Suns Thumped Before Rain-- William Juarez (4-2) recorded an unusual complete game, allowing nine runs on 13 hits over five innings before rain mercifully ended the contest. Chin Lung Hu tripled to lead off the game for Jacksonville, who slipped to 21-19, and scored on Xavier Paul's groundout. In the third inning Hu drew a one-out walk and scored on Paul's double to end the Suns offensive efforts for the night.
Eight of Mobile's 13 hits went for extra bases off of Juarez who lost his second game in six decisions.
Jacksonville was held to four hits, with Cory Dunlap and Wilkin Ruan collecting the other two.
Hu Can See Clearly Now-- Chin Lung Hu hit .254 last season with Jacksonville, the first time in his professional career he finished below the .300 mark.
"I couldn't focus on the ball leaving the pitcher's hand," Hu told Jeff Elliott of the Jacksonville Times Union. Hu, who was born and still lives in Taiwan during the off-season. said "I would go to the batting cage and work on it, and it was OK. But when I got up to bat in a game, when the pitcher threw the ball, it was like I was seeing more than one ball. I don't wear contacts, and they [the doctors] say my vision is fine. I'm just glad that whatever it was cleared up."
Even in a mild slump (3-for-15) this week in Mobile, Hu is still batting .358, third-best in the Southern League.
He is enjoying his best of five seasons in minor-league baseball, although his fielding percentage has dipped slightly from a year ago, when his .981 led the Southern League shortstops.
Hu has worked at switch-hitting in the batting cages on a daily basis, but he has yet to try it in a game this year. Hu did move to the left side of the batter's box one time in a spring-training game and grounded out.
Last year's Suns hitting coach, Mike Easler, first suggested that Hu try switch-hitting. Easler had seen Hu swing left-handed just for fun in the batting cage and suggested he pursue it after seeing the fluid stroke.
Jon De Watson, the Los Angeles Dodgers' director of player development, said the organization won't push Hu to make the transition a priority.
"We're not trying to force it on him," Watson told Elliott. "If he chooses to keep trying it from the left side, we're willing to let him go ahead and see if it's going to be a viable option for him. Past history says he's actually hitting right-handed pitching better than left-handers, so you hesitate to see him go to the other side and take away some of his strength.
"I do think it's something he can pick up and could use to his advantage. He's still really young (23). There's some things he still needs to work on, like driving the ball into the gaps for extra bases. But he's definitely an asset for our organization. We're just looking forward to him to continually grow his way up to the big leagues."
Score by Innings Jacksonville 101 000-2 Mobile 107 01z-9 Jacksonville ab r h bi ave Hu ss 2 2 1 0 .358 Ruan rf 3 0 1 0 .273 Allen pr 0 0 0 0 .000 Paul cf 3 0 1 2 .297 Dunlap 1b 3 0 1 0 .265 McDougall 3b 2 0 0 0 .248 Raglani lf 2 0 0 0 .254 Gonzalez 2b 2 0 0 0 .216 Apodaca c 2 0 0 0 .000 Juarez p 2 0 0 0 .125 Totals 21 2 4 2 Mobile 25 9 13 8 2B- Paul (7). 3B- Hu (3). RBI- Paul (22). DP- Gonzalez. LOB- Inland Empire 2, Mobile 7. Jacksonville in h r-er bb so era Juaez (4-2) 5.0 13 9-9 3 5 4.79 HB- Juarez. T- 1:35. Att- 1,149.Lasorda Watches Sixers Win--Tommy Lasorda was on hand to watch Inland Empire cruse to a 5-0 win over Stockton as starting pitcher James McDonald (3-3) earned his third victory in as many starts, allowing three hits, walking none, and striking out nine in seven innings.
After Lasorda talked to the team for 20 minutes prior to the game, the Sixers broke a two-game losing streak. "His last three starts have all been like tonight. He got all three pitches over, and he doesn't walk guys," Collins told J. P. Hoornstra of the San Bernardino Sun.
The right-hander got solid run support. Jamie Hoffmann's three-run home run in the second inning was the Sixers' gave them a 4-0 lead.
With two out in the inning, James Tomlin doubled and Ryan Rogowski walked. Hoffman then hit a shot that cleared the fence in left-center field, his third homer this year.
The Sixers got on the board in the first inning when Hoffmann singled and later scored on a wild pitch. They added an insurance run in the fifth when Travis Denker singled home Russell Mitchell.
Score by Innings Stockton 000 000 000-0 Inland Empire 131 000 00x-5 Inland Empire ab r h bi ave Hoffman rf 3 2 2 3 .331 DeWitt 3b 4 0 1 0 .220 May c 3 0 1 0 .285 Mitchell 1b 2 1 0 0 .315 Denker 2b 3 0 0 0 .347 Rivera ph-2b 1 0 1 0 .250 DeJesus ss 3 0 1 1 .236 Harper dh 4 0 0 0 .197 Tomlin cf 3 1 1 0 .308 Rogowski lf 2 1 1 0 .242 Godwin ph-lf 1 0 0 0 .228 Totals 29 5 8 4 Stockton 30 0 3 0 2B- Tomlin (2), DeWitt (9), Rogowski (9). HR- Hoffman (3). SB- Mitchell (1). CS- Tomlin (2), DeJesus (2). LOB- Inland Empire 7, Stockton 3. Inland Empire in h r-er bb so era McDonald (3-2) 7.0 3 0-0 0 9 2.91 Wilson 2.0 0 0-0 0 2 2.25 HBP- Hoffman. T- 2:29. Att- 2,367.Great Lakes-- Open date.
Mattingly Moved to Second-- Preston Mattingly has struggled at shortstop for the Great Lakes, committing 15 errors so far, tops in the Midwest League, now has a new position: second base.
"At second base, it gives him a chance to slow (the game) down a little bit. He can knock (the ball) down and make the throw and not be as rushed or as perfect from the hole as if he's (at short)," said DeJon Watson, director of player development for the Dodgers, who was at Dow Diamond Monday night.
Watson said the Dodgers think very highly of the 19-year-old Mattingly, and want to have him at a position where there's not as much pressure to make defensive plays.
Watson said of Loons' ace Clayton Kershaw: "He will let us know when he's ready (to move up). When he's dominating this league, or if it's like he's way too talented for this league, we'll challenge him again. For us, it's making him understand where he's playing now, and being in the now, and pitching in the Midwest League."