A pretty mediocre week for the Reds’ affiliates; all four teams lost more than they won. I feel like Carolina is beginning to turn the corner towards respectability now that they’ve received a shot of veteran support (not that I expect them to suddenly become contenders before the second half of the season when the Bakersfield guys move up). Dayton is never boring despite its .500 record. The hitting environment alone is enough to keep Bakersfield interesting.
AAA Louisville Bats
This week: 3-4.
Overall: 19-14, second place, six behind Columbus (CLE) and down one game from last week.
5/5: You know, it seems clear by this point that someone in the Reds organization really likes Jerry Gil. The club has been patient with him since he converted to a pitcher in 2008- re-signing him a couple of times when he was a minor-league free agent, most recently after a 2010 in which he walked 53 batters in 56 Double-A innings. He throws very hard, and he does appear to be improving his control somewhat in 2011. But he’s never going to make it in the major leagues if he doesn’t start performing in clutch situations- like this game against Buffalo (NYM). Louisville had just rallied in the top of the ninth for two runs to take the lead, 5-4 (with pinch-hitter Frank Pfister picking up his first career AAA hit and scoring on 3B Todd Frazier’s double, then 2B Mike Griffin bunting Todd to third and RF Brian Barton’s sacrifice fly getting the run home). But with two outs and one on, Bisons pinch-hitter Salomon Manriquez dumped a pop-up over second for a single. Gil then walked the generally-unselective Fernando Martinez on four straight pitches. Jesus Feliciano came up and singled in the two game-deciding runs. That’s three blown saves and three losses for the right-hander (4.76, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Starter Scott Carroll worked five- allowing all three of his runs in the fourth (4.04, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 98 pitches/59 strikes). A Frazier error helped cause Kyle McCulloch to cough up the 3-3 tie, but Jeremy Horst (1.42, 1.1 IP, 1 H) and Danny Herrera (3.00, 1 IP, 1 BB) held the Bisons in check for a while. Great offensive games for SS Zach Cozart (3-for-4, homer #2, .243) and Frazier (3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, .240).
5/6: Chad Reineke to the hill for game two in Buffalo. He wasn’t as good as he’s been to date (L 3-1, 2.84, 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 98 pitches/60 strikes) but the Bats were unable to do anything against either Bisons starter Chris Schwinden or his bullpen. Bujffalo takes the shutout, 4-0. Jose Arrendondo pitched a strong seventh (1 IP, 1 H, 2 K) and Joe Krebs pushed his ERA under 9 with a 1-2-3 eighth (8.68).
5/7: Crafty Tom Cochran played stopper, ending Louisville’s five-game losing streak with six shutout innings (W 4-0, 1.15, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 87 pitches/51 strikes) in a 3-1 win. Cozart was 3-for-5 with a run scored and steal #4 (.250) and C Devin Mesoraco 2-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base (!) and a RBI (.306). Arredondo handled the seventh (3.00) and Jordan Smith (1.1 IP) bailed out Jeremy Horst for the save in his first AAA appearance of the season.
5/8: Todd Frazier hammered two homers (#6 and #7) and a double and drove in four (.264) and Matt Maloney fired seven shutout innings (W 1-0, 1.10, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 103 pitches/68 strikes) in a 8-0 rout. Maloney also contributed three of the Bats’ sixteen hits. LF Yonder Alonso had a pair of doubles (.299, R, RBI) and Cozart (.259, R, RBI, 2B) was 2-for-4.
5/9: Rochester (MIN) welcomed the Bats to Frontier Field- and boy, did the fans get their money’s worth. This game lasted eighteen innings! Louisville scored two in the eighth to take a 6-5 lead, but the Red Wings tied the score in the bottom of the inning off Carlos Fisher and then the scoring stopped for nine more innings. Finally Danny Herrera (0-3) gave up four singles in succession with two outs in the bottom of the 18th to mercifully end it, 7-6. The Bats had runners on base in the ninth, tenth, eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth. On the bright side, they also had excellent relief work from Dave Johnson (5.02, 2 IP, 3 K), Horst (1.65, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 K), and Krebs (6.57, 3 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K). Starter Dontrelle Willis worked 5.2 mediocre frames (2.52, 8 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 93 pitches/58 strikes). Yonder Alonso led off this game (!) for the Bats and managed two doubles and a single in eight official at-bats, walking once and striking out three times (.305). RF Jeremy Hermida (3-for-6, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, .327) and 1B Danny Dorn (4-for-8, R, RBI, .268) also did well. Then there was Mesoraco, who not only caught all 18 innings- but he also went 0-for-8 with two strikeouts and seven men left on base (.280). Ouch.
