It was a travel day in the International League, so the Syracuse Skychiefs will have to wait another game to extend their winning streak to two. Elsewhere in the minors, it was a successful day for all of the Jaysí farm teams except, perhaps predictably, the powerful squad in Charleston.
New Hampshire 4-3 Trenton 1-1
In a rare feat, the suddenly hot Fisher Cats swept their second consecutive doubleheader on the road. In the opener, Derek Lee fired a complete (seven-inning)-game victory, scattering 6 hits and just 1 run while striking out 2 and walking nobody. John-Ford Griffin continued his recent revival with 2 singles and an RBI, while Tyrell Godwin walked, singled and stole 2 bases, his 11th and 12 of the campaign. Dominic Rich and Matt Logan also had 2 hits each.
In the nightcap, reliever Brandon League had a successful stint as a spot starter, throwing 4 innings of 2-hit ball, walking 2 and whiffing 5 while allowing just 1 run. The win actually went to reliever Dan Jackson, who was even more effective, firing 2 1-hit innings, walking 1 and striking out 4. Adam Peterson collected his 8th save with a perfect one-K 7th inning. Matt Logan had 2 more hits and an RBI, while Justin Singleton cracked his 4th home run of the season. Aaron Hill doubled and walked in three plate visits, scoring the third New Hampshire run.
Dunedin 7 Clearwater 6
A wild game in neighbouring Clearwater, as the D-Jays rallied from a 6-1 deficit in the final 3 innings. Dunedin fell behind early when Neomar Flores allowed a leadoff home run to Threshers catcher Chris Roberson. Altogether, Flores was lit up for 7 hits and 5 runs in just 2 innings, with 1 walk and 1 strikeout each. Chad Pleiness allowed another run to cross the plate in his first relief inning and allowed 6 hits and a walk in his 3 frames, but kept the opposition off the board otherwise. The bullpen continued the shutdown the rest of the way as Santo Valdez, Tommi Ozuna and Robert (Derrek) Nunley combined to throw 4 perfect innings with 5 strikeouts.
Dunedin had scored once in the first on a Vito Chiaravalotti double, but it wasnít until the 7th inning that the director said "Cue the comeback." Two singles and a groundout with the bases loaded in the 7th accounted for 3 runs, but the biggest blow came courtesy of outfielder Ron Davenport, who launched a 3-run homer off reliever Beau Richardson. Davenport drove in 4 runs on the day with his round-tripper and his RBI groundout, and added a double for good measure. Jason Waugh, Carlo Cota and Vito each contributed 2 hits, while Jayce Tingler singled, walked twice, scored a run and drove in another.
Augusta 9 Charleston 5
A scoreless pitchers' duel after 4 tuned into a slugfest. Alley-Cat Starter Justin James was dynamite to begin the game, inducing 4 Ks and 5 groundouts among his first 12 outs. But Augusta scored a small-ball run in the 5th (walk, steal, fly-ball advance, infield single), and James allowed consecutive doubles to lead off the 6th; the latter runner scored when an attempted steal of 3rd resulted in a errant throw from catcher Robby Diaz. James finished with more than respectable numbers: 6 innings of 6-hit ball, allowing 3 runs (only 2 earned), walking 2 and striking out 7. It was all downhill from there, however, as relievers Marcos Sandoval, Mark Sopko and Brad Esaray all pitched in to allow 5 hits, 3 walks and 6 runs (only 4 earned, thanks to sloppy defence) in the last 2 frames.
Offensively, the Alley-Cats scored often and late, but not often enough and too late. Veteran Clint Johnston continued to raise his average, now sitting at .265 after doubling and singling twice with an RBI. Brian Patrick doubled, singled and scored twice, while Eric Arnold doubled, singled and scored and drove in one run each. Ryan Roberts chipped in with 2 singles of his own.
Your Three-Star Selection:
The Third Star: Justin James, Charleston SP with 6 solid innings (featuring 7 strikeouts) that went unrewarded with a win.
The Second Star: Matt Logan, New Hampshire 1B, with 4 hits in a doubleheader sweep for the Fisher Cats.
The First Star: Ron Davenport, Dunedin OF, with 4 RBIs, a double and a game-winning ninth-inning three-run homer.