Tucson 8 @ Omaha 10 in 10 innings
Russ Ortiz continued the Rehab Tour '05 in Omaha Monday and while he was far
better than his two and a third inning, 11 earned run showing in Lancaster
Wednesday he also made sure no one mistook him for the guy who won 20 games with
Atlanta a couple years back. Ortiz allowed seven runs, six earned, on
seven hits, three of which left the building. In three rehab assignments
between Tucson and Lancaster Ortiz has gone 11.1 innings, allowed 26 hits, 24
earned runs, and six homers. A recent memo from Jeff Moorad read in part,
"Has anyone seen $34 million dollars I misplaced?"
The bullpen however did its job, keeping the Sidewinders in the game until
the bats awoke. Lefty Randy Choate ran his streak of consecutive scoreless
appearances to 15 with an inning of perfect relief, he last allowed an opponent
to cross the plate in June. Likewise Jason Bulger threw a scoreless frame,
while Matt Herges allowed one run in his one inning of work. The run was
the first Herges had given up in his last 13 outings.
In his third outing since returning to Tucson from the Diamondbacks Brandon Medders took the loss in the bottom of the 10th inning. Medders allowed
two runs, only one earned, after second baseman Keoni DeRenne booted a grounder
to open the inning, and the next hitter homered over the left field fence.
It was only the third homer Medders has allowed with Tucson this season, and the
first since May 7th.
DeRenne was having a fantastic game until the error, he was 3-5 with a
double, a run scored, two stolen bases and three RBI on the day, his first three
RBI day this season. The entire top of the order was hitting, with five of
the first six in the Sidewinders lineup collecting multiple hits. Right
fielder Carlos Quentin was the one left out, as he feels the difference between
hitting behind Conor Jackson, and hitting ahead of Jesus Cota. Quentin was
1-4 on the day but drew two walks as well.
Brian Barden just continues to produce. Hitting fifth in the order
Barden was 2-6 with a double, his 11th home run, and four RBI. Though
Barden is usually thought of as more of a contact hitter, the five spot has been
great to him this season. Despite having only 27 at bats there this
season, he's hitting .370 and has as many homer there (3) as he has had in the
#2 spot in the order, where he has more than 180 at bats.
With a less power laden lineup than usual Sidewinders manager Chip Hale
turned to speed to help things out. While DeRenne's two stolen base day
was nice, Josh Kroeger turned two singles and a walk into three doubles by
swiping three bases on the day.
Though Jesus Cota is hitting well in Tucson, crushing at a .333 clip through
his first 11 games, the power and production one expects out of a clean up
hitter, and corner infielder, is just not there. Through Monday Cota had
only two extra base hits, a double and a homer, and just five RBI.
Montgomery 5 @ Tennessee 7
Tony Pena just does what needs to be done lately. The right hander
continued to pitch well enough to win, allowing five runs (four earned) in seven
plus innings to earn his seventh win of the season, and fifth in his last six
starts. Pena surrendered 10 hits, two of which were homers, but walked
only one and struck out five.
After Pena gave up a two run homer to the second batter he faced in the
eighth inning, Smokies manager Tony Perezchica turned the ball over to his
bullpen, and they did exactly what they were supposed to do, shut down their
opponents. Justin Wechsler gave up just one hit in finishing the eighth,
and in the ninth lefty Doug Slaten struck out the only batter he would face
before handing the ball to Casey Daigle who walked one and struck out one in
route to his 17th save of the season.
It was a team effort offensively, as every Smokies hitter reached base at
least once and seven different Smokies scored their seven runs. Chris Carter raised his season average to .342 with a 2-3 day that included his second
homer of the year, a solo shot in the fourth. Carter has had at least one
hit in nine of the 10 games he's played in since joining the Smokies.
Second baseman Dan Uggla also homered Monday, his 17th, and Jarred Ball
bounced back from an 0-4, four strikeout showing Sunday to go 3-4 with two RBI
on Monday. For Ball it has been a roller coaster season, beginning with
two months that saw limited playing time, then a torrid June where he hit .359,
but he followed that with a July so bad he needed a four hits the last day of
the month to inch his batting average above .200. He's off to a hot start
this August, hitting .391 with six RBI in six games.
Anyone wondering why Ball has come back strong need look no further than the
on deck circle. After initially experimenting with Stephen Drew in the #2
slot in the order Drew has now been moved back to the three spot in the lineup,
and when Stephen Drew is hitting behind you, you can bet you're going to be
seeing more than your share of fastballs. Drew was just 1-4 on Monday, and
hasn't had more than one hit in a game since his 3-3 debut in Double-A.
That leaves Drew's batting average at an anemic .222, but if Drew's average
is anemic, catcher Miguel Montero's batting average is anorexic. Montero,
who was promoted immediately following the Futures Game in July, started hot and
was hitting .333 as recently as July 24th, but since then he's been on a
miserable slide, going just 5-41 with one RBI in his last 11 games.
