Minor League Highlights for Friday, April 18
Tucson 3, Tacoma 0. The Rainiers failed to get anything going off three Sidewinders, mustering just two singles on the way to being shut out. Mickey Lopez, spending time at shortstop, and 1B Andy Barkett provided the two hits for the Rainiers, while LHP Craig Anderson was the hard luck loser. He finally had his command and held Tucson to just 3 runs (1 earned) in 6 innings of work. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out one, allowing only 5 hits. Jeff Heaverlo takes the mound for the Rainiers today.
San Antonio 6, Midland 4.
1B A.J. Zapp hit his organization leading 5th home run of the year as part of his 3-4 evening, scoring twice and driving in two runs. Zapp now has more hom runs than the rest of his teammates combined (3), and as many as the entire Inland Empire team. 3B Justin Leone also drove in a pair of runs and SS Jose Lopez scored twice, providing the necessary offense. RHP Chris Wright got the start and struggled again, allowing 4 runs in 4 2/3 innings. Justin Lamber picked up the win in relief with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out three on the way. Jared Hoerman earned his second save with a perfect 9th inning. Travis Blackley squares off today against John Rheinecker in a battle of young southpaws who are among the best prospects in their organizations.
Inland Empire 6, Rancho Cucamonga 1.
2B Ismael Castro had a pair of hits and runs scored and 3B Hunter Brown hit his first home run of the year to lead the 66’ers offense. OF Shin-Soo Choo is slowly raising his average, bringing it to .195 with a 1-4 evening, though he did score and drive in a run. RHP Jared Thomas started and got the win with six brilliant innings, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out five. LHP Troy Cate made a rare appearance out of the bullpen to get some work in, pitching a scoreless inning, and LHP Ryan Ketchner finished the game with two more solid innings of work, racking up three strikeouts. He now has a sparking 2/18 walk-strikeout ratio in 11 1/3 innings of work. He’s doing it all without the ability to hear. If anyone ever starts a Ryan Ketchner fan club, consider me a charter member. Cha Sueng Baek takes the hill for Inland Empire today.
Beloit 9, Wisconsin 2. Doubleheader Game 1.
LHP Bobby Livingston took the loss with a rough start, allowing all 9 runs (only 5 earned) in 4 innings of work. He gave up eight hits, walked one, and struck out four. David Morrow tossed two scoreless innings of relief, but the offense wasn’t able to overcome the early deficit. OF Dustin Delucchi, who spent last season in the Independant Leagues, got two hits, as did C Rene Rivera, who has brought his average up to .286. Jon Nelson added his fourth double of the year, continuing to show the power that has the Mariners hopeful he’ll eventually learn the strike zone well enough to be an effective hitter. His 2/15 walk-strikeout rate in 52 at-bats so far isn’t encouraging, however.
Wisconsin 5, Beloit 1. Doubleheader Game 2.
The Timber Rattlers salvaged the second game of the doubleheader behind RHP Rich Dorman, who pitched the first 4 2/3 innings allowing only one unearned run despite giving up ten baserunners. Dorman’s ERA now stands at 0.68 for the season. Oscar Delgado got the win in relief and finished the game by tossing 2 1/3 shutout innings. OF Gary Harris provided the offense with 2 hits, including a triple, and Dustin Delucchi scored twice despite not getting a hit (he drew 3 walks). SS Michael Garciaparra went 0-3 to bring his season line to .143/.217/.238. It will be interesting to see how long the M’s let him struggle in Wisconsin before deciding if he’d be better off spending the summer in Everett. Tom Fulmer takes the hill for the T-Rats today.