Minor League Baseball still has two undefeated teams nearly two weeks into the season, and Andrew Miller was reminded that a great outing doesn’t always mean you won’t pick up a loss.
No one would have blinked if Carlos Gomez struggled in his first month in Triple-A. After all, he’s a 21-year-old in a league filled with former major leaguers. But don’t worry about Gomez; he’s not having any trouble. Gomez went 3-for-3 with a triple on Monday. He has a hit in every game this season and is now hitting .419/.468/.651 with six stolen bases. Gomez’ hitting helped Philip Humber pick up the win on Monday. Humber struck out four and allowed one run in six innings.
Columbus’ Tim Redding had made a decent case to join the Nationals rotation during his first two starts at Triple-A Columbus. He probably won’t be expect a promotion anytime soon after Monday’s start. Redding didn’t retire anyone on the first trip through the lineup as Buffalo scored eight runs in the first. He actually stuck around long enough to give up four more runs in the second before being lifted. When he was pulled, the Columbus Dispatch reported that he walked to the plate and wiped his hands to indicate his unhappiness with the balls and strike calls. That would seem to be the height of trying to find someone else to blame on a night where 12 of the 16 batters Redding faced reached base. Redding’s catcher Brandon Harper was left to try to put a happy face on his outing when interviewed by Craig Merz of the Dispatch.
“He didn’t pitch as bad as the numbers indicated,” Harper said. “There were probably five or six balls that went through the hole.”
Redding’s ERA jumped from 2.70 to 11.91. Ryan Mullhern, the Bison’s No. 9 hitter went 4-for-6 with two doubles and a home run to lead the attack. The Clippers, in the first year as a Nationals affiliate, are now 2-8. They’ve scored 10 runs in 10 games, or just seven less than Buffalo scored on Monday night.
Toledo’s Virgil Vasquez and a pair of relievers shut out the Durham Bulls. Durham was held to six hits while Brent Clevlen drove in two of the Mud Hens six runs.
Macay McBride hasn’t exactly solved all of his command problems, but Monday was a first step towards getting back to Atlanta. McBride walked nine batters in three outings in Atlanta, so he was sent to Richmond to eliminate some bad habits. He walked two batters in one inning of work against Louisville, but he didn’t give up any runs and picked up the win. According to Tim Pearell of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Braves are working on getting McBride to not throw across his body.
Shelly Duncan and Andy Phillips homered as Scranton beat Pawtucket.
John Van Benschoten put together another solid start for Indianapolis on Monday, allowing one unearned run in five innings. Chris Aguila provided his second game-winning hit of the season with a three-run home run in the 11th.
Chris Carter’s hot hitting continued. He had his second consecutive three-hit game on Monday, but it was overshadowed by Ryan Spilborghs’ two doubles and a home run. Tucson beat Colorado Springs when Jamie D’Antona’s drove in two runs in the eighth.
Andy LaRoche homered to drive in both runs in Las Vegas’ 2-1 win over Salt Lake. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s story explains how LaRoche, who played his usual third base on Monday, is playing outfield twice a week to broaden his versatility. James Loney, who is getting time in right field for similar reasons, threw out Kendry Morales at third. Terry Evans extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a triple for Salt Lake.
The ball was flying out of Iowa’s Principal Park on Monday, which wasn’t good news for Round Rock starter Matt Albers. Albers allowed four runs in three innings thanks largely to two home runs. But after he left, Round Rock rallied thanks to three home runs of their own (two by Danny Klassen and one by Josh Anderson). Micah Hoffpauir homered twice. His three RBIs helped him catch Bubba Bell for the minor league lead in RBIs with 21.
Omaha’s Mitch Maier had three hits on Monday night to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
Memphis’ Rick Ankiel hit his fourth home run of the season on Monday. He has eight hits this season, but six of them have been for extra bases, which explains his .190/.227/.524 line.
Kevin Fransden homered in Fresno’s win on Monday.
