Record This Week: 5-2.
Overall: 60-44, first place, 10 games in front of Indianapolis (PIT).
7/23: After throwing a two-hitter for eight innings his last time out against Durham (a solid lineup for AAA), Ben Jukich figured to do even better against the banjo-hittin’ Buffalo Bisons (NYM) in this start- and he did. The lefty set down the first 15 batters he faced before Robinson Cancel led off the the sixth with a single. He was quickly erased via a double-play grounder and the inning was completed, but Jukich ran out of steam as he approached the 100-pitch mark in the seventh (W 7-4, 4.35, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 95 pitches, 58 strikes). Jeff Kennard, owner of 14.1 straight scoreless innings, came on to strand a runner and pitch a scoreless eighth (2.72, 1.1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K). Robert Manuel needed just eight pitches to take care of the ninth (save #9, 2.40, 1 IP, 1 K). Buffalo starter Nelson Figueroa, an IL All-Star this year, also pitched well, but Louisville got to him for a single run in the second on 2B Eric Eymann’s RBI double, one in the sixth on a double-play grounder following Chris Heisey’s double and Darnell McDonald’s single, and a third run in the seventh when Drew Stubbs singled in Luis Bolivar with two outs. Heisey was 2-for-4 with a run scored and steal #3 (.306).
7/24: The Bats fought through Sam Lecure’s early allowance of a two-run homer (4.27, 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) as Kip Wells pitched four strong in relief (W 2-0, 2.92, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) and Josh Roenicke locked down the save of the 5-4 victory over Syracuse (WAS) by stranding the tying run on third (#12, 2.57, 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K). 1B Wes Bankston was 2-for-4 with two RBI (.258). SS Luis Bolivar was 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI (.237). Stubbs scored two runs and stole base #37 (.273).
7/25: Can Travis Wood’s historic 1.21 ERA in the Southern League translate to the minors’ highest level? He faced off against the Skychiefs. Things went quite well at first- Travis allowed nobody past second base until the fifth, and when someone did get to third in that inning, he rung up the Syracuse pitcher, Ross Detwiler, looking on strikes to end the threat. Finally, with two outs and nobody on in the seventh, Wood served up a solo homer to the Skychiefs’ Seth Bynum. This cut Louisville’s lead to 3-1. Following a walk to the next man, Rick Sweet brought on Zach Stewart. Wood’s AAA debut line: 6.2 innings, three hits, one earned run, four walks, five strikeouts on 100 pitches (55 strikes). Stewart got pinch-hitter Corey Patterson to end the seventh. In the eighth, though, Syracuse got to Z.Stew for a run to cut the Bats lead to 3-2 (the first earned run in 10.2 AAA innings against the 22-year-old). Robert Manuel came on to whiff Kory Casto and end the inning. After Louisville went down in order in the top of the ninth (they’d not had a baserunner since the sixth and hadn’t scored since the second), Manuel attempted to get the save. Back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt put the winning run in scoring position. Up stepped Jorge Padilla to win it for Syracuse with a two-run single. This was Manuel’s second blown save (L 3-4, 2.76, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K). Louisville got two early runs on a first-inning RBI triple from Kevin Barker and a fielding error in the next play. In the second, 2B Luis Bolivar singled, moved to second on a groundout, stole third (14) and scored on Drew Stubbs’ fielder’s choice grounder. Barker finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI (.275).
7/26: Justin Lehr turned in yet another quality start (W 13-3, 3.31, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 87 pitches, 56 strikes) and both Heisey (.316) and 2B Drew Sutton (.261) had three hits apiece as Louisville bounced back from the disappointment of the day before to win it, 5-3. Stubbs connected for his third home run in the third inning and SS Chris Valaika drove in two runs with a double and sacrifice fly (.210). Lehr himself even got in on the fun with a RBI single. Jeff Kennard continued his recent streak with 1.1 more scoreless innings (2.64, 2 H, 1 K, 1-of-2 IRS). Pedro Viola got the only man he faced out. Manuel walked a batter (only #10 in 46.2 AAA innings) but otherwise got save #10 without incident (2.70).
