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5/9 Minor League Wrap-Up

Your delayed recap is brought to you by Al's, where I now pwn the high score in the games Bonbon Factory and Join 11... by Beefeater Gin, which proceeded to [COPULATE] my [FECAL MATTER] up at said drinking establishment... by distilled water, which rehydrated me enough to salvage my Saturday... by the now re-opened Rancho Bravo Taco Truck, who won't let a health inspection and temporary shutdown stop them from undercooking your beans and rice... and by my mother, who I talked with on the phone this morning and is thankfully okay after some punkass bitches robbed her home a couple weeks back.  May they meet the same fate as Kason Gabbard's face met at the hands of Richie Sexson.

As a reward for waiting, you'll get more details than usual in this recap.  And for your amusement, here's the mashup that mashups were made for .

On to the wrap-up!

A:  Wisconsin 7, Cedar Rapids 4
WIS:  13-18... CED:  17-17

Juan Ramirez:  5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 walks, 9 K
Keith Meyer:  1.1 IP, 1 H, K, hit batter
Travis Mortimore:  1 IP, walk
Justin Souza:  1 IP, 1 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 3 K, hit batter
Maximo Mendez:  1-2, double, 4 R, 3 walks, SB (154/290/231)
Juan Diaz:  2-4, double, 2 RBI (280/343/344)
Gavin Dickey:  3-4, double, 3 RBI (426/460/596)

Former Everett product Mason Tobin (6 GS, 2.73 ERA, 29.2 IP, 2 HR, 11/14 BB/K) made the start for the Kernels... and didn't survive the 1st inning, likely injured while pitching to Gavin Dickey with a man on 2nd, down 1-0 in the 1st (a Juan Diaz double drove in Maximo Mendez).  Dickey grounded out to 3rd, and Tobin took a sudden exit.  Jordan Towns, in only his 2nd Kernels appearance of the season, finished the 1st for Tobin, and spent the next 3 innings getting hit.

Alex Liddi led off the 2nd with a smoker to 3rd that he beat out.  Liddi stole 2nd, then took 3rd on a Scott Robinson groundout.

And welcome to Israel Nuñez, who made his T-Rats debut yesterday.  The replacement at catcher to promoted Korey Feiner, Nuñez played most of last year in Peoria with the AZL Mariners, though he did get to play 4 games with the T-Rats, as well as a very brief cup of coffee with the Rainiers.  Last year's 256/268/333 line, however, indicates a pop-gun hitter whose value will come primarily from his backstop work.  Anyway, his groundout in the 2nd cashed in Liddi and it was 2-0 T-Rats.

Maximo Mendez led off the 3rd with a double down the LF line, then took 3rd when Jeremy Moore misplayed it.  Juan Diaz immediately singled him in to make it 3-0.  Gavin Dickey did beat out a grounder to 3rd to put runners at 1st and 2nd with one out, but the Kernels got out of the jam without damage.

Maximo Mendez led off the 5th with a walk, and Edilio Colina got plunked with one out, leading to Towns getting yanked for Brian Chambers (12 app, 3.32 ERA, 19 IP, 0 HR, 9/10 BB/K).  Immediately Mendez and Colina pulled off a double steal, then Gavin Dickey doubled to center to cash them both in and make it 5-0.

Meanwhile, Juan Ramirez was cruising along as usual, the only vague threat he saw in the first 5 innings coming on a one out triple down the RF line, from which he quickly escaped.  But the game started getting away from him in the 6th.  Jerry Gonzalez-Lopez (223/277/266) grounded to 2nd and Hyphenito parlayed his two surnames into a base hit.  With one out, Andrew Romine (207/324/241) bunted down the 3B line and got aboard, moving the runner to 2nd.  Efren Navarro (303/403/414) drew a walk and loaded the bases with one out.

Still, Ramirez worked to get out of the jam, and got Gordon Gronkowski (236/293/349) on strikes for the 2nd out.  But he walked Jay Brossman (260/321/398) to force in a run, and that was it for Ramirez.