5/10: Rochester hammered Scott Carroll (L 1-1, 5.09, 5 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 102 pitches/57 strikes) early and often and the Bats never got their namesakes going (0-for-10 RISP, 9 LOB); the result was an 8-1 Red Wings rout. Jose Arredondo pitched two more innings in relief (2.25, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and Frazier had three hits (.277, 2 2B). Cozart committed two throwing errors and went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .244. New CF Brent Clevlen had a rough first game as a member of the Reds organization, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
5/11: The Bats try to avoid dropping three in a row to the dastardly Red Wings with Chad Reineke back on the hill.. Rochester reminds us that the toughest teams don’t always have tons of blue-chip prospects; the only big-time prospect on this entire squad is RHS Kyle Gibson. Heck, they have former Red Phil Dumatrait in their bullpen! Righty Eric Hacker started for Rochester; he was toting a fancy-looking 0.52 ERA that belies the four-ish mark he has in AAA for his career. Rochester got a single run off Reineke in the first and another in the second, but he largely shut them down after that (W 4-1, 3.11, 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 104 pitches/65 strikes). Meanwhile, Louisville got going in the third when Alonso ripped a RBI triple to score Cozart. Mesoraco hit his fourth homer in the fourth, then Yonder followed the next inning with a two-run bomb (#4) directly following Zack’s RBI single to give the Bats a 5-2 lead. Alonso’s 3-for-5 lifted his line to .313/.362/.530; he’s got a seven-game hitting streak and a .375/.435/.725 line in ten May contests. Anyway, Carlos Fisher fired two hitless innings (5.19, 1 K) and Danny Herrera finished up (3.07, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K). Dorn singled in a run in the eighth and Rehabbin’ Juan Francisco singled in Alonso in the ninth. Final score: 7-3. The Bats near-quadrupled Hacker’s ERA to 2.25.
Transactnotes: 5/5: RHR Jordan Smith down from Cincinnati to replace Homer Bailey, whose rehab ended. OF Dave Sappelt put on the DL with a strained oblique (retroactive to 5/4). 5/8: RHR Carlos Fisher sent down to Louisville to replace Johnny Cueto. 5/9: RHR Kyle McCulloch bumped to Carolina. 3B Juan Francisco sent down from Cincinnati on a rehab assignment. 5/10: OF Brian Barton placed on the 7-day DL; OF Brent Clevlen signed as a free agent and activated. Clevlen, 27, was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2002 out of a Texas high school; he managed stints in the majors for three straight years from 2006-2008, hitting .234/.280/.429 in a combined 59 games and 77 at-bats. After Detroit decided against calling him up in 2009, he left for the Atlanta organization as a minor-league free agent. He battled injuries in 2010, though, appearing in just 53 games for Triple-A Gwinnett and batting .257/.332/.346. At his best, the 6’1”/205# right-handed hitter has solid power and average-to-a-tick-above speed with the ability to draw a good number of walks, although he has also struck out as many as 166 times in a season (2008 in AAA Toledo; he also hit .279/.358/.496 that year, his best overall as a pro).
Here’s some of the story of Crafty Tom Cochran and how he’s capitalized on the opportunity it took four years of indy ball for him to get.
The 10th represented Jose Arredondo’s final rehab outing. The Reds had a decision to make: either Jose sits inactive on the DL, or he must be added to the 25-man roster. He did well in this twenty-day stretch, pitching 15.2 innings with a 2.25 ERA and 21 Ks.
Around the league: No new MLTs posted by Baseball America’s blog this week- we’ll catch up next week.
AA Carolina Mudcats
This week: 2-4.
