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5/6 Minor League Wrap-Up

High Desert comes back in the 9th and smeaks away with a win in the 10th... ANOTHER win for the T-Rats!... The DIAMOND JAXX also got a late inning comeback against Mobile... and with Jake Woods on the hill for the Rainiers, they sure needed a comeback.  Too bad Joe Saunders wasn't going to let them make one.

A:  High Desert 5, Modesto 4, 10 innings

Jose Escalona:  5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 K
Brian Kappel:  2.2 IP, 0 H, (2 R) 0 ER, 2 K, plunked batter
David Asher:  No outs recorded, 2 H, 2 ER
Roman Martinez:  2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K, plunked 2 batters
Casey Craig:  2-5, R (.273)
Michael Saunders:  1-4, 2 R, walk, 3 K (.226)
Jesus Guzman:  2-4, R, K (.297)
Johan Limonta:  1-2, RBI, 2 walks (.330)
Adam Moore:  0-4, sac fly RBI (.229)
Reed Eastley:  1-4, R, RBI, K (.279)
Josh Womack:  1-4, RBI, SB (.171)

The Mavs gave upstart SP Jose Escalona a lot to work with before he took the mound, pounding Xavier Cedeno for three line drive singles and a walk to plate a run before Cedeno recorded an out, and he even allowed a run on that out, an Adam Moore sacrifice fly.  The runners moved over, and another sac fly by Reed Eastley plated a 3rd run.  Cedeno clearly left a bunch of pitches up in the zone and the Mavs made him pay the price.

Meanwhile, Jose Escalona took the field with a 3 run lead and did not let up, throwing one hit ball for five innings and ceding to Brian Kappel in the 6th with the same 3-0 lead.  Cedeno eventually settled down after the 1st and starting sitting down the Mavs one after the other.  Kappel put down the Nuts in order, and Jon George relieved Cedeno in the top 7th and did the same.  Kappel responded with another scoreless frame in the bottom 7th, and Pedro Strop came in and worked a scoreless 8th despite a leadoff single from Casey Craig, a wild pitch and giving an intentional pass to Johan Limonta.

Kappel started the 8th, and Jeff Kindel's grounder to 3rd was misplayed by Jesus Guzman at 3B, to put him on.  Phillip Cuadrado and Kyle Blumenthal flew out for two outs... but then Kappel plunked Travis Becktel, and Kappel called it a night, handing the ball to David Asher.

And Asher watched his luck circle the drain.  Eric Young Jr's grounder found a hole into center, scoring Kindel to put Modesto on the board 3-1 as Becktel took 3rd.  Dexter Fowler's grounder found a hole into LF and Becktel scored to make it 3-2.  Asher got pulled despite basically doing his job: both hits came off groundballs that found holes.  The overworked Roman Martinez came in.  Roman plunked Chris Nelson to load the bases.  Jose Valdez lined a pitch into right to score Young and Fowler to make it 4-3.  Daniel Carte got plunked to load them again, but Jeff Kindel's flyball found Casey Craig for the 3rd out.  However, what was a shutout was now a one-run deficit, with only three outs to make it up before a once-easy win became a loss, thanks in part to some dubious bullpen usage.

Nuts closer Andrew Johnston came in to lock it down.  Reed Eastley's grounder threaded the needle into center and he was aboard to lead off.  Jeff Dominguez sac bunted him to 2nd for one out.  Ronald Garth grounded to 3rd for two outs, allowing Eastley to move to 3rd.  The dubious Josh Womack now had to come through or this game was over, and despite Chris Colton's presence on the bench, the Mavs left it up to the .176 hitter.

Womack smacked a grounder towards short and it sped past Chris Nelson to tie the ballgame!  Womack swiped 2nd base, but Casey Craig grounded to 2nd to end the inning.  They werne't out of the woods yet: they still had to stop Modesto in the bottom 9th to send it to extras... but Roman was able to get the Nuts 1-2-3 to leave it tied after 9.

