Overall: Louisville and Carolina both had identical 5-2 weeks, maintaining their identical season records- but the Bats gained no ground on division leader Columbus. (Carolina did pick up two games.) Meanwhile, Lynchburg struggled despite the continuing heroics from Devin Mesoraco and Dayton treaded water, falling three more games off the division pace.
AAA Louisville Bats
Record this week: 5-2.
Overall: 13-20 last place, 8.5 games behind Columbus (CLE).
5/6: Matt Maloney is Louisvilleís offering at the altar of Turn This Thing Around against Rochester (MIN). Unfortunately, Maloney still hasnít fought off the blister problem that cost him a start last month- he lasted only four innings here at reduced effectiveness (3.65, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR). He did leave up 4-3, though, and it was the bullpen that provided the biggest letdown in an eventual 8-5 Red Wings win. Jesus Delgado struggled with his control (3.09, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and Chad Reineke also flailed after coming in to heroically leave the bases loaded full of Delgadoís runners in the fifth (L 0-3, 4.72, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). Logan Ondrusek scattered four hits over two scoreless (1.13, 2 K), although he did allow his inherited runner to score. 3B Juan Francisco did have a great game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run (#3) and three RBI. (And a throwing error, of course.) Francisco has gone 12-for-18 over his last four games to raise his line to .232/.247/.439. Itís great to see him off the interstate- but two walks and 22 Ks in 20 AAA games is not the Reds organizationís idea of progress. SS Zach Cozart snapped a slump with a 3-for-4 night of his own (.260, 3B, 2 R). LF Todd Frazier, however, was 0-for-4 and was picked off first the one time he found himself on the basepaths.
5/7: Sam Lecure to the hill to try and permanently halt the Batsí slide. His opponents: former Cuban defector Yoslan Herrera, signed by Minnesota to a minor-league FA deal in the offseason after he was let go by Pittsburgh. But this one turned out to be another Batsplosion! Louisville scored at least two runs in each of the first six innings, chasing Herrera after just two. Cozart hit a three-run homer (#4), singled, walked twice, and scored three runs. DH Wladimir Balentien was 2-for-4 with his second homer and three RBI (.185). Francisco was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI (.244). C Corky Miller doubled twice, scored twice, and drove in four (.304). Lecure didnít need to be particularly great in this one, but he did shut the Red Wings out for 5.2 innings before they were able to break through (W 3-2, 2.89, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 92 pitches/61 strikes). Ben Jukich threw a scoreless eighth (Iíve thought he should be converted to a reliever for some time given that curveball) and Jon Adkins the ninth.
5/8: BACK-TO-BACK BATSPLOSIONS! Sixteen more runs, all in the first four innings, allowed Travis Wood to get his first win despite allowing the most earned runs of his six starts this season. Woodís ERA climbed to 4.38 (W 1-3, 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 89 pitches/63 strikes). Enerio Del Rosario, Chad Reineke, and Jon Adkins finished off the 16-5 rout. The victim this time: ex-Red Sox knuckleballer Charlie Zink, who put up an unsightly 2-5-10-10-7-1 line. 1B Danny Dorn was 4-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored (.316, all singles). Francisco kept it going- 2-for-4, homer #4, and three runs scored (.256). So did Miller (.317, 2-for-4, 3 R, 3 RBI; heís having one of his best offensive stretches ever). 2B Chris Valaika was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a double (.354). Todd Frazier is off the interstate for now (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, .205).
5/9: Aroldis Chapman took 110 pitches to get through 5.2 innings, but he permitted the Red Wings just one run on four hits (W 3-1, 2.84, 5 BB, 6 K) as Louisville completed a 5-2 win and a three-of-four series. Logan Ondrusek set down seven straight (0.87, 2 K). Frazier hit homer #2 and walked twice (.212) and Cozart doubled, walked twice and scored twice in four trips (.263, steal #5).
