Record This Week: 3-3
Overall: 42-36, first place, 4.5 games in front of Indianapolis (PIT).
6/25: Sweet Sam Lecure hoped to keep the magic going after winning his last three starts (2.81 ERA, 19.2 IP, 15 K). His buddies helped him with a three-spot in the first. CF Drew Stubbs, mired in a 3-for-31 slump, led off with a walk, moved to second on RF Darnell McDonald’s base hit, and stole third (26). An E-2 put McD on second. An E-5 off the bat of Drew Sutton scored Stubbs. 3B Rehabbin’ Edwin Encarnacion smashed a ground-rule double, making it 2-0. Two outs later, 2B Luis Bolivar punched a base hit to score run #3 (EdE was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Lecure, meanwhile, got through the first two innings without much trouble. The Bats plated two more in the third (RBI hits from SS Chris Valaika and Bolivar scored EdE and 1B Kevin Barker) to give Sam a 5-0 cushion. He kept the zeroes coming for six innings (W 6-5, 4.72, 5 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 102 pitches, 60 strikes). LF Danny Dorn hit homer #10 in the eighth for extra insurance (he again finished 2-for-4 to raise his average to .248) and Sutton hit #5 in the ninth. Final score: 7-0. Lefty Camilo Vazquez (1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 K), Jeff Kennard (0.1 IP) and Robert Manuel (2.43, 1 IP, 1 K) completed the shutout. Encarnacion finished 1-for-2 with three walks officially.
6/26: Ramon Ramirez trying to keep his stretch of effectiveness going against the Knights. Charlotte’s starting pitcher was Jeff Marquez, who entered the game with an 0-5 record and an ERA over nine- but that didn’t stop him from shutting out the Bats for five innings on three hits with eight Ks. Ramirez did decently until a three-run homer in the sixth took him out of quality start contention (L 2-5, 4.75, 6 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HR). Charlotte cruised to the shutout win, 6-0. Daryl Thompson returned to action after being out for more than a month (1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB). New Knight Norris Hopper was 1-for-4, while new Bat Corky Miller didn’t play. Dorn (.252) and Mike Griffin (.245) both finished 2-for-4. Stubbs finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, although he did manage steal #27 (third, yet again).
6/27: Louisville led 3-0 after four and a half thanks to a Barker RBI single and bases-loaded walk and a Rehabbin’ Edwin fielder’s choice, but Gwinnett tied the score on Chris Burke’s three-run homer off Ben Jukich (5.86, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K). The game remained deadlocked at 3 until the bottom of the ninth, when Barbaro Canizares led off with a single off Pedro Viola (L 2-1, 3.48, 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB). EdE then winged an errant throw off a sacrifice bunt, putting runners at second and third. An intentional walk later, Brian Barton singled to win it. Valaika smacked three hits (.179) and Edwin was 2-for-4 despite the error (.261). Game one of Chris Heisey’s AAA career: 1-for-5, run scored.
6/28: Heisey finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a stolen base, and a RBI and Barker hit his eighth homer in June (14th overall) as Louisville bounced back to beat the Braves, 6-4. Matt Maloney went 6.2 for win #5 (W 5-4, 2.30, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR). Robert Manuel gave up a run in the ninth but still notched save #6 (2.59).
6/29: The Bats fire on all cylinders, spanking the Braves 8-2 behind Justin Lehr, now the winning-est pitcher in pro baseball (W 11-2, 3.21, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), Valaika’s 3-for-3 night (.194, 3 RBI, BB), and Dorn’s two-run pinch-homer (#11). Zach Stewart’s AAA debut saw him strike out two in a scoreless inning while giving up a pair of singles. McDonald added a pair of doubles, two runs scored, and a RBI.
