Posted by Mack Ade at 6:22 PM
RHP Ryan Fraser (2-3, 2.72) vs. RHP Mikey O’Brien (2-2, 3.03)
Joseph P. Riley Park, Charleston, SC
Radio: News/Talk 630 and http://www.sandgnats.com/
Tonight: The Gnats, SAL affiliate of the New York Mets, begin a three game series in Charleston against the RiverDogs, SAL affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Gnats, who have won six of their last eight games and 11 of 16, are 3-1 on their current seven-game road trip.
Standings Update: The Gnats are now one half game behind the Asheville Tourists for first place in the SAL Southern Division. The Gnats lost on Monday, while the Tourists split a doubleheader with the Lexington Legends.
Monday: The Gnats built a 6-0 lead after two turns at bat, but watched Rome even the score with a five-run third on the way to a 7-6 Braves victory. Cory Vaughn, who was 2-4, smacked his second home run of 2011. The Braves scored the go-ahead run against Savannah reliever Luis Rojas in the bottom of the seventh to avoid a sweep in the four-game set.
Now Pitching: RHP Ryan Fraser is scheduled to make his seventh Savannah start. Fraser is coming off his longest outing of the year when he held the Hickory Crawdads scoreless over 6.2 innings in a game the Gnats lost 1-0 in 13 innings last Thursday. Fraser pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for short-season Brooklyn in 2010. With the Cyclones, he was 3-3 with a 1.44 ERA and 12 saves in 31.1 IP. He struck out 39, walked 20 and yielded just 16 hits. In ratio form, that’s 4.6 H/9 IP, 5.7 BB/9 and 11.2 K/9. The Mets drafted Fraser in the 16th round of the 2010 draft out of Memphis. The Rays originally drafted Fraser out of Walker Valley HS in the 49th round in 2006, but he chose to attend Gulf Coast Community College and then Memphis. At Memphis, he led the Tigers with 93 strikeouts and 92 IP in 2010 on his way to three C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors and a Second Team All C-USA selection. In the classroom, he was a member of the C-USA All-Academic Team in 2010 and ran a 4.0 grade point average in high school. The Gnats are 2-4 when Fraser starts, and have supported him with 2.0 runs per game (12 runs/6 games), the lowest mark of any Savannah starter.
Cory’s Cuts: Cory Vaughn leads the South Atlantic League and is fourth in all of minor league baseball with a .481 on-base percentage. The overall leader is Eric Hosmer (.525), of the Kansas City Royals, who was promoted to the Major Leagues and made his debut on May 6. Vaughn rides a seven-game hitting streak over which time he is 12-for-25 (.480) with two doubles, a home run, six RBI, seven walks and four strikeouts. Vaughn has reached base in 18 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the SAL
Going Streaking: Robbie Shields and Aderlin Rodriguez both ride six game hitting streaks into tonight’s action. Over his streak, Shields is 11-for-26 (.423) with three doubles, two triples, four runs scored and seven RBI. Shields is hitting .306/.375/.531 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with eight extra-base hits in 13 games in May. He is tied for the SAL lead with four triples. … Rodriguez, who already has a nine-game hitting streak this year, is 7-for-29 (.241) in his last six games with one double.
Pitching to the Top of the Charts: The Gnats lead the SAL in ERA (3.34) and WHIP (1.26). In every single one of Savannah’s eight road wins, Savannah pitching has held their opponents to three runs or fewer.
Versus Charleston: This is the first of four Gnats’ series against the RiverDogs. The two teams are scheduled for eight games in Savannah and seven in Charleston. The Gnats finished 9-4 against Charleston in 2010, 3-1 at home and 6-3 on the road.