Thursday’s low Class A action saw a couple of extra inning games, strong performances by Dellin Betances and Madison Bumgarner, and a tough 2008 debut for Ryan Kalish.
South Atlantic League
Hagerstown (Nationals) 8, Greensboro (Marlins) 7, 14 Innings
It seems like there’s been one marathon game almost every night lately in low Class A, and Thursday it was Greensboro and Hagerstown’s turn. Greensboro rallied from a 6-0 deficit to tie it up, then fell behind again when Hagerstown second baseman Jake Smolinski homered in the top of the eighth. The Grasshoppers rallied again to force extras, tying the game on Ryan Anetsberger‘s two-out RBI single off Hagerstown closer Martin Beno in the bottom of the ninth. Hagerstown took the lead again on first baseman Bill Rhinehart‘s RBI single in the top of the 14th, but by then the game had dragged on so long that the Suns resorted to bringing in reserve third baseman Trevor Lawhorn for the first pitching appearance of his pro career. Lawhorn allowed the first two hitters he faced to reach, but wouldn’t you know it, he got out the jam by retiring the next three on a sac bunt, a fielders choice, and then he got Greensboro’s big right fielder Mike Stanton to pop out to finally end the game. Hagerstown right fielder Michael Burgess went 1-for-7, but the one was a three run home run.
Augusta (Giants) 4, Hickory (Pirates) 2
Augusta DH Thomas Neal hit his sixth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the first. Greenjackets starter Madison Bumgarner struck out eight and walked none over 6 1/3 inningso of work in evening his record at 2-2. First baseman Angel Villalona went 2-for-4, just his third multi-hit game of the year.
It’s a Prospect Hot Sheet Friday, so an abbreviated look at Triple-A newsmakers from Thursday’s games.
Aaron Laffey got called up, Radhames Liz struck out 10, Jay Bruce doubled and homered and both Eric Hurley and Billy Buckner get roughed up.
• Richmond (Braves) 2, Norfolk (Orioles) 1
Norfolk RHP Radhames Liz went seven strong, fanning 10 and walking only two. He gave up a lone run on three hits. His counterpart, Richmond LHP Jo-Jo Reyes also went seven and allowed only a run. Reyes struck out six and walked one.
• Toledo (Tigers) 7, Columbus (Nationals) 3
• Louisville (Reds) 6, Indianapolis (Pirates) 4
Louisville CF Jay Bruce was 3-for-4 with his third double and fourth home run of the season. He chipped in three runs scored, an RBI and his sixth stolen base. [...] Continue Reading »
Chris Valaika stayed hot, Barry Enright got his first victory, and Tommy Hanson hasn’t gotten any easier to hit.
Bakersfield (Rangers) 6, Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) 4
Third baseman Johnny Whittleman was 2-for-3 with a home run while shortstop Marcus Lemon hit a bases loaded triple in Bakersfield’s five-run seventh inning.
John Lackey made a rehab start for the Quakes and Sean O’Sullivan took over after two innings, only to be tagged with the loss. He gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings on four hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Visalia (Diamondbacks) 6, Inland Empire (Dodgers) 4
Righthander Barry Enright finally got his first win of 2008, allowing just two runs on eight hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked one. Outfielder Steve Mena led Visalia with three RBIs.
Matt LaPorta makes his bid for today’s Hot Sheet; Chris Volstad not only can pitch, he also hit a home run, and Jon Niese was impressive for Binghamton.
Chattanooga (Reds) 3, Carolina (Marlins) 2
Chris Volstad allowed only two hits in in seven innings and even hit a home run himself. But even that wasn’t enough for the Mudcats. Sam Lecure matched Volstad (7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 BB, 5 Ks). Cody Strait’s walk-off home run in the ninth was the difference maker.
“That kid is the best I’ve seen, without a doubt, this year,” Lookouts manager Mike Goff told the Chattanoga Times-Free Press. “He is pitching in the wrong league right now, but Sam matched him pitch for pitch and gave us exactly what we needed.”
