Low A Dish: No-No In Kane County

As we did last year, we’ll look around the minors every weekday with the Daily Dish, a supplement to the Baseball America Prospect Report, which is available by e-mail every weekday.

Cody Johnson broke out, Todd Frazier hit another home run, and runs were at a premium in the Midwest League, as we saw the first no-hitter of the season in Kane County.

South Atlantic League

Augusta (Giants) 4, West Virginia (Brewers) 3

Augusta righthander Daryl Maday threw four shutout innings of relief, enabling the GreenJackets to stage a late rally and knock off West Virginia. Trailing 3-2 after eight, the GreenJackets came back thanks in large part to three errors in the ninth by the Power. Two of the errors were committed on the same play by shortstop Brent Brewer and left fielder Kurt Crowell, when Angel Villalona hit a ground ball to short that got through Brewer and was then overrun by Crowell, allowing the tying run to score from second. The winning run came in two batters later on a Nick Noonan sacrifice fly.

Asheville (Rockies) 11, Kannapolis (White Sox) 3

Asheville cruised to its third straight victory over Kannapolis behind a 17-hit barrage against the Intimidators’ pitching staff. Four Tourists hitters had three-hit games, including leadoff hitter Everth Cabrera who went 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored. It was Cabrera’s third straight multi-hit game. Right Fielder Brian Rike also homered for the Tourists, his third of the season. On the mound, Asheville starter Joseph Williamson struck out eight in four innings of work.

Delmarva (Orioles) 4, Lake County (Indians) 1, 10 Innings

A pitcher’s duel in Lake County required an extra frame, as Delmarva took out the host Captains in 10 innings. Starters Cole McCurry of Delmarva and Kelvin De La Cruz of Lake County each went five innings. McCurry allowed only one hit over five shutout innings, while De La Cruz wasn’t far behind in permitting only one run on three hits and striking out eight. The bullpens took it from there, and the game was even at 1-1 through nine, but only after Lake County stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Delmarva’s Zachary Clark did a masterful job of pitching around a pair of errors by his defense by getting three consecutive groundouts to end the threat and extend the game. First baseman Anthony Martinez, who had committed one of the errors that led to the jam in the bottom of the ninth, redeemed himself by leading off the top of the tenth with a home run to left field. The Shorebirds added two more runs in the inning, rewarding Clark with a victory for his work.

Charleston (Yankees) 8, Savannah (Mets) 6

Charleston scored five runs in the second, then held on for their third straight win over Savannah. The top two hitters in the Charleston order, Abraham Almonte and Justin Snyder, went a combined 7-for-10 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Four other Charleston hitters registered multi-hit games, including 19-year-old shortstop Carmen Angelini who went 2-for-4 with a stolen base, the first of his career, and two runs scored.

Rome (Braves) 10, Columbus (Rays) 5

After starting the season 3 for his first 23 (although two of those three hits were home runs), Rome left fielder Cody Johnson broke out with a 4-for-5 showing with four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the seventh, his third of the season. Lefthander Glenn Gibson, who came over from the Nationals organization in the Elijah Dukes deal, hasn’t gotten off to a good start with his new team. He had his second rough outing in a row for the Catfish, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts in just 3 2/3 innings of work.

Lakewood (Phillies) 6, Hagerstown (Nationals) 5

Despite losing a late 5-1 lead, Lakewood was able to knock off Hagerstown for their second win of the year. Lakewood DH Michael Durant went 4-for-4 with a double and a homer, his second, and catcher Joel Naughton went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, including the game-winner on a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth. Lakewood starter Tyson Brummett received a tough luck no-decision after pitching six innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out eight.

Greensboro (Marlins) 5, Hickory (Pirates) 4

Greensboro center fielder Tom Hickman hit a three-run homer, his second of the night, in the bottom of the eighth off Hickory righthander Gary Amato to erase a 4-2 deficit and lead the Grasshoppers over the Crawdads. Earlier, Hickman hit a solo-shot off Crawdads starter Dionis Rodriguez.

Greenville (Red Sox) 7, Lexington (Astros) 1

Five Greenville hitters had multi-hit games, including Josh Reddick‘s 3-for-4 effort, to lead the Drive over Lexington. First baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBis, and leadoff hitter Che-Hsuan Lin also went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, and three RBis. Greenville righthander Daniel Bard made his third appearance of the year in his new role as a reliever. Bard pitched two scoreless innings, allowed three hits, and struck out two. Bard induced a pair of groundball double plays and, perhaps most importantly, didn’t issue any walks. After issuing 78 walks in 75 innings in 2007, Bard’s control appears to have improved so far, as he’s only allowed one walk in five innings over his three relief appearances.

