Home runs from Edwin Espinal and Pablo Reyes backed an efficient Tanner Anderson in Altoona’s 5-2 win on Saturday evening.
Reyes crushed one over Altoona’s left-field bleachers for a solo homer in the fifth, impressive power for only his second dinger of the year, though he’s shown some pop in the past. He hit 12 homers with the West Virginia Power in 2015 before heading to the hitter-unfriendly Florida State League in 2016.
Espinal’s shot was more of the line-drive variety, getting just in a nook down the left-field line for a three-run homer in the first.
The perfectly useful Anderson commanded his fastball pretty well, and struck out three with no walks. He had just 79 pitches when he was pulled after six innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits.
He added an RBI single up the middle in the fourth. He’s hitting .333 (8-for-15) in his first year with some batting duty in Double-A.
Anderson was followed by Jake Brentz, a recent call-up who generated a little buzz down in High-A Bradenton as a hard-throwing lefty. Brentz fit the bill, hitting 95 on the stadium gun. He displayed a curve on occasion, too. Brentz got through the seventh with ease, but loaded the bases on a double and two walks with two outs in the eighth. Montana DuRapau spotted a fastball for a called strike three to end the eighth, and finished a clean ninth.
Jordan Luplow, whose power has turned heads, was being pitched inside most of the night. He drew a walk just before Espinal’s homer in the first, then got hit by a pitch in the third. He also singled and struck out looking.
Kevin Newman, who had three hits on Friday, went 1-for-4. He looked very good in the field, including a play in the fourth when he went way to his right into the hole to nab a grounder and made a long, strong throw to first.
Wyatt Mathisen, at third base, also showed off his throwing arm several times. He generally looked like a defensive asset over there, except for the time he got overly aggressive and threw one up the first-base line after barehanding a bouncer.
Jerrick Suiter got on base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk. He smacked a double to the gap in left-center in the sixth.