BAPR Plus: May 3

Ian Kennedy, Adam Miller, Hong-Chi Kuo, Brad James and Andrew Miller were among a plethora of pitching stars on Wednesday night.
Triple-A

Matt Garza picked up his first win of the season and Denard Span had a pair of doubles for Rochester.

Tyler Clippard (7 IP, 11 Ks) and Virgil Vasquez (7 IP, 7 Ks) locked up for a impressive pitcher’s duel that finally ended when Toledeo pinch hitter Dane Sardinha drove in the only run of the game in the 10th–helping to beat his brother Bronson and the rest of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team 1-0.

Jon Lester had to leave what was supposed to be his final rehab appearance with a cramp in his forearm. Lester lasted only three innings before departing. Indianapolis won behind John Van Benschoten’s five scoreless innings.

Adam Miller was exceptional again for Buffalo as he struck out seven in six scoreless innings to lead the Bisons to a win. Miller could be headed to Cleveland later this week if Jake Westbrook goes on the disabled list.

In a weird scoring quirk Norfolk’s Steve Green lost a save because Paul Shuey came out to warm-up. Green has pitched a scoreless seventh, which proved to be the final inning because rain washed away the final two innings. But since Shuey was announced before the eighth inning, he officially entered the game, meaning Green was credited with a hold instead of a save. Since he didn’t pitch, Shuey didn’t qualify for a save either. The bigger news to come out of Wednesday’s game is that Orioles prospect Hayden Penn is having a bone spur removed from his elbow. He’s expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks.

Ryan Braun hit his eighth home run of the season as Nashville split a doubleheader with Iowa. Angel Guzman was expected to be the Cubs starter in Chicago on Sunday, but that was before his brutal outing on Tuesday. Now the Cubs are saying that Guzman needs to get back to being a power pitcher instead of trying to be too clever.

Philip Humber gave up five earned runs for the second consecutive start, raising his ERA to 4.94 in New Orleans’ 5-1 loss to Round Rock. Chad Reinke allowed only one hit in seven innings for the Express.

Fred Lewis homered and scored three runs as Fresno beat Tucson.

Wladimir Balentin’s walk-off grand slam with two out in the ninth lifted Tacoma past

Hong-Chi Kuo gave a pretty good sign that he’s ready to end his rehab in Las Vegas. Kuo hit the high 90s on the radar gun during an absolutely dominating performance Wednesday night. Kuo recorded seven outs, all by strikeouts, in Las Vegas’ 8-7 win over Sacramento.

Double-A

Before long we’ll stop talking about Mike Hinckley’s comeback and focus on his strong pitching. Hinckley picked up his fourth win of the season with six solid innings for Harrisburg in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday. Hinckley has now allowed two runs or less in four of his five starts. He lowered his ERA to 2.25.

New Hampshire catcher John Schneider homered and threw out three potential basestealers, but it wasn’t enough for the Fisher Cats as Trenton held on for a 3-2 win.

Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 14 games in a Portland win Wednesday.

Dallas Trahern improved to 5-0 and Jeff Larish hit his fifth and sixth home run of the season as Erie split a doubleheader with Reading. Mike Costanzo homered in the nightcap for Reading.

At first glance Steven Pearce is finding Double-A little different than high Class A. Pearce homered and doubled Wednesday in his second game with Altoona, leading the Curve over Connecticut.

Fans should have gotten refunds after sitting through the first couple of innings of Wednesday’s Binghamton-New Britain game. New Britain’s Jesse Floyd walked eight batters in four innings and Marcos Carvajal walked seven innings in four innings for Binghamton. Felix Martinez went 3-for-5 for the B-Mets helping them win.

Dante Brinkley’s ninth-inning single was the difference in Carolina’s 3-2 win over Jacksonville.

In their first game without Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mississippi didn’t miss a beat. Josh Burruss hit a grand slam and Matt Harrison improved to 4-0 by allowing one run in eight innings.

Justin Berg and three relievers held Birmingham to three hits over 11 innings. The Birmingham paper also has a feature on Gio Gonzalez, who talks about what it’s like to be traded twice.

Eric Hurley improved to 4-0 as Frisco beat San Antonio.

