Daily Minor League Report - August 1

Korean OF returns to the lineup (Getty)

InsidethePark.com's exclusive Daily Minor League Report - the complete source for all the stellar performances from around the Mariners' minor league system and some other information worth mentioning.

I'm going to have to limit San Antonio to one appearance in the leadoff spot per week, because this is getting ridiculous, especially when they play Round Rock.

The Mariners' Double-A affiliate defeated the Express 4-1 Thursday for their third-straight victory.

The Texas League-leading Missions have won 14 of 17 games against Round Rock this season with seven games remaining.

Round Rock actually had the lead until the bottom of the sixth until DH Greg Jacobs drove in a run with a single to center. The Missions took the lead when the ball scooted under the center fielder's glove allowing OF Jaime Bubela to score.

Jacobs plated Justin Leone in the eighth inning for his second RBI and third single of the game.

The Express managed only one runner past second base against four San Antonio pitchers.

The Missions have kept a consistent, strong starting five all season through injuries and promotions. On Thursday, right-hander Gustavo Martinez became the latest pitcher to show off the power of the "En Fuego Five."

Martinez (6-2) gave up only an unearned run in six innings for his second win without a loss in four starts.

Right-handers Josue Matos and Jared Hoerman and left-hander Tim Hamulack allowed only one base runner over the last three innings.

Tacoma (AAA) 2, Edmonton 1: An uneventful offensive game still amounted to a victory for the uneventful Rainiers.

The Rainiers broke a four-game losing streak behind strong pitching from left-hander Craig Anderson.

Anderson (9-10) allowed only one run and five hits over eight innings. The soft-tossing, Australian lefty lowered his ERA to 3.47 with his fourth win in July.

In fact, both teams scattered but 11 hits over the entire game, with only three extra-base hits.

One of those came off the bat of LF Chad Meyers with his fourth home run.

Right-hander Aaron Looper pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Inland Empire (Advanced-A) 6, High Desert 2: Glenn Bott continued his recent string of dominating pitching with six shutout innings against the last-place Mavericks.

Bott (6-5) won his third straight with his seven hit, eight strikeout performance. He pitched into the seventh inning for his third straight start as reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith allowed two inherited runners to score.

Rowland-Smith and Jared Thomas, both lefties, shut down High Desert the rest of the way to preserve the victory.

Right fielder Cristian Guerrero (three hits) and center fielder Dustin Delucchi (2 hits) paced the nine-hit offensive attack.

The red-hot 66ers have scored 5.7 runs per game since the Mariners promoted Jacobs, the leagues' batting average leader, to San Antonio.

The California League leaders won 16 of the 23 games against High Desert this season.

Wisconsin (A) 5, Cedar Rapids 1: A few more series like this against Cedar Rapids and the Timber Rattlers could open up some room between themselves and last place.

The Timber Rattlers have won five of their last seven games, all against the Kernels.

T.A. Fulmer came within two outs of a shutout before giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth.

Fulmer (7-7) gave up only three hits, all doubles, and a walk while striking out four. He retired 18 of 19 batters after giving up a two-out double in the first.

The Rattlers collected 10 hits, including three from first baseman Jon Nelson. Nelson also picked up an RBI, scored a run and stole his 13th base.

Everett (SS-A) 8, Eugene 5: The AquaSox broke a six-game losing streak against Eugene with six runs over the seventh and eighth innings.

Everett trailed the Emeralds 4-2 going into the seventh inning, where Eric Blakely got the scoring going with a double for an RBI, his third of the game after a two-run homer in the third.

Shortstop Oswaldo Navarro drove in two more with a single, and infielder Matt Rogelstad finished off the seventh-inning scoring with an RBI base hit.

The Frogs scored two more runs in the eighth off of Eugene errors.

The three-run lead was more than enough for the leagues' best closer, Brandon Moorhead, who struck out the side for his league-leading 13th save.

In case you didn't notice, the Mariners organization won all six of their games last night, which probably happens often enough for it to go unnoticed.

On deck:
Tacoma (48-65; -10.0): RH Brian Sweeney (8-10 W-L, 4.51 ERA) vs. Edmonton
Notes: The Rainiers are only three runs away from having the least in the PCL. Don't lay the fault on DH J.R. Phillips though. He has 9 home runs and 27 RBIs in only 50 games.

San Antonio (28-13, second half; +9.0): RH Clint Nageotte (10-4, 2.74) vs. Round Rock
Notes: The Missions have figured it out. Lead the league in runs scored, post the league's lowest ERA and most saves and earn the best winning perecentage in professional baseball at .682. The Missions are 40 games over .500 over both season halves...

Speaking of leading the league in saves, Missions closer Jared Hoerman got right back on the horse last night, picking up his league-leading 32nd save with two strike outs in 1.1 perfect innings.

Hoerman had blown his previous chance to break a streak of 18-straight, coverted save chances.

Inland Empire (25-15, second half; +1.5): RH Elvis Perez (2-3, 5.33) vs. Rancho Cucamonga Notes: Since returning to the lineup on July 26 after missing more than three weeks with a broken foot, OF Shin-Soo Choo has batted .350 with an 881 OPS.

After just one game at DH, Choo has even returned to the depleted outfield alongside Dustin Delucchi and Cristian Guerrero.

Wisconsin (17-23, second half; -9.0): LH Cesar Jimenez (8-7, 2.40) at Cedar Rapids
Notes: SS Michael Garciaparra has feasted off Cedar Rapids pitching over the last six games. He has a .375 batting average and has moved into the second spot in the lineup over the last four games.

From the second spot, he combined with lead-off hitter Gary Harris to steal seven bases in a Timber Rattler win.

Everett (20-22; -3.0): LH Thomas Oldham (2-1, 2.20) at Eugene
Notes: The minor-league world has buzzed about 17-year-old Felix Hernandez's performance so far. But he doesn't lead the AquaSox in ERA, Thomas Oldham does.

While he might be four years older, Oldham has given up the same amount of runs, fewer walks, hits and wild pitches than the higher touted Hernandez.

Oldham has an anemic .174 batting average and 0.92 WHIP.

James is a Central Washington University student interning for InsidethePark.com this summer. He welcomes your feedback, hints, tips or other observations (including any ideas on a better name than "Daily Minor League Report." Original, huh?) at jamesinsidethepark@yahoo.com

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