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4/27 Minor League Wrap-Up

High Desert and San Jose took turns trying to give the game away, and San Jose finally took it... Wisconsin got their act together, but with a lot of help from Fort Wayne, and by 'help' I mean 'high comedy posing as defense'... the DIAMOND JAXX had a forgettable evening... while the Rainiers finally got over their Vegas hangover and made Travis Smith want to forget last night as well.

A:  San Jose 4, High Desert 3, 11 innings

Nicholas Allen:  5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 K
Jose Escalona:  3 IP, 4 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 6 K
John Sullivan:  2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 3 K
David Asher:  0.1 IP, 2 H
Casey Craig:  1-4, double, R, walk, 2 K (.270)
Jesus Guzman:  0-5, RBI groundout, 2 K (.313)
Reed Eastley:  2-5, solo HR, 2 K (.325)
Johan Limonta:  2-5, double, RBI, 2 K (.309)
Michael Saunders:  0-4, walk, 2 K (.247)

After the Mavs scored twice in the first with a wild pitch aided run and a Reed Eastley solo homer, Nicholas Allen held the fort for five innings and handed the ball to Jose Escalona with a 2-1 lead.  Escalona coasted through an easy bottom 6th but ran into beartraps in the bottom 7th.  Adam Witter singled, Kyle Haines singled on a bunt to the pitcher, and Antoan Richardson singled on a bunt to 3rd, which Jesus Guzman gloved and threw YIKES AND AWAY to play Witter and tie the game at 2nd.  Nobody out, runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Escalona turned on the jets and got Bradley Boyer swinging for one out.  Anthony Contreras put a charge in a pitch, and Josh Womack gloved it, but Kyle Haines tagged up and scored to give San jose the 3-2 lead.  Escalona got William Thompson swinging to finish the 7th but the damage was done.

Taylor Wilding struck out the Mavs side in the top 8th and it wasn't looking good, even after Escalona put down the other side in the 8th via K, pop up, K.  San Jose sent Wayne Foltin in to close.  Reed Eastley tried to hit his 2nd bomb of the day, but could only get it as far as the center fielder, one out.  Adam Moore drew a walk and Chris Colton pinch ran for him.  Johan Limonta smacked a ball to center and this one found the grass.  Colton scored easily on the double and we were tied at 3.

Michael Saunders, now doing his Morgan Ensberg impression, drew a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd, one out.  Ronald Garth grounded out to short for two outs and the runners tiptoed to 2nd and 3rd.  Jeff Domingiez hadn't done anything all night, and still didn't, as he flew out to left to send it to the bottom 9th.

John Sullivan came in but did not Mateo the ballgame away, getting four groundouts (one of which he fielded and threw YIKES AND AWAY) to send it to extras.

The Mavs went quietly in the top 10th, but Bad Sullivan tried to give it away in the bottom 10th.  After a one out single from William Thompson, pinch runner James Simmons stole 2nd.  Despite getting Michael Mooney on strikes for two outs, Sullivan walked Barry Gunther, then uncorked a wild pitch to put two potential winning runs in scoring position... but thankfully, David Maroul popped out to end the threat.  If I were San Jose fans, I'd be pretty mad at David Maroul.

The Mavs then mimicked San jose and also put potential runs in scoring position.  Travis Scott (hey, remember him?) drew a one-out walk on new pitcher Kelvin "Am I related to Hipolito" Pichardo, who got Johan Limonta on strikes for two out.  Michael Saunders hit a flyball to center, but CF Antoan Richardson muffed it and suddenly, the Mavs have runners in 2nd and 3rd.  Sadly, Ronald Garth swung and missed at strike three, and we go to the bottom 11th.

Sullivan got Adam Witter on strikes but couldn't keep control with Kyle Haines, walking him.  Sully got the hook and David Asher came in.  Asher got Antoan Richardson to ground back to him, then forced Haines at 2nd, no DP possible, for one out.  Bradley Boyer smoked a laser to right to put runners on the corners, then took off for 2nd, which Travis Scott let him have to avoid a Richardson attempt at stealing home plate, but which also put the two winning runs in scoring position again, this time with one out.

