Overall: Good week in both AAA as well as rookie ball; a little rougher in the middle ranks. Both A-ball teams are struggling pretty hard right now.
AAA Louisville Bats
Record this week: 5-2.
Overall: 49-50, third place, 10.5 behind Columbus (CLE).
7/15: Rough time of it for Matt Klinker, as Lehigh Valley (PHI) smacked him around for five in the first and two more in the second before he was able to settle down and get through the next two (5.67, 4 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR). Louisville did get three in the second inning (RBI hits from SS Zach Cozart and 1B Yonder Alonso plus RF Wladimir Balentien’s 13th homer) and some strong middle relief from Enerio Del Rosario (3.38, 2 IP, 1 K) and Phil Valiquette (3.75, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 K). 3B Juan Francisco pounded a three-run homer (#9) to make it 7-6 in the seventh. His next time up came in the bottom of the ninth with 1B Danny Dorn on second.
Louisville Bottom 9th
•Juan Francisco homers (10) on a fly ball to right field. Daniel Dorn scores.
Excellent comeback win in Batland! Danny Herrera pitched the ninth for the win (1-0, 4.32). Cozart finished 2-for-4 with a walk, run scored, RBI, and steal #21.
7/16: Louisville scored in each inning from the fourth through the eighth to wipe out a 3-0 deficit and take another one from the IronPigs, 7-3. Aroldis Chapman struck out all four batters he faced (W 6-6, 4.24). Jared Burton (2.92, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 3 K) and Carlos Fisher (1.93, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K) sandwiched that with scoreless work as well. Starter Ben Jukich managed five (4.33, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). Francisco homered for the third time in two games (#11). CF Gary Matthews Jr. also homered (#3) and both Cozart (.260, R, steal #22) and Rehabbin’ Chris Dickerson (2 R) had two hits. Cozart is now batting .298/.411/.468 with six steals in July.
7/17:The Bats led early when Valaika singled in Dickerson (1-for-1, 2B, 2 BB, stolen base) but that was everything Louisville could muster against IronPigs starter Brandon Duckworth and his bullpen. Meanwhile, banjo-hitting Brian Bocock slammed a pair of homers and pitcher Joe Savery, pinch-hitting Owings-style, hit another off Chad Reineke (L 6-7, 3.13, 6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3 HR). LV takes it, 5-1. Herrera got a pair of outs (4.00, 1 K), Jesus Delgado returned to the ‘pen with a scoreless inning (3.66, 1 H) and new signee Russ Springer made his Reds system debut with a 1-2-3 eighth. Alonso (.267, 2-for-4, 2B) and C Wilkin Castillo (.258, 2-for-4) had most of the rest of the Bats’ offense.
7/18: Louisville scored four runs in the first, then hung on for dear life, 5-4. Sam LeCure returned to action by whiffing thirteen IronPigs over seven innings (W 6-2, 2.55, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 HR, 92 pitches/69 strikes). Cozart led the offense by going 3-for-4 with homer #13 and steal #22 (.263, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI). Alonso singled in a run, drew a walk, and again stole third base (7, .268). Valaika added two hits and a RBI (.291). Valiquette struggled in the eighth, permitting a run plus a baserunner that was let in by Del Rosario (4.97, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB). Carlos Fisher, however, shut things down with a 1-2-3 ninth for save #4 (1.86, 1 K).
7/19: This wasn’t your garden-variety 11-2 road win. The score was 3-2 up until the top of the ninth, when the following happened:
Louisville Top 9th
• Wladimir Balentien homers (14) on a line drive to left field.
• Daniel Dorn reaches on fielding error by shortstop Luis Rodriguez. Daniel Dorn to 2nd.
• Chris Valaika doubles (20) on a line drive to center fielder Alejandro De Aza. Daniel Dorn scores.
• Wilkin Castillo flies out to right fielder Stefan Gartrell. Chris Valaika to 3rd.
• Gary MatthewsJr. strikes out swinging.
• Zack Cozart homers (14) on a fly ball to left center field. Chris Valaika scores.
