While things aren't very exciting at the Major League level, the same can't be said for the Minors. All three Diamondback affiliates that played yesterday with a chance to advance to their championship playoff series won, putting Reno, Mobile and Missoula in line to win their league titles. Reno took care of Sacramento 7-4 in Game 5 behind a solid bullpen effort and the bat of Mike Jacobs. Mobile called up another Visalia player and the heart of Visalia's offense contributed to another offensive explosion as they took care of Montgomery 11-4 to win the 5-game series in 4 games. Missoula continued its magical run at the championship behind the pitching of Yoimer Camacho and a balanced offensive attack to beat Great Falls 4-2 in the deciding Game 3. Reno takes on Omaha in a 5-game set starting Tuesday with a travel day on Thursday, so Trevor Bauer could potentially get two starts. Mobile begins their best-of-five against Jacksonville starting on Wednesday and play on five consecutive days. Pitching depth will likely decide it. And Missoula battles Ogden in a 3-game series starting Tuesday with a Wednesday travel day and the final two games on Thursday and Friday.
3 Stars: Visalia, Mobile* 10 for 19, 8 R, 4 DBL, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB
2 Stars: Yoimer Camacho, Missoula 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 ER
1 Star: Mike Jacobs, Reno 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR, 3 RBI
0 Stars: Michael Perez, Missoula 0 for 4, 3 K
* Jonathan Griffin, Yazy Arbelo, Michael Freeman, Chris Owings
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 7 Sacramento 4. After getting behind 3-0 behind the pitching of Brett Tomko through 4-1/2 innings, the offense came to life along with the weary bullpen to drive the Aces into the championship series of the Pacific Coast League. Tomko was okay but was pulled with 2 outs in the 5th after allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. The bullpen rose to the occasion once again starting with Zach Kroenke who followed Tomko with 2.1 shutout innings. The offense tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 5th off a solo home run by Taylor Harbin and back-to-back 2-out RBI singles from Tyler Kuhn and Josh Bell. Reno took the lead for good in the 7th on a 3-run homer by Mike Jacobs following a leadoff single by A.J. Pollock and an intentional walk to Josh Bell. Sacramento got one back in the 8th off Matt Gorgen, and Sam Demel pitched a perfect 9th for the save to send Reno to the championship series. The bullpen was key throughout the 5 games as they threw 19.1 innings allowing 4 runs (1.86 ERA) on 12 hits and 3 walks while striking out an impressive 28 batters. Reno will take on Omaha in Game 1 on Tuesday with Trevor Bauer scheduled to start. Bauer could also pitch a potential Game 5 which is slated for Sunday.
Double A: Mobile 11 @ Montgomery 4. Michael Bolsinger started Game 4 and while he did dig the team a small hole the offense wasn't the least bit fazed. Bolsinger got through 5.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks with 7 strikeouts which ended up being plenty good enough to get the win. The offense exploded in the middle innings with 10 runs from the 4th through the 8th innings. The heart of the 2012 Visalia lineup did most of the damage as late season call-ups Jonathan Griffin and Yazy Arbelo both homered, and new call-up Michael Freeman went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Freeman got the start at second base as David Nick took over in the outfield for Ollie Linton who was injured the night before. Chris Owings, who spent the first half of his season at Visalia, also went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles. The bullpen ensured there would be no comeback with 3.1 scoreless innings in relief. Game 1 of the championship series against Jacksonville starts on Wednesday with Chase Anderson the scheduled starter.
Rookie: Missoula 4 @ Great Falls 2. Missoula eked out another tightly-played game to win their best-of-3 series and advance to the championship round against Ogden. Yoimer Camacho had the ball to start and was terrific going 5 innings and allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Missoula got on the board first in the 4th inning off a Socrates Brito single, an Alex Glenn RBI double, and a Breland Almadova RBI single. Andrew Velazquez tripled leading off the 5th and scored on Daniel Pulfer's RBI single, one of his 4 hits on the night. The bullpen took it from there. After Jared Ray surrendered a solo homer in the 6th to cut the lead to 3-2, Vince Spilker came on and tossed 2 perfect innings. Missoula got an insurance run in the 9th on a sacrifice fly from Velazquez, and Justin Thompson followed with a perfect 9th to close it out and deliver another Osprey celebration. The championship series starts on Tuesday in Missoula.