Record This Week: 4-0.
Overall: 51-39, first place, 9.5 games in front of Toledo (DET).
7/9: Lefty Adam Pettyjohn with another spot start. LF Chris Heisey staked him to an early 2-0 lead by cranking a two-run homer (#2, #15 for the year)- scoring CF Drew Stubbs ahead of him- off Toledo (DET) starter Eddie Bonine. Pettyjohn made it through five with minimal damage despite throwing just 37 strikes in 76 pitches- this is a guy with Browningesque control. He departed up 2-1 (5.12, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). Louisville added a third run in the sixth when 2B Chris Valaika singled in Adam Rosales. New acquisition Kip Wells threw two scoreless innings of relief, whiffing three, but the Mud Hens got to Federico Baez in the eighth for two game-tying runs (the second scoring after Jeff Kennard came in). Baez’ ERA climbed to 4.40. Kennard pitched very well after that, carrying the Bats into extra innings (3.16, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K). Jared Burton pitched the 11th- then, after several innings of little to speak of, the Bats struck in the 12th. C Corky Miller led off with a bloop single and Stubbs sacrificed him to second (2-for-5, .280, CS #6 of 38 attempts). Darnell McDonald smacked a base hit, but Miller had to stop at third. Heisey doubled in both men to give the Bats a 5-3 lead! He finished 3-for-6 with four RBI, jacking his AAA average to .354. Burton gave up a single but got the first out of the 12th but Pedro Viola was summoned to finish. He gave up another hit, but finally induced a game-ending grounder to Rosales at short to notch save #7 and give Burton (W 1-0, 2.08, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K) the victory.
7/10: Matt Maloney seems to be figuring that the best way he can get back to the big leagues is to emulate Tom Browning as much as possible (as a pitcher, I mean). He turned in seven innings against Columbus (W 6-5, 2.39, 7 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) as the Bats hung on to defeat the Clippers, 5-4. Zach Stewart pitched the last two for his first AAA save, although there was a scare- with two outs and a man on second, an infield single resulted in a Drew Sutton throwing error, allowing the run to score- but 1B Wes Bankston fired to Valaika at second to nab the batter-runner and end the game. Louisville strung together a four-run rally in the third to wipe out a 2-0 deficit; Heisey would then provide an insurance run in the fifth with his third homer, a solo shot off a rehabbing Fausto Carmona. He was 2-for-4 on the night with a stolen base (.365). Sutton did drive in two with a double and C Craig Tatum was 2-for-4 with a run scored and double (.227).
7/11: Louisville spotted All-Star Justin Lehr a run in the first when Stubbs walked, moved to second on Sutton’s single and scored on Barker’s base hit. Lehr then proceeded to whiff the side in the second, including Phenom Matt LaPorta and Ex-Phenom Andy Marte (having himself a comeback .315-11-50 season so far). Bankston then led off the bottom of the second with a solo homer (#12), making it 2-0 Bats. LF Mike Griffin and Tatum followed with singles, but Stubbs and Sutton stranded them on base. Tatum then erased a runner attempting to steal to short-circuit the Clippers’ third. McDonald smashed a triple with two outs in the Bats’ third, then Bankston stepped up and homered again! 4-0 Bats after his 13th. Tatum hit a solo bomb (#3) an inning later, making it seem like a semi-blowout, but the Clippers fired back on Lehr for three in the top of the fifth, cutting the Bats lead to two. Stubbs knocked in Griffin with a base hit in the sixth to make it 6-3. Justin managed to get back on track and make it through eight on just 92 pitches and four hits (and one walk) allowed. On came Viola for closing duties after Lehr permitted a squib infield hit with one out, but he walked the first man he faced. LaPorta then pounded a long three-run homer to left-center to tie the score. Lehr gets a no-decision: 8.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 3.51 ERA. Viola then walked another guy and was yanked in favor of Burton (4.84, 0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 HR). The runner on first stole second, but Burton got a pair of fly balls to end the inning. Burton got the first two outs in the top of the tenth, but then issued a walk and .228-hitting Josh Barfield singled to put two on. Finally .320-hitting Jordan Brown hit a comebacker to end the inning. Barker, hitting almost .400 in July, slapped a base hit to open the Bats’ 10th. McDonald bunted him over. On came Luis Bolivar to run for Barker. Bankston was intentionally passed in favor of Valaika, who ripped the first pitch to left to win it, 7-6! Burton (W 2-0, 1.50, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB) continues to do well since his demotion. Tatum finished 3-for-4 (.237).
