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It's Canada's 139th birthday today, which is one hell of a coincidence, since that was probably the paid attendance at the game in our nation's capital last night.

Syracuse 10 @ Ottawa 7

Would you believe me if I said Josh Towers started this game? You would? Good, because he surrendered eleven hits in his 6.2 innings. Don't believe Lee Gronkiewicz's two earned runs -- Davis Romero entered with the bases loaded and stranded just one runner in the bottom of the eighth to tie it at 7. That said, Gronk faced three batters: double, single, walk.

Syracuse took the lead for good when Rob Cosby homered in the top of the ninth for the second time, having gone deep with one on in the fourth already. Chad Mottola followed with one of his own (for two of his four RBI) and that was it.

As a Davis Romero booster, I'm not sure how much I like him being used as a short reliever. The Jays have an endless supply of generic left-handed pitchers with the big club, and their current lefty starters consist of one tease and one guy on the DL.

More details on this game can be found courtesy of Bauxite StephenT, who was one of the 139 in attendance.

New Hampshire 5 @ Binghamton 8

Would you believe me if I said David Purcey walked almost a batter per inning? Through 4, the big guy was at 8 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned, three walks and two wild pitches. The F-Cats were down 6-1 early, so this one probably wasn't too interesting. Adam Lind reached base twice -- single, solo home run -- and is now hitting .310. He's going to be a good one, I think...

Dunedin 8 @ Sarasota 9 (12)

I'm guessing there was a rain delay in this one after the fourth inning, since both starters left the game at that point. That also explains why it was still in the ninth at 11:45 last night. Danny Core was the saving grace out of the 'pen for a bit, with two scoreless innings. All good things must end, though, as he gave up the ever-important ninth run in the bottom of the 12th. Bobby Ray started and left after four, as stated earlier, after giving up three runs on seven hits.

Offensively, it was Cory Patton with three RBI, Eric Arnold with two doubles and eight of the nine lineup regulars getting a base hit. Let's not forget Chris Gutierrez, who reached base four times to match basically his entire Dunedin season so far. The teams combined for 33 hits last night, if you're wondering.

Clinton 3 @ Lansing 6

Aaron Tressler scattered eight hits over seven innings, allowing just one earned run. He struck out five as well. The Lugnuts left 12 men on base, surprisingly, but two were driven in by Jason Armstrong. Lansing managed just eight singles, but ten walks. Yes, ten. And, since they scored more runs, they won. I think that's how it works in baseball. Casey McKenzie and Derek Tate provided shutout relief to ensure that inequality in the 'Nuts' favour.

Auburn 6 @ Jamestown 2

I was expecting six or seven shutout innings from the winning pitcher, Ted Serro, on this night after seeing one run scored by the Jammers in each of the first and ninth innings. Of course, this is early in the short season, so some pitchers are still getting stretched out. Combined, the two starters pitched nine innings and Serro contributed 2.2 solid relief innings in his Auburn debut, picking up his first win (obviously) with the D-Days.

A couple of base hits from Brian Hall were pretty much the best output from any one Doubleday. Four runs in the seventh and two in the eighth is when they scored; the former of which saw a long rally (with the required Low-A Ball multiple wild pitches).

Pulaski 3 @ Kingsport 2

You know you're in the low minors when you stop recognizing the names of the cities. In fact, there really isn't much to mention here outside of Joe Wice's first win of the year, coming after 2.2 relief innings (hmm, sounds familiar). I challenge you, faithful reader, to come up with 200 words on this game. The starter (Reidier Gonzalez) didn't go four innings, and there wasn't even a Lee Soto Strikeout Watch.

Three Star Selection:
Ted Serro
2. Chad Mottola
1. Rob Cosby
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Mike Green - Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#150065) #
Aaron Mathews wins brownie points for reaching base as Dunedin's leadoff hitter 6 times last night.  That's the primary duty in the job description.

