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5/11 Minor League Wrap-Up

The Mariners win, and most of the org didn't have too bad a day themselves.  A Rainiers doubleheader features a great ending in the nightcap... Rich Dorman survived 10 line drives to post a solid outing... until the 7th... Ricky Orta got whipped but no lead is safe in the Cal League, and the Mavs got out the lumber in a big inning... while the T-Rats got a good start from an improved Edward Paredes and some timely offense.

Also, starting tomorrow we're gonna have some extra action via the other side of the Equator Caribbean, as the Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) kicks off!  The M's international recruiting efforts in Felix's homeland leads to an entire squad of 18-20 year old kids vying for a chance to impress scouts and coaches enough to earn a trip to the States to try and make it.  The VSLM's start their season at 11 am local time against the VSL Mets, and the VSL season runs until early August.

On to the wrap-up!

A:  Wisconsin 3, Cedar Rapids 1
WIS:  14-18... CED:  17-18

Edward Paredes:  6 IP, 4 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, 2 K (6 GS, 5.13 ERA, 26.1 IP, 3 HR, 12/21 BB/K)
Jacob Wild:  2 IP, 3 K (7 app, 13.1 IP, 0 HR, 5/13 BB/K)
Robert Harmon:  1 IP, walk, K (8 app, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2 HR, 11/13 BB/K)
Joe Dunigan:  1-3, triple, R, RBI, 2 K (213/309/426)
Ronald Garth:  1-2, double, R, walk (224/280/329)
rest of T-Rats lineup:  1-22, walk, 3 K

It was a good thing Edward Paredes woke up and pitched 6 strong innings, because the T-Rats gave him very little offense.  Fortunately, they capitalized on what few opportunities they got.

The Kernels got an unearned run from a Julio Perez single in the 2nd.  He helped the T-Rats out by getting thrown out trying for 2nd to end the frame.  They almost got another from a Clay Fuller double (277/364/473), and Fuller even stole 2nd base with two outs, but Andrew Romine grounded out to end the threat.

The T-Rats finally got something in the 4th.  Alex Liddi got plunked with one out, and Joe Dunigan tripled to right to cash him in and TIE THE BALLGAME.  After Ronald Garth walked, Calvin Beamon tapped back to the mound, and pitcher Trevor Reckling (7 GS, 3.72 ERA, 38.2 IP, 2 HR, 20/33 BB/K) couldn't make the play, allowing Dunigan to score and give the T-Rats a 2-1 lead.

Paredes fortunately held down the fort from there, and good thing he did, because the T-Rats couldn't get much of anything going beyond that 2 run rally.  He got lucky, too, because in one stretch he allowed line drives in play to 4 consecutive batters.

Groundballs:  9
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  6
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  2

The T-Rats did get some more offense. Ronald Garth doubled to lead off the 7th and later scored to make it 3-1.  Jacob Wild got some work in, and Robert Harmon is settling nicely into his revised role as a short reliever with another shutout inning.

A+:  High Desert 10, Rancho Cucamonga 7
Mavs:  17-20 (Cal League South division 'leader')... Quakes:  15-22

Ricky Orta:  2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER (HR), 5 K, hit batter (6 GS, 4.32 ERA, 25 IP, 3 HR, 8/22 BB/K)
Alfredo Venegas:  5 IP, 4 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 3 K (5 app, 2 GS, 3.26 ERA, 19.1 IP, 0 HR, 1/19 BB/K)
Michael Wagner:  1.1 IP, 1 H, (1 R) 0 ER, K (14 app, 3.72 ERA, 19.1 IP, 0 HR, 4/14 BB/K)
Shawn Kelley:  two outs, hit batter
Jamie McOwen:  3-5, 2 R, RBI, K (291/353/378)
Kuo Hui Lo:  2-5, 2 doubles, 2 R, 2 RBI (210/267/339)
Matt Mangini:  5-5, 2 run HR, 2 R (263/383/407)
Carlos Peguero:  1-4, R, RBI, K (299/318/463)
Erick Monzon:  3-4, R
Jose Yepez:  0-2, sac fly RBI, walk
Ogui Diaz:  1-4, R, RBI, 3 K (245/288/265)

The Quakes jumped all over rehabbing Ricky Orta and by the time he left, the Mavs were in a serious 5-0 hole.  For your creation of said hole, Ricky, you receive today's Cibney Bello Memorial [COATHANGER] Award.

