Cheeseburgin’ At “The Hive”
The Burlington Bees (7-13) and Fort Wayne TinCaps (8-12) finish a three-game series tonight at Community Field. RHP Zach Cates (3-5, 4.81) makes his 17th professional start for the TinCaps this evening. Cates last pitched against the Dayton Dragons on July 7 and allowed one earned run on six hits in five innings to pick up a win. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Northeast Texas Community College, where he was recruited as a catcher and didn’t pitch full-time until 2009. He only started pitching because he dislocated three fingers on his left hand. Cates was rated the No. 21 prospect in the Padres organization by Baseball America going into this season.
RHP Sean Murphy (0-3, 7.48) makes his sixth start of the year for the Bees tonight. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits over five innings pitched in his last start, which was against the Kane County Cougars on July 9. Murphy has an overall record of 0-1 to go along with a 17.47 ERA in games played at Community Field. Opposing batters are hitting .579 against Murphy when runners are in scoring position and .429 against him when runners are in scoring position and there are two outs.
RHP Blake Hassebrock (5-5) pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed three hits and struck out seven to lead the Bees to a 3-1 victory over the TinCaps in front of 794 fans at Community Field Thursday night. Burlington started the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning after RF Douglas Landaeta (1-4) hit a two-out double to left field. A single from SS Yordy Cabrera (1-3) off the glove of Fort Wayne SS B.J. Guinn, who leaped into the air in an attempt to catch the ball, plated Landaeta to put the Bees up 1-0. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Bees CF Jose Crisotomo (2-3) hit a two-out single and 3B Wade Kirkland (1-3) smacked a two-run home run over the left field wall to make the score 3-0 Bees. TinCaps 3B Chris Bisson (0-1) drew a lead-off walk in the top of the ninth inning and scored on a RBI double to left field from CF Rico Noel (1-4) to bring Fort Wayne within two runs at 3-1. Burlington RHP Zack Thornton allowed one earned run on one hit over the final two innings to earn his fourth save of the year.
BEES BY THE NUMBERS
Burlington snapped a six-game losing streak last night, which is their longest losing skid this season. The Bees have a record of 1-1 in games played against the TinCaps this season and are 38-29 against right-handed starting pitchers. The Bees have an overall record of 29-17 this season in home games. Burlington has a record of 12-4 in two-run games. The Bees have a record of 2-8 in their last 10 games. The Bees had seven hits last night, while Fort Wayne had four. The Bees have a record of 30-13 when they out-hit their opponent.
3B Wade Kirkland hit his third home run of the season last night in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Fort Wayne RHP Adys Portillo. The bomb over the left field wall was his first homer at Community Field. Kirkland’s last home run was on May 20 versus the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
RHP Blake Hassebrock (5-5, 2.03) sits in second place in the Midwest League for ERA and is celebrating his 22nd birthday today. RHP Jose Macias (2-2, 3.77) turns 22 on Monday.
On select Friday’s throughout the summer, two members of the Bees have been traveling to the Burlington Public Library and reading to area children. RHP Josh Bowman (6-3, 3.43) and Hassebrock made the trek today and read to an estimated 92 kids. After each reading session, the players field questions from the kids and sign autographs. Today’s voyage was the fourth this summer. The Bees will appear at the library once more this summer on July 29.
The Burlington Bees interns competed against each other in the middle of the seventh inning of last night’s game to see who could eat three hot dogs the fastest. As I predicted in yesterday’s blog, Gavin Halpin, a senior at Monmouth College this fall, won the contest. Halpin will represent the Bees in tonight’s cheeseburger eating contest, which is part of the festivities of Jimmy Buffet Night.