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7/8 Minor League Wrap-Up

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Sorry about the lateness of this weekday recap.  I admit I was loafing.  HEY, c'mon, I'm on vacation!

Speaking of loafing, the Southern League and PCL are taking their All Star Breaks around the same time as the MLB All Star Break, meaning that there's going to be a lot of baseball not being played.  I remember when AAA didn't do this, and ESPN would fill the time during the ASB with AAA highlights.  Nowadays, they show the IL/PCL All Star Game, which I suppose is better, as we see better talent, if not for a few innings each.

Meanwhile, weather is screwing up play in the DSL, the VSLM's have time off, AA's already off, the Rainiers are off after yesterday's nice effort... EVERYBODY'S ON VACATION!

Single A's still in action, though.  Never fear.  On to the wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!  The VSLM's had the day off.  They (31-15) go pretty soon against the VSL Mets (15-30).

Dominican:  The DSLM's got rained out a 2nd consecutive day.  Nice to see the heat wave hasn't dried out the weather in the Caribbean.  They'll try and get one in against the Athletics Dos this morning.

AZL:  Mariners 6, Cubs 1

Fabian Williamson:  6 IP, 2 H, 2 walks, 4 K
Johnny DuRocher:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR)
Travis Mortimore:  2 IP, 2 H, 2 K
Daniel Carroll:  1-4, RBI, 3 K
Juan Fuentes:  2-4, R, RBI
Alfredo Mateo:  2-4, triple, 3 RBI
Dwight Britton:  2-3, double, R, K

a:  Salem-Keizer 3, Everett 2

Nolan Gallagher:  6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER (HR), 4 K, 2 hit batters
Keith Meyer:  0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (HR), 2 walks
Nick Hill:  1.1 IP, 0 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, K, 2 hit batters
Bryan Harris:  1 IP, K
Edilio Colina:  1-5, RBI, K
Manelik Pimentel:  1-4, solo HR, 2 K
Joe Dunigan:  2-4, double, K
rest of Aquasox lineup:  4-23, R, 4 walks, 10 K

Well, the Aquasox bats produced 2 early runs and Nolan Gallagher, the lost Oasis brother, had induced a fair share of early groundballs, but as he started coughing up flyballs and the bats quieted down, you could sense the momentum subtlely turning, and indeed, in the top 5th, Matthew Downs took Gallagher deep to cut the lead to 2-1.  Gallagher got through the 6th despite a two out double, and despite the 5th inning HR (Volcano Blast?), looked okay.

Flyballs:  9
Groundballs:  8
Line Drives:  1 (to the 1st batter he faced)
Pop Ups:  1 (to the last batter he faced)
Walks:  0 (but 2 hit batters)
Strikeouts:  4

Keith Meyer came in and immediately surrendered the game tying HR to Jackson Williams.  Meyer threatened to allow more damage, walking two and putting runners on the corners, but military man Nick Hill came in, looking to redeem himself after the meltdown in a prior outing, and got Michael Ambort to ground out to end the threat.

Everett did get two aboard in the bottom 7th, but Matt Mangini's flyball found a glove and Craig Hurba produced one of his three strikeouts to end that threat.  In the bottom 8th, Joe Dunigan hit a one out double, but Kalian Sams and Ogui Diaz went down on strikes.

In the 9th, Nick Hill ran into trouble.  Jackson Williams parlayed his two last names into a leadoff walk, and Sharlon Schoop, which BTW is one of the greatest names ever, got plunked.  Shane Jordan bunted both of them into scoring position for one out... except Nick Hill threw it YIKES AND AWAY to cash in Jackson Williams, give Schoop 3rd base and Jordan 2nd.  Well, damn.

Matthew Downs got plunked to load the bases... uh ohs.  Jose Flores pinch ran for Downs to protect from the DP, and Nick Hill took a seat for debriefing as Bryan Harris came in to pitch and immediately recorded the 3 outs that Private Hill could not.  Not a good weekend for the military man, but we've all had bad weekends.

Danny Otero came in to shut it down.  He got two outs, and Greg Halman swung into the 3rd, except Sharlon Schoop at SS candyarsed it and Halman got on!  Then Matt Mangini lined a single to left!  Then Craig Hurba grounded out to 3rd to end the ballgame!

... wait.