Overall: 10-23, last place, nine and a half games behind Huntsville (MIL)- down 1.5 games from last week.
5/5: Carolina manager David Bell left starter Travis Webb in two batters too long. Through five innings and 85 pitches, the struggling Webb had turned in his best start of the season- five hits, two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts. The Mudcats led 3-2. Instead, Bell let him go- and just like that, Travis walked the first hitter and served up a two-run homer to the next (L 0-4, 11.84, 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 90 pitches/49 strikes). Apparently Bell then made someone mad as he was bringing in lefty Lee Tabor- because he was ejected by the home plate umpire immediately after the bomb. Anyway, Montgomery (TB) took a 2-1 lead in the series with their eventual 5-3 win. The Mudcats had men on the corners with two out in the seventh, but former first overall pick Matt Bush came in from the bullpen to get 2B Cody Puckett to fly out. The ninth began with C Kevin Coddington’s single and CF Quintin Berry’s HBP (0-for-1, 3 BB, R, steal #4), but SS Miguel Rojas hit into a double play and LF David Cook struck out to end the ballgame. Right-hander Brad Boxberger (1.32, 1 IP, 2 BB, 3 K) and lefty Donnie Joseph (7.15, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) both turned in scoreless work from the pen.
5/6: The Mudcat bullpen let Montgomery make it interesting, serving up two runs and allowing the tying run to come to the plate in the ninth- but Donnie Joseph managed to get the outs and close an 8-5 win. No save for Joseph (7.30, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K), who struggled with his control. James Avery won his third straight (3-3, 4.36, 5.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Lefty James Adkins worked 1.2 (2 H, 1 K) and Nick Christiani pitched the eighth (2.63, 1 H, 1 K). Carolina scored five in the fifth to wipe out a 3-1 deficit. Berry again was effective from the leadoff slot (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB, steal #5). 1B Jake Kahauleilo homered (#3) and went 2-for-3 (.233) while Rojas drove in two.
5/7: The Biscuits pounded Dallas Buck (L 1-3, 5.90, 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 0 K) early and often, winning an easy 7-1 decision. Justin Freeman did manage to get things turned around, working two good innings (8.16, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K). Brad Boxberger whiffed all three men he faced (1.23). 3B Mike Costanzo (.305, 2B) and C Chris McMurray (.196) each went 2-for-4. With the loss, the Mudcats again failed to win their first series of the season.
5/8: Travel day.
5/9: Carolina was outhit 11-6 and blew a 5-1 lead, but still managed to score three in the seventh to nip Birmingham (CHW), 8-7. Kahauleilo’s two-run triple was the big blow, although pinch-hitter Jose Castro’s sacrifice fly actually broke the tie. Berry was 2-for-4 with a walk and steal #6 (.310) and DH Felix Perez drove in two and scored two (.206). Starter Matt Klinker was more hittable than usual (3.94, 5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HB) and Ruben Medina got the win despite allowing two runs (W 1-1, 4.24, BS #1, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Adkins, Christiani, and Joseph (save #2) blanked the Biscuits over the final three, however.
5/10: Second verse; different outcome than the first. Carolina blew a 6-1 lead, as the Barons hung four runs on Lee Tabor (BS #1, 6.75, 1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)) in the sixth, then got the deciding tally off Boxberger in the eighth (L 0-1, 1.72, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K). The Mudcats put their first two men on base in the top of the ninth, but the next three batters all struck out to end the game. Daryl Thompson had a solid start spoiled (4.98, 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 90 pitches/51 strikes). The veterans carried the offense in this one: Cook was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a RBI (.277), Costanzo 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI (.308) and Berry 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk (.333).