• Yonder Alonso singles on a soft line drive to right fielder Stefan Gartrell.
• With Todd Frazier batting, wild pitch by Freddy Dolsi, Yonder Alonso to 2nd.
• Todd Frazier strikes out swinging. Wild pitch by pitcher Freddy Dolsi. Yonder Alonso to 3rd. Todd Frazier to 1st.
• Juan Francisco homers (12) on a fly ball to right field. Yonder Alonso scores. Todd Frazier scores.
• Wladimir Balentien walks.
• Coaching visit to mound.
• Pitcher Change: Miguel Socolovich replaces Freddy Dolsi.
• Daniel Dorn doubles (12) on a fly ball to center fielder Alejandro De Aza. Wladimir Balentien scores.
• Chris Valaika flies out to center fielder Alejandro De Aza.
Matt Maloney cruised through six innings for the win (7-5, 3.26, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 103 pitches/66 strikes). Russ Springer permitted a hit but worked a scoreless seventh; Chapman gave up an unearned run in the eighth (4.21, 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB), but Jared Burton came on to strand one of his two runners (preserving the lead and the win for Maloney) and pitch a scoreless ninth (save #2, 2.77, 1.1 IP, 1 BB). Alonso had four singles in five at-bats; that raised his overall average to .279 and his July to 24-for-58 (.414). Castillo was 2-for-4 with homer #8 and steal #6 (.262), Cozart 2-for-5 with homer #14 (.265) and Francisco 2-for-5 with homer #13 (.278). Dorn and Valaika each had RBIs and two hits apiece.
7/20: Daytime action in Charlotte. Matt Klinker went to the hill to try and bounce back from a rough previous start. The Knights got to him for a single run in the first. He then put two on with two out in the second on a single and hit batter, but escaped damage. Meanwhile, the Bats were unable to crack the scoreboard early- they left two in scoring position in the first and couldn’t get Balentien, who’d walked to begin the second, any further around. Dickerson doubled and Sutton walked on a wild pitch that put men on the corners with none out in the third, but Alonso’s line drive was picked off by Charlotte starter Lucas Harrell and Chris was caught off the bag for a double play. Francisco led off the fourth with a solo homer (#13) to tie the score. Valaika then singled with two outs and stole second, but C Chris Denove was unable to come up with the two-out hit. Klinker settled down nicely, turning in a 1-2-3 third and a scoreless fourth. Alonso cracked a two-out double (his only hit of the day) in the Louisville fifth, but Todd Frazier flew out to end the inning. An infield single, throwing error from Valaika, and another single produced a single Knights run in the fifth, although Louisville blew up for four runs in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Danny Dorn walked. Valaika doubled to score him. Denove singled to score Chris. Charlotte brought on 2010 first-round pick Chris Sale to face pinch-hitter Mike Griffin, and Griffin- a 13th-round pick- greeted the bonus baby with a two-run homer (#1). This made it 5-2 Bats. Klinker served up a solo homer to start the sixth and then walked the next man before Rick Sweet summoned Danny Herrera. Klinker would get the win in an 8-4 contest (W 4-1, 5.34, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 86 pitches/53 strikes). Herrera worked 2.1 of one-hit ball (3.97, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and Valiquette finished up (4.40, 1.2 IP, 1 H). Louisville added three insurance runs in the eighth, all on solo homers- Balentien’s 15th, Denove’s 1st, and Griffin’s 2nd.
7/21: Both teams got just four hits apiece- it came down to Charlotte getting the tiebreaking run off Del Rosario in the seventh and winning it 2-1. Ben Jukich started and pitched well (4.01, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 97 pitches/53 strikes) and Russ Springer turned in a third scoreless inning.
Transactions and notes: 7/16: RHS Sam Lecure activated from the DL. OF Chris Dickerson reactivated for his rehab assignment. 7/17: LHS Matt Maloney sent down from Cincinnati to make room for Edinson Volquez. RHR Russ Springer activated. 7/19: RHR Jesus Delgado sent down to Carolina. RHS Homer Bailey assigned to Louisville for rehab. 7/21: RHR Micah Owings sent down from Cincinnati; RHR Carlos Fisher called up.