7/27: It’s hard to come back when your pitching and defense puts you in an 8-0 hole. Louisville tried anyway, piling up five runs in the eighth and ninth- but they fell short, losing to the Skychiefs 8-5. Matt Maloney did not have one of his typically strong outings (L 7-7, 2.66, 4 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) – the only error the Bats actually made was by 3B Wes Bankston, although Corky Miller also committed a passed ball. Anyway, Ramon Ramirez took to his new bullpen gig with gusto (4.27, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K) and Logan Ondrusek’s true AAA debut was a 1-2-3 inning. Barker hit a grand-slam homer (#18) in the eighth and Stubbs singled in Miller in the ninth. McDonald keeps hitting like crazy (3-for-5, .320).
7/28: Where do you start? Toledo (DET) scored three unearned runs in the top of the 11th off Jeff Kennard (W 3-1, 2.53, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K), but the Bats promptly scored four unearned runs off Toledo relievers Josh Rainwater and Matt Rusch to win, 6-5! First Wes Bankston drew a walk. Eymann doubled to score him (5-3). That was the first Bats hit since the second inning! Chris Valaika grounded out, but Luis Bolivar walked. Danny Dorn, pinch-hitting, singled to score Eymann (5-4). Stubbs slashed a double to the left-field corner to score both men and win it- Dorn was called safe on a close play. Ben Jukich pitched well yet again, striking out nine over six quality innings (4.26, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR). Kip Wells threw a scoreless seventh, Pedro Viola retired one of two and Zach Stewart didn’t allow a hit over 1.2 (0.73, 2 BB, 2 K). Stubbs finished 3-for-5 with two RBI (.272).
7/29: The Bats started fast with four runs in the first three innings- two in the second on Dorn’s clutch two-run single and two in the third when Stubbs singled, stole second (38), and scored on McDonald’s single. Barker followed with a base hit and a throwing error chased Darnell all the way around. Sam Lecure permitted just one run through six innings (W 8-5, 4.11, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 82 pitches, 50 strikes). Barker hammered his 19th homer to make it 5-1 in the sixth (he has five homers and 20 RBI to go with an average over .370 in July). Federico Baez allowed two hits but got through the seventh. He gave up a two-run homer in the eighth, though, and Ondrusek came in to get out of the inning. Eymann came up with a clutch two-out single to drive in McDonald for a ninth-inning insurance run. Mike Griffin followed with a double to make it 7-3. This made it a lot easier for Logan, who blitzed through the Mud Hens 1-2-3 for save #1 in the IL and #8 on the year (0.00). Barker led the Bats offensively (3-for-4, 2 R, .279). Stubbs was 2-for-4 (.275). Dorn was 2-for-3 with two RBI (.258).
Moves & Notes: (7/24) LHP Adam Pettyjohn released. RHS Sam Lecure activated from the DL. INF Drew Sutton back down from Cincinnati. RHR Federico Baez placed on the DL with turf toe (retro to 7/22). (7/25) LHS Travis Wood up from Carolina; UT Mike Griffin down. (7/29) RHR Federico Baez activated to replace the traded Robert Manuel.
Justin Lehr was again named IL Pitcher of the Week (7/20-7/26)- 2-0, 1.88 ERA in 14.1 IP.
Ex-Reds Notes: Colorado outrighted RHP Matt Belisle to AAA Colorado Springs. Houston recalled 2B Matt Kata. The Mets signed LHP Adam Pettyjohn and assigned him to Buffalo (lucky him). RHR Robert Manuel headed to Seattle in the trade that brought the Reds Wladimir Balentien.
Record This Week: 4-2.
Overall: 14-19, second half. 51-51 for the season.
