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6/21 Minor League Wrap-Up

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Before we begin, I must note something that was pointed out to me last night, and that MiLB has since rectified.  Shawn Kelley was erroneously credited with a blown save in last night's game, when he actually didn't come in until AFTER the 7-6 lead had been blown in the 11th.  The original log showed him coming in just in time to allow that game-tying run, but the log is revised and it turns out Mumba Rivera blew the lead, ceding to Kelley once he had done so.  Kelley did not allow any runs.

It was late and I was somewhat tired when kaymco chimed in last night, so it blew over my head that he was saying he was AT the game, and that Kelley definitely came in AFTER the lead was blown, so my apologies, man, for missing that important detail. I may be rock-headed, but when alert I'm not THAT rock-headed ;P  It's duly noted, and thanks for the heads up, and any details on any DIAMOND JAXX games you're able to catch.  Feel free to chime in with details whenever you've got them: I DO welcome them.

Okay, so my lapses and scorekeepers' lapses aside, on to the wrap-up!  I fired up's streaming radio in time to catch the tail end of the Mavs-Stockton game, which went far better than the first two Mavs-Ports games.  Details within....

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Mariners 2, VSL Tigers 0
VSLMs:  20-13... VSL Tiggers:  8-26
(League:  260/345/359... 3.68 ERA)

Nolan Diaz:  8 IP, 6 H, 8 K (1st start, 9 app, 2.33 ERA, 27 IP, 1/25 BB/K)
Yoervis Medina:  1 IP, K (8 app, 2.29 ERA, 19.2 IP, 4/14 BB/K)
Michael Acevedo:  0-2, sac fly RBI (269/352/389)
Jetsy Extrano:  1-3, RBI (258/327/355)
rest of VSLMs lineup:  2-22, 2 R, 2 K

I want to get excited about the pitching performances, but the VSL Tigers are kinda bad, and the VSLMs only managed two runs against a similarly poor staff, drawing no walks against the team that leads the VSL in walks issued, and netting only 3 singles against a staff that leads the VSL in HRs allowed.

In fact, losing Tigers starter Bruce Rondon went the distance, allowing only 2 unearned runs on 3 hits to improve his VSL ERA to 4.03, still comparitively mediocre for the dead-ball VSL, and his peripherals are hardly impressive.

I will admit that Nolan Diaz's K/BB is pretty sick, though.

Dominican:  DSL Mariners 3, DSL Cardinals 2
DSLMs:  13-4... DSL Cards:  4-12
(League:  231/337/322... 3.72 ERA)

Jose Perdomo:  4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 walks, 3 K
Enrique Rosario:  2.2 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K
Bruno Mercedes:  2.1 IP, 1 H, K, wild pitch (8 app, 1.45 ERA, 18.2 IP, 6/15 BB/K)
Efrain Nuñez:  2-4, triple, 2 R (333/448/729... 4 triples in 48 ABs)
Mario Flores:  2-3, 2 RBI
Rey Lebron:  2-4, RBI, K

Jose Perdomo had a bit of trouble locating, SS Oliver Garcia had a bit of trouble fielding, and the DSLMs let two runs across in the 1st.

But Efrain Nuñez lined a single to lead off, stole 2nd, and later scored on a Mario Flores sac fly to cut the lead to 2-1.  Nuñez led off the 3rd with a triple and soon scored on a Mario Flores lined single.  Hector Mercedes took advantage of a leadoff walk and two Juan Jaquez wild pitches in the 6th to set up an easy score on a Rey Lebron lined single that gave the DSLMs the lead for good.

If it seems like the DSLMs always play the same teams, that's because they have.  The DSL has a facet unique to their league: divisions are set up by the different baseball complexes in the Dominican Republic that each squad plays at, many of which have varying numbers, and teams only play other teams in their division.  This is due to cost and feasibility issues: ultimately, it matters little where and who exactly the kids lay, as long as they get to play.

The DSLMs' Santo Domingo North complex has only 5 squads (compared, for example, to the B.C. South division that has 12 teams.  The Santo Domingo West division has 4 teams, the San Pedro division has 6, and the BC North has 10).  In the SD North division, two of the five squads belong to the A's, and the A1s have only played 7 games this season, thanks to rainouts and a 10 day break in their schedule for some sort of administrative/logistics purpose, while the A2s have played 9 games total for the same reasons.  Thus the DSLMs have only had two opponents these last couple weeks, the DSL Phillies and the DSL Cards.  They've gotten to know each other really well.

But the A1's and A2's should be back at it this weekend, giving the DSLMs a little more variety with their opposition.

