There may be few days that minor league general managers look forward to more eagerly than the fourth of July. Fireworks and a guaranteed sellout. So there also are few things more disappointing for a minor league GM than a fourth of July rainout, which happened for 10 teams last night.
Rain affected Trenton’s game, but it also ensured that Brett Smith got his five-inning no-hitter while Jason Botts and John Raynor continued their hot hitting.
Jeff Niemann has been on a roll with five wins in his last five starts, but the Charlotte Knights ended that streak with ease. Earl Snyder homered twice and Danny Richar and Brian Anderson also homered in Charlotte’s 7-3 win.
Brandon Watson stole three bases on Wednesday, but Columbus fell 5-4 to Toledo as Mike Hessman hit his 26th home run of the season.
Brett Carroll’s calling card is still his howitzer of a throwing arm, but the Albuquerque outfielder’s hitting is starting to catch up to his defense. Carroll had three hits including a home run to raise his Triple-A numbers to .304/.345/.580 and is now hitting .389 over the past 10 games. Rick Ankiel hit his 24th home run for the Redbirds.
Writing of outfielders on a tear, Jason Botts homered and doubled for Oklahoma. After struggling to hit .200 in April, Botts is hitting .373 since May 1, and he’s hitting .447 with five home runs over the past 10 games.
Ronny Cedeno has been even hotter. Cedeno hit .446 with eight home runs in June and raised his July average to .400 with a three-hit night in Iowa’s 7-3 loss to New Orleans.
Tyler Lumsden was supposed to be one of the pitchers that would help turn around the woeful Royals. He still might, but 2007 is shaping up as a lost year. Lumsden lasted only 1 1/3 innings as he gave up six hits and six runs. Lumsden’s ERA for the season jumped to 6.17 and he’s given up 87 hits in 77 innings.
Clay Buchholz’s season is going so well that everything he touches turns into wins. Buchholz threw 1 1/3 innings of relief as he gets tuned up for the Futures Game this Sunday. Buchholz allowed one run but picked up his seventh win of the season. He’ll also be attending the Eastern League all-star game next week but will not pitch.
Armando Galarraga struck out nine in a complete-game one hitter as Frisco beat Arkansas 3-0.
Brett Smith had one of the strangest no-hitters in memory on Wednesday. Smith threw a five-inning rain-shortened no-hitter, even if it might not rank as his best start of the season. Smith walked seven, but managed to work his way out of trouble in a 10-0 win over Altoona. Making it even more special for Smith, his mother was in the stands as she saw him pitch for the first time this season.
Jeff Larish and Mike Costanzo each hit their 16th home runs of the season in Reading’s 5-4 win over Erie. Costanzo’s home run came with 50 friends and family in attendance, all wearing t-shirts that said “Costanzo’s Paisanos.”
Anthony Raglani hit two home runs for the second time in three games as Jacksonville beat Carolina 5-2.
Jay Bruce followed up his three double Tuesday with another double on Wednesday.
High Class A
Tommy Hanson pitched well (5 IP, 4 hits, 1 run) in his Myrtle Beach debut and Kala Kaaihue hit his 19th home run of the season, but Myrtle Beach still lost to Potomac.
Brandon Erbe gave up eight runs (six earned) in 2 2/3 innings in a 13-2 Frederick loss to Winston-Salem.
Matt Antonelli’s hot hitting continued as he tripled and homered in the Storm’s 15-8 win over Visalia. Antonelli is hitting .390 over the past 10 games.
Low Class A
Heath Rollins up and down season is back on the upswing. Rollins struck out four in six scoreless innings on Wednesday. It was the third straight strong outing for Rollins, who had a 0.23 ERA in May but followed that up by giving up 18 runs in 11 innings during a stretch in June. Charleston still beat the Catfish as Michael Dunn allowed two runs in six innings.
John Raynor went 4-for-5 and is now 10 for his last 13. Raynor doubled and tripled and stole his 36th base while Chris Coghlan doubled and stole two bases in Greensboro’s 6-5 win over Greenville.
Trevor Cahill allowed one unearned run in six innings to lead Kane County to a 3-1 win over Peoria.
Clayton Kershaw allowed two hits and no runs, but walked four which meant he couldn’t stick around long enough to pick up the win as he was pulled after four innings.
Gorkys Hernandez tripled and homered in West Michigan’s 5-4 win over Fort Wayne.
Kasey Kiker continued to roll along. Kiker allowed three hits in six shutout innings while striking out seven as his changeup baffled Quad Cities. Kiker has not allowed a run in five of his nine starts with Clinton.
Short Season/Rookie Leagues
Staten Island’s Dellin Betances was good and bad on Wednesday. The good: Betances allowed only three hits and no runs while striking out six. The bad: Betances walked six which meant he only threw 4 2/3 innings.
Jansy Infante’s five-hit night and Juan Valdes homered to lead Hudson Valley to an 11-6 win over Jamestown.
Ross Ohlendorf allowed only two hits in 5 2/3 innings in a rehab outing with the GCL Yankees.
Jesus Rojas, a 20-year-old first baseman from Venezuela, doubled and homered in the GCL Marlins 5-0 win over the Mets.
Po-Yu Lin struck out six in five innings, lowering his ERA to 0.64 in Bristol’s 14-1 win over Greeneville.