5/10: Fresh off the strong Rochester series, Buffalo comes to Louisville to face the Bats and Justin Lehr. The Bisons (NYM) took three of four in Buffalo a week ago. The 32-year-old righthander had turned in back-to-back quality starts after serving up fourteen runs in fourteen innings his first three outings. Buffalo got three quick runs in the first on a trio of two-out RBI doubles. Justin did come back to escape the second (stranding a man on third). The Bats got one run back in the second when 3B Drew Sutton, slumping badly enough to be shunted to the bottom of the batting order, singled home Frazier. Lehr then stepped up and lashed a 3-2 pitch down the left-field line, scoring Wilkin Castillo and Sutton to tie the game! Lehr then served up a triple leading off the third. He struck out minor-league home-run king Mike Hessman, but a grounder got the go-ahead run in. Lehr allowed one more run in the fifth before departing; he was quite hittable this time out (6.25, 5.1 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 90 pitched/58 strikes). Zach Cozartís sacrifice fly scored Chris Burke in the bottom of the fifth to cut it to 5-4, but Hessman smacked a ground-rule double (with some help from an interfering fan) to make it 6-4 off Ben Jukich in the seventh (W 1-1, 3.09, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Burke walked and Cozart lined a single. Up stepped former Diamondbacks reserve outfielder Luis Terrero, signed as a free agent this winter after doing a Pujols-level number on the Mexican League in 2009. He slammed a go-ahead three-run homer! Enerio Del Rosario (1.93, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Jon Adkins (6.00, save #5, 1 IP, 1 K) preserved the 7-6 lead, and the Bats pulled out the seesaw win!
Juan Francisco is set to miss four weeks after an emergency appendectomy. (Just before this, he was named the IL Hitter of the Week, batting .586 over seven games.)
5/11: Can Maloney fight off the Blister Blasters? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that he allowed Buffalo zero runs; no in the sense that he wasnít able to stretch out any farther than he did his last outing (3.14, 4 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 66 pitches/39 strikes). Louisville slaughtered the Bisons, 11-0, thanks to Luis Terreroís career day (5-for-5, homer #2, 5 RBI, 2 R). Wladimir Balentien added a two-run shot (#3, 2-for-5, .203). Sutton doubled twice (.213) and Miller was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI (.328). Chad Reineke threw three scoreless in relief of Maloney for the win (W 1-3, 3.63, 2 H, 3 K). Jesus Delgado took care of the last two.
5/12: Buffalo salvaged a game by jumping on the conflagratory Jon Adkins (L 0-3, BS #4, 7.62, 1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) for three runs in the top of the ninth to take an 8-7 lead. Sutton led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield hit, but he was picked off first and the next two Bats retired to end the game. Sam Lecure was quite hittable (3.48, 6.2 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR). Logan Ondrusek continued his good work, coming on to strand two in the seventh (0.77, 1.1 IP). Terrero keeps hitting (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, homer #3, steal #1, .464). Burke also homered, his first. Five double plays helped keep some Bisons runs off the scoreboard.
Transactions and Notes: 5/11: OF Josh Anderson was released. INF-OF Juan Francisco placed on the DL. UT Mike Griffin promoted from Carolina. C Jake Long activated.
AA Carolina Mudcats
Record this week: 5-2.
Overall: 13-20, last place, eight back of Tennessee (CHC).
5/6: A seesaw matchup in Zebulon against the Lookouts (LAD), with Carolina falling behind early 2-0, scoring four in the fifth to lead, coughing up that lead in the eighth, then tying the score at 5 in the bottom of that same inning. Lightning forced a suspension at the end of the 10th. The Mudcats picked up 16 hits, but also stranded 12 runners; RF Sean Danielson entered the game as a pinch-hitter for starter Dallas Buck (5.83, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) in the fifth and ended up 3-for-4 with two runs scored (.214). LF Sean Henry was also 3-for-4 (.308, BB, steals #2 and #3). CF Dave Sappelt was 2-for-3 with two RBI (.368 since his promotion). Lee Tabor pitched a hitless sixth and seventh, but Phil Valiquette struggled in the eighth (3.97, 1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Jordan Smith and Sean Watson came on to contribute scoreless innings.
