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5/14 Minor League Wrap-Up

Visalia blows up on the Mavs bullpen... the T-Rats experience a season-first... the Biscuits put the DIAMOND JAXX in the basket... and the Rainiers found out that anything can happen in Isotopes Park.

A:  Visalia 8, High Desert 3

Jose Escalona:  4.2 IP, 3 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 4 walks, 2 K, hit batter
Austin Bibens-Dirkx:  2 IP, 3 K
David Asher:  0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, K
Roman Martinez:  0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 hit batters
Casey Craig:  0-3, K (.299)
Michael Saunders:  1-4, R (.281)
Jesus Guzman:  1-4, R (.302)
Johan Limonta:  1-4 (.317)
Adam Moore:  2-4, solo HR, 2 K (.248)
Edilio Colina:  0-3
Josh Womack:  1-3 (.226)

Out of the space park and into Visalia.  And my guess was correct: Jose Escalona got the start! (and it WAS a complete guess)

This was a sleepy affair (that's what she said), even as the Mavs rallied from 2-0 down to tie the game at 2 in the top 7th... until the Oaks blew it open in the 8th off David Asher, who has been overworked lately, and Roman Martinez, who is definitely overworked, period, for six runs to ice the ballgame.  Before this, Austin Bibens-Dirkx rebounded with a perfect 2 inning outing in relief of Escalona, who gave a passable effort while pitching into the 5th.

NEXT:  CIBNEY BELLO! in Visalia at 6:30 pm!  I'm sure the Oaks are excited!

A:  Kane County 3, Wisconsin 0

Chris Tillman:  4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER (HR), 2 walks, K
Rollie Gibson:  2.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 K, hit batter
Robert Harmon:  1.1 IP, 3 walks, K
Alex Meneses:  0-4, 2 K
Carlos Triunfel:  2-4, double (.290)
Alex Liddi:  0-3, walk, 2 K (.215)
Carlos Peguero:  1-4, 3 K (.269)
Hargrove's kid:  1-4, 3 K (.246)
Danny Santin:  2-4, double (.208)
Kalian Sams:  2-3, double, K (.268)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-4, K (.217)
Greg Halman:  0-4, 3 K (.202)

And here we have it, folks: for all of their struggles, the T-Rats, to their credit, were able to avoid getting shut out all season... until last night in Kane County.  The primary factor: 15 T-Rats strikeouts at the plate, with a trio of K's each from Greg Halman, Carlos Peguero and Little Rain Delay.  Four pitchers combined to shut out the T-Rats, required due to the terrible fate of Kane starter Craig Italiano.  Italiano, coming back from shoulder surgery in 2005, had a horrible, Weaver-like April, but was pitching exceptionally well out of the gate yesterday, when with two outs in the top 3rd, Triunfel lined a shot right off Italiano's forehead that carromed into the crowd.  Steve Conley at MiLB reported that Italiano tried to get up but the Cougars training staff got him back off his feet and tended to him.  He eventually walked off the field and was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.

Jason Fernandez, your friendly Single A mop-up guy, came on in relief and mowed down the T-Rats with 6 Ks in 3.1 IP.  The Cougars scored first in the bottom 3rd when Greg Dowling took Chris Tillman deep to make it 1-0.

The T-Rats had an incredible shot in the 4th: Little Rain Delay hit a one out single.  Danny Santin doubled to put runners at scoring position.  Kalian Sams got plunked and the bases were loaded.  But Kuo Hui Lo, who while being ineffective wasn't actively hurting the team... grounded into the 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

Jacob Smith took Rollie Gibson deep in the bottom 6th for his first HR of the season to make it 2-0, then Toddric Johnson doubled home a run in the bottom 7th.  Branden Deweing came on in the 7th and despite allowing two singles, got out without a run in the 7th.  Dewing got two outs in the 8th before ceding to Scott Moore, who finished the ballgame without incident.

Like J at Mariner Minors, I neglected to notice that catcher Jair Fernandez has been placed on the DL, specific injury uncertain at this time, though it also explains why Danny Santin is getting his reps at catcher.  It also doens't bode well for Santin that he's a backup catcher in Single A, two years after debuting with Everett.

NEXT:  Ricky Orta's turn in Kane County within the hour.

