The game between the 51s and Fresno was cancelled because of wet grounds, an occurrence that hasn't happened in Las Vegas since 2000. One has to wonder if, a la Kevin Costner in "Bull Durham," someone wanted a night off and crept into the park and turned on the watering system. The game won't be made up.
Desert Blossoms-- 51s players Terry Tiffee and Mike Koplove returned to Las Vegas from China, where they helped lead the U.S. Olympic baseball team to a bronze medal. Tiffee finished second on the squad in hitting with a .324 batting average (12-for-37) and Koplove didn't allow a run or a hit in 5.1 innings. Tiffee also was named Monday to the 2008 All-PCL team.
Suns Take Improbable Win from Barons
Jacksonville trailed Birmingham 8-5 in the last of the ninth with two out and no one on base. Any bookie worth his salt would offer 100-1 odds on the Suns pulling it out but that is just what they did after Russell Mitchell's home run and Lucas May's RBI single tied the game.
Jamie Hoffman lined an RBI single to right in the 10th to drive in Adam Godwin, who had doubled, and earn Jacksonville a 9-8 victory, despite the fact they were eliminated from the Southern League pennant race when Mississippi won.
It was Jacksonville's ninth win in 12 games. Of the nine wins, eight have been by one run, including the last seven in a row.
James Adkins started and was tagged for five runs before leaving in the third inning. Kieran Mattison, Anthony Tomey and Brian Schlichting followed, keep the Barons close.
Jacobo Meque (1-1) won his first game for the Suns, thanks to the remarkable, late-innings rally.
Trailing 6-0 in the fifth, the Suns fought back to score five times on RBI singles by Hoffmann and newly-arrived Andrew Lambo, plus a two-run error.
In the ninth, Hoffman walked with two out and Mitchell smacked his 15th homer over the left field fence. Lambo reached on an outfield error and May made the Barons pay for the mistake with a game-tying single.
Mitchell had three hits and a pair of runs bated in. Hoffman singled twice and also knocked in two.
Score by Innings Birmingham 005 012 000 0-8 Jacksonville 000 050 003 1-9 Jacksonville ab r h bi ave Justis 3b 5 1 0 0 .265 DeJesus ss 3 1 1 0 .319 Hoffmann rf 5 2 2 2 .278 Mitchell 1b 5 2 3 2 .266 Lambo dh 5 1 1 1 .200 May c 5 0 1 1 .227 JGonzalez 2b 4 0 0 0 .266 Rogowski lf 3 1 1 0 .209 Godwin cf 3 1 1 0 .262 Totals 38 9 10 6 Birmington 34 8 11 7 Errors- Adkins (1), May (7). 2B- Godwin (16). HR- Mitchell (15). RBI- Hoffmann 2 (69), Lambo (1), Mitchell 2 (69), May (51). S- Justis. LOB- Jacksonville 11, Birmingham 7. DP- Hoffmann and De Jesus; De Jesus, JGonzalez and Mitchell. Jacksonville in h r-er bb so era Adkins 2.2 5 5-5 3 2 4.89 Mattison 1.1 1 0-0 0 2 9.42 Tomey 2.0 3 3-2 1 0 6.17 Schlichting 2.0 1 0-0 0 1 4.00 Meque (1-1) 2.0 1 0-0 1 5 3.72 Balk- Meque. T- 3:31 (:10 delay) Att- 1,587.66ers Sweep; Tie for Wildcard Berth
Inland Empire completed a sweep of Rancho Cucamonga with a 10-6 victory and shouldered themselves into a tie for the final wild card spot, delighting a crowd of 3,196 fans who attended the final regular season game with only six games left on the schedule.
66ers manager John Valentin, told the San Bernardino Sun that it feels like the playoffs have already begun.
"Oh absolutely," he said. "These games against a good team, to compete and win shows we're a good team too."
The 66ers will now need to ramp things up a notch to pull out a playoff berth.
After a day off today, they play wild-card leader Lake Elsinore (66-67) in a three-game series at Petco Park. The Sixers then move to the Epicenter for a season-ending, three-game series with the Quakes that will decide both team's postseason fate.
The 66ers bounced back from 3-0, 5-4 and 6-5 deficits to nail the game down with four runs in the sixth inning.
Inland Empire scored four in the second inning in big hits by Scott Van Slyke and Bridger Hunt but found themselves trailing in the sixth.
Brian Mathews and Lopez opened the inning with singles and Hunt walked to load the bases. Christian Lara's two-run double, a shot that nearly cleared the fence in right-center, put them in front to stay and a wild pitch plus Drew Locke's sac fly added some insurance.
Tim Sexton started and allowed five runs in four innings. David Pfeiffer (3-3) earned the win with four innings of air-tight pitching, allowing only an unearned run. Matt Sartor sewed it up with a scoreless ninth.
Lara, Locke, Pedroza and Mathews collected a pair of hits each in the big win.
Santana Player of the Year Carlos Santana was on his way to a career season with the 66ers before being traded to Cleveland for Casey Blake, but he may be on his way to even greater things in the future.
He was selected as the "Player of the Year" in the California League after hitting .323 with 34 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs and 96 runs batted in for the 66ers after only 99 games.
He had a .341 batting average against left-handed pitchers and hit .411 with runners in scoring position and .500 with the bases loaded. Santana reached base safely in 91 of his 99 games and had more walks than strikeouts (69/59).
