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7/6 Minor League Wrap-Up

That took a lot longer than I thought.  In others words, interesting stuff below the jump!

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Devil Rays/Reds 9, VSL Mariners 7

Jose Rios:  2 IP, 5 H, (6 R) 2 ER, 2 walks
Rhonny Acosta:  5 IP, 1 H, (3 R) 0 ER (HR), 5 K
Yorjans Chourio:  1 IP, walk, K
Jose Rivero:  2-4, R, 3 RBI, walk, 2 K (.295/.397/.450)
Cesar Fuentes:  2-5, double, 4 RBI (.318/.394/.427)
Cesar Del Rio:  1-3, double, walk, K (.275/.400/.507)

Well, after the winning of the last few days, losing to the VSLDRs/Rs had to be a bit deflating.  The runs came in bunches, and the VSLM's in fact had the early 4-0 lead, but the DRs/Rs pounded in 3 in the 2nd and 3 more in the 3rd to chase starter Jose Rios.  The VSLM's did respond in the 4th with their own 3 run outburst to make a 7-6 lead.  Rhonny Acosta once again did the long mop-up thing, getting through the 7th after surviving a 3 run 5th.

But the offense disappeared like a mosh pit scattering away from the landing spot of a stage jumper who hoped to crowd surf... and the VSLM's went splat.

Dominican:  The DSLM's took the day off.  I wonder, among baseball fans with valued TV and/or radio service, who they watch in the Dominican.  There are dozens of awesome major leaguers from that embattled nation.  Who among them watched Beltre go 5 for 5 last night?  Were they all eagerly watching?  Were most of them tracking Big Papi?  Now that I think of it, they probably just watch whoever the TV feeds can manage to show them.

Do they just print lines in the papers like the Las Vegas Review Journal did for all the local kids who were battling in the minors?  It's a vague curiosity, one I bet Jonathan Helfgott could easily answer in two seconds if I were willing to ask.  I've gotta move along, tho.

AZL:  The Peoria Mariners took the day off.

a:  Boise 17, Everett 5

Robert Harmon:  4 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 5 walks, 2 K
Philip Roy:  1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 walks, K
Bryan Harris:  1.1 IP, 1 H, K
Aaron Solomon:  no outs recorded, 2 H, 5 ER, 3 walks
Craig Deaver:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K

Well now, this just isn't going well at all.  Boise is a lot better than their slow start indicated and the Aquasox are finding out the hard way.

I said before that, to date in this short season, Robert Harmon has been the rotations weak leak, walk prone and beatable so far.  Well, that assessment manifested itself again in 4 innings, though the first two didn't look so bad.  In the 3rd, after a leadoff groundball produced a single, Harmon walked three straight batters to force in a run.  He got a double play ball after that, but it forced in another run, and Steve Clevenger then doubled to knock in another.  Had Mario Mercedes' liner not found Ogui Diaz at short, it could have been worse.

Harmon got two quick outs in the 4th, then saw walk, double, walk, double, and got lucky when Marquez Smith, who hit that 2nd double, tried to stretch for 3rd and got gunned down by Jermaine Brock in CF.  And that was it for Harmon, hardly an impressive performance even in the better moments.

Flyballs:  5
Groundballs:  4
Line Drives:  3 (all in last 2 innings)
Walks:  5
Strikeouts:  2

To quote the short lived rap group Onyx, "BUT BUT BUT WAIT, IT GETS WORSE!"  Philip Roy came in, barely escaped the 5th without damage after a one out double and single... then imploded in the 6th.  Three groundballs all turned into hits, and a run.  Two walks.  Even a groundout for the 1st out cashed in a run.  Steven Clevenger felt bad and took strike three for two outs... then Josh Donaldson doubled, cashing in two more.  Even after Bryan Harris relieved him, an Andrew Rundle single allowed another Roy runner to score... though Rundle tried for 2nd and got thrown out by Joe Dunigan in LF to end the frame.  12-0 Boise.

BUT-BUT-BUT WAIT, IT GETS WORSE!  After Everett rallied to get to 12-5 in the middle 8th, Aaron Solomon came in to pitch.  Walk, walk, groundball single, groundball single, walk.  Pulled for Craig Deaver without recording a single out.  Deaver walks the next batter to force in a run.  Bill Moss grounds into a force out but that scores another run.  Kyler Burke doubles and THAT brings in another run.

The Aquasox just want to forget this game happened.

