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Thread: July 2nd articles, notes, previous day recaps

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    July 2nd articles, notes, previous day recaps

    Minor matters

    General manager Wayne Krivsky visited Single-A Dayton during the Reds' most recent road trip. That gave him a chance to see two of the club's more interesting prospects - outfielder Jay Bruce and right-hander Johnny Cueto.

    "Bruce looked good," Krivsky said. "He leads that league in extra-base hits. He plays a good outfield."

    Bruce, the team's top draft pick in 2005, was hitting .311 with 30 doubles, five triples and 11 home runs going into Saturday.

    Cueto is at Single-A Sarasota after going 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 14 starts at Dayton.

    "He's got a good fastball," Krivsky said. "It comes out easy. It's effortless."

    Cueto, 20, didn't fare well in his Sarasota debut. He allowed five runs in four innings. He wasn't hit hard - three hits - but he walked five after averaging 1.07 walks per start in Dayton.

    E-mail jfay@enquirer.com

    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: July 2nd articles, notes, previous day recaps

    Chiasson finally closing in on full season
    By Brian Bennett
    The Courier-Journal

    During spring training, Cincinnati Reds farmhands were given a questionnaire that asked them to list their goals for 2006. Scott Chiasson wrote: "Just to finish the season."

    Chiasson had all but retired last season after injuries and ineffectiveness wore on his mind. Now here he is finishing games as the Louisville Bats closer.

    "This has been an unbelievable season for me personally," the 28-year-old right-hander said. "I did not think this would ever happen again."

    In 2001, Chiasson got his first shot at full-time closing duties, saving 24 games in Double-A and eventually receiving a brief promotion to the Chicago Cubs.

    The next year, however, he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery, which wiped out his 2003 campaign and about half of 2004.

    Chiasson returned to Triple-A last year before suffering a freak injury. After his first career base hit, he broke his left wrist and left elbow while diving back into first base. He asked for his release and planned to retire.

    But Chiasson reconsidered when he was offered a job with the Double-A team in his hometown of Norwich, Conn.

    He figured it would be fun to play in front of family and friends, and he was surprised that his arm responded well.

    "I don't know if it was being off six weeks or what," he said, "but I felt normal again for the first time since my surgery."

    Chiasson signed with Cincinnati this off-season and hoped for a chance to close for the Bats.

    In between injuries last year, he struggled working the seventh and eighth innings.

    "I get more psyched up for the ninth inning," he said. "I get more adrenaline going, and for some reason I seem to make better pitches in the ninth."

    But Louisville manager Rick Sweet rotated closing duties for the first two months, giving save chances to Jake Robbins and others.

    Chiasson finally separated himself from the pack earlier this month, accumulating seven of his 12 saves since June 16 as the Bats continued to win close games.

    "I don't think I gave the job to him as much as he just took it over, and that's what we were looking for," Sweet said. "After you work the whole game, you like to know there's a guy you can entrust it to, and that's what Chiasson is right now."

    By compiling a 2.55 ERA in a team-leading 34 appearances, Chiasson appears to have worked his way onto the Reds' radar screen. But he says his original answer on the questionnaire stands.

    "I honestly came into this year with no aspirations, no goals; I just wanted to pitch," he said. "If I finish the year in Triple-A and go home in September, I will not have one negative thing in my mind."

    Around the horn
    Who needs the designated hitter? Heading into Friday's game, Bats pitchers were hitting .263. Phil Dumatrait was 5 for 11; Brad Salmon had gone 3 for 4.

    The Bats are winning in the stands as well. After losing the International League attendance crown last year for the first time since Louisville Slugger Field opened, they are averaging a league-best 9,132 fans a game this season. Pawtucket, which claimed the attendance title in 2005, is second with an average home crowd of 7,776.

    The start time for Tuesday's home game against Toledo has been changed to 7:05 p.m. Also, there will be a doubleheader Wednesday that begins at 6 p.m.

    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: July 2nd articles, notes, previous day recaps

    Valdez, Lookouts dim Suns
    By David Paschall Staff Writer

    So where are the Eddy Valdez hankies?

    Valdez went seven innings for the first time at BellSouth Park, allowing one run Saturday night as the Chattanooga Lookouts defeated the Jacksonville Suns 5-2. The 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic also put the Lookouts ahead to stay with a twoout single up the middle in the fourth inning.

