Preview: Riding 17-inning scoreless streak

Grasshoppers coming off shutout win over Crawdads

By Josh Feldman / Greensboro Grasshoppers | July 28, 2018 12:58 PM

Greensboro Grasshoppers
16-18 Second Half, 50-53 - Miami Marlins
vs. Hickory Crawdads
20-14 Second Half, 50-52 - Texas Rangers

Saturday, July 28, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
First National Bank Field - Greensboro, N.C.
Game #104 of 138
RH Edward Cabrera (4-7, 3.90) vs. LH Tyler Thomas (0-0, 0.00)


Today's Preview: The Grasshoppers (A, Marlins) play for the upper hand in this 3-game series against the Crawdads (A, Rangers) in Game 2 on Saturday at First National Bank Field. Greensboro is coming off a shutout win over Hickory in Friday's series opener as the team improved to 9-8 against the in-state rival this season with six more games between the two squads in 2018. Today Edward Cabrera toes the rubber for the Grasshoppers against new 'Dads lefty Tyler Thomas, who makes his second appearance.

Hoppers Hurler: Edward Cabrera, 20, makes his 19th start of the season and his second against the Crawdads. He is coming off a no decision on July 22 at Delmarva, allowing one run on five hits over 5.0 innings, striking out five and walking one. Cabrera has been racking up strikeouts in July, fanning 27 in 18.2 innings with six walks in that span. In his one start against Hickory, rain cut short his outing after 3.0 innings, leaving him with a no decision after allowing two runs on June 30. Cabrera last earned a win on July 11 vs. Kannapolis, his lone win of the Second Half. He has been better at home than on the road, going 2-4 with a 3.51 ERA (16 ER/41.0 IP) in eight starts at First National Bank Field compared to 2-3 with a 4.22 ERA (23 ER/49.0 IP) in 10 away starts. Last season with Short-A Batavia, he went 1-3 with a 5.30 ERA (21 ER/35.2 IP) and 32 strikeouts in 13 games (six starts).

About Last Night: Daniel Castano tossed 6.0 scoreless innings to pitch the Grasshoppers to a shutout win, 3-0, over the visiting Crawdads on Friday. After Hickory left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, Greensboro capitalized in the home half of the frame. Thomas Jones and Tristan Pompey each singled, sandwiching a Jose Dever hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs against Hickory starting pitcher Tyree Thompson. Isael Soto and Marcos Rivera followed with back-to-back sacrifice flies for a 2-0 lead. Castano (3-2) earned the win, striking out seven batters while working around six hits and three walks -- the first three walks he has issued with the Grasshoppers. Gabriel Castellanos worked a scoreless seventh and eighth before Michael Mertz spun a clean ninth for the save (3). Castano once again worked around trouble in the second. He issued a leadoff walk to Hickory's Sam Huff before striking out the next two batters on his way to another scorelss frame. Ryan Dorow led off the top of the third with a base hit, but Greensboro turned a 6-4-3 doubleplay, Devers to Gunner Schubert to Harrison DiNicola, to erase the runner. In the bottom of the seventh, Greensboro added an insurance run after loading the bases with one out, chasing Thompson from the game. Hickory brought in Jean Casanova, and the reliever gave up a Thomas Jones line drive to left field where Pedro Gonzalez deked the runners and made a throw to third base for a force-out while Michael Hernandez crossed the plate on the RBI-out.

Blanked by Bugs: Greensboro pitching enjoyed its ninth shutout win and its sixth combination shutout of 2018 in Friday's 3-0 win over Hickory. Starting pitcher Daniel Castano has now spearheaded three of the Grasshoppers nine shutouts this season. Greensboro is now 9-7 in shutout games this season, tied with Lexington (9-5) for the fourth-most shutouts in the South Atlantic League this season behind Lakewood (20-7), Augusta (11-6), and Delmarva (10-11). A look at Greensboro shutouts in 2018:

Date Opponent Score Pitchers (Winning pitcher)
4/16 at Lakewood 1-0 Cabrera (6.0), Howe (2.0), Peace (1.0)
5/20 vs. Lakewood-1 8-0 (7) Cabrera (7.0)
5/20 vs. Lakewood-2 2-0 (7) Beggs (4.0), Hock (3.0)
5/26 at Hagerstown-1 3-0 (7)  Lillie (7.0)
5/31 at Lakewood 2-0 (7)  Lillie (6.0)
6/29 vs. Delmarva 1-0  Castano (6.0), Neubeck (1.0), Aiello (2.0)
7/19 at Delmarva 1-0 Guenther (4.0), Farnworth (1.0), Sebald (2.0), McKay (2.0)
7/22 at Delmarva-2 1-0 (9) Castano (7.0), Mertz (2.0)
7/27 Hickory 3-0  Castano (6.0), Castellanos (2.0), Mertz (1.0)

Scoreless Streaking: After allowing two runs in the first inning on Thursday at Lakewood, Greensboro pitching has not allowed a run in its last 17.0 innings on the mound, including Friday's 9-inning shutout win over Hickory. The Hoppers' longest scoreless pitching streak of the season came May 19-21 when the team tossed 19.0 consecutive scoreless innings, including back-to-back shutouts on May 20 in a doubleheader against Lakewood.

Quick Crawdads: Hickory set a new mark for most stolen bases against Greensboro in 2018 with six swiped bags on Friday, including three by Yonny Hernandez. Previously the Grasshoppers had allowed four stolen bases on three occasions, most recently on June 26 vs. Kannapolis. One other opponent has stolen three bags in a game against Greensboro, Steven Linkous on April 29 at Asheville.

Connect Four: Jose Devers finished 4-for-5 with a run scored to become the third Grasshoppers with a 4-hit game this season. He joins Micah Brown, who went 4-4 with a double on June 26 vs. Kannapolis and Lazaro Alonso who went 4-5 with two RBI and two doubles on May 12 at Augusta. The last time a Grasshoppers hitter had five hits was Colby Lusignan on April 29, 2017 vs. Asheville.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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