August 17 Game Information
Today the Wood Ducks (31-22, 81-42) and Blue Rocks (28-25, 72-50) will play the middle game of their three-game series at 6 p.m. Right-hander Alex Eubanks (9-4, 3.05) will make the start for Down East, opposed by Wilmington lefty Austin Cox (2-3, 3.03). It's Throwback Weekend at Grainger Stadium and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Kinston Indians frosted mug, presented by MedSource Pharmacy, with gates opening at 4:00 p.m. The broadcast will begin at 5:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172. Complete game notes are attached.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wood Ducks took a 3-1 lead to the eighth inning but were unable to hold it, as the Blue Rocks scored five in the frame, including four bases loaded walks, as the Woodies fell 6-5. Sherten Apostel hit his second home run of the season, and Yanio Perez blasted his seventh, a two-run shot in the ninth. Tim Brennan was charged with five earned runs, although three scored as inherited runners, as he suffered his second loss of the season. The Wood Ducks tallied 13 hits in the ballgame, with five players enjoying multi-hit outings, but they went just 3-13 with runners in scoring position.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Down East is 4 wins from tying the 1990 Port Charlotte Rangers for the most wins in a single season by a TEX High-A affiliate (85), and 11 wins from tying the 1989 Gastonia Rangers for the most wins in a single season by any TEX affiliate (92). The Woodies are currently on pace to finish with the highest winning percentage (.659) for a full-season TEX affiliate, a record also held by the 1989 Gastonia Rangers (.657). Also, no team in Kinston baseball history has ever won 90 games in a season.
SUPER SAM: Sam Huff belted his 13th home run for the Wood Ducks, Wednesday, which ties him for fourth in the Carolina League this season. Huff also ranks second in SLG (.467), and fourth in OPS (.805).
SLUGGING SHERTEN: Sherten Apostel hit his second home run for the Wood Ducks, and 17th of the season, against the Blue Rocks, Friday. He also enjoyed a career-high four-RBI performance Sunday against the Keys. He has now reached base safely in 18 consecutive games, posting a .333 average and a .471 OBP with 13 walks over that stretch, which dates back to July 25.
TERRY ON A TEAR: Curtis Terry hit his ninth home run for the Woodies Thursday against Fayetteville, and has now hit safely in 41 of his last 46 games, including 15 multi-hit games. Over the stretch he posted two separate 12-game hitting streaks, and currently has reached base safely in 17 consecutive games, batting .362 with an OBP of .471 over that span. He was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for the Month of July.
TOUGH AUGUST: After pitching to a team ERA of 2.62 through the first four months of the season, the Down East staff has taken a step back in August, working to a 4.88 mark. The Wood-ies have allowed 55 walks in 118 innings, while opponents are hitting .263 against them. The Woodies have also given up 13 home runs in 14 games, after allowing just 43 homers in their first 109 games.
ARIAS ABOARD: Diosbel Arias has tallied seven hits over his last four games, and now ranks fifth in the Carolina League with 119 hits on the season. He also is among league leaders in RBI (56, 8th), total bases (160, 8th), and walks (51, 9th).
ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTH: It hasn't just been the Wood Ducks who have performed well this season, the Rangers organi-zation as a whole has been among the best:
1. TEXAS RANGERS 414-311 .571
2. Tampa Bay Rays 441-338 .566
3. LA Dodgers 428-336 .560
COLE CRUISING: Cole Uvila struck out a career-high six in three scoreless innings Thursday in Fayetteville. Uvila had also struck out five in two of his previous four outings. This season Uvila boasts a 13.50 K/9 (77 K/51.1 IP), and has struck out three or more batters in 14 of his 31 appearances this season.
SELF-ADVOCATE: Josh Advocate struck out five batters in three scoreless innings, Tuesday, tallying a career-high five punchouts fort he second consecutive outing. The right-hander has struck out 29 in his last 23.0 innings (2.74 ERA), and has struck out three batters or more 12 times in 31 outings this season.
THE FUTURE IS HERE: Sam Huff clubbed a game-tying home run in the seventh inning of the SiriusXM Futures Game on Sunday to take home MVP honors. Huff becomes the second Ranger all-time to take home the award, joining Joey Gallo (2014). Huff has now hit 13 home runs for the Wood Ducks and 28 overall on the season.
A HALF FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS: The Down East Wood Ducks became just the sixth team in Carolina League history to finish a half with a winning percentage of .700 or better, while their 50 wins are the second most in any half in league history:
1. 1980 Peninsula (1st) 51-19 .729
2. 2019 DOWN EAST (1st) 50-20 .714
T3. 1982 Peninsula (2nd) 49-20 .710
T3. 1983 Lynchburg (1st) 49-20 .710
5. 1994 Wilmington (1st) 48-20 .706
6. 1980 Peninsula (2nd) 49-21 .700
SHOWTIME: Former Wood Duck Emmanuel Clase was called up to the Rangers, last Friday, and made his MLB debut Sunday, working 1.2 scoreless innings in a win over Detroit. Clase becomes the ninth Down East player to make it to The Show. He joins Ricardo Rodriguez ('17), C.D. Pelham ('18) and Peter Fairbanks ('19) to go from Advanced-A to the Majors in a single season. Clase struck out 11 and did not allow an earned run over seven innings with the Woodies.
RAGS AT THE HELM: Corey Ragsdale takes over as skipper for the Wood Ducks in 2019. Ragsdale will remain the Rangers Minor League Field Coordinator, while assuming a managerial seat for the first time since 2015, when he led the Hickory Crawdads to a South Atlantic League Championship, the second of his career.
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