5/11: Kyle McCulloch was a starter at the University of Texas for two years and was drafted as such by the White Sox with the 29th overall pick in 2006. But after he hit a wall at Double-A in 2008 and 2009, the Sox moved him to the bullpen for most of 2010 to try and salvage some value. It didn’t work particularly well, and so he finds himself in the Reds organization after drawing his release in spring training. In eight appearances with Louisville he managed a 3.09 ERA with just one walk in eleven innings, but eighteen hits allowed plus only two strikeouts portend an unsustainable level of success going forward. So after the rehabbing big-leaguers finished their rehab and the Reds refilled the Bats’ pitching staff with relievers, McCulloch was shunted down to Carolina. He drew the start in this Schoolkids’ Special matchup with Birmingham. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well. After a strikeout of the leadoff man, the progression of events went homer, walk, single, E-4, RBI single, bases-clearing double. The Barons took a 5-0 lead and Kyle was replaced by Travis Webb by the third (2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). The Mudcats managed to get one run back in the fourth when Cody Puckett doubled in David Cook. Webb set down Birmingham in order in the third, survived three walks in the fourth, and wriggled out of a two-on jam in the fifth by whiffing White Sox GM Kenny Williams’ namesake son. He then breezed through the next two innings. All in all, by far the struggling lefty’s best outing of the season (9.38, 5 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 9 K, 88 pitches/57 strikes). Cook hit his third homer with one out in the sixth, making the score 5-2. Costanzo immediately followed with a single, but Puckett and Kahauleilo grounded out to end the inning. Carolina stranded two runners in the seventh and went down 1-2-3 in the eighth. On came Ruben Medina for the bottom of the eighth. He survived the inning without giving up a run when Puckett relayed to Rojas who relayed to home on a double, wiping out Williams trying to score from first. The Mudcats went down quietly in the ninth, though, ending the game.
Transactnotes: 5/9: RHR Kyle McCulloch down from Louisville; RHP Jeff Jeffords released (7.53 ERA, 10 G, 14.1 IP, 25 H, 11 BB). Jeffords was a 19th-round pick in 2007 out of the University of South Carolina. OF Kyle Day reactivated from Billings, replacing the DL’d Denis Phipps (7-day, finger injury).
High-A Bakersfield Blaze
This week: 2-4.
Overall: 17-16, third place, four games behind San Jose (SF) and Stockton (OAK)- down two games from last week.
5/5: The Blaze thought about blowing a 6-0 lead but Clayton Shunick (save#1, 1.65, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K) put the screws to Lake Elsinore (SD) late as Bakersfield takes three of four on the road, 8-4. Curtis Partch got his first win of 2011 (W 1-3, 5.08, 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K). SS Brodie Greene (.330, 2 R, 3B, RBI) and C Yasmani Grandal (.289, R, 2 RBI) were both 3-for-5. RF Stephen Hunt lowered his average to .519 (27-for-52, 19 RBI in 13 G) by going just 2-for-4.
5/6: Tzu-Kai Chiu filled in for the scratched JC Sulbaran. He pitched well in the first, but San Jose (SF) had chased him by the third (L 0-1, 6.19, 2.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER). Drew Bowman couldn’t get anyone out either (10.13, 1.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER) and San Jose led 13-0 by the fourth. It settled down a tad after that, with OF Welinton Ramirez pitching a scoreless eighth and INF Jose Gualdron allowing one run in the ninth. Bakersfield got a few hits late and managed a touchdown- but still lost 17-7. LF Josh Fellhauer was 3-for-5 with three runs scored (.383) and 3B Eric Campbell turned in a pair of doubles (.413, RBI, BB). Hunt was 2-for-4 to drop his average again, this time to .518.
5/7: The Blaze thought about blowing this one, but hung on to win 6-5. Tyree Hayes (W 3-0, 4.32, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER) entered the ninth with a 6-3 lead and got the first two batters out, but served up back-to-back doubles and then a RBI single. Scott Gaffney came on to ground out the next man and earn save #1. Bakersfield had already been granted a huge gift in the eighth, when they broke a 3-3 tie. Check this out:
Bakersfield Bottom of the 8th
• Pitcher Change: Mitch Lively replaces Kelvin Marte.
• Josh Fellhauer flies out to left fielder Wendell Fairley.
• Yasmani Grandal strikes out swinging.
• Dropped foul pop error by first baseman Tommy Joseph.
• Eric Campbell homers (7) on a fly ball to left field.
• Henry Rodriguez homers (3) on a fly ball to center field.
• Ryan LaMarre walks.