Lake Elsinore 10 @ Lancaster 12
For the second straight outing Chad Scarbery was less than impressive,
allowing six runs in four innings, and Alex Cremidan allowed three more in the
next inning and a third, but after that the JetHawk bullpen absolutely slammed
the door on the Storm, pulling out the victory in an offensive showcase.
While Matt Wilkinson grabbed the save, and Sam Smith bounced back from a tough
string of outings, it was Micah Owings who really impressed. Owings went
two innings for the second straight outing and didn't allow a hit while striking
out three. The Diamondbacks have told Owings he will be pitching on a very
limited schedule in order to protect an arm that has already thrown 170 innings
this year in college, but they have to be pleased with his progress so far.
When you score 12 runs offensive stars aren't hard to come by, but the number
'5' always seems to stick out. First baseman Edgar Varela's fives came in
the form of hits, as he was 5-5 on the day with a double, two RBI and three runs
scored. While second baseman Danny Richar's five came in the form of RBI,
four of which came on sixth inning grand slam that pushed the JetHawks to a lead
they would not relinquish. Richar, who has struggled mightily in the field
this season, seems to have hit his stride at the plate at roughly the same time
he was moved from shortstop to second base. While Richar's season average
sits at a solid .294, he's hitting more than 20 points higher when he plays
The newest JetHawk, shortstop Kenny Perez, who came over from the Red Sox
organization as part of the Jose Cruz Jr. trade, was 2-5 with two runs scored on
the day. Perez will be eligible to become a sixth year free agent at the
end of the season, and so the rest of this year should be an extended audition
for the youngster, who will likely look for another organization at which to
patrol shortstop, since the Diamondbacks appear to be stocked with them.
Left fielder Alex Frazier improved the on base percentage the hard way
Monday. In addition to going 2-3 at the plate with two runs scored Frazier
was hit by a pitch twice as well. Way to take two for the team.
Lansing 0 @ South Bend 5
The Silverhawks sent 11 men to the plate in the first inning, capping off the
five run inning with a Mark Reynolds home run and knocking Lansing starter
Russell Savickas out of the game after recording only two outs. The
Lansing bullpen would step up and throw 7.1 innings of scoreless relief, but
those five were more than South Bend starter Ross Ohlendorf would need, as the
big right hander was dominating Monday night.
Ohlendorf threw a complete game five hitter, walking only one and striking
out four. Ohlendorf would run into trouble in the eighth, as the Lugnuts
loaded the bases with two out, but otherwise Ohlendorf coasted, at one point
retiring nine straight and picking up his eighth victory, and first complete
game, of the season. Ohlendorf talked to FutureBacks.com earlier in the
season about how even though he was among the league leaders in strikeouts he
knew that to be effective he needed to keep his pitch counts lower and get
ground balls. Mission accomplished, Ohlendorf retired 19 hitters on ground
balls, five via the K, and four in the air.
No South Bend player would log more than one hit in the game, and in fact
only Emilio Bonifacio and Wilkin Castillo would manage hits after the first
inning, but it hardly mattered. Cesar Nicolas' first inning drove home a
run, giving him a RBI in six straight games. During that streak Nicolas
has driven in a total of 12.
Right fielder Carlos Gonzales also continued to be a consistent producer.
His first inning single also drove home a run, and he would score on Nicolas'
double, giving him 14 runs scored in his last 12 games.
Yakima 2 @ Tri-City 6
Last time out right hander Chris Kemlo was tagged to the tune of five earned
in just 2.1 innings, and though he lasted 5.2 on Monday the song remained the
same as Kemlo allowed six earned on 11 hits and three walks, taking his second
straight loss. Kemlo, who had been a reliever while pitching in the
Yankees organization and is starting for the first time as a professional this
season (he was a starter in college) may be hitting a little dead spot with his
arm, as he's just passed the 50 inning mark for the first time as a pro.
Kemlo also got virtually no help from his offense, as only five Bears managed
to reach base, on four singles and a walk. Left fielder Brandon Burgess
extended his modest hitting streak to four game, but also struck out twice.
Right fielder Leyson Septimo and catcher Josh Ford both singled and scored a
run, shortstop Juan Olivares drove in a run with his single, and the only other
baserunner came when center fielder Kevin Williams walked. Williams then
stole a base for the third consecutive game, but the offense was stagnant,
notching just the four singles, and striking out 12 times.
Missoula 5 @ Great Falls 6
Matt Green allowed seven hits and four earned runs in his four innings of
work for the Osprey, but it was reliever Lorenzo Church who would take the loss
after allowing two runs (one earned) in three innings of work.
The Osprey would notch five doubles in the game, two by left fielder Osvaldo Diaz, who also drove in a run, but they left nine men on base, including six in
scoring position, and couldn't complete the come back. Catcher Jake Elder
has been hot, his 2-4 day gave him a .400 average (8-20) with three runs scored,
two doubles, and four RBI in his last five games.