It's always something. How about 3 homers for Miguel Negron? It works for me, and it worked for the Fisher Cats, as the farm affiliates went 3-1 last night.
Syracuse 3 Charlotte 2
Kevin Barker's run-scoring single in the ninth broke up a 2-2 tie as the Chiefs extended their win streak to 5. Francisco Rosario started and gave up solo homers in the 3rd and 4th innings, but pitched a solid six. 2 earned runs on 6 hits and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts was his final line. The Chiefs came back from the early deficit with run-scoring singles by Justin Singleton and Jason Alfaro in the 5th and the 6th to set the stage for Barker's GWRBI. In the bottom of the ninth, old friend Matt Whiteside came on for the save and loaded up the bases with one out, but he was just setting up the Knights for the inevitable punchout and flyout to end the game. Clever. Barker and Julius Matos each reached base 3 times for the Chiefs, who notched 13 hits.
Kevin Barker story- Syracuse Post-Standard
New Hampshire 14 Binghamton 6
Miguel Negron started 2005 about as cold as a hitter can get. Mario Mendoza cold. Ken Huckaby cold. Not that any of the Fisher Cats were setting the world on fire, but 2000 first-rounder Negron was especially troubled. He has started to hit in the last 3 weeks, and last night, he exploded. Lead-off homer in the first. Three-run homer in the second. For variety, a two run shot in the third. B-Met pitchers decided to pitch him more carefully after that, and he emerged with only a single from his last 2 plate trips. His line now sits at a less unsightly .257/.316/.378. Meanwhile, the rest of the F-Cat lineup was taking its cue from Negron. Rob Cosby continued his hot hitting with 3 doubles. Clint Johnston just kept rolling, reaching base 3 times in 5 trips. Vince Perkins started and went 3 scoreless innings, but couldn't stand the prosperity. 2 runs in the 4th inning, and 4 runs in the 5th and Vince had to leave the game 1 out short of qualifying for a win. Perkins did walk only 2 and struck out 5 so the news was not too bad. Bubbie Buzachero pitched 3.1 perfect innings in relief, with 4 Ks, for the win, while Brian Reed mopped up uneventfully.
Lakeland 10 Dunedin 1
The news was great, just great. I am not kidding. It was a meaningless game, as Lakeland had already clinched the first-half crown, but the pitching matchup for the game was exquisite: Justin Verlander vs. Dustin McGowan. The pitchers lived up to their billing. McGowan went 5 innings, allowing an unearned run on 5 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7. Welcome back, Dustin. Verlander (season ERA 1.67) went 7 strong innings with 9 Ks. After McGowan left, Justin James, Aaron Tressler and Adrian Martin each took their lumps as the Tigers romped. Adam Lind went 1-4, while Joey Reiman singled and doubled. Eric Arnold doubled and walked in 4 trips. Chip Cannon had the night off.
Lansing 6 Fort Wayne 4
The Lugnuts built up a 5-0 lead after 4 innings and held on for the victory. Eugenio Velez' 2 out bases-loaded single in the 2nd inning got the ball rolling for the Lugs. Like Vince Perkins, starter Danny Core could not stand prosperity, surrendering 4 runs in the 5th and missing his opportunity for a win by 1 out. Jordy Templet followed the pattern by emulating Buzachero and going 3.1 shutout innings for the win, allowing 2 baserunners and striking out 2. Mark Sopko pitched the ninth for the save. Curtis Thigpen doubled and walked 3 times in 5 appearances. Ryan Klosterman singled twice, while David Hicks gave the Lugs some late inning breathing space with a solo homer.
Lansing State Journal game story
3rd star-Francisco Rosario, recovery from TJ surgery proceeding well,
2nd star-Dustin McGowan, ditto
1st star-Miguel Negron, 3 homers, 6 ribbies is a nice start to a recovery.