Record: 7-1. Overall: 71-48, first place, eight games ahead of Toledo (DET).
7/30: Ben Jukich finally puts it together after two poor AAA outings, shutting down Charlotte (CHW) on seven singles in eight innings (W 1-1, 4.67, 1 BB, 3 K, 102 pitches, 65 strikes) in Louisville’s easy 9-0 win. Rehabbin’ Jerry Hairston Jr. slammed a three-run homer (#4 overall in AAA) and LF Drew T. Anderson added his own three-run shot (#6) to cap a 3-for-5 night (.278). RF Chris Dickerson added two more hits- one a solo homer (#11), increasing his average to .279. Charlotte’s Danny Richar played what would be his final game for the Knights, going 1-for-4 and getting picked off first by Dickerson shortly afterwards.
7/31: Despite being outhit fifteen to fourteen, the Bats stranded ten runners and Charlotte beat Louisville, 6-3. Bobby Livingston (L 0-2, 5.89, 6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K) started and lost. Anderson socked four hits (.287) and LF Shaun Cumberland three (.296). 1B Kevin Barker hit his 14th homer. Dickerson tripled and walked in five trips, scoring both times aboard (.279).
8/1: Four runs in the eighth, courtesy of RBI hits by C Alvin Colina and 2B Mike Griffin and a two-run double by SS Paul Janish, pushed the Bats past the Knights, 7-5. Colina finished 3-for-3 with two RBI (.250). Barker homered again (#15) and was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Starter Justin Mallett was pretty hittable (4.78, 6.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR) but Josh Roenicke set down five straight (W 2-0, 2.05, 1.2 IP, 2 K) and Jon Adkins got save #20 (3.40, 1 IP, 2 H).
8/2: New acquisition Danny Richar picked up a pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the eleventh to score C Ryan Hanigan with the winning run- a 3-2 victory over Columbus (WAS). Hanigan himself was 3-for-4 (.312) and Cumberland 2-for-4 (.308) with a two-run homer, his first in AAA (ninth overall). Starter Ramon Ramirez permitted just one more hit than he collected at the plate himself (3.54, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 11 groundouts versus two flyouts). Danny Ray Herrera added two more scoreless (2.01, 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K) and Carlos Fisher walked two but allowed no hits in picking up his third AAA win (W 3-0, 1.50, 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K). Adkins got save #21.
8/3: Again the Bats pick up the go-ahead run in the last inning, as Chris Dickerson got his third hit of the game- an infield single- to score Hanigan with the winner. Dickerson’s average: .279. You guessed it. Adam Pettyjohn scattered nine hits over eight innings (W 12-4, 4.41, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) and Roenicke got save #3 (1.98, 1 IP, 1 K). Ex-Red William Bergolla, playing left field, homered for the only Clippers run.
8/4: Rehabbin’ Aaron Harang cruised through six innings on 69 pitches, whiffing six Mud Hens as the Bats thumped Toledo (DET), 11-0. Robert Manuel made a nice AAA debut with two scoreless innings. Dickerson drove in four runs with a 3-for-5 night (.284) , with Adam Rosales and Drew Anderson each adding three hits in five trips themselves (.266 and .286, respectively). Janish homered (#7), scored three, and drove in three.
8/5: The Bats survived late power from Toledo sluggers Brent Clevlen and Jeff Larish to hang on, 10-8. Livingston (W 1-2, 5.84, 6.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR) craftied himself a win. Roenicke and Adkins both gave up two-run homers in their stints, although Herrera was untouched (1.96, 1 IP, 2 K). Rosales was 4-for-5 with four runs scored and a solo homer (#9, .273). Barker hit his third homer of the week while scoring three (#16) and Anderson turned in three more hits like clockwork (.291). He also drove in three.
8/6: Anderson slammed a three-run homer (#7) in the eighth to break open a close game- final score, 8-4. Mallett started and won (W 5-2, 4.80, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Fisher allowed a couple of inherited runners to score but wasn’t charged with any runs himself (1.17, 1.2 IP, 3 K) and Matt Belisle picked up save #4 (4.72, 1.1 IP, 2 H). Ryan Hanigan was 5-for-5 with two RBI (.323; why is Paul Bako in Cincinnati?) Rosales singled, tripled and scored twice (.275) and Anderson got a fourth RBI with a sacrifice fly. Danny Richar, who has been quiet since joining the team, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored (.253 overall).
