Greg Miller May Be Turning the Corner

Greg Miller worked two scoreless innings as Las Vegas lost 7-1 to Tacoma with Justin Orenduff taking the loss. Great Falls dropped a close, 6-5 decision to Fort Wayne. Jacksonville and Inland Empire had the evening off.

Miller, nearly forgotten by many, was just as sparkling as Clayton Kershaw when he broke into baseball as a 18-year-old at Rookie-level Great Falls, helping the Dodgers capture the Pioneer League championship. He was named by Baseball America as the league's eighth-best prospect. In his final four starts, was 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA (3 ER/19.1 IP).

In 2003 he was selected as the Dodger organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. In a combined 25 starts for Single-A Vero Beach and Double-A Jacksonville, was 12-5, compiling a 2.21 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 142.1 innings. His ERA was the lowest among all Dodger full-season minor leaguers. He was named to season-end Florida State League All-Star Team after finishing third in the league with a 2.49 ERA for Vero Beach.
<>br> Upon his promotion to Jacksonville, at age 18, he was the Southern League's youngest player. In his four starts with the Suns, had a 1.01 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 26.2 innings, winning Dodger Minor League Pitcher of the Month laurels for August. Selected to Sportsticker's All-Teen TeamBaseball America tabbed him as the FSL's second-best prospect.

Then the trouble begain. He missed the entire 2004 season while recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent during Spring Training.

After multiple operations, his pitching motion was altered and control problems resulted. He battled that through the 2007 season.

He had a rocky April, finishing it 0-2 with a 9.00 earned run average. But May has seen remarkable improvement and after the Tacoma game he was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA over six appearances and nine innings, allowing opponents only a .226 average.

Raniers Win on Grand Slam
Las Vegas pounded out 12 hits but could manage only a single run in the 7-1 loss to Tacoma. Starter Justin Orenduff issued three walks and fired a wild pitch that led to three first inning runs.

After a 1-2-3 second inning, he pitched around a walk and a hit batsman in the third but ran into real problems in the fourth.

A fielding error allowed the leadoff man to reach base and with one out, Orenduff gave up a single and was replaced by Mike Koplove.

Koplove walked a batter before serving up a grand slam homer, effectively ending the game at that moment.

Las Vegas (22-23) scored in the fourth on consecutive singles by John-Ford Griffin, Wilkin Ruan and A.J. Ellis before Rex Rundgren grounded into an inning-ending double play, one of three the Raniers turned during the game.
 Score by innings
Las Vegas	000 100 000-1
Tacoma	        300 400 00x-7

 Las Vegas	ab r  h  bi  ave
Paul cf        	5  0  0  0  .264
Chavez 2b	5  0  1  0  .266
Tiffee dh	3  0  1  0  .421
LaRoche 2b	3  0  0  0  .283
Lindsey 1b	4  0  3  0  .342
Griffin lf	4  1  1  0  .409
Ruan rf        	4  0  2  0  .409
Ellis c        	4  0  2  1  .293
Rundgren ss	4  0  2  0  .193
  Totals	36 1 12 1
  Tacoma	32 7  7 6

 Error- Lindsey (2). 2b hits- Lindsey
(12). RBI- Ellis (11). LOB- Las Vegas
10, Tacoma 8.

 Las Vegas	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Orenduff (1-2)	3.1  3  5-4  4  2  5.31
Koplove	        1.2  2  2-2  1  2  2.42
Miller	        2.0  1  0-0  1  1  6.55
Falkenborg	1.0  1  0-0  0  3  5.49
 WP- Orenduff 2. HBP- Orenduff.
T- 2:30. Att- 2,872.
Jacksonville-- After an open date, the Suns meet Carolina tonight.

Inland Empire-- After an open date the 66ers travel to High Desert for a series with the Mavericks.

Home Runs Drop Loons 6-5
Brad Golder/Loon.com
A three-run home run lifted the Fort Wayne Wizards to a 6-5 win over the Great Lakes Loons. The game was played in front of a sellout crowd of 5,431 at Dow Diamond.

The Loons scored first in the second inning when Preston Mattingly blasted his fifth home run (#5) of the season.

Great Lakes added a second run in the third when Alfredo Silverio grounded into a fielder's choice to push home Kenley Jansen and make it 2-0 Loons.

Fort Wayne countered with single runs in the fourth and fifth before Jansen drilled a home run (#5) to deep center field to give the Loons back the lead 3-2.

In the sixth, an RBI double high off the right-field wall, just inches from a home run tied the game, 3-3. 

The game continued to see-saw as Parker Dalton lined an RBI single to right field in the bottom half of the inning to break the tie. He would come around to score from first on Jansen's RBI single to make it 5-3.

Another Wizards home run, this time with two on, gave Fort Wayne a 6-5 lead.

The Loons had a chance to tie the game in the eighth with the bases loaded, but Erik Kanaby bounced out to first to end the threat.

Justin Miller started for Great Lakes and battled control problems in his 3.2 innings, walking seven and striking out five but only allowing one Fort Wayne run.

Bobby Blevins allowed two runs in 2.1 innings. Thomas Melgarejo (1-1) followed and allowed the three-run to record the loss.

  The Loons fall to 21-23 while the Wizards improve to 21-24.

Great Lakes takes on the Wizards in game three of a four-game series from Dow Diamond tonight. Kyle Smit is scheduled to start for the Loons.
  Score by Innings
Fort Wayne	000 111 300-6
Great Lakes	011 012 000-5

  Great Lakes	ab r  h  bi  ave
Kanaby cf	5  0  2  0  .256
Rosario dh	3  0  0  0  .250
Silverio rf	5  0  0  1  .273
Lambo lf	5  0  0  0  .256
Ortiz 1b	3  0  0  0  .224
 Baez pr-3b	0  0  0  0  .194
Mattingly 2b	2  1  1  1  .250
 Fuller 2b	1  1  1  0  .389
Mathews 3b-1b	3  0  0  0  .198
Dalton ss	3  1  1  1  .204
Jansen c	2  2  2  2  .200
  Totals	32 5 7 5
  Fort Wayne	35 6 8 6

  Error- Fuller (4). 3B- Fuller (1).
HR- Mattingly (5), Jansen (5). RBI- 
Mattingly (17), Silverio (12), Jansen
2 (9), Dalton (6). S-Rosario, Fuller.
LOB- Great Lakes 8, Fort Wayne 11.
CS- Kanaby (4).

  Great Lakes	in   h  r-er bb so  era
JMiller	        3.2  1  1-1  7  5  2.74
Blevins	        2.1  4  2-2  1  4  2.77
Melgarejo (1-1)	1.0  3  3-2  0  0  4.05
Brannon	        2.0  0  0-0  1  2  6.75
  HBP- Dalton. T- 3:09. Att- 5,431.
Lasorda Visits Dow Diamond-- Hall of Fame Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda is visiting Dow Diamond this week representing the Dodgers and showing support for the fans, players and staff members of the Loons, as well as to help raise money for the Michigan Baseball Foundation.

  Lasorda watched the Loons' game against Fort Wayne and will remain in town through Thursday, and will speak at a special luncheon tomorrow, May 21, and will meet with fans.

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