AA Carolina Mudcats
Record this week: 2-4.
Overall: 13-13 (second half). Tied for second, one game behind Tennessee (CHC).
7/15: Montgomery (TB) got the winning run off Federico Baez (L 0-1, 4.40, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB) in the top of the ninth. 1B Eric Eymann doubled to start the Carolina ninth, but he didn’t get any farther. Starter Tom Cochran craftied his way through 5.1 (2.47, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR) and Joe Krebs retired five of six (3.67, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K). C Devin Mesoraco slammed homer #9 (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, .301) and LF Dave Sappelt hit #7 (.340, 2-for-4). Eymann (.258) and SS Kris Negron (.251) each had a pair of hits.
7/16: The Biscuits sweep the series with another 4-3 win, this time over Jerry Gil (L 3-4, 4.85, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and in the tenth inning. Starter Travis Webb pitched 6.1 innings (5.28, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 92 pitches/54 strikes). Sappelt had two more hits and also had a pair of outfield assists (.343). Mesoraco had a triple and single (.310, BB). CF Felix Perez had two singles and a stolen base (.308).
7/17: The Matt Fairel train keeps on rolling. He’s now won his last three starts (W 4-3, 5.09, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 94 pitches/60 strikes) thanks to a six-run Mudcat second inning and no thanks to a Mike Costanzo throwing error that let in two runs in the sixth. Chattanooga got within one off Joe Krebs in the eighth, but he and Federico Baez (4.20, save #3, 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB) managed to escape with the 6-5 victory intact. Mesoraco keeps hitting; he smacked homer #10. Negron, who’s also raking as of late, connected for homer #7 (.253, 2-for-4, steal #24).
7/18: Again the Mudcats did all their damage early, scoring all five of their runs in the first two innings. Two of those came in on Felix Perez’ first AA home run (.333, 2-for-4). Negron added a triple to his preceding single, scored twice, and drove one in (.257). LF Sean Henry had two hits and two RBI (.300). Starter Daryl Thompson kicked things off with one of nuttier first innings I’ve seen in a while:
Chattanooga Top 1st
• Dee Gordon singles on a line drive to center fielder Sean Danielson.
• With Jaime Pedroza batting, throwing error by Daryl Thompson on the pickoff attempt, Dee Gordon to 2nd.
• Jaime Pedroza singles on a ground ball to pitcher Daryl Thompson. Dee Gordon scores. Throwing error by pitcher Daryl Thompson.
• With Ramon Nivar batting, Daryl Thompson picks off Jaime Pedroza at 1st on throw to Mike Costanzo.
• Ramon Nivar hit by pitch.
• With Corey Smith batting, wild pitch by Daryl Thompson, Ramon Nivar to 2nd.
• With Corey Smith batting, Ramon Nivar caught stealing 3rd base, pitcher Daryl Thompson to third baseman Jose Castro to second baseman Jake Kahaulelio to shortstop Kris Negron.
• Corey Smith flies out to center fielder Sean Danielson.
Thompson settled down and didn’t permit anything else (3.27, 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) but then departed due to something the game recap termed an “injured head”. Lee Tabor took over and worked 2.2 scoreless for the win (W 3-0, 2.45, 3 H, 3 K). Brad Boxberger gave up a solo homer but otherwise looked a little better (11.17, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and Jerry Gil worked his way into and then out of a bases-loaded ninth-inning jam for save #5 (4.70, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K).
7/19: Chattanooga whacked the Mudcats, 8-1. Scott Carroll got the loss (L 2-5, 3.04, 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 86 pitches/52 strikes). He also went 2-for-2 and scored the lone Carolina run on a Perez groundout.
