive single into center field.  Romine walked, and Flaherty moved both up a base with a sacrifice bunt.  Mercer scored on Tolisano's RBI ground out, and Romine scored on a wild pitch.  But a strike out ended the inning and cut the rally short, and the game ended in a tie.  

Pribanic Stumbles in Solar Sox Loss

Peoria Javelinas 8, Mesa Solar Sox 7

With four more games to play, the Solar Sox are teetering on the edge of being eliminated from the Arizona Fall League playoffs. If they lose any one of their remaining games, they will not be able to catch up to the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Tonight, a 5-run 7th inning gave the Javelinas the win, and it happened with Aaron Pribanic on the mound. Pribanic relieved Jacob Diekman (Phillies) to begin the bottom of the 7th. The inning began with a single, then a pop out. A double scored one run, then a single and a fielding error by 2B Josh Harrison added a second run. The next three batters each brought in a run: an RBI double, a fielder's choice, and a throwing error by SS Andrew Romine (Angels). Pribanic walked another batter, and then was relieved by Steven Geltz (Angels), who ended the inning with a strikeout. The 5 runs gave the Javelinas an 8-6 lead, and the Solar Sox could not catch up.

Peoria was the first onto the scoreboard, with a run on a double and a single in the bottom of the 2nd, charged to Mesa starter Robert Carson (Mets). Chris Carpenter (Cubs) pitched the 4th inning, and he also allowed a run on a double and a single. Kyle Smit (Cubs) pitched a scoreless 5th, then Diekman gave up a run in the 6th on a triple and an RBI ground out.

The Solar Sox took the lead in the 3rd inning, when they scored 2 runs. Josh Harrison led off the frame with a walk, then stole second base. He moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch. 3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) also walked and stole second base, and he scored on LF John Tolisano's (Blue Jays) single. Doubles were the hit of choice in the 4th inning. RF Andrew Lambo led off with a single, then doubles by C Kai Gronauer (Mets), Harrison, and Romine accounted for 3 runs. A walk and another RBI single by Tolisano gave the Solar Sox a 6-2 lead. Tolisano collected his third RBI single in the 8th inning, driving in Romine, who had doubled. Lambo, Gonauer, and Harrison all singled to load the bases in the 9th, but the threat ended with a grounder force out.  DH Jordy Mercer had one hit in his 5 plate appearances, a single in the 7th inning.  

The Solar Sox and the Arizona Fall League have Sunday off, as usual.  

Leach Continues Hot Pitching In Arizona

Mesa Solar Sox  2,  Phoenix Desert Dogs  2  (TIE)

Runners left in scoring position was the name of today's game, which ended in a tie after 9 innings.  The Solar Sox did a little better than the Desert Dogs in leaving runners on base -- they collected 6 hits and 3 walks, and left 6 men on base.  Phoenix posted 9 hits and 2 walks, and they left 8 runners on. 

All the scoring happened in the 2nd inning.  The Solar Sox began the fun with a walk by SS Jordy Mercer.  1B Josh Satin (Mets) singled, putting runners on the corners.  C Tim Kennelly (Phillies) brought in Mercer with a sacrifice fly.  After 2B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, LF Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) slipped a grounder through the left side for an RBI single, scoring Satin.  Harrison tried to reach third base on the throw, but was tagged out. 

The Desert Dogs tied it up in the bottom of the inning.  Chris Kissock (Phillies) started for the Solar Sox.  He began the bottom of the 2nd by giving up three consecutive hits -- a pair of singles and a ground rule double, which plated one run.  A sacrifice fly brought in the second run to tie the score. 

And then... no more scoring.  The Solar Sox had only one batter reach base over the next six innings.  RF John Tolisano (Blue Jays) lined a single into right field in the 4th inning, then stole second base, but was out trying to steal third.  3B Brandon Wood (Angels) led off the top of the 9th with a single, then DH Tony Sanchez also singled and Tolisano reached with a walk, between a pair of strikeouts (Mercer and CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis).  But a grounder force out ended the inning, leaving 3 runners on base and 2 in scoring position.  Add to that one left on base in the 2nd, and 2 left on (one in scoring position) in the top of the 1st, and that's the Solar Sox' 6 left on.  The Sox were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Phoenix was more effective in putting runners on base, but not any better at getting them across the plate.  BJ Rosenberg (Phillies) worked around a single and a throwing error in the 3rd, and retired the side in order in the 4th.  Brian Leach pitched a scoreless 5th inning.  He gave up a single and walked a batter, but got out of the inning on a double play started by his Altoona teammates:  2B Harrison to SS Mercer to 1B Satin. 