A:  Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 2

Kyle Parker:  7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, walk, 7 K, wild pitch
Justin Souza:  1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, walk (intentional)
Brian Kappel:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER
Reed Eastley:  2-4, double, R, K (.261/.381/.333)
Trevor Lawhorn:  1-4, 2 RBI (.247/.321/.351)
Juan Beltran:  3-4, double, K (.223/.286/.240)

Kyle Parker started in a groove and, save for some rough patched, held the fort down and didn't even allow a line drive until the 6th.  It was also in the 6th, with the T-Rats holding a 1-0 lead, when he finally cracked.

Wilberto Ortiez led off with a double, on the 1st line drive of the game for the Kernels.  Abel Nieves bunted him over to 3rd for one out.  Matthew Sweeney, thorn in the T-Rats' side, lined a single to cash Ortiz in and tie the ballgame.  Mark Trumbo then hit a towering triple to center that obviously scored Sweeney and made it 2-1.  Brian Walker tapped back to the mound, and Parker threw home to catch Trumbo in a rundown.  3B Alex Liddi tagged him out, then threw to 2nd to get Walker for the rather unorthodox 1-2-5-4 double play to end the inning.

After that, Parker worked a quick and painless 7th, leaving having pitched a mostly solid game... and standing in line for the loss.

Flyballs:  6
Groundballs:  7 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives:  2 (both in 6th inning)
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  7

But then the offense didn't respond and Justin Souza reverted to April form, coughing up the ballgame in the 8th with 3 runs allowed.  Brian Kappel allowed another run for effect, and the T-Rats all struck out in the 9th.

That said, it was a bit of a overstatement to list the season line yesterday without any additional contextual information, as they had been hitting better.  What can I say?  I was in a bit of a rush.  Factors that have improved the T-Rats hitting:

1.  New faces in the past month or so.  Juan Diaz, Joe White, Calvin Beamon, Reed Eastley, Trevor Lawhorn and James McOwen, since their arrival:

.283/.359/.371, 49 walks, 97 K in 410 ABs

They aren't powerful hitters, but they've gotten on base and that's better than nothing.

2.  Kuo Hui Lo rebounded from a bad start, improving his ghastly numbers from earlier to .275/.328/.362 with one of the hottest Junes ever.

A+:  High Desert 12, Rancho Cucamonga 11

Chris Tillman:  5 IP, 9 H, 8 ER (2 HR), walk, 7 K, hit batter
Roman Martinez:  2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, K
Paul Fagan:  1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER
Juan Zapata:  0.2 IP, 2 H, K
Carlos Triunfel:  4-5, 2 R, RBI (it was noted elsewhere that three of these hits were infield singles)
Jeff Frazier:  3-4, double, R, RBI, walk (it was noted in various circles that Jeff Frazier still sucks)
Johan Limonta:  3-4, 2 R, walk, K (.296/.364/.466)
Adam Moore:  2-5, double, 2 R, 2 RBI (.283/.369/.539)
Travis Scott:  1-5, triple, R, 3 RBI, 2 K (.306/.382/.469)
Eddy Hernandez:  2-5, 2 run HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K
Kevin Reynolds:  2-3, 2 R, RBI, walk

Well, so much for that last rebound start.  Chris Tillman went back to getting hammered.  The first three batters he faced went homer, triple, triple.  Then he plunked the next guy and walked the next guy.  He struck out the next two and even after a Larry Infante single scored two more runs, he got out of the inning with some sort of dignity.  Then he allowed two more runs in the 2nd.  He didn't induce his 1st groundball until the 3rd inning.

The good news is that the Mavs still blew up in the 3rd, as five Mavs came to the plate twice in an 8 run inning that put them on top 11-6.  This allowed Tillman to get his 5 innings in with relative comfort, even as the Quakes added 2 runs in the 4th to cut it to 11-8.

Flyballs:  9
Groundballs:  3 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives:  4
Walks:  1 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  7

Roman Martinez came on and allowed another run to make it 11-9, but the Mavs eventually responded in the 7th with a Jeff Frazier RBI double to make it 12-9.  The Quakes kept charging, and mounted a 9th inning rally against Paul Fagan and Juan Zapata, but Zapata finally locked it down and sealed a very close 12-11 win.