Montgomery (Rays) 5, Birmingham (White Sox) 4
Jake McGee picked up his second win of the season, but it wasn’t a dominating performance. McGee gave up three runs in six innings, although he did strike out five.
Romine, the Yankees’ no. 22 prospect in the 2008 Prospect Handbook, left Tuesday’s game against Savannah in the eighth inning with what the team called a lower-body injury. Heredia last pitched on Sunday against Columbus, when he went 5 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on seven hits to earn his second victory of the season. His injury was classified as an upper-body injury and his DL status was made retroactive to April 21.
Joe Benson homered, Jesus Montero and the rest of the Charleston RiverDogs stayed hot, and there were several dramatic games in the Midwest League on Wednesday night.
SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
Delmarva (Orioles) 6, Lake County (Indians) 3
Delmarva used a five-run fourth inning to avoid a sweep at the hands of Lake County. The big inning was keyed by a bases-loaded double by second baseman Pedro Silveren off Captains reliever Garrison Campfield, who came on when starter Christopher Archer was pulled after walking the bases loaded and giving up an RBI single to Brendan Monaghan. Delmarva starter Luis Noel allowed only one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings to pick up his first win of the year. Archer has the early lead on the Jason Neighborghall award for wildest pitcher–he now has 18 walks in 17 innings.
Lakewood (Phillies) 4, Hagerstown (Nationals) 1
Lakewood starter Drew Naylor tossed six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, two walks, and striking out six, to pick up his first win of 2008. BlueClaws DH Karl Bolt went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a solo home run in the second off Hagerstown starter Colton Willems.
Carlos Carrasco struggled; James Simmons was dominant and Mike Carp just keeps on hitting.
Akron (Indians) 2, Altoona (Pirates) 0
Ryan Edell baffled Altoona on Wednesday night. The 24-year-old lefthander allowed only four hits in eight shutout innings. Baseball America Prospect Diarist Randy Newsom pitched a scoreless ninth to finish out the shutout.
New Britain (Twins) 15, Reading (Phillies) 6
A matchup of Carlos Carrasco and Oswaldo Sosa could be expected to be a pitching duel. Instead, New Britain fans saw 31 hits, 21 runs and no unharmed ERAs. Carrasco gave up 10 hits and six runs in five innings for his worst outing of the season. Sosa was worse. He gave up four runs in three innings, raising his ERA to 7.02. Sosa has not made it out of the fifth inning in any of his past three starts. Luke Hughes, the 23-year-old Aussie third baseman, hit two home runs–his fourth and fifth of the past week. Greg Golson tripled for Reading.
Erie (Tigers) 7, Harrisburg (Nationals) 0
Lucas French threw eight scoreless innings, allowing only three hits as Erie shut out Harrisburg. French has actually pitched better than his 5.79 ERA indicates, but he was asked to wear it on April 11, as he stuck around long enough to give up 15 hits and 10 runs in four innings. It will take many more starts like this one to get his ERA back to normal after a beating like that.
Bowie (Orioles) 3, Connecticut (Giants) 2
Chris Tillman picked up his first win as an Orioles farmhand. The righthander allowed four hits and two runs in five innings, but command continued to be an uncharacteristic problem. Tillman walked four batters per nine innings last year. With his three walks on Wednesday, Tillman has now walked 12 in 14 innings this season.
Gorkys Hernandez left with a hamstring injyury, Kasey Kiker made is 2008 debut and a couple of minor leaguers can now brag about facing Scott Kazmir.
Lake Elsinore (Padres) 6, High Desert (Mariners) 1
Catcher Mitch Canham was 2-for-4 with a triple and RBI and the Storm put all six of their runs on the board before the third inning ended. First baseman Mike Baxter had a double, triple, two runs and two RBIs in his 2-for-3 performance.
Bakersfield (Rangers) 6, Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) 5
The Blaze broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the ninth with two outs thanks to an RBI single from DH Chad Tracy.
Outfielder Julio Borbon collected two hits, one double, a run and RBI on the night. Lefthander Kasey Kiker made his season debut, throwing five innings and allowing five runs on 10 hits. He struck out two and picked up a no decision.