Three more Solar Sox pitchers kept the Desert Dogs from scoring despite runners on base.  Ryan Brasier (Angels) gave up 2 singles in the 6th, and David Cales (Cubs) gave up a single and a walk in the 8th.  Justin De Fratus only had to work around one runner on base, when he gave up a double in the 9th.  That added up to 8 runners left on for Phoenix, and hitting 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. 

Next week will be the final week of Arizona Fall League play.  The last scheduled game will be on Thursday Nov 18th, and the championship game will be played on Saturday Nov 20th.  The Solar Sox have a 13-13 record and are 4 games behind the first place Scottsdale Scorpion in the Eastern division of the AFL.  With 5 games left to play, and assuming no more games ending in a tie, the Solar Sox are not out of it yet, but they'd better get going if they are to make the playoffs. 

Solar Sox Still Playing… Nope, Can’t Catch Up

Phoenix Desert Dogs  9,  Mesa Solar Sox  6

The Mesa Solar Sox caught up to the Desert Dogs two times in Wednesday night's Arizona Fall League game, but they couldn't do it a third time.    

The Desert Dogs took the early lead, scoring a total of 4 runs (3 earned) off Solar Sox starter Jake Muyco (Cubs) in the first 4 innings.  Reliever Eddie McKiernan (Angels) finished off the 4th for Muyco, then pitched a scoreless top of the 5th.

The Solar Sox tied the game in the bottom of the 6th with a 4-run inning.  2B Josh Harrison walked and scored, as both C Tony Sanchez and SS Jordy Mercer each drove in a run.  3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) drove in one run in the 5th, and another in the 7th.  RF Andrew Lambo was hit by a pitch in the 5th, and was later removed from the game, though it's not clear whether or not it was due to being hit. In the shuffling of players that occurred when Lambo came out, Harrison was moved to left field.

With Chris Carpenter on the mound for Mesa in the top of the 7th, the Desert Dogs broke the tie.  Two runs scored on a double, two singles, and a walk.  The Solar Sox answered right back with 2 more runs in the bottom of the 7th, to tie the score at 6-6.  They took advantage of 3 walks, including one to Sanchez, and Vitter's RBI.

Kyle Smit (Cubs) relieved Carpenter to finish the 7th inning, but he suffered the loss when he gave up a solo home run to Phoenix's DH Matt Wallach (Dodgers) in the top of the 8th.  Four more hits, including a 2-RBI double gave Phoenix 3 runs in the 8th, and the Solar Sox could not answer.  Steven Geltz (Angels) finished the game for Mesa with a scoreless 9th, though he made it a little interesting by giving up a hit and two walks, then striking out two batters.

Lambo’s Grand Slam Gives Solar Sox The Win

Mesa Solar Sox� 7,� Surprise Rafters� 5

Isn't this what every hitter dreams about?� A grand slam in the bottom of the 9th, to win the game for your team!� The Solar Sox went into the bottom of the 9th behind by a score of 5-1.� 2B Josh Harrison led off the inning with a walk, and another walk to 3B Brandon Wood (Angels) and a single by 1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) brought in one run.� CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded to third, and was safe on the fielder's choice as Wood scored.� Rizzotti was replaced by pinch-runner Ryan Flaherty (Cubs), and a single by SS Jordy Mercer loaded the bases for RF Andrew Lambo. Lambo made the dream come true with a walk-off grand slam and the win for the Solar Sox.

Nieuwenhuis gave Mesa their first run on a solo homer in the 7th.� Mercer had also singled in the 2nd inning, but was erased when Lambo bounced into a double play.

Justin Wilson made the start for the Solar Sox and pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 4 walks with 3 strikeouts.� Three of the walks plus a single gave Surprise one run in the 1st inning.� Another walk, a ground out, and an RBI single brought in a run in the 3rd inning.� Aaron Pribanic relieved Wilson, pitching the next 3 innings.� He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the 4th, ending the inning with a timely strikeout.� He gave up a single in the 5th, but that runner was thrown out trying to steal second.� In the 6th, Pribanic gave up 2 more singles, but left both runners stranded.

