Extra Innings; Great Bullpens; Good Wins
Tucson, Tennessee, and Lancaster were all off Fort Wayne 5 @ South Bend 6 in 11 innings On May 3rd lefty Kellen Raab moved into the starting rotation for the South Bend Silverhawks. He won each of his first two starts, allowing just one earned run in each outing. Though he gave up three runs or less in five of his next eight starts, his record over that span was an uninspiring 0-2. Wednesday Raab took matters into his own hands, giving up just three hits and one earned over six innings, but it still wasn't enough to get Raab his third win of the season. First the normally dependable Josh Perrault came on and surrendered as many hits and earned runs as Raab had, but did it in only 1.1 innings, allowing Fort Wayne to tie the score at four. Perrault, who opened the season with nine straight scoreless appearances, and didn't give up an earned run in 13 of his first 14 outings of the year, has struggled in June, allowing runs in five of his nine appearances this month. After Esmerling Vazquez bailed out Perrault lefty Hipolito Guerrero came on and in the top of the 11th inning Guerrero would give up the go ahead run after walking the lead off man. With the bases loaded and just one out Corbey Medlin would come on to get the final two outs of the inning on a pop up and a strike out. Those two outs would prove to be enough to earn Medlin his first win in nearly two years, because the Silverhawks bats came alive in the bottom half of the 11th. Shortstop Alberto Gonzalez was 0-4 coming into the 11th, and his eight game hitting streak was about to go by the wayside, but Gonzalez knocked a single to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Jereme Milons, and then scored on third baseman Augie Murillo's third hit of the night. It was Murillo's fourth straight game with an RBI. The Silverhawks weren't done either. Murillo advanced to second on the throw home trying to nab Gonzalez. The Wizards then elected to walk right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who had already hit his seventh homer of the year Wednesday, and pitch to Josh Buhaigar, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement. The Silverhawks had other ideas, sending Wilkin Castillo up as a pinch hitter. Castillo singled back up the middle, bringing Murillo home, and sealing the victory for the Silverhawks. Shortstop Mark Reynolds homered for the second time in as many games, and his third in his last four. First baseman Cesar Nicolas also homered, it was his seventh jack this month. Yakima 3 @ Salem-Keizer 1 in 11 innings Right hander Adam Howard was brilliant in his second start since being sent to Yakima from South Bend, going seven innings, giving up six hits and just one earned run on a solo homer. The bats though didn't wake up until late. After catcher Richard Mercado opened the top of the 11th inning with a walk, Ricardo Sosa grounded into what appeared to be a double play ball, but when the relay throw went astray Sosa moved to second, and then third on a ground out by Derek Bruce. Which brought Jaen Centeno to the plate with a chance to be a hero. Centeno took advantage, launching a ball over the left field fence to give Yakima the lead. The bullpen was stellar on the day, with four relievers combining to throw four scoreless frames. Matt Fowles and Matt Krohe combined to get through the eighth inning, Enmanuel Duran gave up two hits, but escaped the ninth unscathed, and then Matt Wilkinson didn't allow a hit in two innings to pick up his first win of the season. Wilkinson has been lights out since joining Yakima this season. The native Australian has thrown five innings in 2005, surrendered only one hit, walked two and struck out four in route to a save and Wednesday's win. Missoula 4 @ Great Falls 3 Starter Donald Julio bounced back from a horrible first start to earn his first win of the year Wednesday. Julio threw six innings, giving up five hits and four walks, but pitched around them, allowing only two runs (one earned). First baseman Bryan Byrne's sixth inning bases clearing double was the big blow in the game. It was just Byrne's second extra base hit of the season, but it tied the game. Byrne would score after the next hitter second baseman Ricardo Cruz, singled to drive him home. Since going 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance in the first game of the season DH/1B Osvaldo Diaz has just not stopped hitting. Diaz was 2-3 on Wednesday with a pair of doubles and has hit safely in all five games since opening day, going 8-20 with three doubles, a home run, three RBI and four runs scored.