Visalia (Diamondbacks) 10, Inland Empire (Dodgers) 5
The Oaks jumped out in front early, scoring six in the first inning and four in the second, then shut down the 66ers for the rest of the game.
Third baseman Ricardo Sosa had another big game, going 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs.
Jay Bruce proves there’s more than one dimension to his game, Andrew McCutchen keeps his hit streak going, Adam Miller returns to action, Jeff Larish goes deep again and J.A. Happ does what he can to end the IronPigs’ misery. Would it be enough?
• Pawtucket (Red Sox) 3, Syracuse (Blue Jays) 1
Syracuse LHP David Purcey went six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks. He struck out nine (30-10 K-BB on the year) and surrendered his first home run of the year, to lefty-hitting DH George Kottaras (1-for-3, solo HR, walk). Also, lefty-hitting 1B Brandon Moss (1-for-4, two strikeouts) hit his sixth double. Purcey made an emergency start for the Blue Jays last Friday, in which he walked seven batters in 4 1/3 innings while facing the all-righthanded Tigers. Chiefs LF Adam Lind had a rare off-day, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
• Louisville (Reds) 7, Indianapolis (Pirates) 5
Louisville LF Jay Bruce singled and walked in five trips to the plate, but his contributions didn’t end there. He stole his fifth base of the year and also collected an assist when he cut down Indians CF Andrew McCutchen at second base. For his part, McCutchen (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he’s collected six doubles and a home run. Indianapolis RF Steve Pearce was 1-for-4 with his eighth double.
Jesus Montero and Engel Beltre had nice nights, and Jordan Walden deserved a better fate in Tuesday action.
SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
Lakewood (Phillies) 10, Hagerstown (Nationals) 3
Lakewood right fielder Herman Demmink led off the game with a home run and the BlueClaws never looked back. BlueClaws center fielder Dominic Brown went 3-for-6 with a double and four RBIs. Hagerstown right fielder Michael Burgess went 2-for-4 with a double in the loss.
Charleston (Yankees) 6, Savannah (Mets) 3
Charleston defeated Savannah for the sixth time in seven meetings this season. RiverDogs DH Jesus Montero went 3-for-5 with a home run.
You may remember Latos, 20, as the top prospect in last year’s Northwest League or as arguably the finest talent from the final draft-and-follow class in 2006. He was not assigned to a club to begin 2008 after falling behind in spring training while contending with a sore shoulder. Letting Latos work during extended spring training in Peoria, Ariz., rather than in the frigid April weather of the Midwest League also was a factor in his delayed start.
Latos fell to the Padres in the 11th round in 2006, coming out of Coconut Creek (Fla.) High, because of questionable maturity and unreasonable bonus demands. He attended Broward (Fla.) Community College for a year and then signed with San Diego for $1.25 million, just hours before the signing deadline closed the door on the entire draft-and-follow process. [...] Continue Reading »
Adam Miller knows a lot about pitching for the Buffalo Bisons, and he’s had some experience with stints on the disabled list. So tonight should be somewhat old hat for Miller, as he returns to the Bisons rotation after missing the first couple of weeks of the season as he recovered from a blister on his throwing hand. The Indians No. 1 prospect spent most of 2007 with the Bisons, going 5-4 with a 4.82ERA. He also had one start with Buffalo in 2006.
Indianapolis, led by John Van Benschoten, nearly no-hits Louisville, Adam Lind drives in two, Andrew McCutchen doubles his fun, Ian Stewart continues his road heroics, Max Scherzer is roughed up (by his standards) and Sean Gallagher quietly keeps dealing.
Also, the 17-1 Salt Lake Bees met their match—Mother Nature. Their game with Portland was rained out.
• Syracuse (Blue Jays) 13, Lehigh Valley (Phillies) 6
Symbolic of the IronPigs’ 2-18 start, LHP Travis Blackley took his third loss of the year in going two-thirds of an inning and giving up six runs on two hits and four walks. The Phillies’ affiliate last year, Ottawa, turned out to be the worst team in the IL, but even they didn’t start this poorly. They were 10-10 through 20 games. Meanwhile, Syracuse LF Adam Lind stroked two singles and scored a run in a 2-for-4 night. His two RBIs gave him 16 and moved him to the top of the IL ranks.
