The highlight starting pitching prospect on the mound in an otherwise ho-hum day on Thursday was lefty Wade Miley for the Triple-A Reno Aces. However, Miley's performance wound up being dramatically over-shadowed by the late-inning excitement of the Aces' game, long after his start had finished. A game that saw back-and-forth two-out home runs and a walk-off blast, it was exactly the type of fireworks one would expect with Las Vegas in town...
Snakelet of the Day:
Matt Davidson (Hi-A): 3-4, HR, R, RBI
Triple-A (10 innings): Reno 8, Las Vegas 6. (63-42) This was a wild and woolly affair, as one Daron Sutton might say. Going into the top of the ninth with the score tied at 4, reliever Kam Mickolio allowed a two-out, go-ahead home run to the 51s, but Lucas May proceeded to tie it up in the bottom half of the inning with his own two-out solo shot. Mickolio went out for the tenth inning and promptly re-surrendered the lead with another one-run inning, but the Aces stormed back again in the bottom half of the frame. Jon Mark Owings started off the inning with a single, but made it all the way to third on an error. Newly-signed Angel Berroa blooped in Owings with a single to tie the game up, but with nobody out, the Aces went for the kill, electing to have Evan Frey try to bunt Berroa in scoring position. Frey failed to do so, popping out in foul territory on a bunt attempt. This brought Mark Hallberg to the plate, who promptly....
The Aces received six two-hit performances in the lineup, from Frey, Hallberg, Tony Abreu, Micahel Restovich, Owings, and Berroa (Frey, Hallberg, and Restovich each walked, as well). Aside from the two blasts from May and Hallberg mentioned above, Owings added a solo shot in the sixth inning, while Frey did pitch in a double to help the Aces. The game was started by lefty Wade Miley, who again put up impressive peripherals but again fell victim to the PCL's hit-friendly nature, striking out six with no walks or homers allowed in 6.1 innings, but seeing 10 hits result in four runs crossing the plate against him. Ryan Cook bridged the gap between Miley and Mickolio with 1.2 innings of scoreless one-hit work, striking out two and walking one.
Double-A: Mobile 5, Mississippi 3. (63-40) Right-hander Wes Roemer gave the BayBears a quality start, allowing three runs (two earned) in six innings, striking out three with no walks (the key to any Roemer outing) and seven hits. That proved to be good enough for the offense and bullpen to pull this one out, as Kyler Newby and Mike DeMark combined for three scoreless innings of relief while A.J. Pollock's bases-clearing double in the seventh gave Mobile the lead they would never relinquish. That double was one of Pollock's two hits on the night, and outfielder Ollie Linton - in for the night to give Adam Eaton a game off - whacked a pair of doubles.
Hi-A: Visalia 1, Stockton 3. (43-60) Starting pitcher Derek Eitel was the big story in this game through the first five innings, as he held the Ports hitless until a three-hit sixth inning broke up the no-no and capped off Eitel's line at six innings, three runs (all earned), a 5:2 K:BB ratio, and a 9:3 GO:AO ratio. It seems that having some success in his last outing in the Pacific Coast League gave Eitel some confidence heading into this one, and he still posted a quality start in spite of everything going wrong in the sixth. Unfortunately for Eitel, it took the Rawhide bats even longer to do anything, as Matt Davidson's seventh-inning solo home run was the first - and, as it turned out, only - real noise made by the Visalia bats on the night. Davidson's three-hit night was complimented by... well, nothing, as the rest of the lineup went 4-29 with no extra-base hits, one walk, and a hit-by-pitch.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Great Lakes 2. (48-53) The story of the night for the Silver Hawks was their pitching, as two unearned runs charged to starter Bradin Hagens were all the Loons could muster against South Bend. Hagens struck out four and walked one in six innings, Chris Odegaard, whose ERA dropped to 1.76 after tonight's outing, whiffed three and walked one in two scoreless innings of relief, and Eury De La Rosa struck out two in a clean ninth to record his third save of the year and lower his ERA to 1.55. Ender Inciarte led the way for South Bend offensively, collecting three hits, including a double, while Matt Helm and Roberto Rodriguez had two-hit nights, with Helm also getting hit by a pitch to reach base three times on the evening.
Short-Season-A: Yakima 3, Salem-Keizer 4. (13-28) The Bears were three outs away from sealing a 3-2 victory behind a solid start from Brad Wilson who allowed just one unearned run in six innings, but Drew Ziznia allowed two runs to cross the plate before recording a single out, giving up a double and a homer to the only two batters he faced. Yakima received a rare home run from their offense in this one (the offense has 18 homers in 41 games...), as Justin Hilt hit his fourth homer of the year, putting him in sole possession of first place on the team, also singling and drawing a walk to give him a solid all-around effort. Garret Weber and Marc Bourgeois each doubled, with Hilt, Weber, Westley Moss (who also drew a walk), and Raul Navarro posting two-hit games.
Advanced-Rookie: A travel day for Missoula, as the Osprey head to Great Falls for a three-game set.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 7, Cubs 15. (11-19) The D-backs pitching really had an off-day, beginning with starter Mike Lebo, who coughed up five runs (three earned) in his three innings on the mound, giving up seven hits and striking out two. Reliever Diony Sanatana followed Lebo, and fared similarly, allowing four runs in three innings with an underwhelming 1:2 K:BB ratio. The worst pitching performance on the day, however, came from Austin Platt, who managed to record just one out, a strikeout, while walking three and allowing three hits before being removed. All six baserunners Platt allowed would score, although only one of those runners was inherited by Cody Geyer, who finished the game with 1.2 innings of scoreless work.
The offense did its job, though, despite an overall lack of power - Pat Donahue's double was the only extra-base knock the D-backs bat recorded in the contest. The D-backs managed to get on base plenty, though, as Donahue and John Leonard each went 2-4 with a walk, Pedro Ruiz drew three walks, Jacob Williams had three-hits, and Wagner Mateo had an encouraging four-hit day, bringing his season average above the Mendoza Line to .223. Interesting note: Mateo was playing first base, a position he also saw some time at on Wednesday after moving from center field mid-game. It's not every day you see someone moving from center to first - I wonder what the reasoning here is. Has Mateo's body added bulk this quickly?
DSL (eight innings): D-backs 11, Orioles 12. (20-31) Lots of hits and bad pitching nights in this contest, although Karl Triana's four-inning, eight-run (six earned) outing was out-stunk by Jean Guzman, who faced just four batters, walking one, hitting another, and serving up a pair of triples. It can't be understated how difficult it is to give up two extra-base hits in an outing in the DSL without retiring a single batter... Guzman's outing proved to be the difference in the game, as reliever Juan Perez came in and shut things down after Guzman's hemorrhage, throwing four scoreless innings. Offensively, Ronny Mejias and Anderson Bolivar each doubled, while Bolivar, Jonathan Perez, and Valentino Silvestre each reached base three times to lead the charge.