A:  Kane County 11, Wisconsin 8

Anthony Varvaro:  3 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, 5 K
Eddy Fernandez:  1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER
Brian Kappel:  2 IP, walk, 2 K
Rollie Gibson:  1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER (HR), walk
Justin Souza:  1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, walk
Gavin Dickey:  1-5, double, R, K (.214/.257/.328)
Juan Diaz:  1-5, double, R, 2 K (.333/.386/.448)
Reed Eastley:  2-5, 2 run HR, K (.273/.394/.377)
Trevor Lawhorn:  1-4, solo HR, walk, K (.252/.339/.379)
Carlos Peguero:  1-3, solo HR, walk, K (.259/.317/.452)
Alex Liddi:  3-4, solo HR, K (.218/.304/.383)
Calvin Beamon:  2-4, 2 run HR, K (.257/.338/.300)

Anthony Varvaro made his first appearance since mid June and managed 3 strong rehab innings, looking pretty solid, as the T-Rats took advantage of a 22 mph wind blowing out.  In the top 2nd, Trevor Lawhorn led off with a deep fly to left.  Then Carlos Peguero went deep.  Then Alex Liddi went deep... BACK TO BACK TO BACK.  Leury Bonilla took a shot, but his flyball fell short of the RF fence for one out, and Juan Beltran and Calvin Bealmon went down on strikes.

Gavin Dickey led off the 3rd with a line drive double, then two batters later, Reed Eastley lined a shot over the RF wall, his 1st with the T-Rats to make it 5-0.  Pitcher James Heuser then walked Trevor Lawhorn and uncorked a wild pitch.  He was not having a good day, but he got the next two batters to escape.

Leury Bonilla led off the 4th with a single, then two batters later, Calvin Beamon ALSO took Heuser deep, his first professional HR, to make it 7-0.

Eddy Fernandez came on to pitch the 4th, and got pounded for a single, two doubles and another single, and by the time he finished, 7-0 had become 7-3.  Still, a good lead.

Brian Kappel came on for the 5th and went 1-2-3.  James Heuser finally took a seat before the 6th, his 5 innings a minor miracle given the context, and Eric Sheridan put two runners on but got out without further damage.

Again the T-Rats got two runners aboard, with no outs even, and despite Trevor Lawhorn grounding into the 6-4-3 DP, Juan Diaz came in to make it 8-3.  Carlos Peguero walked and Alex Liddi singled with two outs, but Leury Bonilla went down on strikes.  What happened to him, after the April he had?

Then Rollie Gibson came on to pitch the 7th.  Toddric Johnson walked.  Michael Massaro bunted him ahead for one out.  Michael Affronti singled to center, runners on the corners.  Sean Doolittle grounded to 2nd, 2B Trevor Lawhorn flipped to Juan Diaz for one, but Diaz could not get the batter in time, and Toddric scored to make it 8-4.  Still, that's okay, one more out to go.

And then Haas Pratt singled.  Then Matt Smith singled to cash in Doolittle and make it 8-5.  Then Jermaine Mitchell singled to cash in Pratt and make it 8-6.

The Christian Vitters lofted a flyball.  Now, for all that the T-Rats had taken advantage of the wind blowing out, not one Cougar had taken advantage... until Vitters lifted his flyball and watched it soar over the RF wall to make it 9-8 Cougars, meltdown/comeback complete.  Never has a failure to turn a double play led to such a disastrous result.

Calvin Beamon reacheed on a fielding error in the 8th with one out, but Gavin Dickey's grounder led to the force out at 2nd, and Dickey himself got picked off for the 3rd out.  The last two half innings had to be one of the biggest kicks in the crotch the T-Rats have experienced this year.

Justin Souza came in, and four singles and a walk later, the Cougars had an 11-8 lead from which the T-Rats could not recover.  Chris Mehring must have loved to watch this.  I know the good folks of Kane County did ;(

A+:  Inland Empire 8, High Desert 7

Aaron Jensen:  6 IP, 8 H, (4 R) 2 ER, 3 K
Ivan Blanco:  1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER (HR), 2 walks
Ruben Flores:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K
Kevin Reynolds:  2-4, walk, K
Carlos Triunfel:  0-5, R, K (first hitless game in 4 games with High Desert)
Adam Moore:  3-4, 2 doubles, solo HR, 5 RBI (.290/.373/.557)
Jeff Frazier:  1-4, double, R (.370/.443/.574)
Travis Scott:  1-3, 2 run HR, walk (.307/.386/.495)
also, the High A debut of Wellington Dotel:  1-4, 2 K

No word on whether Wellington was a fill-in while Saunders played in the Futures Game, if they're planning on promoting Saunders, or if Wellington was called up to play 4th OF, and was just starting today because of Saunders' absence.

