It was a light day around the minors on Wednesday as both the Pacific Coast League and Midwest League’s took the day off. But there were some highlights
In four of his five starts, Durham starter Jason Hammel has allowed one run or less. But thanks to the Bulls’ inept offense, he’s only 1-1. Wednesday was pretty routine for Hammel–he allowed two hits and one run in six innings, but picked up the loss when Columbus’ Felix Diaz, Chris Schroeder and Chris Booker combined on a shutout. Abraham Nunez became the second Columbus Clipper in two days to hit the bull on top of the left field fence.
Ryan Doumit hit his fourth home run of the season, a 405-foot shot, as he tries to show that he didn’t deserve a demotion to Triple-A Indianapolis. Phillip Wilson writes about the catcher’s attempts to get back to the big league. While Doumit was starring, Norfolk catcher J.R. House had a tougher time. He allowed five stolen bases (including one by Doumit) and a passed ball, but he did provide two hits at the plate.
Homer Bailey’s results weren’t his best of the season, but Bats manager Rick Sweet thought this was the best outing of the season for the Reds prospect. Bailey allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, in six innings. Bailey struck out only two, but that appears to largely be because he was working on improving the command of his offspeed pitches, as he and Sweet explained to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“I think this was the best command of his off-speed,” Sweet said. “He threw back-to-back change-ups. The curveball he used well. He pitched a good ballgame. This is encouraging. He was working with the catcher. He’s got to put together some more games like the one he pitched.”
Josh Fields homered for the second consecutive game as Charlotte beat Toledo.
Manny Mayorson’s eighth-inning triple led New Hampshire to a 7-5 win over Binghamton.
Mike Hinckley combined with Jim Magrane and Zech Zincola to shut out Reading 2-0 on a miserable night in Reading. Hinckley, the Expos’ No. 1 prospect in 2005 before shoulder surgery derailed his career, allowed only one hit over six innings for his best outing in nearly a year.
Radhames Liz is scuffling early this season. The Orioles prospect allowed four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday as Frederick lost to Altoona. Liz (1-2, 5.40) has given up 18 hits and 13 walks in 18 1/3 innings this season, although he does have 22 strikeouts. Altoona’s Luiz Munoz had no problems handcuffing Frederick, he faced only two batters over the minimum for the first eight innings of Altoona’s 9-1 win.
Tennessee came into Wednesday’s start with a battered and tired bullpen. So this wasn’t the day for starter Justin Berg to continue to struggle. Berg gave up 10 runs, six of them earned, in one inning and reliever Tim Layden gave up another five runs, over the next two innings, to stretch the Smokies bullpen to the breaking point. But veteran infielder Gary Cates saved the day and the rest of the Tennessee pen by throwing three hitless innings of relief. Chris Rahl had three hits for Mobile.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two more runs as Mississippi finished off a sweep of a five-game series against Birmingham.
Matt Tuiasosopo went 5-for-5 with four runs scored and Chris Minaker doubled three times off of Jacksonville starter Mike Megrew to stake West Tenn to a big early lead. The Diamond Jaxx then hung on, as Jacksonville rallied before falling just short in a 13-12 West Tenn win. To help save the Suns bullpen, Megrew was left in to take a beating–he gave up 14 hits and 11 runs (seven earned) in six innings.
Harvey Garcia threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief as an emergency fill-in when starter Jim Brauer was knocked out of the game in the first when Jay Garthwaite’s liner struck him in the stomach. Garcia and the rest of the bullpen held Chattanooga to two runs in a 6-2 Mudcats win.
Huntsville’s Mike Jones threw six scoreless innings as Huntsville shut out Montgomery 2-0. Reid Brignac doubled twice for the Biscuits.
Colby Rasmus doubled and Jarret Hoffpauir and Juan Richardson homered as Springfield beat Wichita.
Chase Headley’s fourth home run of the season helped San Antonio beat Frisco 8-5.
Corpus Christi’s bullpen is in full meltdown. German Melendez allowed seven runs in two innings, thanks to home runs by Richie Robnett and Brant Colamarino and a pair by Jason Perry, as Midland rallied to beat the Hooks 9-3. The Hooks bullpen has now given up 15 runs over the past two games, and the Hooks have five relievers with ERAs over 6.00.
High Class A
Vincent Mazzaro carried a no-hitter into the seventh as Stockton beat Inland Empire 4-2.
Wade LeBlanc didn’t allow a run for a second consecutive start as Lake Elsinore beat Modesto 5-1. Modesto’s Brandon Hynick was just as good–he threw five scoreless innings, but the Nuts bullpen couldn’t keep up.
The High Desert pitching staff couldn’t find the strike zone while Rancho Cucamonga’s Bobby Mosenbach could in the Quakes 8-3 win. Mavericks pitchers’ six wild pitches and a pair of passed balls fueled the Quakes offense. Jeffrey Dominguez doubled three times for High Desert.
Justin Upton’s hot hitting continued on Wednesday. Upton hit his first home run of the season in a Visalia loss and is now 16-for-28 over the past six games.
Jake Stevens long road back to prospect status took another step forward on Wednesday. Stevens allowed one run in seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.86. Sean Horgan writes about Stevens’ terrible 2006, that included a suspension for yelling at Pelicans manager Rocket Wheeler, and how he’s trying to bounce back.
When pitchers arrived at Winston-Salem’s Ernie Shore Field on Wednesday, they knew they would be in for a long night. The flag pole showed that the wind was blowing straight out to center field. Not surprisingly, Wednesday’s game was a slugfest, with Marvin Lowrance, Ian Desmond and Brandon Powell homering for Potomac and Javier Castillo and Aaron Cunningham homering for Winston-Salem in Potomac’s win.
Erik Lis went 3-for-4 with two doubles as Fort Myers beat Clearwater 5-4.
Low Class A
Zach Braddock struck out eight Lexington Legends batters as West Virginia won its 12th straight game. Braddock’s start continues to be among the best of any player in the minors, with a 2-0, 0.47 record and 28 strikeouts (with eight walks) in 19 innings, with just 10 hits allowed. Brent Brewer had three hits to lead West Virginia hitters.