The game was resumed the next night prior to the regularly-scheduled game. Unfortunately, it didnít take long. Watson returned to the mound and walked the Chatt leadoff hitter in the 11th. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second. On came lefty Joe Krebs. Lookouts prospect Dee Gordon bunted his way aboard, then a passed ball on Denove provided the go-ahead run. Denove recovered to gun the speedy Gordon down stealing third, but the damage was done- especially when the Mudcats went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
5/7: Carolina survived five errors and a 5-1 deficit to slug out a 9-7 comeback win! 3B Eric Eymann hit a pair of homers (#2 and #3) and 2B Jake Kahauleilo was 2-for-4 with homer #2 and three RBI. C Brandon Yarbrough had a rough night defensively- an error and four stolen bases against- but he did go 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles to raise his average to .341. 1B Yonder Alonso, slumping as of late (and thus not very frequently mentioned in this space) managed a double in three official at-bats with two walks and two runs scored; heís batting a punchless .247/.366/.376. Jerry Gil got the win in relief (W 1-0, 4.30, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) of Tom Cochran (3.00, 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). Ruben Medina (5.06, 1 IP, 2 BB) and Phil Valiquette (save #2, 4.15, 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) finished up.
5/8: Carolina scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull away for an 11-6 win. The outburst absolved Joe Krebs, who gave up three game-tying runs in the top of the inning, and made a winner out of Ruben Medina (W 1-0, 4.76, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2-2 inherited runners scored). Starter Alex Smit lasted 4.1 innings and 83 pitches (8.34, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K). Alonso hit a two-run homer (#3), drove in three, scored three, and finished 2-for-4 (.258, steal #3). 2B Jake Kahauleilo did all sorts of useful things, going 2-for-3 with two walks, a double, a RBI, and two runs scored (.247). SS Kris Negron was 3-for-5 with two runs scored (.248, steal #8).
5/9: Travis Webb struck out eight over 6.1 innings (W 1-1, 4.63, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 HR) and Carolina again brought the lumber (16 hits) in a 7-2 win. 3B Eric Eymann finished 4-for-5 with four RBI (.295). Kahauleilo didnít make an out all game (3-for-3, homer #3, BB, steal #1, .274). Alonso followed up one good game with another solid effort (2-for-4, R, BB, steal #4, .269). Light-hitting SS Jose Castro was 3-for-4 with a RBI from the #8 hole (.188). Jerry Gil (3.86, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and Phil Valiquette (3.86, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB) turned in scoreless relief.
5/10: Mudcat ace Matt Klinker to the hill to face the 20-10 Smokies of Tennessee (CHC) and pursue a fourth consecutive Carolina win. Klinker faced righty Mike Parisi, just demoted to the Southern League after a five-start curbstomping in Triple-A (0-3, 8.50). Kris Negron greeted Parisi rudely by slamming a leadoff homer, his third of 2010 and second leading off a game. Kahauleilo followed with a single, but he was immediately picked off first. Alonso then singled, but Denis Phipps flew out to center- leading Alonso to be caught off first for the double play. Oops. Parisi got the Mudcats out in the second, but was abruptly pulled in the third with arm pain (heís missed most of the last two seasons due to surgery). Klinker did not allow a run until the seventh (2.18, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 90 pitches/57 strikes), when he was replaced with Lee Tabor after the Smokies began the inning with a reached-on-error and back-to-back singles. Tabor allowed a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 Tennessee before escaping the inning. Chris Denove gave the Mudcats the lead back with a two-run homer in the top of the eighth (#2, 2-for-4, .344). But the Smokies got to the still-struggling Sean Watson for the tying run in the bottom half (14.54, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB). Castro singled and Denove walked with two down in the top of the ninth, but pinch-hitter Sean Henry flied out. Medina set the Smokies down in order (W 2-0, 4.50, 1 IP, 1 K). On we go to extra innings. Negron grounded out to begin the inning, but the Mudcats would not be stopped so easily:
Carolina Top 10th
-Pitcher Change: Alex Maestri replaces Jake Muyco, batting 9th.