6/30: Daytime action on MLB.TV with Sweet Sam and the dastardly Substitute Braves from Suburban Georgia! Stubbs got in scoring position with one out in the first by taking a Rudy and then swiping second (#28), but Heisey and Barker struck out to leave him there. Lecure retired the Sub Subs in order in the bottom of the first. 3B Adam Rosales, his .420 pre-callup average intact, picked right up where he left off by slamming a leadoff triple, then scoring on a throwing error to give the Bats a 1-0 lead! An out later, Valaika (playing 2B today, interestingly) hit his fourth homer of the year- to the opposite field, no less- two-zip, Louisville. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Lecure served up a walk and single- but he immediately came back to get a fly ball and a strikeout to strand two. Heisey then stepped up with two outs in the top of the third and hit his first International League homer! 3-0 Bats. One out into the third, Sam permitted a single; the runner then stole second on the first pitch to the next man. Another single put men on second and third, but Lecure got the .330-hitting Barbaro Canizares to ground 5-3 and a pop fly to center ended the threat. Neither side got a baserunner in the fourth, although both Rosales and Valaika smoked shots that were run down by the SS defense. SS C Clint Sammons led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer, cutting the Bats lead to 3-1, but Lecure got the next three without an issue. In the sixth, Stubbs led off with a sharp single (he’s still slumping) but was immediately picked off of first base by Sammons. Flashes of Stubbs’ stint in Dayton in 2007, it was. Worse, Heisey followed with a double that would have scored him. Barker struck out, but Rosales reached on a E-5 to put runners at first and third for McDonald (0-2, 2 Ks). Darnell fell behind in the count 1-2, but he came through with a line-drive double that scored both runners! 5-1, Louisville. Valaika then hit the ball hard for the third straight at-bat, but his fly ball was run down in deep right-center to end the inning. Canizares hit one to the fence in deep center to start the SS sixth, but Heisey ran it down. Sam hit the next batter, Brooks Conrad, but struck out the next two! End of 6, still 5-1 Bats. C Craig Tatum led off the seventh with a walk and Lecure bunted him to second. Sutton singled sharply to center, but the slow-footed catcher had to stop at third. No problem! Stubbs got the grounder to second to plate the run, move Sutton to second, and make the score 6-1. Heisey then drove the second pitch he saw down the left field line for another double to make it 7-1! Barker walked to keep the inning going, but Rosales grounded into a force play. Lecure started the bottom of 7 at 86 pitches. He fell behind Brian Barton three balls and one strike, but managed to get him to ground to short. Sammons then grounded weakly to third to bring up pinch-hitter JC Holt, who managed a blooper to center that fell in for a hit. He came back to get phee-nom Jordan Schafer on a soft liner to short, ending the inning on an even one hundred pitches. Valaika hit the ball hard a fourth time in the top of the eighth, flying out deep to center. Tough way to go 1-for-4. Daryl Thompson came on to relieve Lecure (4.45, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) for the eighth. He quickly allowed a leadoff double down the left-field line. Canizares again hit one to the fence in center, but again Heisey was able to go get it. Then Thompson left with a shoulder injury. (Sigh.) On came Pedro Viola to whiff Conrad, but a Jones fly ball bounced out of Heisey’s glove (ruled a double?!), scoring a run. Burke then singled to left to cut the Bats lead to 7-3. Barton singled as well, another seeing-eye job. Sammons then walked on five pitches to load the bases for pinch-hitter Reid Gorecki. Manager Rick Sweet opted for a double switch, bringing in Luis Bolivar at second base and Federico Baez to face Gorecki. The count ran full…
…and there it went. Grand-slam homer to left-center tied the score at 7. Geez….
…then Schafer stepped up and homered also. Double geez.
The Bats went down in order in the ninth, and that was that. Ouch. Can’t take away Heisey’s 3-for-4- he’s at .368. Rosales and Valaika also hit really well despite only having one hit apiece.