AA:  Montgomery 12, West Tenn 4

Robert Rohrbaugh:  4 IP, 8 H, 7 ER (HR), 3 walks, wild pitch
Aaron Troila:  1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, K
Kam Mickolio:  1.1 IP, 2 H
Michael Wagner:  1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, K
Craig James:  1 IP, K
Sebastien Boucher:  2-5 (.197)
Brent Johnson:  2-5, solo HR, 2 R (.294)
Prentice Redman:  0-3, R, walk (.288)
Marshall Hubbard:  1-4 (.245)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  0-4, 2 K (.331)
Jeff Frazier:  1-3, solo HR, walk, K (.232)
Rene Rivera:  1-4, RBI, K (.208)
Luis Valbuena:  2-3, double, walk (.200)

Evan Longoria lit up Robert Rohrbaugh in the 1st, taking him deep with two on and one out to make it 3-0 immediately.  West Tenn had a chance in the bottom 2nd, after Tui grounded to 3rd and Longoria bobbled it to put him on.  Jeff Frazier grounded to 2nd and John Asanovich got the lead runner for one out.  Rene Rivera lined right to Reid Brignac at short, but Brignac dropped it, so he stepped on the bag to get Frazier for two outs.  Luis Valbuena, stepping up lately, drew a walk but Chris Minaker's liner went right to Evan Longoria at 3rd for the last out.

The DIAMOND JAXX did get a run in the 3rd when Brent Johnson took Chris Mason deep to left to put West Tenn on the board 3-1... except the Biscuits unloaded on Rohrbaugh for 4 runs in the top 4th to put the game out of reach, and send Rohrbaugh to the showers.  Montgomery added two more in the 6th on Aaron Troila, and three more on Michael Wagner in the 8th.

NEXT:  Doug FISTER today at 5:05 pm!  Happy FISTER Day!

AAA:  Albuquerque 13, Tacoma 12

Justin Lehr:  6 IP, 5 H, (5 R) 1 ER (HR), walk, 2 K
Jamie Cerda:  1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER (2 HR), wild pitch
Andrew Fiorenza:  0.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 walks
Adam Jones:  1-3, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 walks, SB (.307)
Jeremy Reed (DH!):  1-4, 2 RBI, walk (.279)
WLAD:  3-6, R, RBI, SB #9 (.324)
Bryan LaHair:  2-6, R, RBI, K (.235)
Mike Morse (LF!):  3-5, 2 doubles, R, 2 RBI, K (.336)
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-6, R, 2 K
Rob Johnson:  4-5, 2 R, RBI, walk (.274)
Brant Ust:  2-4, R (.256)
Oswaldo Navarro:  1-4, 2 R, RBI, walk, K (.218)

The Rainiers unloaded with two outs in the top 2nd.  Rob Johnson drew a walk and Brant Ust lined a single to center to move Johnson to 3rd.  Oswaldo Navarro lined a single to right to score Johnson and move Ust to 3rd, 1-0 Rainiers.  Adam Jones drew a walk to load the bases, then Jeremy Reed drew a walk to force in Ust and make it 2-0 Rainiers.  WLAD grounded to 3rd but Scott Seabol Bucknered the ball, allowing Oswaldo and Adam Jones to score, 4-0 Rainiers as Reed took 2nd.  Bryan LaHair flew out to end the inning.

The Isotopes got on the board in the bottom frame when Val Pascucci led off with the 10th HR of the year off Lehr, but Lehr got out of the inning despite putting a runner in scoring position afterward.  4-1 Rainiers, and the Rainiers almost scored in the top 3rd.  Mike Morse got plunked to lead off, Ronnie Prettyman grounded to 3rd and watched Seabol misplay it AGAIN, and Rob Johnson snuck a grounder into left to load the bases.  Brant Ust grounded to Seabol, who played it right this time, and threw home to catcher John Baker to get Morse for one out, bases still loaded.  Oswaldo Navarro, needing only to put it on the ground or into the outfield... watched strike three for two outs.  Adam Jones grounded to short to end the threat.

The Rainiers also got a runner in the top 4th, as Jeremy Reed led off with a lined single, but WLAD grounded into the 6-4-3 double play and Bryan LaHair flew out again.  Still 4-1 Rainiers.

Chad Hermansen led off the bottom 4th with a lined single to center, and Val Pascucci drew a walk.  Todd Sears (HEY) and Scott Seabol both flew out, two outs.  Brett Carroll grounded to short and GUESS WHAT Oswaldo did?  Yep, he candyarsed it, allowing Hermansen to score as Pascucci took 3rd and Carroll 2nd, 4-2.

And John Baker launched a flyball to right that dropped behind WLAD to score Pascucci and Carroll, and we've got a tie ballgame, 4-4!  John Raburn lined a shot past WLAD to score Baker and make it 5-4 Isotopes as Baker slid into 2nd with a double.  Robert Andino grounded out to end the inning.

