Minor League Update: April 16

Friday, April 16 2004 @ 09:35 AM EDT

Contributed by: Gerry

A clean sweep for the organization last night, and three of the teams remain in first place in their divisions. Many of the hitters are waiting for the warmer weather to get their bats warmed up. The Jays minor leaguers are winning on good pitching and timely hitting.

Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 3

Syracuse used a home run by Alex Rios to beat Pawtucket and move their record to 3-5. This was a scoreless contest through seven innings. On the Jays side this was not a huge surprise as five of the starters are hitting under 200. Justin Miller pitched the first five+ innings allowing five hits and three walks. On the plus side he had nine strikeouts in his five innings. The newest Skychief Mike Nakamura handled the sixth and seventh innings but ran into trouble in the eighth. A couple of singles, surrounding an intentional walk to Brian Daubach, gave Pawtucket a 1-0 lead. Russ Adams responded immediately with a lead off triple in the bottom of the eighth. Actually he hit a home run but none of the umpires noticed that the ball went over the fence, hit a railing, and bounced back onto the field. Jorge Sequea singled him in and Glen Williams sacrificed Sequea to second. Alex Rios then hit his first AAA home run to give Syracuse the 3-1 lead. Mark Lukasiewicz came in to get the save. He was not quite as shaky as Mike Smith. After getting the first out, Mark allowed back to back doubles to make the score 3-2 and put the tying run on second. Lukey then got a strikeout and a ground ball to seal the win.

Guillermo Quiroz had a single and a double to raise his average to .286.

Trenton 0 New Hampshire 2

Opening day in New Hampshire and Dustin McGowan owned it. McGowan pitched five innings allowing four hits, one walk and six K's. In his two starts McGowan has allowed five hits in eleven innings and has an ERA of 0.82. Coach and I hope he stays in AA for two more starts so we can see him in Erie in ten days time. As with the big club and Syracuse, more than half the starters are hitting under 200, but with McGowan pitching who needs offense? The Fisher Cats got all the runs they needed in the first. Tyrell Godwin singled, stole second and scored on a single by, who else?, Rob Cosby. Cosby is hitting .529 after two weeks of the season. Cosby left the game after his hit for an undisclosed reason. New Hampshire got an insurance run in the fifth. Justin Singleton walked and Dominic Rich had an RBI double. McGowan was pulled after throwing eighty pitches. After McGowan the bullpen was outstanding. Brandon League pitched two innings with three K's. pitched a perfect eighth. Adam Peterson struck out the side to get the save.

New Hampshire activated John-Ford Griffin and Matt Logan before the game. Griffin started but went 0-3. Dioner Navarro, one of the Yankees top prospects, was 0-4.

Dunedin 1 Lakeland 0

Ismael Ramirez produced his second straight strong start to lead Dunedin to the narrow win. Ramirez pitched five innings with four hits and no walks. He also registered six K's. Chad Pleiness pitched the sixth and seventh, and Andy Torres pitched a perfect eighth but allowed a single to lead off the ninth. Bubbie Buzachero entered to retire three straight batters and bag his first save of the year. Big Vito was the difference in the game. Vito doubled home Carlo Cota who had reached on an error for the only run of the game. Dunedin had only three hits on the night, two for Vito and a double for Tim Whittaker. Lakelend's best chance to score was in the fifth when they had a lead-off double, but Ramirez promptly picked off the runner.

Charleston 7 Hagerstown 5 in 12 innings

To counteract the low scores in the other games, Charleston registered ten hits and seven runs. It was not just a win, it was win number 1000 for Charleston. Willie Rivera led off the game with a homerun. Shaun Marcum had some trouble in the second inning, conceding three runs on three singles and a walk. Hagerstown gave it back in the fourth wneh three walks and an error gave Charleston their second run and Ryan Roberts had a hit to tie the game.

Marcum settled down after the second and completed five innings allowing three runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Charleston and Hagerstown traded two runs in the seventh. Hagerstown threatened in the eighth but were turned away. With Joaquin Canizal on the mound for the ninth Hagerstown loaded the bases with nobody out. Canizal got the next batter to ground back to him for the force at home, then struckout the next two batters. Bouyed by that escape Ontario's Mike Galloway led off the tenth with a double. A sacrifice and a wild pitch put the Alley Cats ahead, then a Willie Rivera double made it a two run lead. Brian Reed recorded the save despite allowing two baserunners.

Our Three-Star Selection

How do you separate such strong pitching performances? It was so hard that I decided to give the three stars to the pitchers and leave the hitters to the honourable mention category.

The 3rd Star: Justin Miller, allowed eight baserunners, but no runs, in his five innings.
The 2nd Star: Dustin McGowan, allowed five baserunners in his five innings.
The 1st Star: Ismael Ramirez, allowed four baserunners in his five innings but immediately picked one of them off second.
Honourable Mention: Vito Chiaravallotti was 2-4 and drove in the only run of the game and Willie Rivera who started the game with a home run and added a double in extra innings to drive in an insurance run.