Didn't have time to write any of this last night amid our travels and settling in to our hotel in Wisconsin, so I figured I'd throw one together this morning. A pair of stud performances down in the Arizona League on Thursday:
Snakelet of the Day:
Blake Perry (Low-Rookie): 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4:1 K:BB, HR
Pedro Ruiz (Low-Rookie): 3-3, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, 3 SB
Triple-A: Reno 3, Oklahoma City 6. (67-58) This game wasn't even as close as the score indicates, as it took a two-run home run from Mark Hallberg - who had three hits on the night - in the top of the ninth to bring the game within one-swing distance. Newly-acquired infielder Tommy Manzella had a nice game, stealing a base, drawing two walks, and singling, driving in the team's other run in the second inning. Right-hander Wes Roemer was on the mound for the Aces, making his first appearance in Reno since his horrific stint with the Aces in 2010. Roemer had an effective outing, striking out five in 5.1 innings of work, allowing six hits, two walks, and one earned run. The big dose of fail came from reliever Brian Stokes, who allowed a shocking five earned runs in just 1.1 innings of "relief," although Esmerling Vasquez did allow two of the three runners he inherited from Stokes to score, despite coming into the game with two outs.
Double-A (10 innings): Mobile 7, Jacksonville 3. (74-48) The BayBears collected just two runs through the first nine innings before it went into extras, but exploded for five runs in the top of the tenth inning to steal a win. Daryle Ward hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to tie the game at two, while Josh Ford's three-run blast was part of the BayBears' monstrous tenth inning. Mobile had just eight walks in the game, but drew ten walks and ran wild on the basepaths. Jacob Elmore and A.J. Pollock were each caught stealing - Elmore trying to take second and Pollock going for third - but Mobile also successfully stole five bases: one from Taylor Harbin, two from Ollie Linton, one from Adam Eaton, and one from Pollock.
Meanwhile, starter Tyler Skaggs pretty much did what we've come to expect from him lately: pitch well. Skaggs worked six innings and allowed two runs with his characteristically-stellar 7:1 K:BB ratio. Skaggs did allow a home run, though, to Jacksonville outfielder Kyle Jensen, in his sixth game at the Double-A level after crushing 22 long-balls in 108 games in the Florida State League. Relievers Kyler Newby and Mike DeMark were each solid for Mobile, as Newby struck out four in two scoreless innings of relief (although walking two), while DeMark K'd two in his long scoreless inning.
Hi-A: Visalia 8, Modesto 7. (58-65) Keon Broxton had another good game for the Rawhide, flashing what his raw power could translate into on the baseball field by whacking a double and a triple. However, Broxton also flashed the reason why he remains a work-in-progress, striking out twice in five at-bats. Bobby Borchering hit his 21st home run of the season, while Mark Reed had two hits, including a double, a walk, and a sac fly. The Rawhide offense received two-hit performances from Broxton, Reed, Borchering, Chris Owings, Matt Davidson, and Rossmel Perez. Starter Derek Eitel was roughed up in five innings, allowing six runs in five innings on six hits, two homers, and three walks while striking out five and posting a 7:3 GO:AO. The bullpen duo of Kevin Munson and Evan Marshall locked things down for the Rawhide, allowing one run over four innings of strong relief.
Low-A: South Bend 5, Lake County 2. (58-63) Starting pitcher Jeffrey Shields had a quality outing, posting a 3:3 K:BB ratio and hitting a batter, but allowing just one run in five innings of work. The bullpen also did its work, giving up just one more run the west of the way to seal a South Bend win. First baseman Yazy Arbelo led the offense with his 27th home run of the season, a two-run blast in the third inning. Roberto Ortiz also doubled, while Jhoan Pimentel knocked in a pair of runs on a single and a walk.
Short-Season-A: Yakima 1, Tri-City 3. (23-38) A disappointing night once again for the Bears offense, which logged just five singles and two walks en route to another one-run performance. Danny Pulfer led the group by reaching base three times, on a single and both of the team's free passes. It's a shame, too, because starting pitcher John Pedrotty had yet another fabulous outing, posting an 8:0 K:BB ratio and allowing just three hits in six shutout innings in his start. Reliever Willy Paredes allowed two runs in two innings of relief to take the loss for the Bears.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 4, Orem 5. (36-20) Starter Raymond Hernandez took his first loss as a pro, allowing five runs (four earned) in six innings of work on the mound, striking out four but walking a pair and allowing a home run. Despite a home run from Tom Belza, a triple from Fidel Pena, and a double from Roidany Aguila, the Missoula offense couldn't quite muster up enough support for Hernandez to come back in this one. Pena was particularly good for the offense, also collecting a pair of singles.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 9, Reds 4. (16-31) Starting pitcher Blake Perry had his best game as a pro, which also turned out to be his first win as a pro. Perry allowed just two runs, although only one earned, in eight strong innings, posting a 4:1 K:BB ratio and allowing a solo home run. The offense did its part to support Perry, collecting 12 hits and knocking in nine runs, headlined by a home run from Derek Luciano, a triple from Domingo Soriano, and a three-hit, two-walk, three-stolen base night from Pedro Ruiz.