The rookie clubs were back in action! Also, the T-Rats are struggling against Peoria since their emphatic series opening win, the Mavs blew up on Lake Elsinore but some major leaguer on their club made it close and so on. The DIAMOND JAXX got shut down by some guy who will probably be in the majors in a year and a guy who never had any business being in the majors got blown up early by Portland.
VENEZUELA~! VSL Devil Rays/Reds 10, VSL Mariners 7
Yoervis Medina: 2.2 IP, 7 H, (6 R) 5 ER, walk (intentional), 2 K, balk
Oberth Guanire: 1.1 IP, 4 H, (4 R) 0 ER, walk, K, 2 wild pitches
Yorjans Chourio: 4 IP, 2 H, 3 walks, 4 K
Carlos Sanchez: 1 IP, K
Yidid Batista: 3-4, R, walk (.234)
Humberto Espinoza: 2-3, 2 R, 2 walks (.354)
Rigoberto Rangel: 1-4, 2 run HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, walk, K (.258)
Cesar Fuentes: 1-5, R, RBI, K (.292)
Cesar Del Rio: 2-4, double, RBI (.293)
Jose Rivero: 1-2, 2 RBI, walk (.290)
The VSLM's pitching staff fell hard and lost to the Conglomerate of Crappy Teams. Yoel Contreras, whose parents received poor instructions on what constitutes the letter J before filling out his birth certificate, and whose middle name is Asdrubal (I'm sure you're thrilled), got 11 outs via groundball and, though he surrendered 7 runs over the span, was able to go 5 innings for his 1st victory of the season despite his worst outing of the season. Yep.
To the VSLM's credit, Yorjans Chourio played valiant reliever once again, and after Oberth Guanire came in and bit it just as hard as starter Yoervis Medina, Chourio took over in the 5th and got all the way through the 8th.
Humberto Espinoza, pinch hitting extraordinare, has started several games at 1B lately, and today even shifted to catcher halfway through the game, switching spots with Cesar Del Rio. He's expanding his horizons!
AZL: Mariners 3, Royals 2
Cesar Jimenez: 3 IP, 3 H, 4 K
Matt Renfree: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, walk, K
Johnny DuRocher: 2 IP, 1 H, K
Richard Ortiz: 0.2 IP
Jacob Wild: 0.1 IP, hit batter
Travis Mortimore: 1 IP, 2 K
Danny Carroll: 2-3, R, walk, K
Juan Fuentes: 1-3, R, RBI
Luis Nunez: 1-2, RBI
Israel Nunez: 2-3, RBI
Cesar Jimenez made himself a rehab start, and threw 3 shutout innings with 4 Ks and a few flyballs, but still, given the guy had a broken UCL at the start of the season, this is a good step forward.
Pop Ups: 2
Also, we got to see the backup QB, Johnny DuRocher, throw a couple of innings as the usual AZL bullpen relay took us into the later innings of a 2-2 tie.
The M's cashed in a run in the bottom 8th for the win when Daniel Carroll (more on him in a second) led off with a single, Maximo Mendez bunted him over to 3rd on a hit and run (bunt and run? suicide sacrifice?) and Juan Fuentes sac flied him in. Travis Mortimore got the last three outs in the 9th without incident.
Danny Carroll had yet another multi hit game and is hitting, in the early going, .556. As hot starts go, this is nuclear.
a: Tri City 5, Everett 1
Doug Salinas: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, 4 K, balk
Aaron Brown: 3 IP, 1 H, walk, 5 K
Brandon McKerney: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, walk
Deybis Benitez: 1-4, double, 3 K
Julian Henson: 1-3, double
rest of Aquasox lineup: 3-25, R, walk, 9 K
Well, I guess you've gotta let the jobbers have one in their home series. What did the Aquasox in, besides a lack of offense (12 Ks against an impressive pitching performance from 4 Tri City pitchers), was a meltdown from Brandon McKerney, who was probably a bit overworked after his 3rd appearance in 5 days, this 7 batter outing probably the shortest of the 3. C'mon, Mike Tosar: You've got a well-stocked bullpen full of young pitchers and the season's little more than a week old. Use some of those other guys and see what you've got!
Meanwhile, Doug Salinas continued to get groundballs, though he had lesser luck with them (3 of 5 went for hits), plus the line drives turned into hits, and after Tri City followed two line drive singles in the 5th with a bunt single, Salinas got the hook with nobody out. He also picked off a runner and struck out the side in the 4th, so it wasn't that bad, so much as on the negative side in variance.
Groundballs: 5 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives: 3
Pop Ups: 1
A: Peoria 5, Wisconsin 2
Nathan Adcock: 5 IP, 4 H, (3 R) 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, 3 K, hit batter
Rollie Gibson: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR)
Joe Kantakevich: 1 IP, 1 H, walk
Reed Eastley: 1-3, double, 2 walks, K
Carlos Peguero: 2-5, R, K (.259)
Joseph White: 2-4, 2 run HR, K
Juan Diaz: 1-4, double (.323)
Peoria's back on track and the T-Rats are reeling. If not for Joseph White's first HR of the season in the 8th, the T-Rats get shut out. Jacob Renshaw rang up 8 strikeouts in 5 innings and threw the T-Rats far enough off balance that they could not recover. Nathan Adcock's performance keeps the team in the game on most days, but with the offense unable to get going, it just wasn't enough. Fun fact: the first and last batters Adcock faced in the game popped up.