7/12: The Clippers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off Ramon Ramirez, but the Bats fired back with four in the bottom of the third (three on McDonald’s fifth home run) and three more in the third. With some strong run support for once, Ramirez didn’t have to be perfect (W 4-6, 4.50, 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 K); he departed ahead by the count that would be the final score, 8-4. Kip Wells had a second straight good outing- three innings of one-hit shutout ball with three Ks. C Corky Miller (2-for-3, R, 2B, .214) and 3B Luis Bolivar (1-for-3, 2 R, steal #11, 3B) both drove in two runs from the bottom third of the lineup.
7/15: All-Star Game here in Portland! Good to get PGE Park noted for something before it becomes a full-time MLS facility for the Portland Timbers. Anyway… Justin Lehr started for the IL with Drew Stubbs in the lineup batting second (albeit playing RF with the Yankees’ Austin Jackson getting CF). Portland manager Randy Ready opposed Bats manager Rick Sweet (who, interestingly, lives just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA). As always, this game features an interesting mix of prospects and Quad-A types. Anyway, Lehr threw an easy 1-2-3 first on ten pitches and his night was done. Stubbs, however, got a little more face time. After a fly out to right in the first, he stepped up against the PCL’s Yorman Bazardo and cranked a two-run bomb to left-center to give the IL a 3-0 lead. He’d make outs in his next two at-bats, catch Eric Young’s kid off first for a double play to end the PCL fifth, move to CF later in the contest, then pick up an infield single at the end of the night to finish 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. The IL held on to win, 6-5. IL C Erik Kratz was named game MVP with a double and two-run homer in two at-bats.
Moves & Notes: (7/9) LHS Ben Jukich was temporarily inactivated and RHP Kip Wells activated. (7/11) INF Adam Rosales recalled by Cincinnati.
OF Chris Heisey was the only player to appear on both of BA’s Midseason Best Lists- both the All-Star and All-Surprise teams. (RHP Zach Stewart and LHS Travis Wood appeared on the Surprise squad.) Heisey was also named International League Player of the Week for the July 6-12 period; he hit .450 with two homers and nine RBI in five games.
Zach Stewart was mentioned by Baseball America as a prospect whose stock has risen to “top 100” levels.
Ex-Reds Notes: The Chicago Cubs called up RHR Jeff Stevens. (Stevens was originally sent to Cleveland for Brandon Phillips, then went to the Cubs as part of a package for Mark DeRosa.) Baltimore released LHS Bobby Livingston and he was promptly snapped up by Cleveland. (He’d gone 6-2, 3.62 in 12 starts at AA Bowie and 1-0, 1.80 in three starts at AAA Norfolk. Unfortunately for him, the Indians sent him to AA Akron.) Florida signed RHR Scott Williamson, who is trying yet again to come back from arm injuries at 33. Cleveland cut OF Rob Mackowiak loose and DL’d RHP Kirk Saarloos. Toronto activated OF Buck Coats from the DL.
Record This Week: 2-3
Overall: 7-14, second half. 44-46 for the season.
7/9: MAKEUP MADNESS scheduled with Jacksonville (FLA), but the opener was delayed due to… rain. Like, it couldn’t be more ironic if it was your wedding day! Or ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife! Finally the game started- and, wouldn’t you know it, it went into eleven innings. Neither team could score for ten long frames- Carolina starter Travis Wood allowed just four baserunners in seven innings (1.29, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 87 pitches, 61 strikes) and Suns hurler William Glen just two hits in six. (One of those was on a Wood bunt.) In the ninth, the Mudcats got a break when a throwing error allowed LF Todd Frazier to reach second on a play where he would have been caught stealing. Eric Eymann followed with an infield hit, but Frazier was thrown out (again) trying to score. Logan Ondrusek then struck out a man in the bottom of the ninth to leave the bases loaded (1.88, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K). Again Carolina threatened in the tenth when SS Zach Cozart led off with a walk and moved to second on a groundout. An out later, pinch-hitter Sean Henry was walked intentionally. CF Shaun Cumberland scratched a hit on a roller back to the pitcher, loading the bases, but Carson Kainer grounded out to end that threat. Sean Watson threw a scoreless tenth, then 3B Juan Francisco led off the eleventh with a walk. Up stepped Frazier to smash his ninth homer and break the stalemate! Watson quickly got the first two outs in the bottom of the inning, but gave up a solo homer and a walk before Andy Jenkins grounded to second to end the contest (W 2-4, 4.34, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K).
