Fowles Dominating in Yakima; Smokies Forget Bats

Mercado's Been All Smiles in South Bend

Andy Green, Conor Jackson and Brian Barden take the lead for Tucson; the Tennessee Smokies forgot their hitting shoes; AJ Shappi just can't catch a break in Lancaster; Orlando Mercado and Carlos Gonzales do the heavy lifting in South Bend; Despite just two innings from their starter the Yakima Bears are able to get the ball to Matt Fowles, which means they won; Mark Romanczuk at his best in Missoula.

Tucson 8 @ Sacramento 2

Lefty Jon Cannon was good, and the bullpen was fantastic, as the Sidewinders beat up on the River Cats Monday.  Cannon tossed six innings of two run ball, scattering five hits, walking three and striking out three.  It's the fifth time in his last six starts Cannon has given up two runs or less.

Elvin Nina, Javier Lopez and Randy Choate each tossed a scoreless inning, with Nina earning the win.

The usual suspects all contributed from the offensive side.  Andy Green was an almost disappointing 1-3, but he did score two runs, making him 7-13 with nine runs scored in his last four games...Conor Jackson was 2-5 with a run scored and two RBI, giving him 70 driven in this year...Brian Barden was all over the box score, going 1-3 with a triple, a run scored, two walks, and three RBI.

The Sidewinders defense helped pick up the pitching when they needed it, turning three double plays during the game.

Tennessee 0 @ Jacksonville 7

Phil Stockman was pressed into starting duty, and performed well, though he took the loss Monday.  Stockman, making his first start with the Smokies this season, went only 3+ innings, giving up four hits and a walk, but a solo home run was his undoing.  Though he didn't factor into the decsion, it was Pete Sikaras who was lit up, giving up six runs on six hits and walk in his three innings of work.  It was only the fourth time in 36 appearances this season that Sikaras has worked as many as three innings.

The single run Stockman gave up earned him a loss because the Smokies were completely befuddled at the plate.  The team struck out a combined 12 times in the game, and managed only two walks (one each for Adam Haley and Jon Zeringue) and two singles (one each for Matt Morgan, making his third start of the season at second base, and Jesus Cota).

Lancaster 1 @ Inland Empire 7

At this point A. J. Shappi has got to be wondering what it is exactly he's supposed to do.  The right hander had his best outing since being moved up to Hi-A, throwing six innings and giving up just two earned runs, yet still taking his fourth straight loss.  Control continues to be a (new) problem for Shappi, who walked three batters for the second time in Lancaster, after not walking that many in 15 starts at South Bend.

Alex Frazier and Chris Carter were a combined 0-8 Monday, which is particularly distressing considering they are hitting behind Stephen Drew, who was 2-2 with two walks and a double.  He scored the only Lancaster run on a Jay Garthwaite RBI single.  Drew is now hitting .366, and .412 when leading off an inning.

Beloit 3 @ South Bend 4

Koley Kolberg can't catch a break.  The young righty threw seven strong innings Monday, giving up just five hits, but two of those left the yard and his three earned runs, while still strong, were enough to keep him from earning a decision Monday.  Lefty Todd Stein came on for a scoreless eighth, and Ryan Coffin picked up the win after working a scoreless ninth when the Silverhawks finally managed to push across the winning run in the bottom half of the frame.

Right fielder Carlos Gonzales was the man with the master plan on Monday.  Gonzales hit an eighth inning homer that brought the Silverhawks back to within one, and then in the bottom of the ninth it was his single that drove in Emilio Bonifacio and gave the Silverhawks the lead. 

Catcher Orlando Mercado is on a mini-tear.  His 1-3 night Monday included a RBI double, and in his last four games the light hitting catcher is 6-15 with two doubles and two RBI, in 36 games prior to the streak Mercado had only three doubles and 16 RBI.

Boise 5 @ Yakima 6 in 10 innings

When your starting pitcher only lasts two innings the last thing a manager wants to see is extra frames, so nobody in the building was happier than Bears manager Jay Gainer when Josh Ford singled to right and brought the winning run home in the 10th Monday.  Ford was 2-5 with a pair of RBI Monday, and was the right man for the job, as he's hitting .333 with runners in scoring position this season.

First baseman Trey Hendricks was just 1-4 with a walk, but he made the most of his at bats, scoring twice, once via a solo home run.  Hendricks is 6-12 with a double, triple, home run and four runs scored in his last three games.

Starter Ryan Schrepple lasted only two innings, giving up five hits, two walks and four first inning runs in his first start of the season.  Schrepple has allowed seven earned runs in his last three innings and opponents are hitting .375 off him early in the season.  After the Bears tied the game at four in the bottom of the first it was up to Matt Krohe, who came on in the third, to keep the game close and he did as he was asked, giving the Bears three innings of scoreless ball.  Ryan Doherty gave up one hit, which led to a run, in his lone inning, and the Craig Pfautz turned in an impressive three innings of one hit, zero run relief, before turning it over to Matt Fowles who picked up his second win of the season with a scoreless 10th.  Fowles has now made 11 appearances (13.1 innings) without giving up an earned run, and opponents are hitting just .136 off the D'Backs 27th (801st overall) round pick from Illinois State University.

Great Falls 2 @ Missoula 4

When left handed starter Mark Romanczuk entered his senior season at Stanford he was being projected as a first round draft pick, but a mediocre record and a drop in the velocity of his fastball dropped him to the fourth round, where the D'Backs eagerly scooped him up.  Looks like that move was a smart one.

Romanczuk had his longest, and strongest outing of the year Monday, going six innings, giving up five hits, and just one earned run.  Though he walked a season high three, he struck out four and earned his first win of his pro career with the outing.  Romanczuk was aided by solid bullpen work from both Vince Davis and Dan Pohlman.  Davis worked two innings, holding onto the lead despite giving up a run in his third straight appearance, and Pohlman recorded his first perfect pro relief outing, retiring all three hitters he faced in the ninth, two via the strikeout.  It was Pohlman's fifth straight scoreless appearance (seven innings) during which time he's struck out eight of the 22 batters he's faced.

Right fielder Greg Thomson was the catalyst, leading off and going 2-4 with two runs scored...the book is apparently getting out that third baseman Rusty Ryal can hit a little, Monday Ryal was 0-1, but walked twice, was hit by a pitch, and scored a run...first baseman Bryan Byrne was 2-3 with a walk Monday, and made his presence felt right away, driving in three runs in the bottom of the first inning with a double, though he's hitting only .223 Byrne is still doing his job in the middle of the order, he's got 14 RBI in just 94 at bats.

 

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