7/23: RF Stephen Chapman, on a tear in the past few weeks since his promotion from Sarasota, slammed a three-run homer (#3) in the third to break open a 1-1 game as Carolina went on to beat Huntsville (MIL) 8-4. 1B Logan Parker, in a slump that’s lasted most of 2009, had three hits and two RBI (.232) and LF Todd Frazier was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, his 33rd double of the year, a RBI, and a walk. Starter Tom Cochran craftied his way through five (W 3-3, 3.51, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) and the bullpen was quite solid- Ruben Medina threw a 1-2-3 sixth (3.51), Enerio Del Rosario pitched two innings in his Double-A debut (1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K), and Phil Valiquette struck out two of three in the ninth (3.32, 1 BB).
7/24: Frazier slammed his 12th homer early on in this one, but Carolina and Huntsville were tied at 3 after four as Scott Carroll struggled in his SL debut (2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). Jerry Gil came on to retire eleven straight before a man reached (7.06, 1 K). Todd also drove in the third Mudcats run on a groundout. 3B Juan Francisco shattered the tie with a two-run bomb, #17, in the fifth. Later on in the inning SS Zach Cozart doubled in Frazier to make it 6-3 Carolina. With two outs in the sixth, the Mudcats committed three consecutive errors- a dropped fly ball by Chapman in right, catcher’s interference on Jason Bour, and a muffed grounder by Francisco (error #30). Somehow, Gil survived this to get the final out (6.75, 1 H, 1 K) in his best Double-A pitching performance of the season. Francisco atoned for the E by pounding homer #18 leading off the 7th! Sean Watson relieved Gil and promptly put the first two men he faced on base. He wild-pitched them over, got a comebacker for the first out, then a sacrifice fly scored one to make it 7-4. A double scored another run (7-5). Walk to sub-Mendoza-hitting Michael Garciaparra before Watson finally escaped the inning with a fielder’s choice (4.72, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB). Del Rosario came on for a 1-2-3 eighth. Francisco led off the Mudcat eighth with a single, making him 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI (.264). He even pilfered second base (5)! Ondrusek came on to try and close it out. One strikeout and a pair of grounders later (save #7, 1.65), and that was it. Gil got the well-deserved W to even his record at 1-1.
7/25: Carolina’s bats were held to seven hits (zero with runners in scoring position out of ten at-bats) and just one run as Huntsville took this one, 4-1. Camilo Vazquez made the spot start and lasted just four innings (L 2-3, 5.44, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). CF Shaun Cumberland homered in the seventh for the only Mudcat run (#1, 2-for-4, .224).
7/27: Carolina is shut out on five hits by Chattanooga (LAD), 3-0. Lee Tabor started and went five (L 1-2, 3.13, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K). LF Carson Kainer had two of those hits (.269).
7/28: A crazy one! Chatt scores a run in the top of the 13th to take a 4-3 lead, but the Mudcats fired back to win when Juan Francisco blasted a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the inning! Jerry Gil got the win (2-1, 7.03, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER) despite walking five (including the Lookouts’ go-ahead run). Joe Krebs pitched 2.2 scoreless in his Double-A debut (3 H, 3 K). Starter Matt Klinker looked quite good (2.95, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 98 pitches, 65 strikes). Sean Watson pitched a scoreless seventh and Ruben Medina a scoreless eighth, but Chatt tied the game in the ninth with two unearned runs off Phil Valiquette. Francisco finished 3-for-6 with three RBI, one of those hits his 19th homer (.267). RF Stephen Chapman blasted his fourth homer, a two-run bomb.
7/29: Tom Cochran craftied his way through seven excellent innings (3.24, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), but he departed trailing 1-0 when his side was shut out on two hits. Justin Tordi managed an infield hit with one down in the eighth and C Jason Bour followed with a sharp double to put men on second and third with one out. On came Cozart to pinch-hit, but he was intentionally passed. This left it up to Sean Henry against a new pitcher, Kendry Batista- who was 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA. Henry worked a 2-2 count- then he pushed a grounder to short that scored Tordi with the tying run! Two out for Jake Kahauleilo, and he smacked a RBI single! Cozart was thrown out at home, but Carolina went to the ninth with a 2-1 lead. On came Enerio Del Rosario, who’d been pitching well in recent outings. First batter grounded out. Second guy went down swinging. Two called strikes to the third- ball one- STRIKE THREE CALLED! Save for Del Rosario (#1 in AA, #8 overall) and a nice comeback win for the Mudcats.