• With Chris Richburg batting, Ryan LaMarre steals (8) 2nd base.
• Chris Richburg reaches on fielding error by third baseman Chris Dominguez. Ryan LaMarre scores.
• Pitcher Change: Jose Valdez replaces Mitch Lively.
• With Brodie Greene batting, wild pitch by Jose Valdez, Chris Richburg to 2nd.
• Brodie Greene walks.
•Brodie Greene out at 2nd, catcher Hector Sanchez to first baseman Tommy Joseph to second baseman Ryan Cavan.
Back-to-back homers directly following a dropped popup that would have been the third out. Crazy. Anyway, Campbell actually had two homers in the game (.421, 3 RBI) and Ryan LaMarre hit #2 in the seventh. Starter Lance Janke pitched solidly (6.47, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 2 HR).
5/8: Josh Ravin retired the first 12 Giants in a row, but San Jose got to him for a couple of homers in the sixth (L 1-2, 3.31, 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) en route to taking the game, 7-3, and the series, 2-1. The Blaze did steal five bases without being caught, including two from LaMarre (10, 1-for-3, BB, .256). RF Andrew Means picked up #19 and #20 as well.
5/10: To Visalia (ARI) for a four-game set. Bakersfield took a 1-0 lead in the second thanks to the benefit of both a passed ball and a wild pitch (and despite Henry Rodriguez getting picked off second base). The Rawhide tied the score in the bottom of the inning and then the game stayed that way for a good long while. Great start for Pedro Villareal (3.83, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Shunick pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, but gave up a triple and single in rapid succession in the bottom of the ninth to lose it (L 1-1, 1.96, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K). LaMarre continued his hot hitting (.279, 3-for-4, R); only two other Blaze batters got hits.
5/11: Curt Partch to the hill to try and build on the win he got in his last outing. This game also featured the return of infielder Alex Buchholz, the sixth-round pick in 2008 out of the University of Delaware who has missed time in each of his three pro seasons so far. (He hit .271/.328/.417 in 65 games for Lynchburg in 2010). He was the DH and batted ninth here. Grandal launched his eighth homer in the first inning off Rawhide starter Mike Belfiore (a supplemental first-round pick in 2009) to stake the Blaze to a 1-0 advantage. Belfiore had walked eight Bakersfield batters in 3.2 innings in his first start against the good guys back on April 25th; this is odd because he walked only 42 in 126.1 innings in 2010 in the Midwest League. Unfortunately for Partch, the first four hitters he faced all got hits- by the time he got the first of three outs it was 3-1 Visalia. Bakersfield got one back in the second when DH Chris Richburg’s double-play grounder scored Rodriguez (who’d bunted his way aboard). Still, you hope to get more than one run out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation. As it turned out, it wouldn’t matter- because the Rawhide mauled Partch for seven runs in the third (L 1-4, 7.18, 2.2 IP, 11 H, 10 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR) to take a 10-2 advantage. Drew Bowman turned it around a bit (8.62, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K) but Tzu-Kai Chiu gave up hits to seven of the eight batters he faced (8.82, 0.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER). For the second time this week, a position player pitched- this time OF Stephen Hunt, who worked one inning and allowed two hits and one run. Visalia wins big, 17-8. Campbell did hit his eighth homer to tie Grandal for the club lead, while Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and homer #4 (.324). Ryan LaMarre had three more hits as well, including a triple (.300, R, RBI).
Transactnotes: Missed from 5/3: C Chase Weems was sent back to extended spring training when OF Ryan LaMarre was activated from the DL. 5/6: RHS JC Sulbaran put on the 7-day DL. RHR Jamie Walczak activated from extended spring training. Walczak was 1-3, 5.74 in 22 relief appearances in 2010, primarily with Dayton. 5/10: INF Carlos Mendez placed on the 7-day DL; INF Alex Buchholz activated.
Low-A Dayton Dragons
This week: 3-4.
Overall: 17-17, fourth place, four games behind Great Lakes (LAD)- down a half-game from last week.