Notes: 7/31: INF Danny Richar joined the Bats from AAA Charlotte (Griffey trade). RHR Todd Coffey sent back to Louisville by the Reds to make room for Nick Masset, the other player acquired from Chicago in the deal. 8/1: LHR Tyler Pelland DL’ed with shoulder tendinitis. UT Jerry Hairston Jr. ended his rehab assignment. 8/2: RHR Robert Manuel came up from Chattanooga, replacing RHR Marcus McBeth (temporarily inactivated). 8/4: INF Aaron Herr was traded to Philadelphia for future considerations a few days before, but was returned to the Reds and placed on the DL with a groin strain. 8/6: LHS Ben Jukich returned to Chattanooga; LHS Matt Maloney will be activated to start on 8/8.
Record: 3-5. Overall: 18-28, last place, 11 games behind Carolina (FLA).
7/30: The Lookouts get all of one hit- a Tonys Gutierrez double- and fall to Mississippi (ATL), 3-1. Jordan Smith started and lost (L 2-6, 5.40, 6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K).
7/31: Again! One hit- a Craig Tatum single- for Chattanooga in a 7-0 pasting. Camilo Vazquez (L 1-1, 2.76, 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR) started.
8/1: They get seven hits this time, but still can’t score, losing to Birmingham (CHW), 2-0. Travis Wood (L 2-7, 6.19, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) pitched decently and got scoreless support from Sean Watson (6.17, 1.1 IP), Pedro Viola (5.43, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K) and Robert Manuel (1.48, 1 IP, 1 K).
8/2: OPEN THE FLOODGATES! Twenty hits- more than double than the Lookouts got in the three previous games combined- and thirteen runs lead to a swamping of the Barons, 13-2. SS Chris Valaika drove in five runs with three hits (.297). Tatum was 3-for-5 with homer #6 (.242). CF Drew Stubbs and 2B Michael DeJesus also picked up three hits apiece (.323 and .279, respectively). LF Danny Dorn doubled twice and scored three (.259). James Avery allowed two runs in six innings (W 7-7, 4.85, 7 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). Ramon Geronimo threw two more scoreless innings.
8/3: Three in the eighth gave Chattanooga a come-from-behind 3-2 win. Tatum homered again in that fateful inning (#7, 2-for-4, .245) and 2B Justin Turner got three hits (.266). Sam Lecure threw seven strong (W 8-6, 3.89, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and Watson got the last two for save #1 (6.00).
8/4: Pedro Viola made his first start (!) and did great, throwing five scoreless innings and striking out four with no walks (4.97, 4 H). But Birmingham whacked temp Jeff Jeffords, on loan from Dayton, and won it 5-1. Three Lookouts errors, two by 3B Eric Eymann (22), didn’t help either.
8/5: Six runs in the first, three on Eymann’s sixth home run (.302, 3 R, 2-for-4), let Chattanooga cruise past Birmingham, 12-6. 2B Drew M. Anderson was 5-for-5 with his fifth homer and two RBI (.234). Stubbs was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI (.316). Chattanooga got twenty hits for the second time in a week. Vazquez was hittable but sufficient (W 2-1, 3.38, 5.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR) and Watson set down five straight in relief (5.61, 2 K).
8/6: What do you say exactly? Tennessee hangs on to win a ridiculous 18-16 slugfest. Travis Wood was roadkill this time (7.13, 2.2 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 2 HR) but it was Justin James, now fully rehabbed, who got the defeat (L 0-2, 9.53, 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). New callup Ruben Medina allowed three more over 2.2 innings (10.13, 3 K, 1 HR) and fresh signee Joe Valentine (yes, that one) permitted three more (one earned) in his inning of work. Only Geronimo (1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K) stayed immune- and made it 10.2 scoreless with three hits allowed and 17 Ks for his Southern League line. Danny Dorn slugged a pair of homers (#16 and #17) while driving in five (.262, 3-for-6). Tatum homered a third time this week (#9) and drove in four. RF BJ Szymanski, entering the game halfway through, popped a solo bomb (#8). Stubbs and Anderson added three more hits each (.333 and .244).