Michael Saunders led off the 10th with a grounder that also found the hole into center.  Two of the team's best hitters showed unselfish team play, as Jesus Guzman sac bunted Saunders to 2nd... and then reached anyway after beating the throw!!  And Johan Limonta sac bunted both runners ahead for one out.  Adam Moore's liner down the 1B line found 1B Jeff Kindel's glove for two outs... except his throw to double off the runner went YIKES AND AWAY... allowing Saunders to score and give the Mavs the lead!  Reed Eastley flew out to end the inning, and now it was the Mavs looking to lock down the ballgame in the bottom half.

Roman stayed in the ballgame.  Eric Young's grounder snuck through into right, and Young stole 2nd base, immediately putting the pressure on.  Dexter Fowler, however, couldn't get the bat off his shoulder on strike three, for one out.  Adam Moore muffed a pitch and Young now moved to 3rd, 90 feet from reknotting the ballgame.

Chris Nelson hit a screamer towards the middle but Jeff Dominguez got a glove up and snagged the liner for two outs!  Game saving catch!  Jose Valdez could only pop up, and Dominguez gloved it for the final out of a tough win to end the series in Modesto.  Game balls to Roman Martinez for manning up after that disastrous 8th and pitching like Goose Gossage until the win was sealed... and to the fast Modesto infield grass, for allowing the Mavs to thrive off so many fortuitous infield grounders late in the ballgame.

NEXT:  Monday off!  NUTS to that!

A:  Wisconsin 7, South Bend 4

Nathan Adcock:  5 IP, 7 H, (4 R) 3 ER (HR), walk, 6 K, wild pitch
Justin Souza:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K
Steve Uhlmansiek:  2 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K
Joseph Kantakevich:  1 IP, 1 H, K
Greg Halman:  0-5 (.232)
Ogui Diaz:  2-5, R, 2 RBI (.235)
Leury Bonilla:  0-5, RBI, K (.280)
Carlos Peguero:  2-4, double (.205)
Alex Liddi IS BACK:  3-4, 2 R, RBI (.212)
Kalian Sams:  1-3, R, walk, K (.241)
Juan Beltran:  1-2, double, R, RBI, walk (.200)
Gavin Dickey:  2-4, double, R, 2 RBI (.183)

Make me eat my words, T-Rats!  The only error in this ballgame was a muffed grounder by Hargrove's kid at 1B (get well soon, Gerardo Avila!), enough to have roster-everyman Leury Bonilla moved from 2B to 1B in the later innings.  The bats got around on Cesar Valdez, smoking a lot of ground balls that were getting through the infield, though only had one run after 6.

Trailing 4-1, the T-Rats finally got to him in the 7th.  Juan Beltran drew a leadoff walk, and Gavin Dickey lined a single to left to move Beltran to 2nd, the first true line drive put into play on Valdez that day.  Greg Halman popped up for one out, but Valdez uncorked a wild pitch that moved the runners into scoring position and eliminated the force outs.  Ogui Diaz smoked a grounder past Valdez and his middle infield to plate both runners and cut the lead to 4-3.  And that was it for Cesar Valdez, who handed the ball to Chase Christianson, who has had a problem so far with walking guys.  With Leury Bonilla at the plate, Ogui Diaz put his speed to use, swiping 2nd... then swiping 3rd.  Before he could do the full Willie Mays Hayes impression, Bonilla grounded to short for two outs, but Diaz came home quickly to tie the ballgame at 4.  IMPACT BASERUNNING.  Little Rain Delay swung at strike three to end the inning.

Steve Uhlmansiek came in to start the 7th, after Justin Souza lifted his prospects with another shutout inning.  Little Hargrove was lifted and the more experienced Leury Bonilla moved over to 1B, while Luis Nunez came in to play 2B.  Joey Side doubled to lead off... but Uhlmansiek caught Side lingering off the bag, threw to Nunez and Ogui Diaz at SS had him run down for one out.  Gerardo Parra drew a walk... and Uhlmansiek caught HIM napping off the bag, catching him in no-man's land after throwing to Bonilla.  With Ogui Diaz helping out again, they ran him down for two outs.  The HoRam Approach was working: get the guy on base, pick him off.  Brad Miller wanted no part of this trickery and took his out the conventional way, striking out, to end the inning.