Groundballs:  7 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  0
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  9

Keith Meyer came in and immediately plunked Clay Fuller (278/368/472) to force in another run, 5-2.  Anel De Los Santos (264/292/429) lined a single to right to cash in Navarro, 5-3, but Brossman came around to try and score, and Joe Dunigan gunned him down at the plate for the 3rd out.

Chambers held the fort for Cedar Rapids through the 6th, and Ismael Carmona (12 app, 6.39 ERA, 12.2 IP, 0 HR, 14/13 BB/K) spelled him in the 7th.  Maximo Mendez drew yet another leadoff walk, and took 2nd on a Juan Diaz groundout, then took 3rd on a Edilio Colina groundout.  Gavin Dickey them attempted an ill-advised bunt back to the mound, which ultimately flummoxed Carmona and allowed Mendez to score, 6-3, as Dickey reached safely.

The T-Rats added another run off Ryan Brasier (14 app, 0.98 ERA, 18.1 IP, 8/16 BB/K) after Alex Liddi reached on a fielding error, and ultimately scored on an Israel Nuñez single to make it 7-3.  The Kernels did get a run in the 9th off Justin Souza with help from Alex Liddi throwing a grounder YIKES AND AWAY with two on and two out, but Jeremy Moore (211/280/404) struck out to end the ballgame.

A+:  Rancho Cucamonga 6, High Desert 4
Mavs:  15-20... Quakes:  15-20

Anthony Varvaro:  5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 walks, 6 K, wild pitch
David Asher:  two outs, K
Shawn Kelley:  1 IP, 2 H, K
Michael Wagner:  two outs, 2 H, 2 ER, walk
Aaron Cotter:  1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR)
Carlos Triunfel:  2-4, R, K (270/308/351)
Matt Mangini:  1-4, double, R, RBI, K (231/366/361)
Chris Minaker: 1-3, R, RBI, walk, 2 K (295/324/482)
Carlos Peguero:  1-4, RBI, 2 K (295/315/460)
Erick Monzon:  1-4, RBI, 2 K
Jose Yepez:  1-4, double

The Quakes got two quick runs in the 1st.  Back to back singles from Peter Bourjos (331/364/479) and Abel Nieves (254/312/324) opened the game, and Mark Trumbo (273/324/500) walked with one out to load the bases.  Wilberto Ortiz (279/331/364) struck out, but Varvaro walked Anthony Norman (277/414/543) to force in a run and make it 1-0 with two outs.  PJ Phillips (233/261/318) smoked a grounder to Triunfel that Phenom couldn't play time, scoring Nieves, 2-0, and keeping the bases loaded.  But whether it was a squeeze attempt or a legit steal, Mark Trumbo got caught between 3rd and home for the 3rd out.  With 1B Erick Monzon making the tag, it's likely Trumbo took off on a pickoff throw to 1st.

After that, Varvaro settled down, but so did Quakes SP Amalio Diaz (7 GS, 6.05 ERA, 38.2 IP, 5 HR, 10/20 BB/K).  Diaz shut down the Mavs until the 4th: Jamie McOwen walked and Triunfel smoked a grounder into RF... but McOwen tried for 3rd and got thrown out by RF Rian Kiniry.  Matt Mangini paid it off, however, doubling to center to cash in Triunfel and get the Mavs on the board.  Chris Minaker singled to right and cashed in Mangini to TIE THE BALLGAME.

Varvaro ran into trouble in the 5th when Bourjos led off with a double, then stole 3rd for his astonishing 21st stolen base of the season.  But Mangini checked him back on a groundout, and the next two batters went down on strikes to end that threat.

But Mangini botched the leadoff grounder from Wilberto Ortiz in the 6th to put him on.  Wilberto helped him out by getting caught stealing at 2nd for one out.  With two outs, PJ Phillips smoked a grounder up the middle, and Varvaro got the hook after a nicely salvaged outing.

Groundballs:  11
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  0
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  6

David Asher came in and, while Phillips did steal 2nd base, got Larry Infante (250/319/298) to pop out to end the threat.

