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A twinbill sweep, another Doubledays victory, and a very welcome debut by a player who was a Batterís Box favourite even before he suited up in his first game.

Syracuse 2-5 Toledo 1-4

Box score 1

Box score 2

Game story

The only thing rarer than a Skychiefs doubleheader sweep, perhaps, is a series of great pitching performances, which is what Syracuse received last night in winning two close matches. Game One went 11 innings, thanks to superb pitching from Sean Douglass (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K), Kevin Frederick (4 Ks in 2 perfect innings) and newest Skychief Adam Peterson (2 Ks, 1 H in 2 innings). Another ex-Toronto Jay, Simon Pond, made a winner of Peterson with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 11th. Pondís second consecutive game-winning hit was part of a homer-double-single-walk evening at the plate. Gabe Gross did him one better, reaching base 5 times with a double, single, 3 walks and an RBI. Stubby Clapp doubled, singled and scored a run.

The nightcap went only 7 innings, but the starter was again effective: this time, Josue Matos threw 6 solid innings on the board, allowing 2 runs (neither of them earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4. Aquilino Lopez came on with a 4-1 lead for the save but nearly botched it, giving up a 2-run homer before settling down and ending the game. Keep in mind that this wasnít an easy opponent to pitch around: the Mud Hens have the second-ranked offence in the International League. Offensively, the other Matos, Julius, doubled twice and scored twice, while Glenn Williams singled and cranked his 20th HR of the season, a total that leads the entire Jays organization by a whole lot. Pond singled in three trips, while Gross went hitless.

Bonus article: Anthony Sanders is back for his second go-round as a Skychief, and couldnít be happier. The article goes on to talk about how several Syracuse players will be leaving the team early next month to fly to Athens for the Olympics. The Skychiefs will be severely weakened not only by the loss of Simon Pond, Stubby Clapp and Jeff Guiel, who will all take the field for the Canadian team, but also slugging third baseman Glenn Williams, whoís going to play for his native Australia. Good for all four of them, who are thrilled to have the chance to be Olympians. Hereís the question: which Fisher Cats will be promoted to take the places of these 2 outfielders, third baseman and DH/1B/OF? Or which Blue Jays will be demoted?

New Hampshire 7 Harrisburg 3

Box score

Game story

The league patsies from Harrisburg were in New Hampshire last night, and the Fisher Cats disposed of them with an uncharacteristic display of power in their hitter-hostile home park. Aaron Hill, John-Ford Griffin and Justin Singleton all homered, while Mike Snyder and Maikel Jova chipped in with doubles. The offence was spread evenly: every starter recorded one hit, though only catcher Paul Chiaffredo had two. But the peripheral numbers werenít quite as rosy: the slugging Fisher Cats struck out 10 times in the game and walked only once.

On the hill, the normally reliable Todd Ozias struggled through 4 difficult innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, though he did strike out 4. The gold star (and the W) went to Travis Thompson, who fired 3 shutout innings in relief, with 2 hits, 1 walk and 1 strikeout. You may remember Thompson as the pitcher acquired from the Reds organization in exchange for another future Canadian Olympian, Matt Logan. Jordan DeJong pitched a great 2 innings (1 H, 1 K) for his second save.

Bonus article: Odds and ends from New Hampshire.

Tampa 5 Dunedin 3

Box score

Game story

After a string of good starts, Vince Perkins suffered a setback against the T-Yanks, getting drilled for 5 runs in 5 2/3 innings. Perkins was mosquito-bitten to death: 4 hits and 4 walks, although with 6 strikeouts. I donít have access to the numbers, but Iíll bet he threw a lot of pitches last night, which is probably a good sign, actually. The offence was largely shut down: the slumping Jayce Tingler had the best night of any D-Jay, reaching base 4 times (2 singles, 2 walks) and scoring a run, but that only brought his average up to .251. Raul Tablado walked twice and hit a sacrifice fly.

Delmarva 12 Charleston 4

Box score

Game story

Call it the Revenge of the Shore Birds. After getting hammered by the Alley-Cats four times at home last weekend, Delmarva flew into Charleston intent on returning the favour. Davis Romero started for the Alley-Cats and received little support from his teammates: of the 4 runs Romero allowed in 5 innings, only 1 was earned. Romero allowed 5 hits (including a homer) in those 5 frames, walking 2 and striking out 4. Brad Esaray was also let down by his defence, but his final line (1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) was pretty unattractive by itself. Jordy Templet, in a competition with Mark Sopko for the available closer spot, did himself no favours by giving up 3 hits and 3 runs in 1 2/3 innings. David Smith rattled a home run off the foul pole, while Christian Snavely doubled, singled, walked and scored twice. Jermy Acey chipped in with 2 hits and an RBI.

Bonus article: Odds and ends from Charleston.

Auburn 5 Jamestown 1

Box score

The Doubledays just keep on rolling. The extremely impressive Mike MacDonald fired another solid 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, walking no one and striking out 6 batters; his ERA now sits at a tidy 0.60. Even better news: Chris Leonard came in to record 2 perfect innings, with one strikeout. After 8 appearances in Auburn, Leonardís line stands at 0-0, 1.23, 2 Sv, 14 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 17 K. Once that command settles down, heíll be more than ready for a trip to Charleston. Offensively, left fielder Erik Nielsen had 3 singles, centerfielder Aaron Mathews doubled and singled, and 3B Eugenio Velez singled twice, scored and drew a walk. But for my money, this was the best line of the night:

Thigpen, C 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 .200

Welcome to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Curtis.