The T-Rats went for it in the 8th.  Carlos Peguero led off with a lined double to left, and man, are the T-Rats glad to have his bat back in the lineup.  However, the slow-footed Peguero took a seta for pinch runner Kuo Hui Lo.  With the middle infield preoccupied with pickoff positioning, Alex Liddi's grounder got between them for a base hit, scoring Lo to give the T-Rats a 5-4 lead!  Christianson, spirits on the floor, was pulled for Reid Mahon, who walked Kalian Sams and moved Liddi to 2nd.  Juan Beltran sac bunted them ahead for one out.  Gavin Dickey, also struggling this year, hit a lofty flyball to center that got down in the gap for a double that scored the runners, 7-4 T-Rats!  Greg Halman and Ogui Diaz grounded out, but the T-Rats not only had the lead, but some cushion.

Uhlmansiek put the Silver Hawks down in order in the 8th, and Joseph Kantakevich, with the help of a nice snag by Alex Liddi at 3B of a leadoff liner from Yunesky Sanchez, allowed no more than a token lined single in the 9th, to seal a 2nd straight win!  HERE COME THE T-RATS!

NEXT:  Anthony Varvaro's turn in South Bend, at 4:30 pm PDT.  Let's go for three!

AA:  West Tenn 5, Mobile 4

Justin Thomas!:  3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, K
Joe Woerman:  4.1 IP, 2 H, (2 R) 1 ER, walk, 7 K, wild pitch
Aaron Troila:  1.2 IP, 0 H, 2 K, vultured win!
Sebastien Boucher:  2-4, double (.209)
Erick Monzon:  0-5, R, K (.263)
Marshall Hubbard:  1-4, double, 2 RBI, walk, K (.265)
Prentice Redman:  1-3, double, RBI, walk, 2 K (.312)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-4, 2 K (.333)
Jeff Frazier:  1-4, R (.217)
Ron Prettyman:  1-3, double, R, walk, K (.200)
Luis Oliveros:  1-4, double, RBI (.367)
Luis Valbuena:  1-3, double, 2 R, RBI, walk (.200)

Justin Thomas' road to recovery continued with another rehab appearance out of the gate today, and the first inning sobered him up good.  Cesar Nicolas drew a two out walk, and then Mark Reynolds took him deep to make it 2-0 Mobile.  Justin got Carlos Gonzalez swinging at strike three to end the inning, so call it a bad break and move on.  In the top 2nd, Wilkin Castillo hit a one out double but Thomas induced two groundouts to Tui to end that threat.

The DIAMOND JAXX responded in the 2nd.  Tui led off with a sharp grounder through the hole into center... but Tui got caught off the bag on a pickoff throw from Greg Smith and run down for one out.  Jeff Frazier's blooper got over the head of SS Emilio Bonifacio and down for a single.  Catcher Wilkin Castillo took a pitch and threw to 1st but threw it YIKES AND AWAY to give Frazier 2nd.  Ron Prettyman eventually drew a walk, then Luis Oliveros, suddenly being seen a little more than usual in the lineup, smoked a liner to left for a double that scored Frazier and moved Prettyman to 3rd.  Luis Valbuena grounded to 2nd for two outs, but Prettyman came in and we were tied at 2, before Sebastien Boucher grounded to short to end the inning.

Thomas induced two more groundouts in the 3rd before giving up a walk to Cesar Nicolas... but Nicolas got caught stealing 2nd to end that inning, and that was enough for Justin Thomas this time out.  Overall, he looked pretty good, with only a few blips and one bad pitch to Mark Reynolds (a dangerous AA slugger in general) being the only blemishes.

Greg Smith and A.J. Shappi kept the DIAMOND JAXX is check until  the bottom 7th.  Shappi, having worked since the 5th, was reaching the edge of his endurance for the game.  After getting Oliveros to pop up, he walked Luis Valbuena and was pulled for Mark Rosen.  Rosen noticed something about Valbuena during his windup, hesitated and balked to give Valbuena 2nd.  Boucher flew to right for two outs.  Erick Monzon, stymied all day, grounded to 3rd but Mark Reynolds threw it YIKES AND AWAY to put runners at the corners with two out.  Still, Marshall Hubbard had come up empty the last few days, so this was nothing to worry about, right?

