TRIPLE-A INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Durham 5, Richmond 1
(Series tied 1-1)
Two of the Devil Rays’ top prospects led Durham to victory against Richmond, tying the division rivals and aspiring Governor’s Cup winners at one win apiece. Save for allowing a solo home run to Braves center fielder Gregor Blanco, righthander Jeff Niemann was nearly flawless in eight strong innings for the Bulls. He struck out nine, walked none and allowed six hits.
Durham third baseman Evan Longoria broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning with his two-run double down the left field line. The hit was part of a 2-for-4 night by the 2006 third overall pick.
TRIPLE-A PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Sacramento 3, New Orleans 2
(Sacramento leads series 2-0)
The visiting River Cats opened a two-games-to-none advantage over the Zephyrs, and, as he was in game one, Jorge Piedra was at the center of the action. With one out in the top of the ninth, the Sacramento left fielder blasted a solo homer to tie the score.
First baseman Brant Colamarino followed with a single and was driven home with the go-ahead run by DH Brian Stavisky’s double. Righthander Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless ninth for his second straight save.
The River Cats’ late rally ensured righthander Michael Madsen’s fine outing’”two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings’”did not go to waste.
DOUBLE-A EASTERN LEAGUE
Trenton 3, Akron 2
(Trenton leads series 2-0)
Thunder left fielder Collin Curtis scored from second base on a ground ball by Noah Hall past Akron first baseman Michael Aubrey in the top of the ninth inning to give Trenton a 3-2 win and a commanding 2-0 lead in the EL finals.
Righthander Scott Patterson nailed things down in the bottom half of the ninth despite allowing two hits. Patterson also struck out two.
The series moves to Akron’™s Canal Park on Friday as EL pitcher of the year Alan Horne faces Aeros’™ lefty Jeremy Sowers.
DOUBLE-A TEXAS LEAGUE
Springfield 6, San Antonio 2
(Series tied 1-1)
Cardinals righthander Corey Rauschenberger allowed a run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings and helped himself out with a pair of doubles and two RBIs at the plate to even the TL championship series at 1-1.
Springfield center fielder Colby Rasmus went 1-for-1 and was walked three times.
San Antonio lefty Cesar Ramos allowed three runs on five hits over five innings in a losing effort for the Missions.
LOW CLASS A MIDWEST LEAGUE
West Michigan 3, Beloit 2
(West Michigan leads series 2-0)
Lefthander Duane Below went seven innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out 10, to help the Whitecaps increase their series lead to two games.
West Michigan took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a triple and an error. With two outs, second baseman Scott Sizmore singled and outfielder Jeramy laster followed with the three-bagger. Laster then scored when catcher Gregory Yersich threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt.
Snappers lefthander Tyler Robertson took the loss, throwing six innings and giving up three runs, one of which was earned. He also struck out nine.
SHORT-SEASON PIONEER LEAGUE
Orem 7, Great Falls 5
(Orem leads series 1-0)
Orem third baseman Jay Brossman hit a home run and a two-run triple to help the Owlz win the championship series opener 7-5.
Lefthander Michael Anton, who spent most of the year in the Arizona League, allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Great Falls catcher John Curtis homered for the White Sox.