Moves & Notes: (7/25) LHS Travis Wood promoted to Louisville. LHS Lee Tabor reactivated from the temp-inactive list. INF Jose Castro placed on the 7-day DL with a hamstring strain. UT Mike Griffin down from Louisville. C Chris Denove activated from the DL; C Korey Feiner put on it. (7/27) LHR Joe Krebs up from Sarasota. (7/28) UT Mike Griffin back to Louisville; RHR Federico Baez back up to the Bats (even though he was on the DL the entire time he was in Carolina).
Record This Week: 4-3.
Overall: 15-18, second half. 43-58 overall.
7/23: Sarasota rose up off the mat after Dunedin (TOR) shut them out for seven innings, picking up a total of five unearned runs in the eighth and ninth to score a nice come-from-behind win, 5-3! In the eighth, CF Dave Sappelt reached first on a throwing error, moved to second on a Jake Kahauleilo single, and scored on a Denis Phipps base hit. DH Alex Buchholz led off the ninth with a double and scored when 1B Jason Louwsma reached on an E-4. This tied the game at 2. LF Kyle Day was hit by a pitch. C Jake Long bunted both runners over. Another error, this one by Jays 3B Kevin Ahrens (a 2007 first-round pick rumored to go to the Reds before they took Devin Mesoraco), scored two more runs. Sappelt capped the inning with a RBI single. The Jays did score one off Mace Thurman (save #3, 1.84, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER) in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough. Zach Ward (see last week’s Roundup) started and pitched two scoreless innings. Pedro Villareal’s (7th round, 2008) FSL debut lasted 2.2 innings (3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Joe Krebs went 2.1 (2.55, 1 H, 2 K) and Chris Kelly took care of the eighth to get credit for the win. Sappelt (.265, steal #7), Buchholz (.236) and 3B Neftali Soto (.247) each had two hits.
7/24: The Jays pay the Reds back, socking five homers off Jeremy Horst (L 5-11, 3.42, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) and winning easily, 8-3. Sappelt was 3-for-4 with a run scored and steal #8 (.287). SS Shane Carlson (.364), LF Kyle Day (.313) and Soto (.250) all had two hits.
7/25: Dunedin pounded three homers off Raffi Gonzalez (L 3-5, 5.23, 3 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) in the first three innings, scoring all the runs they needed to win it, 6-2. C Devin Mesoraco did have a fine game, smacking two singles and a double and driving in a run to raise his average to .216. Joe Krebs (2.45, 2 K) and Justin Freeman (4.40, 3 IP, 1 H, 3 K) combined to stymie the Jays on one hit and zero walks over the final five innings, but the Reds’ bats weren’t up to the comeback.
7/26: Travis Webb dominated for six innings- holding Daytona (CHC) to one single and zero walks- but he left with just a 1-0 lead. Chris Kelly threw a scoreless seventh, but both he and Mace Thurman collapsed in the eighth as the Cubs pushed across three runs. They held on and won it, 3-1. Kelly (L 1-1, 5.79, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) was aided and abetted by Thurman, who allowed all three runners to score- although they were all charged to Kelly. Not fair! Thurman got the blown save (#2) but no blemishes on his ERA, which dropped to 1.76.
7/27: The Reds got the game’s only run in the seventh when Mesoraco knocked in 2B Alex Buchholz. Sarasota 1, Daytona 0. Devin was 2-for-3 overall (.222) and Sappelt added two more hits (.290). Eight shutout innings from Luis Montano (W 8-9, 4.43, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Save to Thurman (#4), who struck out two of three.
