Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
As the season winds down in the minors the affiliates won two of five games last night. Las Vegas won on the strength of a one hit-around inning while some of Auburn’s bats came to life, at least temporarily. Meanwhile, Lansing and Dunedin both lost by two and the Fisher Cats lost a tough game. Players with the initials A and M turned in the two best performances on the farm.

Fresno 8 @ Las Vegas 12Boxscore

Las Vegas won this game in the bottom of the first, although Fresno conspired with the 51’s pitchers to make it close during the middle innings. Aaron Mathews began the inning with a pop up, but he’d have a chance later that inning to make up for that out. Howie Clark doubled and then Brian Dopirak singled him home. JP Arencibia struck out and it looked like Fresno would escape down by only one run. How wrong they were.

Both Kevin Howard and Jason Lane walked to load the bases and then Kyle Phillips drew another walk to score Dopirak. With the bases still loaded Manny Mayorson was hit by a pitch to make the score 3-0 and then Adam Calderone singled home Lane to give Las Vegas a 4-0 lead. With Las Vegas having scored three runs with two out Fresno made a pitching change hoping to escape the inning without further damage. However, Mathews greeted new pitcher Steve Palazzolo with a grand slam to left field to double the lead. Clark doubled for the second time that inning and then came around to score on an error by the third baseman. Arencibia worked a rare walk and the inning finally concluded when Kevin Howard struck out.

Mathews and Clark combined for seven hits, which is more than the rest of the team combined. Clark scored three runs and Clark and Mayorson each scored a pair. Howard drew a pair of walks and Phillips drove home two runners, second on the team to the 5 RBI on the evening for Mathews.

TJ Beam started and went 5.1 innings. He gave up seven runs, six earned, on nine hits and a pair of walks. Beam left with a 10-5 lead but Bill Murphy let both of his inherited runners score and went on to allow a solo homer over his 1.2 innings to decrease the lead to two. However, a pair of insurance runs and two hitless innings by Bubbie Buzachero gave Las Vegas a victory that was far less comfortable than it should have been.

New Hampshire 5 @ Connecticut 6 (13 innings)Boxscore

While Las Vegas was involved in a good game, New Hampshire came up on the short end in the game of the night involving a Toronto affiliate. The Fisher Cats had ten hits and five runs over 13 innings but came up a run short to the Connecticut Defenders. Todd Donovan was 1-for-6 and Scott Campbell and Nick Gorneault went 1-for-5 and worked a walk. Donovan scored a run, Campbell scored a pair and Gorneault scored a run an added an RBI.

Cleanup hitter David Cooper and the batter who followed him, Brad Emaus, each had a pair of singles and an RBI. Emaus scored a run and drew two walks as he reached base four times. Darin Mastroianni was 1-for-6 with a triple and 2 RBI and Moises Sierra was 2-for-5 with a walk. Al Quintana and Bryan Kervin were both held hitless and Quintana had a miserable game with an 0-for-6 line that included five strikeouts.

Adrian Martin started for the Fisher Cats and went 6 strong innings with seven strikeouts. He allowed six hits and a walk and Connecticut could only score one run off him. Martin left in line for the victory with a comfortable 5-1 lead, but Wilfredo Ledezma gave up a solo homer to the first batter he faced and then allowed a single with two outs. Danny Farquhar gave up four consecutive hits to score Ledezma’s runner and two of his own and suddenly the game was tied.

Farquhar got through the eighth unscathed and then Tim Collins came in for the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extras. He did exactly that by striking out two batters during a perfect inning. Collins went on to face eleven batters and struck out seven in 2.2. innings. He allowed two hits over his 2.2 innings, as well as a walk to the last batter he faced, but Zach Dials came in and escaped the frame. After a perfect 12th Dials gave up a one-out single and then a two-out double to Brett Pill that scored the runner from first and gave Connecticut a walkoff victory.

Dunedin 2 @ Tampa 4Boxscore

Charles Huggins started for Dunedin as the D-Jays concluded their second last series of the year by losing the rubber game to the Tampa Yankees. Huggins went 5.2 innings and gave up two earned runs in the sixth. Tampa touched him for five hits and three walks as Huggins struck out eight. Huggins left the game with runners on first and second but Ross Buckwalter gave up a two-run triple to Luis Nunez before escaping the inning. Buckwalter pitched a scoreless seventh. Daniel DeLucia came in for the eighth and gave up three hits to the first four batters he faced. Tampa scored twice off DeLucia and those insurance runs would turn out to be important as Dunedin scored a second run in the top of the ninth.

The D-Jays jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Brad McElroy and Eric Thames both drew walks. With two outs Brian Van Kirk hit an infield single and McElroy was able to score from second. Dunedin got their second run in the ninth, as after Van Kirk struck out Manny Rodriguez, Raul Barron and Luis Nunez hit three consecutive singles, with the last scoring Rodriguez. Sean Shoffit grounded out, but Barron advanced to third and Nunez to second. With the tying run on second McElroy grounded out to second to end the game. Barron and Sanchez both had two hits during the game and McElroy and Van Kirk also reached base twice, the former on two walks and the latter on a single and a free pass.