The Peoria Mariners begin play today, and their opener will be covered in tomorrow's wrap-up.

Rk+:  Pulaski 10, Elizabethton 7
(League:  261/338/385... 4.22 ERA)

Kenn Kasparek:  5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER (HR), 5 K (12th rd 2008)
Brandon Pullen:  2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR)
Jeff Dunbar:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, walk, 4 K
Jared Shaffer:  3-4, 2 doubles, 3 R, walk
Jose Rivero:  1-4, RBI, K
Mario Martinez:  3-5, double, 2 run HR, 4 R, 3 RBI
Kris Sanchez:  2-5, double, R, RBI, 2 K
Dwight Britton:  2-4, 2 doubles, R, 3 RBI, 2 K
Blake Trinkler:  1-3, RBI, 2 walks

Kenn Kasparek did not have the best start, getting taken deep by Jonathan Waterbury with a man on to make it 2-0 out of the gate.  But Anthony Phillips led off the bottom 1st by beating out a grounder to 2nd, then Jacob Shaffer doubled him to 3rd before Jose Rivero singled up the middle to cash in Phillips and put runners at the corners.  Mario Martinez grounded to short, and SS Jacob Beresford tossed to Nick Papasan at 2B for one, but they could not turn a 2nd out, not that it mattered as Shafer came in to tie the ballgame with Martinez now on 1st.  Kris Sanchez grounded to 2nd, and Papasan threw YIKES AND AWAY to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out.  Dwight Britton flew to right for the 2nd out, but Mario tagged up and score to give the PMs a 3-2 lead.

The Liz Twins tied it in the 3rd when Jonathan Waterbury doubled home Andrew Schmiesing with two outs.  But Mario Martinez led off the bottom 3rd with a double to left, and with one out Dwight Britton doubled to left to cash in Mario and make it 4-3 PMs.  Blake Trinker got a grounder into left to cash in Britton and make it 5-3 PMs.

Jacob Shaffer led off the 4th with a double to left, Jose Rivero bunted him to 3rd for one out, and pitcher Curits Leavitt uncorked a wild pitch to bring in Shaffer and make it 6-3 PMs.

Jonathan Waterbury struck again in the 5th, tripling in his tag team partner Andrew Schmiesing with two outs to cut the PMs lead to 6-4.  The PMs had a chance to respond in the bottom 5th, as Blake Trinkler and Tommy Johnson walked back to back with one out, and moved over on a passed ball from Twins catcher Daniel Rams... but Jermaine Brock struck out and Anthony Phillips flew out harmlessly to right to end that threat.

The PMs did respond in the 6th, however.  Jacob Shaffer got a groundball into left field, then swiped 2nd, then later swiped 3rd... though it didn't matter as Mario Martinez took reliever Omar Alcala deep for his 2nd career home run to make it 8-4.  Mario Martinez is only 18 years old.  He's not getting Triunfel's hype, but let's not forget this impressive young international prospect, especially given he is tearing up the App League out of the gate.  The M's have a ton of great young international talent, and while some may struggle, some do well, but either way, these are a lot of talented young kids with tremendous upside.

The Twins did not take this quietly.  Andrew Schmiesing got on again with a single to left in the 7th, but before Waltenbury could finish the tag team combo, Nicholas Romero took Brandon Pullen deep himself with two out to cut the lead to 8-6.  His thunder stolen, Waltenbury could only fly out to center.

The Liz Twins crept closer in the 8th off reliever Jeff Dunbar.  Rene Leveret led off with a walk, and Michael Harrington singled up the middle to put runners at 1st and 2nd.  Daniel Rams struck out and Angel Morales popped out, but Nicholas Papasan smoked a grounder up the middle to cash in Leveret and cut the lead to 8-7.  Evan Bigley came on to pinch hit, and he hit a liner... right to Kris Sanchez at 1B for the 3rd out.

The PMs stretched it back out in the 8th.  Mario Martinez singled with one out, and Kris Sanchez doubled him in to make it 9-7 PMs.  Dwight Britton then doubled in Sanchez to make it 10-7 PMs, and Dunbar iced the game by striking out the side in the 9th.

A-:  Spokane 5, Everett 2

Kenta Suda:  3.1 IP, 4 H, (5 R) 4 ER (HR), 5 walks, K (2007 international signee)
Johnny DuRocher:  3.2 IP, K
Philip Hann:  1 IP, 2 H (nondrafted FA)
Nate Tenbrink:  2-4, RBI, K, SB
Fleming Baez:  2-3, K (last seen in MiLB in 2002 with the Rangers org, and played last year with Somerset of the independent Atlantic League)

So who is Kenta Suda?  He's a 6 foot, 172 lb 18 year old with a 95 mph fastball, which should tell you all you need to know about why the M's went after him.  Yasushi Yamamoto, Hide Sueyoshi and Pay Kelly recruited and signed this young man from the NOMO Baseball Club in Japan.  He pitched in Taiwan's IBAFAAA Championship last August for the Japanese team.

