Miller, Yates, DeMello propel Mariners in doubling up Bluefield
By Cheyne Reiter / Pulaski Mariners
M’s Manager Chris Prieto was searching for an answer to jumpstart a scuffling offense. The Mariners received outstanding pitching efforts in all three games at Burlington, but in the three games combined, Pulaski scored just two runs and totaled 14 base hits.
A little speed at the top of the order was all Prieto and the Mariners needed. The first-year manager inserted outfielder Ian Miller, a speedy prospect who played his college ball with the Wagner Seahawks, at the top of the order, and Miller ensured that Prieto made the right call. The former Seahawk was 3-for-5 with three runs scored. He also wreaked havoc on the base paths, swiping two bags.
The left-handed hitting Miller began the game with a leadoff single. After a handful of pickoff attempts by Blue Jays pitcher Adonys Cardona (0-1), Miller stole second base and later scored on an RBI smash up the middle by No. 3 hitter Isaiah Yates.
Consecutive singles by designated hitter Jeff Zimmerman and first baseman Kristian Brito brought Yates around to score. After a Joe DeCarlo strikeout, Jesus Ugueto poked an RBI single to right, scoring Zimmerman. The aggressive base running continued with Brito and Ugueto executing a double steal. Moments later, M’s catcher Toby DeMello grounded a two-RBI single to left. Six hits in the first jumpstarted the Mariners to a 5-0 lead, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish all night.
On the mound, it was the same story, different night for Pulaski. Right-hander Ramire Cleto cruised through six innings, giving up just seven hits, two runs (both earned), two walks, while striking out four Blue Jays. Cleto’s two mistakes on the night resulted in long Blue Jays homers by Derrick Loveless and John Silviano, but with a comfortable lead from the get-go, the 2011 Dominican signee didn’t falter.
Mariners’ relievers Dylan De Meyer and Jake Zokan came in to retire the final nine batters.
Yates’ first-inning RBI single was the first of four hits on the night. He added an RBI triple in the 2nd inning, an RBI single off the monster in right in the 4th, and he also doubled in the eighth pushing his batting average to .438.
DeMello got in on the 16-hit parade with a solo shot to left field in the seventh. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, and three RBIs. Shortstop Zach Shank hit second for the M’s and was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
The Blue Jays out-homered the M’s three to one, but all of the homers came of the solo home run variety.
Blue Jays starter Adonys Cardona, ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Jays organization according to MLB.com, lasted just one inning in his Appy League debut. He was tagged for six hits and five earned runs.
The announced attendance for the home opener was 2,016.
The Mariners faced off with the Blue Jays again on Monday evening, falling 4-2. Details for that game will be available in tomorrows edition.