Triunfel led off the 7th by beating out a grounder to short... but got caught trying to steal 2nd.  With two outs, Chris Minaker drew a rare walk, then Greg Halman smoked a grounder up the middle for a base hit.  Then Carlos Peguero smoked a grounder into RF to cash in Minaker and give the Mavs a 3-2 lead, and Diaz got the hook for reliever Sammy Leon, the difficult Cedar Rapids reliever who recently got promoted to Rancho Cucamonga, making only his 3rd Quakes appearance of the season.

Erick Monzon, who I never bothered to welcome to High Desert when he debuted a few days back, singled on a grounder up the middle to cahs in Halman and make it 4-2 Mavs.  Kuo Hui Lo, whose performance has disappeared the last couple weeks, walked to load the bases with two outs, but Jose Yepez popped out in foul territory to end the rally.

The Quakes had a shot in the 8th after back to back one out singles off Shawn Kelley, but Michael Wagner came in and, despite a Jose Yepez passed ball and a walk by Anthony Norman, PJ Phillips bailed the Mavs out by grounding into the inning ending 4-6-3 double play.

Wagner started the 9th and back to back groundballs up the middle from Larry Infante and Rian Kiniry put runners on.  Aaron Cotter relieved Wagner, Peter Bourjos bunted down the 3B line and everyone was safe.  Bases loaded.

And Abel Nieves crapped all over a Cotter suck pitch for the backbreaking GRAND SLAM.  6-4 Quakes.

Brian Walker added damage by bunting down the 3B line and getting on himself.  But Mark Trumbo did more rally killing with a 6-4-3 double play, and Wilberto Ortiz flew out to end the disaster inning.

Aaron Cook (no, not THAT Aaron Cook: 11 app, 12.2 IP, 0 HR, 6 walks, 7 K) came on to finish, and he got no fight out of Monzon (K), Kuo Hui Lo (K) or Yepez (6-3 groundout).

AA:  West Tenn 9, Mississippi 8
WTN:  23-12... MIS:  11-24

Ryan Ketchner:  5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER (HR), 2 walks, 6 K, wild pitch
Brodie Downs:  1.2 IP, 4 H, (4 R) 0 ER, 2 walks, 3 K, hit batter
Jason Mackintosh:  1 IP, walk
Mumba Rivera:  1 IP, 2 K
Prentice Redman:  2-4, R, RBI, walk, K (240/375/423)
Michael Saunders:  1-5, triple, R, 3 RBI, K (317/387/524)
Adam Moore:  2-5, double, RBI, K (315/393/481)
Johan Limonta:  2-3, 2 R, walk, K
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-4, double, R (220/248/390)
Luis Valbuena:  3-4, R, RBI, SB (330/421/495)

Ryan Ketchner let the AA Braves get off to a loud start because he never heard them coming.  Javier Guzman (270/300/351) lined a single with one out, Greg Creek (296/379/481) singled with two outs, and Matt Young (297/409/414) cleared the bags with a triple to make it 2-0.  Kala Kaaihue (190/333/314) then took Ketchner deep for only his 2nd HR of the season to make it 4-0.

The DIAMOND JAXX fought back in the 2nd against crappy Dustin Evans (7 GS, 9.48 ERA, 31.1 IP, 2 HR, 17/21 B/K).  After Johan Limonta singled with two outs and Ronnie Prettyman doubled him to 3rd, Limonta scored on a passed ball from catcher JC Boscan.  Mark Kiger took ball four, and Boscan passed THAT as well to allow Prettyman to score and make it 4-2.  Luis Valbuena singled Kiger to 3rd, but Prentice Redman flew out to end the threat.

Marshall Hubbard singled with one out in the 3rd, Mike Wilson walked, and Adam Moore cashed Hubbard in with a single, 4-3... but Mike Wilson got gunned down in a 9-3-6-5 relay.  Yes, a four player relay.  It's not known whether Mike was crabwalking to 3rd, if Wilson dumbly tried to go back to 2nd after seeing an initial relay would catch him and got caught in a rundown, or if he really was that slow.

Ketchner ran into more trouble in the 4th.  JC Boscan (178/310/233) walked and Paul Bennett (125/222/200) lined a single to center, but Ketchner quickly got the next two batters to escape.