... and let's just say his first pro start could have gone a lot better, as he got bombed and subsequently chased in the 4th.  On the bright side, Johnny DuRocher relieved him in the 4th, and Backup QB did not allow a hit in pitching through the 7th.

But the 4 run 4th gave the Indians a 5-2 lead and appeared to take the air out of the Aquasox, as they had no answer beyond that.

A:  Burlington 8, Wisconsin 2
(League:  249/321/369... 3.61 ERA)

Michael Pineda:  5.1 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 1 ER (HR), 2 walks, 4 K (8 GS +5, 1.31 ERA, 55 IP, 3 HR, 16/44 BB/K)
Jose Escalona:  1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, K (13 app, 3.38 ERA, 16 IP, 2 HR, 9/18 BB/K)
Ryan Moorer:  1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, K, hit batter (24 app, 4.50 ERA, 28 IP, 1 HR, 12/20 BB/K)
Joe Kantakevich:  two outs, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER
Maximo Mendez:  1-4, 2 run HR, K (263/351/398)
Edilio Colina:  2-4, K (294/364/379)
rest of T-Rats lineup:  2-23, R, walk, 4 K

The org is taking it easy with high end pitching prospects like Michael Pineda, and Pineda got an extended break in the pen over the last few weeks to minimize his cumulative workload.  But here he was getting the start yesterday, and he picked up right where he left off, working five shutout innings... until he ran into trouble in the 6th.

He actually gave Johnny Giavotella more of the same, as Giavotella grounded to 3rd, except 3B Alex Liddi threw YIKES AND AWAY to put him on, which proved to be a bad mistake as Mike Moustakas took Pineda deep for his 10th HR of the season to break a scoreless tie and give the Bees a 2-0 lead.  Jason Taylor then got a grounder into CF, before swiping his 24th base of the years.  David Lough's flyball thankfully found Denny Almonte in center, and manager Terry Pollreisz decided to pull Pineda while the getting was good.

Groundballs:  9 (plus 2 bunts)
Flyballs:  4 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  2
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  4

Jose Escalona got Clint Robinson on strikes, but Taylor swiped 3rd for his 25th steal of the season.  Jamar Walton lined a single to center and Taylor came on in to make it 3-0 Burlington.

In the bottom 6th, Blake Ochoa caught a break when 2B Johnny Giacovella muffed his routine grounder with one out, and Giacovella had to pay back karma when Maximo Mendez followed that with his 3rd homer of the season to cut the lead to 3-2.

But the bullpen caved in after that.  Ryan Eigsti led off the 7th by taking Escalona deep to make it 4-2, Johnny Giacovella walked with one out, Mike Moustakas singled him to 3rd and Jason Taylor's flyout allowed him to tag up and score to make it 5-2.  Ryan Moorer plunked (not that) Juan Rivera with one out in the 8th and watched him steal 2nd, then 3rd... but got the next two batters to escape.  However, Moorer did not escape the 9th, as Johnny Giacovella and Mike Moustakas singled back to back to lead off, and David Lough singled with one out off reliever Joe Kantakevich to cash in both runners and make it 7-2, as LF Alex Meneses threw YIKES AND AWAY in the process, giving Lough 2nd, which allowed Lough to later score on a Jamar Walton lined single to make it 8-2.

Notice I'm not mentioning T-Rats hitters in that last paragraph.  Interesting, huh?

A+:  High Desert 7, Stockton 6, 11 innings
(League:  268/338/400... 4.46 ERA)

Donnie Hume:  6.2 IP, 7 H, (4 R) 2 ER (2 HR), walk, 4 K, hit batter (Mavs debut!)
Steven Richard:  1.1 IP, 1 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, 2 K (5 app, 1 GS, 8.38 ERA, 9.2 IP, 8/9 BB/K)
Aaron Cotter:  2 IP, 2 H, walk, 3 K (31 app, 2.75 ERA, 39.1 IP, 3 HR, 9/33 BB/K)
Julio Santiago:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K (23 app, 4.96 ERA, 32.2 IP, 1 HR, 21/29 BB/K)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-4, double, R, 3 RBI, 2 walks, K (251/308/401)
Erick Monzon:  3-6, 2 run HR, K (200/275/312)
Carlos Peguero:  2-5, double, K (304/324/481)
Travis Scott:  2-4, double, 3 R, walk, 2 K (259/318/421)
Leury Bonilla:  3-5, double, RBI, K (298/377/415)
Jamie McOwen:  1-2, double, R, 2 walks, K (250/314/335)

So I caught the radio feed of the tail end of this game last night, as the Mavs were trying not to get swept at home for the first time this year, by a team that had just stomped them the first two games.

