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5/1 Minor League Wrap-Up

High Desert beat up on a bad Bakersfield squad... the T-Rats are certainly trying but they're still having their troubles, even as the Dayton Dragons had trouble with them... West Tenn probably had no trouble, as they took a leisurely bus ride back home to Jackson, TN... and Tacoma waited for Godot... and instead got Byron Embry.  What a big surprise, pun intended, he was in the 14th inning.

A:  High Desert 10, Baskersfield 0

Marwin Vega:  7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 walks, 6 K
David Asher:  1 IP, 1 K
Brian Kappel:  1 IP, 1 K
Michael Saunders:  2-4, R (.239)
Casey Craig:  2-5, double, 2 R, RBI (.271)
Johan Limonta:  4-5, double, R, 3 RBI (.345)
Reed Eastley:  0-4, K, only starter without a hit (.280)
Jeff Dominguez:  1-3, triple, R, walk, K (.286)
Ronald Garth:  1-3, R, RBI, walk (.167)
Travis Scott:  2-4, 2 R, RBI, K (.304)
Jeff Flaig:  2-4, double, 3 run HR (.197)
Josh Womack:  1-3, triple, R, RBI, walk (.194)

While this is a big win, it must be mentioned that Bakersfield's 6.59 ERA is far and away the worst in the Cal League.  Their 31 HR surrendered are easily the most in the league, and, with the Mavs win over them yesterday, they are now tied for the worst record in the league at 9-17.  With High Desert.  And they played this game in High Desert.  And yet Bakersfield didn't score.  And only had two hits.  Against Marwin Vega and the bullpen.

It's okay.  They're just kids.

That said, nice, big game for the Mavs hitters, who definitely needed one.  Jeff Flaig, who hit his 1st HR of the year last night, is starting to heat up after a terrible start.  Also, Michael Saunders' first trial in the leadoff spot went well with a couple hits.

NEXT:  Nick Allen, probably dealing as we speak, against Bakersfield.

A:  Dayton 10, Wisconsin 4

Nathan Adcock:  5.2 IP, 6 H, (6 R) 4 ER (HR), 3 walks, 5 K, wild pitch
Natividad Dilone:  1.1 IP, 3 H, (4 R) 2 ER, 2 walks, K, wild pitch
Justin Souza:  2 IP, 4 K
Greg Halman:  1-2, double, R, walk, SB #11 (.256)
Leury Bonilla:  0-3, R, 2 K (.309)
Carlos Peguero:  0-4, 2 K
Kalian Sams:  1-4, double, 3 K (.250)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-4, R, 2 RBI (.140)
Carlos Triunfel:  1-4, RBI (.281)
Juan Beltran:  2-4, 2 K (.216)

Sean Watson is a strikeout machine and he did not let the T-Rats take advantage of a strong wind out to RF.  However, the T-Rats did strike in the 4th, thanks in large part to multiple Dayton errors in the infield.  WIlson failed to grab a comebacker, and 3B Juan Francisco misplayed a sac bunt, to load the bases with no outs.  Keep Francisco in mind.  Wilson got Peguero and Sams whiffing, but Kuo Hui Lo smoked a liner to center for a hit that scored 2 runs, and would've been out trying to take 2nd had catcher Eddy Rodriguez not thrown it YIKES AND AWAY.  Triunfel knocked a single to right to score Lo and took 2nd on ANOTHER error, this time on the throw from RF Denis Phipps, but Juan Beltran watched strike three to end the inning.  However, the T-Rats had a 4-3 lead, huge given that Wilson was owning them to that point, and it was nice to see Wisconsin on the beneficial end of a bunch of errors for a change.

It all came apart starting in the 6th.  Justin Turner grounded to 3rd but Ogui Diaz (usually a middle infielder) misplayed it and put Turner on.  Chris Valaika smoked a worm-burner up the middle to get on and put runners at 1st and 2nd.  And then Juan Francisco, whose big throwing error helped spark the T-Rats 4 run 4th inning, hit a blast over the left field wall to give Dayton the 6-4 lead.  Denis Phipps put a charge in one to try and use the wind, but it stayed in play and Kalian Sams caught it for one out.  Logan Parker drew a walk and pitcher Nathan Adcock needs to call it a night, but he stays in.  He does get Chris Heisey to pop out, but after Anthony Esquer lines a single to left to put runners at the corner, he finally cedes to Natividad Dilone (who's getting a lot of work lately), and Dilone gets Billy Rojo on strikes to end the threat.

With the lead again, a tiring Sean Wilson turned on the jets and struck out the side in the bottom 6th.  Drew Stubbs led off the top 7th with a grounder to 3rd but Ogui Diaz misplayed THAT and Stubbs got on.  UH OHS.  Justin Turner, whose grounder to 3rd for E-5 sparked the last rally, lined a single to left to move Stubbs to 2nd.  Dilone, needing to bear down and get an out, uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners into scoring position.  Chris Valaika thankfully tapped back to Dilone, who checked the runners and threw to 1st for one out.