7/20: Daytime action with Tom Cochran in scenic Zebulon. Carolina got a first-inning run but could have had more- after Henry’s bases-loaded single scored one, C Brandon Yarbrough watched a third strike and 2B Jake Kahauleilo grounded into a force play. Chattanooga would tie the score in the fourth when Cochran walked two with one out and the next man followed with a run-scoring double. A sacrifice fly made it 2-1 Lookouts. Tom got a popup to end the inning, but stood at 80 pitches after four innings (L 7-4, 2.52, 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 97 pitches/63 strikes). A solo homer in the top of the sixth off Joe Krebs made it 3-1 Chatt. Two singles and a walk then followed with two outs, but Krebs was able to escape the jam. Carolina managed to scratch one run in the seventh when pinch-hitter Luis Terrero poked a bases-loaded single- but the runner had to hold at third as Yarbrough again struck out to end it. Two more runners were left on base in the eighth- and so we went to the ninth. The first two Mudcat batters were retired- and David Bell opted to go to Mesoraco as a pinch-hitter for the pitcher Baez (3.71, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K). Devin ran the string all the way out- and then watched a third strike to end the game. Carolina falls by one run despite outhitting the Lookouts eleven to seven. Perez was 3-for-5 with two runs scored (.333) and both Sappelt and Negron had a pair of hits (.340 and .261, respectively).
Transactions and notes: 7/19: INF Eric Eymann to the 7-day DL. INF Carlos Mendez up from Lynchburg. RHR Jesus Delgado down from Louisville. RHR Ruben Medina down to Lynchburg.
High-A Lynchburg Hillcats
Record this week: 2-4.
Overall: 10-15, last place.
7/15: Myrtle Beach (ATL) shut the Hillcats out, 6-0. Lynchburg got seven hits and a few walks, but went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine. 3B Carlos Mendez, 1B Neftali Soto and CF Denis Phipps each went 2-for-4. Chase Ware started and lost (L 0-1, 1.76, 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K).
7/16: James Avery had no problem with ballyhooed pitching prospect Julio Teheran or the Pelicans. He fired eight shutout innings (W 5-3, 2.89, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K). DH Jose Gualdron (#1) and LF Efrain Contreras (#4) each hit homers off the young fireballer. C Jordan Wideman added a pair of doubles (.196) and Soto was 2-for-4 (.263, R).
7/17: The Pelicans win the series, 5-2. Lance Janke started and lost (L 3-7, 6.28, 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). SS Brodie Greene was 2-for-4 with a double, run scored, and RBI (.245). DH Kevin Coddington added a pair of hits (.261).
7/19: Lynchburg opened a seven-game homestand against Frederick (BAL). Curtis Partch got the ball for game one and struggled, failing to complete the fourth inning (L 3-8, 5.80, 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR). Drew Bowman (5.40, 2.1 IP, 5 K), Daniel Guerrero (2 IP, 2 K) and Justin Freeman (3.18, 1 IP) pitched 5.1 innings of hitless relief behind him, but the Hillcats couldn’t make the comeback and lose 6-3. Neftali Soto hit homer #12 and Greene was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored (.258).
7/20: Three Hillcat runs in the bottom of the eighth snapped a 4-4 tie. Soto led off that inning with his 13th homer, then Richburg singled, Phipps doubled, Greene hit a sacrifice fly, and RF Kyle Day singled to score the other run. Phipps finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored, his second homer, and three RBI. C Kevin Coddington was 3-for-3 with a walk (.270). Starter Jordan Hotchkiss worked five scoreless (2.20, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K). Nick Christiani gave up three unearned runs in the sixth, then just-demoted Ruben Medina gave up the tying run in the seventh before hurling a scoreless eighth (BS, W 1-0, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). Donnie Joseph picked up save #9 (1.52, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K).
7/21: …Donnie Joseph is human. He entered the top of the ninth with the Hillcats up 5-3. He pitched to three batters, walking all three. A couple of wild pitches were in there as well. Then:
• Pitcher Change: Ruben Medina replaces Donnie Joseph.
• Ronnie Welty reaches on force attempt, missed catch error by shortstop Brodie Greene, assist to second baseman Cody Puckett. Xavier Avery scores. Kyle Hudson to 2nd.
• Billy Rowell singles on a line drive to left fielder Josh Fellhauer. Kyle Hudson scores. Ronnie Welty to 2nd.
