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Great pitching performances and late inning fireworks lead to a 3-1 night for the farm affiliates.

Syracuse 1@ Buffalo 2

For once "Game Over" Gronkiewicz had a negative connotation, as Gronk surrendered a double, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth. Josh Banks started and threw 5 serviceable innings allowing an earned run and 8 baserunners with 3 punchouts. Brandon League threw 2.1 shutout innings of relief. The Chiefs' offence consisted of 6 singles, with Kevin Barker's 2 out RBI single in the third the highlight. Chad Mottola had 2 of the Syracuse hits. Syracuse grounded into 3 twin killings.

Connecticut 0 @ New Hampshire 5

Mike MacDonald threw a 4 hit shutout for his second outstanding outing in a row. He walked one and struck out 6, while inducing 15 Conn ground outs. Chip Cannon hit his 3rd homer of the season, drove in 2 and reached base 3 times in 4 trips. Adam Lind and David Smith each had 2 hits for the Fisher Cats, while Carlo Cota drove in a run with a double.

Dunedin 3 @ Tampa 1

Robert Ray, Danny Core and Milton Tavarez threw a combined 4 hitter in the D'Jay victory over hot Tampa prospect Phillip Hughes. Ray went 6 innings, allowed the Tampa run and 6 baserunners, while striking out 5. Core and Tavarez were perfect the rest of the way and punched 5 Baby Yankee tickets. The D'Jay defence was shaken up. Catcher Robinson Diaz moved to third base, newcomer Chris Gutierrez, who had played short and third earlier in his pro career, moved to second base in Dunedin, while outfielder Ron Davenport moved to first base. It all seemed to work, as they turned 3 double plays. Eric Nielsen singled and walked and scored twice, while Robinson Diaz singled and doubled to lead the offence.

Cedar Rapids 7 @ Lansing 9

Jacob Butler's 3 run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning capped a 4 run Lugnut rally, and erased a 7-5 deficit. Josh Bell had led off the inning with a homer. After a pop-up, Yuber Rodriguez walked and Jesus Gonzalez singled. Sean Shoffit then struck out looking to set the stage for Butler's blast. Earlier, Shoffit had reached base 3 times, while Joey Metropoulos had 3 hits and a sacrifice fly in 5 plate trips. Kristian Bell started and was touched for 5 runs in 4.2 innings, but did strike out 5. Sean Stidfole made his second Midwest League appearance and threw 3 innings, striking out 5 but allowing 2 Kernel runs in the top of the 8th to break a tie. Brian Pettway threw out a runner at the plate to end the top of the 8th and set the stage for the heroics in the bottom of the frame. Yesson Berroa benefited from Pettway's throw in the eighth and showed his gratitude by throwing a perfect ninth inning with 2 Ks. Like Dunedin, the Lugnuts faced a top prospect and came out on top. In this case, the victim was Nick Adenhart.

3 star selection
3rd star- Chip Cannon
2nd star- Jacob Butler
1st star- Mike MacDonald

Watch for capsule summaries of the top prospects of Boston and Tampa coming later today.

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Gerry - Saturday, April 29 2006 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#146045) #

Another Buffalo report:

Jeremy Sowers was excellent for Beffalo yesterday.  Sowers is Cleveland's number 2 prospect and he showed why.  On Thursday the Chiefs had to face another tough lefty, CC Sabathia, and having faced Sowers the Chiefs must have been happy to leave town.  Sowers is a somewhat tall (6'1"), thin lefty.  His fastball is around 88-90 but has a nice tail away from righties.  Sowers also has the big slider that many lefties throw, a change-up, and occasionally a curveball.  Syracuse had five hits off Sowers, two broken bats, two soft line drives and a ground ball hit, nothing was hit hard.

On the other side Josh Banks had to dodge his way through five innings.  None of Banks' pitches score highly but he relies on his control to keep the hitters off balance.  Banks gets hurt when he leaves pitches over the middle of the plate and yesterday it looked like he was making a conscious effort to pitch off the plate more when he was ahead in the count.  Banks fastball last night was in the 86-89 range, his change 75-76 and he mixed in some sliders and curveballs.

Brandon League pitched very well and looked much improved over last season.  League's consistency with his fastball was very good, he was able to pitch to the corners and when it was a ball it generally was not missing by much.  League's fastball was 94-96 mph.  League was not as consistent with his breaking pitches.  If he can control his breaking pitches as well as his fastball he will be back in the majors.  The two hits he allowed in the eighth were bloops to right field on guys who were jammed by the FB.

It was a very cold night in Buffalo, about 8C or mid 40's F, with a breeze for the first five innings.

VGeras - Saturday, April 29 2006 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#146049) # mentions Thigpen is on the DL.

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