7/28: Down 2-0 going to the seventh, the Reds battled back to tie on RBI doubles from DH Kyle Day and SS Shane Carlson. In the bottom of the ninth, Buchholz reached on a one-out error. An out later, Carlson singled him to second. Louwsma followed with a game-winning single! Carlson was 2-for-3 overall to raise his average to .348 and Buchholz was 2-for-4 with two runs scored (.236). Zach Ward started and went 2.1 (0.00, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). Pedro Villareal ate up three in relief (4.76, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Steve Otterness went the last three for the win (W 1-0, 3.86, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K).
7/29: Jeremy Horst scattered seven hits over 8.1 innings (3.25, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) but he left a 1-1 tie. Justin Freeman got out of the mild jam in the ninth and we headed to the bottom of the inning. With two outs, up stepped Devin Mesoraco- AND THERE IT GOES! The 2007 first-rounder’s 7th homer wins it for the Reds, 2-1. He finished 2-for-3 (.223). Freeman’s record improved to 2-3.
Moves & Notes: (7/27) LHR Joe Krebs promoted to Carolina. INF Kevyn Feiner up from Dayton. (7/29) LHS Matt “ACE” Fairel up from Dayton.
Record This Week: 3-4.
Overall: Second half: 14-18. Overall 42-60.
7/23: Dayton completed the sweep for the Reds’ A-ball-and-above affiliates on this night by popping Wisconsin, 4-1, for the Dragons’ fifth consecutive victory. Three of those four runs came in the first, as CF Josh Fellhauer and SS Miguel Rojas led off the game with singles and scored on 2B Cody Puckett’s 25th double of the year. An out later, C Kevin Coddington singled to score Puckett. Rojas drove in Jordan Wideman in the second with a fielder’s choice. From there it was Juan Carlos Sulbaran (4.85, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), Drew Bowman (W 2-6, 5.26, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K), and Aguido Gonzalez (save #11, 3.38, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) scattering eight hits. Fellhauer finished 2-for-4 (.325) and every other Dragon in the starting lineup had exactly one hit save Wideman (0-for-1, 3 BB) and LF Kevyn Feiner.
7/24: LF Tony Brown smashed his third homer in the second (and got ejected later in the game), but that was all the Dragons could muster early on as the Timber Rattlers got two earned and two unearned off Lance Janke through five (4.06, 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K). The Dragons fired back for two in the sixth on RBI hits from Coddington and Feiner, cutting the lead to 4-3. Mark Serrano came on to dominate for four one-hit shutout innings (2.25, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K). DH Byron Wiley came up with a clutch two-out RBI single to tie the game in the ninth, and off to extra innings we went! Mark James pitched a 1-2-3 tenth. After Dayton’a Kevyn Feiner led off the eleventh by getting thrown out trying to stretch a single to a double (he was subsequently ejected and finished the night 4-for-5), the Dragons went quietly. James got the first out in the eleventh, but gave up a single. The next man bunted, and James, attempting to get the runner at first, flung the ball all the way into the bullpen area. The runner scored from first and that was it (L 1-5, 4.34, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K).
7/25: ACE Matt Fairel did it again, firing seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball (W 8-5, 2.93, 1 BB, 6 K) as Dayton beat Kane County (OAK), 4-2. Rojas continued his hot hitting with a pair of doubles and RBI (.271). Fellhauer drove in the other two Dragons runs with a single. CF Alexis Oliveras, 20, made his MWL debut with one hit in four at-bats and a pair of stolen bases. Ezequiel Infante pitched the eighth (2.53, 1 H, 1 K) and Donnie Joseph got his first save (3.38, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K).
7/26: Another quality start from Curtis Partch (W 8-7, 4.67, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) along with a 13-hit offensive attack propelled the Dragons past the Cougars again, 9-4. Coddington drove in three runs with a pair of hits (.304). 3B Carlos Mendez was 3-for-5 with three runs scored (.289) and Rojas a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI (.278). Oliveras added a double and triple with two RBI. Drew Bowman walked three but didn’t allow a hit in two innings of relief (5.06, 3 K) and Aguido Gonzalez took care of the ninth (3.29).