• Buck Britton out on a sacrifice bunt, pitcher Ruben Medina to second baseman Cody Puckett. Ronnie Welty to 3rd. Billy Rowell to 2nd.
• Pedro Florimon Jr. homers (4) on a fly ball to right field. Ronnie Welty scores. Billy Rowell scores.
• Miguel Abreu singles on a ground ball to shortstop Brodie Greene.
• Phillip Britton singles on a ground ball to second baseman Cody Puckett. Miguel Abreu to 2nd.
• With Bobby Stevens batting, Miguel Abreu steals (4) 3rd base. Phillip Britton steals (1) 2nd base.
• With Bobby Stevens batting, wild pitch by Ruben Medina, Miguel Abreu scores. Phillip Britton to 3rd.
• Bobby Stevens grounds out, second baseman Cody Puckett to first baseman Neftali Soto.
• Xavier Avery strikes out swinging.
This gave Frederick a 10-5 lead. Phipps doubled in two runs in the bottom of the inning, but that was it. Joseph fell to 0-3 (2.28, 0 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 WP). Medina blew his second save in two appearances. Phipps finished with four RBI after hitting a two-run homer as well (#3). LF Josh Fellhauer was 3-for-5 with two doubles (.259, R, RBI). Starter James Avery lasted six innings (3.05, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) and Jeff Jeffords (4.21, 0.2 IP) and Freeman (3.09, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 K) pitched scoreless relief.
Transactions and notes: 7/19: 1B Chris Richburg promoted from Dayton. INF Carlos Mendez sent to Carolina.
I probably neglected to mention last week that RHS Mark Serrano was put on the disabled list.
Low-A Dayton Dragons
Record this week: 1-4.
Overall: 8-16, seventh place.
7/15: Ricky Bowen pitched well (L 2-3, 4.28, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) but Dayton got just four hits and fell to Peoria (CHC), 3-1. 1B Chris Richburg’s 14th homer in the ninth broke the shutout.
7/16: Peoria sweeps the three-game series, scoring three late runs off Pedro Villareal (L 3-7, 4.10, BS #3, 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) to win it 10-8. RF Andrew Means led off the game with his first homer of the year (.270, 3-for-5). SS Henry Rodriguez was also 3-for-5 (.292) with a run scored and steal #17. 2B Kevyn Feiner drove in three with two hits.
7/17: Dayton’s five-run ninth-inning outburst managed to cut the game’s final deficit from thirteen to eight. They had just one hit- a first-inning Didi Gregorius single- to that point, although they did end up drawing six walks (!). DH Cam Satterwhite’s three-run homer accounted for sixty percent of the rally (#6). Starter JC Sulbaran was hit hard (L 4-6, 4.99, 3.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 6 K); he also uncorked two wild pitches and made no less than three errant pickoff throws. Blair Carson had a rough time of it as well (2.82, 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR). Gregorius doubled in the other two runs in the ninth to finish 2-for-5 (.268).
7/18: Jake Johnson permitted just two hits over 6.1 strong innings (W 5-6, 4.89, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) as Dayton avenged the blowout, 6-2. RF Ryan LaMarre hit homer #2 and DH Alexis Oliveras knocked in a pair of runs (.244, 2-for-4). Gregorius had two more hits as well as two runs scored (.270).
7/19: Rained out.
7/21: Homestand time at Confused Fraction Field against Cedar Rapids (LAA). Game one didn’t work out real well; the Kernels piled up 17 hits off four Dragons pitchers, particularly starter Ricky Bowen (L 2-4, 4.81, 3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K) and Jamie Walczak (3.09, 3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Satterwhite was 2-for-3 (.309) and Rodriguez 2-for-4 (.290, steal #18) in the 8-2 loss.
Transactions and notes: 7/19: 1B Chris Richburg promoted to Lynchburg. 1B Jonathan Kaskow up from Billings.
Rookie-Pioneer Billings Mustangs
Record this week: 4-3.
Overall: 15-15, second place, two behind Great Falls (CHW).