Ryan Brasier (Angels) retired the side in order for the Solar Sox in the 7th.� BJ Rosenberg (Phillies) gave up 3 runs to the Rafters in the 8th.� He allowed a lead-off homer, then two more runs on a pair of walks, and a pair of singles.� Chris Kissock (Phillies) pitched the top of the 9th, allowing one single.� He was the pitcher of record when the Solar Sox rallied in the bottom of the inning, so he earned the win.

Three Hits For Harrison In Solar Sox Win

Mesa Solar Sox� 13,� Surprise Rafters� 5

The Solar Sox started and ended the game with a bang on Friday afternoon in Arizona.� They plated 5 runs in the top of the 1st, and 4 in the top of the 9th, with 2 more in both the 2nd and 5th innings, as they recorded 16 hits.� The Sox' pitchers held the Rafters to 7 hits.

The top of the 1st began with a double by 2B Jordany Valdespin (Mets) and a single by 3B Josh Harrison, which moved Valdespin to third base.� CF Jeremy Moore's (Angels) sacrifice fly brought in Valdespin.� DH Brandon Wood (Angels) lined a single into right field, where the Rafters' right fielder made a throwing error.� That let Harrison score and put Wood on second base.� C Tony Sanchez walked, and RF/CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) doubled, scoring Wood.� SS Jordy Mercer bounced back to the mound, and the runners had to hold.� Then 1B Josh Satin (Mets) lined another single into right field, and both Sanchez and Nieuwenhuis scored, though Satin was thrown out trying to reach second base on the throw in to the plate.

The Rafters scored one run in the bottom of the inning on a double, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly, making the score 5-1.� Mesa came right back to add 2 runs in the 2nd, again sparked by Valedspin and Harrison.� This time it was Valdespin who singled and Harrison who doubled (ground rule).� A fielder's choice and a throwing error by Surprise 1B Eric Hosmer (Team USA and Royals) allowed both runners to score.

Surprise continued to battle, scoring a run in the 3rd on a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single.� A walk, a triple, and a single gave them 2 more runs in the 4th, and the score was 7 - 4 with the Solar Sox still ahead.� The Solar Sox got 2 runs back in the 5th.� Sanchez and Nieuwenhuisled off the inning with a pair of doubles, and Mercer followed with a single, then stole second base.� LF Tim Kennelly's ground out drove in Nieuwenhuis, to give the Sox a 9-4 lead.

Pitchers took over for the next several innings.� Aaron Pribanic pitched the 6th and 7th innings for Mesa, and he allowed the only two base runners over 4 innings for Surprise.� A single in the 6th was erased by a double play, and a walk in the 7th was left on base.� Harrison had the only hit for the Solar Sox, a single to lead off the 6th.

Lambo and Mercer Double As Solar Sox Get Back On Track

Mesa Solar Sox� 7,� Peoria Javelinas� 4

The Solar Sox got back on track this afternoon in the Arizona Fall League, beating the Javelinas with two 3-run innings.� The Javelinas out-hit the Solar Sox 12 - 7, with 3B Cord Phelps (Cleveland Indians and Team USA) missing only a triple from hitting for the cycle.

The Solar Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st.� SS Andrew Romine (Angels) and LF Jeremy Moore (Angels) got the inning started with back-to-back walks, and 3B Brandon Wood (Angels) loaded the bases with a single lined into center field.� A sacrifice fly by 1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) brought in Romine, and RF Andrew Lambo plated Moore with an RBI ground out.� DH Jordy Mercer doubled into left field, bringing in� Wood for the third run of the inning.

The Javelinas got one run back in the top of the 2nd.� Cubs' Jake Muyco made the start for the Solar Sox.� He gave up that run on a walk,a� single, and a double by DH Koby Clemens (Astros, naturally).�� Muyco also gave up Phelps' double in the 1st and his single in the 3rd.

Lambo doubled in another run for the Solar Sox in the bottom of the 3rd, to give them a 4-1 lead.� Again the Javelinas answered right away, with a 2-run homer off Muyco in the top of the 4th.� Muyco finished his afternoon with 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks over 4 innings.

