Mobile's David Holmberg had another terrific start for Mobile last night when he tossed 8 shutout innings on 3 hits and 3 walks with 7 strikeouts. Holmberg, who just turned 21, is clearly turning the corner at AA. While I would hardly classify his first 9 starts in Mobile as struggling, he was giving up lots of hits and wasn't striking out as many as he was in Visalia. But his last two starts have been terrific, especially yesterday's. He has 14 Ks in his last 14+ innings, though interestingly he's walked 6, which is way more than he usually does. It's almost as if they've told him to not have such great control because when he's in the zone so often he was giving up lots of hits. So a few more walks to go with a few more strikeouts isn't necessarily a bad thing. The bummer for Holmberg was that Evan Marshall came in to pitch the 9th and gave up 2 runs to make Mobile a 2-1 loser. It's a tough time in Mobile right now.
3 Stars: David Holmberg, Mobile 8 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 0 ER
2 Stars: Garrett Webber, Visalia 3 for 5, 3 R, 1 DBL, 2 HR (10), 3 RBI
1 Star: Ben Eckels, AZL 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 E, W (2-3)
0 Stars: Blake Forslund, Yakima 1.1 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 R, 5 ER
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 4 @ Iowa 7. This was one of those games where enough went wrong to make you a loser. The starting pitching was a little below par as Joe Martinez allowed 5 runs (3 earned) in 5+ innings. The defense was a little below par as an error by Tyler Graham cost a couple of runs. And while the offense had 11 hits, they only managed 4 runs. Adam Eaton did his part as always with 3 hits including a double and an RBI. A.J. Pollock had 2 hits and a stolen base (18). But Jake Elmore has really hit the skids and is just 4 for his last 41 dropping his average down to .340.
Double A: Mobile 1 @ Birmingham 2. David Holmberg deserved a win in this one as he was borderline untouchable. He left the game after 8 shutout innings and a 1-0 lead courtesy of Matt Davidson's 20th home run in the 6th. But Evan Marshall couldn't seal the deal in the 9th. Marshall walked the leadoff hitter, got an out at 2nd on a sacrifice attempt, struck out the next batter, and then allowed 2 seeing eye singles for the walk-off loss. This is why I'm a little cool on Marshall being a back end relief guy, he doesn't miss enough bats. He has just 22 strikeouts in 40 innings. Those are middle relief guy numbers, if that. Davidson also had a double to go with his home run and is hitting .342 in his last 10 games, in spite of nobody else hitting around him.
High A: Visalia 10 @ Bakersfield 6. The Rawhide have won 6 of their last 7 and last night was led by another good effort from Anthony Meo. Meo threw 6 shutout innings on 7 hits and 3 walks with 7 strikeouts and earned the win to get to 8-6. The offense slammed 4 home runs in the game with 2 by Garrett Webber, though Webber added 2 errors just for good measure. Jonathan Griffin hit his 19th home run and Yazy Arbelo hit his 16th in just 40 games for Visalia. Raywilly Gomez added 3 hits with a double and 2 RBI, and Keon Broxton had a pair of singles and 2 stolen bases.
Low A: South Bend 5 @ Lake County 7. Andrew Barbosa didn't have his best start but it wasn't his worst either. He managed 6 innings and surrendered 5 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7. The offense battled back to try and bail him out by tying the game at 5 with 3 in the 5th and 1 in the 6th. But Alex Capaul let in 2 runs in the 8th and that was it. Ryan Court had the big blow in the comeback with a 3-run home run in the 5th, his 6th of the year.
Short Season A: Yakima 4 Eugene 12. The Bears got mauled when every pitcher who threw got rocked, and pretty hard. Kevin Medrano was the lone bright spot with a 4 for 4 night with a stolen base, but he was also caught stealing twice.
Rookie Missoula 0 @ Helena 7. Helena's Taylor Wall and reliever Martin Viramontes shut out the Osprey on 5 hits and Karl Triana had another rough start in this convincing loss. Socrates Brito had two hits with a double. Michael Perez went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts. I guess he can't hit two homers every night after all.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 7 Royals 1. Ben Eckels had his 4th consecutive good start and this one was really good. He produced 6 innings of 1-run ball (unearned mind you) on 4 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts. Eckels probably wouldn't mind if his defense was a little better behind him as 5 of the 8 runs he's allowed in his last 4 starts have been unearned. Although last night the unearned run was on him as he had 3 errors, all on pickoff attempts. I guess he has some work to do there. The Dbacks were gifted 3 unearned runs of their own in the game. Miles Walding had 2 hits with a triple and 3 RBI. Stryker Trahan had a pair of hits, 2 runs scored and his 5th stolen base. Chuck Taylor also had 2 hits with a double and his 14th stolen base.