Close Calls

Saturday, July 07 2007 @ 04:36 AM EDT

Contributed by: Thomas

Five of the six games on the farm were decided by one run last night. The other was decided by two. Thatís your teaser. If that isnít enough to convince you to read the update, I donít know what is. Here are the minor headlines: Blue Jays farmhand goes 4-4; no Jays hurt; triple-A contest goes to extra innings and several strong pitching performances in the low minors.

Syracuse 7 @ Richmond 6 (10) - Boxscore

Ty Taubenheim, passed over in the promotion of Jesse Litsch, gave up three runs in six innings. He allowed nine hits and struck out five. Justin James can on in relief and had perhaps his worst outing of the season. He walked a batter, gave up a hit and then allowed a two-run homer to Graham Koonce and three batters later a 6-3 lead had turned into a tie game. However, Mike Venafro, Brandon League and Ryan Houston combined for four innings of two hit relief. The three-headed monster struck out four batters and League retired both of his non-strikeouts on groundballs.

Syracuse pounded out fifteen hits against Richmond pitching. Mike Vento was the only starter who went hitless and John-Ford Griffin, Rey Olmedo and Chad Mottola all contributed with multihit nights. Griffin went 2-5 and Olmedo went 3-5 with two doubles. Olmedo added two RBIs, but also committed his fifteen error of the year. Sal Fasano went 1-4, but combined with Olmedo for a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. Chad Mottola was the star of the game with a 4-4 night, which also include a walk. Mottola scored four of Syracuseís seven runs. He had a double and a 10th inning game-winning homer off reliever Will Startup, who had only allowed two in 40 innings coming into last nightís game.

New Hampshire 5 @ Binghamton 6 - Boxscore

Ismael Ramirez didnít look any better in his third start in Double-A than he did at Syracuse earlier in the year. Eight hits in four innings led to all six of Binghamtonís runs. Ramirez struck out four Mets, but also gave up two homers. Any prospect shine Ramirez possessed is slowly fading. Jo Matumoto pitched two innings of relief and only allowed one walk. He struck out a batter and retired the other five batters on groundouts. Sean Stidfole and Jesse Carlson finished off the last two innings.

Only four Fisher Cats collected hits on the night and if you guessed Aaron Mathews is one of them, youíre not winning any prizes. Youíre right, but I just donít enough prizes for all of you. Mathews was 2-4 with a double, a walk and two runs. He stole a base, but also made a baserunning error, getting doubled off second on a fly ball. Lyle Overbay went 0-5 on his rehab stint, but Iím much more interested in hearing about how his hand felt. Juan Peralta went 3-4 and Robinzon Diaz and Ryan Patterson each added two hits. Patterson had 3 RBIs with an RBI double that scored Mathews and a two-run homer. New Hampshire got runners on first in the eighth and ninth but could advance them no further and didnít come close to scoring the tying run.

Fort Myers 5 @ Dunedin 6 - Boxscore

AJ Wideman showed why so many Bauxites mentioned him on the Midseason pitching prospect poll with another strong outing for Dunedin. Wideman went six strong and gave up three runs on a pair of round trippers. Wideman didnít walk a batter and struck out six. Paul Phillips gave up a pair of runs in the eighth and Connor Falkenbach notched his 14th save of the year to preserve the one run lead.

Anthony Hatch and Brian Jeroloman were the run producers for Dunedin last night. Each drove in three runs on a double and a homer. The only difference in their individual lines was that Jeroloman went 2-2 with a walk and two runs while Hatch went 2-4 with only one run. The other runs were scored by Luke Hetherington, Carlo Cota and Cory Patton, each of whom went 1-4.

South Bend 7 @ Lansing 5  - Boxscore

Mediocrity ruled the mound for Lansing. Graham Godfrey got the start and went six innings, surrendering five runs. Only three were earned, but Godfrey gave up eight hits and two walks in six innings and only struck out one batter, so he didnít particularly deserve a better result. Edward Rodriguez came on in relief and allowed two over three innings on three hits and two strikeouts. After losing the lead in the fifth inning, Lansing never got it back.

Lansing had ten hits last night and four Lugnuts had multiple hits. Matthew Liuzza led the way with a 3-4 night, but all of his singles came for naught as Liuzza didnít score or drive in a run. Travis Snider, Jonathan Jaspe and Josh Bell all had two hits and they combined to hit for the cycle. Bell had a single and a double, Jaspe a single and a triple and Snider a single and a home run. Jaspe added a walk and 3 RBIs to his totals while Snider scored twice and drove in a run. While Lansing added a run in the bottom of the ninth, the fact Edward Rodriguez just gave up two runs in the top of the ninth likely let most of the wind out of Lansingís sails. Jaspe drove home Snider with a triple in the ninth to make it a 7-5 game, but with two outs it would have taken a couple of hits or a homer to tie the game. Bell grounded out to the pitcher.

Auburn 4 @ Batavia 3 - Boxscore

A strong start by Shane Benson was spoiled a bit by a lacklustre relief appearance by Cody Crowell, but shows the promise this 20-year-old Australian possesses. Through six innings Benson had only allowed one baserunner on a second inning single by Daniel Descalso. Benson retired the first batter in the seventh and then allowed a single and a walk to put runners on first and second. He was done for the night and Crowell came on in relief and promptly gave up two singles, which scored both of Bensonís runners. After a groundout Crowell gave up a double and a walk to give Batavia their third run. However, Adam Rogers came on the ninth and struck out the side for the save. All in all, a very promising start by Benson, even if he faltered a bit in the seventh, and hopefully one that will give a lot of confidence going forward.

JP Arencibia had two singles in his five at-bats to account for a third of Auburnís hits. Arencibia singled home Victor Santana in the top of the first to give Auburn the first run of the game. However, the team could only get one run out of three straight singles to start the contest, as Baron Frost grounded into a double play to kill the rally. In the third, Darin Mastroianni and Arencibia got on base to start the inning. Manuel Rodriguez drove home Mastroianni with an RBI groundout and an Adam Calderone double scored Arencibia. With two out and Calderone on third Blake King uncorked a wild pitch, but Calderone couldnít score. It looked like the opportunity for the third run of the inning was lost, but then King balked home Calderone. Following that Wesley Stone was retired. A seemingly relatively insignificant run at the time, it turned out that King balked home the winning run and helped gift wrap a victory for Auburn.

GCL Phillies 2 @ GCL Blue Jays 3 - Boxscore

A three-run fifth inning propelled the GCL Blue Jays to a 3-2 victory over the Phillies. Moises Sierra hit a two-run homer to drive home Michael McDade with none out. Later in the inning, with two out, John Tolisano drove home Bartolo Nicolas with a two-out single. Sierra went 2-3 on the night. Tolisano, Justin Jackson and Balbino Fuenmayor all went 1-4.

Brad Cuthbertson got the start for the Blue Jays and went one inning, striking out one. I have no idea why he was pulled so early. Nathan Melek came on to do four fantastic innings of relief. He allowed one hit, which was unfortunately a solo homer, and no walks and struck out five. John Zinnicker then did 2.1 innings and struck out six. Ryan Bird picked up his first save of the year after surrendering a solo homer.

3 star selection

3rd star Ė Brian Jeroloman, 2-2, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 6 TB

2nd star Ė Shane Benson, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

1st star Ė Chad Mottola, 4-4, 4 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 8 TB