Game two was promptly cancelled due to game one taking as long as two makeup games, leading to more MADNESS.
7/10: The Suns scored the tiebreaking run off Ramon Geronimo (L 2-3, 4.95, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB) to edge the Mudcats, 2-1. Camilo Vazquez started and retired six straight, but he was then pinch-hit for by Jerry Gil for unknown reasons. Gil worked three (6.89, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K). Ruben Medina and Phil Valiquette each turned in two strong innings of relief (3.83 and 4.00, respectively). CF Sean Henry was 1-for-3 with the lone Carolina RBI, two steals (14) and a walk.
7/11: MAKEUP MADNESS TAKE TWO with Matt Klinker trying to build off his great previous outing. CF Shaun Cumberland led off with a single and was sacrificed to second in the first, but Frazier and Francisco could not get him around. Matt then walked the first man he faced in the bottom of the inning (the guy would steal second on the very first pitch) but he struck out the two and three hitters and got the cleanup batter on a fly ball to keep it scoreless. Eymann, who’s been invisible the last month-plus offensively, led off the second with a base hit but was left at first. Klinker permitted a one-out single in the bottom of two, but erased that runner with a 6-4-3 double-play grounder. He then did even better the next inning by whiffing the side! Frazier led off the fourth with a single. Francisco got him to second with a dribbler to the mound. An out later, 1B Logan Parker walked to bring up RF Stephen Chapman, who snapped his 1-for-10 start in Double-A with a single to score the game’s first run. Klinker kept rolling through the fourth (despite a walk). With one out in the fifth, 2B Jose Castro and Frazier poked singles, then Francisco ripped one off the third baseman’s glove to score Castro with run #2. Klinker walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the inning, but again got a DP grounder to end the inning. An easy sixth, and Klinker’s night ended with six innings of one-hit ball (W 3-0, 1.00, 1 H, 3 BB, 8 K). Logan Ondrusek threw an easy 1-2-3 seventh on ten pitches for save #4. Frazier finished 3-for-4 (.313).
Craftiness to the hill in game two in the form of lefty Tom Cochran. He permitted just one hit and one walk through five, but that man scored after RF Carson Kainer’s error and that was it for the game- Suns split the doubleheader with a 1-0 win. Sean Watson whiffed two of three in the sixth (4.25).
7/12: Off, All-Star break.
7/13: ALL-STAR GAME in (somewhere probably in the Confederacy- a search reveals it was Birmingham, AL). The North, team of our Mudcats, flogged the South, 7-0. Todd Frazier was 0-for-1, getting called out on strikes in the first and then immediately being replaced by Chattanooga’s Andrew Lambo in LF. Very strange. Travis Wood started and threw a 1-2-3 first on 11 pitches. Logan Ondrusek did the same in the fifth on just six pitches. That was it for Carolina’s contributions. The North’s pitching was just dominant; no South player even got past second base! Apparently Zach Cozart sprained his ankle a few days ago and that’s why he wasn’t in the North starting lineup. He missed the makeup doubleheader on the 11th but that’s it so far.
7/14: Off, All-Star break.
7/15: 27-year-old big-league veteran and ex-Twin prospect JD Durbin, banished back to Double-A after getting lit up in the PCL last year, stymied the Mudcats on five hits and no walks in eight innings as Chattanooga shut out Carolina, 2-0. Lefty Lee Tabor’s second start was nearly as good as his first- he threw five shutout innings (2.91, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K) to give him eleven overall between the two. Chris Kelly took over in the sixth and gave up a run, earning him the eventual loss (L 0-1, 6.35, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER). 2B Jose Castro had two of the Mudcats’ five hits (.272). Carolina committed three errors- including Juan Francisco’s 27th (!) of the year at third base.
Moves & Notes: If you may recall, the Mudcats had RHP James Avery, SS Zach Cozart, INF/OF Todd Frazier, LHS Travis Wood, 3B Juan Francisco, and RHS Jordan Smith selected to play in the Southern League All-Star game. With Avery, Smith, and Cozart injured and Francisco apparently taking a rest instead of playing (?), the SL named three replacements. Of those, one, RHR Logan Ondrusek, was a Mudcat. Interesting. Anyway, this means Frazier, Wood, and Ondrusek actually ended up participating.
