Saturday Night Special -- Five Game-Winning Hits

Saturday was night for individual heros: Las Vegas split two with Salt Lake, losing 4-0 and winning 7-6 on Nori Nakamura's 18th home run in the seventh. Justin Ruggiano's two-run double in the eighth inning gave Jacksonville a 5-4 victory over Carolina. Matt Kemp smacked a pair of homers to boost Vero over the Mets 4-2. Travis Denker hit a tie-breaking three-run HR is Columbus topped 6-1. Jason Mooneyham's single gave Ogden a 6-4 victory over Missoula but the Gulf Coast Dodgers lost 6-4.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah-- The Las Vegas 51s split a double-header with the Salt Lake Stingers, losing game one, 4-0, and rallying for a 7-6 victory in game two before a season-high crowd of 15,628 at Covey Field.
The 51s recorded 1 hit in game one, a lead off double by left fielder Henri Stanley (1-for-3). Right-hander Harold Eckert (5-4) tossed a complete-game. He pitched 6 innings, allowed 7 hits, 4 runs, walked 4 and struck out 6.
In the nightcap, first baseman Norihiro Nakamura (1-for-4) hit a two-strike, two-out three-run home run to give the 51s a come-from-behind 7-6 victory. The Stingers had scored six in the fourth inning. It was Nakamura's team-leading 18th home run. Second baseman Jose Flores walked (2-for-3, three runs scored) and third baseman Willy Aybar (1-for-3) singled to set the stage for Nakamura. Right-hander Eric Hull pitched 3.2 innings in his Triple-A debut and allowed 2 hits and 5 runs. Beau Dannemiller gave up another run before Franquelis Osoria (3-2) shut things down over the final two innings to earn the win.

ZEBULON, N.C.-- Justin Ruggiano hit a two-run double in the eighth inning in a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Mudcats. Ruggiano had three RBI, bringing home the Suns' first run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning, giving the Suns a 1-0 lead. His second hit gave the Suns their third lead in the seesaw affair. The Suns gave away two one-run leads. The Mudcats scored two unearned runs off Justin Orenduff in the fourth and posted back-to-back two-out seeing-eye singles in the seventh off eventual winning pitcher Jason Olson (1-3) in the seventh. Orenduff allowed two unearned runs over five innings and hasn't allowed an earned run in 15 innings. On his 24th birthday, LHP Hong-chih Kuo pitched two hitless innings to earn his first career save. Right-hander William Juarez (4-2, 3.63 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Carolina in the final game of a three-game series. Sun Spots: Todd Donovan, reassigned from Class AAA Las Vegas, went 3-for-5 and stole two bases. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games. …Jon Weber fouled a ball off his right foot Friday and did not play. …Edwin Jackson pinch-hit in the eighth inning after the Suns took the lead on Ruggiano's hit. Eric Langill originally was on deck, but was called back. …C Russell Martin has six hits in his last 39 at bats (.154). …Donovan's 46 steals is tied for the fourth-highest total in Suns history, surpassing Shane Victorino (45, 2002) and tying Rod Lindsay (46, 2000). --Joe Block.

-- Matt Kemp hit two solo home runs to tie for the league lead and the Vero Beach Dodgers defeated St. Lucie 4-2. Matt Matt Merricks turned in four solid relief innings to improve his record to 2-1 and Mark Alexander struck out the side in the 9th for his 17th save. Kemp's first homer came in the first inning. He clubbed his second in the 6th inning, then drove one to the right field wall in the 8th, narrowly missing the hat trick. His 21 homers tie him with Andy LaRoche, a former VB Dodger who has been in AA Jacksonville for almost a month, and with the Mets Andy Wilson. Greg Miller made his second successful rehab start for the Dodgers. He tossed two perfect relief innings, striking out three Mets. Merricks then dealt four innings, allowing only two hits and one unearned run. He walked one and struck out four. The Dodgers begin a 4-game road trip in Ft. Myers.

COLUMBUS, Georgia-- 2B Travis Denker hit a tie-breaking three-run HR in the bottom of the sixth inning and four Catfish pitchers combined on a four-hitter to beat Savannah 6-1. The Catfish had just one run on two hits going into the sixth inning, but Denker's second HR in as many nights and ninth in his last 62 at-bats gave Columbus the lead and the win. RHP Brian Akin picked up his first win of the season with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and CF Ryan Russ and 1B David Nicholson added two hits each, while Nicholson had a pair of RBI. RHP Dimas Reina and RHP Chris Malone combined to allow just one run in five innings to start the game. Denker has hit 14 HR since June 11th and is fourth in the league with 21. The Catfish induced four double plays off the Sand Gnat bats tonight, including a 6-4-3 double-play groundout to end the game. RHP Zach Hammes (3-4, 4.60 ERA) earns the start tomorrow in the final game of the series against Savannah.

OGDEN, Utah-- Ogden thumped Missoula Osprey 10-8, coming from a 4-0 deficit. A three run home run by Jesus Soto (#5) that drove in Juan Apodaca and Andrew Locke moved the Raptors back into contention and with two out in the fourth. Soto and David Sutherland doubled. Russ Mitchell drew a walk, and a wild pitch moved them up. Jason Mooneyham's single put Ogden on top 6-4. After the Osprey regained the lead, Andrew Locke's solo home tied the ball game at 7-7. Justin Crist singled home BJ Richmond but Missoula again took a one-run lead. Soto and Mitchell both drew walks in the bottom of the 8th and were driven in by a double by Mooneyham to take the lead for good. Mooneyham went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI. Ramon Troncoso (2-1) won in relief. The Raptors regained a one game ahead in the Pioneer League South Division.

VERO BEACH, Florida-- The Dodgers and Mets battled on even terms until the sixth inning when New York pulled away to win 6-4. Eduardo Quintana started and worked four innings, allowing three runs -- two earned --but leaving the game tied 3-3. Kalen Gearhart (1-2) took over and gave up the final three runs and took the loss. In the Dodger third, trailing 3-0, Jeremy Brown tripled and scored on a ground ball off the bat of Ivan De Jesus reached on a fielder's choice and scored on an Eduardo Perez single. They tied in the fourth when Yosanddy Garcia banged his second homer. The Mets led 6-3 when Joshua Bell singled and scored on a Kenley Jansen double.

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