See also: Tuesday’s Daily Dish
Toledo 6, Rochester 3 (Toledo leads series 1-0)
The Mud Hens began their defense of the Governor’s Cup by defeating Rochester righthander Mike Smith, despite his 10 strikeouts. Toledo third baseman Mike Hessman contributed home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, the latter a three-run shot that blew the game open. Toledo righthander Colby Lewis turned in another solid performance, allowing three runs in six innings.
PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Tucson 3, Round Rock 1 (Tucson leads series 1-0)
Tucson righthander Micah Owings just does not lose and the Sidewinders rallied to win in the eighth inning. While he didn’t get the win last night, Owings did pitch 7 1/3 strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked one. Owings went 0-for-2 at the plate and his playoff average remained mired at .000, after hitting .405 in the PCL season. Tucson first baseman Chris Carter provided the go-ahead, two-run single n the eighth.
Portland 4, Akron 3 (Portland leads series 1-0)
Sea Dogs righthander Devern Hansack scattered four hits over seven shutout innings as Portland topped Akron in the opener of the EL championship series. The 28-year-old Nicaraguan struck out six and did not issue a walk. Indians righthander Adam Miller took the loss for the Aeros, allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings. Miller, the Tribe’s No. 1 prospect, struck out nine and walked two.
Huntsville 6, Montgomery 4 (Huntsville leads series 1-0)
Biscuits righthander Jeff Niemann pitched well, but five errors–including two in a three-run eighth inning–spelled disaster for Montgomery in the opener of the Southern League championship series. Niemann, who took a no-hitter into the sixth, allowed a pair of runs on two hits and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings. The left side of the infield, shortstop Reid Brignac and third baseman Evan Longoria, accounted for four of the Biscuits’ five miscues.
Wichita 2, Corpus Christi 1 (Series tied 1-1)
Royals righthander Billy Buckner allowed a run on three hits and struck out eight over seven innings as the Wranglers evened the TL championship series against Corpus Christi. Wichita outfielder Billy Butler went 2-for-4, improving his postseason average to .429 since returning to the club from Team USA. As the series moves to Game Three on Thursday, one of the most anticipated showdowns of the postseason will take place, as Wichita lefthander Tyler Lumsden squares off against Hooks lefty Troy Patton.
Inland Empire 9, Lake Elsinore 5 (Inland Empire wins series 3-1)
Inland Empire scored nine runs in the final two innings to erase a 5-0 deficit and advance to the Cal League championship series. The 66ers managed just five hits against Storm starter Manny Ayala, who struck out eight without issuing a walk in his seven shutout innings. But Inland Empire sent 11 batters to the plate in the six-run eighth inning against the Lake Elsinore bullpen, including usually reliable closer Neil Jamison, who surrendered four runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk.
San Jose 8, Visalia 1 (Series tied 2-2)
San Jose pushed its best-of-five North Division Finals series to a decisive fifth game with an 8-1 win at Visalia. Giants first baseman Pat Dobson led the way with three doubles, a single and four RBIs, and starter Gregorio Martinez picked up the victory with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and a walk. The visiting team has won each of the first four games of the series, and now the scene shifts back to San Jose, where the Giants were 46-24 during the regular season.
Kane County 4, West Michigan 3 (Kane County leads series 1-0)
It took 11 innings, but Kane County was able to take the opening game of the MWL championship season. Ben Jukich pitched eight strong innings for Kane County and left with a 3-2 lead, but Mike Hollimon walked with one out in the ninth before moving to third on a Cameron Maybin single and scoring on a sacrifice fly. The Cougars finally won it in the bottom of the 11th when first baseman Steve Kleen singled home catcher Anthony Recker, who had led off the frame with a double.
SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
Lakewood 2, Augusta 1 (Lakewood leads series 2-0)
Augusta has given up just four runs over the first two games of the SAL championship series. Unfortunately for them, Lakewood has surrendered just two. Carlos Carrasco was not at his absolute best last night for the BlueClaws, but he still allowed only one run over five innings while striking out four. It was the bullpen that took over from there. They threw eight scoreless innings as the teams stayed tied at one until the 13th when first baseman John Urick broke the tie with a home run off of Augusta’s Osiris Matos. Will Savage got the win in relief for Lakewood while Brett Harker picked up his second save of the series.
NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE
Staten Island 4, Tri-City 2 (Staten Island leads series 1-0)
Tri-City jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning, but that is all they would get as the Yankees would shut them out for the next seven innings. Meanwhile, Staten Island put up three in the third powered by a home run from left fielder Seth Fortenberry. Nick Peterson pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win while Mark Melancon got the save.
Missoula 4, Idaho Falls 0 (Missoula leads series 1-0)
Tony Barnette threw eight shutout innings and Idaho Falls made four errors as the Osprey rolled to a 4-0 win that puts them one win away from the Pioneer League title. Barnette retired the first 17 batters he faced before finally losing his pefect game, and his no-hitter, on a bloop single by O.D. Gonzalez in the sixth.
“It was pretty much textbook pitching,” Idaho Falls manager Brian Rupp told the Missoulian. “When he wanted to throw it away, he threw it away. When he wanted to throw a slider for a strike, he could to hat. When he wanted to throw it out of the zone, he did that too. It was an A-plus night for him.”