BAPR Plus: April 30

There aren’t many outings that could make Justin Upton’s fifth straight game with a home run only the second biggest story of the day, but Tim Lincecum’s starts are starting to defy explanation. Lincecum continued to treat Triple-A like it’s rookie ball.

Triple-A

The way Tim Lincecum is pitching, it’s going to be hard for the Giants to keep him in Triple-A much longer. Lincecum struck out 14, walked no one and allowed only three hits in six innings to lower his ERA to a barely visible 0.29. The San Francisco Chronicle notes that a former Giants’ top prospect will be joining Lincecum in Fresno as Jesse Foppert has become a reclamation project for three Giants minor league pitching coaches. Lincecum has now struck out 104 batters and allowed only 26 hits in 63 innings as a pro.

Charlotte’s Lance Broadway lasted only two pitches before leaving with a sore back Sunday. Durham rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Knights 2-1.

Gregor Blanco’s first home run of the season was also the first grand slam of his career.

Brian Slocum and two relievers shut out Pawtucket.

Darrell Rasner beat up his former Nationals teammates. Rasner threw five shutout innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the Yankees shut out the Clippers. Eric Duncan, Bronson Sardinha and Andy Phillips all homered for Scranton. As the Columbus Dispatch explained, this could be Rasner’s last start for Scranton. With Jeff Karstens heading to the disabled list with a broken leg, the Yankees are in need of a starter.

Louisville’s Phil Dumatrait and Syracuse’s Ty Taubenheim locked up in a pitcher’s duel, but neither was around for the decision. After Mark Bellhorn tied the game 2-2 in the ninth inning, John Hattig’s two-out single gave Syracuse a 2-1 win in the 10th. Matt Michael’s coverage from the game also includes a note that Matt Roney was placed on the restricted list and speculates why he’s on the restricted list.

Chris Maples’ ninth-inning error led to Rochester’s 9-6 win.

Matt Childers has been on an impressive run for Ottawa. Childers threw seven shutout innings and has now allowed one run in his last 18 innings. Sean Burnett pitched well for Indianapolis, but was charged with the loss.

Chris Ashby’s three-run home run helped Albuquerque hand Round Rock its eighth loss in 10 games. Round Rock starter Juan Gutierrez was battered for five runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings. Included in William Wilkerson’s game story is the news that Fernando Nieve is headed to Houston to have an undisclosed injury checked out. He left Saturday’s game after 4 2/3 innings.

Several of the Memphis Redbirds had played with the late Josh Hancock, although Hancock himself never played in Memphis. With heavy hearts they went out and beat Iowa 8-5 on Sunday. Rick Ankiel doubled and tripled for Memphis.

Dan Meyer has a successful 2007 Triple-A debut and Jason Stokes hit one of three Sacramento home runs.

Joey Gathright tagged up and scored from second on a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to send Sunday’s Omaha-Nashville to extra inning. Justin Huber hit a walkoff home run in the 10th to give Omaha a sweep of the Sounds.

Justin Lehr shut down Las Vegas for a 3-1 win on Sunday.

Jorge Sosa and three relievers combined for New Orleans’ second shutout of the season. Sosa lowed his ERA to 1.13 in five starts. Andy Tracy’s grand slam were all the runs Sosa needed.

When Enrique Gonzalez stopped worrying about throwing the perfect pitch, his pitching improved on Sunday.

Double-A

Sergio Santos hit his sixth home run of the season in New Hampshire’s win over Portland Sunday.

Jose Mijares struck out four in two innings to pick up his third save and Brian Duensing allowed one run in five innings as New Britain cooled Connecticut’s bats.

This is what the Mets expected to see from Kevin Mulvey. Mulvey has had a rough start to his season in Binghamton but he commanded all four pitches for six strong innings against Altoona. Neil Walker homered and Yoslan Herrera gave up six runs (five earned) in five innings for the Curve.

Trenton set a franchise record with a 17-2 April. Jeff Marquez ensured that Trenton would win its ninth in a row with seven shutout innings.

Steve Hammond didn’t look like the same pitcher on Sunday. He came into the game with a ERA above 8.00, but he threw a complete-game shutout against Birmingham to outduel Wes Whisler. Also in the Birmingham News we find out that Tim Bittner has become a sidearmer.

