Though it's a Monday off for those of us south of the border (or north, if you live in Windsor or certain places in the Yukon), there is no rest for this Canadian, as we had our day of holi on Friday.
A 3-3 record for the affiliates last night and yesterday afternoon. Why isn't it "last afternoon"?
Norfolk 7, Syracuse 5
Boxscore, Post-Standard game story
Kevin Barker hit two homers, one in the first and one in the third, and drove in three. He also added a single. And this was only the first five innings! He now has 11 homers in 31 games, an amazing total. Let's give him another month, though -- remember Cash v.2004 or Hinske v.2005.
However, I don't feel like waiting until August for Dave Bush. He should be back up with Toronto soon. Through four innings, he had only one bad frame, the three-run third. Even with that, he still had five strikeouts and only one walk.
However, the fifth was not kind. Single-single-single-homer. This all came with two outs, too. Well, I still think Bush should be recalled before too long. Spike Lundberg threw two scoreless innings to drop his ERA under 3.00 -- he's the fourth SkyChief reliever and fifth pitcher overall (Gaudin is the starter) who can claim that.
Altoona 12, New Hampshire 3
Boxscore, Union-Leader game story
Altoona has scored 4.8 runs per game so far in 2005. New Hampshire? 3.8. So there's a difference in the offensive abilities, clearly.
But 9 runs more, scoring 12? Off Zach Jackson? Well, to be fair, Jackson only gave up seven of those in the first three innings. (He was pulled in the fourth, possibly due to performance, possibly due to his pitch count of 90 at the time.) Five more runs in the next five innings buried the F-Cats, as you can't expect them to score 12 runs in three games, let alone one.
The home side did get within seven, though. Yeah, I know, but you look for the little things to mention in a game that was 12-1 until the ninth. Like Ryan Roberts and Rob Cosby with two hits each. Cosby even homered, a rarity at home for this team.
Old friend Tom Evans, set to turn 31 in five days, hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning. He's at .269/.389/.495, his best line since, uh, 1998. Well, you can't win them all. Note: Dustin McGowan starts tonight in Binghamton.
Dunedin 10, Clearwater 4
Chip Cannon homered again. He also struck out. We should copy that into every Minor League Update, it would save time.
Dunedin scored in every single one of the first five innings. Oh, and the seventh. Manny Mayorson and On-Base Jayce Tingler got on three times each (two hits and a walk for both). Check this first inning out: Tingler reaches base, Mayorson follows, then a Cannon HR. We should copy that into every Minor League Update, it would save time.
Mike MacDonald went into the sixth with only two earned runs to his name, then turned it over to Brad Mumma and Danny Hill for some terrific relief. In fact, Mumma faced nine batters and struck out five of them, including the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Cedar Rapids 7, Lansing 6
Boxscore, Lansing State Journal game story
Not a good start from Chi-Hung Cheng yesterday afternoon. Nine hits and three walks, and he didn't make it out of the fifth.
Nothing special on the offensive side of the boxscore yesterday afternoon, aside from Curtis Thigpen's single and double. Manager Ken Joyce was ejected in the eighth, the team blew a 6-4 lead in the last three innings, and they had a ten-hour bus ride to Dayton last night. That must be fun, eh?
Detailed play-by-play of the final three half-innings can be found here, here and here.
Bonus article: Christian Snavely deserves turnaround, says the Lansing State Journal. Did you know Christian is a devout Christian and his wife's name is Christen? Now you do.
Auburn 10, Jamestown 6
Randy Dicken started for the D-Days and went five strong, eventually handing it over to Edward Rodriguez, who picked up a save for pitching the 7th, 8th and 9th. Emmanuel Sena, called "Manny" by the radio crew, hit a three-run homer in the second inning to put his team up 4-2. Other home runs came from Cory Patton (solo) and Ryan Patterson (two-run).
Both Patton (S-D-D-HR) and Joey Metropoulos (S-S-D-D) had four hits on the night, combining for 8 of Auburn's 14.
Pulaski 7, Bristol 4
An 11-hit attack from the P-Jays, who I see are still using that awful T-Bird (P-Bird, I guess) logo. Among the two-hitters: Wesley Stone, Jacob Butler, Jorge Sandes. However, the team struck out 16 times, which is just ridiculous. Typical of Rookie ball, I assume?
Joe Wice had a great start, going five and only giving up one run. Five baserunners against six strikeouts, which is also very, very good. Rafael Perez picked up his first save in his fifth game of the season. Pulaski has won four in a row.
3. Joe Wice
2. Cory Patton
1. Kevin Barker
Syracuse (Marcum) @ Norfolk (Seo), 6:15.
New Hampshire (McGowan) @ Binghamton (Chenard), 7:00.
Dunedin (Janssen) vs Clearwater, 12:00.
Lansing (Core) @ Dayton (Bailey), 7:00.
Auburn @ Jamestown, 7:00.
Pulaski vs Bristol, 4:00.
Syracuse: 42-42, in third place, 9 games back of Buffalo.
New Hampshire: 42-39, in third place, 2 games back of Portland.
Dunedin: 8-3 in second half, second place behind Fort Myers by a half game.
Lansing: 5-6 in second half, fifth place, 3 games back of South Bend.
Auburn: 6-7, third place, two games back of Jamestown.
Pulaski: 7-6, tied for third place, one game back of Danville and Princeton.
Today's standings are brought to you by my guaranteed-to-taste-somewhat-like-poultry chicken cacciatore: Brown three pounds of chicken. Mix it in the bottom of the slow cooker with six ounces of tomato sauce. Then, add two sliced onions, two minced garlic cloves, a pound of diced tomatoes, a teaspoon of ground oregano, basil and pepper to taste. Don't forget the bay leaf. Cook on low for 6.5 hours.
There. Green ain't the only one who can cook.