Moves & Notes: (6/25) RHS Daryl Thompson activated from the DL. Apparently he may work out of the bullpen for a time while he rebuilds arm strength. RHS Justin Lehr was temporarily inactivated. (6/26) The Reds made a trade that’s great for certain shooting-star outfielders at Double-A, sending OF Norris Hopper to the Chicago White Sox for ex-Red C Corky Miller. Look for a Chris Heisey promotion! Also, good thing for Hopper and the Charlotte Knights that the two teams were playing each other on the day of the trade. On the same day his callup to the Reds for the weekend was announced, RHS Homer Bailey got a mention on the BA Prospect Hot Sheet under “Men Among Boys” (which is ridiculous- the guy is 23) (6/27-6/28) As predicted, OF Chris Heisey was promoted from Carolina and UT Mike Griffin took his place. RHS Zach Stewart was also promoted from Carolina, although he’ll be working out of the bullpen for the rest of the year to limit his workload. He replaces LHR Camilo Vazquez, sent back to Carolina. INF Adam Rosales was demoted from Cincinnati. C Brian Peterson went to Carolina. RHS Justin Lehr was reactivated. (7/1) Mild surprise- RHR Jared Burton demoted to AAA while INF Drew Sutton was called up by the Reds.
Record This Week: 1-6.
Overall: 2-8, second half. 39-40 for the season.
6/25: Crafty Lefty Tom Cochran to the mound for the Mudcats as they continue to try to adjust to life without their slugging corner infielders. A sharp RBI double by C Chris Denove in the bottom of the second tied the score at 1 after Cochran served up a solo bomb in the top half. CF Chris Heisey slapped singles each of his first two times up, but was stranded both times. A pair of double plays carried CL through the first few. Cochran walked the line for 7.1 innings, allowing ten baserunners (3.00, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR) but departed a tie game. Sean Watson pitched extremely well for an inning-plus, but he served up a two-run homer to the Suns’ Lee Mitchell (his second of the game) in the top of the tenth to lose it, 4-2. Watson fell to 1-3 (3.70, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K). 3B Jose Castro finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored (.268).
6/26: Dallas Buck back to the hill to try to turn both himself and his team around. It didn’t last long, though as Buck was relieved by Jerry Gil one batter into the third (L 2-3, 4.82, 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K). We’ll see if he’s back to the disabled list. Gil didn’t do badly (10.57, 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K). Carolina outhit the Suns 10-8, but went 1-for-8 with men in scoring position and stranded eight, so they scored just two runs. Another Suns win, 6-2. Chris Heisey got two more hits in his final SL game (for now), bumping his average to .347. LF Carson Kainer got two hits and a RBI (.333)- he continues to hit well since his promotion. Lefties Lee Tabor (3.68, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and Phil Valiquette (3.97, 1 IP, 1 K) both looked good in relief.
6/27: Jordan Smith’s return from his second DL stint is somewhat of a sour one, as he held his own (L 4-3, 3.29, 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) but the Mudcats could get nothing off Jacksonville starter Nic Ungs. Ramon Geronimo then took over for the sixth and was torpedoed (5.19, 1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). The Suns wrapped up a 9-0 win.
6/28: Carolina scored two in the seventh and three in the eighth to grab a 5-2 lead, but Sean Watson suffered his fourth blown save as the Suns scored four runs and won it, 6-5. Watson fell to 1-4 (4.46, 1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K). Starter Travis Wood got an unjust no-decision (1.36, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 90 pitches, 62 strikes). LF Todd Frazier slammed homer #7 and CF Sean Henry hit #9 (.279, 2-for-4).
6/29: Finally the Mudcats stop the second-half skids at 1-6 by triumphing, 7-6, over Chattanooga (LAD), to move to 2-6. The Lookouts got a run in the eighth off Phil Valiquette (4.38, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0/2 IRS) and Logan Ondrusek to cut the deficit to one, but Logan managed to strand two of the three runners on when he came in and then threw a scoreless ninth (props to the defense, see below) for save #2 (1.82, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Newly added lefty Steve Otterness pitched 2.1 hitless innings in relief to earn the win in his Southern League debut (1 BB, 1 K). Camilo Vazquez started as a fill-in thing and struggled (5.91, 4 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). C Brian Peterson unleashed his demotional fury by singling and doubling to drive in three runs, while 3B Juan Francisco was 3-for-5 with a run scored and RBI (.267). RF Mike Griffin matched Peterson in demotional fury by pounding his first homer of the year, a solo blast, and adding a single and run scored (.267). Both Griffin and Todd Frazier also collected assists at home plate, Todd’s coming in the ninth after a runner tried to score from second on a single!