7/27: Josh Fellhauer tied the game at 2 for the Dragons with a two-out, two-strike solo homer (#4), but Kane County got to Jordan Hotchkiss (L 1-4, 3.02, 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) for the first time in four innings to win it anyway, 3-2. Oscar Castro started and survived five (6.95, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 HR). Fellhauer finished 3-for-5 overall (.316).
7/28: Again the Dragons lose in a close-‘n-late situation, as Peoria (CHC) got to Aguido Gonzalez (L 0-4, BS #2, 3.40, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) for two in the top of the ninth to steal it, 4-3. Mark Serrano looked decent in his first pro start (2.77, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K). Infante went two (2.13, 2 H, 2 K) and Donnie Joseph whiffed two of three (2.70, 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K). Coddington didn’t make an out all night, going 3-for-3 with a walk (.311). Wiley hit a two-run homer, #11, and finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored (.277).
7/29: Dayton fired out of the gate with a six-run first inning! The key hit was a bases-loaded double from 1B Humberto Sosa. JC Sulbaran uncorked three wild pitches but managed to survive five innings (4.90, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR). Chase Ware’s MWL debut resulted in a scoreless sixth and seventh. Mike James took over and worked the eighth, but he couldn’t get anyone out in the ninth so on came Gonzalez again to try and save the two-run lead. He couldn’t stop it either, though, permitting a two-run single and then another run after that (L 0-5, BS #3, 4.25, 0 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB), giving Peoria an 8-7 lead. Donnie Joseph was brought on with nobody out and five runs in. The bad guys led 13-7 after a ten-run inning. I have no words.
Moves & Notes: (7/25) RHR Junior Martinez takes his 9+ ERA to the DL. OF Andrew Means also DL’d with a strained right wrist. OF Alex Oliveras promoted from Billings. (7/27) RHR Chase Ware up from GCL Reds. INF Yen-Wen Kuo up from Billings. INF Kevyn Feiner to Sarasota. (7/29) RHR Scott Gaffney activated from the DL to replace the promoted-to-Sarasota Matt Fairel.
Record this week: 2-5.
Overall: 11-23, last place.
7/23: 19-year-old lefty Luca Panerati had his best outing of the year through six innings- he’d held Missoula to five hits and just one run. Sadly for him, though, Billings manager Julio Garcia and pitching coach Bob Forsch decided to risk hamburger Italiano and run him out there for the seventh. Mistake He faced three batters. Those three went walk, home run, single- and everyone eventually scored as the Osprey rallied for five runs and the 6-4 win (7.39, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR). Adian Kummet suffered the loss in relief of Panerati (L 1-1, BS #1, 6.17, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). LF Efrain Contreras was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI (.265). 1B Tom Nurre was 2-for-4 to raise his average to .417 in six pro games.
7/24: Nurre hit a two-run homer, #2, and SS Mariekson “D.D.” Gregorius singled home two more runs as Billings rocked an early 4-0 lead. Tim Crabbe allowed no hits through three, striking out five. The Mustangs made it 6-0 in the third on RBI hits from C Chris McMurray and LF Tyler Stovall. Crabbe made it through five innings of one-hit shutout ball (3.44, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K). Mike Bohana pitched a scoreless sixth and McMurray hit his second homer to make it 7-0. James Walczak gave up a single run in the seventh, but that’s all Missoula would get until the ninth. Still, entering the inning with a six-run lead makes you pretty confident, right? Right?
Missoula Bottom 9th
-Alex Herrnberger walks.
-Henry Zaballa walks. Alex Herrnberger to 2nd.
-David Nick walks. Alex Herrnberger to 3rd. Henry Zaballa to 2nd.
-David Narodowski walks. Alex Herrnberger scores. Henry Zaballa to 3rd. David Nick to 2nd.