• Buffalo (Indians) 4, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) 2
Scranton RHP Jeff Marquez took the loss for his five-inning, two-run effort, but he’ll take it considering where he’s been this season. Through 19 2/3 innings this season, Marquez has allowed 18 earned runs. But on the bright side, his ERA has declined from 18.00 to 10.61 to 9.82 to 8.24 after each of his four starts. Buffalo 1B Jordan Brown was 2-for-4 with two doubles (giving him an IL-leading nine) and an RBI.
• Columbus (Nationals) 5, Toledo (Tigers) 3
The Nationals’ veteran offense (featuring the likes of Yurendell de Caster, Larry Broadway, Pete Orr and Ryan Langerhans) gave RHP Collin Balester three early runs to work with, and he took advantage. Though he surrendered two home runs in six innings, the 21-year-old Balester struck out eight in allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. Good news for the Tigers: RHP Francisco Cruceta, signed to a big league deal as a minor league free agent last winter, made his first appearance of the season after missing time because of a visa holdup. (He also talks about his 2007 steroid suspension in the linked story.) Cruceta pitched to 11 batters in three innings, whiffing six of them, walking one and not allowing a hit. A few more outings like this and he’ll be in Detroit’s bullpen. [...] Continue Reading »
Righthanders Trevor Cahill and Tim Alderson squared off for the first time, but it wasn’t quite what would be expected, while third baseman Billy Rowell returned to the lineup in a doubleheader sweep by Frederick.
Visalia (Diamondbacks) 10, Inland Empire (Dodgers) 7
Third baseman Josh Bell hit his third home run of the season for the 66ers, but Visalia spread eight runs across the sixth, seventh and eighth innings on the way to the comeback win.
Oaks third baseman Ricardo Sosa was 5-for-5 with two home runs, a double and seven RBIs.
Modesto (Rockies) 4, Lancaster (Red Sox) 1
Outfielder Jason Place led off the game with a home run, but the JetHawks couldn’t push any more runs across.
Third baseman Matt Repec drove in two for the Nuts.
There was a lot of free baseball last night, as three Double-A games went at least 13 innings. Max Ramirez and Michael Saunders continued to hit, but the hottest hitter in Double-A right now might be New Hampshire’s Ryan Patterson.
Portland (Red Sox) 11, New Hampshire (Blue Jays) 2
Andrew Pinckney loves to face the Fisher Cats. New Hampshire would be happy if he never faced them again. Pinckney homered and drove in five runs on Tuesday, continuing a pattern of beating up the Fisher Cats. It was Pinckney’s seventh home run in the past two seasons against New Hampshire. Ryan Patterson went 3-for-4 with three doubles for the Fisher Cats. He’s now 7-for-9 with five doubles during the series.
Altoona (Pirates) 7, Akron (Indians) 1
Brad Corley doubled and drove in three to help make a winner out of Altoona starter Jimmy Barthmaier. Barthmaier held Akron to two hits in six innings.
Andy LaRoche is expected to make his 2008 debut with Jacksonville on Wednesday as he begins his rehabilitation from a thumb injury he suffered during spring training. LaRoche is expected to be the designated hitter today on a rehab assignment that will likely last for 20 days.
LaRoche was battling to be the Dodgers Opening Day third baseman before the injury sidelined him. After he went down, Nomar Garciaparra and Tony Abreu followed him to the disabled list, leaving the team forced to turn to Blake DeWitt early in the season. DeWitt spent most of 2007 with high Class A Inland Empire, but he’s held his own by hitting .260/.373/.340 in 50 at-bats. Garciaparra has returned from his wrist injury last week, which helps reduce the pressure on LaRoche to rush back from the injury.
LaRoche hit .226/.365/.312 in 93 at-bats with the Dodgers last year. The No. 2 prospect in the Dodgers system, he hit .309/.399/.589 in 265 at-bats with Triple-A Las Vegas before his call-up to Los Angeles last season.