Cibney Bello Memorial [COATHANGER] Award: Ricky Orta, May 11, 2008, for his 2 ghastly innings of work in a start against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

I wasn't going to make this a daily thing, but one day after its debut, Ricky, you forced my hand.  Nice work, and by nice work, I mean... uh... the exact opposite of 'nice work'.

The Quakes added a run in the 6th to make it 6-0, but the Mavs awoke in the bottom half.  Jamie McOwen singled with one out, then Kuo Hui Lo doubled him in before Matt Mangini took David Herndon (7 GS, 5.18 ERA, 40 IP, 6 HR, 5/32 BB/K) deep to cut the lead to 6-3. 

But the big damage came in the 7th.  Jamie McOwen led off with a single off reliever Marco Albano (11 app, 6.48 ERA, 16.2 IP, 2 HR, 6/15 BB/K).  Kuo Hui LO doubled him in to cut the lead to 6-4.  Matt Mangini lined a single to right to put runners at the corners.Then Albano helped himself out by uncorking a wild pitch to cash in Lo and make it 6-5 as Mangini took 2nd.  Sure, Chris Minaker, who got shut down today, struck out for the 1st out, but Carlos Peguero grounded up the middle to cash in Mangini and TIE THE BALLGAME.  Erick Monzon singled, and Albano got the hook for Felipe Arredondo (11 app, 6.48 ERA, 16.2 IP, 3 HR, 3/16 BB/K).

Leury "Latin Campaneris" Bonilla Watch: started at 1B, and came to the plate with one out and runners on the corners.  And Arredndo must have been a bit slow in his delivery, because Peguero STOLE HOME to give the Mavs the 7-6 lead!  And Bonilla lined a single to right, and took 2nd after 3B Larry Infante dropped the throw from RF Rian Kiniry as Monzon slid into 3rd.  Jose Yepez flew out to center, and Monzon came in to make it 8-6.

Ogui Diaz singled to center, and Leury came in to make it 9-6, as Ogui took 2nd on the throw.  Arrendondo got the hook for Barret Browning (14 app, 2.84 ERA, 19 IP, 1 HR, 6/20 BB/K), the 3rd pitcher of the inning.

And Jamie McOwen singled off of HIM to cash in Ogui and make it 10-6.  But finally, the inning came to a close when McOwen got caught off the bag on a pickoff attempt and was run down for the 3rd out.

The Quakes did get a run in the 8th but would not get any closer.  Alfredo Venegas, relegated to the bullpen, pitched 5 solid innings in long relief to get the win.  They may want to give him a 2nd chance in the rotation.

AA:  Birmingham 3, West Tenn 2
WTN:  23-14... BIR:  20-17

Rich Dorman:  7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, 4 K (8 GS, 2.19 ERA, 49.1 IP, 4 HR, 17/40 BB/K)
Jason Mackintosh:  one out, 1 H, 1 ER (11 app, 3.52 ERA, 15.1 IP, 0 HR, 4/11 BB/K)
Brodie Downs:  two outs, 2 H (12 app, 4.82 ERA, 18.2 IP, 1 HR, 9/14 BB/K)
Johan Limonta:  1-3, double, K
Jon Nelson:  3-4, 2 doubles, R, RBI (300/370/411)
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-4, RBI, 2 K (215/241/374)
rest of DIAMOND JAXX lineup:  5-26, R, 3 walks, 5 K

Rich Dorman and Kyle McCulloch (8 GS, 3.98 ERA, 43 IP, 2 HR, 17/28 BB/K) traded zeroes for 6 innings, and it wasn't exactly a duel of shutdown pitchers, as both starters were getting hit hard, but a lot of well hit liners and flyballs were finding fielders, and it appeared it was only a matter of time before one of the starters would crack.

