Colorado Springs 4, Tacoma 1 (7)
The Rainiers split two with the Sky Sox yesterday. In game one, Michael Saunders hit a grand slam in an eight-run second inning. Generally speaking, Saunders isn't going to be a big home run guy --- the more important things to watch are his on-base percentage and doubles. Tug Hulett was 2-for-4 and scored three times. Scott Shoemaker made the spot start and went six innings.
Alfredo Venegas was flown in from High Desert to start game two of the doubleheader with the Sky Sox. Venegas wasn't that good: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. Jake Woods, however, was very good in relief: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K. Lately, Woods has been alternating between good and bad outings. Overall, he's not as bad as his 4.60 ERA would indicate. Hulett had two more hits in this game (Tacoma only had five overall). Musical chairs continued in the outfield, with Saunders moving from left to center for this game and Wladimir Balentien playing left.
West Tenn 8, Chattanooga 7
Boxscore Adam Moore hit a two-out homer in the ninth to break a 7-7 tie and give the Jaxx a win. More had three hits and scored three times to lead West Tenn. Matt Mangini and Jeffrey Dominguez were each 2-for-3 with two RBI. Erick Monzon was in the lineup again at first base for the second straight night, but it appears that Marshall Hubbard just has some sort of stomach flu, and it's not the oblique muscle that's bothering him. With a decimated starting staff, the Jaxx had to turn to Brodie Downs to make the start last night and he did well: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. If you don't know about Downs, he's a 27-year-old who got out of baseball for several years then came back to pitch in junior college in 2006-07, and the M's drafted him out of Modesto JC. He's a ground ball demon (68% GB rate), which means, at the AA level, that he gives up a lot of hits. His WHIP is north of 1.50. Marwin Vega got the gift victory last night, blowing a 7-2 lead then watching his team regain the lead the next inning. Vega gave up a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the eighth. Shawn Kelley then did his thing in the ninth, rolling through a 1-2-3 inning. Kelley's up to 23 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
High Desert 10, Lancaster 5
Boxscore Tuesday was a night of spot starters in the system, and Jose Jimenez came from Pulaski to give the Mavs 5 1/3 decent innings last night. Give the guy some credit --- it's never easy making your first start in the desert air. Jimenez left the game in the sixth with a 7-2 lead, then watched Bradley Reid (recently up from Arizona) try to give it up. Reid allowed three runs in the seventh to make it 7-5, but Travis Scott's three-run homer in the eighth finally put the game away. Scott was the offensive MVP, going 3-for-5 with four RBI. Carlos Triunfel is showing some signs of life. He had two more hits and his average is finally heading the right direction again. He put up a ridiculous .154/.214/.246 line in June, after a good May and nearly equally awful April. Triunfel has had injury problems this year, and was suspended once as well, so it's been a rough year for the supposed top prospect in the organization.
Peoria 5, Wisconsin 1
It appears that the long season is starting to wear on the young Rattlers. Michael Pineda had a weak outing by his standards, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings. It's not particularly worrisome, though. The damage was limited to just the fourth inning, when he gave up three doubles that led to all four runs. Offensively, there's not much to point out. Alex Liddi was 2-for-4 with a double --- the Rattlers' only extra-base hit.
Everett 6, Vancouver 1
The AquaSox held the C's to three hits and picked up a 6-1 road win. Stephen Hensely got his first pro start for the Frogs, and promptly gave up a leadoff homer to J.D. Pruitt. But after that it was a total lockdown performance. Hensley gave up only one other hit in his three innings and Robbie Dominguez got the win with four innings of one-hit ball. Christian Staehely wrapped it up with two scoreless innings. The Frogs took advantage of a few Vancouver miscues, as two Everett runs were unearned. Luis Nunez had three hits, and Tyson Gillies had a two-run, two-out single.
Pulaski 4, Bristol 3
Jeff Dunbar with one out in the ninth that made things interesting, but Dunbar was able to retire the next two batters to end the game. Kenn Kasparek was solid in his second win of the season, walking none and striking out seven in six innings. At 6'8" and already 22 years old, Kasparek should do well at the rookie level. He's a fly ball pitcher, and we'll have to see how that translates to A ball next year. Kris Sanchez was 3-for-4 for the Mariners, and Juan Fuentes continued his hot start, extending his season-opening hitting streak to nine games.