Holiday-related headine?  How about "Fireworks in the Nation's Capital"?

Mike Green - Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#150066) #
Speaking of which, today's game in Ottawa is at 1 p.m.  Dustin McGowan is scheduled to start for the Chiefs, so this one should be worth seeing. 
Mike Green - Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#150067) #
And one more. The double A matchup is a doozy.  Ricky Romero makes his debut for the Fisher Cats against Mike Pelfrey and Binghamton, as the two top-rated pitchers from the 2005 draft meet.
danjulien - Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#150069) #
To be fair...I think they actully had more than 139 paid last night in Ottawa.  To confirm what Stephen T said, the first couple of innings for Towers were not hard hit balls, it was just one blooper here, one fielder's miscommunication there, one wild pick off throw over there.  It was kinda sad to watch as he obviously seemed rattled after a few events and Phillips attempt to calm him down.  At one point, Santos even came for a mound visit with Towers and to offer some encouraging words.  Towers really didn't like being pulled with a man on and his temper tandrum was just unprofessional...

I didn't notice them until the end of the game but two Skychiefs were charting pitches armed with a speed gun in the stands...I honestly believe one was Dustin Mcgowan and the other had longish BJ Ryan style hair but I couldn't identify him from my vantage point. 

Cosby's 1st HR was a bomb and actully hit a guy walking on the sidewalk past the stadium...
Excalabur - Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#150075) #
I was also at the game last night, and was waiting for today Minor League Update to post a report.  I'll satisfy myself with some general impressions.

The two doubles in the first--one of them was legitimately over Cosby's head, and should have fallen in for a hit, but the second absolutely should have been caught by JFG or Santos.  Neither should have been a double.  In general, the left side of the defense looked--shaky.  The CF (Lydon?) has what looks like a good arm and good range out there, and made one nice diving grab to rob a Lynx of a base hit.

All three HRs not only cleared the short porch in left, but went clear onto the street.  It's only 325 down the line in Lynx Stadium, but the Skycheifs didn't take advantage of that... There was a couple of unpaid attendees out there, as well, standing on the sidewalk.

DeJong looked good coming in out of the bullpen, comfortable in his role.  "Game Over" Gronk certainly did not live up to his name, coming in in a Save situation and loading the bases before getting yanked.  Davis Romero did as well as could be expected, but getting a BS for his troubles in the 9th.  Given clear bases in the 10th, he did admirably.  I'd like to see him crack the rotation.

I'd forgotten how easy it was to get tickets to a AAA game--especially in Ottawa.  Walking up at game time we got seats in the 10th row on the first-base line in section CC, just to the home-plate side of the visistor's dugout--and they're only $11Canadian.  If I lived in a minor-league town, I'd be at the ballpark all the time...

Oh, regarding the Josh Towers Fan Club: the guys in the row behind me were Jays fans that were heckling him thru most of the game.  When the Joshn Towers Fan Club was announced as being in attendence, there was gales of laughter in our section of the stadium.  Poor chap. 


Lugnut Fan - Saturday, July 01 2006 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#150088) #
I don't see it mentioned here, but something strange happened in Lansing today.  Joey McLaughlin was traded to the Rangers (I'm not sure who the Jays got in return, but I know that it was a minor league deal).  Anyways, the Ranger's affiliate in Clinton Iowa is in town for the weekend so Joey went from playing for Lansing one day to playing for their opposition the next.
iconoclast37 - Sunday, July 02 2006 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#150093) #

I'd forgotten how easy it was to get tickets to a AAA game.

Not in every AAA city, as it happens.  I live near Durham, NC, home of the Bulls (Tampa Bay affiliate.)  On the weekends, if you walk up to the park, you'll probably be getting your seats from a scalper.  Even during the week, attendance is frequently over 80% of the 10,000 capacity.  I'm going to wind up sitting 20 rows back in deep left field tomorrow when I catch the Chiefs.  And this is in the heart of college basketball and football country ... 

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