Wood made the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet for what seems like the hundredth time.
RHS Matt Klinker was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week, throwing 12 scoreless innings over two starts.
Record This Week: 3-4.
Overall: 8-11, second half. 36-51 overall.
7/9: Raffi Gonzalez to the hill. The Reds shut out Fort Myers (MIN) in game one of their series, and despite being outhit nine to four- it happened again. Gonzalez scattered seven hits over seven shutout innings (W 2-3, 3.38, 2 BB, 2 K) and RF Jeremy Reed chalked up two outfield assists, including one at home in the bottom of the seventh that preserved the Reds’ 1-0 lead. Twins phenom Ben Revere was caught stealing twice by C Jason Bour. Reed had bunted his way aboard in the sixth, moved to second on a throwing error, then scored on a pair of fly balls, the second from RF Denis Phipps, for the game’s only run. Lefty Mace Thurman retired the Miracle in order in the eighth, then got a 6-3 double-play grounder to end the ninth and strand a pair for the save (#1, 2.08).
7/10: Fort Myers roared back to beat the Reds, 6-3. Travis Webb was knocked out after three (L 5-7, 4.16, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), although Justin Freeman (4.75, 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and Mark Pawelek (6.75, 2 IP, 2 BB, 1 K) both pitched pretty well in relief. C Devin Mesoraco doubled and scored a run (.217, ever creeping upwards), Reed picked up two more hits and steal #15, and 1B Jason Louwsma was 2-for-3 with a RBI (.203).
7/11: Luis Montano and the Reds hosted the Charlotte Stonecrabs (TB). Louwsma knocked in DH Neftali Soto (who’d doubled) with a base hit to stake Montano to a 1-0 lead through three. Charlotte tied it in the fourth but Montano held them scoreless in the fifth and sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Sarasota rallied for four runs- 2B Jake Kahauleilo doubled in Soto (who’d singled), Louwsma singled in Kahauleilo, 3B Jose Gualdron singled, SS Justin Tordi singled in Louwsma, and Reed singled in Gualdron before Dave Sappelt lined out to end it. Steve Otterness took over for the seventh (Montano: W 6-8, 5.21, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) and retired the side without incident. Enerio Del Rosario came on to get the last out of the eighth. Gualdron’s second homer made it 6-1 in the eighth. Del Rosario wrapped things up (2.15, 1.1 IP, 1 H, save #6) for the win.
7/12: Scott Carroll fired six innings of four-hit shutout ball as Sarasota easily beat Charlotte, 5-0. Carroll evened his record at 2-2 (2.78, 0 BB, 3 K). Joe Krebs pitched the seventh and eighth (1.91, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K) and Josh Beal finished up (2.22, 1 K). Louwsma scored three runs while going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, and a two-run homer (#3).
7/13: Jeremy Horst back to the hill to shoot for a fourth consecutive win. It wasn’t to be from the start this time, though, as the Stonecrabs pinched him for four runs in the second, all unearned after a pair of errors in the inning (1B Louwsma and 2B Alex Buchholz, apparently now back from his injury rehab). Three more in the fourth put the game pretty much out of reach (an error on SS Justin Tordi made one of those unearned as well) and Horst was gone before the inning ended (L 5-9, 3.21, 3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR). Mace Thurman came on to shut Charlotte down for 3.1 innings, though (1.80, 2 H, 4 K) and the Reds did manage to fire back a little bit, with Dave Sappelt connecting for his second homer in the bottom of the fourth (.244, 2-for-5, 2 R). Sarasota added three more in the eighth on a Buchholz sac-fly and a pair of wild pitches. Mark Pawelek continued to struggle with his control, walking two, but he did pitch a scoreless eighth (6.00) and Del Rosario went 1-2-3 in the ninth (2.11).
7/15: Fort Myers got just one run in the first off Raffi Gonzalez- then nine in the second. Raffi left (L 2-4, 4.94, 1.1 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR) and the Miracle went on to whomp the Reds, 13-0. Steve Otterness allowed all three runners he inherited to score, but otherwise managed shutout ball (2.61, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Mark Pawelek also managed two solid innings (4.91, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K).
Moves & Notes: (7/12) INF Alex Buchholz activated from the DL.
Record This Week: 2-4.