Bad conditions led to an ugly game in Wichita and ugly lines for starters Mitchell Boggs and John Bale.

Kazuhito Tadano shut down the Corpus Christi bats.

High Class A

Visalia shortstop Pedro Ciriaco’s defensive gems helped make Dallas Buck a winner.

Javier Herrera has had a very slow start to the season, but he was in fine form on Wednesday. Herrera doubled and homered while driving in three.

Brandon Boggs’ 10th inning solo home run lifted Bakersfield over High Desert.

Rancho Cucamonga is on pace to set a team record for strikeouts, but the Quakes batters didn’t strike out once in Wednesday’s 5-2 win. Bubba Bell hit his ninth home run of the season for Lancaster.

Matt Antonelli’s three-hit night wasn’t enough for Lake Elsinore. Four Inland Empire batters had multi-hit games, including Lucas May, who continues to succeed at the plate as he gets comfortable behind it as a catcher. As a catcher, he’s still a work in progress–his two passed balls on Wednesday gave him 10 for the season.

Brad James’ sinker was working once again. James walked a couple of batters and threw a wild pitch to allow a run in the first, but he then settled down to allow no more runs and only one hit over seven innings. As usual, he kept the ball down–11 of the 16 outs put in play were ground ball outs.

Clint Everts’ first start back after a concussion suffered during a brawl against Winston-Salem came, of course, against Winston-Salem. There were no fireworks, but Everts’ teammates didn’t help him out a lot–they committed four errors with him on the mound. Everts also gave up a home run to Micah Schnurstein in the Warthogs 6-3 win.

Todd Redmond and Luis Valdez combined to one-hit Kinston.

Wilmington starter Patrick Green lasted only four pitches before leaving with a pulled hamstring. But the Blue Rocks bullpen did a great job of covering for him–three relievers combined to shut out Frederick.

Jay Bruce homered twice in Sarasota’s 8-2 win against Clearwater.

Ian Kennedy completely handcuffed Fort Myers on Wednesday. Kennedy allowed three hits in eight shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.67. Kennedy has allowed more than one run only once in his five starts.

Andrew Miller got back on track with six scoreless innings against Dunedin. Miller had allowed 11 runs in his previous two starts.

Tyler Norrick’s struggling for the first time this season. Norrick gave up only one run in his first four starts, but he’s given up nine runs in his last two outings. His Palm Beach teammates picked him up however. Allen Craig homered twice and Ian Church, Baseball America’s 2006 Independent Leagues Player of the Year, hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run in the ninth for Palm Beach.

Ryan Harvey homered for the second time in two games but St. Lucie beat Daytona.

Low Class A

Nate Starner got a reminder of why it’s tough to be a pitcher. While an 0-for-5 night might damage a hitter’s batting average, it will only do a miniscule amount of damage. But as Starner found on Wednesday, a bad outing as a pitcher will destroy his ERA. Starner gave up 12 hits and 11 runs in three innings on Wednesday, and he watched his ERA climb from 2.45 to 6.12.

Juan Francisco isn’t going to be a secret much longer. Francisco’s grand slam, his sixth home run of the season, powered Dayton to a 10-1 win over Wisconsin. Dayton starter Jordan Smith allowed one hit and struck out seven in six scoreless innings.

After not giving up 10 runs in a game all year, Great Lakes gave up 10 runs in one inning Wednesday. Doug Brooks was the main victim–he gave up six runs without retiring a batter.

Rafael Dolis and two relievers shut out Peoria.

Chris Vinyard and Miguel Abreu powered Delmarva past Greensboro.

Angel Reyes had his first tough outing of the season, which meant Savannah edged Charleston.

Jordan Schafer homered and tripled as Rome jumped out to an 8-2 lead only to watch it disappear as Columbus scored seven unanswered runs.

Jared Goedert homered for the fourth consecutive game helping Lake County beat Hickory. Goedert, 21, is now second in the minors with 10 home runs.

Hector Gomez and Daniel Mayora homered to lead Asheville over Greenville. Asheville manager Joe Mikulik will be trying for his 500th win with the Tourists today.

Justin Maxwell and Chris Marrero homered in Hagerstown’s 4-0 win over West Virginia. Marrero has now homered in back-to-back games.

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