Lake Monsters Drop High-Scoring Affair
Although the Vermont Lake Monsters are 1-4 to start the year, their offense has been productive during the first five games of the season. The Lake Monsters' bats were at it again on Tuesday in a 12-10 loss to the Aberdeen IronBirds. In five games this season, Vermont has scored 27 runs (5.4 runs per game average) and that is despite scoring only one run combined in games two and three of the season.
Catcher Seong-Min Kim connected on the team's second grandslam of the season. He also added a single and a walk. The native of South Korea has five hits in 16 at-bats (.313) to start the year. Three of those five hits have gone for extra bases.
One night after connecting on his first official professional homerun, Iolana Akau had another good game at the plate. Serving as the DH, Akau had two hits and a walk. Akau is six-for-17 on the year with two extra-base hits.
Shortstop Jesus Lopez also had two hits, while first baseman Chris Iriart had his second straight two-RBI game. He had a hit and a walk in three official at-bats. East Bay native Ryan Howell collected his first pro hit and RBI. He also walked for the third time in three games.
Left-hander Chris Kohler got the start for Vermont. It was his first start in a game that counts since 2013. Kohler missed all of last season with a left elbow injury. He got off to a shaky start, allowing three runs in the first inning. However, Kohler settled down after that and threw four scoreless innings. He finished his night with a line of three runs allowed on six hits and no walks in five innings. Kohler struck-out three.
Tyler Willman and Jesus Rivas ran into trouble in the sixth. The two combined to allow eight runs in the frame, and it appeared the IronBirds would run away with the win. However, the Lake Monsters clawed back, scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth and five more times in the bottom of the eight after the IronBirds had tacked on another run in the top of the frame. The Lake Monsters were unable to rally for the final two runs in the ninth, however.
Cody Kurz threw a scoreless top of the ninth to keep the game close at the end.
Roberts, Smolinski Lead Sounds Past Redbirds
Ryan Roberts went four-for-four and newcomer Jake Smolinski had two hits and two RBI in his Nashville debut to pace the Sounds in a 6-4 win over Memphis. Barry Zito earned the win with six innings of work. He allowed three runs on five hits and four walks. Zito struck-out five.
Zito left the game in the seventh with two-on, no-out and a run in. Dan Otero relieved Zito and allowed one of the inherited runners to score on an RBI groundout, but otherwise escaped the frame unscathed. He worked a one-two-three eighth inning to set the table for Ryan Cook, who loaded the bases with no-outs in the ninth but got a double-play and a ground-out to escape the inning with only one run in and the save.
Otero has allowed 11 hits in 9.2 innings since being sent down to Nashville. Five of those hits came in his first outing, which lasted 1.1 innings. He has struck-out two and walked two. Cook has a 2.91 ERA for Nashville this season. He has six saves in eight chances and 17 strike-outs against nine walks in 21.2 innings.
The Sounds didn't get much offense beyond the contributions of Roberts and Smolinski, but it was enough to get the win. Dayan Viciedo had a double and a walk. He has two hits in 11 at-bats so far for Nashville. Both hits have gone for extra bases.
Covey Shines in All-Star Appearance
Stockton Ports' RHP Dylan Covey threw 1.1 scoreless innings in his appearance in the Cal League/Carolina League All-Star Game. Covey recorded three of his four outs on the ground and he didn't allow a hit. According to InsidetheHalos.com publisher Taylor Ward, who was at the game, Covey sat in the mid-90s with his fastball.
Covey came into the game with two-outs in the first when starter Zack Godley had to leave the game after being struck in the shin with a line-drive. Covey stranded two of Godley's runners in the first before working a one-two-three second inning.
Midland Drops First Game of Second Half
Starter Chris Jensen was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for his performance last week, but he struggled on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings. All five of the runs Jensen allowed came in the fourth inning.
The RockHounds had 12 hits but could only manage four runs. Chad Pinder and Renato Nunez each had three hits to pace the offense. Pinder is now batting .307 on the year and .439 over his past 10 games. Nunez now has three hits and has three straight multi-hit games. He is seven for his last 17.
West Shut-out in Midwest League All-Star Game
The Western Division dropped a 5-0 decision in the Midwest League All-Star game. Yairo Munoz, Trent Gilbert and Sandber Pimentel all had at-bats in the game but none of them recorded hits. Brett Graves had a scoreless 0.2 inning appearance. He struck-out one of the two batters he faced. Pimentel did finish as the runner-up in the pre-game Home Run Derby.
Arizona A's Drop Pitcher's Duel
The AZL A's lost a pitcher's duel in the desert on Tuesday, 3-1, to the AZL Giants. The AZL A's moved to 1-2 on the year.
Fifth-round pick Kevin Duchene made his professional debut, throwing one inning as the starter. He allowed a hit and an unearned run in his debut inning. Branden Kelliher followed Duchene and threw two scoreless innings in his 2015 debut. He struck-out two and didn't allow a walk, although he hit two batters.
Xavier Altamarino, the A's 27th-round pick, made his pro debut on Tuesday, as well. He allowed two runs, but only one was earned. The AZL A's committed three errors in the game. John Gorman, the A's 31st-round pick, made his pro debut with a scoreless fifth. Ivan Andueza (two innings) and Jorge Martinez combined to throw three scoreless frames to finish out the game.
The AZL A's had only five hits in the game. Hard-hitting outfielder Jhonny Rodriguez had a double and a walk. Rehabbing infielder Rangel Ravelo had a triple in two at-bats. He was also hit twice and left the game for a pinch-runner after the second hit-by-pitch. Seth Brown, the A's 19th-round pick, collected his first professional hit, a triple. Miguel Guzman and Carlos Hiciano had the other two hits for the AZL A's.