West Virginia Power: Game Notes (August 5)
West Virginia goes for its second straight series win in the series finale against the Augusta GreenJackets Sunday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. RHP Hunter Stratton (4-4, 4.85 ERA) toes the rubber for the Power.
STAFFORD, MACIAS LEAD POWER TO 8-2 WIN: Deon Stafford and Fabricio Macias each homered as West Virginia's offense piled on eight runs over the first three innings and cruised to an 8-2 win over the Augusta GreenJackets Saturday evening at Appalachian Power Park. The Power plated three in the first as Oneil Cruz dribbled a double down the left-field line to lead off the game before scoring two batters later on a base knock from Calvin Mitchell that snuck through a drawn-in infield. The next batter, Stafford, stroked the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence for a two-run homer, giving West Virginia a 3-0 lead. The Power equaled that output in the second on one swing, as Macias took Caleb Baragar deep to left as well for a three-run shot, extending West Virginia's edge to 6-0. The Power tacked on two more in the third on back-to-back RBI singles from Ben Bengtson and Macias. Meanwhile, Domingo Robles was solid on the mound again, hurling five shutout frames while allowing just four hits and striking out three. Joel Cesar and Elvis Escobar each tossed two innings out of the bullpen, ceding one run apiece and combining to fan five batters. Augusta scored its runs on a Malique Ziegler sacrifice fly and an eighth-inning homer by Ishmael Munguia.
STARTING STRONG: Over West Virginia's last seven games, every starter has gone at least five innings and allowed no more than two runs or six hits. In these last seven starts, the Power's starting staff has allowed a total of six runs on 24 hits over 41 innings pitched with 28 strikeouts, good for a 1.32 ERA. West Virginia's starters have tossed five quality starts over their last seven outings. Here's a look at their recent performances:
Sunday, July 29 vs. Asheville: Max Kranick - 6 IP, 1H, 0R, 6K
Monday, July 30 at Columbia: Robles - 7 IP, 4H, 1R, 2K
Tuesday, July 31 at Columbia: Hunter Stratton - 5 IP, 3H, 1R, 3K
Wednesday, August 1 at Columbia: Sergio Cubilete - 6 IP, 3H, 1R, 3K
Thursday, August 2 vs. Augusta: Travis MacGregor - 6 IP, 6H, 2R, 3K
Friday, August 3 vs. Augusta: Max Kranick - 6 IP, 3H, 1R, 8K
Saturday, August 4 vs. Augusta: Robles - 5 IP, 4H, 0R, 3K
MASHING MACIAS: Macias recorded the first home run of his professional career with his three-run shot in the second inning, doing so in his 116th career MiLB game (34th career affiliated contest). He also posted a career-high four RBI, notching the fifth four-RBI game of the season for West Virginia, and the first since Chris Sharpe had four runs batted in against Hickory June 28 in Charleston. Macias also registered his sixth multi-hit game of the season.
HOLY HOMERS: Stafford and Macias' homers upped the Power's season total to 72, ninth-most in the South Atlantic League (Lexington leads the league with 114 home runs). Stafford clubbed his first home run since June 6 against Lexington. With Macias' second-inning dinger in the books, every active Power batter now has at least one home run with West Virginia in 2018.
DON'T PITCH TO MITCH: After slumping for a majority of July, Mitchell has started to find his stroke again. The Pirates' 10th-best prospect per MLB.com has reached safely in each of his last 16 games, a new season-high, while recording a hit in 11 of his last 13. Over those last 16 games, Mitchell is averaging .321 (17-for-53) with four RBI. West Virginia's longest on-base streak of the season is Sharpe's 18-game stretch from April 18 to May 9. The Rancho Bernardo (CA) High School product also posted his 24th multi-hit game of the season, second on the team to Cruz (30).
ROLLING ROBLES: Robles has dominated over his last three starts for West Virginia. After spinning back-to-back quality starts in Kannapolis and Columbia, he held Augusta scoreless over five innings Saturday, whittling his ERA against the GreenJackets down to a miniscule 0.75 mark. Over those last three outings, the Dominican native boasts a 0.94 ERA (2 ER/19 IP). He leads the Power in games started (21), quality starts (11), wins (9), innings pitched (115.0), ERA (2.97) and strikeouts (88). His ERA also ranks second in the Pirates' system (J.T. Brubaker, 2.85 ERA with Triple-A Indianapolis), while his nine wins are tied with four others for third-highest in the organization. Robles' 2018 win total now equals the amount of wins he accumulated over his first three seasons as a professional.
POWER POINTS: Jesse Medrano swiped the sixth stolen base of his career... Raul Hernandez collected his seventh multi-hit game of the season... West Virginia is 19-0 when scoring eight or more runs in a game in 2018... The Power went 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, leaving five men on base... Cruz tallied his 25th double of the season.
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