6/30: Craftiness returns! Tom Cochran back out there. He gave up two in the second and two in the sixth and departed down 4-2 (L 1-1, 3.62, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). Ruben Medina (3.86, 1.2 IP, 2 BB) and Geronimo (5.05, 1 IP, 1 BB) both pitched hitless relief, but the Mudcats couldn’t score again and fell to 2-7 on the half. Cozart doubled in two official trips with a walk and sacrifice fly (.289) and Frazier was 1-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base (#6) and yet another outfield assist.
7/1: Daytime action ends badly for Carolina, as Bullpen Day is a flop (9-3, Chatt wins). Lee Tabor’s first career start goes poorly (L 0-1, 5.91, 3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER). Jerry Gil allowed lots of baserunners but no runs in 2.2 (7.84, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 K). New signee Chris Kelly permitted two in 1.2 (1 H, 2 BB, 0 K). Frazier was 2-for-3 with a double, run scored, and walk (.317). Kainer doubled in a run, scored another, and walked (.263).
Moves & Notes: (6/25) In a situation where the hype often gets players picked ahead of their results, OF Chris Heisey made the US team for the Futures Game this year. Congrats to the 17th-round draft pick! (6/26) Another week at the office, another trip to the BA Prospect Hot Sheet for Travis Wood. (6/27) RHS Jordan Smith activated from the DL. C Brian Peterson sent down from Louisville. C Chris Denove was placed on the DL with a sprained thumb. 3B Juan Francisco was activated after missing just a week. INF Jake Kahauleilo went back to Sarasota. UT Mike Griffin added from Louisville. LHR Camilo Vazquez added from Louisville. (6/29) LHR Steve Otterness added from Dayton, replacing RHS Dallas Buck. Buck is back on the DL with a re-aggravated right arm injury; this cannot be good. (6/30) Six Mudcats were named to the All-Star team: LHS Travis Wood, OF Chris Heisey (not playing due to promotion), OF Todd Frazier, SS Zach Cozart, RHS Jordan Smith, and RHP James Avery (not likely to play due to injury). (6/30) The Mudcats signed and activated RHS Chris Kelly, 26. Kelly pitched in the FSL last year in the Tampa system, going 8-4 with a 5.67 ERA and a poor 44/37 BB/K ratio in 73 IP over 44 appearances, all in relief. Kelly was a 46th-round pick in 2004 out of Jacksonville University. LHR Steve Otterness was sent back to Dayton.
Record This Week: 2-3.
Overall: 2-3, second half. 30-43 overall.
6/25: 3B Neftali Soto provided lefty Travis Webb the first run of this one in the bottom of the first with a grounder that brought home RF Justin Reed (single, steal #9). RF Denis Phipps then stole third (#8) to bring up C Devin Mesoraco with two outs, but Mesoraco struck out swinging. Webb was dealing through four- just one hit and one walk with a pair of strikeouts. He departed after allowing the first man to reach in the sixth (W 5-6, 3.89, 5 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 2 K). Joe Krebs came on to strand that man and get through the next three without incident (1.70, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K). Enerio Del Rosario whiffed two of three in the ninth for the save, #4 (2.31), as Sarasota wins the 1-0 contest. C Jason Bour was 2-for-3 (.292) and picked a runner off first base.
6/26: Luis Montano threw a two-hitter for six innings (L 5-7, 5.60, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) and departed down only 1-0, but Lakeland (DET) bombed three Reds relievers- Josh Beal (3.50, 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB), Justin Freeman (1.1 IP, 2 ER) and Mark Pawelek (1 IP, 2 ER) to win easy, 9-0.
