Some early games today in the lower minors:
Asheville Tourists �11, �West Virginia Power �5 (box)
All of the Power’s scoring was done with home runs today, and even that wasn’t enough to catch up to Asheville. �They did not score at all in the first 6 innings, despite getting a reasonable number of runners on base — 2 walks to CF Evan Chambers and DH Kyle Morgan, one�walk to C Pat Irvine, two doubles by Chambers and one by LF Rogelios Noris, a single by 2B Jarek Cunningham.
The Power were behind 7-0 going into the top of the 8th, when they finally got some runs. �Noris walked, and 1B Aaron Baker blasted his 7th home run of the season to put the Power onto the scoreboard. �They added 3 more runs in the 9th, when SS Benji Gonzalez doubled, then Cunningham and Noris smacked back-to-back home runs. �That was not nearly enough, though.
Nate Baker pitched 5 innings in his start for the Power, and he allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and a walk. �A single, a wild pitch, and two ground outs brought in the first Asheville run in the 1st inning. �Two singles, a double, a triple, a wild pitch, and a double steal all contributed to bring in 3 runs in the 2nd. �Another triple plus a sacrifice fly added a run in the 5th, and the Tourists had a 5-0 lead. �Gabriel Alvarado relieved Baker to begin the 6th inning. �He retired the side in order, for the first time in the game, in the 6th, but then gave up 2 more runs in the 7th, on a single, an RBI double, a walk, and two more singles. �Jhonatan Ramos took over on the mound in the 8th, and he got into trouble quickly, as the first four batters reached base safely — double, single, walk, and double. �The double plated 2 runs, and after two outs, another double drove in 2 more runs, and the Marauders were down 11-2. �Not even a 9th inning rally could change their fate.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off today, and the Bradenton Marauders and Brevard County Manatees were rained out, so the Power were the only ones in the lower part of the organization in action. �The Marauders and Manatees will play a double header on Tuesday, beginning at noon.
Four Power players were named to the South Atlantic League �2010 North Division All-Star Team: � LHP Nathan Baker, C Ramon Cabrera, OF David Rubinstein, and 1B�Aaron Baker, who was named to the team as the DH. � �The All-Star Game will be held on June 22nd in Greenville.
West Virginia Power �12, �Asheville Tourists �4 (box)
LF Rogelios Noris led the way with 3 hits and 3 RBI as the Power scored 9 runs in the late innings to send the Tourists packing.
Asheville had the early lead, scoring 3 runs in the 1st inning off Power starter Brandon Holden. �A single, a stolen base, back-to-back doubles, and back-to-back singles brought in the 3 runs, all with just one out. �Holden got it out of his system in that inning, though. �He retired the Tourists in order over the next three innings, gave up a single in the 5th but caught that runner stealing, then retired the side in order to finish up in the 6th inning. �Holden did not allow any walks, and struck out one batter in his 6 innings.
The Power had only one batter reach base over the first three innings. �C Ramon Cabrera reached base on a fielding error in the 2nd, but was left stranded. �1B Aaron Baker scored the first Power run with a solo homer in the 4th inning. �Rogelios Noris singled and Cabrera walked after the home run, but a double play ended the inning with the Power trailing 3-1.
CF Evan Chambers tied the game in the 5th inning with another home run. �He brought RF Jose Hernandez in with him, and the score was 3-3.
The Power took the lead in the 7th. �SS Benji Gonzalez led off with a single, then stole second base for his 8th swipe of the season. �After a walk and a fly out, Baker walked, and Noris brought both Gonzalez and Noris in with a double into left field. �Noris stole third (his first stolen base of the season), and he scored easily when Cabrera singled. �The inning ended when Cabrera was thrown out trying to steal second base, but the Power had taken a 6-3 lead.
The top of the 8th brought a Power explosion, as 10 batters came to the plate, scoring 6 runs. �After a strikeout, Hernandez began the fun with a walk, and DH Kyle Morgan doubled, moving Hernandez to third. �A line out back to the pitcher made the runners hold their positions, but that meant that all of the scoring happened with 2 outs. �Chambers walked to load the bases. �2B Jarek Cunningham singled up the middle, scoring Hernandez and Morgan (2 runs). �A passed ball moved the runners up to second and third. �Baker walked, but ball four was a wild pitch, so Chambers scored from third (3). �A new relief pitcher didn’t help Asheville’s situation — Noris greeted the new pitcher with a double, plating Cunningham (4). �A single by Cabrera and a missed catch error at first base brought in Baker and Noris (6) to complete the scoring. �Power up 12-3.