The Mavs struck in the top 1st with a two run Adam Moore double.  Aaron Jensen saw some bad luck in the 3rd, with three groundballs turning into singles, but didn't help himself in horking a pickoff throw with no outs and men on 1st/2nd.  Jensen allowed two game tying runs on the last single, got two flyouts, then watched Travis Scott (Moore was DHing) try to gun down Ryan Rogowski but throw it YIKES AND AWAY, as Rogowski swiped his 25th base of the year, then popped up and hustled home for the ironic run, 3-2.

The Mavs rebounded in the top 4th.  Jeff Frazier, liking the Cal League, led off with a smoked grounder into center that he stretched into a double.  Then Travis Scott atoned for his horking by taking Mario Alvarez deep to make it 4-3 Mavs!

The Mavs piled on in the 5th.  Jesus Guzman drew a one out walk, Johan Limonta singled, then after Mario Alvarez took a seat for Cory Wade, Adam Moore doubled both runners in to make it 6-3.

The Mavs had a shot at another rally, but Wellington Dotel, on 1st after a single, tried to stretch for 3rd on a Kevin Reynolds single to right, and RF Jamie Hoffmann gunned him down for the 2nd out.  The Mavs went down quietly shortly thereafter.

Jensen looked to have a 1-2-3 6th, but with two outs, Luca May singled, then Drew Locke smoked a grounder into center that Wellington Dotel had trouble getting to.  That's right, put the rookie somewhere safe where his inexperience can be masked, like center fiel- HUH.  By the time he got it back in, Locke got to 3rd with an RBI triple that cut the lead to 6-4.

That's okay, because with two outs in the top 7th, Adam Moore crapped all over a suck pitch and sent it over the left center wall to make it 7-4.  After that, Jensen took a seat for the newly recovered Ivan Blanco, after a mostly useful night, the 4 runs aside.  Only two were earned and he had had poor luck with groundballs, but given how much the staff has struggled, I'm guessing Scott Steinmann will gladly take it.

Flyballs:  9
Groundballs:  12
Line Drives:  0
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  3

Blanco pitched a 1-2-3 7th, and reliever Jacobo Meque walked Travis Scott to lead off the top 8th, but then struck out the next three batters.  Uhhhhh....

Blanco came back out for the bottom 8th.  Jamie Hoffmann, thorn in the Mavs' side, led off with a double.  Blake Dewitt walked.  Travis Denker walked to load the bases... for Luca May.  What's the worst that can happen, grand slam?

Grand slam?  ONE PLEASE.  Lucas May crapped all over a rehab pitch and sent it well over Wellington Dotel's head (wellington over?) for the backbreaking grand slam, 8-7 Empire.

Drew Locke singled and Ruben Flores came in to pitch and had to battle to get out of the inning, giving up a single, stolen base and walk before escaping without further damage.

Kyle Wilson came in to pitch the top 9th, and while I'd like to say that the Mavs put up a fight before going down... they didn't.

AA:  The DIAMOND JAXX of West Tenn are off for the All Star Break!  They will return on July 11th (the same day I return to Seattle!) against Carolina's Mudcats.

AAA:  Tacoma 6, Portland 4

Jake Woods:  6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER (HR), walk, 2 K
Jon Huber:  1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, walk, 3 K
Cesar Jimenez:  0.1 IP, 1 H, walk
Wife Vulture:  1.1 IP, K
Jeremy Reed:  2-5, double, 2 R (.290/.348/.435)
Adam Jones:  3-4, double, 2 run HR, 2 run HR (.309/.377/.585)
Jeff Clement:  1-4, double, R, RBI, K (.274/.366/.517)
Gookie Dawkins:  1-4, double (.255/.289/.353)
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-4, double, RBI (.275/.311/.370)
Sebastien Boucher:  1-4, double
WLAD, of course, was at the Futures Game in San Francisco!  He knocked in a run on an RBI double in the World's 7-2 victory.

Meanwhile, back in Tacoma, the Rainiers wrapped up their 4th straight win over Portland.  Go figure that I diss Jake Woods and he goes and throws one of his best starts of the year.  The only run he allowed came on Mike Sansoe's leadoff INSIDE THE PARK home run to center in the bottom 6th.  Adam Jones had a heck of a time chasing that drive down in cavernous center, and he's no slouch on defense.  But Woods easily got through the 6th with a 6-1 lead and called it a night after a decent outing, for a change.

Flyballs:  7
Groundballs:  8
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  2

The 6 runs were powered in large part by Adam Jones hitting two 2-run HRs, one in the 4th and another in the 6th.  Jeff Clement and Ronnie Prettyman also cashed in during the 6th with RBI doubles.