Dodgers Teams Battling for Playoff Spot

Five Dodgers minor league clubs have a legitimate shot at post season play. Ogden is a lock after winning the first half title and Albuquerque, Chattanooga, Inland Empire and Great Lakes are still in the chase. However, although the Topes won, Mississippi dropped Chattanooga, Inland Empire lost to Rancho Cucamonga, Fort Wayne topped Great Lakes last night.

Isotope Pitching Keys Win
Albuquerque pitchers allowed just three hits as the Isotopes (73-59) dumped Memphis 6-2 in the series-opener. Starter Tim Corcoran (1-0) sparkled over five innings, collecting eight strikeouts, a season-high in 10 starts this season between Albuquerque and Chattanooga to pick up his first victory.

Relievers Francisco Felix, Will Ohman and Scott Strickland combined to allow only one hit over the final four innings and add four more strikeouts to the Albuquerque record. They also retire the side in all but two innings and ended six innings with a strikeout. Only six Redbirds reached base all night.

Corcoran faced only nine batters through three, striking out the side in the third. Chin-Lung Hu doubled and scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 first-inning lead, but Corcoran loaded the bases on a lead-off double, a hit batsman and a walk. However he limited the damage to a pair of runs.

Albuquerque put three batters on base to lead off the the bottom of the fourth. Mitch Jones drew a walk, Dee Brown singled and J.D. Closser's single tied the score. Jason Repko grounded out to score Brown before Closser scored from second when a sacrifice bunt by Corcoran was thrown into center field, giving Albuquerque a 4-1 lead.

Albuquerque got a solo home run from Hector Luna (#16) in the bottom of the fifth and Blake DeWitt crushed his sixth to lead off the seventh.

After 'Topes pitching retired 16 straight Redbirds, Scott Strickland allowed a walk and a single before closing out the game and ending a three-game skid.

Albuquerque will start righty Dwayne Pollok (3-4, 5.55), against Redbirds lefty Evan MacLane (5-11, 4.06) tonight.

Ellis Streak Ends
A.J. Ellis ended a season-high 14 game hitting streak and the 10th-longest home on-base streak in the PCL, reaching base in 20 straight games before being kept off the bases in the final game of the Oklahoma City series. ...With last night's win, the ‘Topes' lead in the PCL's American Southern Division is 7.0 games and the team's Magic Number at eight. combination eight Isotopes wins or Oklahoma City losses totaling eight over the last 13 games will clinch the division.

  Score by Innings
Memphis	        000 200 000-2
Albuquerque	100 310 10x-6

  Albuquerque 	ab r  h  bi  ave
Hu ss        	4  1  2  0  .289
DeWitt 2b	3  1  1  1  .245
Luna 3b        	4  1  1  1  .354
Jones rf-lf	3  1  1  0  .282
Brown lf	3  1  1  0  .298
 Felix p	0  0  0  0  .500 
 Maza ph	1  0  0  0  .288
 Ohman p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Strickland p	0  0  0  0  .000
Closser 1b	3  1  2  1  .303
Repko cf	4  0  1  1  .273
Ellis c        	4  0  1  0  .314
Corcoran p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Hoffmann rf	2  0  0  0  .282
----------------------------------
  Totals 	34  6 10  4
  Memphis	32  2  3  1

  2B- Hu (19). RH- Luna (16), DeWitt (6).
RBI- Closser (28), Repko (45), Luna (58), 
DeWitt (41), S- Corcoran.
LOB- Albuquerque 6, Memphis 4.
SB- Closser (4).
 	  
  Albuquerque 	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Corcoran (1-0)	5.0  2  2-2  1  8  6.32
Felix	        2.0  0  0-0  0  3  1.96
Ohman	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  1.50
Strickland	1.0  1  0-0  1  0  3.00
  HBP- by Corcoran. T- 2:39. Att- 7,143. 
Braves Chop Lookouts 7-3
Mississippi dropped Chattanooga into third place, two games behind West Tenn in the North Division race, scoring four times in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and earn a 7-3 win.

Chris Withrow started for the Lookouts and worked five innings, allowing sis hits and a pair of runs while striking out five. He left the game with a slim, 2-1 lead. Javy Guerra added a shutout sixth before Jesus Rodriguez (5-5) was banged around and eventually tagged with the loss

The Braves plated two in the third and Chattanooga finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth, when Justin Sellers singled and scored on a double by Eddy Perez. Russ Mitchell slammed a two-run homer, his 14th, over the left field wall to give the Lookouts a 3-2 lead in the sixth.

Over his last 10 games, Mitchell is hitting .361 with a pair of home runs and 12 runs batted in. After a slow start, he hit .293 in July and is hitting .321 in August with 29 of his 60 runs batted in during the two months.

Mississippi used a home run in the seventh to tie the score, then the roof ell in on Rodriguez in the eighth.

