Iowa and North Carolina, at least. The only noteworthy event in Burlington, Ontario yesterday was the announcement of Gordon Currie's intention to join Gennum.
Anyway, instead of going over every game as per usual, I'll just update you all on the noteworthy events and prospect happenings of the five games played last night.
Syracuse beat Pawtucket 5-3. Chad Gaudin started and went seven innings, just when the team needed a long start. Gaudin gave up just four hits and one walk against eight strikeouts. His only homerun against came in the first inning, then he retired the next 10 in a row; he did not give up a hit until the fifth. The game was just two hours and five minutes long. In other words, more of the same for Gaudin in AAA.
More of the same, that is, except for this. Gaudin's pickup truck was sideswiped yesterday before the game. Hopefully, he and everyone involved is okay.
Lee Gronkiewicz did not get the save because Matt Whiteside returned from his suspension. They combined for a perfect 8th and 9th. Whiteside got his 20th save, making him the first SkyChief with 20 since Matt DeWitt in 2001.
Gabe Gross singled and scored in the first, Jason Alfaro was ejected after striking out in the same inning, and Pawtucket never had the lead. That's about it.
Time for a David Purcey update from the Eastern League. His control is still poor, as he walked three batters in the first inning. All three of them would score. In the second inning, down 3-0, Purcey struck out Ramiro Pena, but the third strike was a wild pitch and Pena got to first. He would later score on a single-ground ball-passed ball combo.
After that, Purcey was solid except for the walks. Batters were just 1-for-9 against him from the third to the fifth innings, but he handed out two bases on balls in the interim. Purcey was pulled in the sixth, with a line of 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 6 K.
New Hampshire was never in this one, and it must have been fun for the 3449 in attendance as the home team lost 8-0. I believe this is the first time they have been below .500, ever. They have lost 12 of 13. Other notable boxscore events included Rob Cosby returning to action and making two throwing errors on back-to-back plays in the sixth, though he made a nice play on the first one, I'm told.
No news on a replacement for Maikel Jova, who is out for four weeks and possibly the year with a high-ankle sprain.
A five-run ninth proved to be the difference in the Dunedin-St. Lucie game, as the D-Jays won 9-4. Eric Arnold hit his 15th homer in that inning; he also singled and scored in another inning. He also made his 15th error as he missed the throw on a stolen base attempt, allowing the runner who started at second to score.
There were 305 in attendance at this game. Three hundred and five! Actually, knowing Knology Park's location as I do, I'm surprised anyone could find the damned thing before the game was over.
Lansing gave up one or two runs in each of the first five innings as they lost 7-1 to Burlington; their fourth loss in a row.
Eugenio Velez homered in the seventh for the Lugnuts' only run; it was just his second of the year. Scott Roy pitched three flawless relief innings, striking out four. Too bad Lansing was down by six when he came in.
Auburn had the day off, but the other short-season team was in action. Pulaski won 6-5. As I write this, I have just witnessed Eric Hinske's baserunning mistake that turned the fly ball into a double play. Why do I mention this? Jacob Butler did the same thing last night, but on the opposite end. He threw out a runner at home on after a flyout to right, and he also had three hits. Pretty nice night for the 2005 draftee. Leance Soto, perhaps the biggest prospect on this team, got the hat trick of strikeouts. Although, it was probably worse for him when he was removed from the game so another hitter could drop down a sacrifice bunt. Ouch.
But the night belonged to Heliezer Aguilar as he scored twice, drove in two, singled twice, doubled and homered. Strangely enough, he also left two men on base with two outs in the ninth. I can almost picture him thinking, "Five hits? Man, wasn't four enough?" Also, Burlington made four errors on the night, which shocked me before I realized that I also live in a Burlington, and perfection is, uh, not our thing.
Three Star Selection:
3. Scott Roy
2. Heliezer Aguilar
1. Chad Gaudin
Game of the Night:
There's a Kenny Rogers Look-A-Like Contest in New Hampshire as Vince Perkins takes the mound for the F-Cats at 6:35. If Perkins pitches the entire game looking like this, he will become my new favourite player.