It would be Dorman, who came out for the 7th and immediately got taken deep by Cole Armstrong (170/202/404).  Armstrong's liner screamed over the RF fence to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.  It was the 5th HR of the season for the erratic but powerful catcher.

Javier Castillo (257/344/394) did line a single after that, but Dorman contained the Barons and got out of the frame without further damage.

The DIAMOND JAXX picked him up in the 7th.  Marshall Hubbard snuck a grounder up the middle for a leadoff base hit.  Adam Moore bunted back to the mound, but didn't do his job as they got Hubbard, the lead runner, at 2nd for one out.  Lefty Joseph Torres (19 app, 2.12 ERA, 17 IP, 1 HR, 9/20 BB/K) came in to pitch to Johan Limonta, and Scott Steinmann played musical platoon chairs, lifting Limonta for Mike Wilson, riding pine today.  And Wilson took full advantage of the platoon edge by striking out.  He never ceases to amaze us.

Jon Link (15 app, 2.57 ERA, 14 IP, 0 HR, 9/14 BB/K) relieved Torres and Jon Nelson doubled off him to score Adam Moore and TIE THE BALLGAME.  In his haste to gun down Moore, 2B Victor Mercedes threw YIKES AND AWAY to give Nelson 3rd base.  As a result, Ronnie Prettyman's single to center easily scored Nelson to give the DIAMOND JAXX a 2-1 lead.

Dorman came back out for the 8th, and Rob Valido (180/235/207) immediately tripled off him to center.  That was enough for Steinmann, and he went and got Dorman.

Groundballs:  7
Flyballs:  2
Line Drives:  10 (1 HR)
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  4

Jason Mackintosh came into a tough situation, the tying run on 3rd with nobody out.  Miguel Negron (233/326/267) flew out to center, and Valido indeed came in to score easily and tie the ballgame.  Ricky Nanita (290/318/444) snuck a grounder into LF, and Steinmann yanked Mack for Brodie Downs, looking to rebound from a string of poor relief outings.

Leading Barons hitter David Cook (297/448/577) grounded sharply to short, and Mark Kiger could not get an out, putting runners at 1st and 2nd with one out.  Thomas Collaro (235/293/353) lined a single to left to score Nanita and make it 3-2 Barons.

Down to their final 3 outs, Michael Saunders and Marshall Hubbard went down quietly, but Adam Moore snuck a grounder up the middle to get on before getting lifted for pinch runner Jeff Dominguez.  It didn't matter, though, because Mike Wilson grounded out to short to end the ballgame.

AAA:  They played two in Omaha!

Game 1:  Tacoma 3, Omaha 1

Ryan Feierabend:  6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 K (7 GS, 1.67 ERA, 43 IP, 2 HR, 10/30 BB/K)
Potatoes:  1 IP, 1 H, K (8 app, 4.50 ERA, 10 IP, 1 HR, 4/10 BB/K)
Oswaldo Navarro:  1-3, triple, walk, K (303/400/393)
Jeremy Reed:  2-4, solo HR, K (364/432/597)
Charlton Jimerson:  1-2, RBI, 2 SB (265/282/446)

Feier allowed a cheap run in the 1st off two singles and a sac fly, but it was all he allowed.

Groundballs:  9
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  3

The Rainiers tied the game in the 2nd.  Newcomer Victor Diaz led off with a single up the middle, moved over and eventually scored on a sharp Charlton Jimerson grounder to 3rd that 3B Dave Matranga could not play in time.  Jimerson did swipe 3rd and Rob Johnson walked, but Tuglett popped up to kill the rally dead.