7/15: The Mustangs get back to winning following the breaking of their five-game winning streak- they hammer Idaho Falls (KC), 14-5. The Chukars’ seven errors helped hand Billings five unearned runs as well. Starlin Gerson got the win (2-0, 4.32, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). Four Mustangs collected two hits and two RBI- LF Dayne Read (.310, steal #4), 2B Billy Hamilton (.289), CF Jefry Sierra (.303), and C Tucker Barnhart (.300). RF Juan Duran is off the interstate- his 2-for-5 put him at .220. 3B Oliver Santos and SS Devin Lohman each scored three runs.
7/16: Idaho Falls smashed on Pat Doyle (6.17, 1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER) and Porfirio Martinez (who came in with the bases loaded full of Doyle’s runners and let them all score) for six runs in the eighth, turning a 3-0 Billings lead into a 6-3 advantage. But then the Mustangs came to the top of the ninth:
Billings Top 9th
• Defensive Substitution: Reggie Taylor replaces right fielder Cameron Monger, batting 7th, playing right field.
• Billy Hamilton singles on a bunt ground ball to first baseman Murray Watts.
• Jefry Sierra grounds into a force out, second baseman Correy Figueroa to shortstop Justin Trapp. Billy Hamilton out at 2nd. Jefry Sierra to 1st.
• Donald Lutz singles on a line drive to left fielder Timothy Ferguson. Jefry Sierra to 2nd.
• Jonathan Kaskow grounds out, pitcher Starling De La Rosa to first baseman Murray Watts. Jefry Sierra to 3rd. Donald Lutz to 2nd.
• Devin Lohman singles on a ground ball to third baseman Malcom Culver. Jefry Sierra scores. Donald Lutz to 3rd.
• Trey Manz singles on a line drive to right fielder Reggie Taylor. Donald Lutz scores. Devin Lohman to 2nd.
• Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Theo Bowe replaces Trey Manz.
• Pitcher Change: Tyler Graham replaces Starling De La Rosa.
• Sean Conner doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Reggie Taylor. Devin Lohman scores. Theo Bowe scores.
• Oliver Santos singles on a line drive to right fielder Reggie Taylor. Sean Conner out at home on the throw, right fielder Reggie Taylor to catcher Kevin David.
Martinez got the first out in the ninth (W 2-1, 2.38, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) and Dan Wolford came on to whiff the final two Chukars for save #1! Clayton Shunick got a no-decision for his efforts (4.01, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K) but it was a great team win. DH Don Lutz was 3-for-5 with two runs scored (.309) and five other Mustangs had two hits apiece.
7/17: Casper (COL) stole this one in the bottom of the ninth on Corey Dickerson’s (no relation) two-run homer off Josh Smith (L 0-2, 3.60, BS #1). Billings had just snapped a 3-3 tie with a run in the seventh. Rodriguez, however, did have another great night at the plate (3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, .389). Hamilton added two more hits and a run scored (.300) and DH Sean Conner had two hits and two RBI. Starter Tanner Robles looked better than he has lately (7.71, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and Tzu-Kai Chiu added three innings of two-hit relief (1.04, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K).
7/18: Dan Tuttle stumbled early, allowing a four-spot in the first (L 3-2, 4.50, 4 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 0 K). Billings did tie the score in the third, but the Rockies quickly added three more over the next two innings and hung on for good. They win, 7-5. Tyler Cline threw four innings of scoreless relief (2.60, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K). Duran was 2-for-4 with an outfield assist and a run batted in (.225, steal #2- third base again), Rodriguez doubled a run in, scored one, and drew a walk (.379, 3 K)
7/19: Daniel Corcino got his first pro win as a starter (W 1-2, 3.65, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K) as Billings whitewashed Casper 8-0. Ryan Smith worked three innings of one-hit ball (0.87, 4 K) and Blaine Howell made it eight straight scoreless innings with a perfect ninth. Santos scored two runs and tripled in two (.272). Hamilton also had a triple and two runs scored along with a run batted in, a walk, and steal #9 (.284). DH Trey Manz and Lohman were each 2-for-4 (.284 and .293, respectively).