    "Eddy had a good game tonight," pitching coach Bill Moloney said. "We’re just trying to preach to him that he needs to pitch and not throw. Tonight he pitched. He used all his pitches and kept the ball down pretty good for the most part."

    Valdez, who began last season in Chattanooga but was sent down after 12 starts and a 6.94 earned run average, improved to 5-3 this season and lowered his ERA to 3.56. Homer Bailey, the top prospect of the Cincinnati Reds, will start today’s 2:15 matchup for the Lookouts. In two Double-A starts, Bailey has not allowed a run in 12 innings and has recorded 13 strikeouts.

    The first 500 fans to today’s game will receive "Homer hankies," honoring Cincinnati’s firstround pick two years ago who signed for $2.3 million.

    "I hope everybody gets a hanky and moves on to Triple-A," Lookouts manager Jayhawk Owens said. "Tonight was the best I’ve seen Eddy’s off-speed pitches. He looked like he could throw his change and slider at any time, and he kept them down. He threw strikes and expanded the zone at will."

    Chattanooga improved to 8-5 in the Southern League’s second half and is 52-31 overall. Last year’s Lookouts won their 52nd game on Sept. 4. Luis Bolivar started Chattanooga’s two-out rally in the fourth with a liner up the middle. Miguel Perez drew a walk off Suns starter Heath Totten before Valdez, who was 1-for-21 entering the at-bat, singled up the middle to put the Lookouts up 2-1. "I was happy for Eddy, but I almost didn’t get to second base because I was laughing so hard," Perez said. "When the center fielder threw the ball back to second base, I was like ‘Whoa.’ I was so happy he got a base hit."

    Said Owens: "Eddy is trying to be a little more calm at the plate, because he takes some way overaggressive swings. That was a nice, smooth swing, and he got a positive result."

    The Lookouts assured Valdez a victory with three runs in the seventh. Aaron Herr drove in one with a single to left, and Noochie Varner accounted for the other two on a single to right.

    Jacksonville scored quickly in the first inning when Wilkin Ruan’s one-out triple into the left-field corner was followed by Craig Brazell’s double down the right-field line.

    The Suns held the 1-0 lead until the third, when Javon Moran singled to right, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Joey Votto’s one-out single to right. Suns right fielder Justin Ruggiano threw home in time to get Moran, but catcher A.J. Ellis bobbled the ball.

    Votto has 50 RBIs this season to lead the Lookouts, while Varner has 49 and Herr 48. Brazell picked up his 54th and continues to lead the league in that department.

    E-mail David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com

    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: July 2nd articles, notes, previous day recaps

    Kernels hand Wood first pro loss
    Dayton Daily News

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Cedar Rapids Kernels gave plenty of early support to starter Tommy Mendoza in a 7-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Saturday night.

    For the second consecutive night, the Kernels roughed up Dragons starting pitching. Travis Wood was roughed up for seven runs Saturday, all earned, in just 11/3 innings.

    The lefty allowed seven hits in his shortest outing of the season, losing a decision for the first time in his pro career (2-0 with Billings in 2005, 6-0 with the Dragons this year).

    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: July 2nd articles, notes, previous day recaps

    Mustangs top Great Falls, 11-3
    By Gazette News Services

    GREAT FALLS -- The Billings Mustangs scored seven runs in the seventh inning on just two hits and went on to beat the Great Falls White Sox 11-3 Saturday night in the Pioneer League.

    The win moved the Mustangs (8-4) back into first place of the Northern Division by one game over the White Sox (7-5).

    Already leading 4-2, the Mustangs used six walks, three Great Falls errors and two passed balls to go along with hits by Chris Heisey and Billy Rojo to build an 11-2 lead. Despite scoring the seven runs, the Mustangs had just three RBIs in the inning: Two runs came in on Rojo's single and the third RBI came on a bases-loaded walk to Danny Dorn.

    With his two-run single in his final at-bat of the game, Rojo extended his hitting streak to all 12 Mustangs' games. Heisey had three hits and improved his league-leading batting average to .471. Angel Colon and Justin Tordi each drove in two runs for the Mustangs. Rafael Gonzalez threw six solid innings to earn the win. Gonzalez (1-1) allowed just three hits and allowed two unearned runs. He struck out two and walked two.

    The teams finish their four-game series today at 4. The Mustangs then return home to Cobb Field for a three-game series with the Missoula Osprey starting Monday.

    I miss Adam Dunn.

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