BAPR Plus: May 9

Chris Kline highlighted the Indians’ 18-year-old shortstop Carlos Rivero as a sleeper to watch this season. Rivero got off to a slow start this season, but his bat has heated up in the last week and a half, and he was the star on Tuesday, hitting two home runs and driving in six. It was a good night for the Indians all around as Chuck Lofgren also had a strong outing.


Jeff Niemann lasted six innings for the first time this season and Justin Ruggiano drove in five, thanks largely to a second-inning grand slam as Durham beat Norfolk. Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo told the Durham Herald-Sun that Niemann had his best stuff of the season, largely because his command allowed him to keep the ball down in the zone.

Denard Span’s first exposure to Triple-A has been a struggle. The leadoff hitter is hitting only .238 with an unimpressive .292 on-base percentage. But he’s not finding it more difficult to run against Triple-A catchers. Span stole his seventh and eighth bags of the season (he hasn’t been caught yet) and Matt LeCroy, now playing catcher with Chris Heintz in Minnesota, homered as Rochester beat Toledo.

Ottawa beat Louisville on Tuesday, but the shocking stat was that the Lynx actually hit their second home run of the season–Lou Collier hit a three-run home run in the third. J.A. Happ wasn’t particularly effective (four earned runs in five innings), but relievers John Ennis, Joe Bisenius and Brian Sanches threw four scoreless innings.

Steven Jackson finally found the form that he showed last season, which is important for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, since the Yankees injuries have left Scranton with only four starting pitchers.

Nate Schierholtz had to leave Tuesday’s game after he crashed into the fence in foul territory. The collision left him bruised, although it’s thought he had no further injuries. Ronny Cedeno’s injury was a lot more surprising. In his first game since being demoted to Iowa, Cedeno walked in the first inning, then sprained his ankle when stepping onto first base, forcing him to leave the game. His replacement, Mike Fontenot, tripled and singled to help lead Iowa to its fifth-straight win.

It took 13 innings for Omaha to beat Sacramento. Mike Aviles’ 13th-inning home run was the game-winner, and Justin Huber and Mitch Maier also homered for Omaha.

Jeff Clement had Tacoma’s only hit in Round Rock’s 5-0 thrashing of the Rainiers. Mark McLemore, Stephen Randolph and Paul Estrada combined for the one-hitter.

Juan Cruz struck out five of the six batters he faced in rehab stint as Tucson beat New Orleans. Carlos Gomez stole his 16th base for New Orleans.


Ryan Patterson followed up his three-hit night on Monday with a grand slam on Tuesday for New Hampshire. Catcher John Schneider homered twice and Chip Cannon and David Smith also added home runs for the Fisher Cats. Kurt Isenberg threw the first complete-game of his career for the win.

With his family in town from Hawaii Brandon Chaves got to be the hero on Tuesday, it just may have been in a different way than he had dreamed of. Chaves’ bases-loaded walk drove in the winning run of Altoona’s 4-3 win over Erie. Neither Josh Shortslef (three runs in seven innings) and Jair Jurrjens (three runs in six innings) factored in the decision.

Trenton’s Jason Jones saw his ERA climb from 1.37 to 3.86 with a brutal outing on Tuesday. Jones gave up nine earned runs in four innings in Portland’s sweep of the Thunder.

Akron’s Chuck Lofgren carried a no-hitter into the sixth-inning in the opener of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Binghamton’s Ricardo Morales threw a two-hitter in the nightcap as the B-Mets salvaged a split.

James Avery allowed one run in six innings while one bad inning ruined Gaby Hernandez’ night. Hernandez gave up five runs in the fourth, thanks in part to a walk, a hit batter and a Hernandez error that loaded the bases for Tyrell Godwin, who doubled to clear them.

Eric Cyr allowed only one unearned run in six innings as Jacksonville beat Birmingham.

Carlos Gonzalez‘ two-run single in the 10th inning was the game-winner as Mobile beat Huntsville.

Matt Esquivel hit his league-leading ninth home run and also tripled as Mississippi beat West Tenn. Van Pope, stuck at .165 for the season, was given the day off to try to help him work out of his slump.