Jair Jurrjens threw two hitless innings on Monday before being lifted, but don’t worry he’s not injured. A nearly two-hour rain delay forced him from the game. Kyle Sleeth struggled in relief of Jurrjens but Erie rallied to win. Akron Beacon Journal beat writer Stephanie Storm also has an interesting feature today on Aeros reliever Bubbie Buzachero and how his career almost ended after he broke teammate Eider Torres’ jaw in a locker room fight late last season.
Chris Seddon and Adam Russell both pitched well, but there was an unlikely hero in Monday night’s Montgomery-Birmingham game. Robert Valido, he of the .103 batting average, drove in the winning run with a bunt double in the 10th inning to lead Birmingham to the win.
Jon Zeringue homered twice and doubled and Carlos Gonzalez added a home run and three hits, but that wasn’t enough to lead Mobile to a win. Carolina’s Lee Mitchell homered twice in the final two innings including a walk-off home run in the ninth to give the Mudcats a W.
Scott Elbert walked seven batters in three innings in a rough outing on Monday.
Matt Harrison threw six shutout innings to lead Mississippi to a win. Jamie Garcia had an erratic outing for Springfield in a loss.
Chase Headley, Will Venable and Peter Ciofrone led San Antonio to a win over Wichita.
Richie Robnett doubled, tripled and homered as Midland pounded Nick Green and Arkansas. Ben Fritz pitched well (two hits and six strikeouts in six innings) tp pick up the win.
Greg Reynolds pitched effectively again and Joe Gaetti had four hits as Tulsa beat Corpus Christi in 10 innings.
High Class A
It was a very light night around high Class A. The California League didn’t play, and the Carolina League’s Salem-Potomac game was postponed in light of the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Cole Gillespie homered twice for Brevard County as the Manatees beat Chris Volstad and Jupiter.
Clearwater’s Pat Overholt struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings but Tampa’s Jose Tabata tripled and stole a base as the Yankees rallied to win. Ian Kennedy picked up the win for Tampa with three scoreless innings, although he did walk four.
Kyle Waldrop and Andrew Miller met up for the best pitching duel of the night. Miller pitched great, allowing one unearned run in eight innings, but that was enough to lose on Monday night. Waldrop and two relievers combined for a shutout. The Fort Myers News-Press has a solid story on the matchup.
Palm Beach’s Tyler Norrick has yet to allow an earned run in three starts. He threw six scoreless innings on Monday for his third win. The 2006 sixth-rounder out of Southern Illinois is proving to be a solid senior sign. The scouting report on Norrick when he was drafted was that he had a solid fastball and slider. They’re both working early this season.
Sarasota’s Carlos Fisher has been nearly as hot as Norrick. Fisher struck out five, walked none and allowed only four hits on the way to his third win of the season.
Low Class A
Jeremy Haynes struck out 10 in five innings as Cedar Rapids beat Wisconsin. The night wasn’t as good for Haynes’ batterymate Hank Conger. The Timber Rattlers stole five bases in six attempts against Conger. He now has given up 12 steals in 16 attempts, which leads the league in both categories.
Dayton improved to a perfect 7-0 as Jordan Smith pitched effectively and Drew Stubbs and Juan Francisco doubled in an 8-4 win over Fort Wayne.
Asheville’s attempt to host a day-night doubleheader meant their second game was played in front of less than 100 people. In the opener, Columbus’ Wade Townsend continued his comeback with five effective innings.
Hector Rondon allowed only two hits in six innings to lead Lake County in the opener while Jordan Parraz homered to give Lexington the win in the nightcap as the two teams split their Monday doubleheader.
The Rome Braves got a much needed win on Monday thanks to Jordan Schaffer’s home run in the 13th inning. The win improved them to a still ugly 2-10.
Augusta remains unbeaten. It’s been the pitching that’s led the GreenJackets to a 12-0 start, but the hitting picked up the slack on Monday–every GreenJacket batter had at least one hit in a 12-8 win over Charleston.