The pitching throughout the system was stellar on Thursday, despite several of the top performances coming from less-heralded names in the system. I would only rank one of them among the top ten prospects in the system, yet all four starting pitchers gave up either zero or one earned run in their outings. The end result was a four-game sweep on the farm, with each level's offense managing just enough support for their sterling starters.
Snakelet of the Day:
Brett Lorin (Double-A): 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2:1 K:BB, 5:9 GO:FO
Andrew Chafin (Hi-A): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 7:2 K:BB, 6:4 GO:FO
John Pedrotty (Low-A): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 8:1 K:BB, 8:3 GO:FO
Triple-A: Reno 6, Memphis 4. (18-17) Now 17 games into his time as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and Josh Bell continues to do his best impression of Brandon Allen, utterly destroying the Pacific Coast League. Bell had three hits on Thursday with a triple, raising his line with the Aces to .420/.457/.638, and his overall season line - including nine miserable games with Norfolk in which he hit .094/.256/.250 - to .317/.392/.515. I wouldn't read as much into the numbers as I would into the reports coming out that Arizona is content with its third base depth in part because of the presence of Bell at Triple-A, an encouraging sign that the team thinks they may have something of big-league value in Bell.
Also having a solid day for the Aces at the plate with Adam Eaton, who had three hits of his own. Perhaps the most impressive part of the offense produced by Eaton and Bell was the fact that they produced it off of Redbirds starter and top St. Louis pitching prospect Shelby Miller, tagging the young right-hander for four runs (three earned) in six innings. Opposing Miller for the Aces was Chris Jakubauskas, who allowed just one run in his outing, but lasted a mere 4.2 innings. Bryan Woodall gave up three runs while notching just two outs to blow the lead, but Joe Paterson, Jensen Lewis, and Jonathan Albaladejo had scoreless outings (though Paterson did allow an inherited runner to score) to lock things down.
Double-A: Mobile 4, Jacksonville 1. (22-13) Right-hander Brett Lorin took the ball for the BayBears and delivered another strong outing, with six shutout frames for Mobile. Lorin struck out just two, but allowed only one walk and four hits to stymie the Suns offense. Mobile's bats didn't generate much thunder, but the BayBears did just enough, doing a good job of taking advantage of some wildness on the part of the Jacksonville bullpen in the eighth inning to put three runs across the plate and re-take the lead for good. For a team that scored four runs, it's pretty surprising to see that Rossmel Perez's single, walk, and stolen base and Alfredo Marte's two-walk day were probably the best individual offensive outputs in the lineup.
Hi-A: Visalia 4, San Jose 1. (18-17) Through eight innings, this contest was knotted up at one run apiece, with Chris Owings' solo home accounting for the only run Visalia had scratched across and Andrew Chafin shutting down the Giants for one run across his six-inning appearance. However, the Rawhide put up three runs in the top of the ninth to take a lead that they would not relinquish in the bottom half of the inning, largely due to a two-run home run from Raywilly Gomez. It's been a rather unheralded start to the year for Gomez, but there's only so long you can go about hitting .337/.441/.435 as a catcher without someone taking notice. Chafin was back to his usual self in this outing after a rough outing on May 4th, striking out seven in six innings with two walks and just five hits allowed.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Fort Wayne 2. (19-15) Starting pitcher John Pedrotty was stellar for South Bend, abusing a lineup that featured six left-handed hitters with his deep curveball and deceptive, low arm angle. The southpaw ended his day with eight strikeouts and just one walk, allowing five hits and two runs, although just one earned, with an 8:3 GO:FO ratio. I see no reason why Pedrotty can't develop into a quality lefty-killer in the big leagues, even if his low arm angle will mean that he struggles against right-handers. In support of their left-hander, the Silver Hawks bats continuously made contact, not striking out even once until the ninth inning, and clawed a few runs across the board. Gerson Montilla delivered a double and a single, while Ryan Court tripled and walked.