Overall: Second half: 7-12. Overall 35-54. The Dragons have lost enough games recently to fall into Baseball America’s Bottom 7 Minor League Teams.
7/9: Back-to-back wins over Clinton (SEA), as Curtis Partch threw six shutout innings (W 5-7, 5.08, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K) and RF Andrew Means scored the game’s only run on a sixth-inning wild pitch. Junior Martinez (struggling recently) pitched a scoreless seventh and Aguido Gonzalez mowed down six for save #10 (2.83, 1 BB, 3 K). The Dragons actually had 12 hits, but had two runners picked off, another caught stealing, and a fourth thrown out at home. RF Josh Fellhauer had two singles and a double in five trips (.267), while Means and SS Miguel Rojas each had two hits (.277, .254).
7/10: The LumberKings came back to whitewash the Dragons, 6-0. Mike James, normally a reliever, started and struggled (L 1-3, 4.50, 3.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K).
7/11: Cedar Rapids (LAA), the first-place club in the other division, hosted the Dragons. They also greeted Oscar Castro with a four-spot in the first inning- although he did settle down to permit no more runs over the next three. Fellhauer doubled in 3B Kevyn Feiner to get Dayton on the board in the third. Dayton tied things up in the fifth, courtesy of another Fellhauer RBI knock following hits from Rojas and RF Mike Konstanty and a Feiner sacrifice. When Fellhauer stole second, a throwing error let the second run score; then Byron Wiley followed an out later by singling Josh in. But the Kernels scored again in the fifth to chase Castro (6.38, 4.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and retake the lead. But Dayton tied it again in the top of 6 when Kevin Coddington doubled, stole third (8; again? He’s a catcher!), and scored on Rojas’ single. Jordan Hotchkiss threw 2.1 scoreless in relief of Castro (3.54, 2 H, 1 BB) but the Dragons couldn’t even get a baserunner off his Kernels relief counterpart. Our friend Mr. Fellhauer also helped shut down a Kernels rally in the seventh by (from RF) combining with Rojas to cut down a runner at third. Scott Gaffney gave up a hit and a walk to start the eighth, but after a fielder’s choice at home it was an error on Feiner that scored the run for CR and give the bad guys a 6-5 lead. The Dragons couldn’t score in the ninth and that’s how it ended. Gaffney fell to 4-4 (2.79, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB). Fellhauer finished an impressive 4-for-5 with a run scored, a stolen base and two RBI (.333). Rojas raised his average to .259 with three more singles.
7/12: Dayton was outslugged by Cedar Rapids, 11-7, despite leading 5-0 after three innings. Lance Janke was bombed for five in the fourth and two more in the fifth (L 4-5, 4.33, 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). Junior Martinez walked four more in 1.2 innings (6.98, 2 ER; 21 BB in 19.1 IP). Byron Wiley was easily the offensive highlight, going 4-for-4 with a two-run homer (#10), four RBI, and two runs scored. 2B Cody Puckett hit homer #13 (2-for-5, 2 R, .271).
7/13: Puckett, who’s been relatively quiet at the plate since he was returned to Dayton from Sarasota, hit his second homer in as many games in the first inning. The two-run blast gave the Dragons and starter Matt Fairel a 2-0 lead. (Means had singled ahead of Cody and then stolen his 16th base.) Fairel struck out the side in the second and five straight overall in retiring the first eight batters he faced. Finally a bunt single with two outs in the third got the Kernels a baserunner. Means picked up another hit in the third via a bunt (and moved to second on a throwing error resulting from the play), but he was stranded this time. Wiley singled in the fourth but was thrown out stealing- this hurt because Kevin Coddington immediately followed with a double that would have scored a run. Cedar Rapids managed to get a run off Fairel in the fifth to cut the lead to 2-1. Unfortunately for Fairel and the Dragons, though, the Kernels broke through the dam in the sixth. Four of the first five batters in the inning got hits and the sixth a sacrifice fly, plating a total of three runs to give CR a 4-2 lead. Dayton got a two-out double from Rojas in the seventh and a leadoff walk to Fellhauer in the eighth, but couldn’t score either time. Aguido Gonzalez relieved Fairel (L 6-5, 3.13, 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) and served up two more runs, all but extinguishing Dragons comeback hopes. The meat of the Dragons order (Puckett, Wiley, Coddington) all whiffed in the ninth, and it was another Dayton loss.
