It's that time of the season when a lot of minor league ballplayers who aren't used to the long grind of 100+ game seasons with very few days off start to hit the proverbial wall. It's probably more apparent with hitters and relievers than with starting pitchers, who at least have that 4-day break in between starts to recharge. We're seeing this tailspin from a number of our youngsters and I'm inclined to take these tailspins with a little grain of salt. Some of our guys who are in a bit of an August funk include Chris Owings, Alfredo Marte, David Nick, Evan Marshall, Matt Helm and Jake Elmore to name a few. But it doesn't happen to everyone so maybe I'm looking too closely for excuses. Guys having great or at least good Augusts include Adam Eaton, Keon Broxton, Jonathan Griffin, Garrett Webber and Ryan Court. We'll see how they all finish up. One side note of interest is that Adam Eaton has been getting the nod in CF of late for Reno over A.J. Pollock. This can only mean they want to make sure Eaton gets plenty of work there because he could be in the plans for CF next year in Arizona.
3 Stars: Stryker Trahan, AZL 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR (7), 4 RBI
2 Stars: Bradin Hagens, Visalia 7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 ER
1 Star: Ryan Court, South Bend 2 for 4, 3 R, 2 DBL, 1 RBI
0 Stars: Chris Owings, Mobile 0 for 5, 2 K
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 5 Albuquerque 7. Starter Bryan Henry was okay and had his team in the game with 3 runs allowed in 5 innings. But Mike DeMark was pretty awful giving up 4 in the 7th to ruin a close game. Mike Jacobs hit a 2-run homer in the first and Cole Gillespie added a 2-run double. Adam Eaton went 0 for 5 and A.J. Pollock took over promoted Jake Elmore's #2 spot in the order going 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.
Double A: Mobile 6 @ Jacksonville 5. Mobile picked up another badly-needed win when their offense got cranked up late in overcoming a 4-0 deficit. They got 2 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to take a 1-run lead. But Evan Marshall blew another save in the bottom of the 8th, then earned the win when Ryan Strieby singled in the go-ahead run in the 9th. Eury De La Rosa pitched a perfect 9th for his 3rd save. David Nick led the offense with 2 singles and an RBI.
High A: Visalia 4 Inland Empire 5. A bullpen meltdown stole a victory from starter Bradin Hagens when they blew a 4-0 lead as Patrick Schuster allowed 3 runs in the 8th and D.J. Johnson surrendered 2 more in the 9th. Hagins was terrific with 7 innings of shutout ball on 5 hits and a walk with 7 strikeouts. Yazy Arbelo hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd, his 17th, as part of his 2-hit night. Ender Inciarte added a pair of singles.
Low A: South Bend 7 Lake County 2. South Bend is battling to get into the 2nd half playoff chase and got a much-needed win over Lake County to pull into a tie for 3rd place, 4 games back. Keith Hessler posted yet another really good start going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts. Alex Capaul threw 3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his second save. Ryan Court had another good night with 2 doubles and an RBI, and Kerry Jenkins drove in 3 runs on a pair of singles.
Short Season A: Yakima 3 @ Vancouver 1. The Bears pitching was dominant once again allowing just 3 hits and one run. Blake Perry tossed 4.1 innings and allowed the 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks with 4 Ks. RJ Hively followed with 2.2 innings of perfect relief. And Will Locante finished with 2 shutout innings allowing a hit, 2 walks and striking out 3. The Bears only had 4 hits themselves but they were big hits. Jacob House had a double and a solo home run. The big hit came on a 2-run homer by Michael Lang in the 6th to give the team a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Rookie: Missoula 11 Billings 10. In a key series for the North Division lead the Osprey won a wild one when they overcame a 9-0 deficit to win 11-10. They trailed 9-0 through 4-1/2 innings but scored 3 in the 5th, 2 in the 6th, 3 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th for the win to pull within 1 game of division leader Billings. Starter Chris Pack and relievers Patrick Smith and Michael Rivera each gave up 3 runs to create the deficit. A 3-run homer by Tyler Bream in the 7th got them within 2. Then Missoula scored 3 in the 8th without a hit in an inning that featured a hit by pitch, 4 walks, and 4 wild pitches. The major leagues this is not.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 10 @ Reds 2. Luis Hernandez pitched a 7-inning complete game and the offense roared to life with 13 hits, 5 for extra bases. Hernandez allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Stryker Trahan was the offensive star going 3 for 4 with a double and a home run, his 7th, and 4 RBI. Andrew Velazquez had 2 hits and an RBI including his 5th triple and is sporting a 1.037 OPS. Justin Bianco went 2 for 3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. He's been batting 3rd for the Dbacks since being sent down and is hitting .310 with 3 doubles, a triple and 5 RBI in 8 games. Jose Munoz also had a couple of hits and is hitting .353 in August.