-Pitcher Change: Daniel Corcino replaces Bryan Gardner.
-With Bobby Stone batting, Henry Zaballa scores on a balk. David Nick advances to 3rd on a balk. David Narodowski advances to 2nd on a balk.
-Bobby Stone singles on a ground ball to shortstop Mariekson Gregorius. David Nick scores. David Narodowski to 3rd.
-Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Adonys Canelo replaces Bobby Stone.
-Ramon Castillo singles on a line drive to left fielder Tyler Stovall. David Narodowski scores. Adonys Canelo to 2nd.
-Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Ender Inciarte replaces Ramon Castillo.
-Paul Goldschmidt homers (7) on a fly ball to center field. Adonys Canelo scores. Ender Inciarte scores.
7/25: Yorman Rodriguez is the only 16-year-old in the Pioneer League. (He’ll turn 17 next month.) He made his PL debut with a game-tying solo homer, his first one in the pros, in the eighth inning- but Missoula got their own solo homer in the bottom of the ninth off Jason Braun (L 0-2, 7.07, 2.1 IP, 1 ER) to win again, 2-1. Blair Carson started and went six strong (0.93, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). Yorman added a single and walk to finish 2-for-3 on the night. C Mark Fleury and LF Efrain Contreras each went 2-for-4 (.190; .293).
7/26: The Mustangs trailed 2-0 going into the eighth. 3B Frank Pfister knocked in Efrain Contreras with a single to cut it to 2-1, but Josh Garton grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the ninth, then, Yen-Wen Kuo drew a one-out walk- but Rodriguez hit into a 5-4-3 to end the game. (He did still go 1-for-4 with a walk.) Missoula hangs on by a run. Contreras was 3-for-4 (.323) and Pfister 2-for-4 (.217). Solid start for Leo Astorga, who lasted five (L 1-2, 4.78, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K).
7/27: Billings led 4-0 going into the ninth- and alllllmost blew this one too, finally hanging on 4-3 as Brian Pearl (5.27, 1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 K) failed to retire any of the four men he faced in the ninth. Daniel Corcino came on and allowed one of two inherited runners to score, but got the door closed for save #3. Great start for Shea Snowden (W 2-2, 4.17, 6 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 K). Rodriguez homered again- and even added a RBI double and a second run scored (.455). Gregorius picked up a pair of hits (.349). The Mustangs turned three double plays, including a key one in the ninth.
7/28: Great Falls gets its revenge, winning easily- 8-2. Luca Panerati had trouble this time out (L 1-3, 7.88, 4 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR). Gregorius lashed three more hits (.363). Yorman struck out three times but did manage a single and walk.
7/29: A messy game for the Mustangs, as they committed four errors (two by Rodriguez in center), but they also hammered out 16 hits, turned three double plays, and got some fine bullpen work from Mike Bohana (W 2-0, 7.71, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and Justin Walker (4.75, 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) in relief of starter Tim Crabbe (3.80, 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER) to beat Missoula (ARI), 6-4. LF Tyler Stovall led the way (3-for-4, R, RBI, assist at home, .253). Pfister added three more hits and a RBI to raise his mark to .234. DH Chris Richburg slammed a solo homer in the eighth (#1) and finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored (.247). Yorman (while he wasn’t committing fielding errors) had another fine night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, run scored, RBI, and walk.
Moves & Notes: (7/25) OF Alex Oliveras up to Dayton. OF Yorman Rodriguez, 16, up from the GCL Reds. (7/28) INF Yen-Wen Kuo promoted back to Dayton. RHP Ricky Bowen (43rd round, 2009) added to the roster. (7/29) C Petr Cech, from the Czech Republic, up from the GCL Reds to replace C Trey Manz.
Record this week: 3-4.