Midwest League

Kane County (Athletics) 1, Burlington (Royals) 0, 10 Innings (Game 1)

It was a long day for Burlington hitters in their doubleheader against Kane County. Game One saw four Kane County pitchers combine for 10 shutout innings, while Burlington’s Daniel Gutierrez started and went six, allowing no runs on three hits with five strikeouts. Gutierrez was followed by lefthander Anthony Bradley, who pitched three scoreless on two hits and three strikeouts. The game finally came to an end in the bottom of the tenth when Kane County’s Jacob Smith drew a bases loaded walk against Burlington’s Yesni Lopez to bring in the first and only run of the game.

Kane County 3, Burlington 0, 7 Innings (Game 2)

Things only got worse for the Bees in Game Two, as Kane County pitchers Craig Italiano and Branden Dewing combined on the seven inning no-hitter. Italiano pitched the first 5 2/3 and struck out nine. Italiano was perfect for the first five innings, the only baserunner he allowed came when he hit Burlington shortstop Antonio Jimenez with one out in the sixth. From the third through the fifth, Italiano, whose fastball can reach the high 90s, fanned seven consecutive Burlington hitters. After Italiano reached his pitch count, Dewing came in and retired all four hitters he faced to finish the no-hitter. By sweeping the doubleheader, Kane County improved its record to 7-0, the best start in franchise history, and is the last undefeated team in Low Class-A.

Cedar Rapids (Angels) 2, Quad Cities (Cardinals) 0, 7 Innings (Game 1)

Quad Cities’ hitters didn’t fare much better than Burlington’s, as the River Bandits were also shut out in both ends of a double header. In Game One, Cedar Rapids’s Mason Tobin went the distance, allowing only three hits, one walk, and striking out four. Tobin retired the first nine hitters he faced and his only close call came in the top of the sixth, when Quad Cities’s Mike Foli, who drew a leadoff walk, tried to score from first on a double by Andrew Brown but was thrown out at the plate.

Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 0, 7 Innings (Game 2)

Cedar Rapids scored two runs in the bottom of the first thanks to a key fielding error by Quad Cities first baseman Charlie Pelt, and that was all the offense the Kernels would need to down River Bandits in the second game of the double header. Kernels starter Robert Fish went the first five, allowing two hits, three walks, and striking out eight. Relievers Sammy Leon and Ryan Brasier finished the shutout.

Beloit (Twins) 1, Peoria (Cubs) 0, 7 Innings (Game 1)

Garrett Olson‘s third inning home run was the only offense of the game as Beloit shutout Peoria in the front end of the doubleheader. Beloit starter Steven Hirshfeld went the first five innings, allowing no runs on three hits with three strikeouts. Loek Van Mil, Beloit’s 7-foot-1 Dutch native, came on to pick up the six-out save, the first of his professional career, retiring all six hitters he faced.

Peoria 4, Beloit 1, 7 Innings (Game 2)

The Chiefs found their offense in time to take Game Two and earn a split of the doubleheader with Beloit. Peoria right fielder Cliff Andersen hit an inside-the-park two-run home run to key a three run rally in the bottom of the fourth. Righthander Dae-Eun Rhee made his second strong start in a row for the Chiefs, pitching five innings and allowing one run on three hits and striking out seven. Rhee, a 19-year-old whom the Cubs signed out of Korea in July 2007, has won both of his first two professional starts, pitching a combined ten innings while allowing only one run on five hits, with 12 strikeouts and only one walk. Not a bad first impression.

Lansing (Blue Jays) 9, South Bend (Diamondbacks) 6

Lansing’s offense stayed hot as the Lugnuts won their sixth straight. Lugnuts second baseman John Tolisano broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run home run off South Bend righthander Ty Davis. The Lugnuts added two more runs in the inning, then held on as the Silver Hawks scored once and had the tying run at the plate with two outs in the top of the ninth, but righthander Brian Pettway struck out South Bend shortstop Taylor Harbin to end the game. Lansing’s offense was led by leadoff hitter Raul Barron, who went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles.

West Michigan (Tigers) 9, Great Lakes (Dodgers) 0

Three Whitecaps pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout. Starter Alfredo Figaro went the first six, allowing only three hits and two walks to go with seven strikeouts. Whitecaps leadoff hitter Kyle Peter reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and drawing two walks. Great Lakes starter Bryan Morris, making his second start after missing 2007 due to Tommy John surgery, struggled in allowing seven hits over four innings of work, along with two walks and only one strikeout.

Dayton (Reds) 8, Fort Wayne (Padres) 5

A four-run sixth inning keyed Dayton’s third straight win over Fort Wayne. After hitting two home runs, including a walk-off, on Tuesday night, Dayton’s Todd Frazier hit another in the first inning on Wednesday, part of 3-for-4 night in which Frazier also added a double and had three RBIs. Frazier and third baseman Brandon Waring have been one of the best one-two punches in Low Class-A on the young season, and Waring continued his hot hitting as well by going 2-for-2 with a double and also drawing two walks.