McDonald Rounds Into Form for the Suns

Jason Johnson's six shutout innings boosted Las Vegas to an 8-2 win over Memphis and James McDonald did him an inning better and struck out nine as Jacksonville whitewashed Carolina 2-0. Inland Empire dropped a 9-2 road game at Rancho Cucamunga and Great Lakes was limited to five hits in a 6-0 loss to Wisconsin.

Vegas Pitching Muffles Memphis
Jason Johnson and three relievers limited Memphis to a pair of runs in an 8-2 victory. Johnson (4-2) worked six scoreless innings and allowed only four hits. Joe Jones, B.J. Riley and Ramon Troncoso took it from there and nailed down the win.

The 51s scored a run in the second inning when John-Ford Griffin tripled and scored on a wild pitch. They added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Jason Repko singled, moved up on an error and scored on Luis Maza's single in the fourth and Repko doubled in John Lindsey, who had walked, in the fifth.

Las Vegas put the game away in the sixth, scoring five runs. Johnson started the big inning himself with a double. A pair of failed force plays scored one, Terry Tiffee knocked in a run with a ground ball, Griffin singled in another and Danny Ordoin's single scored the final pair.

Andy LaRoche went 2-for-4 with a walk. He struck out in his first at-bat, then walked and grounded out before lining singles in his last two at-bats.

"Andy worked his butt off to get back," Manager Lorenzo Bundy said. "Now he's here to get some at-bats, and hopefully we'll get him hot and get him out of here. Health-wise, it seems like he's fine. Now it's just a matter of timing. Hopefully, after 50 or 60 at-bats, he'll start to feel pretty comfortable and get it going pretty good."

A couple of his throws to first base were low and LaRoche said his thumb is still not 100 percent healthy. "It's all right, I can get by with it," he said. "It's not 100 percent, but I can swing OK and I can throw the ball OK."

The 6-foot-1-inch, 225-pound slugger also has sprained his left big toe and said it will take three weeks to heal.

The 51s host Memphis tonight in the second game of a five-game series.
  Score by Innings
Memphis	        000 000 011-2
Las Vegas	010 115 00x-8

  Las Vegas	ab r  h  bi ave
Maza ss	        5  1  3  1  .404
Howard 2b	4  0  0  1  .300
Tiffee lf	5  1  2  1  .458
Lindsey 1b	4  1  1  0  .353
LaRoche 3b	4  1  2  0  .238
Griffin rf	5  2  2  1  .280
Repko cf	4  1  2  1  .224
Ardoin c	5  0  1  2  .264
Johnson p	3  1  1  0  .333
 Ruan ph	1  0  0  0  .474
 Jones p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Riley p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
  Totals	40 8 14 7
  Memphis	33 2  9 2

  2B- Reek (5), Johnson (2). 
3B- Griffin (2). RBI- Maza
(15), Repko (10< Howard (21),
Tiffee (29), Griffin (14),
Ardoin 2 (12). LOB- Las Vegas
12, Memphis 8. SB- Repko (3).
DP- 3 Maza, Lindsey and Howard;
Maza and Howard; Maza and
Lindsey.

  Las Vegas	 in  h  r-er bb so  ave
Johnson (4-2)	6.0  4  0-0  1  3  5.45
Jones 	        1.0  1  0-0  0  2  4.70
Riley	        1.0  2  1-1  2  0  3.86
Troncoso	1.0  2  1-1  1  1  8.22
  T- 2:54. Att- 2,666.
McDonald Keys Suns First Shutout
?Highly-rated prospect James McDonald came up with his best pitching performance of the season, helped by an effective bullpen, to record the Suns' first shutout of the season.

The righthander allowed five hits and struck out a season-high nine to lead the Suns to a 2-0 win over Carolina in front of 3,563 on Tuesday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

"I felt a little fresher out there today," McDonald told the Jacksonville Times-Union about his seven-inning outing. "There was a little more life in my pitches, and my arm was feeling good. The key was getting ahead of hitters and throwing strikes. I used my fastball and tried to work the whole plate, go high and low, inside and out."

The 23-year-old right-hander, who is slowly rounding into shape after missing much of spring training with a tired arm, dominated the Mudcats. But he didn't receive the win, leaving after seven innings in a scoreless tie.

Marty Reed, the Dodgers' roving minor-league pitching coordinator, liked what he saw from McDonald. "He had good command of his fastball and was working both sides of the plate with that pitch," Reed said. "When you can do that, it's a recipe for success."

Tanyon Sturtze earned the win in relief after Lucas May singled home the first run of the game in the bottom of the eighth. Two batters later, Jamie Hoffmann provided the Suns (15-17) with an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.