Line Drives: 0
Pop Ups: 2
Walks: 2 (plus 1 hit batter)
A+: High Desert 10, Lake Elsinore 7
Aaron Jensen: 4 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, walk, 2 K
Ruben Flores: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 ER (HR), 2 walks, 3 K
Steve Uhlmansiek: 0.2 IP, 1 H, walk
Juan Zapata: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, walk, K, wild pitch
Aaron Cotter: 0.2 IP
Michael Saunders: 2-5, double, R, 2 RBI, 2 K (.296)
Jeff Dominguez: 3-5, double, R, 2 RBI, (.261)
Johan Limonta: 1-5, double, R, RBI (.291)
Jeff Frazier: 2-5, 2 doubles, 2 R, RBI, K
Travis Scott: 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI (.312)
Eddy Hernandez: 3-5, double, R, K
Kevin Reynolds: 2-3, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, K, SB
The Mavs pounded away for 3 runs off a single and 4 doubles (!) in the 1st, used 3 singles and turned in a punch card to cash in a MFing run in the 4th, and 3 more in the 6th on four singles (somebody call inventory control) to turn this into a wash... or so they thought!
Ruben Flores, after holding the fort in the 5th and 6th, got bombed by a two out, 3 run HR from Brian freaking Giles to cut the lead to 7-4. Hey, this Giles guy is pretty good: maybe the Padres should call him up :P
It took more runs in the 8th and 9th to stretch the game out of reach. Juan Zapata got bombed in the 9th, and Aaron Cotter of all people had to come in and bail him out to seal the 10-7 win and net his 1st save of the season.
So, let's be frank: if Aaron Jensen pitched the way he did today in Lancaster or High Desert, he would've gotten destroyed. He was okay in terms of pitching to contact, but several flyballs and line drives left him at the mercy of field conditions and his defense. With the wind blowing out to right, which neither team really took much advantage of, this could've been worse than it turned out. He's still coming back from injury hiatus, so he only went four innings.
Line Drives: 3
Pop Ups: 2
Also, once again we saw backup catcher Travis Scott starting for incumbent catcher Adam Moore, the 2nd time in 4 days. It appears that, after a lot of work, and given Scott is no slouch himself, that they're just trying to get Scott more PT while giving Moore a bit of a reprieve from the grind of being the starting catcher. At 309/386/410 since June 12th, he's still getting hits and getting on base, but his power (his only 4 XBH's are doubles) has sapped, indicating fatigue.
AA: Mobile 4, West Tenn 0
Travis Chick: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 6 K, wild pitch
Craig James: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 3 walks (1 intentional), K, hit batter
Brent Johnson: 2-4, double, K (.296)
rest of West Tenn lineup: 2-25, 2 walks, 10 K
Mobile SP Max Scherzer, the D-Backs #1 pick, making his 5th start in the pros, struck out 11 batters over 6 innings and just owned the DIAMOND JAXX. He made 3 brilliant starts in High A Visalia, striking out 30 and only walking 2 in 17 innings before the D-Backs org said, "Okay, you're too good," and sent him to Mobile. He was okay against Montgomery 5 days before, going 5 innings and allowing 3 runs while striking out 4 and walking 1... but then this start. A few more dominant starts like this, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the D-Backs clear room to bring him in next year, if not give him a look this September. His bullpen was also brilliant and struck out 6 batters while finishing the last 3 innings.
Lost in all this was a solid effort by Travis Chick, rapidly proving himself a still-worthy prospect in working into the 7th while allowing only 3 runs on 7 hits. The BayBears put the ball all over the place, but Chick kept getting them to stop and start by getting big outs.
Groundballs: 7 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives: 4
Pop Ups: 4
Craig James was still wild, but got the last five outs without allowing a hit, though he did allow a run.
AAA: Portland 7, Tacoma 3
Jake Woods: 3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER (HR), 3 walks, K
Jamie Cerda: 4 IP, 3 H, walk, 5 K
Byron Embry: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, K
Jeremy Reed: 0-4, K (.281)
Adam Jones: 0-4, 2 K (.308)
Bryan LaHair: 3-4, 2 doubles, R, K (.259)
WLAD: 2-4, 2 run HR, solo HR (.325)
Jake Woods imploded in the 3rd, allowing all 7 runs in that disastrous frame. Most of the Rainiers bats did not show up, and the result was a wash.
It also appears that Adam Jones is still trying to get back in the groove, as he went 0 for 4 in his 2nd game back from his wall-induced hiatus.
Good news: Jamie Cerda came in and threw 4 badly needed shutout innings. Then Byron Embry came in and got the last two innings without allowing a run, also badly needed.
Also, WLAD! Two more bombs, the only runs of the game for the Rainiers, puts him at 19 on the season.