6/27: Lakeland scored ten runs in the first three innings and won easily, 12-5. After the Reds were down 10-0, Mesoraco stepped up in the bottom of the third and hit a three-run homer (#5). Soto (#7) and Phipps (#6) also homered later. Matt Klinker took the early exit (L 2-2, 4.89, 2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). Beal was hit for four more runs, although all were unearned. Pawelek pitched two more innings, allowing a solo homer but striking out four with no walks (5.40). RF Jeremy Reed was 2-for-3 with two steals (11) and a run scored.
6/28: Sarasota survived a two-spot off Jeremy Horst in the top of the first to come back and win it, 5-3. Horst allowed just two hits after the first in going seven (W 3-8, 3.44, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). Mace Thurman pitched the eighth (2.25) and Del Rosario the ninth for save #5 (2.25, 2 K). Soto hit another homer, #8, and finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs (.256). 2B Jake Kahauleilo, back from Carolina, doubled in two more (.290).
6/29: The Reds got little to speak of offensively, falling to Tampa (NYY), 6-1. Rafael Gonzalez struggled with his control (L 1-3, 4.14, 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 1 K). Nobody had more than one hit. Mesoraco doubled to score the only Sarasota run, raising his average to .207.
7/1: Rained out.
Moves & Notes: (6/27) INF Jake Kahauleilo returned from Carolina. INF Cody Puckett was sent back to Dayton.
Record This Week: 3-3.
Overall: Final first-half record: 28-42, 17 games out, tied for fourth. Second half: 3-3.
6/25: The Dragons spotted starter Josh Ravin three in the first thanks to RF Andrew Means’ double and steal of third (#11), C Kevin Coddington’s RBI grounder, then four singles (CF Dave Sappelt, 3B Carlos Mendez, 1B Mike Konstanty, and C Jordan Wideman). But Ravin and the Dayton D gave those back to Lansing (TOR) in the second- two of the three unearned following an errant pickoff throw by Wideman and a fielding miscue by Josh himself. Lansing got two more unearned runs in the fifth after an error by SS Miguel Rojas. Ravin left one batter into the sixth (3.67, 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). Dayton knotted the score at 5 in the seventh when Konstanty pounded a two-run triple (.346, 2-for-4), scoring Mendez and Sappelt. Jordan Hotchkiss came on and threw a scoreless sixth and seventh, but the Lugnuts got to him for the game’s deciding run in the eighth (L 0-2, 3.90, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Coddington managed a one-out single in the ninth, but Sappelt and Mendez went down swinging to end it.
6/26: Dragons hammered out 15 hits and three relievers threw shutout ball in support of Lance Janke (W 4-3, 3.44, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) as Dayton beat Lansing, 7-3. Drew Bowman retired six straight (4.62, 3 K), Mike James took the eighth, and Scott Gaffney the ninth. Means slugged his first MWL homer, singled and scored a second run and got steal #12 (.266). LF Byron Wiley doubled twice and scored twice (.230). Coddington also had a pair of doubles (.295). SS Miguel Rojas was 3-for-5 with a RBI (.242) and Konstanty kept it going with two more hits as well.
6/27: ACE Matt Fairel made his triumphant return from the All-Star Game with six four-hit innings (W 5-3, 2.96, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR) as Dayton beat Lansing, 5-2. Oscar Castro, Junior Martinez, and Aguido Gonzalez (save #7) each threw scoreless innings in relief. LF Byron Wiley hit homer #5 and Mike Konstanty #3, but the real story was the Dragons setting a team record with eight stolen bases- two for Coddington (5), Puckett (6), Mendez, (1), Rojas (6), Feiner (4), Sappelt 2 (25).
6/28: Lansing snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth with two off Scott Gaffney (L 3-3, 3.31, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER) to take it, 5-3. Starter Curtis Partch went five (5.67, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K). Konstanty continued to be unstoppable, lashing a single and triple and driving in two (.385).