Mike Williams took over for Holden on the mound for the final 3 innings. �Williams pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th. �A missed catch error by 1B Baker and a fielding error by CF Chambers put two runners on in the 8th. �A single gave the Tourists one more run, but a fly out and a pick-off/caught stealing ended the inning. �Williams worked around a single in the 9th but kept the Tourists from scoring again, and he was awarded his first save of the season.
The Indy Indians lost today, as did all of the other affiliates who were playing — the Power also won, splitting a double header.
Tomorrow MLB will hold the 2010 Draft… stay tuned!
New Hampshire Fisher Cats �5, �Altoona Curve �3 (box)
Like yesterday, the Curve had an early 3-run inning to take the lead, but also like yesterday, they gave up runs in the late innings and lost to the Fisher Cats. �And like the Indy Indians today, the Curve faced a former teammate — Ronald Uviedo, who was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last week, made the start for the Fisher Cats. �Uviedo was a reliever while pitching for the Curve, so he will need to get stretched out — he was limited to just 3 innings today. �Uviedo retired his old mates in order in the 1st inning, but gave up two walks, to LF Alex Presley and DH Jim Negrych in the 2nd. �The walks were followed by a booming home run by RF Miles Durham, to give the Curve 3 runs. �Uviedo also walked 3B Josh Harrison in the 3rd inning, but left him on base.
Jared Hughes had the start for the Curve. �He begin the bottom of the 1st inning with three straight singled, loading the bases with no outs. �A grounder to short for a force out at second brought in one run, but they did not get a double play. �Instead, Hughes struck out the next batter and ended the inning with an easy grounder to first.
That 3-1 score held for the next 5 innings. �Counting those three outs after the three singles in the 1st, Hughes retired 17 Fisher Cats batters in order, taking him to the 6th inning with two outs. �That’s when he loaded the bases again, on a single, a walk, and a single, before bearing down to get out of the jam with a fly out.
After Uviedo finished the 3rd inning, the Curve got a walk by C Hector Gimenez in the 4th, and SS Chase d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch in the 5th, but neither scored. �They came close in the 6th, when Josh Harrison led off with a double. �A passed ball had Harrison moving, but he was caught in a run-down on the third base line, and eventually tagged out.
New Hampshire added a run in the bottom of the 7th off reliever Tony Watson. A double and two ground outs did the trick, and the Curve lead was cut to 3-2. �The Curve got the run back right away, when d’Arnaud led off the top of the 8th with a triple, then scored on a wild pitch. �Two more Curve batters got on base in the inning, with a walk to CF Gorkys Hernandez and 1B Matt Hague being hit by a pitch, but a double play ended the inning without further runs scoring.
The Fisher Cats did their damage in the bottom of the 8th. �With Watson still on the mound, a double and a ground out put a base runner on third. �Jimmy Barthmaier relieved Watson, but he walked the only batter he faced. �Danny Moskos came on next, and he gave up an RBI single to tie the game. �A throwing error on the play moved the runners to second and third base. �Another single drove in both runners to give the Fisher Cats the winning run plus an insurance run. �The Curve tried to rally in the 9th, when Gimenez walked and Negrych singled, but two strikeouts ended the game.
Friday night business…. the State College Spikes (Short-season A level) begin their season two weeks from today. �The Gulf Coast League Pirates, who will share McKechnie Field with the Marauders, begin their season on June 21st.
While the team rosters have not been formally announced yet, there have been some player moves: �C/INF Andrew Walker and INF Anthony Norman have been moved from the Marauders to the State College roster. � LHP Eliecer Navarro has been moved onto the Marauders’ roster from the GCL Pirates’ roster. �Also, Marauders’ INF Greg Picart has been reactivated from the disabled list (hand injury).
Altoona Curve �6, �New Hampshire Fisher Cats �1 (box)
The Curve began their series in New Hampshire with a win, boosting their lead in the Eastern League Western Division to 9 games over Bowie, Harrisburg, and Richmond, who are all tied for second place.
SS Chase d’Arnaud and CF Gorkys Hernandez got the Curve off to a good start with back-to-back singles in the top of the 1st. �3B Josh Harrison grounded into a double play which erased Hernandez but moved d’Arnaud to third base, and 1B Matt Hague’s single through the hole into left field scored d’Arnaud with the first run of the game. �They added another run in the 2nd on a one-out triple by LF Alex Presley and a double by DH Shelby Ford.