5/5: Five innings of three-hit ball from Daniel Corcino, who won his fourth straight start (W 4-2, 3.94, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and a clutch two-run double from LF Juan Duran pushed Dayton past South Bend (ARI), 4-2, and snapped a four-game losing streak. Daniel Wolford (3.86, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K), Blaine Howell (1.98, 1 IP, 2 H) and Drew Hayes (save #2, 1.50, 1 IP, 2 K) shut the Silver Hawks out over the final four to complete the win. 2B Devin Lohman, slumping as of late, didn’t make an out (.190, 1-for-1, RBI, 2 BB) and drove in a key insurance run. SS Billy Hamilton caused some more of his now-trademarked Hamilton Havoc by leading off the Dragons’ first with a bloop double, then stealing third (#21, which leads the entire minors by three over organization-mate Andrew Means) and scoring when the catcher’s throw proved errant.
5/6: South Bend rallied in the middle innings to wipe out a 4-1 lead provided by 3B David Vidal’s three-run homer (#1) and beat the Dragons, 6-4. Dan Tuttle started (4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER) but Ezequiel Infante was charged with the defeat (2.35, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). RF Jefry Sierra was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, a triple, steal #9, and two outfield assists (.247). CF Yorman Rodriguez was 1-for-3 with a walk and two steals (10, .222). Hamilton was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and error #10.
5/7: Off to West Michigan (DET) but the Whitecaps won by the same score as the day before, 6-4. Vidal hit another homer and C Tucker Barnhart launched his first, but Tanner Robles struggled badly (L 2-3, 5.73, 2.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Tim Crabbe worked 4.1 in middle relief (4.22, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) but the Dragons never got closer than one run. Hamilton made two more errors (12) but also got a hit, a walk, and steal #22 as well as CS #5 (.214). Rodriguez picked up #11 and was 2-for-4 with a triple (.233).
5/8: Dan Renken didn’t miss bats like he’s been doing lately; the result was eleven Whitecaps hits in six innings (L 1-4, 3.78, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) as they won it 8-0 and sent Dayton to its third straight loss and eighth in nine games. 1B Dominic D’Anna (.300) and LF Juan Duran (.241) were each 2-for-4.
5/9: Dayton grabbed a 3-0 first-inning lead with the help of D’Anna’s second homer (2-for-4, 2 R, .309) but West Michigan rallied to win, 5-4. Josh Smith was a little less sharp than before (L 2-3, 1.93, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) and three Dragons errors- two by Hamilton (14) didn’t help. Billy also fell to a .207 average by going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts (and steal #23). Vidal was 2-for-4 with a double (.280). Pat Doyle (1.80, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and Drew Hayes (1.38, 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) pitched well in relief but Dayton left men in scoring position in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth innings.
5/10: Back to One Point Six Six Six Repeating Field to face Lake County (CLE), just a game ahead of the Dragons in the Eastern Division standings. Righty Daniel Corcino figured to play stopper- and stopper he played, shutting out the Captains for 5.2 innings (W 5-2, 3.31, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K)! Vidal hit homer #3 (in five games) and drove in two runs, while Barnhart lashed a two-run single to take care of the rest of Dayton’s offense (.271). Dayton wins, 4-2. Chad Rogers struck out five in 2.1 innings (3.00, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 HR) and Blaine Howell got save #6 (2.45, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). Mired in a 6-for-48 slump going back several weeks, Hamilton not only played an errorless ballgame but had a single, double walk, and steal #24 (.217). Every man in the Dayton lineup had at least one hit.
5/11: Dan Tuttle struggled in his last start after pitching very well in the two previous. He started off well in this one, however, retiring the Captains 1-2-3 in the first. In fact, outside of a walk (after which the runner was immediately gunned down trying to steal) and his own fielding error, Tuttle didn’t allow a hit until one out into the fifth. He’d work six total (W 3-0, 4.22, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K) in Dayton’s 3-1 win. Dan Wolford gave up a run in two innings (3.71)but Drew Hayes worked a 1-2-3 ninth for save #3 (1.29, 2 K). 1B Donald Lutz carried pretty much all of the offensive output, accounting for all three runs with his sixth and seventh home runs.
Transactnotes: None to speak of.