6/30: JC Sulbaran hadn’t pitched in two weeks due to blisters. The rust showed in the first inning of his start against Fort Wayne (SD), as JC managed to give up three unearned runs on no hits- thanks to three walks, his own two-run throwing error, and a wild pitch. (Funny those are unearned runs, huh?) He allowed just two hits and no more runs over the next three and departed after four (2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K). Drew Bowman followed with three scoreless (W 1-6, 4.19, 2 H, 2 K) as Dayton scored five between the second and fifth to come back and win it, 5-3! Wiley had a single, triple and two RBI (.243) and Coddington went back over .300 with a pair of singles. Again the Dragons ran wild, swiping four bases (Puckett #7, Rojas #7, Coddington #6, Sappelt #26). Aguido Gonzalez set down six straight for save #8 (2.93, 2 K). This was Dayton’s first win over the TinCaps in 2009.
7/1: Dayton battled back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at 6, but the TinCaps took advantage of more control problems by Junior Martinez (L 2-1, 4.91, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K) and then got hits off Scott Gaffney (3.24, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 2-2 IRS) to score two in the top of the ninth and take it, 8-6. Puckett hit homer #12, a two-run blast, and also walked with the bases loaded for a third RBI (.276). Rojas was 3-for-5 with a double, run scored, and RBI (.244). Starter Oscar Castro struggled, even though he’s been better in that role (5.27 ERA) than relieving (9.82) this season- he allowed four earned runs in three innings. Jordan Hotchkiss then pitched four solid innings of relief (3.72, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K).
Moves & Notes: RHS JC Sulbaran was picked for the World team in the 2009 Futures Game. (6/26) OF Tony Brown and INF Yen-Wen Kuo came back from Billings as more draftees showed up there. (6/27) RHS Josh Ravin went on the DL with mild arm soreness, while LHR Aguido Gonzalez was activated. INF Cody Puckett returned from Sarasota and INF Yen-Wen Kuo went back to Billings. (6/30) LHR Steve Otterness came back from a two-day stint in Carolina.
Record this week: 1-6.
6/25: Nineteen-year-old Italian lefty Luca Panerati pitched very well out of the bullpen last season for the GCL squad. Promoted to Billings (with his countryman Mateo Pizziconi left in the GCL with similar ’08 results) despite being a year older, he was handed the ball as a member of the Mustangs’ starting rotation. He struggled his first time out, sadly. He got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first with a 4-6-3 double play. But the Voyagers plated three in the second with a pair of two-out extra-base hits. A throwing error on 3B Frank Pfister started a four-run rally in the third (aided by a later misfire by McMurray) gave Great Falls a 7-0 advantage. That was it for Panerati (L 0-1, 3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). The Voyagers went on to win 17-4, scoring three (two earned off righty Jason Braun in his two-inning debut and seven (four earned) off righty Mike Bohana. Bright spot: third-round pick Donnie Joseph, the highest-drafted Mustang, went two innings of perfect relief and whiffed five of six. DH Tyler Stovall was the only Billings hitter in multiples (2-for-4).
6/26: Billings led 3-0 and 6-2, blew the lead, regained it (9-7), blew it again, then fell one run short in a comeback as Great Falls takes three of the season’s first four, 11-10. Mustangs outhit the Voyagers 16-11, too. CF Alexis Oliveras was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, three RBI and two steals. RF Sean Conner was 3-for-4 with two RBI. NDFA SS John Dao was 3-for-5 with two runs and a steal, but also his third error in as many games. Four Billings pitchers all struggled at some point; ’09 15th-round pick James Walczak ended up with the blown save and loss.
6/27: The Mustangs were held to five hits as Great Falls won its fourth out of five, 5-3. Starter Justin Walker lasted six (L 0-1, 3.38, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 HR). Ninth-round pick Bruce Pearl made his debut pro appearance, retiring one of three batters. 3B Frank Pfister was 2-for-4 with two RBI (.200).
6/28: Again Billings fell short, 6-4. Leo Astorga turned in a quality start (2.45, 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) but the Voyagers scored the deciding runs off just-promoted Daniel Corcino (2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER).