7/15: The Dragons scored three early on Quad Cities (STL), then Scott Gaffney (3.18, 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) barely escaped a three-run River Bandit rally in the top of the ninth to hang on for Dayton, 4-3. Curtis Partch fired six shutout innings (W 6-7, 4.75, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 K). Drew Bowman pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth (5.06, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). 3B Carlos Mendez tripled, singled and walked in four trips (.274, RBI) and Rojas picked up a pair of hits, a steal (#9) and a RBI (.263).
Moves & Notes: (7/15) RHP Mark Serrano, the Reds’ 2009 sixth-round pick and college All-American with Oral Roberts, was promoted from Billings. He’s 23 already, so he should have no huge problem with the Midwest League.
Record this week: 3-3.
7/9: Billings fell to 4-12 with a 7-1 loss to Orem (LAA). Leo Astorga started and lost (L 1-1, 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Lefty Bryan Gardner threw two scoreless in relief, but the Owlz got to righty Brian Pearl for two in two innings (2.57). CF Alexis Oliveras had a single, triple, and RBI in four trips and SS Mariekson Gregorius was 1-for-3 with a run scored, stolen base and walk (.500 in the PL so far). DH Chris Richburg also had a pair of hits.
7/10: The Mustangs arose from the mat to tally four in the top of the ninth, then closer Adian Kummet came on to snuff an Owlz rally by getting the last out (save #3), strand the tying runs, and complete the 6-4 win! Josh Garton hit his first pro homer leading off the inning as a pinch-hitter, then Billings loaded the bases on a Yen-Wen Kuo single, an error and a walk to Richburg. C Mark Fleury hit into a fielder’s choice but all hands were safe, making it 4-3 Mustangs. LF Tyler Stovall then greeted a new Orem pitcher with a two-run single that capped the scoring (2-for-5, .204). Five Mustangs had multiple hits, including local product Thomas Nurre (2-for-3 as the DH in his first pro game). 3B Frank Pfister (.178), RF Sean Conner (.250), and Oliveras (.315) were the others. Starter Shea Snowden lasted 6.1 (5.03, 7 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, WP, HB). Donnie Joseph got the win (1-1, 1.17, 1.2 IP, 2 K) and the blown save (allowing both of his inherited runners to score).
7/11: Lefty Luca Panerati and the Mustangs fell behind 2-0 after Panerati served up a two-run bomb in the second. He never really got going out there, though, and a pair of errors by Gregorius didn’t help- causing three of the seven runs Luca allowed in five innings to be unearned (7.41, 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR). But Gregorius also knocked in a couple of runs at the plate- combined with 1B Humberto Sosa’s solo homer (#2) and a run-scoring double by Pfister, the Mustangs hung close at 7-4 in the sixth. But Ogden (LAD) piled on three more to win 10-4 as Billings chalked up two more errors (four total).
7/12: Ogden grabbed a 4-1 lead in the third off Tim Crabbe (L 0-2, 6.52, 3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER) then never let up, beating the Mustangs 6-4. Billings did at least have the first errorless game I can recall this season. Mark Serrano relieved Crabbe and stranded two while throwing 2.1 scoreless innings (1.42, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K). Sosa was 4-for-5 with a RBI (.364) and Gregorius 2-for-4 with two runs scored (.438).
7/13: Billings gets just its sixth win in 20 games with an 8-6 triumph over the Raptors. They trailed 6-2 after six innings, but scored one in the seventh and ninth and four in the eighth to make the comeback! C Chris McMurray slammed a two-run homer in that fateful eighth, but it was Sosa (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 BB, .377) and RF Efrain Contreras (3-for-4, 2 R, BB, .265) who had the biggest games. Justin Walker started and lasted 4.1 (5.23, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) and Brian Pearl struggled again (4.15, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) but Donnie Joseph pitched a scoreless seventh (W 2-1, 1.04) and Daniel Corcino set down six straight (3 K, 6.75) for the save.
7/15: Back-to-back wins- Billings got a run in the bottom of the tenth on Tyler Stovall’s RBI single to beat Orem, 6-5. Adian Kummet got the win (1-0, 5.40, 1 IP, 1 K). Starter Leo Astorga went five (5.73, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K). 2B-3B Yen-Wen Kuo smacked three hits, scored two, and drove in one (.329).
Moves & Notes: (7/15) RHP Mark Serrano moved up to Dayton.
Nice article on the highest-drafted Red at Billings, LHP Donnie Joseph.