Western Michigan 5 @ Lansing 3Boxscore

Every Lugnut had at least one hit except for Michael McDade, who was kept off the bases with an 0-4 game. Balbino Fuenmayor had the only multi-hit game with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Luis Fernandez had the only other double and added an RBI. Kenny Wilson drew both of Lansing’s walks in the game and reached base three times, scoring once. Ryan Goins was 1-for-5, while Johermyn Chavez, Mark Sobolewski and Welinton Ramirez were 1-for-4. Chavez and Sobolewski had the other two RBIs for Lansing and Chavez scored also scored a run. Jonathan Talley reached base twice, as he singled and was also hit by a pitch.

Chris Holguin started for Lansing and took the loss to fall to 1-5. Holguin allowed ten baserunners in 4.1 innings on seven hits and three walks. He struck out five, gave up four earned runs and threw two wild pitches. Jason Roenicke relived him and threw 2.2 innings, giving up two hits and one earned run. Frank Gailey pitched the last two frames and didn’t allow a run.

Auburn 8 @ Batavia 4Boxscore

Auburn is playing mostly for pride at this point, hoping to finish their season on a high note and not finish with the worst record in the NY-Penn League, as the Doubledays are currently tied with Tri-City for that mark. Dave Sever started for Auburn and went 4.2 innings, surrending two runs, one earned. Sever only allowed two hits and walked a pair of batters, while striking out seven. He is probably going to finish the year with a 3.34 ERA over 67.1 innings.

Evan Teague relieved Sever and got a very cheap win after he retired one of the six batters he faced. Teague allowed two runs on four hits and a walk and also allowed the one runner he inherited to score and got the win despite all that. Shawn Griffith pitched 2.2 innings and struck out six of the ten batters he faced. Casey Beck picked up his tenth save with 1.1 hitless innings.

To illustrate how disappointing this year has been at the plate for most of the Doubledays four of the nine starters last night had batting averages under .200 when the game was finished. Jonathan Del Campo went 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk and a run and Jesus Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a run and Auburn’s other triple. Eric Eiland went 0-for-4 and Marcus Brisker went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. And all four are batting under .200.

Karim Turkamani went 2-for-4 with an RBI while fellow catcher Yan Gomes, starting at DH, went 1-for-4. Ryan Schimpf went 1-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a walk and Sean Ochinko was 1-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs. Chris Hopkins went 2-for-5 with a double, a run and a season-high 3 RBI in the victory.

Three Stars:
3rd Star – Shawn Griffith, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K and Tim Collins, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
2nd Star – Adrian Martin, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K
1st Star – Aaron Mathews, 3-5, R, HR, 5 RBI, 6 TB

The A&M Way | 6 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Friday, September 04 2009 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#205814) #
Good ol' Tiny Tim (he must be sick of that nickname - probably sick of it since he was old enough to understand words).  10 2/3 IP in AA with 15 K's, 4 BB, 1 HR, 10 hits.  Very nice, although the 7 runs, 6 earned, are not.  I'd expect him to start off in AA next year and move to AAA by July with a shot at a September call-up if he goes all 'Tom Henke' in AAA (Henke's last 1/2 season in AAA=51 2/3 IP 13 hits, 18 walks, 60 K's 0.88 ERA).  Outside of the hits I could see Tim doing that too.

timpinder - Friday, September 04 2009 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#205816) #
I just noticed that Sierra was promoted to AA when I was checking out the boxscores.  Is it just me, or is that way too aggressive for a 20 year old who had been struggling recently in A+?
ayjackson - Friday, September 04 2009 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#205818) #
I don't find it that aggressive.  It's just a looksee really.  Five games in AA is hardly worth discussing.
Mike Green - Friday, September 04 2009 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#205820) #
Huggins had a fine outing, but got tagged with the L.  He left with a 1-0 lead, and two outs in the sixth with runners on first and second, having struck out 8 and walked 3.  A triple off a reliever, and the L followed.  Huggins is 5-5 for Dunedin, but has pitched very well.
Mylegacy - Friday, September 04 2009 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#205821) #
On Sierra - we have a plethora of powerful poppers among our outfield prospects... in addition to Snider, they include Loewen, Chavez, Thames and the best non-Snider may be Sierra. I have no objection to them putting him in the deep in for a week or two and seeing just how far away he is from swimming. Pity - we can't teach at least one of these guys to play 3rd.
John Northey - Friday, September 04 2009 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#205822) #
I'm glad the Jays are doing the 'push the (*#& out of the kids' method.  Most guys have never struggled thus might resist coaching, so you have to get them to a sinking position ASAP so they can learn to listen (just not too much sinking or confidence goes kaboom and they fall apart).  A tough juggling act.

I suspect Sierra was listening to the coaches given his struggles before and improvement over 2008, thus they felt he was ready for a shot at harder competition.  A 294 average (5 for 17) but no extra base hits, a 1-4 bb-so ratio isn't horrible or great, thus the purpose of AA is that he is getting the hang of it and confidence will grow but not to the point of 'I know it all'.  With luck some power will come in 2010 and he'll be knocking on the MLB door by September ala Snider in 2008.
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