7/20: The Rockies scored in four of the first five innings off Starlin Gerson (L 2-1, 5.46, 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and Jesus Adames (5.71, 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K). The Mustangs stranded ten men on base and went just 2-for-9 with men in scoring position, resulting in an 8-2 defeat. Manz had three more hits and a RBI (.310) and Lohman was again 2-for-4 with a double and run scored (.304).
7/21: Billings came back to whip the Chukars, 7-1. Another fine outing for Clayton Shunick (W 2-1, 3.52, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). Santos was 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI (.290) and Lohman 2-for-5 with three RBI (.310). C Chris Berset added two hits, a run scored, two RBI, and a walk (.257).
Transactions and notes: 7/19: 1B Jonathan Kaskow to Dayton; 1B Dominic D’Anna up from the AZL.
I’d neglected to mention a third NDFA the Reds signed- OF Drew Poulk, out of North Carolina State.
Rookie-Arizona League Reds
Record this week: 5-0.
Overall record: 12-13, tied for second- four games out.
7/16: The Reds get well in one game, obliterating the Dodgers 19-4. 3B David Vidal slammed three homers and drove in eight runs (.200, now 4 HR). DH Robert Maddox hit a three-run shot (4-for-6, 4 RBI, .267). SS Junior Arias had an errorless night to go with three hits, three runs scored, and two RBI (.357). 1B Dominic D’Anna went to a Williams-esque .406 with two doubles, two runs scored, two RBI, and two walks. 2B Samuel Diaz was 4-for-6 with four runs scored (.371). Starter Jonathan Correa whiffed ten Dodgers in five innings (W 2-2, 2.31, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB).
7/17: El’Hajj Muhammad, this year’s 49th-round draft pick, struck out six in three scoreless innings of relief (W 1-0, 2.70) as the Reds got by the Giants, 7-5. Matt Leonard pitched the final two innings for save #1. Arias was 3-for-5 with a triple, two runs scored, and two errors (.371, 15). 3B David Vidal had two hits and two RBI (.233). Maddox tripled in two runs. 1B Jaron Matthews somehow managed a steal of home.
7/18: Canadian righty Mitchell Clarke pitched five innings of shutout ball (W 1-0, 2.37, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K) as the Reds made it three in a row- 9-3 over the Cubs. 20-year-old righty Radhames Quezada’s US debut saw him go three solid in relief (3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Quezada had dominated the DSL this year, posting a 2.09 ERA in seven starts with two complete games and a shutout. Vidal kept hitting; he was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored (.286). Maddox was 3-for-5 with another triple (.290, 2 R). LF Stephen Hunt doubled twice, drove in three, and scored two (.302). Arias had two more hits, two more runs, and one more error (.372, 16).
7/19: The Reds got four runs in the top of the ninth to come from behind and whip the Indians, 8-5. Matthews led off the ninth with his second homer of the game. C Yovan Gonzalez followed with a double, then an out later Jeff Taylor was intentionally walked. A throwing error on Juan Silva’s grounder ended up scoring both men. An out later, Vidal doubled to score Silva. A couple of innings earlier, Taylor (the NDFA whose story was linked a couple of reports ago) finally collected his first pro hit after eighteen official at-bats- a two-run homer. Starter Ismael Guillon kept it going (2.43, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) and Doug Salinas, on rehab from the Dragons, struck out three in the seventh. Mike Henry gave up three runs in the eighth to blow the Reds’ original lead (W 2-1, BS, 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER) but ended up the winning pitcher. Joel Ernst retired the Indians in order in the ninth for the save (5.40).
7/21: The Reds finish a flawless week with a 7-4 win over the Angels. Jonathan Correa (W 3-2, 2.22, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) got support from Matthews’ two homers (four in two games!) and Hunt’s 3-for-3 (.339). Lucas O’Rear pitched the eighth and retired the side without incident.
Transactions and notes: 7/18: 1B Dominic D’Anna promoted to Billings! He earned it. RHP Radhames Quezada activated. 7/19: RHR Doug Salinas assigned from Dayton on a rehab assignment.
LHP Derrick Lowery was released. He was drafted as a first baseman but was converted to pitcher this year.