Another day of mixed results for the Jays' farm clubs was overshadowed by a promising start to Jesse Harper's 2004 campaign.
Syracuse 0 Norfolk 2
Chris Baker saw his record fall to 0-5 despite another quality start. The steady righty pitched a solid six innings (6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) but was outdueled by a quartet of Met arms, led by Pat Strange. The Chiefs batters stuggled mightily again, totaling only six hits (scattered among six players) and no walks. Jorge Sequea struck out with the bases loaded in the eighth, ending Syracuse’s only signicant rally of the game. Notes: DH Brad Hassey, son of former big-leaguer Ron Hassey, went 0-4 in his first game since being called up from Dunedin. Alex Rios was pulled late in the game after going 1-3.
Binghamton 1 New Hampshire 2
Clutch-hitting Mikael Jova drove in Aaron Hill with a two-out single in the 7th inning yesterday, making a winner out of spot-manager Ernie Whitt, the Jays’ roving catching instructor and skip for Team Canada. Gustavo Chacin delivered another valiant performance, allowing only one run on three hits (3 BB, 3 SO), but left with his Cats down 1-0. Stellar defense by Dominic Rich helped Jordan DeJong nail down his first save of the season, and boost New Hampshire into sole possession of first place. Notes: DH John-Ford Griffin (2-3) tied the game in the 7th inning with his fourth home run of the season. … Jova was 2-3 and extended his hit streak to 9 games. …Tyrell Godwin, the organization’s stolen base leader, was caught for the first time in 15 attempts.
Dunedin 1 Tampa 0
None of the organization’s victories seem to be coming easily these days… The D-Jays were being no-hit by Tampa’s Matthew DeSalvo for much of last night’s contest. They eventually scored two runs (both unearned) and made a winner out of Ismael Ramirez, who pitched into the sixth inning before giving way to Jesse Harper. Harper, sidelined since spring training due to tightness in his arm, pitched a stellar three innings (3 H, 1 BB, 4 SO) in his season debut. Bubbie Buzachero picked up his 7th save.
Charleston 0 Capital City 10
The Alley Cats’ losing skid has reached five games, hard to believe after their incredible first month. Charleston managed only one hit, a double by David Smith, while the pitchers (Mora, Sandoval, Sopko, and Esarey) simply couldn’t hold Capital City off the board. Despite the loss, Charleston still clings to a 1-game lead in their division.
Links of the Day:
1. Kevin Gray has the Union-Leader's Fisher Cat report.
2. Jeff Francis is an emerging contender for Team Canada's Olympic rotation. The BC lefty, 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in the hitter-friendly Texas League, is second in the entire minor leagues in strikeouts (55 in 40 2/3 innings).
Your Three-Star Selection:
The Third Star: John-Ford Griffin, DH, New Hampshire (2-3, game-tying HR)
The Second Star: Gustavo Chacin, LHP, New Hampshire (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO; 2.15 ERA; WHIP: 1.00)
The First Star: Jesse Harper, SP, Dunedin (successful 2004 debut for one of the organization’s top pitching prospects)