Notes: 8/4: RHS James Avery was made inactive so he can pitch for Canada in the Olympics. LHR Jeff Jeffords came up from Dayton to temp for a day. 8/5: RHR Derrik Lutz was placed on the DL. RHR Justin James and Ruben Medina both came up from Sarasota, replacing Jeffords as well. RHR Joe Valentine, 28, was signed out of indy ball. 8/6: LHS Ben Jukich came back from Louisville.
Record: 3-5. Overall: 22-23, third place, 9 games behind Dunedin (TOR).
7/30: Clearwater (PHI) whacks the Reds, 7-1. Sixteen hits for the Threshers, nine off Scott Carroll (L 6-4, 3.30, 5.2 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). C Eddy Rodriguez homered (#5) for the only Sarasota run.
7/31: Newly-promoted starter Matt Klinker outdueled Rehabbin’ Dontrelle Willis (!) as Sarasota nipped Lakeland, 1-0. Klinker allowed six hits and two walks in 6.2 innings (W 1-0, 0.00, 5 K). Phil Valiquette got the Reds to the ninth (2.63, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Zach Stewart went 1-2-3 in the ninth for save #2 (1.80). CF Chris Heisey was 2-for-4 with two steals (26). Yuber Rodriguez’ double-play grounder scored the only run of the game.
8/1: The Reds led 4-0 until the late game, but the Flying Tigers tied the game in the seventh and then picked up two unearned tiebreakers off Ruben Medina (L 2-6, 3.23) to win it, 6-4. Starter Misael DeJesus did well (4.20, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) but Logan Ondrusek allowed the tying runs.
8/2: SS Todd Frazier homered in the bottom of the 15th inning to give Sarasota the 3-2 win! Frazier’s tenth homer. The game was actually scoreless until the 12th, when both sides scored once; they did it again in the 13th. A couple of innings before, Heisey had thrown out a runner at the plate to preserve the stalemate. Rehabbin’ Justin James pitched four hitless innings to start, then Enerio Del Rosario whiffed six over four more (6.37, 1 H, 1 BB). Joe Krebs ended up with the win after posting a zero in the 15th (W 1-1, 3.45).
8/3: Rafael Gonzalez’ six scoreless innings (W 5-8, 6.42, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and Logan Ondrusek’s long save (4.50, 3 IP, 1 H, 1 K) saved the decimated Reds bullpen in a 3-0 shutout win. LF Carson Kainer was 2-for-4 with a RBI (.256), his fifth multi-hit game in seven. 3B Juan Francisco tripled in a run and Frazier doubled and sac-flied in another.
8/4: Fort Myers (MIN) tied the score at 2 off Krebs in the eighth (4.15, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BS #1) then beat Medina in the ninth (L 2-7, 3.33), 3-2. Carroll pitched six shutout innings with nothing to show for it (3.04, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K). 1B Logan Parker was 3-for-3 with two walks (.323).
8/5: First-place Dunedin (TOR) fared substantially better against Matt Klinker (L 1-1, 3.09, 5 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) then hung on to win, 4-3. RF Dan Perales, who’s struggled badly in the FSL this year, was 3-for-4 with a triple (.214). He also recorded two assists, including one at the plate. Francisco popped a solo homer, #16.
8/6: Three straight one-run losses, as the Jays win 6-5. Terrell Young (L 0-1, 2.35, 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 K) surrendered the tiebreaker in the eighth. DeJesus started (4.38, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR). Heisey smacked two doubles and a single (.284) and Francisco (#17) and Parker (#3) hit home runs.
Notes: 8/4 RHR Dan Zeffiro came up from Billings, likely as a temp. He replaced the promoted Ruben Medina, he of the two relief losses in the past week. The Reds are carrying a variety of other temps, including LHR Steve Otterness (Dayton), righty Hector Santana (GCL), and C Petr Cech (GCL). LHS Alex Smit is pitching for the Netherlands in the Olympics, so he’s on the reserve list for the time being.
