MOOSIC — In the grand scheme of things, Jake Cave’s .299 batting average for the month of August is nothing to sniff at.
However, after batting .390 and .327 in the two months prior, one could consider Cave’s August a slight slump. That was until this past week’s four game-series in Rochester, when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders outfielder collected hits in the three games he played in, including two multi-hit games.
Heading into the weekend series against Syracuse, Cave has recorded hits in eight of his last 10 games.
“I feel good. I’m just trying to keep doing what I’ve felt comfortable with since I’ve been up here,” Cave said. “You have your good days and your bad days, but I feel like I’m in a really good spot.”
After being named the International League’s Player of the Month for July and the league’s Batter of the Week for July 13-20, Cave seems to have picked up steam back at the plate.
The 24-year-old outfielder was 5 for 8 with a double, two walks, two runs scored and an RBI in his last two games against the Red Wings.
Mantiply settling in
RailRiders reliever Joe Mantiply has carved out a role for himself.
As the team’s lone long man, he provides the flexibility to be used in spot starts, enters the game when a starting pitcher exits early or eats up innings late in games if the bullpen is gassed that day. And Mantiply is starring in this capacity.
Picking up the win Thursday night, entering in relief after Jordan Montgomery pitched a scheduled three innings, Mantiply pitched four innings of two-run baseball. He improved his record to 1-1 in August, with a 3.09 ERA.
“I just try to take it one inning at a time whenever I come in the game,” Mantiply said. “I just try to take it one inning at a time, one out at a time and just kind of try to minimize the pitches I throw and be as efficient as I can. Just get as many outs as I can.”
His four innings pitched on Thursday ties a season high, from when he did it July 16 in Buffalo.
Mantiply said on Friday that was in part because he’s getting his innings stretched out. He could be in the starting rotation in the near future.
“I like either (starting or relieving). Whatever they want me to do I’m willing to do,” Mantiply said. “I had some experience in college starting, and my first year in pro ball. So I’m comfortable doing either one. The last few years I’ve been a reliever. I have experience in both some I’m comfortable doing whatever they need me to do.”
Andujar stays hot
RailRiders third baseman Miguel Andujar recorded a hit in his ninth straight game on Friday and 31st of his last 34.
He’s been the RailRiders hottest bat as of late, and has really taken his manager Al Pedrique aback with the success he’s had as a 22-year-old.
“He’s learning how to make adjustments, how to properly hit mistakes — hanging breaking balls, bad changeups up in the zone — where he can drive those in the gap and it’s a time for him to be consistent, hitting the ball where it’s pitched,” Pedrique said.