Smithfield-Selma High grad Jerry Sands had the crowd at Progressive Field chanting his name again Saturday afternoon. Sands hit a pinch hit grand slam home run in the Indians’ 17-4 win over Minnesota.
It was another big hit for a player who has been one of the Tribe faithful’s favorites even though he has spent most of his time in Triple-A ball. The right-handed powerful outfielder is one of several Cleveland players getting an extended look after team team traded away some of its more well-known hitters (Nick Swisher, Micahel Bourn, Brandon Moss and David Murphy) last month.
Cleveland scored 26 runs in its Friday and Saturday victories.
“We’ve got a lot of strong personalities that can kind of handle doing what we’re doing,” Sands told MLB.com. “There’s some good guys and good teammates and a veteran presence. I think there’s some guys in here that are ready to step up. I think we already have some leaders in here that are ready to lead this team.”
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Sands was hitting .261 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 46 plate appearances for Cleveland through Saturday’s win.
Getting their number: The three area football standouts who have moved onto the ACC all have their jersey numbers.
Garner grad Nyheim Hines will wear No. 7 at N.C. State, while Johnny Frasier of Princeton will suit in the familiar No. 22.
Cleveland grad Sterling Johnson will be No. 93 for Clemson. Cleveland head coach Scott Riley said last week that Johnson told him the Tigers’ coaches will likely make a decision on whether or not to redshirt him by the end of the month.
It would not be a rare occurrence for a Tiger linemen. More than 75 percent of Clemson’s roster of offensive and defensive linemen have had a redshirt year. There are more than four dozen redshirts in total already on the Tiger roster this season.
More pro baseball updates: Chris Archer, the All-Star from Clayton, claimed his 30th career pitching victory on Aug. 4 against the Chicago White Sox. Archer was 10-8 in 2015 with a 2.62 ERA after getting a no decision in the Rays’ win over the New York Mets on Sunday.
The right-hander continues to be among the best starting pitchers in baseball. He’s second in the majors in walks and hits allowed per inning pitched (WHIP) at 1.00, tied for the Major League lead in games started (24) and fifth in ERA. …
Clayton’s Evan Phillips got his first win with the Atlanta Braves’ farm club in Rome, Ga. on Saturday. Phillips, a UNCW grad and a 2015 draft pick, worked two innings to get the decision over Augusta.
After starting with the short-season squad at Danville, Va., the right-hander was promoted to Rome in late July. He’s appeared in five games posting a 1-1 record with a save for Rome and a 3.38 ERA. …
Fellow Clayton High grad Jason Creasy — another right-handed pitcher — is 8-6 with a 4.36 ERA for Double-A Altoona (Pa.) this season. He has made 20 starts for the Curve, a Pirates’ affiliate, this season.