Hubbard hit a flyball to deep left and it found the grass before it found Jon Zeringue's glove, scoring Valbuena, scoring Monzon, and allowing Hubbard to take 2nd for the double.  4-2 DIAMOND JAXX.  Prentice Redman drew a walk to extend it, but Tui couldn't ground it past the infield, as Emilio Bonifacio snagged it at SS and threw him out to end the inning.

Joe Woerman had dominated the Mobile lineup to this point since taking over for Justin Thomas in the 4th.  Wilkin Castillo led off the top 8th with a double, and Woerman uncorked a wild pitch to give Castillo 3rd.  Jon Zeringue blooped into no-man's land and Valbuena came over from 2nd to make a great over-shoulder catch, but that gave time for Castillo to tag up and score to cut the lead to 4-3.  Jarred Ball drew a walk, and Emilio Bonifacio's grounder snuck into LF to move Ball to 2nd.  That was it for Joe Woerman, who ceded to West Tenn's answer to Julio Mateo, Aaron Troila.  Phil Avlas grounded to 3rd, Tui threw it to Valbuena at 2nd for two outs, and Valbuena threw it YIKES AND AWAY for still two outs, and a run for Jarred Ball to tie the ballgame, two outs.  Avlas, safe at 1st, took off for 2nd and got gunned down by Oliveros for the 3rd out.  I have to hand it to Aaron Troila, who was charged with the blown save: that was not his fault.  He did his job, got the double play ball, Tui did his job at 3B and made the throw, but Valbuena horked it at the turn.  If anything, the blown save belongs to Valbuena.

Matt Elliott came in to pitch the 8th and put West Tenn down in order.  Troila, showing resilience, came right back and put Mobile down in order in the top 9th.  A still-cooking Valbuena led off the top 9th, and he immediately blasted a towering fly to left that found the gap for a double.  Sebastien Boucher bunted him ahead and managed to beat the throw, everybody safe!  Erick Monzon, needing only to ground it away from Valbuena at 3rd... tapped back to the pitcher, who checked Valbuena before throwing to 1st for one out.  Granted, with Boucher taking 2nd, the force was gone and now two runners were in scoring position with two outs to spare.  Elliott went ahead and put Marshall Hubbard on to load them and give his infield the force out at any base.  But Prentice Redman hit a flyball deep enough to left that after Jon Zeringue caught it, he could not throw Valbuena out after he tagged up, and the DIAMOND JAXX sneak away with one!  Valbuena finds redemption as, shortly after muffing a double play ball that allowed Mobile to tie the game, he scores the winning run in the bottom 9th.

NEXT:  Juan Done will open the series in Mississippi at 5:05 pm PDT.  May his bus-seat sores be minimal.

AAA:  Salt Lake 6, Tacoma 2

Jake Woods:  6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER (HR), 3 walks, 6 K
Byron Embry:  3 IP, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, 5 K
Adam Jones:  0-4, K (.308)
Rob Johnson:  1-4 (.228)
WLAD:  0-4, K (.357)
Mike Morse:  0-4 (.330)
Bryan LaHair:  1-3, walk, K (.216)
Jeff Clement (DH):  1-3, solo HR, 2 K (.204)
Brant Ust:  1-3, solo HR, K (.250)

The Rainiers just got shut down against Joe Saunders, who at this point is MLB ready and just keeping warm for the Angels until Kelvim Escobar explodes or something (he could replace the once-again-injured Colon).  Even WLAD and the AAA-consistent Mike Morse could not get anything going against him, as Saunders allowed 4 hits over 8 strong innings.  Only solo blasts from Jeff Clement (who must have been swinging for the fences today) and Brant Ust late in the game blemished the line.  Meanwhile, not much of a game, as Jake Woods got hit around for five runs in his six innings, putting the game well out of reach.  

NEXT:  One more with Salt Lake at 6:05 pm PDT before heading to Round Rock, with Ryan Feierabend pitching.