Santana hit in 27 of his last 31 games with Inland Empire. He collected 45 hits during that time period and had a .398 batting average.
He still has a chance to win the batting title. His .323 average trails Daniel Nava of Lancaster (.337), but Nava is on the disabled list and would not qualify if the season ended today. Santana also leads the league in on-base percentage (.431) and is in the top five in slugging percentage (.563) and runs scored (88).
Since joining Kinston, Cleveland's Class-A affiliate; he is batting .333 in 24 games.
He was selected to play in the California League-Carolina League All Star Game made the Post-Season All Star Team at the catcher position.
Former Dodgers minor leaguer Adam Riggs won the MVP award during San Bernardino's championship season of 1995. Riggs smacked 24 home runs and knocked in 106 while posting a .362 batting average. He stole 31 bases and scored 111 runs. In 1999, Chin Feng-Chen hit .316, collected 31 homers and drove home 123 runners. Chen had 31 steals and became the first 30-30 man in the Cal League.
Score by Innings Rancho Cucamonga 121 011 000- 6 Inland Empire 040 014 10x-10 Inland Empire ab r h bi ave Hunt dh 3 1 1 2 .289 Lara 2b 5 1 2 3 .248 Giles rf 4 0 0 0 .278 Locke 1b 4 1 2 1 .319 Berezay lf 4 1 1 0 .245 Pedoza ss 4 1 2 1 .301 Van Slyke cf 4 1 1 1 .250 Mathews 3b 3 3 2 0 .214 Lopez c 3 1 1 1 .239 Totals 34 10 12 9 Rancho 36 6 12 6 Error- Mathews (2). 2B- Locke (34), Lara (14). RBI- Van Slyke (23), Lopez (12), Hunt 2 (31), Pedroza (54), Lara 3 (38), Locke (80).SF- LOcke. LOB Inland Empire 7, Rancho 5. DP- Lara and Locke; Lara and Mathews. Inland Empire in h r-er bb so era Sexton 4.0 9 5-5 1 1 6.07 Pfeiffer (3-3) 4.0 4 1-0 0 3 5.34 Sartor 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 2.56 T- 2:51. Att- 3,196.Loons Drop 5-1 Decision
West Michigan used a complete game by Manny Miguelez to drop Great Lakes 5-1 in the first game of a four-game series.
Miguelez allowed one earned run on six hits, striking out six and walking two.
Rehabbing Cory Wade started for the Loons and pitched a scoreless first inning allowing a hit, in his attempt to return from right shoulder inflammation.
Garrett White entered in the second and pitched six innings, allowing eight hits and two runs. He walked two and struck out a season-high seven. White (2-3) surrendered a third-inning two-run home run which gave the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead.
The Loons collected their lone run in the third when Jovanny Rosario extended his hitting streak to nine with a single to right field, scoring Francisco Lizarraga to give the Loons a brief, 1-0 lead.
Great Lakes managed only six hits and they were shared by six different batters.
The two teams continue their series tonight with left-hander Juan Cedeño (0-3, 5.40 ERA), who began the season in the Tigers' organization, starting against the Whitecaps Aaron Fuhrman (0-0, 0.00).
Lambo, Lindblom Promoted
Outfielder Andrew Lambo and right-handed pitcher Josh Lindblom have earned promotions to Jacksonville.
Lambo has emerged this season as one of the elite prospects in the Midwest League. He is currently tied for second in the league in RBIs (79), third in extra-base hits (40), tied for fourth in doubles (33) and total bases (218), fifth in hits (136), eighth in slugging percentage (.462), 11th in average (.288) and tied for 11th in home runs (15).
He was named the starting left fielder for the Eastern team in the 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game. The Dodgers drafted Lambo in the fourth round of the 2007 amateur draft out of Newbury Park High School, Newbury Park, CA.
Lindblom has excelled in the Loons' starting rotation following a standout career as a college closer at Purdue. He was drafted by the Dodgers with the second overall selection in this year's draft.
In eight starts, he has allowed just six earned runs (1.86 ERA). Over 29 innings, he has surrendered just 14 hits and four walks and has struck out 33 and opposing batters are hitting .137. In his last start, against South Bend, Lindblom pitched five hitless, scoreless innings.
Score by Innings Great Lakes 001 000 000-1 West Michigan 002 000 03x-5 Great Lakes ab r h bi ave Kanaby cf 3 0 1 0 .271 Rosario dh 4 0 1 1 .271 Perez 1b 4 0 1 0 .289 Taylor 3b 4 0 0 0 .225 Silverio rf 3 0 1 0 .251 Jansen c 4 0 1 0 .237 Dalton 2b 4 0 0 0 .220 Lizarraga ss 3 1 1 0 .185 Garcia lf 2 0 0 0 .070 Totals 31 1 6 1 West Michigan 36 5 12 4 Errors- Taylor (10, Lizarraga (6). 2B- Jansen (15). RBI- Rosario (31). S- Garcia. LOB- Great Lakes 6, West Michigan 11. SB- Rosario (35), Kanaby (26).DP- Lizarraga, Dalton and Perez; Dalton and Perez. Great Lakes in h r-er bb so era Wade 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 0.00 White(2-3) 6.0 8 2-2 2 7 4.21 Stanke 1.0 3 3-3 2 1 4.15 T- 2:28. Att- 4,591.