Tucson 4 @ Salt Lake 2
Lefty Bill Murphy has been a hot commodity long before the Diamondbacks aquired him last summer in the Steve Finley trade, but over his last five starts he's finally started to justify that status. Murphy got a late start (he didn't make his first start until May 8th) after sustaining an injury during spring training, and is just now rounding into form. Tuesday Murphy grabbed his third victory of the year by throwing 5.1 innings of six hit, two run ball. It was the fifth consecutive start where Murphy went at least 5.1 innings and gave up two runs or less.
Murphy should give a significant amount of credit to his bullpen. With one out in the sixth Sidewinders Manager Chip Hale pulled Murphy with runners on first and second. Matt Herges, continuing to try and work his way back into the Diamondbacks favor, retired the first hitter he would face on strikes, but allowed a run scoring single three pitches later. Herges would get the next Salt Lake batter and preserve the lead. After Herges came Jason Bulger and Randy Choate, both of whom retired the side in order, and Vladimir Nunez made his debut in Tucson, pitching one inning, walking a batter and striking one out on his way to the save.
Though it was Nunez's first game in a Sidewinders uni, the 30 year old right hander had appeared in 39 Pacific Coast League games prior to Tuesday, first with the Oklahoma RedHawks, and then with the Memphis Redbirds.
Every Sidewinders hitter got in on the action, with all nine getting at least one hit, but the damage was done by the top of the order. Both Andy Green and Conor Jackson would double, and both would drive in a run, while Matt Kata would get the start at shortstop and go 2-4 with two RBI on the day.
Keone DeRenne, who had been moved down to Lancaster to fill Stephen Drew's spot while he was on the disabled list was back with the Sidewinders and making the case that he belongs. DeRenne was 3-4 on the day with a double and two runs scored and is 4-8 since his return to Triple-A.
West Tennessee 10 @ Tennessee 4
Adam Bass managed to get himself out of trouble through the first five innings, but allowed three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings and took the loss, dropping his record to 2-8 on the season. Bass allowed home runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, the first time all season he'd allowed more than one homer in a game. In fact Bass had allowed only six homers in 85.1 innings pitched coming into Tuesday night.
The Smokies managed 10 hits as a team, but seven of those came from just two players, shortstop Adam Haley and left fielder Noochie Varner. Batting in the #2 spot in the order Varner broke out of a 3-23 slump by going 4-5 with two doubles and three RBI. Haley, who has found playing time hard to come by since the return of Jerry Gil, was 3-3 including his third home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth inning.
Lancaster 4 @ Lake Elsinore 5 in 11 innings
Left hander Matt Chico had his best start of the season, throwing seven innings of three hit, one run ball, and appeared to be headed for his second win in Lancaster after shortstop Stephen Drew hit his second homer of the night in the eighth inning, but closer Dustin Glant blew his fourth save of the year. Chico tied his Lancaster season high with seven strikeouts, K-ing at least one Lake Elsinore hitter in six of his seven innings.
Drew's 2-5, two homer, four RBI night extended his current hitting streak to six games, and he has now had a hit in 11 of the 13 games he's appeared in for Lancaster. It was Drew's first multi-homer game in the D'Backs system, and his second four RBI night.
First baseman Chris Carter continued to reap the benefits of hitting ahead of Drew in the lineup. Carter also extended his hitting streak to six games with a 3-5 night that included his 21st double of the season and his 57th run scored.
Catcher Miguel Montero had his eight game hitting streak snapped with an 0-4 night, but his 8th inning walk and subsequint run scored kept two other streaks alive. Montero has scored a run in his last six games and has reached base in his last 16.
South Bend 7 @ Burlington 8
Coming into Tuesday night Silverhawks righty Chris Kinsey had lost his last seven starts, dating back to his time in the Hi-A California League, so his no decsion could be viewed as improvement. It would be hard to see his performance on the mound that way though. Kinsey lasted five plus innings, but surrended seven hits, including two home runs, and five Burlington players crossed the plate during his watch.
First baseman Cesar Nicolas hit his second home run in as many nights, a solo shot, and picked up two other RBI with a double during his 2-3 day. Nicolas also drew a walk for the eighth consective game, and has 10 walks during that eight game streak.
Third baseman Augie Murillo continues to be the most dependable player on the Silverhawks roster. Tuesday Murillo was 3-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. It was his 11th game this season where he had at least three hits.
Second baseman Emilio Bonifacio had his third straight two hit game, and his sixth in his last eight starts.
Yakima was rained out
Missoula 14 @ Billings 3
The last time Ramon Sanchez took the hill, on the 30th of June, he lasted only one inning, allowing five hits, three walks and seven earned runs. Tuesday Sanchez looked like a different man, going seven innings, allowing five hits and only one run while striking out six. The 21 year old right handed strater was spotted to a 2-0 lead after the top of the first on back to back RBI singles by first baseman Bryan Byrne and DH Will Crouch. It would prove to be just the start of the fun for those two.
Byrne would end his night 3-6 with a double, a run scored, and five RBI, while Crouch, in just his third start since joining the club on July 1st, was 4-4 with a double, five RBI and his first professional home run. Crouch is now 6-12 with three doubles, a homer, five RBI and a stolen base in his young career.
In poker parlance left fielder Osvaldo Diaz had a 'set of fours' Tuesday. Diaz was 4-4 with four runs scored on the night, and added a walk to reach base five times in game for the first time. Diaz is hitting .357 for the season, and nine of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases, though the free swinger has struck out 12 times.