-Kris Negron grounds out, third baseman Josh Vitters to first baseman Blake Lalli.
-Jake Kahaulelio singles on a fly ball to center fielder Tony Campana.
-Yonder Alonso walks. Jake Kahaulelio to 2nd.
-Denis Phipps walks. Jake Kahaulelio to 3rd. Yonder Alonso to 2nd.
-Coaching visit to mound.
-Eric Eymann singles on a line drive to center fielder Tony Campana. Jake Kahaulelio scores. Yonder Alonso scores. Denis Phipps to 3rd. Eric Eymann to 2nd on the throw.
-Dave Sappelt homers (1) on a fly ball to left field. Denis Phipps scores. Eric Eymann scores.
-Jose Castro grounds out, pitcher Alex Maestri to first baseman Blake Lalli.
-Chris Denove singles on a line drive to left fielder Ty Wright.
-Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Michael Griffin replaces Ruben Medina.
-Michael Griffin flies out to right fielder Matthew Spencer.
Jordan Smith then pitched a scoreless tenth, and Carolina has four wins in a row! Negron (.265, 3-for-4, R, BB, steal #9) and Kahauleilo (.292, 3-for-5, R) did great work from the top two spots in the order. Sappelt (2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, homer #1) is hitting .353 since his promotion from Lynchburg.
5/11: The win streak comes to an end, 4-3. Carolina led 3-2 going to the bottom of the eighth, but Jerry Gil (L 1-1, 4.86, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB) couldnít find the plate and the Smokies rallied with two to win it. Daryl Thompson pitched excellently in his return from the DL (3.38, 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 85 pitches/62 strikes). Kahauleilo homered (#4) and went 2-for-4 with two RBI (.301). Castro climbed off the interstate with two hits (.204).
5/12: The Mudcats grabbed a 4-2 lead with three in the eighth (two on a clutch pinch-hit single from Alonso), but the Smokies tied it in the bottom of the inning against a struggling Phil Valiquette (4.20, BS #2, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, throwing error). It was Kris Negronís two-run single in the top of the tenth that proved decisive, although Tennessee made a run at Jordan Smith (save #4, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER) before he got uber-prospect Josh Vitters to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to concede one run and clear the bases. The next man grounded out to end the game. Win to Joe Krebs (1-1, 5.29, 1 IP, 1 K). Starter Tom Cochran lasted six (3.00, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 100 pitches/61 strikes). Henry was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of walks (.315).
Transactions and Notes: 5/7: RHS Daryl Thompson to the DL with shoulder fatigue (uh oh) and LHS Alex Smit re-added to the roster from Billings. 5/11: False alarm. Thompson activated and UT Mike Griffin sent to Louisville. 5/12: C Chris McMurray promoted from Lynchburg. RHR Sean Watson demoted to the Hillcats.
RHP Misael DeJesus was released without getting a 2010 roster assignment. DeJesus, 25, spent four seasons in the Reds organization after being signed by Johnny Almaraz, advancing as high as Double-A in 2009 (although he pitched very poorly in limited action due to injury). Misael did have a good 2007 and 2008, posting a 3.73 ERA and 92 Ks in 87 IP for Dayton in í07 and a 3.64 ERA with 110 Ks in 99 IP for Sarasota in í08.
High-A Lynchburg Hillcats
Record this week: 2-5.
Overall: 15-18, second place, five behind Frederick (BAL).
