LAST TIME OUT: The Skeeters dropped their series finale at Somerset on Thursday, 11-9. Derrick Loop took the loss for the Skeeters while Logan Kensing picked up the win and Ryan Kelly notched the save.
WELCOME TO THE SWARM: Prior to Friday's game, the Skeeters signed former Major League right-hander Michael Mariot. The 29-year-old has spent the 2018 season thus far with the Double-A and Triple-A levels with the Kansas City Royals and Triple-A level with the San Diego Padres, going a combined 2-3 with a 5.47 ERA in 35 games (three starts). He made his Major League debut on April 11, 2014, with the Kansas City Royals and also appeared at the MLB level with the Royals in 2015 and Philadelphia Phillies in 2016. He's 2-0 with a 5.98 ERA in 44 MLB appearances and is 36-25 with a 3.67 ERA in 291 games (36 starts) at the Minor League level. The Royals selected Mariot in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of the University of Nebraska.
BIG-LEAGUE CHOPS: The Skeeters have 13 players on their 2018 roster with Major League service time: RHP Dallas Beeler (CHC), RHP Vicente Campos (ARI), RHP Jean Machi (SF, BOS, SEA), RHP Michael Mariot (KC, PHI), C Derek Norris (OAK, SD, TB), RHP Felipe Paulino (HOU, COL, KC, CHW), OF Denis Phipps (CIN), OF Daniel Robertson (TEX, LAA, SEA, CLE), LHP Paco Rodriguez (LAD), LHP Dan Runzler (SF, PIT), LHP James Russell (CHC, ATL, PHI), Matt West (TEX, LAD) and RHP Alex Wimmers (MIN).
PARTY OF FIVE: The Skeeters have five players hitting over .320 in the month of August, with at least 17 games played each: Albert Cordero (28-for-74, .378, (6) 2B, 10 RBI); Matt Chavez (26-for-69, .377, 4 HR, 14 RBI); Alvaro Rondon (22-for-62, .355, (2) 2B, 3B, 8 SB); Juan Silverio (24-for-73, .329, (3) 2B, HR, 14 RBI); Anthony Giansanti (23-for-71, .324, (6) 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI).
HOT COCO: Albert "Coco" Cordero is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak, going 19-for-40 (.475) with four doubles and five RBIs throughout the streak. Cordero also has a hit in 17 of his last 18 games, going 28-for-70 (.400), with 13 runs, six doubles and nine RBIs over that stretch. Cordero ranks 10th in the Atlantic League with 54 RBIs and is tied for ninth with 58 runs. Cordero's 54 RBIs on the year stand as a career high in his 11th professional season, surpassing his previous high of 44 RBIs in 2011 while playing for Single-A Savannah (NYM). Cordero's 10 home runs on the 2018 season also constitute a professional career high, surpassing his previous high of eight home runs while playing for the Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League in 2010.
HOT CHAVY: Matt Chavez is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak, going 16-for-48 (.333) throughout the streak. It matches Barrett Barnes (7/31-8/14) for the longest hitting streak from the Skeeters this season. Chavez also has a hit in 30 of 36 games since the All-Star Break, including 13 multi-hit games, and has gone 49-for-145 (.338) with six home runs and 22 RBIs over that span. Chavez ranks fourth in the Atlantic League in hitting (.334), second in hits (133), tied for seventh in on-base percentage (.387) and is sixth with 62 RBIs.
JUAN OF A KIND: Juan Silverio snapped his 11-game hitting streak in Thursday's loss but has still hit .311/.354/.504 with five homers and 22 RBIs through his first 30 games with the Skeeters. Over the hitting streak, Silverio went 18-for-46 (.391) and had 14 RBIs over that span. He's also driven in a run in nine of his last 12 games.
ATLANTIC LEAGUE LEADERS: The Skeeters enter Thursday with a 69-35 record, leading Lancaster by 8 1/2 games for the best record in the Atlantic League this season. Having already won the first-half Freedom Division title, the Skeeters' 28-13 record in the second half is also tops in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters as a team lead the league in the following hitting categories: Batting Average (.281), Runs (551), Hits (986), Doubles (184), Home Runs (98), Total Bases (1,488), On-Base Percentage (.358) and Slugging Percentage (.425). The Skeeters also lead the league in the following pitching categories: ERA (3.11), Shutouts (12) and Opponents Batting Average (242).
AMAZING AUGUST: The Skeeters lead the Atlantic League with a 14-6 record in August. The Skeeters also lead the league with a 3.17 staff ERA and a .310 team batting average this month. The Skeeters led the Atlantic League with a 17-8 July record as well and were tied for the league lead with an 18-10 record in June.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Skeeters own a 43-13 (.768) record at Constellation Field this season, which is the best home record in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters have won 22 of their last 26 home games and have hit .293/.371/.423 with 43 home runs through 56 home games this season while the pitching staff owns a 2.41 ERA. The Skeeters went on a 12-game home winning streak (June 27-July 19), which is the longest home winning streak in the league this year. The Skeeters' best home record in franchise history came in 2013 when the team went 50-21 (.704) at Constellation Field.
2018 VS. NEW BRITAIN: The Skeeters are 10-2 against the Bees this season, going 6-0 at Constellation Field and 4-2 at New Britain Stadium. The Skeeters' winning percentage against the Bees is their highest against any Atlantic League team this season. The Skeeters are 30-22 all-time against the Bees. The Skeeters have hit .293/.363/.458 against the Bees this season while the pitching staff owns a 2.39 ERA. Denis Phipps has hit .429 (9-for-21) with a homer and six RBIs in six games against the Bees, Matt Chavez has hit .417 (20-for-48) with a homer and nine RBIs in 12 games and Konner Wade has gone 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two appearances (one start), spanning eight innings pitched.