Bonus article: Thanks to Gerry for this item about Erik Ricoís conversion to the mound from the outfield.

Pulaski 3 Bluefield 0

Box score

We all know the perils of drafting high-school pitchers, as the Jays took on by selecting Brian Grant with the 7th pick of the 2002 draft. And indeed, Grant has struggled so far, with ERAs of 4.59 and 4.80 in his first two pro seasons. But he was drafted for his potential, and that potential is starting to show. The 19-year-old Grant won his 3rd game of the year, firing 6 shutout innings, striking out 5 in the process. But he also dodged a hail of Bluefield bullets, giving up 7 hits and 4 walks in the process. That was probably not a happy Bluefield clubhouse after the game. Canadian James Pidutti kept the ball rolling with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks, while Scott Roy closed with 1 1/3 1-hit innings and his second save.

Offensively, Luke Hetherington paced the hitters with a single and his 3rd homer of the season, while Mike Macaluso, Yuber Rodriquez and Emmanuel Sena also chipped in with 2 hits each.

Your Three-Star Selection:

The Third Star:Simon Pond, Syracuse: on base 5 times in a twinbill, with a game-winning HR to boot.

The Second Star: Mike MacDonald, Auburn: 6 more shutout innings.

The First Star: Sean Douglass, Syracuse: 7 innings of 3-hit ball.

Honourable mention: Gabe Gross, Jayce Tingler, Brian Grant and a big happy Hello to Curtis Thigpen.
Minor-League Update: July 10 | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Marc - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#52748) #
Anyone know what pitches Rico throws and how fast his fastball is?
Mike Green - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#52749) #
Possible replacements for the Sky Chiefs Olympians:
3B- Dominic Rich promoted from NH (Cota takes his place) with Sequea moving from 2B to 3B.
OF- I imagine that Marvin Benard should be ready to come off the DL soon. I'd promote Singleton and move Medina or Negron up to take his place.
DH/1B-JFG should get the call, and Tablado to replace him in double A.

It might be prudent to obtain some minor league organizational position players in trades at this point. I'm not sure that you'd want to make all of these moves.
_My Names not Ry - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#52750) #
Sanders almost is on his third trip to scuse, having only made it to AA what last year or the year before?
Craig B - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#52751) #
I echo Mike's suggestions. Dominic Rich will get the call, I think Singleton is ready for a month at AAA, and Griffin probably could use a look in (he'll be at AAA next year regardless), with either Vito or Tablado moving up to New Hampshire.

There's another possibility for an empty OF slot, which is simply calling up Ron Davenport all the way from Dunedin. Davenport might deserve the promotion to AAA more than Griffin does...
_van couver scou - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#52752) #
Good to see Pulaski win another behind the efforts of Grant and the rest of the team. It appears the defense is excellent. As a 19 year old pitcher with this being his third rookie season-Brian Grant is developing just the way the scouts thought he would. Grant was primarily a short stop in high school with 27 innings as a pitcher his senior year. That included the playoffs! It is no fluke that the people who went after this young player knew what they were looking for and achieved that purpose. As a 17 year old rookie, Grant took his 2 inninings of pitching just like the other 15 pitchers did---an organized random method of convolution or something like that. Keep up the good work young man!
_Barnabus Roundt - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#52753) #
B. Grant has unlimited potential. He is just beginning to come in to his own as a starting pitcher. He has the build and arm to be a big league pitcher. Look for him to shoot up the charts quickly as he continues to gain confidence. The sky's the limit for this youngster.
_Sean - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#52754) #
What about Pidutti? He will be 23 this year and is tearing up the league. only 1 of the 38 batters he has faced has hit the ball out of the infield off of him. Maybe they should think of moving him up?
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#52755) #
Piddutti, needs to get more innings under his belt, to have any consideration for a promotion before Ching feng and Brian Grant.
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#52756) #
Piddutti, needs to get more innings under his belt, to have any consideration for a promotion before Ching feng and Brian Grant.
_Tim - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#52757) #
If anyone needs something to help them forget Kerry Ligtenberg you might want to listen to the New Hampshire game.

They're beating Harrisburg 11-1 in the 8th inning.

Josh Banks went seven solid innings, giving up only 1 run. It's good to see him settling down in AA.
_Tim - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#52758) #
Bottom of the 8th.

Chiaffredo hit his 2nd homerun of the day.
Singleton recorded his first out to go along with four hits on the day.
_Tim - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#52759) #
Some lousy relief by Dan Jackson and Jordan DeJong made it closer than it should have been, but N.H. won 12-7.
_Sneeps - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#52760) #
Auburn stretches its win streak to 13. Pigpen goes 3 for 3, with 2 doubles, and a long homerun.
_FisherCat Fan - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#52761) #
I happen to be a season ticket holder for the AA club in New Hampshire (as well as a die-hard Jays fan!), so I'll try and add any tidbits that I can from the games I attend. One from Friday's game is that Todd Ozias was ineffective because he developed a blister on his hand midway thru the 2nd inning. I noticed the blood on his pant leg when he departed.

PS - Vermilyea is the real deal!
_Sneeps - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#52762) #
Ok ignore my earlier post... the Auburn commentators were incorrect. Pigpen was 3 for 6, with a homer and 3 ribbies.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 10 2004 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#52763) #
Thanks, Tim, Sneeps and F-Cat Fan. I'll try to incorporate some of this in tomorrow's update.
Minor-League Update: July 10 | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.