Mark Kiger led off the 4th with a walk, and stole 2nd base.  Luis Valbuena bunted down the 3B line, reached safely and Kiger took 3rd safely.  Prentice Redman walked and suddenly we're loaded... for Michael Saunders.

And Saunders launched a screamer to RF to clear the bases with a triple to make it 6-4 DIAMOND JAXX.  Dustin Evans, cracking once again, uncorked a wild pitch to Marshall Hubbard to bring in Saunders and make it 7-4.  Hubbard then got plunked, and Mike Wilson capitalized on the wildness by striking out.  Seriously, somebody tell this genius that he is allowed to take pitches when the pitcher can't find the strike zone with a GPS.  That was the first out of the inning.

Adam Moore doubled Hubbard over to 3rd, and Evans got the hook for Jerome Gamble (12 app, 4.12 ERA, 19.2 IP, 0 HR, 9/10 BB/K).  Gamble got Johan Limonta to whiff and Ronnie Prettyman to ground out and end the [COATHANGER] inning.

Ketchner was about done when he came out for the 6th.  He got Mark Jurich on strikes and took a seat for Brodie Downs.

Groundballs:  5
Flyballs:  5 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  4
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  6

JC Boscan snuck a grounder into RF to get on, then Adam Moore engaged in his latest hobby: another passed ball, to move Boscan to 2nd.  Paul Bennett grounded out for 2 outs, but after Saunders dropped the 3rd out in foul territory, JC Holt capitalized with his 1st triple of the year to cash in Boscan and cut the lead to 7-5.  Javier Guzman got plunked, and Jason Perry doubled to center to cash in both runners and tie the ballgame at 7.  Greg Creek lined a single to center to give the AA Braves an 8-7 lead.  Matt Young walked.  Kala Kaaihue walked and the bases were loaded... but Mark Jurich flew to right to end the threat.

A pissed off Brodie Downs struck out the side in the 7th, and the DIAMOND JAXX awoke again in the 7th.  Johan Limonta smoked a grounder up the middle with one out.  With two outs, Mark Kiger grounded through to RF to move Limonta to 3rd.  Luis Valbuena lined a single to right to cash in Limonta and TIE THE BALLGAME with runners on the corners and 2 out.  Prentice Redman smoked a grounder to short, and SS Javier Guzman could not make a play!  Kiger scored and the DIAMOND JAXX took a 9-8 lead!

Gamble got the hook for Ryan Basner (6 app, 5.06 ERA, 10.2 IP, 4 HR, 5 walks, 8 K).  Valbuena stole 3rd and Redman took 2nd on a wild pitch, but Saunders struck out to end the threat.  Jason Mackintosh shut down the AA Braves in the 8th, and Mumba Rivera shut them down in the 9th to seal the deal.

To celebrate, let's check out a video of Josh Womack and Prentice Redman doing some cool bat tricks before a game against the Mudcats.

AAA:  Iowa 3, Tacoma 0
TAC:  17-17... IOWA:  16-18

Sean White:  7 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, walk, 2 K, hit batter
Potatoes:  1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Oswaldo Navarro:  1-4, double, K (301/398/373)
rest of Rainiers:  3-22, 7 K

Welcome to Victor Diaz, recently cut loose by the Rangers org (296/398/366 in Round Rock).  He was available and certainly of use, so here he is, likely as the actual roster replacement for WLAD in RF.  He went 1 for 4 with 2 K, one of only 4 Rainiers with a hit today against lefthander JR Mathes (6 GS, 2.85 ERA, 41 IP, 6 HR, 6/23 BB/K) and reliever Mike Burns (8 app, 4 GS, 2.87 ERA, 31.1 IP, 1 HR, 6/28 BB/K).  Diaz also committed his 2nd error of the season in RF.

Sean White did fine despite a rocky 2nd and 3rd inning, but with the Rainiers bats getting shut down, 3 runs allowed was 3 runs too many.

Groundballs:  12 (plus 2 bunts)
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  2

Another encouraging sign was the AAA Cubs getting POTATOWNED in the 8th.