The Missoula Osprey completed their exciting run to the playoffs with a win over division rival Billings 8-5 to wrap up the North Division second half title by two games. Missoula won their final four games while Billings lost their final 3. They take on Great Falls tonight at home in Game 1 of the Division Series Playoffs with Chris Pack on the mound. Karl Triana will start Game 2 and Yoimer Camacho goes in Game 3 if necessary. In other Minor League playoff action Reno lost Game 2 of their 5-game series with Sacramento 1-0 in a tense pitcher's duel. Sacramento's Jesse Chavez shut down the Reno offense with 8 shutout innings and 10 strikeouts. Chavez was just purchased by Oakland on August 24th from Toronto. That series is now tied one game apiece as they head to Reno for the final three games of the series. Charles Brewer takes the mound next for Reno. Mobile opened their 5-game 1st Round Playoff Series against Montgomery with a 5-3 victory to take a 1-0 lead. Chase Anderson was solid on the mound and the bullpen was up to the task of holding on to the inherited 5-2 lead. David Holmberg will start for Mobile in Game 2 tonight.
3 Stars: David Nick, Mobile 3 for 3, 2 R, 2 DBL
2 Stars: Alex Glenn, Missoula 2 for 4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 TPL, 2 RBI
1 Star: Ross Gerdeman, Missoula 6 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3 ER
0 Stars: Ryan Budde, Reno 0 for 3, 3 K
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 0 @ Sacramento 1. A solo home run by Jemile Weeks in the 3rd inning off Daniel Cabrera was all that was needed to send Sacramento to a series-tying win over the Aces. Cabrera was solid for 4 innings surrendering just the one run on 6 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts. The Reno bullpen was outstanding for the second night in a row as Zach Kroenke, Mike DeMark and Matt Gorgen followed with 4 scoreless, hitless innings. Unfortunately the offense couldn't muster a single run on just 4 hits. Sacramento starter Jesse Chavez had a no-hitter going through 5 innings but Reno threatened in the 6th with two singles and a walk to load the bases with 2 outs, but Josh Bell flied to center to end the threat. Mike Jacobs doubled leading off the 7th and reached 3rd on a groundout with 1 out, but Taylor Harbin struck out and Tyler Bortnick flied to left. There were no serious threats in the 8th or 9th. A.J. Pollock led all Aces hitters with 2 singles. Game 3 is tonight in Reno as Charles Brewer takes the ball for the Aces with the series tied at one game each.
Double A: Mobile 5 Montgomery 3. Chase Anderson was solid in Game 1 of the Bay Bears' playoff series, the offense had a couple of good innings to take a 5-2 lead, and the bullpen finished it off efficiently. Anderson went 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 8 hits and a walk with a whopping 9 strikeouts. Evan Marshall came on next and tossed 2 shutout innings followed by Kevin Munson with another to get it to the 9th and closer Eury De La Rosa. De La Rosa made it interesting by allowing 3 singles sandwiched around a fly out, but he got the next two hitters on ground balls to close it out. Mobile posted a 3-spot in the 3rd on 4 consecutive hits by Rossmel Perez, David Nick, Ollie Linton and Evan Frey plus a sacrifice fly from Chris Owings. They got two more in the 5th on a Chris Owings RBI single and a Matt Davidson bases-loaded walk. David Nick was a perfect 3 for 3 with 2 doubles and Ollie Linton was also perfect with 2 singles and a walk in 3 at bats. Game 2 goes tonight at home with David Holmberg scheduled for Mobile.
Rookie: Missoula 8 Billings 5. The Osprey did the improbable by winning their last four games including a 2-game sweep of division leader Billings to advance to the Pioneer League Playoffs. I have to take some of the credit by applying the reverse jinx to Missoula starter Ross Gerdeman of whom I expressed great nervousness about him starting such a big game considering his struggles throughout the year. But Gerdeman came up huge with 6 very good innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and no walks. That was plenty good for an offense that came to play as they scored 7 runs over the first 5 innings and held on against several late furious Billings rallies. Billings got 2 in the 7th off Gerdeman and Chase Stevens. In the 8th they started with a solo home run and then loaded the bases with 2 outs against Vince Spilker before he induced an inning-ending fly ball. They brought the tying run to the plate in the 9th as well on a single and an Andrew Velazquez error. But closer Justin Thompson got a pop-up before striking out the final batter to start the on-field celebration. Alex Glenn was a hitting star once again going 2 for 4 with a triple and 2 RBI. This is a guy who is working his way up my prospect board in a hurry. Daniel Pulfer, Jake Lamb and Rudy Flores each added a pair of singles and an RBI to the attack.
The 3-game playoff series starts tonight at home with Chris Pack taking the mound in Game 1.