Class Low-A Boise Hawks
BOISE, Id. - The Boise Hawks officially put the finishing touches on a marvelous 2004 season Friday, clinching the Northwest League's Eastern Division with a, 8-4 win and a Tri City loss at Spokane. The Hawks will face either the Everett AquaSox or Vancouver Canadians when league playoffs begin Labor Day Monday. The division title was the Hawks' tenth in franchise history since 1975.
Kyle Boyer finished a perfect 4/4 at the plate and Matt Weber won his fifth, allowing just one earned run on two hits in six innings. Boyer singled twice, and hit a solo homerun and a two-run triple, coming just a double shy of the cycle in his 67th game with the Hawks this season. Boyer has hit safely in six of his last seven starts. Meanwhile, Weber (5-1) struck out three and walked one to up his mark to 3-0 at home this season.
The Hawks (42-32) were able to clinch the division after going 7-5 against Tri City this season. They became the third Cubs minor league affiliate to clinch a post-season birth this year along with Daytona and Lansing.
The following are season-to-date numbers for the Cubs' short-season Low-A affiliate.
As a team, the Hawks are batting .263 in their first 74 games, while their staff has posted a 4.11 ERA. At home, the team has hit .285 and posted a 4.04 staff ERA, while on the road, the Hawks have hit just .242 with a staff ERA of 4.11. With two outs and runners in scoring position, the Eastern Division champs have hit .241 but .291 with less than two outs. By far the Hawks' best overall month was August, when they went 20-8 with a staff ERA of four and a team batting average of .265.
Opening night in league playoff action Monday kicks off at 8:05 CT at Memorial Stadium in Boise.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Renyel Pinto had a rough go of things in his first career Triple-A outing, and if the first at-bat of Friday night's 6-3 Iowa victory over Omaha had been any indication, his second start may not have gone much smoother. Pinto (1-1) gave up a leadoff homerun to Damian Jackson but settled down and gave up just one unearned run in five innings afterwards to help the Cubs to their third straight win.
David Kelton homered and drove in three as part of the victory. It was an impressive night for the 24 year old outfielder in an otherwise disappointing season. Michael Wuertz worked the eighth and ninth innings for his 19th save of the year, but it didn't come easy. Wuertz had to pitch the Cubs out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth after Jason Szuminski and Will Ohman allowed a walk and two singles.
Wuertz proceeded to strike out Jackson and Adrian Brown before getting Mark Teahan to ground out. The right-hander extended his scoreless streak to 11.2 innings, spanning 11 games. Wuertz has allowed earned runs only once in his last 23 outings to lower his ERA for the season to 2.33.
On his last leg, Doug Linton started and took the loss for the Royals. The 39 year old Triple-A veteran gave up four runs on seven hits in just three innings. This season at Omaha, he has averaged less than four innings per start.
Iowa's win keeps them a game ahead of Colorado Springs in the Pacific Coast League Central with just three to play. The Sky Sox routed New Orleans 9-1 on Friday. The Cubs must finish with a better record than the Sky Sox, who own the tiebreaker over Iowa based on head-to-head play.
The Cubs improved to 65-0 when leading after eight innings. They are the only team in the Pacific Coast League that has yet to lose a game when carrying a lead into the ninth inning this season.
Game two of the four-game Holiday weekend series is set for Saturday night at 7:05 CT. Left-hander Shawn Sedlacek will seek his third 10-win season in this his fifth career minor league season overall. He will be opposed by Omaha left-hander Chris George. The Cubs (77-63) have hit .303 against southpaws this season.
WEST TENN REPORT: The Diamond Jaxx were obliterated 19-3 Friday in AA action by the Greenville Braves. Two Braves had four RBIs and two others had three, as Anderson Tavarez made his Double-A debut in forgettable fashion. Taverez (7-6, 4.93) allowed seven runs on nine hits in just 3.2 innings. The highlight of the night was when INF Josh Arteaga was given the opportunity to pitch. Things did not go particularly well as the right-hander gave up five earned runs in just a third of an inning.
LANSING REPORT: Billy Petrick allowed just two hits in six innings as the Lugnuts crushed the Kane County Cougars 14-0. Petrick (13-7) struck out six. Brian Dopirak homered and extended his hitting streak to ten games in the process. Dopirak at one point this season hit safely in 27 straight games. He is just one homerun shy of 40 for the season.
Hawks win! Hawks win!
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