Cole Gillespie hit a grand slam in the first inning for Reno last night, which would be a great night for anyone, but he wasn't done yet. He followed that up with a 3-run blast in the 2nd and a solo shot for good measure in the 7th as part of a monster 8-RBI night. He walked in his other at bat for a perfect evening in a big Reno victory. There were some pretty good pitching performances throughout the minors with the best being posted by Anthony Meo in Visalia where he threw 7 innings of shutout baseball. Meo's having a pretty nice rookie season in the California League which isn't the easiest place to start your professional pitching career. A few more outings like that one and he'll be bucking for a promotion, though I half expect him to spend the season where he is with Mobile on his radar for next year.
3 Stars: Cole Gillespie, Reno 3 for 3, 1 BB, 3 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI
2 Stars: Anthony Meo, Visalia 7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 ER
1 Star: Jonathan Griffin, Visalia 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR (14), 3 RBI
0 Stars: Ronnie Freeman, Yakima 0 for 5, 1 K
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 11 Fresno 3. The Aces got a much-needed win in easy fashion as Cole Gillespie single-handedly creamed the Grizzlies with a monstrous 3-homer night. More importantly, both his grand slam in the 1st and 3-run shot in the 2nd came with two outs. Zach Kroenke had an effective start going 5 innings while allowing just 2 earned runs on 9 hits but no walks. Ryan Wheeler picked up 2 more hits including a double and an RBI to bring his season total to 76.
Double A: Mobile 3 @ Huntsville 4. The Bay Bears couldn't do a thing with Huntsville Pitcher Hiram Burgos, but they did get to the bullpen in the 9th to close the gap to 4-3. But with 2 on and 2 out Matt Davidson was called out on strikes to end the game with runners on 1st and 2nd. Starter Derek Eitel didn't pitch half bad but a couple of seeing-eye singles in the 3rd helped plate 3. He got through 7 innings with 4 runs allowed on 10 hits and 2 walks. Evan Frey and Ed Easley led the hitting with 2 hits each.
High A: Visalia 10 @ Stockton 1. After losing 10-1 two nights ago the Rawhide turned the tables with an identical 10-1 victory last night. Anthony Meo was superb with 7 shutout innings on 5 hits and a walk. Jonathan Griffin did the most damage with 3 hits including his 14th homer of the year. Keon Broxton added 3 hits to the 17-hit attack, and Ender Inciarte, Michael Freeman, Bobby Borchering and Raywilly Gomez all added 2 each. Gomez had 3 RBI as well.
Low A: South Bend 9 Dayton 3. A good pitching performance by John Pedrotty combined with a balanced 13-hit attack was plenty for the Silver Hawks to coast in this one. This was Pedrotty's second good start in a row and he's hopefully finding some consistency after a very up-and-down first half. He managed 6.2 innings and yielded 3 runs on 7 hits with no walks. He struck out 3. Every South Bend starter had at least 1 hit. Tom Melza picked up 2 more RBI to bring his season total to 47.
High Rookie: Yakima 3 Tri-City 4. The 1st-Place Bears lost a tough one in 12 innings. Starter Daniel Watts pitched well but an error in the 2nd led to 3 unearned runs. Watts finished 4 innings allowing just the 3 unearned runs on 4 hits, a walk and 2 strikeouts. Four subsequent relievers kept Tri-City at bay the rest of way and allowing Yakima time to tie it. But the defense failed again in the 12th with another unearned run allowed. 2B Kevin Medrano went 3 for 2 (3 hits, 2 errors) to lead the offense and defense. Josh Parr and Jacob House had a pair of hits.
Low Rookie: Missoula 5 Helena 6. A well-pitched game by both teams got exciting in the 10th when Helena scored 3 in the top and Missoula scored 2 in the bottom but couldn't plate the tying run from third. Chris Pack had a solid start going 7 full innings while allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, 2 walks and 5 Ks. Breland Almadova was a perfect 3 for 3 with a walk and is hitting .412 on the year. DH Rudy Flores had a pair of hits with a double and 3 RBI.
AZL Rookie: D-backs 6 Dodgers 8. The pitching was less stellar in this game. Andrew Potter started and gave up 4 runs in his 3 innings of work. Prospect Ben Eckels came on and surrendered 3 runs in his 4 innings, though he did strike out 4. INF Andrew Velazquez has gotten off to a strong start in his professional career with 3 more hits last night. In his first 8 games the diminutive Bronx native has a triple slash of .412/.676/1.112. 3B Ryan Fuller had 3 hits and is hitting a solid .385. LF Brian Billigen had a good night with a double, a triple, 2 walks and 2 RBI. CF Chuck Taylor added a pair of singles. Stryker Trahan went 1 for 5 with an RBI and no errors.