Jeremy Reed lined a shot over the LF fence (opp field!) off Tyler Lumsden (7 GS, 6.82 ERA, 33 IP, 8 HR, 19/13 BB/K) to give the Rainiers a 2-1 lead.  They got another run in the 6th when a Shawn Garrett/Jimerson double steal paid off in a run off a groundout to make it 3-1.

Potatoes continues to rebound, pitching a scoreless 7th and final inning for his 1st AAA save of the season.

Game 2:  Tacoma 3, Omaha 2
TAC:  19-17... OMA:  17-18

Chris Jakubauskas:  5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, 4 K
Jon Huber:  2 IP, 3 H, 3 K (13 app, 17 IP, 0 HR, 8/13 BB/K)
Shawn Garrett:  2-3, double, 3 run HR
rets of Rainiers lineup:  2-20, 2 walks, 6 K

Chris Jakubauskas once again pitched an unspectacular but useful outing over 5 innings.  He did give up 2 runs to put Tacoma in the hole: in the 5th, he surrendered a solo shot to... Angel Berroa (311/328/538).  Yes, Angel Berroa, who couldn't beat out Tony Peña Jr for the starting SS job.  BTW, Berroa, whose primary weaknesses with Kansas City were errors and K's: 18 K in 119 ABs, and 3 errors in 31 games at SS.  Stretched out over a hypothetical full season of 600 ABs and ~150 games, that's about 90 K and 15 errors, not bad given the guy could have made a serious run at 40 errors and 200 K back in his day.  Sure AAA != MLB, but it's not like you'd expect the guy to come up and immediately begin fumbling grounders, horking throws and whiffing at every 3rd strike he sees.  Is this guy seriously worse than Tony Peña Jr, that they don't expect Berroa to outhit an everyday SS that makes Willie Bloomquist look like A-Rod?

Or how about middle infielder Mike Aviles (367/396/687), who doubled home a run in the 5th to make it 2-0 before Jakubauskas got the hook after 97 pitches.  Even if you can make a case that Aviles' glove is suspect, look at how he is destroying AAA right now, and you'd have to think his bat could make up for any shortcomings.  Grudzielanek has 2B blocked, but do the KC Royals really have enough of a case to keep Tony Peña Jr in the lineup to block both the passable Berroa and the sizable bat of Aviles?  Does Tony's father still have some sort of vice grip on the front office years after he has left?

... oh yeah, Jakubauskas.

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

The Rainiers were doing nothing at the plate.  NOTHING... except making outs.  The Rainiers had hits in each of the first 3 innings, and each time they got turned away without a run.  Matt Wright (7 GS, 4.41 ERA, 34.2 IP, 8 HR, 14/21 BB/K) threw six inexplicable shutout innings before ceding to Omaha closer Neal Musser (14 app, 4.58 ERA, 19.2 IP, 4 HR, 13/27 BB/K), and... uh ohs, Omaha.

Jeremy Reed walked to lead off.  Victor Diaz walked.  Josh Womack spelled Diaz at 1st base, and Musser uncorked a wild pitch against Bryan LaHair to give Reed 3rd base.  LaHair capitalized by striking out.  But Shawn Garrett, ten games removed from his promotion from AA, crapped all over a patented Musser suck pitch for his first AAA HR of the season, a three run bomb to give the Rainiers a 3-2 lead!

Jon Huber, having just worked the 6th without incident, came out for the 7th and got two quick outs before Mitch Maier doubled to left to put the tying run at 2nd.  Mike Aviles smoked a grounder to 2nd that Tuglett deflected as Maier, reaching 3rd, saw a clear opening and broke for home... except Oswaldo Navarro, he of the Rainiers StrangeGlove, gloved the deflection, threw home and gunned Maier down at the plate to end the ballgame!  ATTA BOY OSWALDO!