Sun Spots-- The Suns handed Mudcats pitcher Chris Volstad his first loss of the season after a 3-0 start. ...May had two of the Suns' four hits. ...McDonald has 35 strikeouts this season, fifth-best in the Southern League and one behind leader Clayton Kershaw, who might see action out of the Suns' bullpen today. ...Suns RHP Danny Muegge (0-0, 3.00) is scheduled to start against Mudcats LHP Aaron Thompson (0-3, 4.40).
  Score by Innings
Carolina	000 000 000-0
Jacksonville	000 000 02x-2

  Jacksonville	ab r  h  bi  ave
De Jesus ss	4  1  1  0  .291
Godwin cf	3  0  0  0  .262
Jacobs lf	3  1  0  0  .270
May c	        4  0  2  1  .333
Mitchell 3b	2  0  0  0  .279
Hoffman rf	2  0  0  0  .235
Rivera 1b	4  0  1  0  .225
Justis 1b	4  0  1  0  .315
McDonald	2  0  0  0  .143
 Malek ph	1  0  0  0  .171
 Sturtze p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Sierra p	0  0  0  0  .000

  RBI- May (19), Hoffmann (7).
S- Godwin. SF- Hoffmann. LOB-
Jacksonville 8, Carolina 7. CS-
Justis (1). 

 Jacksonville	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
McDonald 	7.0  5  0-0  0  9  4.19
Sturtze (1-1)	1.0  1  0-0  1  2 11.74
Sierra (sv 2)	1.0  1  0-0  0  1  5.40
  T- 2:07. Att- 3,563.
Inland Empire Shaken by Quakes
Rancho Cucamonga scored nine runs in the opener against Inland Empire, using four homers as they beat the 66ers (11-21) 9-2.

The Angels Howie Kendrick, rehabbing a sore hamstring, homered in his first two at bats, singled in his third and scored three runs.

Inland Empire scored in the first inning when Trayvon Robinson doubled to lead off the game and scored on a Josh Bell fielders' choice. Drew Locke walked with two out in the seventh and came home when Tommy Giles singled him to third and Bridger Hunt singled to center.

Robinson and Giles each had two hits, while Hunt's single was the only other base hit for the 66ers.

Tim Sexton (2-5) was roughed up for seven runs on nine hits, fanned three and walked one in five plus frames. Sexton gave up three of the four Quakes' home runs.

Inland Empire has only two road wins after more than a month into the season. They beat the High Desert Mavericks 15-4 in Adelanto and the San Jose Giants 1-0 in a gem eight days ago.

Game two will see the Sixers send supplemental first round pick James Adkins to the hill. They will be back in town next Monday to play the Quakes.  
 Score by Innings
Inland Empire	100 000 100-2
Cucamonga	121 012 02x-9

  Inland Empire	ab r  h  bi  ave
Robinson cf	4  1  2  0  .233
Berezay lf	3  0  0  0  .230
Bell 3b        	3  0  0  1  .292
Perez dh	4  0  0  0  .262
Santana c	4  0  0  0  .310
Locke 1b	3  1  0  0  .244
Giles rf        4  0  2  0  .268
Hunt 2b        	3  0  1  1  .222
Lara ss        	3  0  0  0  .231
  Totals	27 2  5 2
  Cucamonga	38 9 12 8

  Error- Bell (2), Santana (6),
Robinson (2). RBI- Inland Empire
Bell (14), Hunt (2). LOB- Inland
Empire 5, Cucamonga 5. 

  Inland Empire	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Sexton (2-5)	5.0  9  7-6  1  3  4.84
Jones        	2.0  1  0-0  0  1  3.66
Pfeiffer	1.0  2  2-2  0  0  8.74
  T- 2:11. Att- 2,084.
Wisconsin Blanks Loons
Brad Golder/Loons.com
A crowd of nearly 5,000 at Dow Diamond witnessed an excellent display of pitching Tuesday morning on School Kids Day, presented by the Holiday Inn, Midland. But it was Wisconsin's Nathan Adcock and two relievers who combined for a five-hit shutout to drop the Loons' 6-0.

Joseph Dunigan opened the Wisconsin scoring in the first with a three-run home run. He finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Gavin Dickey went 4-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored. 

Starter Daigoro Rondon (2-3) was tagged with the loss, surrendering four earned runs in 5.2 innings. Geison Aquasviva and a pair of Miguels, Sanfler and Ramirez, gave up only three hits and a single run over the final 3.1 innings.

Andrew Lambo notched two of the Loons' five hits. The bottom five in the Loons' batting order went a combined 0-for-18 with seven strikeouts.
The Loons return to action in Dayton on Thursday.  Justin Miller, second in the Midwest League in ERA, will get the start for the Loons against the Dragons' Luis Montano
  Score by Innings
Wisconsin 	300 101 010-6
Great Lakes	000 000 000-0
 
  Great Lakes	ab r  h  bi  ave
Kanaby cf	3  0  1  0  .208
Rosario dh	4  0  1  0  .260
Lambo lf	3  0  2  0  .262
Mathews 1b	4  0  1  0  .198
Garabedian c	4  0  0  0  .226
Baez 3b        	4  0  0  0  .187
Mattingly 2b	4  0  0  0  .200
Van Slyke rf	3  0  0  0  .148
Dalton ss	3  0  0  0  .130
  Totals	32 0  5 0
  Wisconsin	36 6 12 5

  Error- Garabedian 2 (3). LOB- 
Great Lakes 7, Wisconsin 4.

  Great Lakes	 in  h  r-er bb so  era
Rondon (2-3)	5.2  9  5-4  0  5  6.43
Aguasviva	1.1  1  0-0  0  1  8.82
Sanfler	        1.0  1  1-1  0  0  7.36
Ramirez 	1.0  1  0-0  0  0  0.00
  T- 2:40. Att- 4,942.

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