Chris Carpenter (Cubs) relieved Muyco to begin the 5th inning.� He retired the side in the 5th, then gave up a double and a walk in the 6th.� Chris Kissock (Phillies) finished the inning for Carpenter without allowing a run to score.

Peoria tied the score in the top of the 7th when Kyle Smit (Cubs) gave up Phelps' home run.� This time it was the Solar Sox who returned fire.� In the bottom of the frame, CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Mets) led off with a walk, and Romine dropped a sacrifice bunt then beat it out to put two runners on base.� Moore cleared the bases with a triple to give the Solar Sox a 6-4 lead, then Rizzotti brought Moore in from third base with an RBI single to provide an insurance run.

The Javelinas threatened in the 8th, when they worked a walk and a single off Mesa reliever David Cales (Cubs).� But Cales got a strikeout and two ground outs to keep a run from scoring.� Justin De Fratus (Phillies) earned the save with a scoreless 9th inning, working around a double and a walk.� The blown save, and then the win went to Smit -- it was his third win for the Solar Sox.

Don't forget the AFL Rising Stars Game on Saturday... Tony Sanchez will represent the Pirates and the Solar Sox.

Wilson Has Another Tough Start For Mesa

Peoria Javelinas� 11,� Mesa Solar Sox� 2

The Mesa Solar Sox were still dealing with the karma rebound from their blow-out win a few days ago, losing to the Javelinas by 9 runs today.� The Sox had three players who recorded two hits each:� 3B Josh Harrison, 1B Josh Satin (Mets), and C Kai Gronauer (Mets).� 2B Jordany Valdespin (Mets) and RF Andrew Lambo added one hit each to the total.� Of those hits, only one (by Satin) was for extra bases -- a double.

Justin Wilson made the start for the Solar Sox, and he struggled right away in the bottom of the 1st.� The first batter for Peoria reached base on an error by Sox 1B Satin.� The next two batters hit back-to-back singles, bringing in the first run of the game.� A wild pitch allowed the second run to score, and a stolen base and another single drove in the third run of the inning.� Wilson pitched two more innings, retiring the side in order in the 2nd, and allowing 2 walks but no runs in the 3rd.

Bradley Holt (Mets) took over for Wilson to begin the 4th inning.� He gave up another run on a double and a single, extending the Javelina's lead to 4-0.� Brian Leach pitched a scoreless 5th inning, but he was very wild -- he walked 4 batters.� The only reason no runs scored was that a double play (2B Valdespin to SS Jordy Mercer to 1B Satin) followed the first walk and erased that base runner.� Three consecutive walks on 15 pitches loaded the bases, but Leach struck out the next batter to end the inning.

The 6th inning sealed the Solar Sox' fate.� With Jacob Diekman (Phillies) on the mound for the Sox for the first time, the first 7 batters of the inning reached base safely.� A double, a single, a fielding error (1 run), two more singles (2 more runs), a triple (2 runs), and a single (1 run) gave the Javelinas a 10- 0 lead and sent Diekman to the showers.� Eric Niesen came on in relief, and got three outs to end the inning.� Peoria tacked on one more run in the 7th, with Nicholas Carr (Mets) on the mound for Mesa.� Carr also had a wild day, giving up a single then three consecutive walks to force in a run.� Ryan Brasier (Angels) pitched the final inning for Mesa, allowing one walk, but no runs.

The Solar Sox had at least one base runner on in every inning but the 4th.� They only scored in the 8th, when Gronauer singled and Valdespin walked, then Harrison loaded the bases with his second single of the game.� Mercer's sacrifice fly brought in Gonauer.� Lambo followed with a single, plating Valdespin, and that was all the Solar Sox would get.

Other Sox notes:

OF Brett Jackson (Cubs) has had to leave the Solar Sox, due to an infection in his right lower leg.� He will not be able to participate in the rest of the AFL schedule, but is expected to be healed up and ready to go in time for spring training.

The AFL's version of the All-Star game, the Rising Stars Game, will be played on Saturday evening.� It will be the East Division (the Solar Sox, the Phoenix Desert Dogs, and the Scottsdale Scorpions) against the West Division (the Peoria Javelinas, the Peoria Saguaros, and the Surprise Rafters).�� Mesa's C Tony Sanchez is the only Pirates' representative on the Rising Star team.� The game will begin at 9 pm (Eastern time), and will be broadcast on MLB tv and MLB.com.


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