5/6: Scott Carroll to the hill against Kinston (CLE). He did surrender a first-inning solo homer to the Indiansí Donnie Webb, but a pickoff at first helped prevent any further damage. Kinston was starring lefty Nick Hagadone, a former blue-chip Red Sox draft pick traded to Cleveland in the Victor Martinez deal last year and now trying to come back from arm surgery. Hagadone came in with 21 Ks in 16-plus innings; he promptly whiffed six of the first nine Hillcats he faced. Webb proceeded to homer off Carroll again his next time up (this is a guy who hit all of seven bombs in the Sally League last year, incidentally). Outside of that one batter, Carroll shut the Indians out on two hits over four innings. Meanwhile, the Hillcats couldnít hit Hagadone too much- but when they did put a man on base, he was running (2B Cody Puckett, 3B Alex Buchholz, and 1B Carlos Mendez all swiped bags off the big lefthander). Hagadone left after four innings having allowed one hit and four walks- but the Hillcats couldnít dent the plate off his reliever either, and ended up losing by that 2-0 score. Carroll did figure out how to get Webb out, and ended up with a nice seven-inning stint (L 0-2, 2.65, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR). Puckett ended up 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk (.315), but his teammates got all of two hits combined.
5/7: The final of three consecutive wild pitches with C Devin Mesoraco at the plate in the bottom of the ninth (he actually struck out on the last one, but reached first safely to prevent the inning from ending) capped a Hillcats comeback from a 5-2 deficit! They win, 6-5, scoring single runs in the fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth. Buchholz was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBI, and steal #5 (.263). CF Josh Fellhauer did the same, only with one RBI (.266). Jordan Hotchkiss ran his record to 3-0 (0.59, 1 IP). Nick Christiani pitched two scoreless (0.00, 1 H, 2 K) in relief of starter Curtis Partch (3.96, 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR).
5/8: After dominating through most of the Carolina League so far, Brad Boxberger was undone by a slow start and some poor defense (L 3-2, 2.20, 3.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) in Myrtle Beach (ATL)ís 8-3 win. Mendez (2-for-4, 2B) and Mesoraco (.310, 2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB) each had multiple hits.
5/9: Mark Serrano (3.58, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K) flat dominated for seven innings, but departed a 1-1 tie and the Pelicans got to Justin Freeman (0-1) for the deciding run in the eighth. Mendez raised his average to .317 with a pair of hits.
5/10: Matt Fairel back to the hill to face Wilmington (KC), the last-place team in the Hillcatsí division at 11-19. The Carolina League has adjusted since Fairel threw 11.1 scoreless innings to open the year, getting to the lefthander for twelve earned runs in 19.2 IP since (5.68 ERA). Mendez doubled home Puckett, whoíd singled, to give Lynchburg the early 1-0 lead. Puckett then doubled home Rojas in the second to make it 2-0. (It could have been more, as the Hillcats got six hits and a walk off Blue Rocks starter Manauris Baez in those two frames but stranded four and lined into a double play.) Wilmington got one back in the bottom of the second, although Fairel prevented further issue by picking a runner off first base to end the inning. A solo homer in the third tied things at 2. Hits in both the third and fourth innings yielded no more Hillcats runs. Neither did the two (total ten) collected in the fifth. Meanwhile, Fairel allowed another homer as well as an unearned run (a Rojas error) gave the Blue Rocks a 4-2 advantage. Fairel completed the sixth and seventh without incident to exit with a quality start (3.55, 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR) but trailing by two. Mesoraco tripled and scored on a Buchholz sac-fly in the eighth, but Wilmington got that back off Jordan Hotchkiss in the bottom of the inning. The ninth started promisingly- with back-to-back walks to Rojas and Byron Wiley- then a passed ball advanced both runners (Justin Reed pinch-ran for Wiley). Josh Fellhauer grounded out to score one run, then Cody Puckett lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly to center! Soto doubled, but Mendez struck out. Hotchkiss retired the Blue Rocks in order in the bottom of the inning, sending us to extras. The Hillcats went quietly in the tenth, then with two outs and a man on first in the bottom half, first-round pick/phenom prospect Eric Hosmer slammed a double off Nick Christiani (L 0-1, 1.93) to win it for the bad guys, 6-5. Mesoraco had another fantastic night at the plate (.333, 4-for-5, 2B, 3B, R) and Puckett was 2-for-4 with two RBI (.300). Lynchburg had a 12-9 hit advantage, but left eight men on base and went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
