BAPR Plus: May 7

Daric Barton homered on Sunday, Chris Lambert has moved to the bullpen and Michael Bowden proved once again that he’s pitching at a different level than the other Lancaster starters.
Triple-A

The game story for Columbus’ 3-0 win over Toledo focuses on middle reliever Chris Schoder, who threw two more scoreless innings. He hasn’t allowed a run all season, stretching his scoreless inning streak to 16. Felix Diaz carried a no-hitter into the sixth for the Clippers.

Zack Segovia carried a no-hitter into the fifth, and relievers Kane Davis, Joe Bisenius and Brian Sanches combined to strike out eight batters in 3 1/3 innings as Ottawa beat Rochester 4-2. Catcher Chris Heintz has been promoted to Minnesota to fill in with Joe Mauer on the disabled list, and the same notebook contains a shocking stat: Ottawa has one home run all season. The Lynx’s Brennan King has the lone longball. Not surprisingly, Ottawa’s team slugging percentage is an anemic .328.

Buddy Carlyle struck out 10 Bulls in seven shutout innings to lead Richmond past Durham. Jason Hammel was a tough luck loser once again for Durham–he allowed only two hits and two runs in six innings. The Bulls and Braves also completed Saturday’s rain-suspended game. There wasn’t a whole lot of drama in that one thanks to Mitch Talbot’s horrendous outing. Talbot allowed seven hits, two walks and 10 runs without recording an out in a 10-run first. Talbot’s ERA climbed nearly four runs from 6.48 to 10.08.

Miscommunication between right fielder Kevin Thompson and center fielder Kevin Reese turned a routine fly ball into a triple in the 12th inning yesterday. That proved to be the difference as Syracuse edged Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6-5 in 12 innings.

Yovani Gallardo didn’t allow a runner to reach second base in seven innings on Sunday. Gallardo threw yet another gem. He allowed one hit and three walks while striking out nine in seven scoreless innings. Gallardo now leads the minors with 51 strikeouts, four ahead of Gio Gonzalez.

The Cassel’s are quite the athletic family. Youngest brother Justin Cassel has a 4-1, 2.14 record for high Class A Winston-Salem. Middle brother Matt Cassel is the backup quarterback for the Patriots. And it was oldest brother Jack Cassel’s turn on Sunday. Cassel threw five scoreless innings for Portland to beat Colorado Springs. Cassel outdueled Ubaldo Jimenez, who dominated for three innings but gave up the game’s only two runs in the fourth.

Chris Lambert has made the move to the bullpen. The Cardinals’ 2004 first-rounder was promoted to Triple-A Memphis, but also told that he’ll be a reliever now instead of a starter, as Jim Masilik explains in today’s Memphis Commercial-Appeal. The hope is that a move to the pen will help Lambert’s career–he had a 4.79 career ERA heading into this season. Lambert’s struggles illustrate one of the reasons it’s hard to scout pitching. When he was at Boston College Lambert touched 96 mph in college, but he’s sat around 90 mph as a pro. The Cardinals’ theory is that he can’t maintain the same velocity throwing every five days instead of once a week like he did in college. Lambert struck out two in a scoreless inning on Sunday.

Daric Barton’s home run was the only run for Sacramento in their 3-1 loss to Tucson.

Tony Abreu stole two bases as Las Vegas overcame Greg Miller’s control problems. Miller allowed six walks and six runs in 2 2/3 innings but Las Vegas still beat Fresno 9-6. The Dodgers also announced that Andy LaRoche was being promoted to the big leagues to replace the struggling Wilson Betemit.

Double-A

Maybe Andrew McCutchen is starting to shake out of his slump. McCutchen homered and drove in three to raise his average to .188 in Altoona’s 5-1 win over Akron.

Pat Dobson’s four-hit game helped Connecticut to a 12-4 thrashing of Reading.

Clay Buchholz’s ERA actually climbed to 1.98 on Sunday, but he finally picked up his first win of the season when Portland gave him some run support for a change.

Binghamton’s Mike Carp will miss a month with a broken finger.

Brett Smith extended his scoreless innings streak to 27 2/3 innings as Trenton shut out New Britain 5-0. The game was marred by a benches-clearing brawl in the ninth that led to ejections of New Britain’s Jason Brown and Trevor Plouffe. Apparently the fight was set up by an eight-inning argument between Luke Hughes and reliever Edwar Ramirez. As the Hartford Courant explained, Hughes yelled to Ramirez to throw more fastballs after he struck out for the third time.

Jeff Larish’s seventh home run was part of Erie’s 5-1 win over Harrisburg.