First of all, the part I didn't catch: recently promoted SP Donnie Hume was exactly what the doctor ordered.  Sure, the Ports still got 3 runs off him in the 3rd and 4th.  Sure, Gustavo Rosendo took him deep to lead off the 3rd for his 1st HR of the season.  Sure, Daryl Lawhorn doubled in two runs with two outs in the 4th.  And Chris Carter did blast off for his 20th HR to lead off the 6th.  But after two days of pitching BP, the Mavs welcomed an otherwise solid effort where Hume gave the Ports nothing, and the Ports had to take what little Hume would give them to produce any runs.

The Mavs had a lot of trouble hitting with runners in scoring position, and were fortunate to have two runs after 6, trailing 4-2.  But 4-2 is a heck of a lot better than, say, 14-2.  Hume came back out for the 7th, likely looking to finish that much and given the pen a minimal workload.  Gustavo Rosendo flew out, then Matthew Sulentic struck out.  But Jermaine Mitchell got plunked, and almost literally out of nowhere, home plate umpire Dan Oliver flipped his lid and ejected Hume!  Mavs play by play man Alex Freedman reported that no previous warnings had been issued, no aggressive play or previous beanings had taken place that would lead the umps to keep an eye out.  But again, as mentioned, no warnings of any sort were ever issued.  The ejection came out of nowhere.

Groundballs:  11
Flyballs:  4 (2 HR)
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  4
Walks:  1 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  4

Steven Richard replaced Hume and picked off Mitchell at 1st to end the frame.

Despite a two out lined single from Erick Monzon and a follow-up lined single from Carlos Peguero... Chris Minaker popped out to end the frame, leaving the Mavs 0 for 7 with RISP.

Josh Horton led off the 8th with a single up the middle, stole 2nd and took 3rd when Travis Scott threw YIKES AND AWAY, before scoring on a Sean Doolittle sac fly to make it 5-2.

Travis Scott led off the bottom 8th with a double to right.  Leury Bonilla tapped back to the mound for one out, and the Mavs were now 0 for 8 with RISP.  Jamie McOwen walked, and new reliever Sam Demel got Ogui Diaz to ground to 3rd, but 3B Daryl Lawhorn muffed it, loading the bases with one out!  However, Daniel Carroll struck out for the 2nd out, leaving the Mavs 0 for 9 with RISP.  But Kuo Hui Lo lined a shot to center past Jermaine Mitchell to CLEAR THE BASES with a double and TIE THE BALLGAME!  THAT is how you break an 0 for 9 slump!

Jim Horner astutely called for the closer Aaron Cotter to hold the tie, and though Matthew Sulentic lined a single with two outs and stole 2nd, he got a flyout from Jermaine Mitchell, and the Mavs had a chance to win it in the bottom 9th.

But in a series of events that had Alex Freedman going into Niehaus-style hysterics on the air, Carlos Peguero, Chris Minaker and Travis Scott all struck out while chasing outside pitches in the dirt.  In Peguero's and Minaker's cases, they had full counts and the pitches in question would've been ball four.  True MARINERS IN THE MAKING!

Cotter appeared to face doom in the 10th when Josh Horton led ff with a single into right and Chris Carter walked with one out, but Cotter struck out Raul Padron, and got Frank Martinez on a 1-2 count with a JJ-to-Bonds-like sinker at the knees for strike three!

But in the bottom 10th, Leury Bonilla struck out swinging at... an outside pitch in the dirt for one out.  Jamie McOwen at least watched strike three on the outside corner for two outs, and Ogui Diaz, he of the 26/4 K:BB ratio... drew a walk.  Irony is a crazy thing sometimes.  Daniel Carroll, however, tapped back to the mound to end the frame. Not a good night for Two R's and Two L's' namesake.

Julio Santiago came in to pitch the 11th, and got two quick outs, but Matthew Sulentic singled up the middle, and Jermaine Mitchell launched a flyball over Carroll, to the wall for a triple that put the Ports ahead 6-5.