The game picked up some controversy in the 4th inning, when Fisher Cats’ 3B Shawn Bowman led off with a long fly ball that seemed to fly over the left field wall… but then bounced back onto the field of play. �Home run or a bounce off the top of the fence? �The umpires ruled it a homer, and Curve manager Matt Walbeck was ejected when he argued a little too vociferously. �Walbeck got his revenge in the 5th, when CF Danny Perales hit another long fly, this one to right field, for what he thought was a game-tying home run. �But while Perales had slowed to a home-run trot, the umpires ruled that this ball had hit the wall and so was still in play. �Curve RF Miles Durham threw the ball in to the infield, catching Perales by surprise between second and third bases, where he was tagged out after a brief run-down.
After that, it was all Altoona. �The Curve loaded the bases in the 6th on walks to Hague and 2B Jordy Mercer, and a single by C Hector Gimenez. Presley’s RBI ground out brought in Hague, and Durham walked to load the bases again. �Ford greeted the New Hampshire reliever with a line drive into center field, driving in both Mercer and Gimenez to give the Curve a 5-1 lead. �After another grounder force out, Hernandez walked, loading the bases for the third time in the inning. �The third time was not a charm, though, as a fly out ended the inning.
Hernandez added an insurance run in the top of the 9th when he led off with his first home run of the season. �The Curve recorded 12 hits, including 2 each from d’Arnaud (single and double), Hernandez (single and homer), Gimenez, Presley (single and triple), and Ford (single and double).
Rudy Owens earned his 6th win for the Curve, going 6.1 innings and allowing only that solo home run plus 4 other hits and 3 walks. �He did not have more than one Fisher Cats’ base runner on base at one time until the 7th inning, when he struck out the first batter, then gave up a walk and a single. �That was the point at which he was relieved by Derek Hankins. Hankins threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third bases, then walked a batter to load the bases with two outs. �But he got a ground out to first to end the inning without letting any of those three runners to score. �Hankins allowed just one single over the next two innings, as he earned his first save of the season.
Altoona Curve �5, �New Britain Rock Cats �4 (box)
A 2-2 tie brought on a busy 10th inning for the Curve and the Rock Cats, but it was the Curve who came out on top. �Tony Watson had pitched two scoreless innings in the 8th and the 9th, and he was still the pitcher of record in the 10th inning.
RF/LF Alex Presley opened�the 10th inning with a solo home run over the right field wall to break the tie. �Two outs later, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled into left field, and CF Gorkys Hernandez followed with another single through the hole into left field. �A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position for 3B Josh Harrison, who came through with a liner into left, scoring both d’Arnaud and Hernandez on the single. �The Curve had a 5-2 lead.
Reliever Danny Moskos and Harrison made things interesting in the bottom of the inning. �With two outs, Harrison made a fielding error on a ball off the bat of RF Mark Dolenc, extending the inning. �A single by DH Rene Tosoni (remember him from Team USA?) and a fielding error by Hernandez in center field brought in Dolenc and put a Tosoni on third. �1B Erik Lis singled into center, scoring Tosoni and making it a one-run game. A passed ball by C Hector Gimenez moved Lis to second base, but Moskos ended the game with a fly out. �Moskos earned his lucky 13th save, and Watson earned his second win.
Presley, Hernandez, Gimenez, and Presley each had 2 hits in the game, with 2 RBI by Presley and 3 RBI by Harrison. �The Curve’s first run came in the top of the 1st, on a double by d’Arnaud, a throwing error on a pick-off attempt that put d’Arnaud to third base, and an RBI grounder by Harrison. �Singles by 1B Matt Hague, Gimenez, and Presley added another run in the 4th.
Starter Tim Alderson pitched 6 innings and allowed one run on 5 hits and 2 walks. �The run came on a solo homer by Erik Lis to lead off the 2nd inning. �The Rock Cats added two more singles in that inning, but those two runners did not come around to score. �Alderson also gave up singles in the 3rd and the 5th innings, but Gimenez threw out both runners trying to steal second base.
Jimmy Barthmaier made his first AA rehab start, but it did not go as well as he’d hoped. �He gave up a walk and a single, then got a sacrifice bunt. �Another single drove in the tying run, and that was all for Barthmaier. �Tony Watson came in to finish the inning. �He got CF Ben Revere to line right to Harrison at third base, who then doubled the runner off third for a double play.