6/29: Helena (MIL) pounded Billings 11-3 to drop the Mustangs to 1-6. Shea Snowden started and lost (L 0-2, 7.88, 4 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 HR). 3B Yen-Wen Kuo was the only Mustang with multiple hits (2-for-4, .462).
6/30: Finally another win! The Mustangs scored five in the second to take a 6-1 lead, then added a few insurance runs late to offset a three-run bottom-of-the-ninth Brewer rally to win it, 9-6. Luca Panerati looked a little better in his second start (9.00, 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K). The win went to lefty Ezequiel Infante, who threw two scoreless innings. Bruce Pearl followed by striking out four over two hitless innings. C Humberto Sosa was 3-for-4 with a double, solo homer, and two runs scored. Everyone else in the lineup save SS Shane Carlson (2 BB, R) got a hit and six players drove in runs.
7/1: Helena bombed Billings, 10-0. The sole highlight was a strong pro debut for 14th-round pick Tim Crabbe (L, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).
Moves & Notes: (6/26) OF Josh Garton (12th round) activated. (6/27) INF Yen-Wen Kuo sent back from Dayton. RHR Brian Pearl (9th round) activated. (6/28) RHR Daniel Corcino promoted from the GCL. (6/30) RHP Tim Crabbe (14th round) and C Mark Fleury (4th round) activated.
Record this week: 2-2.
6/25: The Reds fell to 0-3 as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Twins. Two unearned runs in the top of the tenth off Daniel Corcino, an 18-year-old Dominican righty, did the trick for the bad guys. Starter Tzu-Kai Chiu went three scoreless innings (2 H, 0 BB, 0 K). Righty Michael Henry (47th-round, 2007) pitched the next four and allowed three runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Italian lefty Mateo Pizziconi went the next 1.1 (2 H, 2 BB)- he turned in a 0.70 ERA in 25.2 IP last year, so it’s interesting to see the 19-year-old back here again. CF Yorman Rodriguez smacked three hits in five trips (.308) with two stolen bases; he also turned in two outfield assists at third base. His buddy Juan Duran played right and was 0-for-3 with a walk (0-for-10 overall for the young season). SS Billy Hamilton made it three straight games with a pair of hits- he also chalked up error #3.
6/27: Off to face the Rays! It still wasn’t to be, though, as the Reds dropped a 4-2 decision to fall to 0-4. Righty Blair Carson’s pro debut went well (3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 K) but NDFA signee Chase Ware took the loss in relief (3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). DH Theodis Bowe was 2-for-3 with a triple and RBI. Hamilton didn’t get any more hits, but did he launch a sacrifice fly.
6/28: The Reds survive five errors, an early 2-0 deficit, and a late Oriole comeback attempt to WIN 7-5! Hamilton was 2-for-4 (.400) with a double, run scored, walk, and three stolen bases (6). 3B Cristobal Rodriguez added two hits (one a triple) and a RBI and Yorman Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and steal #3. Starter Pedro Villareal went three and allowed two unearned runs, but Miguel Molina scattered four hits over three scoreless to get the win (1-1, 9.00). Lefty Nathan Driessen struggled this time out (1.1 IP, 3 ER) but Raul Rodriguez retired five straight for the save (3 K).
6/29: Rained out.
6/30: Tyler Cline did even better this time out, shutting out the Twins on two hits over five innings (W 1-0, 0.90, 1 BB, 3 K) as the Reds took advantage of rehabbing prospect Shooter Hunt’s control issues. Hunt permitted just two hits over four but walked six, threw two wild pitches, and hit a batter. He left down 1-0 and the Reds then scored three more off his reliever to win it, 4-1. Five stolen bases also helped- three by Theodis Bowe (5). Bowe finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. 1B Donald Lutz nabbed a bag as well to go with two hits (.200) and Hamilton took #7. Juan Duran also picked up his first hit of 2009, going 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts as the DH. Geovanny Adames threw two scoreless in relief of Cline and Jake Wiley got the save with the final two innings (2.25, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 K).
Moves/Notes: C Yovan Gonzalez (30th round) and OF Juan Silva (8th round) activated.