After Dilone intentionally walked Juan Francisco, Denis Phipps would not be as forgiving, as his hard grounder gave Luis Nunez enough trouble to give him a single, scoring Stubbs.  Nunez rushed the transition and coughed up the ball on his throw attempt, allowing Turner to score and giving Francisco 3rd.  8-4 Dayton.  One out.

Logan Parker's grounder to the right side finds the hole and scores Francisco, while Phipps took 3rd.  9-4.  Dayton added another run on a groundout to make it 10-4, and with Dragons pitchers dealing, there would be no comeback.  Also, 10 errors in this game between the two teams.  Repeat after me: THEY'RE JUST KIDS.

NEXT:  Jay at Mariner Minors is reporting that the Rattler Radio Blog has reported that Tony Butler, he of the wild stuff, has gone on the DL and will be replaced in the rotation for now by Steven Richard.  Meanwhile, Anthony Varvaro is pitching as this is being written, against Dayton.

AA:  It appears the DIAMOND JAXX had the night off!  It wasn't so much for their arduous trip from Chattanooga, TN to Jackson, TN, as it was to allow their opponent, Mobile, to make the much longer trip from Alabama (remember, these AAers take buses; having personally ridden a Greyhound from San Antonio to Las Vegas once, I can attest the experience absolutely sucks).  They kick off a five game set against Mobile tonight.

What's amazing is that, aside from 18-7 Mississippi, only 4 games separates every other team in the Southern League.  The DIAMOND JAXX, despite being 10-15 and tied with Carolina for last place, are only two games out of 1st place in the weak Northern division.  Competitive baseball sells tickets!

NEXT:  Juan Done opens the series against Mobile in Jackson, TN at 5:05 pm PDT tonight!

AAA:  Colorado Springs 3, Tacoma 1, 14 painful, unfulfilling innings

Jake Woods:  6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 walks, 2 K (!)
Sean Green:  3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, blown save (!!)
Brad Thomas:  3 IP, 1 H, 4 K (!!!)
Byron Embry:  2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, walk, 3 K.  Yesterday was obviously Bizarro Day.
Adam Jones:  2-5, double, walk, 2 K (.301)
Jeremy Reed:  0-6, RBI, K (.232)
WLAD:  2-5, walk, 2 K, SB (.372)
Bryan LaHair:  0-6, 2 K (.204)
Jeff Clement (DH):  0-4, 2 walks, K (.202)
Rob Johnson:  1-6 (.221)

The Rainiers had a 1-0 win locked up going into the top 9th, yet Sean Green, having just pitched two shutout innings, was asked to work a 3rd rather than calling on Byron Embry to work the 9th.  Perhaps there was a reason for that.  Keep that in mind.

Green certainly hadn't lost anything.  Ryan Spilborghs snuck a grounder up the middle for a base hit to lead off.  Then Ian Stewart's grounder found a hole in the right side for another base hit, moving Spilborghs to 2nd.  Sean Barker grounded to Oswaldo, who didn't see a shot at the DP and took the out at 1st.  But runners were now on 2nd and 3rd.  Joe Koshansky flew out to center, but Cheney Stadium is a cavern and the throw home was simply too far to keep Ryan Spilborghs from scoring to tie the game.  Bad luck there for Sean Green, as he blows the save despite getting the hitters to hit groundballs like he was supposed to.  It'd be easy looking at the log to blame Oswaldo for not turning a DP, but it's likely Ian Stewart had 2nd base and there just wasn't a play other than the throw to 1st.  Oswaldo's throw was likely the smart play.

The Rainiers went quietly in the bottom 9th and went to extras.  And stayed in extras.  For a long time.  Neither team really got much of anything going.  WLAD and Clement did draw walks in the bottom 11th, but Gookie Dawkins swung at strike three with two outs to end that.

Byron Embry did come in for the top 13th, got two K's and a groundout for a quick inning, but his lack of endurance reared its ugly head in the 14th.  Ryan Spiborghs drew a leadoff walk, then swiped 2nd base, huge given it was likely the Sky Sox only needed a run to take this contest.  Ian Stewart bunted to the mound and Embry could not make a play, so everybody was safe, no outs, runners at the corners.  Embry got Sean Barker on strikes for one out, but Joe Koshansky's grounder found a hole into RF, and Spilborghs put the Sky Sox ahead 2-1.  Pinch runner CLINT BARMES came in to run at 1st, and though Edwin Bellorin popped out for two outs, Seth Smith doubled to score Stewart, making it 3-1, but Barmes went for home as well and WLAD relayed to Oswaldo, who gunned him down at the plate for three outs.  But the damage was definitely done, thanks to Embry's empty tank (and that is a big tank).  Byron Embry is a good AAA reliever, but obviously he needs to get in better condition if he's gonna elevate his game.

Clement struck out, Gookie Dawkins grounded out to 2nd and Rob Johnson grounded out, and that was that.

NEXT:  Ryan Feierabend, very, very soon, vs Colorado Springs.