And Anthony Contreras' grounder found a hole through the right side.  Ballgame.  Call the San Jose riot police.  Or at least get the number to a good pizza place: pity party at Michael Saunders' hotel room.  John Sullivan is not invited.

NEXT:  TBD, though if I had to guess it'll probably be Paul Fagan, at 5 pm PDT today.

A:  Wisconsin 12, Fort Wayne 4

Anthony Varvaro:  5 IP, 5 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 3 walk, 7 K
Justin Souza:  1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 K
Robert Harmon:  1 IP, walk, 2 K
Rollie Gibson:  1 IP, 1 K
Andrew Barb:  1 IP, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 1 K
Greg Halman:  1-5, 2 R, K, SB, only starter in lineup without a RBI (.239)
Kalian Sams:  2-4, double, R, RBI, K (.258)
Carlos Triunfel:  1-3, double, 3 R, RBI, walk (.264)
Leury Bonilla:  2-4, 3 RBI (.317)
Jair Fernandez:  1-4, double, R, RBI (.290)

Before we pat the T-Rats on the back for a great win, let's be cynical a moment and mention that 1) they still committed two errors, 2) they were helped by 7, yes, SEVEN Fort Wayne errors and 3) it's much easier to pitch with a big lead.

That said, if we've learned anything from the Mariners, it's that even when the other team is making mistakes or phoning it in, you still need to take advantage of that and cash it in for runs, and the T-Rats most definitely did that in the 3rd, blowing up for 7 runs to stretch their lead to 9-1 and basically put the game out of reach.

Okay, the Fort Wayne errors:

  1.  Bottom 1st, no outs, Greg Halman on 1st takes off for second and 2B Jodam Rivera can't glove the on-line throw.  Halman takes 3rd and eventually scores on a groundout.
  2.  Bottom 2nd, one out.  Kuo Hui Lo grounds to 3rd, 3B Rayner Contreras makes a technically sound throw to 1st, and 1B Daryl Jones candyarses it.  Kuo Lui is safe.
  3.  Very next batter, in fact the Phenom, Carlos Triunfel.  Kuo takes off for 2nd, and catcher Brian Hernandez tried to gun down something, because if that throw was to 2nd it went YIKES AND AWAY.  Kuo turns and takes 3rd, and would score after Triunfel grounded out.
3a.  Not an error technically, but early in the bottom 3rd, no outs, Jair Fernandez on 2nd after a leadoff double... Greg Halman taps back to the pitcher Aaron Breit, who doesn't know who to throw to, 1st or 3rd.  So he doesn't throw at all.  Everybody safe.
  1.  Very next batter, Luis Nunez, sac bunts to the pitcher Breit, who throws YIKES AND AWAY, allowing Fernandez to score and putting Halman at 3rd and Nunez at 2nd.  3-1 T-Rats.
  2.  After Alex Liddi singled, Carlos Peguero singled, and Kalian Sams doubled to score 3 more and make it 6-1 T-Rats.  Kuo Hui Lo had just sac flied to center to score another and make it 7-1.  Carlos Triunfel comes to the plate and grounds to short.  SS Tom King buckners the grounder, and Sams scores to make it 8-1.  Phenom goes ahead and takes 2nd.
5a.  Not an error but topical: Next batter, Leury Bonilla, watched Breit, inexplicably still in the game, uncork a wild pitch that moves Phenom to 3rd.  Bonilla knocked Triunfel in with a single shortly thereafter to make it 9-1.  The comedy thankfully came to an end on the next play when Jair Fernandez GIDP'd.
  1.  Bottom 4th, Greg Halman led off with a grounder to short, which SS Tom King threw YIKES AND AWAY to give Halman 1st base.  Thankfully, Alex Liddi bailed him out by lining back to him for an inning ending 6-3 double play.
  2.  Bottom 5th, two outs.  Believe it or not, Aaron Breit is STILL in the ballgame.  Kuo Hui Lo taps back to Breit, and Breit LOLOLOL throws THAT away, allowing Kuo to reach.  Phenom would double Kuo Hui to 3rd and Kuo Hui would score on a Leury Bonilla single that made it 10-2.  Breit would finally get the hook with two outs in the 5th, after allowing 11 runs... 4 of them earned.
NEXT:  Lefthander Anthony Butler will try and tame his Sudden Sam McDowell like tendencies against Fort Wayne.... actually, as I write this, he is getting pounded in the 2nd inning.  YIKES MOVING ALONG....