Record this week: 3-3.
7/9: The Reds even their season record by thrashing the Red Sox, 6-1. CF Yorman Rodriguez had a double and triple with a RBI and run scored (.265); he also recorded a pair of outfield assists, helping the club turn a total of four double plays on the day. Czech catcher Petr Cech drove in two runs with a single and sacrifice fly. DH Juan Duran doubled in a run and scored one. The other two Rodriguezs on the roster, SS Cristobal and 3B Henry, both went 2-for-3 with a RBI. Pedro Villareal evened his record at 1-1 with five shutout innings (W 1-1, 0.63, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K). Marcos Molina threw three hitless innings in relief (3.60, 2 BB, 2 K) and Matteo Pizziconi lost the shutout but didn’t give up a hit in the ninth (2.70, 1 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HB).
7/10: The offense, nearly nonexistent through the first dozen games or so, keeps improving. The Reds whooped the Twinks, 11-3. 1B Donald Lutz was 4-for-5 with four runs scored and four RBI, three coming on his first homer (.206). 3B Henry Rodriguez had three hits and three runs scored (.273). The Reds survived five errors, three by C Danny Vicioso, but got help from the Twins pitchers- one of who uncorked five wild pitches over two innings. Take, for example, the seventh:
GCL Reds Top 7th
Pitcher Change: Jean Mijares replaces Zach See.
-Donald Lutz doubles (1) on a ground ball to left fielder Jairo Perez.
-With Yorman Rodriguez batting, wild pitch by Jean Mijares, Donald Lutz to 3rd.
-With Yorman Rodriguez batting, wild pitch by Jean Mijares, Donald Lutz scores.
-Yorman Rodriguez walks.
-With Juan Duran batting, wild pitch by Jean Mijares, Yorman Rodriguez to 2nd.
-Juan Duran flies out to right fielder Hyun-wook Choi.
-With Henry Rodriguez batting, wild pitch by Jean Mijares, Yorman Rodriguez to 3rd.
-Henry Rodriguez grounds out, pitcher Jean Mijares to first baseman Kennys Vargas.
-Danny Vicioso flies out to center fielder Brian Bistagne.
Starter Michael Henry struggled with his control (7.71, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 3 WP). Nathan Driessen dominated in relief to get the win (2-0, 2.25, 3.2 IP, 1 H, 6 K). Raul Rodriguez and Jake Wiley finished up.
7/12: Yet another win! Four runs in the ninth broke a close game open to a 6-1 win over the Rays. The Reds survived four errors (three by SS Cristobal Rodriguez, who also went 2-for-4). Lutz drove in three more runs with a triple and Yorman Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk (.268). Harold Johnson started and retired nine in a row flawlessly (1.80, 3 K); Chase Ware threw four in long relief for the win (W 1-1, 6.43, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). Jake Wiley went two for save #3 (2.00, 1 BB, 1 K).
7/13: The Orioles stop the locomotive that has been the recent Reds by edging them in ten innings, 4-3. Again with Tyler Cline’s strong starts; he hasn’t had a bad one yet (1.29, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Raul Rodriguez was stuck with the loss (0-2, 1.86, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Yorman again had a nice game, smacking three hits (.295). The team also turned three double plays, two partially due to 2B Henry Rodriguez. Henry also had a pair of hits, a stolen base, and a RBI to raise his average to .317.
7/14: The Red Sox got their revenge, beating the Reds 7-4. Blair Carson started and lost (L 1-2, 3.94, 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER). Jesus Adames struck out five in three relief innings (4.50, 3 H, 2 ER). Henry Rodriguez got two more hits while playing SS this time (.333) and 3B Oliver Santos picked up two RBI.
7/15: Three straight losses; the Twins nip the Reds, 3-2. Villareal started and lost (L 1-2, 1,47, 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). The bullpen crew of Molina (2.77, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K), Driessen (2.08, 1 IP, 1 K), and Wiley (1.80, 1 IP, 1 K) threw five shutout innings but the good guys could get just one run in the final five innings. Juan Duran had the tying run on base with two out in the bottom of the ninth, but he struck out to end the game. Yorman had the only Reds RBI on the day (1-for-3, .294) and 2B Jefry Sierra was 2-for-3 with a stolen base (.242).
Moves & Notes: 5th-round pick Daniel Tuttle, a RHP, was added. (7/14) LHP Mitchell Clarke added.