For twins, all's well that ends Wells

Brothers hurl six scoreless innings in FSL, EL games

Lachlan and Alex Wells attended the first Major League game played in Australia in March 2014. (Mark LoMoglio/Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Duane Cross / MiLB.com | July 20, 2019 11:25 PM

The Wells brothers may have been 900 miles apart, and 9,000 miles from their home in Australia, but their outings on Saturday were in the same ballpark.

As Lachlan Wells was throwing six innings of shutout ball for Class A Advanced Fort Myers, twin brother and Orioles No. 25 prospect Alex Wells was matching up frame-by-frame for Double-A Bowie.

The Miracle blanked Florida, 5-0, in the Florida State League for their Minor League-leading 16th shutout, while the Baysox walked it off with a 7-6, 10-inning win over Altoona in the Eastern League.

Video: Bowie's Wells gets fourth K

Lachlan, who made one rehab start in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before joining Fort Myers, picked up his first win since 2017. He missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

"I knew it was going to be a long road ahead," he said. "It was disappointing, knowing I wouldn't break [Spring Training] with the team. … I just prepared to be the best pitcher I could be when I came off rehab."

The 22-year-old left-hander returned to game action on June 24 with the GCL Twins, giving up three runs on six hits with nine strikeouts over five innings.

"There were some nerves, a little anxiety," he admitted. "Once I got out there, it was go time. I'd been waiting a long time. And then everything came back to me."


Miracle 5, Fire Frogs 0


Alexander, as his younger brother calls him, was an integral part of Lachlan's rehab.

"Having Alexander always calling, it's definitely good to have him over here," he said, "He offered little words of encouragement, comfort."

For big brother, the experience was troublesome.

"It was tough," Alex said. "Being close, being twin brothers, it was tough to watch him go through that, and then not being able to pitch for a year.

"It's good to see him pitching again, competing and healthy."

For Lachlan, returning to Fort Myers was like resuming his career where it left off. He was 4-10 with a 3.98 ERA in 16 games with the Miracle in 2017.

"With me coming back to the Miracle, I've been able to get more comfortable," he said. "My body feels good, my arm feels good. I'm ready to win as many games as possible and a championship at the end of the year."

On Saturday, Lachlan (1-1) said the focus was to build on his past three starts. He allowed one hit and one walk one while striking out five Fire Frogs, throwing 62 of 85 pitches for strikes.

"I was confident leading up to the game," he said. "I was full prepared and ready to go out there and throw the ball across the plate. It was just about pounding the zone and trusting my stuff."

Royce Lewis -- MLB.com's No. 7 overall prospect -- and Jacob Pearson had two hits apiece to pace Fort Myers, while Twins No. 17 prospect Ryan Jeffers chipped in two RBIs.


Baysox 7, Curve 0 (10)


Meanwhile, Alex was blanking Altoona. After yielding five hits over six innings with four punchouts, he was lifted with Bowie holding a 5-0 lead. The Curve scored four times in the seventh and twice in the eighth to forge ahead.

The Baysox rallied to tie it in the eighth as Orioles No. 4 prospect Yusniel Diaz stroked a one-out solo homer, his 10th. Bowie claimed the walk-off win in the 10th on an RBI single by seventh-ranked prospect Ryan McKenna.

"Give credit to our hitters to get the win," Alexander said. "It's always fun to watch [a walk-off], always a fun game.

"It was hot out there and I was able to compete with all four of my pitches. The key was mixing it up and not being repetitive, working backwards in some counts and throwing my fastball when I needed it."

The left-hander lowered his Eastern League-leading ERA to 1.83 with a 0.99 WHIP. It was the fifth start in which he's allowed no runs -- oddly, three of them on the 20th day of the month: April, May and July. (He gave up one run on June 21.)

"Alexander is doing a helluva job," Lachlan said. "The numbers speak for themselves for the hard work he's put in. He's pounding the ball, throwing it for strikes."

With the season under way and the Newcastle, New South Wales, natives making their way through the bus leagues, they keep in touch regularly.

"We talk a little every day," Lachlan said. "Three or four times a week we'll get on FaceTime."

2019 MiLB include

Their dream is to pitch against each other in the big leagues. And as you might expect, each believes he knows how the game would play out.

"I think I've got a pretty good chance to win," Alex said. "A little bit of the sibling rivalry would come out, I think. It would be an exciting game.

"We always to play professional baseball and knew we had to work hard. To look back now to see how far we've come, it's pretty amazing."

Lachlan, always the antagonist, disagreed on the outcome.

"I'd definitely beat his team. … Maybe that's the sibling rivalry; we'll never lose that," he said.

Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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