After a pretty rough first half, the Rawhide are making a strong push to capture a playoff spot with their play in the second half. They currently lead their division by one game with 24 left to play. They are 8-2 in their last 10 and playing some pretty good baseball right now. One of the keys of late has been roster stability, unlike other clubs such as Mobile and Reno, and something they didn't have in the first half. The starting rotation of Anthony Meo, Willy Paredes, Taylor Siemens, Bradin Hagens and Raymond Hernandez have all done a good job of keeping their team in games. But what has really come on has been the offense which really began jelling when Gerson Montilla and Ender Inciarte were called up from South Bend and installed in the top two spots of the order. Keon Broxton has really come on the last several months, Garrett Webber is one of the hottest hitters in the league, and Jonathan Griffin is manning the cleanup spot very solidly. They have a lot of work to do to make the playoffs but their current level of play should give them an excellent chance.
3 Stars: Jared Ray, Missoula 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 ER, W (3-4)
2 Stars: Garrett Webber, Visalia 2 for 4, 1 BB, 3 R, 2 HR (12), 2 RBI
1 Star: Daniel Watts, Yakima 6 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 R, 0 ER W (3-4)
0 Stars: J.R. Bradley, South Bend 1.1 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 8 R, 7 ER
Game summaries after the jump.
Double A: Mobile 6 @ Jacksonville 2. The Bay Bears got a much needed win with a solid starting performance by Michael Bolsinger and some timely hitting. Bolsinger allowed 2 runs over 5 innings on 4 hits and 6 walks while striking out 6. The bullpen was even better with Eury De La Rosa and Kevin Munson each adding 2 shutout innings. Brent Clevlen was the offensive star with two hits which included a big 3-run homer in the 4th inning. Ed Easley also had a nice game with 2 hits, a walk, a double and an RBI.
High A: Visalia 14 @ Bakersfield 4. The Rawhide offense did it all last night with 18 hits and scored in all but 2 innings. Every starter had at least one hit while 3 players had 2 hits and 3 others had 3 hits. Garrett Webber hit 2 home runs for the second time in three games and Jonathan Griffin hit his 20th. Keon Broxton and Ender Inciarte each had 3 hits and a stolen base. Willy Paredes was the beneficiary of all the offense with an excellent 7 innings of work surrendering 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks.
Low A: South Bend 2 @ Bowling Green 10. The Silver Hawks got mauled as J.R. Bradley was pretty bad once again. He couldn't get out of the 2nd inning before allowing 8 runs on 8 hits. This kid needs some time off and a new approach because what he's doing right now isn't working. Chris Ellison had 3 hits and a stolen base to pace a meager offense.
Short Season A: Yakima 2 Eugene 1. This one was all Daniel Watts as he reclaimed his Yakima Ace status after a rough outing last time out. He surrendered just an unearned run on 3 hits and 3 walks through 6 innings while striking out 4. Watts will likely be in the South Bend rotation next year, if not Visalia. He doesn't strike out a ton of batters but he doesn't walk many either. The offense had only 3 hits on the night but made them count as Joseph Loftus and Yogey Perez-Ramos each had RBI singles. The Yakima bullpen was terrific as always with 3 shutout innings.
Rookie: Missoula 3 @ Helena 0. Another good outing from a 2nd tier prospect as Jared Ray tossed 7 shutout innings on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts. Ray is having a decent rookie season, but being a 23-year-old college pitcher that's not unexpected. He'll vie for a South bend spot next year if he keeps this up. A balanced offensive attack was led by Daniel Pulfer who had 2 hits with a double and an RBI.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 8 Rangers 5. The Dbacks offense did a good job with 12 hits in overcoming a 4-1 deficit. Chuck Taylor had a 3-hit night that included a double, an RBI and a stolen base. Andrew Velazquez started getting his bat back in gear with 2 hits which featured a triple and an RBI. Rudy Flores had 2 hits with a double and 2 RBI, and Alex Glenn had 2 hits with a triple and an RBI. Jeff Gibbs started but walked 4 in the 1st inning and was yanked quickly. Andrew Potter did a nice job in relief with 5.1 innings of 1-run ball. Tanner Hamilton got the final out for his 1st professional save.