Mock Cruises; Frazier Crushes; Williams Cycles

The pitching was on display in Tucson as Chris Michalak took the hard luck loss; In Tennessee the ball was flying however, especially off the bat of Marland Williams who had a cycle and stole second anyway; Garrett Mock got double digit strikeouts in Lancaster; Augie Murillo's 10 game hit streak is history in South Bend, but then again so is Carlos Gonzales' slump...all this and more in the Minor League Roundup.

Tuscon 1, Sacramento 2

 

Chris Michalak has had one bad outing in 2005, his second where he gave up 11 hits and eight earned runs in six innings.  His ERA on the season sits at a not horrible 4.70, his record is 1-1.  Take that one bad start out of the equation and Michalak has been just this side of incredible.  In his three other starts, including Thursday night's no decision, he has given up just four runs in 17 innings with 11 strikeouts against only five walks.

 

Yet he's just 1-1.  Thursday was another fantastic performance for Michalak, who gave up just one run, a solo homer to Matt Watson in the third inning, three hits, and struck out four in six innings as the Sidewinders fell to Sacramento 2-1. 

 

Problem was River Cats lefty John Rheinecker was just that much better.  The southpaw through seven innings of shut out ball, limiting Tucson to just three hits and three walks through the first seven frames.

 

Conor Jackson went 0-2, including a fly out to right with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, but walked three times.  He now has 11 walks on the season, compared to only three strikeouts.  The 0-2 ended Jackson's 10 game hitting streak.

 

Doug DeVore hit his fifth home run in the top of the ninth to tie the game at one, it was DeVore's second hit of the night.  DeVore is eight for 13 in the last three games with two home runs and six RBI.

 

Tennessee 13, Huntsville 14

 

Apparently all the pitching in the organization was in Tucson Thursday night because the Smokies and Stars were involved in anything but a pitchers duel.  Between the two teams 10 pitchers gave up 23 earned runs, 35 hits, and 10 walks.  Both teams had a blown save and neither defense was very good either combining for five errors.

 

Sergio Lizzaraga struggled in the bullpen at Triple-A Tucson, and while he gave up only one earned run in his only Triple-A start this season he also only lasted four innings.  After being demoted to the Smokies Lizzaraga made one bullpen appearance, giving up two runs in 1.2 innings, and then moved into the starting rotation, where he has fared only slightly better.  How slightly?  His ERA as a starter after Thursday's three inning, six hit, four earned run performance is 9.00, as a reliever he's carrying a 10.80.  Opponents are hitting .371 against him as a starter, .375 as a reliever.  It's progress.

 

Marland Williams provided the offensive highlights for the Smokies, going five for five with four runs scored, four RBI, and hitting for the cycle.  As icing on the cake Williams added his seventh stolen base in the second inning.  While the combination of power and speed is no surprise to those in the D'Backs organization, Williams has pleasantly surprised the coaches with his plate discipline.  Thursday Williams drew his eighth walk of the season in 60 at bats.  Last season Williams walked a total of 40 times in 487 at bats.  His 11 strikeouts shouldn't be of much concern either, as Williams K'd 121 times in 2004.  The big night extended his hitting streak to eight games, but ironically this is the first multi-hit game in those eight.

 

Amazingly the teams combined for 27 runs and still managed to leave 18 batters on between them.

 

Lancaster 8, Modesto 2

 

It's Alex Frazier's world, we're all just renting space in it.  The JetHawks entered the ninth inning tied at two with the Modesto Nuts.  Two walks, an error, a bunt single and a ground out gave the JetHawks a two run lead when Frazier stepped up with two on and one out and crushed a home run that put it out of reach.  Frazier was two for four on the day with two runs scored, three RBI, and a stolen base.

 

Danny Richar had his fourth straight two hit game, but made his 11th error of the year.  In 21 games the JetHawks position players have committed 31 errors leading to 25 unearned runs.

 

Though he didn't factor in the decision Garrett Mock had his best outing of the year.  Mock went seven innings and struck out a season high 10 hitters with only one walk and two earned runs.

 

Catcher Miguel Montero was the JetHawks DH and followed Alex Frazier's ninth inning blast with a solo shot of his own, he was two for five on the night and has hit in 11 of his last 13 games. 

 

Wisconsin 12, South Bend 6

 

Orlando Mercado hit his second home run in three games, but it wasn't enough to get the Silverhawks past the Timber Rattlers Thursday as Enmanuel Duran gave up six earned in two plus innings of work.  The young right hander dropped to 0-3 on the season after giving up six hits, walking three, and hitting a batter.

 

Right fielder Carlos Gonzales broke out of a 1-17 slump with a three for three night.  Gonzales doubled, scored two runs, had an RBI and a walk.

 

Augie Murillo's zero for three at the plate snapped his 10 game hit streak, but he did walk and score a run.

 

After giving up only two runs in his first three appearances (10 innings pitched) left hander Kellen Raab has given up eight in his last 8.1 innings, including six earned in 4.2 innings Thursday.  Raab walked only one but had two wild pitches on the night.


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