What was an organizational weakness just a few weeks ago is quickly becoming a strength with the development of Michael Perez and the drafting of Stryker Trahan and Ronnie Freeman. Perez and Freeman each collected 4 hits and for the night our 8 starting minor league catchers went 17 for 33 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 12 RBI. The strength of the catching is still pretty much at the lower levels, but as we get into the latter years of Miggy's contract some quality replacements should start to become available. There was a ton of offense generated by our junior teams last night with Missoula leading the charge in a 20-0 route featuring Daniel Pulfer hitting for the cycle. A number of our sluggers around the leagues connected on big flies as well. There were so many hitting highlights that it was tough selecting the Snake Stars winners and it pushed a couple of terrific pitching performances out of the top spots.
3 Stars: Daniel Pulfer, Missoula 4 for 6, 2 R, 1 SNG, 1 DBL, 1 TPL, 1 HR, 6 RBI
2 Stars: Michael Perez, Missoula, 4 for 6, 2 R, 1 TPL, 1 HR, 5 RBI
1 Star: Gerson Montilla, Visalia 3 for 5, 3 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR (1), 1 RBI
0 Stars: Tyler Green, South Bend 4 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 K, 6 ER
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 6 Fresno 3. Reno got back to its winning ways behind a solid performance from starter Charles Brewer and the hitting return of the E-Dynamic Duo. Brewer tossed a good six innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. Jensen Lewis pitched a perfect 9th for his 2nd save. The E-Dynamic Duo of Eaton and Elmore went 6 for 7 combined with each collecting 3 hits, while 2 of Eaton's hits were doubles. Mike Jacobs and Taylor Harbin chipped in two singles apiece. Interestingly the Aces squared off against former Diamondback Yusmeiro Petit and then faced former All-Star Brad Penny for two innings of relief.
Double A: Mobile 8 @ Huntsville 4. Mark Krauss, Chris Owings and David Nick led a 15-hit Mobile attack with 3 hits apiece and Chase Anderson had a very nice start with 5 innings of 1-run ball, which happened to be unearned. Krauss hit his 11th homer of the year in the win and Nick added 2 doubles. Catcher Rossmel Perez went 2 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI to stick with the catching theme of the evening. Alfredo Marte missed his 4th game in a row since exiting last Saturday's game early with a leg injury. Matt Gorgen and Evan Marshall pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings respectively with 3 Ks.
High A: Visalia 6 Bakersfield 8. Visalia battled all the way back from a 6-2 deficit to tie the game at 6 in the 7th inning off a Bobby Borchering 3-run homer. But reliever Blake Cooper couldn't keep it there when he yielded 2 in the 8th. Taylor Siemens had a somewhat difficult start but his defense really let him down as they committed 4 errors on the night and allowed 3 unearned runs. 2B Gerson Montilla is taking nicely to his Visalia promotion and had a 3-hit night that featured a double and his 1st home run for the Rawhide. He's hitting .346 in his first 6 games at this level. In addition to the home run (his 15th) Borchering also doubled, though he did strike out 3 times. Jonathan Griffin had 2 more hits including his 13th home run of the season, and Keon Broxton collected a pair of singles and a stolen base.
Low A: South Bend 6 Great Lakes 11. Tyler Green had a rough start and the relievers behind him were just as bad and it was way more than the bats could overcome. DH Mark Bourgeois did his part with a 3-hit night that included a double and his 6th home run of year. Tom Belza had 3 hits with a double and Eric Groff chipped in 2 hits with a double.
High Rookie: Yakima 6 @ Tri-City 5. The Bears won a squeaker with a combination of timely hitting and timely pitching. Cuban Alexander Carreras put the club in good position with a solid 5 innings while allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and striking out 5. Reliever Blake Forslund had his first poor outing when he gave up a hit, 3 walks and a wild pitch to reduce the lead to one before R.J. Hively cleaned things up to secure the win. C Ronnie Freeman was a perfect 4 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Mark Ginther and Jacob House had a couple of hits and Daniel Poma collected 3 RBI.
Low Rookie: Missoula 20 Helena 0. The Osprey scored early and often in a complete whitewashing of Helena. They scored 7 in the first and it was all fun and games after that. Daniel Pulfer led the offensive explosion by hitting for the cycle in a 4 for 6 night that included six RBI. Catcher Michael Perez had his own big night as he just missed hitting for the cycle with 4 hits that featured a triple and his 2nd home run of the year for 5 RBI. Perez now has 9 RBI in his 1st 7 games. INF prospect John Leonard had 3 hits and scored 4 runs and now has 7 hits in his last 10 at bats. The pitching was as good as the hitting as 34th-round pick Jared Ray was masterful in his professional debut going 5 innings allowing just a single hit and a walk.
AZL Rookie: D-Backs 3 @ Athletics 5. Dbacks starter Luis Hernandez was terrific in his 2nd American start with 7 innings of 1 hit-ball, though he did allow an unearned run off a Stryker Trahan passed ball in the 2nd. But reliever Will Locante and the D-Backs defense ruined it in his professional debut that was somewhat forgettable. Locante was our 11th-round pick in last year's loaded draft but hadn't pitched until last night. He walked the first two batters and nearly got out of it after a sac bunt and a groundout. But it all came undone on an error by 3B Ryan Fuller, a passed ball by Trahan, a stolen base, a throwing error by Trahan, another walk, another stolen base, another throwing error by Trahan and a single. Another catching prospect Phildrick Llewellyn, our 13th-round pick who just signed a couple of days ago started at DH and went 2 for 3 in his professional debut. Trahan went 1 for 4 with 2 passed balls and 2 throwing errors.