It was an eventful Sunday in Montgomery. Brandon Jones hit a pair of home runs for Mississippi, Evan Longoria and John Jaso homered for the Biscuits and Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman, right fielder Matt Esquivel and pitcher Zach Schreiber were ejected.

Sean Gallagher improved to 3-2 when the Tennessee Smokies trampled Birmingham starter Wes Whisler.

Brian Snyder’s fourth home run of the season led Midland past Frisco.

Corpus Christi lost for the 16th time in the last 20 games. San Antonio’s Josh Geer allowed only two hits in seven innings. The Astros also announced that they had released 2000 first rounder Rob Stiehl.

Colby Rasmus doubled twice as part of a three-hit game, but Springfield’s bullpen blew it once again. Arkansas scored eight runs in the final four innings to win 11-6.

Modesto fell to High Desert 5-4 in 10 innings. The Mavericks 10th-inning run came after Modesto failed to cover first base on a bunt play. Eric Young and Dexter Fowler had a pair of hits each for Modesto.

John Mayberry hit his seventh home run, but that was Bakersfield’s lone run in its 7-1 loss to San Jose.

Tommy Everidge homered twice and doubled as Stockton rallied from a five-run deficit to beat Lake Elsinore.

Miguel Pinango outdueled Brok Butcher in Inland Empire’s win over Rancho Cucamonga.

There hasn’t been a lot of good news for the Lancaster pitching staff this year, but Michael Bowden keeps proving that it is possible to succeed in Lancaster. Bowden threw six shutout innings and the JetHawks beat up on struggling Visalia starter Matt Torra (who now has a 11.79 ERA). But the JetHawks bullpen blew it as Visalia rallied for a 10-6 win. Justin Upton had three hits including a double for Visalia. Bowden’s ERA at Lancaster’s Clear Channel Stadium is 2.30, the other four JetHawks starters ERA in La have a 7.68 ERA at home.

Justin Cassel injured his shoulder in Sunday’s loss to Frederick forcing him to leave after 2 2/3 innings. Brandon Erbe threw 6 1/3 strong innings for Frederick.

Despite a strong wind blowing straight in from center field, Jon Drennan still managed to homer for Kinston. Indians’ starter Ryan Edell took advantage of the wind, pitching up in the zone over six scoreless innings.

Julio Pimentel handcuffed Potomac.

Alberto Garcia tripled and homered to lead Daytona past Tampa.

Lakeland’s Michael Hernandez homered and Yovandy Suero stole his 21st, 22nd and 23rd bags to take over the minor league lead. Lakeland beat Jupiter 5-4.

Carlos Fisher struck out eight and walked none in six innings, but he was long gone by the time the game was decided. Eric Eymann drove in two in the 11th inning to give Sarasota a 4-2 win. Allen Craig hit his eighth home run for Palm Beach.

Low Class A

Clinton’s Zach Phillips was outstanding for four innings. He recorded 10 strikeouts in 12 outs, but had to leave after four scoreless innings when he hit his pitch count. Lansing celebrated getting Phillips out of the game by pounding Jared Locke for seven runs (three earned) in the fifth.

Alex Liddi went 3-for-4 as Wisconsin beat South Bend.

Sean Watson struck out nine in six innings and Drew Stubbs doubled to drive in Dayton’s first run then hit a home run in the ninth to win it.

Nate Culp didn’t have his best stuff on Sunday, which may make his performance even more impressive. Culp allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings for his fourth win of the season.

Brian Bocock has been winning games with his feet this season–he’s second in the minors with 22 stolen bases. But on Sunday it was his power that proved the difference. Bocock’s first home run of the season led Augusta past Greenville in the first game of a doubleheader. Adam Cowart became the minor’s first six-game winner in the nightcap as the GreenJackets completed the sweep.

With the wind blowing 25 mph out to right field, any ball hit in the air on Sunday had a chance to do some damage. But Delmarva starter Brad Bergesen recorded 19 ground ball outs in 20 outs as he allowed one run in a complete-game victory in the first game of a doubleheader.

Lewis Rollins threw seven shutout innings and Matthew Fields homered for Columbus’ in a 5-4 win.

With Asheville one strike away from losing Anthony Jackson hit a three-run home run to give Asheville a 6-5 win over Kannapolis.

Chuck Caufield had three hits, including the game-winning RBI single in the ninth, and Darren Ford homered in West Virginia’s 5-4 win. West Virginia starter Alex Periard extended his scoreless inning steak to 15 innings.

Minors |

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