Record: 3-4. Overall: 26-19, second place, two back of South Bend (ARI).
7/30: Dayton bombed Burlington (KC), 14-4. 3B Neftali Soto put on a show, smacking five hits in six trips, one a three-run homer (#3). He’s batting .326. 3B Brandon Waring added four hits and four RBI, including a two-run shot (#17). SS Zach Cozart was 3-for-5 with two doubles (.274). C Jason Bour was also 3-for-5 with a solo homer (#4) and 2B Jake Kahauleilo scored four times while hitting his first MWL homer (.250). Jeremy Horst went five for the win (W 6-2, 2.74, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Jeff Jeffords struck out four in two innings (3.66).
7/31: The Bees stung Josh Ravin (L 2-7, 7.03, 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR) for five runs in the fourth, leading them to a 6-3 win. CF Jeremy Reed led Dayton with three hits (.252), including homer #11.
8/1: Quad Cities (STL) flogged the Dragons, 18-0. I have no words.
8/2: Five errors sunk Dayton, 6-4. They got twice as many hits as the River Bandits, but stranded nine runners. Cozart got three hits (.273). Starter Luis Montano was charged with just one earned run on three hits over six innings (L 11-7, 3.85, 6 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR) but two throwing errors on Soto and two of his own Es gave the bad guys plenty of runs anyway. Aguido Gonzalez pitched two more scoreless innings, giving the Venezuelan lefty a total of 26 frames without an earned run across three levels.
8/3: Jeremy Reed singled in LF Keltavious Jones with the game’s only run in the fifth. Kyle Lotzkar left after 2.2 innings (3.58, 2 H, 2 K); he was later found to have a hairline fracture on his pitching forearm, which will end his season early. Not a huge setback in the big picture for an 18-year-old who’s acquitted himself against older players in 2008. Juan Rafael took over and struck out seven in 5.1 innings (W 3-1, 3.54, 4 H, 2 BB). Henry Arias picked up save #3 (3.83, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K).
8/5: Dayton wins a pitchers’ duel for the second straight night, 2-1 over Fort Wayne (SD). DH Jason Bour drove in both runs with his fifth homer (2-for-3, .230). Horst again got through five (2.68, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), but Curtis Partch got the victory in relief (W 3-8, 5.36, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Like clockwork, Gonzalez turned in two more scoreless innings for the save.
8/6: Just after taking a beating in Chattanooga as a temp, Jeff Jeffords got back to Dayton just in time to allow an unearned run (Devin Mesoraco’s 14th passed ball of the season) and a 3-2 Wizards win in eleven. Jeffords (L 3-4, 3.54, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) otherwise pitched well. Starter Josh Ravin bounced back quite nicely (6.54, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) and Steve Otterness turned in three scoreless (10.03). Soto, DHing this time, got two hits and the only Dragons RBI of the game (.322).
Notes: 8/5: RHS Kyle Lotzkar headed to the DL (see above).
Record: 6-1. Overall 8-1 second half, first place.
7/30: LF Byron Wiley was 3-for-4 with a home run (#2) as Billings beat Missoula (ARI), 6-2. Junior Martinez (W 1-0, 6.75, 3 IP, 1 ER) got the victory in relief of Enrique Garcia (3.24, 4 IP, 5 H, 1 ER).
7/31: Drew Bowman returned with a strong five innings (W 1-0, 1.80, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) in the Mustangs’ 7-2 win. Bowman, the Reds’ fourth-round pick last year, was 1-5 with an ERA over 7 in Billings in 2007. SS Jose Gualdron hit homer #2 while going 2-for-3 (.255). 2B Cody Puckett, promoted up from the GCL, drove in three with a single and double (.429). Wiley added a single and triple and two runs scored (.314).
8/1: Three straight poundings of the Osprey- this time 6-2. C Jordan Wideman led a 14-hit attack with three (.297, 2 RBI). CF David Sappelt homered (#4) and Wiley added #3. After Leo Astorga pitched three to start (2.45, 2 H, 1 ER), Dan Zeffiro picked up the victory with three innings of one-run relief (W 2-0, 2.84, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K).
