The Melbourne Aces grew their lead in the Australian Baseball League to four games after a series sweep over then-second place Sydney over the weekend. The Aces (15-5) now have a four game lead over Canberra headed into the All-Star Game (which the Aces are hosting).
In Game 1 of the four-game series, the Aces walked off with a 5-4 victory on a Roman Collins sac fly which scored KC Royals teammate Cody Jones. The Aces scored three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to tie the game.
Collins went 2-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. He also had an outfield assist (from left field). Jones went 1-for-5 with his seventh stolen base. Catcher Allan de San Miguel went 1-for-4 with a run scored, though he hit into a double play. Third baseman Ryan Dale went 1-for-4 with his second stolen base. Dale also hit into a double play.
On Saturday, the Aces swept their doubleheader. They won the first game, 6-2. Jones went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a strikeout. Collins went 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and two walks. de San Miguel went 0-for-3 with an RBI, though he hit into another double play. Dale went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
In the second game, the Aces won 5-0. Jones went 1-for-5 with a run scored and his eighth stolen base (tied for third in the ABL). Collins went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. de San Miguel hit a two out, two-run home run in the first. He also walked as the DH. Dale went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
The Aces won their finale over Sydney, 5-0 on Sunday. Back behind the plate, de San Miguel once again hit a two out homer in the first inning. This time it was a three-run shot to give him five on the season (which is tied for first). His 16 RBIs rank him second in the ABL.
Jones went 0-for-4. Collins went 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored. Dale went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Jones continues to be the Aces leadoff hitter, while switching between center and right field (.227 batting average). Collins continues to bat third and play left field (.338). Dale continues to bat eighth (.186) in front of his younger brother Jarryd (who is just 16 and playing shortstop), while de San Miguel has settled into the fifth spot in the order (.238).
After the All-Star Game and the holidays, the Aces return to action New Years weekend at Sydney.