Mike Morse led off the top 5th with a double to center.  Ronnie Prettyman laid down a bunt that pitcher Kenny Baugh could not field in time, and everyone was safe at the corners.  Baugh was done and Ben Julianel came in for relief.  Rob Johnson snuck a grounder into left, scoring Morse to TIE THE BALLGAME as Prettyman headed into 2nd.  Brant Ust bunted the runners ahead for one out.  Oswaldo managed to draw a walk to load the bases... for Adam Jones.

Lined shot into left for a base hit!  Prettyman scores and Rob Johnson scores as John Baker muffs the throw home, allowing Navarro to take 3rd and Jones 2nd, 7-5 Rainiers!

Jeremy Reed hit a flyball to right for two outs but Oswaldo tagged up and scored to make it 8-5.  WLAD lined a single into center to score Adam Jones and make it 9-5.  Bryan LaHair... flew out to end the inning.  LESS UPPERCUT ON THAT SWING, BRYAN.

The Rainiers got back to back two out singles in the top 6th from Rob Johnson and Brant Ust... but Oswaldo flew out to right to end that.  Chris Young (no, not THAT Chris Young) came on to pitch the top 7th for Albuquerque, and Adam Jones drew a leadoff walk.  Jeremy Reed flew to the opposite field for one out.  Adam Jones stole 2nd base, and WLAD smoked a grounder into left to move Adam to 3rd.  Bryan LaHair, who likes to put the ball in the air... lined a shot into center for a base hit!  HE'S LEARNING!  Adam Jones scored to make it 10-5 Rainiers as WLAD took 2nd.  Mike Morse launched a flyball into center that landed behind Eric Reed to score WLAD and LaHair and make it 12-5 on a double.  Ronnie Prettyman flew to left for two outs.  Rob Johnson smoked a grounder at and past the 3rd baseman for a base hit to move Morse to 3rd, and Rob needs medical attention because he is ON FIRE.

But Brant Ust tapped back to the pitcher to end the frame.

The bottom 7th saw the season debut of Jamie Cerda, who allowed two singles and uncorked a wild pitch with two outs to move runners to 2nd and 3rd... but Chad Hermansen flew out to end the threat.

The Isotopes came up in the bottom 8th and showed the Rainiers that no lead is safe in Isotopes Park.  Val Pascucci led off with ANOTHER HOME RUN, this time over CF, to make it 12-6.  Todd Sears lined right at Brant Ust at 2B for one out, but Scott Seabol took Jamie Cerda deep to left to make it 12-7.  'That slop doesn't cut in Triple A, rookie!'  Brett Carroll put a charge in one but Adam Jones was able to play it for two outs.  Cerda got the hook for Andrew Fiorenza, who needs a break already, unless they're actively trying to pitch him to death.  John Baker lined a single to center.  John Raburn smoked a grounder up the middle into center to move Baker to 2nd.  Robert Andino smoked a grounder into left to score Baker and move Raburn to 2nd, 12-8.  Eric Reed, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, smokes a grounder up the middle into center to score Raburn and move Andino to 2nd, 12-9.  The pitching coach visited Fiorenza at the mound and advised him that four singles equals a motherf*cking run.

Chad Hermansen came to the plate and Robert Andino stole 3rd base.  Hermansen drew the walk to load the bases... for Val Pascucci.  Pascucci swings and UH OHS, oh, it's just a grounder that gets past the infield into left, scoring Andino, scoring Eric Reed and moving Hermansen to 2nd, 12-11.  Todd Sears drew a walk to reload the bases... for Scott Seabol.

Seabol lined a single into left to score Hermansen.  Mike Morse's throw home to get Pascucci is... c'mon, people, it's Mike Morse,  Pascucci scores to give Albuequerque the seemingly imporbably 13-12 lead (until you realize this is Isotopes Park).  Brett Carroll finally grounds to short to end the inning, but didn't this inning just sum up what this park does to PCL offense.

Now, you would think, after seeing the Isotopes put up an 8 spot in the 8th, that the Rainiers would come back and respond with similar gusto in the 9th since, after all, it's the park that enabled such a crazy rally.  Justin Miller came on to shut it down, and WLAD lined his crap to left for a base hit.  Bryan LaHair smoked a grounder into center to move WLAD to 2nd.  But Mike Morse swung and missed strike three for one out.  Ronnie Prettyman swung and missed strike three for two outs.  But Rob Johnson is ON FIRE- oh, that pitch was a fire extinguisher, as Rob grounded to short to end the ballgame.

NEXT:  Jim Parque, within the hour!  Over/under on runs scored is set at 26.5.