8/2: Four straight wins, this one 7-2 over Helena (MIL). Two or more hits for each of the first four hitters in the Mustangs lineup- Puckett (.400), Sappelt (.318), LF Tony Brown (.268), and 1B Mike Konstanty (.316). Mike drove in two with a single and a pair of doubles. Lefty Mace Thurman allowed the first run of his pro career, but also struck out six while picking up the relief win (W 1-0, 0.54, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB). Oscar Castro started (4.80, 4 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K).
8/3: Helena snaps the streak by scoring the win in the bottom of the ninth, 4-3, off Jordan Hotchkiss (L 0-2, 4.76)- an unearned run helped along by a pair of infield errors. Jamie Arneson looked solid (4.43, 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR).
8/4: A seesaw matchup ends in the good guys’ favor, 10-9. Konstanty hammered a pair of solo homers (#4 and #5) and Brown added #10 while driving in three overall. 3B Brett Bartles was 4-for-5 (.255). Lance Janke started and won (W 3-1, 4.31, 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K).
8/5: The Mustangs nearly blew a six-run lead, but they hung on to win, 7-5. Bowman made it back-to-back excellent starts (W 2-0, 1.80, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K) and Randall Linebaugh picked up save #4 (2.93, 1 IP, 2 K). Wideman ran his average to .308 with two more hits. Wiley also had a pair of hits (.302, R, RBI).
Notes: RHR Dan Zeffiro went up to Sarasota, probably for temp duty. RHR Mike Bohana came up from the GCL to replace him. INF Cody Puckett is also staying up from the lower club.
Rookie- Gulf Coast
Record: 3-5. Overall 17-22, fourth place, 7.5 back of the Pirates and Twins.
7/30: The Red Sox scored four in the eighth to beat the Reds, 8-7. Evan Hildenbrandt looked strong, whiffing seven in five innings (2.72, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB). Jerry Gil struggled, allowing three earned runs on three hits and two walks while recording only one out. C Kevin Coddington drove in three with a couple of hits (.291).
7/31: Twins win 3-2 in 10. The Reds ran no less than nine pitchers out there; loss to lefty Bryan Gardner (0-1). Tzu-Kai Chiu, the Reds’ big Taiwanese signee from last year, started and pitched two scoreless innings. This was his first appearance of 2008. CF Alexis Oliveras was 2-for-3 (.351).
8/2: First, the Reds and Orioles completed a suspended game from 7/24. Matt Maloney came down from Louisville to pitch in rehab; he mowed down nine Baby Birds in 5.2 one-hit innings for the win. Marco Pizziconi pitched two scoreless (0.96) and Gardner notched save #1 in the 2-0 victory. RF Efrain Contreras was 2-for-4 with a RBI (.298) and SS Markus Gregorius picked up the other rib-eye.
The actual game that day saw the Pirates win, 5-1. Loss to righty Tyler Cline in his first appearance (2 IP, 4 ER).
8/3: Six runs in the fourth give the Reds a 6-2 win despite only four hits. This was a shortened game. Good thing the Oriole pitchers walked nine men. 1B Humberto Sosa had three of those four hits along with two RBI (.323). Starter Mike Henry went four scoreless (4.56) but righty Hugo Calderon got the victory (W 1-0, 2.53, 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K).
8/4: Another Reds win, 4-1 over the Red Sox. Six scoreless innings for Hildenbrandt (W 3-1, 2.34, 5 H, 0 BB, 6 K)- this kid looks ready for full-season ball. Gil walked three in 1.2 innings (2 H, 1 ER, 2 K) but Hector Santana locked down the save. Oliveras was 3-for-4 with two runs scored (.337) and Sosa hit homer #3 with two RBI (.330).
8/5: Twins win, 6-2. Righty Luis Machuca, in his first US start after pitching well in the Dominican Summer League (3.03 ERA, 12 G), took the defeat (4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER). Chiu then gave up four hits and two runs, one earned, in two innings.