Sean Rodriguez homered for Arkansas, but Colby Rasmus doubled and Cory Rauschenberger had his best outing of the season as Springfield topped Arkansas.

What was supposed to be a matchup of aces, fell apart when Greg Reynolds’ start was moved back a day. But his fill-in, Al Johnson ended up outdoing Wichita ace Luke Hochevar as Tulsa won 7-3. Johnson threw six shutout innings while Hochevar six runs, four of which were earned, to see his ERA climb to 4.86.

Troy Patton and Sean Thompson matched up for one of the best pitching duels of the night. Patton allowed four hits and no runs in 7 2/3 innings while Thompson allowed five hits and one run in seven innings of Corpus Christi’s 1-0 win.

High Class A

John Mayberry doubled and homered as Bakersfield beat Inland Empire 6-5.

High Desert figured out a way to lose on Tuesday night. Playing in the jet stream at Lancaster, where every check swing could turn into a double, the Mavericks were cavalier on the base paths. Lancaster catcher Mark Wagner threw out four of the six potential base stealers and two more Mavericks were picked off first. Those six outs were crucial, as Lancaster rallied for five runs in the ninth inning to win 9-8. Mavericks starter Jon Lockwood announced his retirement before the game.

Rancho Cucamonga was much more efficient on the basepaths. The Quakes stole five bases as the top of the lineup dominated Lake Elsinore. Leadoff hitter Bradley Coon had four hits including a double, scored four runs and stole his 17th base of the season. Shortstop Hainley Statia had three hits including two triples, drove in three runs and stole his 10th base of the season.

Dave McKae allowed only one unearned run in five innings as San Jose beat Stockton.

Modesto’s Chaz Roe allowed only one hit and one unearned run in six innings, but he was involved in the decision on Tuesday. Dexter Fowler had three hits and a stolen base as the Nuts scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Visalia 8-4.

Adam Ottavino outdueled Johnny Cueto on Tuesday as Palm Beach beat Sarasota.

Alcides Escobar had three hits and stole two bases in Brevard County’s 14-4 win over Clearwater.

Fort Myers third baseman Juan Portes had four hits and turned an unassisted double play as the Miracle beat St. Lucie 6-2.

Jupiter topped Lakeland in a marathon 14-inning game on Tuesday.

Low Class A

Jonah Nickerson faced the minimum through six innings, allowed only five hits and two runs while striking out nine in a complete-game outing and still lost. Sean O’Sullivan did just a little bit better. O’Sullivan allowed one run in eight innings as Cedar Rapids topped West Michigan 2-1.

Peoria’s Jake Renshaw didn’t allow a run for his second consecutive start to halt Dayton’s 10-game winning streak. Dayton announced that Darryl Thompson has been promoted to high Class A Sarasota after going 5-0, 0.96 for Dayton.

Clayton Kershaw struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings to pick up his third win of the season.

Andrew Graham allowed one run in six innings as Asheville topped Rome. Rome’s Jordan Schafer has been promoted to high Class A Myrtle Beach.

Chris Carter’s seventh-inning home run lifted Kannapolis over Greenville.

Another day, another outstanding Augusta pitching performance. Augusta’s Steven Calicutt continued the GreenJackets’ run with five scoreless innings for a 5-1 win over Columbus. Shortstop Brian Bocock stole his 23rd base.

Justin Maxwell had three hits including a home run in Hagerstown’s 5-2 win over West Virginia.

Cuban defector Serguey Linares‘ pro debut couldn’t have gone much better. Linares held Delmarva hitless until the fifth, and he left having allowed only one hit and one unearned run in six innings. Hickory beat Delarva in 11 innings.

If you’re a regular Baseball America reader, you already know about super-sleeper Carlos Rivero. Chris Kline wrote a scout’s view about Rivero where a scout mentioned that the 18-year-old reminded him of Miguel Cabrera. Tuesday was a night where fans caught a glimpse of Rivero’s potential. He homered twice and drove in six runs to pace Lake County’s win over Lexington.