So it looked like the sweep was on, though at least the Mavs' pitching staff could claim a moral victory in not getting curbstomped this time.  The fans kept rooting the Mavs on, but largely didn't care because it was fireworks night.  Derrick Gordon came on to finish the game for the Ports, and Kuo Hi Lo drew a walk to lead off.  Erick Monzon came up to make his customary out, except he got a lot more wood on a Gordon pitch than he thought, and the liner... sailed 8 feet past the 340 sign in RF for a WALKOFF HOME RUN!  WHAT.  The surprise shot was only Monzon's 2nd HR of the season.  And the shot not only averted the sweep, and not only sent the Mavs into the Cal League All-Star Break with a win... but gave the Mavs their first walkoff win of the year.

Needless to say, Alex Freedman's mood improved dramatically after that.

AA:  Huntsville 7, West Tenn 6
(League:  260/340/393... 4.14 ERA)

Anderson Garcia:  6 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, walk, 5 K, wild pitch
Jason Mackintosh:  2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER (24 app, 3.77 ERA, 28.2 IP, 1 HR, 6/14 BB/K)
Greg Halman:  3-4, R, walk, K
Luis Valbuena:  2-4, 3 run HR, walk, K (308/382/502)
Mike Wilson:  1-5, solo HR, 2 K (269/351/537)
Jon Nelson:  2-5, double, solo HR, 2 K (311/360/466)
Mark Kiger:  2-3, R, RBI, walk, K (233/354/302)

The DIAMOND JAXX actually jumped out to a big lead as Luis Valbuena and Mike Wilson each went deep in a 4 run 3rd, as the JAXX had a 5-1 lead after 4.

But after a promising first 5 innings, Anderson Garcia just crumbled in the 6th, allowing his first line drives of the game and uncorking a wild pitch to boot as the Stars tied it up.  Scott Steinmann not only let him finish the disaster inning, but sent him back out for the 7th and let him give up a leadoff double and an RBI single before setting him down for the night.

Anderson's first five innings were pretty good.  The 6th and 7th was a shame.  Unless this was an exercise in building endurance and a thick skin to adversity, Steinmann really should have started warming up relievers after the 5th and pulled Anderson once the Stars began hitting him in the 6th.  You may want to rest the pen after Friday's 13 inning game, but we're talking about a rehabbing starter still not all the way back here.  You end up having to use relievers for 3 innings anyway, and now you've blown a 4 run lead on top of it.

Groundballs:  13 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  2
Line Drives:  5
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  5

Jason Mackintosh managed to record three outs in the 7th without allowing a run, a fine piece of relief work, but the DIAMOND JAXX now trailed 6-5.

Adam Moore beat out a grounder to 3rd to lead off the 8th, then took 2nd on a wild pitch.  With one out, Matt Mangini beat out a grounder to 2nd that moved Moore to 3rd.  Mark Kiger's single cashed in Moore to TIE THE BALLGAME... but Greg Halman struck out (to his credit, he hasn't done much of that since his callup) and Jeff Dominguez grounded out to first to end the rally.

Angel Salome singled up the middle to lead off the bottom half, Cole Gillespie bunted him over for one out, Mike Bell beat out his own bunt down the 1B line to put runners at the corners, and Carlos Corporan doubled to cash in Salome and give the Stars a 7-6 lead.

In a dose of Mariner karma, Juan Sandoval came in to close the ballgame for Huntsville.  Luis Valbuena led off with a walk, and took 2nd on a Sandoval wild pitch.  Mike Wilson struck out for one out, but Johan Limonta walked to put the tying run at 2nd.  Brent Johnson replaced Limonta at 1st base, and Adam Moore... grounded to 1st for two outs, as the runners moved to 2nd and 3rd.  Sandoval, undeterred, struck out Jon Nelson to end the game.

AAA:  Portland 4, Tacoma 2
TAC:  38-37... POR:  39-35
(League:  274/345/433... 4.72 ERA)

Sean White:  6 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, walk, 2 K (15 GS, 5.65 ERA, 86 IP, 6 HR, 25/36 BB/K)
Jake Woods:  2 IP, 1 H, walk, K (23 app, 4.35 ERA, 41.1 IP, 6 HR, 14/29 BB/K)
Jared Baek Bait Wells:  1 IP, K (28 app, 5.83 ERA, 29.1 IP, 1 HR, 17/27 BB/K)
WLAD:  0-3, walk, K (244/344/538)
Shawn Garrett:  1-4, 2 RBI (281/322/406)
Rob Johnson:  1-2, double, walk, K (262/329/369)

Thanks for crapping out,!  Given your server's behavior reflects the performances of the Rainiers' hitters, we'll call it even and leave it at that.  As for Sean White's start... if you've seen one of his Tacoma starts, you've seen them all.