Charleston and Kane County continued to pace their leagues, Michael Burgess hit another home run, and Neftali Feliz had a tough night in Monday’s Low Class A action.
South Atlantic League
Hagerstown (Nationals) 6, Lakewood (Phillies) 2
Hagerstown right fielder Michael Burgess homered for the second day in a row, this time a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, his fourth of the season. After going through a stretch in which he had only one hit over six games, sinking his average to .159, Burgess is 7 for his last 13, raising his average nearly 100 points to .246. He’s had three multi-hit games in the last four, after not registering any multi-hit games through the first 13 games of the season.
Charleston (Yankees) 7, Columbus (Rays) 2
Charleston continues to win, improving their SAL-best record to 15-3. With the score tied 2-2 in the top of the fifth Charleston’s Abraham Almonte singled with one out, stole second, stole third, and came in to score on a third strike wild pitch that would’ve ended the inning. The RiverDogs tacked on 10 more hits and four more runs over the next four innings against the Catfish’s bullpen. Columbus starter Glenn Gibson (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) fell to 0-3 on the season.
Two games, Connecticut-Bowie and Northwest Arkansas-Springfield, remained scoreless until the ninth inning, Travis Snider made his Double-A debut, the B-Mets bashed out hits and Jaime Garcia pitched a gem but lost.
• Connecticut (Giants) 1, Bowie (Orioles) 0
Scoreless through eight and a half innings and featuring no extra-base hits and no errors, this is about as crisp as a game can be—and it clocked in at just over two hours. Connecticut pinch-hitter Olmo Rosario drove in RF Ben Copeland (who was 1-for-3 with a walk) with the game’s only run in the bottom of the ninth. Bowie RHP David Hernandez struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and two walks.
• New Britain (Twins) 5, Reading (Phillies) 2
Reading collected 11 hits, but scored just twice, to fall to New Britain. Rock Cats RHP Anthony Swarzak (4 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 SO) and two relievers were just good enough. Phillies CF Greg Golson was 3-for-5 with a double, while Cats SS Trevor Plouffe was 2-for-4. [...] Continue Reading »
Kinston (Indians) 4, Salem (Astros) 2
The Indians scored early and often enough to drop the Avalanche. Second baseman Adam Davis led the team with two RBIs. All nine Indian hits were singles. John Drennen was 3-for-5 while Beau Mills’ slump continues after an 0-for-4 night. He is now 4-for-35 in his last 10 games.
Lynchburg (Pirates) 7, Myrtle Beach (Braves) 3
Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez was 2-for-4 with a double, triple, run scored and an RBI, but the Hillcats scored four in the fourth and held onto the lead. Catcher Steven Lerud hit his second home run of the season for Lynchburg. Hernandez is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch. [...] Continue Reading »
Adam Lind gets back into the swing of things, Darrell Rasner is nearly flawless, Brandon Wood bashes three extra-base hits, Colby Rasmus homers and Jon Meloan has another good outing.
• Pawtucket (Red Sox) 6, Buffalo (Indians) 5, 10 innings
The Paw Sox emerged victorious in a 10-inning game in which 12 pitchers were used. Buffalo LHP Jeremy Sowers (6th overall, 2004) and Pawtucket RHP Kyle Snyder (7th overall, 1999) started the game, but neither lasted more than 4 2/3 innings, opening the door wide for a parade of relievers. Sox RHP Craig Hansen continued to pitch well, going 1 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out two. He hasn’t been charged with an earned run all year. Buffalo 3B Aaron Herr homered in the ninth to send the game into extra innings, but three consecutive hits off LHP Reid Santos in the 10th provided Pawtucket with the margin of victory.
• Syracuse (Blue Jays) 4, Lehigh Valley (Phillies) 2
Syracuse CF Buck Coats’ fifth-inning, three-run blast provided the Chiefs with all the support they’d need against the now 2-17 IronPigs. LF Adam Lind was back in the Chiefs’ lineup and went 2-for-4 with an RBI. [...] Continue Reading »
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