It was a day of debuts and comebacks around the minors on Monday. James Boone had no problems in his high Class A debut. Joba Chamberlain made his 2007 debut as he came back from a hamstring injury, and Ryan Patterson is showing that not only is he back ahead of schedule from a forearm injury but he’s showing few ill effects at the plate.
Adam Miller improved to 4-0 after allowing two runs in six innings while striking out seven, and Andy Marte provided the big blow for Buffalo with a two-run home run.
Ryan Jorgensen made life easy for Homer Bailey. Jorgensen came into Monday’s game with an .061 average, no extra base hits and one RBI in 33 at-bats. So it’s safe to call him the unlikely hero for his seven RBI night that included a grand slam and a three-run double. Jorgensen’s heroics gave Bailey a big cushion, most of which he didn’t need. Bailey allowed one run and four hits in seven innings while striking out three to improve to 3-1, 1.83. Bailey threw 53 strikes in 91 pitches as he continues to work on sharpening his command.
Rick Ankiel didn’t get the call to the majors when the Cardinals needed an outfielder this week, but he is getting closer to making an amazing return. If he does, Ankiel and Josh Hamilton popping back onto the national scene in the same year would be an amazing pair of comebacks. Jim Masilak has a fine feature on the center fielder.
Charlie Haeger’s return to Charlotte has not gone nearly as well as his initial trip. Haeger was 14-6, 3.07 with Charlotte last season, but the knuckleballer entered Monday’s game with a 0-5 record and a 5.61 ERA. Haeger wasn’t great, but he was better last night. He allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings for his first win of the season.
John Van Benschoten threw seven scoreless innings and the combination of Rajai Davis and Nyjer Morgan were at it again. Morgan went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases (his 18th and 19th of the season) and Davis stole his 17th bag as Indianapolis beat Syracuse 3-0. Van Benschoten lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.93.
The matchup of Virgil Vasquez and Matt Garza promised to be one of the better pitching pairings around the minors on Monday. The two showed their stuff by piling on the strikeouts, but Garza was otherwise ineffective. He gave up seven runs in four innings despite his eight strikeouts. It was Garza’s worst start in nearly a year.
Tyler Clippard has settled in at Triple-A much more quickly than he did at Double-A last year. Clippard struggled for much of the first half of the season in his first exposure to Double-A in 2006, but rallied to be one of the Eastern League’s best pitchers over the second half of the season. It took Clippard four starts to start to figure out Triple-A. Clippard allowed one run on five hits on Monday for his third win of the season. In his past three starts Clippard has allowed two runs while striking out 25 in 19 innings. Jacoby Ellsbury had another big night, wracking up two hits in four at-bats.
Nashville’s Zach Jackson retired the last 16 batters he faced in a complete-game one-hitter.
Ian Stewart homered, doubled and drove in four to lead Colorado Springs to an 11-3 win over Portland.
Sean Marshall got the better of Philip Humber. Marshall allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings while Humber had a problem with giving up big hits. Micah Hoffpauir homered against Humber while Eric Patterson and Scott Moore doubled. Humber gave up three runs in six innings.
Steven Pearce has made the jump to Double-A look like a minor hop. Pearce doubled and tripled on Monday to help make Luis Munoz a winner. Munoz, 25, improved to 4-0, 2.08 as he struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings. Dallas Trahern was a tough-luck winner as he gave up two runs in eight innings.
Daniel Haigwood’s first start for the Red Sox Double-A Portland affiliate was short but sweet. Haigwood threw four scoreless innings as Portland topped Trenton. Alan Horne struck out eight and gave up three runs (two earned) for the loss.
Ryan Patterson has returned from an broken forearm ahead of schedule. He had three hits on Monday for New Hampshire.
Chin-Lung Hu had three hits, including his 16th double of the season, but Birmingham’s Cory Aldridge’s three-run ninth-inning home run gave Birmingham a 6-3 win over Jacksonville.
Laynce Nix hit a three-run home run and walked in his only two at-bats of his injury rehab. The home run proved to be all of Huntsville’s runs as Carlos Gonzalez’ two-run single helped Mobile to a 4-3 win.
Carl Loadenthal extended his hitting streak to 12 games, but that was about the only highlight for the Mississippi Braves. West Tenn’s Juan Done and three relievers held the Braves to one run in a 6-1 win. Matt Harrison was uncharacteristically hittable–he gave up six runs in four innings.
Center fielder Chris Dickerson was promoted to Triple-A, but Marland Williams, his replacement in center field, had no trouble filling in on Monday. Williams hit two triples but Carolina beat Chattanooga.
Montgomery starter Chris Seddon said he had his best slider of the season. Tennessee batters won’t argue that point as Seddon carried a shutout into the ninth inning.
Eric Hurley threw seven scoreless innings on Monday.
Jonny Ash had three hits and Chance Douglass struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings as Corpus Christi beat San Antonio.
High Class A
Myrtle Beach edged Potomac 8-7, although Potomac starter Clint Everts was effective again.
James Boone homered in his first game with Lynchburg. Boone was promoted to Lynchburg after hitting .327/.400/.495 with low Class A Hickory.
Brian Bogusevic’s pro career has a lot less highlights than expected. The 2005 first-rounder came into the season with 2-7, 5.26 career numbers. But Bogusevic had his best start as a pro on Monday. Bogusevic allowed only one hit in seven innings as he carried a no-hitter into the fifth.
Joba Chamberlain made his first start of the season for Tampa after missing the first month of the season with a strained hamstring. Chamberlain allowed one unearned run and struck out five in four innings while Jose Tabata had three hits in Tampa’s win.
Andrew Miller had a rather middling outing on Monday. Miller walked four and allowed three runs (one earned) in seven innings.
Matt Walker’s struggles continued. The Vero Beach starter gave up four runs (two earned) thanks to seven walks in 3 2/3 innings. His ERA climbed to 7.23.
Low Class A
Unhappy because he believed Peoria starter Rafael Dolis was being squeezed, Chiefs manager Ryne Sandberg was ejected for arguing balls and strikes on Monday.
It took 15 innings, but Dayton extended its winning streak to 10 games with a 4-3 win over Kane County. Justin Turner drove in the winning run in the 15th.
Cody White threw eight shutout innings and Preston Mattingly homered as Great Lake beat Beloit 4-0.
Catcher Chad Tracy homered and doubled twice as Clinton beat Lansing.
Gorkys Hernandez had three hits including a double and stole his 12th base in West Michigan’s win on Monday.