5/11: The Hillcats built a 9-1 lead by the eighth, then Wilmington began a furious comeback off Lance Janke (5.87, 1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER) and Jeremy Horst (4.30, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 2-2 inherited runners scored). Three in the eighth, four more in the ninth- but Nick Christiani came on to ground the Blue Rocksí Jamar Walton to first to end the game. That got Christiani his first save and Scott Carroll, who dominated for seven innings, his first win (1-2, 1.88, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). Mesoraco slammed his seventh homer off prospect Tim Melville in the fourth and added a triple and single (.347, 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI). Fellhauer chipped in a 3-for-4 from the leadoff slot (.270, 2 R, steal #2, BB). Buchholz hit a solo homer in the eighth, #1.
5/12: This one started almost as well, as Lynchburg tallied three in the top of the first (Puckett tripled and scored when Mendez reached on a strikeout-wild pitch, Soto singled, and Buchholz doubled both home). But Wilmington ended up getting six runs in the second off starter Curtis Partch (L 1-3, 4.39, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 K), five unearned thanks to a Puckett error. Drew Bowman (3.50, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) and Jeff Jeffords (6.75, 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) pitched well in relief, but the Hillcats got just two more runs and lost the game 8-5.
Transactions and Notes: 5/11: LHR Daryl Harang placed on the 7-day DL. UT Kevyn Feiner added from Dayton. 5/12: RHR Sean Watson down from Carolina; C Chris McMurray promoted to the Mudcats.
C Devin Mesoraco was named the Redsí Minor League Hitter of the Month for April! Mesoraco hit .297 with five homers, 14 RBI, and a 972 OPS in the month. Neftali Soto made the BA Prospect Hot Sheet for May 7th- he batted .433 (13-for-30) with four homers, nine RBI, and eight runs scored over the period.
Low-A Dayton Dragons
Record this week: 3-4
Overall: 16-17, fourth place, 7.5 games behind Lake County (CLE).
5/6: The game from 5/5 against Lake County resumed with no score in the third. Pedro Villareal had pitched three hitless innings for the Dragons originally; Chase Ware took over and kept that going through four more. Dayton couldnít score either, and the game was still scoreless in the seventh. 1B Chris Richburg doubled twice, but the rest of his lineupmates collected just one hit between them. Villareal and Ware threw a one-hitter for seven! The Dragons cracked the stalemate in the eighth when RF Efrain Contreras reached on an error, moved up on C Jordan Widemanís single and scored on a hit by SS Didi Gregorius. Ware, trying to get through the bottom of the eighth, was replaced with closer Donnie Joseph with one out and a man on second (L 3-1, 2.74, 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Joseph struck out the first man he faced, but gave up an RBI single before the other out was recorded. A second run scored on Widemanís passed ball. The Dragons tried to tie it up in the ninth, with LF Josh Garton and CF Andrew Means both singling and DH Mark Fleury drawing a walk to load the bases, but closer Cory Burns struck the side out for his ninth save. Captains take it, 2-1.
Despite the warmup of the completed game, Dayton came out flat, as returning-from-the-DL starter JC Sulbaran served up a pair of two-run homers in the first inning. Lake County scored five and made them stand up, 5-3. Sulbaran, to his credit, did settle down to pitch three scoreless innings after the first-inning debacle (L 2-1, 5.40, 4 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 2 HR). Doug Salinas struck out four over the remaining two innings (1.65). The Dragons got all of their runs on solo homers- 2B Henry Rodriguez (#4), Richburg (#4), and Garton (#2).
