Minnesota Mudhens vs.
|1||at Sun Lakes||Mudhens 16, Apaches 8||M.Leake(1-0)||C.Sale(0-1)||None|
|HR – T.Story(1), E.Rosario(1), L.Morrison(1), S.Perez(1), D.Freese(1),
T.Rivera(1), K.Bryant(1), B.Belt(1), S.Castro(1)
|2||at Sun Lakes||Apaches 2, Mudhens 1||K.McCarthy(1-0)||J.Alvarez(0-1)||None|
|HR – None|
|3||at Minnesota||Apaches 3, Mudhens 1||K.McCarthy(2-0)||T.Duffey(0-1)||S.Doolittle(1)|
|HR – J.Gyorko(1), E.Encarnacion(1)|
|4||at Minnesota||Apaches 10, Mudhens 3||C.Hamels(1-0)||J.Faria(0-1)||None|
|HR – A.Garcia(1), K.Bryant(2), S.Perez(2)|
|5||at Minnesota||Apaches 8, Mudhens 4 (12)||W.Davis(1-0)||S.Romo(0-1)||None|
|HR – Y.Cespedes(1)|
Apaches win series 4-1
Game 1 – Edwin Encarnacion’s 1st inning single and Salvador Perez’s 2nd inning solo blast put the Mudhens up 2-0. Ender Inciarte cut the visitors lead in half with a liner to center in the bottom of the 3rd. Back-to-back dingers by T.J. Rivera and Logan Morrison made it 5-1 ‘Hens in the top of the 5th. David Freese added to the lead with a solo shot in the next inning. The Apaches rallied for 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th, making it a 2-run difference. The home bullpen struggled mightily, allowing 10 more runs in the 8th and 9th as Minnesota surprises everyone and wins the opener.
Game 2 – Corey Kluber got the call for Sun Lakes in game 2. He responded by pitching 6 shutout innings, fanning 9 while allowing only 4 hits. He left with a 1-0 lead as Eric Young had scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the 4th. Minnesota tied it up off reliever Sean Doolittle in the 7th as Manny Pina reached on Jorge Polanco’s error and then scored on T.J. Rivera’s double. Tyler Chatwood, the starter for Minnesota, allowed only 2 hits and one run in 6.0 innings. With two outs and a man on second, manager Dennis Michurski opted to give a free pass to Kole Calhoun to face the weak-hitting Deven Marrero. Deven responded with the clutch walk-off RBI single to even the series at one game apiece.
Game 3 – The matchup for game 3 was Chase Anderson for Sun Lakes and Dinelson Lamet for Minnesota. The game was a pitchers’ duel thru 7 innings, with both teams managing only one run. In the top of the 8th, Brandon Belt doubled and Jedd Gyorko drove him in with a pinch-hit home run. Minnesota mounted a comeback in the bottom half, getting runners on first and second with one out, but Sean Doolittle came in and put out the fire. He allowed only one hit in the 9th and earned the save for Kevin McCarthy as the Apaches regained home field advantage by a 3-1 score.
Game 4 – Veteran Cole Hamels took the hill against rookie Jake Faria on this 62-degree October day in Minnesota. Hamels cruised to the 10-3 victory, allowing 7 hits and striking out 7 in 7.1 innings. Avisail Garcia supplied the offense, going 4-4 with a double, homer and 3 RBI. Aaron Altherr was 3-5 and raised his series batting average to .538, after missing game 2 due to an injury. Salvador Perez hit his 2nd HR of the series for the Mudhens. The Apaches need one more win to advance to the ALCS for the second straight season.
Game 5 – With their backs to the wall, the Mudhens drew first blood when Yoenis Cespedes clobbered a 3-1 Chris Sale offering into the left-center bleachers with Edwin Encarnacion on second. Avisail Garcia hit a run-scoring single in the top of the 3rd to make it a one-run game. MNM tacked on a couple more in the 5th as Byron Buxton hit an RBI triple and scored on Eduardo Nunez’s double(he was out at 3rd trying to make it a three-bagger). The Mudhens’ pitching was cruising and it looked as if they would force a game 6 back in Arizona. With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the 9th, A.Garcia drove a 1-2 fastball from Sergio Romo to right-center for 2 RBI, making it a one-run game. Ender Inciarte followed with a single that plated Brett Nicholas and the game was all tied up at 4. The Mudhens rallied in the bottom of the 9th, overcoming a Max Kepler caught-stealing to load the bases with 2 outs, but Wade Davis fanned Manny Pina to end the threat forcing extra innings. Neither team really got anything going in the 10th or 11th innings. In the top of the 12th, Kendrys Morales put Sun Lakes up one with an RBI single. Game 2’s hero, Deven Marrero added a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4 SLA. James McCann added a two-out, 2-run single to blow it wide open. Sean Doolittle came on to pitch the bottom half and allowed only one baserunner as the Sun Lakes Apaches advanced to the ALCS for the second straight year. W.Davis scattered 3 hits in 3 shutout innings for the victory. Congratulations to Dennis Michurski for a fine season and playoff run.