7/23: The Reds and Orioles had an epic, 16-inning battle. In the top of the 16th, the Reds got the first run of the game (C Petr Cech’s RBI single scored a Rodriguez) since they’d tied things at 4 in the ninth- but the Orioles got two off closer Jake Wiley in the bottom of the inning to win, 6-5. 2B Henry Rodriguez was 3-for-7 (.344) and 3B Cristobal Rodriguez the same (.308). Rehabbin’ Alex Smit started and pitched a 1-2-3 first. Harold Johnson took over in the second and went four two-hit innings (1.38, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). Chase Ware relieved him and went four as well (4.50, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Nathan Driessen had the best outing of the day, four one-hit innings (1.89, 0 BB, 2 K). Ramon Rodriguez, a 21-year-old Panamanian, threw a scoreless 14th and 15th. Wiley fell to 0-2 and suffered the blown save (5.84, 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER).
7/24: Great pitching by Daniel Tuttle (4 IP, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 K), Mateo Pizziconi (W 1-0, 1.42, 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K) and Tzu-Kai Chiu (save #1, 1.10, 3 IP, 2 H, 5 K), who combined on a six-hit, 3-0 shutout of the Red Sox. LF Juan Duran continues to hit better, going 3-for-4 with a double and run scored (.192).
7/25: MAKEUP MADNESS! The Reds took game one from the Twins, 6-5, coming back from four runs down with two in the third inning and four more in the fourth. LF Theodis Bowe was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBI, and steal #13 from the leadoff slot (.328). CF Juan Silva is coming around- he smacked a single and triple and drove in two (.231). Tyler Cline had his first mild struggles of the season after five straight great outings (1.45, 4 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) but Mike Henry picked up the duke in relief (W 1-1, 6.08, 2 IP, 1 ER). Wiley got save #6.
The Reds almost took game two- they outhit the Twinkos, 13-5, and scored two runs in the top of the seventh- but C Danny Vicioso was thrown out at home trying to score the tying run and it’s a split, 4-3. 3B Oliver Santos was 3-for-4 with a triple and RBI (.308) and 2B Henry Rodriguez added three more hits (.352). Duran also singled in a run and scored one (.200). Righty Stephen “Ryan” Smith lost his pro debut (2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) but Jesus Adames (3.32, 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER) and Raul Rodriguez (1.38, 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) pitched well in relief to make a comeback possible.
7/27: Fourteen more hits for the good kids as they whomp the Rays, 8-1. Bowe was 4-for-5 with a run scored and steal #14. Cristobal Rodriguez, playing second in this one (he usually plays third) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored (.319). Henry Rodriguez, DHing this time, was 2-for-4 with three runs scored (.360). SS Billy Hamilton was 2-for-4 with a walk, run scored, and two RBI (.208) and Silva drove in a pair as well. Rehabbin’ Alex Smit worked three perfect innings, then Mitchell Clarke delivered three more hitless frames for the win (W 1-0, 0.00, 1 BB, 4 K). Marcos Molina worked two more (losing the no-hitter in the eighth- 2.65, 1 H, 1 K) and Ramon Rodriguez handled the ninth but blew the shutout.
7/28: Orioles get the 2-0 shutout win. Harold Johnson took the loss without allowing an earned run (L 0-1, 1.06, 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). Nathan Driessen worked a scoreless fifth and sixth (1.71, 1 H, 2 K) and Raul Rodriguez finished up (1.20, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K). Henry Rodriguez got two more hits to push his average to .372.
7/29: Red Sox win a shortened seven-inning contest, 3-1. Dan Tuttle
struggled a little this time around (L 0-1, 2.89, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER). Tzu-Kai Chiu continued to pitch well in relief (0.95, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 3 K). Henry Rodriguez? Two more hits (.383).
Moves & Notes: (7/25) RHP Stephen “Ryan” Smith was added to the active roster. Smith is apparently a NDFA signee out of Foster High School in Richmond, Texas. You just don’t see many NDFA HS signees. OF Yorman Rodriguez, a few weeks short of his 17th birthday, was promoted to Billings. (7/29) C Trey Manz sent down from Billings.