Jean Ruiz has been a revelation this year with the Vermont Lake Monsters, making the mid-season New York-Penn League All-Star team as a 20-year-old. The native of Colombia lowered his ERA to 1.29 with six brilliant innings in the Vermont Lake Monsters’ 9-3 win over the Connecticut Tigers on Monday.
Through four innings, the only base-runner Ruiz had allowed reached on an error. In the top of the fifth, he walked the lead-off batter and faced a first-and-third situation with no-outs. Ruiz then struck-out Reynaldo Rivera and Lana Akau threw out Junnell Ledezma attempting to steal. Ruiz recorded another strike-out to erase the threat completely. In six innings, he allowed just one hit and one walk and he struck-out three. He needed only 69 pitches to get through six innings but was lifted because he is on a pitch count this season.
The Lake Monsters gave Ruiz plenty of support. Will Toffey and Logan Farrar each had three hits. Farrar also drove-in three. He is batting .333/.400/.481 in 33 games for Vermont this season after hitting .486/.561/.800 in nine Arizona Rookie League games. He is batting .364 over his last 10 games and has seven hits in his last two games. Greg Deichmann hit his fifth homer of the season and he walked twice. Deichmann has a 967 OPS in 33 games for Vermont. Aaron Arruda also homered — his third — and he doubled. Jesus Lage followed his walk-off hit on Sunday with a two-hit game. The 19-year-old shortstop is batting .357 over his last 10 games.
Bryce Conley had a rough relief outing after coming in for Ruiz in the seventh, walking four of the five batters he faced. Michael Danielak closed out the win with 2.2 innings in relief. He allowed two hits and didn’t walk a batter while striking out five. Danielak’s ERA is down to 1.46 on the year.
— After witnessing the solar eclipse, the Nashville Sounds came out and blacked out the Iowa Cubs in a 7-0 shutout win. Joey Wendle — playing on his jersey tee-shirt giveaway day — hit a three-run homer in the first to get the game off on the right foot for the Sounds. It was Wendle’s eighth of the year. He played third base in the game. Franklin Barreto had three hits to raise his average to .280 and Jaff Decker had two hits and two walks. Renato Nunez also walked twice and he doubled and singled. Matt McBride hit his 10th homer of the year. Ben Bracewell had his best start of the season, allowing only four hits in six shutout innings. He didn’t walk a batter and he struck-out five. Felix Doubront, Josh Smith and Lou Trivino each threw a scoreless inning to complete the shutout.
— Lazaro Armenteros tripled twice and Austin Beck drove him home both times with sacrifice flies, as the AZL Athletics beat the AZL Angels, 5-3. Lazarito now has four triples on the season. He also drove-in a run. A rehabbing Chris Iriart had two doubles and was hit by a pitch, and Nick Allen stole two bases. Ben Spitznagel had a hit and a stolen base. He is batting .343. A quartet of AZL A’s pitchers limited the Angels to three unearned runs on six hits. Richard Morban (2.2 IP), Jhenderson Hurtado (3 IP), Slater Lee (2 IP) and Jorge Martinez (1.1 IP) did walk eight but they struck-out 10. The A’s committed four errors. Lee earned the win and Martinez picked up his first save.
— The Beloit Snappers had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with one-out in the top of the ninth, but a 1-2-3 double-play ended their ninth inning rally one run short in a 5-4 loss to Cedar Rapids. The Snappers didn’t manage much offense, and most of it came from Jesus Lopez, who hit his second homerun of the season for Beloit and walked twice (including once with the bases-loaded). Mike Martin had two hits, but his hard grounder in the ninth was hit in the wrong spot and ended the game. After allowing a first-inning run, Xavier Altamarino settled down before 2017 top pick Royce Lewis hit a three-run homer off of him in the fifth. It was Lewis’ first homer in the Midwest League. Heath Bowers threw three innings, allowing one run on three hits.
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A review of the first eight games for the 2018 Arizona Rookie League Athletics.