5/7: Rained out.
5/8: MAKEUP MADNESS didnít end well, as South Bend (ARI) swept the day 3-0 and 2-1. Josh Ravin (L 1-2, 2.43, 5 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) was the starter in game one. Blair Carson (0.00, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 K) pitched 5.1 shutout innings in game two, but the bad guys tied the score in the sixth off Donnie Joseph (BS #2, 1.23, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and a solo homer leading off the seventh off Ezequiel Infante (L 1-2, 3.77) to win it. Dayton got a total of seven hits between both games.
5/9: Justin Walker pitched four scoreless innings in this one, but they came after he gave up five runs in the first two innings (L 1-3, 6.39, 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR). The Silver Hawks took another one, 5-3. 3B Shane Carlson was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and RBI (.306).
5/10: Jake Johnson has had it rough being one of the few teenagers in the Midwest League. Could he right the ship (0-3, 5.79 ERA in five starts) at the expense of Fort Wayne (SD)? Well, the first three TinCaps reached base against him, scoring a run before a 5-3 double play and a flyout ended it. LF Keyvn Feiner tied the score in the second with a run-scoring grounder (Carlson had singled). Fort Wayne went ahead 2-1 in the third, then 3-1 in the fourth. Johnson (5.93, 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) was replaced by Junior Martinez. Dayton fired back to tie it in the seventh when Kevin Coddington singled and scored on the red-hot Carlsonís triple. Frank Pfister followed with a base hit to score Shane. Martinez harnessed his control (11 BB in 13 IP) to pitch two scoreless innings (5.54, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and Doug Salinas was flawless for the final three (W 2-1, 1.40, 2 BB, 4 K). In the bottom of the ninth, Carlson led off by reaching on an E-4. An out later, Efrain Contreras scratched an infield hit. A forceout grounder by Feiner put men on the corners with two outs. Henry Rodriguez was intentionally passed, but Didi Gregorius made the TinCaps pay with a game-winning single to left! He finished 2-for-5 (.267). Carlson was 2-for-4 with three runs scored (.321) and is now 12-for-28 over his last eight games (.429). This is a guy who batted .212/.270/.258 between Billings and Sarasota last season.
5/11: Dayton survived four errors (in part because Fort Wayne committed six) and got Pedro Villareal (1-2) his first 2010 victory (3.53, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K). Chase Ware came on to strand two in the sixth, then go a scoreless seventh and eighth (2.49, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Donnie Joseph pitched a 1-2-3 ninth (1.15, 2 K) but did not get the save because the Dragons won by four, 7-3. Rodriguez was 4-for-5 with two runs scored (.276), Carlson drove in two runs without a hit, and C Mark Fleury was 2-for-4 with two RBI (.213).
5/12: JC Sulbaran overcame a tough first inning and Josh Garton hit a third-inning three-run homer as Dayton swept the TinCaps, 5-4. Sulbaran picked up his third win (3-1, 5.40, 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 WP). Garton now has three homers since joining the team at the beginning of the month. 1B Tom Nurre, also just brought in from extended spring training, homered in his very first MWL at-bat. Means was 2-for-3 with a triple, walk, and run scored (.289). New staff addition Jason Braun (5.35 in 18 G in Billings last season) threw two scoreless in relief of Sulbaran. Blair Carson ran his scoreless innings streak to twelve with a perfect eighth, and Joseph pitched the ninth for save #5 (1.08, 1 BB, 2 K).
Transactions and Notes: 5/11: RHR Mike James released. RHR Jason Braun and 1B Tom Nurre added from Billings. UT Kevyn Feiner promoted to Lynchburg.
LHR Donnie Joseph was named the Redsí Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April! Joseph was 2-1 with a 0.79 ERA and a 2/18 BB/K ration in 11.1 IP.