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The Toronto Blue Jays scored as many or more runs in the first inning yesterday as each of their minor league affiliates did during their entire games. Iíve not checked conclusively, but I believe that has to be a first for 2008. There were few noteworthy offensive performances, but Jonathan Baksh and Brad Emaus continued to swing hot bats, while Eric Eiland and Kenneth Wilson are doing well as leadoff hitters in the lower minors. However, the story on the night was pitching, with Robert Ray and Luis Perez throwing absolute gems and Michael MacDonald and Kenny Rodriguez pitching very well, too.
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David Cooper hit his first pro HR last night as the affiliates went 2-3 with a rain out yesterday
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In four games the affiliates combined to allow 7 runs.  Unlike their Major League counterparts, they scored a bunch as well to go a perfect 4-for-4.

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Brandon Magee continues to find Double-A much harder than he found the lower minors, while the New Hampshire offence didnít help him out by leaving nine runners on base. David Purcey went deep into the game, but didnít have a particularly strong start. Meanwhile, in the lower minors Brad Mills and Castillo Perez turned in strong efforts, leading to a Lansing victory and Auburn taking the game into extra innings. Nonetheless, the affiliates could only manage one win on the day.
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New Hampshire won the Earl Weaver way, good pitching and two three run home runs.  Lansing won with a ninth inning comeback. Syracuse, Dunedin and Auburn won from the front but the GCL Jays the only losers.  Good pitching was the order of the night, Davis Romero, Brett Cecil, AJ Wideman, Marc Rzepczynski and Marcus Walden each pitched well.  According to Bullet Jays Fan Adam Lind has been called up to Toronto.
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Only one club lost Thursday and it was the baby, baby Jays in the Gulf Coast League. Regardless, there were a lot of positives on the night.
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Auburn won their second game behind a strong start from Josh Wells and two hits from the Jays number one pick, David Cooper.  Dunedin also won thanks to a big game from Cory Patton who was a single short of the cycle.  New Hampshire were trounced.  Syracuse and Lansing had the day off.  The Gulf Coast Jays start their season Thursday.
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Three wins against one loss.  Ricky Romero was fantastic for six innings, and JP Arencibia made a good first impression, but New Hampshire had to sweat out a win.  Kenny Rodriguez pitched well to get a win for Dunedin and Auburn took advantage of Batavia errors to win.  Syracuse delievered the only loss but Curtis Thigpen got his groove back.

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A slow night in the minors with just two teams in action.
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Well, Lansing can rest their regulars for, oh, the next two or so months as they clinched the First Half Division Title in the Midwest League.
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Iím 0-6 over my last two minor league updates, as the three affiliates in action all lost, with two of them being held to one run. The only bright spot came with New Hampshireís offence, as Travis Snider continued to look good while Scott Campbell demonstrated that even when he isnít getting hits, heís still contributing and getting on base. Meanwhile, the Florida State League All-Star Game took place and three Dunedin players were in action.
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Lansing were one out away from losing and falling into a tie for the division lead with two games left in their first half, but Kevin Ahrens came through in the ninth and the twelfth to help Lansing win.  New Hampshire won easily and this report features a first hand account of the game.  Syracuse were rained out and Dunedin had the day off.
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I'm all out of clever, so here it is in plain, brutal honesty: The pitching stank in New Hampshire and wasn't very good in Dunedin either. The pitching was excellent in Lansing but the offence was disappointing.
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Four losses, two starting pitchers were shelled, two pitched well.  Ricky Romero continued his spiral as he allowed seventeen baserunners in 5.2 innings.  Kyle Ginley didn't get an out in the second inning as he was hit hard.  Bill Murphy took the loss for the Chiefs in a parent club-like loss despite pitching well.  Gregg Zaun homered to account for the Chiefs only run.  Trystan Magnuson pitched well for Lansing but Chi-Hung Cheng took the loss.  Lansing is still two games ahead of two teams for the first half title with four games left.
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The top two teams in the system had 33 hits between them but only one of them was a winner.  A ninth-inning collapse prevented a clean sweep for the affiliates.  Meantime, a prominent Jays reliever made his season debut at Knology Park in Dunedin.

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