AA:  Birmingham 5, West Tenn 4, 12 innings

Andrew Baldwin:  6 IP, 5 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, 6 K
The Aircraft Carrier:  2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 K, wild pitch
Mumba Rivera:  2.2 IP, walk, 3 K, wild pitch
Aaron Troila:  0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER
Brent Johnson:  3-5, double, R, walk, K, SB (.303/.383/.418)
Marshall Hubbard:  1-5, R, RBI, walk, K (.243/.337/.393)
Charlton Jimerson:  1-4, RBI, 2 K, SB #25 (.267/.328/.544)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-6, RBI, 2 K (.274/.385/.421)
Prentice Redman:  3-5, double, R, walk, K (.262/.361/.438)
Rene Rivera:  1-5, RBI, K (.182/.258/.273)

Phat Andy don't feel like rappin today.

Flyballs:  2
Groundballs:  9
Line Drives:  5
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  6

So West Tenn had a 3-1 lead in the 7th.  The Aircraft Carrier came in and immediately surrendered a leadoff single.  De La Cruz uncorks a wild pitch and moves Donny Lucy to 2nd.  Then Donny Lucy steals 3rd, and Rene Rivera horks the throw, allowing Lucy to score.

Prentice Redman, who decided to show up today, led off the next half with a double.  Erick Monzon's groundout moved him over and Rene Rivera somewhat atoned by sac flying him in to make it 4-2 DIAMOND JAXX.

The Barons are down to their final three outs in the 9th.  The Aircraft Carrier is still in.  Ricardo Nanita leads off with a single.  With one out, Nanita steals 2nd, then Michael Myers shanked a line drive single to move Nanita to 3rd.  Sensing trouble, Hernandez pulled the Aircraft Carrier for a much more reliable option... Mumba Rivera.  Sigh.

Adam Shabala walked to load the bases... for Kenny Perez.  And Mumba then uncorked a wild pitch to cash in a run and give everybody a base.  Either way, he only needs two outs for the win.

So Kenny Perez grounds to 2nd, and Ronald Garth... takes the out at 1st and concedes the run to tie the ballgame?!  WHAT.  I guess Michael Myers had home plate easily, because common sense says that you try to get the runner at home.  Tom Collaro went down on strikes and we went to extras.

In the 10th and 11th, the DIAMOND JAXX got runners in scoring position, only to fail to cash them in both times.  In the bottom 12th, with Aaron Troila relieving Mumba Rivera, who to his credit held the fort nicely after the 9th... Adam Shabala singled, Kenny Perez sac bunted him over for one out, then Tom Collaro singled to left to end it.

AAA:  Tacoma 10, Portland 4

Mark Lowe:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K
Jon Huber:  1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, K
Justin Lehr:  4 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 3 K, hit batter
Kam Mickolio:  3 IP, 2 H, 4 K
Nick Green:  3-4, 2 run HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, walk (.311/.354/.616)
Jeremy Reed:  1-5, R, 2 K (.289/.347/.426)
Adam Jones:  1-5, K (.308/.378/.571)
Bryan LaHair:  1-5, double, R, 2 RBI, K (.260/.309/.383)
WLAD:  2-5, 2 R, RBI (.328/.397/.596)
Jeff Clement:  2-4, 2 R, walk (.276/.364/.521)
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-4, RBI (.277/.314/.362)
Oswaldo Navarro:  2-5, R, RBI (.236/.293/.325)
Sebastien Boucher:  2-4, R, 2 K

Weird situation here, as you had two rehabbing relievers looking to get work in, so instead of the SP starting the 2nd, you had him starting the 3rd, as the two relievers took the 1st and 2nd.

Mark Lowe threw 18 pitches, 12 for strikes, while looking better but allowing two baserunners.  Jon Huber threw 16 pitches but only 8 for strikes, while allowing a run: Mike Sansoe led off with a single, then stole 2nd, then took 3rd on a groundout, then scored on another groundout.

And then Justin Lehr.  He's had better outings, but the Rainiers had the bats going today and were able to easily overshadow any deficiencies on Lehr's part.

Flyballs:  5
Groundballs:  4
Line Drives:  5
Walks:  2 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  3

Fun fact: in Lehr's 1st inning (the 3rd) Craig Stansberry tried to steal home on a pickoff throw to 1st... and failed, for the 3rd out.  HAHA.  Also, Adam Jones, playing RF today, saved yet another run in the 6th when he gunned down Luke Carlin at the plate on a Mike Baxter double.

Kam Mickolio came on in the 7th and finished the game without allowing a run.  We may see that guy with the big club in September.

Home plate umpire Garrett Wilson felt ill before the top 5th, and the game was stopped for 10 minutes, as he was taken off the field and escorted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland.  The remaining two umpires worked the game as a 2-man crew.  (2-Live Blue?)