AA:  Chattanooga 5, West Tenn 1

Andrew Baldwin:  5.1 IP, 10 H, (5 R) 4 ER, walk, 2 K
The Aircraft Carrier:  1.2 IP, 2 H, walk, K
Michael Wagner:  1 IP, 1 H, K
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-3, R, walk, K (.359)
Rene Rivera:  1-3, double, RBI... the only one for West Tenn (.241)

The DIAMOND JAXX simply couldn't manage much of anything against James Avery.  The Lookouts, however, managed more than enough against Andrew Baldwin, powered mainly by a 3 run 4th inning that made it 4-0.  Luis Valbuena and Chris Minaker made unrelated throwing errors and Tui bobbled a grounder at 3B while Rene Rivera passed a ball, film at 11.  A forgettable day for the DIAMOND JAXX that wasn't Fort Wayne Bad, but certainly not all that good.

NEXT:  Robert Rohrbaugh, who has relied this year on lots of pitching to contact, goes today at 4:15 pm PDT in Chattanooga.

AAA:  Tacoma 6, Las Vegas 4

Ryan Feierabend:  6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 6 K, wild pitch
Jon Huber:  1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (HR), walk
Sean Green:  1.2 IP, 2 walks, K
Gookie Dawkins:  2-5, SB (.254)
Jeremy Reed (CF):  1-4, walk (.250)
WLAD:  1-4, R, walk (.359)
Bryan LaHair:  1-4, double, R, RBI, K (.220)
Mike Morse:  2-4, double, 2 R (.295)
Jeff Clement:  1-3, double, R, walk (.200)
Jon Nelson:  2-4, double, R, 4 RBI, 2 K, SB (.286)
Rob Johnson (DH):  0-4, K (.246)
Adam Jones:  curiously absent

Ryan Feierabend and Travis Smith were locked in a 1-1 duel until the Rainiers blew up in the top 6th.  WLAD led off with a walk (see, he's LEARNING!), then stole 2nd base.  Bryan LaHair smoked a double to center that easily scored WLAD and gave the Rainiers the 2-1 lead.  Mike Morse hit a grounder to short and beat out the play to earn a single and move LaHair to 3rd.  Jeff Clement had been cold for a while, but drew a walk to load the bases, and that was it for Travis Scott, who ceded to Spike Lundberg.

Jon Nelson, who had cooled after a hot start, smoked a double to center that cleared the bases and made it 5-1.  Still nobody out.  With the game FUBAR'd, Lundberg settled down and got some outs, but not before Oswaldo Navarro sac flied Nelson home to make it 6-1.

Feierabend finally called it a night before the bottom 7th after a strong outing, ceding to... Jon Huber.  And Huber continued to pitch like the AAA Mateo.  Choo Freeman led off with a double.  Kelly Stinnett (HEY, remember him?) flew to left for one out, but Tomas Perez lined a double to right that scored Freeman, 6-2.  Tony Abreu grounded to 2nd for two outs and Perez took 3rd.  Then Matt Kemp went and blew up Huber with a rocket shot to right center that made it 6-4, and a ballgame.  James Loney (HEY) grounded out to 2nd, but what was well in hand now had become a close game.  After Huber started the 8th groundout, walk, lined single, Daren Brown quickly yanked him for Sean Green, who did his JJ Putz impression with the five out save, escaping 1st and 2nd no outs in the 8th with, you guessed it, two groundouts, one a GIDP.

NEXT:  ES CAMPILLO TIEMPO tonight in Vegas shortly after 7 pm PDT.