After Reid Brignac homered, Jacksonville and Montgomery played a battle of brush backs. The benches cleared twice, but no punches were thrown. After the game it was also announced that Biscuits center fielder Fernando Perez will miss at least a week with a knee injury.

This is more like the Donald Veal we expected to see this year. Veal struck out nine in six innings, although he did allow three runs as Tennessee beat Carolina 5-4.

Sam Lecure picked up his third win and Marland Williams homered as Chattanooga beat West Tenn.

Brent Lillibridge homered in Mississippi’s win over Mobile.

It was a rough day for Chris Lambert. Lambert was left saddened by the news of Josh Hancock’s death–he had gotten to know Hancock during spring training. Then after he threw four strong innings, he was ejected after a curveball got away from him and plunked Rick Guarno. The umpire thought he was throwing at Guarno because he had just given up a home run. Manager Pop Warner followed Lambert to the clubhouse after he argued the ejection.

Jonny Ash was an unlikely home run hero on Sunday.

Nick Adenhart and Carlos Rosa traded zeroes for nearly seven innings on Sunday, but it was Freddy Sandoval’s grand slam that proved to be the difference.

High Class A

Justin Upton has found his swing, as he explained to Damian Marquez on Sunday. Upton homered for the fifth-consecutive game and is hitting .525 (21 of 40) with eight extra-base hits over the past 10 games.

The only hitter hotter than Upton is Steven Pearce. Lynchburg’s Pearce hit two home runs on Sunday for his 10th home run in the past 10 games.
Blake Johnson allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings in Wilmington’s 7-1 win over Winston-Salem.

Salem’s Tommy Manzella put together a highlight reel of plays at shortstop, but it wasn’t enough to beat Kinston. David Huff threw seven effective innings for the Indians.
Lucas May’s walk-off home run in the 10th led Inland Empire past Modesto.

Ronnie Ray, Taylor Wilding and Wayne Foltin combined to one-hit High Desert. Emmanuel Burriss had three hits and two stolen bases to lead the San Jose offense.

Chad Huffman finished a double short of the cycle and David Freese hit a grand slam as Lake Elsinore demolished Stockton 18-8.

If Jeff Samrdzija had opted to play football he likely would have been picked on Saturday. Instead he was struggling to retire Palm Beach hitters on Sunday. Samardzija allowed 10 hits but only two earned runs against Palm Beach. Samardzija is also contributing a diary for the Northwest Indiana Times. In his most recent diary he writes about the need to command his slider better.

Oswaldo Sosa and Kyle Asleton combined for 15 strikeouts, but Carlos Carrasco and Allen Davis allowed only three hits as Clearwater beat Fort Myers 1-0.

Jay Bruce doubled and hit his third home run of the season but Lakeland hung on for an 8-7 win.

Wade Davis outdueled Will Inman on Sunday. Davis allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings as he struck out nine. Inman allowed three runs in six innings, raising his ERA to 1.88.

Low Class A

Elvis Hernandez was nearly perfect for five innings to lead Quad Cities over Burlington.

Josh Bell’s pinch-hit three-run home run led Lansing past Cedar Rapids. Brian Pettway also homered for Lansing.

Rafael Gonzalez improved to 4-0 while Chris Valiaka and Justin Turner each had three hit days for Dayton.

Craig Italiano saw his ERA climb to 14.09 as Kane County dropped to 4-16. Jason Neigborghall’s disastrous April continued as he walked three, hit a batter, threw three wild pitches and allowed four runs in the eighth.

Another day, another outstanding pitching outing for Augusta. The GreenJackets improved to 20-4 with a 9-1 win over Greenville as Henry Sosa, Clayton Tanner and Jared Cranston combined for a six-hitter. Augusta’s team ERA dropped to 1.66.

Josh Butler outdid Mike Dunn as Columbus beat Charleston.

Chris Vinyard homered twice in a losing effort for Delmarva.

Rome is out of the basement of the South Atlantic League for the first time this season. After winning their third straight, Rome also found out that reliever Kris Medlen is joining the team.

Lake County scored seven runs in the eighth to come-from-behind for a 13-9 win over Lakewood. Kyle Drabek allowed five runs in five innings. Adrian Cardenas homered for Lakewood.

Kris Watts broke a 5-5 tie to lead Hickory over Greensboro.

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