The Lookouts got a single by Luke May and a walk to Tommy Giles in the eighth but couldn't score and went out 1-2-3 in the ninth.

May and Andrew Lambo each had a pair of hits.

Chattanooga hits the road to play a five-game series against the Jacksonville Suns on Friday. The Lookouts will be home August 3rd to play a five-game series at the Birmingham Barons.

  Score by Innings
Mississippi	002 000 140-7
Chattanooga	000 012 000-3

  Chattanooga 	ab r  h  bi ave
Tomlin cf	5  0  1  0  .311
Nivar 2b	5  0  0  0  .301
Martinez 1b	4  0  1  0  .296
May c        	4  0  2  0  .300
Lambo lf	4  1  2  0  .259
Mitchell 3b	4  1  1  2  .242
Giles rf        3  0  1  0  .250
Sellers ss	3  1  1  0  .284
Withrow p	1  0  0  0  .200
 Perez ph	1  0  1  1  .276
 Guerra p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Rottino ph	1  0  0  0  .254
 Rodriguez p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Sartor p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Robinson ph	1  0  0  0  .179
----------------------------------
  Totals	36  3  10  3
  Mississippi	38  7  14  6

  Error- Sellers (18). 2B- Martinez (15),
Perez (21). HR- Mitchell (13). RBI- Perez
(44), Mitchell 2 (60), LOB- Chattanooga
8, Mississippi 6. SP- Mitchell, Nivar
and Martinez.	 

  Chattanooga	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Withrow	        5.0  6  2-2  0  5  4.84
Guerra	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1  3.91
Rodriguez (5-5)	1.2  7  5-5  2  1  3.75
Sartor	        1.1  0  0-0  0  0  4.02
  T- 2:55. Att- 1,960.
Unearned Runs Doom 66ers
Four 66ers errors led to four unearned runs and cancelled out two long home runs by Steve Caseres and the Quakes avoided a sweep with a 7-6 win over Inland Empire.

Rancho Cucamonga scored five times in the first inning, three of them were unearned after second baseman Christian Lara's fielding error. The 66ers battled all evening to try to overcome that deficit but could only come close.

Starter Tim Sexton (8-13) yielded allowed seven runs (three earned) on eight hits and four walks while striking out four. Blake Brannon worked three near-perfect innings, allowing only a walk and striking out four.

Andres Perez put the 66ers on the board when he led off the second with a home run, his third home run in the three-game series and in seven games.

The Quakes responded with a run in the bottom half before the 66ers used singles by Perez and Preston Mattingly and Caseres' first long home run to pull back to a 6-4 deficit. Rancho Cucamonga scored an unearned run in the home half for what proved to be the decisive run.

In the seventh, Caseres crushed another mammoth home run with one on and the Sixers pulled within a run. It was the second multi-homer game of the year for Caseres, who slugged a pair June 15 at Lancaster.

Trailing 7-6 with one out in the ninth, Inland Empire had one more chance. With Perez on first base, Mattingly hit a shot to the warning track in center field and Perez was thrown out at second attempting to moved up on a strong throw from the center fielder for a game-ending double play.

The 66ers (55-74) made four errors for the second consecutive night. The loss leaves them two games behind the Quakes for the final playoff spot with 11 games remaining.

Inland Empire returns to Arrowhead Credit Union Park tonight to open up its final homestand of the season with the High Desert Mavericks. RHP Justin Miller (0-4, 6.63) gets the nod for the 66ers while RHP J.C. Ramirez takes the ball for the Mavericks.

  Score by Innings
Inland Empire	        010 030 200-6
Rancho Cucamonga	251 010 00x-7

  Inland Empire	 ab r  h  bi  ave
Fuller ss	 4  0  0  0  .256
Herrera 3b-2b	 5  0  0  0  .292
Van SLyke rf	 4  0  0  0  .288
Perez dh	 4  2  2  1  .349
Mattingly lf	 4  2  2  0  .239
Caseres 1b	 3  2  2  5  .262
Rosario cf	 3  0  2  0  .188
Garabedian c	 2  0  0  0  .234
Lara 2b        	 2  0  0  0  .261
 JohGarcia ph-3b 2  0  0  0  .198
---------------------------------
  Totals	33  6  9  6
  Rancho	29  7  8  6

  Errors- Fuller 2 (8), Rosario 2 (5).
HR- Perez (4), Caseres 2 (15). RBI- Perez 
(13), Caseres 5 (50). LOB- Inland Empire 8,
Rancho 5. SB- Herrera (36), Rosario 2 (5). 
PO- Fuller. DP- Fuller, lara and Caseres.
  
  Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Sexton (8-13)	5.0  8  7-3  4  4  3.50
Brannon	        3.0  0  0-0  1  4  3.90
WP- Brannon. HBP- by Sexton, Fuller.
T- 3:05. Att- 2,200.
Tincaps Top Loons, 5-1
Brad Golder
Great Lakes Loons

Bobby Blevins failed to last five innings for the first time in 18 starts and for the first time in his professional career he allowed a bases loaded hit. And for the second time in three games, the Loons dropped a 5-1 decision to the Fort Wayne Tincaps.

  Blevins established a new franchise season high in innings pitched, working 4.1 innings to surpass Justin Miller's 140 innings pitched in 2008. 

   Meanwhile the Tincaps pitching was dominant, four of them striking out a 14 Loons. 

   The Tincaps' first two runs came in the second and were unearned, scored following an error by first baseman Matt Wallach. In the fourth inning, four consecutive singles added another run. The bases loaded single was the first surrendered by Blevins in his career, and he is now holding hitters to a 1-for-20 mark with three runners on base.

  In the fifth, Blevins surrendered a two-run home run to extend Fort Wayne's lead to 5-0. With one out in the inning, Jordan Pratt relieved him to end his five-plus innings start streak at 18. Pratt combined with Jon Dutton for 4 2/3 scoreless relief innings the rest of the way.  

Following four scoreless frames to begin the game, a leadoff walk to Joe Becker and a Wallach single with one out put two runners on base. Jaime Pedroza followed with a run-producing double down the first base line to score Becker but Pedroza and Wallach were both left stranded.  

With South Bend's win over Dayton, the Loons' magic number falls to five.  With any combination of five Loons' wins or fifth place team losses (which is now Dayton), the Loons will clinch the franchise's first playoff berth.  

Fort Wayne is now 87-42 and 42-17 in the second half and have the most wins in Minor League Baseball.  

The Loons and Tincaps conclude their four-game series tonight at Dow Diamond.  Left-hander Aaron Miller (2-1, 2.11 ERA) will start for the Loons against righty Stiven Osuna (9-7, 4.29) and a post-game fireworks Loontacular is scheduled after the game.

  Score by Innings
Fort Wayne	020 120 000-5
Great Lakes	000 010 000-1

  Great Lakes	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pedroza 2b	3  0  1  1  .258
Buss cf        	4  0  1  0  .254
Hatch 3b	4  0  1  0  .284
Russell rf	4  0  1  0  .272
Sands dh	4  0  0  0  .219
Silverio lf	4  0  0  0  .274
Becker ss	3  1  1  0  .500
Lopez c	        3  0  0  0  .202
---------------------------------
  Totals 	41  1  7  1
  Fort Worth	32  5  9  5

  Error- Wallach (18), Becker (1).
2B- Pedroza (32) Hatch (34).
RBI- Pedroza (72). LOB- Great Lakes 8,
Fort Wayne 9. SB- Buss (12),
Pickoffs- Pratt. 

  Great Lakes	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Blevins (9-10)	4.1  8  5-3  0  4  4.16
Pratt	        3.1  1  0-0  3  1  4.78
Dutton	        1.1  0  0-0  1  2  3.52
  WP- Pratt 2. T- 2:53. Att- 3,787.
Idaho Falls Tops Raptors in Ninth
Idaho Falls couldn't get a the ball out of the infield in the ninth inning of a 6-6 game. Closer Daigoro Rondon allowed a single, the runner was bunted to second, and the next Chukar intentional walked to set up a double play.

A ground ball dribbled down the first base line was gobbled up by catcher Gorman Erickson and fired to first for the out. But the runner rounded third and roared toward the plate. First baseman Chris Jacobs cocked his arm to throw home but found both Rondon, who had gone after the ball, too, and Erickson well up the first base line.

With no one to throw the ball to, the three of them watched helplessly as the winning run scored.

Ogden had taken a 5-1 lead with four runs in the fifth inning but Idaho Falls, with considerable help from the Raptor fielders, scored five in the bottom of the inning. Ogden tied in the seventh to set up the unusual winning run in the ninth.

Brian Cavazos-Galvez's 14th home run tied the score 1-1 in the fourth inning. Then Bryant Hernandez had an RBI single, Lenell McGee and Brian Ruggiano doubled and Pedro Martinez added another RBI single to quickly take a 5-1 lead.

Starter Luis Vasquez, who had allowed only two hits up to that time, gave up three more and coupled with an error by Guerrero, left the game in favor of Jordan Roberts who a run-scoring ground ball, a double and another single plus Brian Ruggiano's throwing error.

Singles by Ruggiano, Guerrero and an Idaho Falls error tied the game in the seventh.

Roberts retired the final 10 he faced, holding the Chukars scoreless through eight before Rondon (3-4) was called in to pitch the frustrating ninth.

Ogden and Idaho Falls wrap up their series tonight as Brett Wallach battles Sugar Ray Marimon.

  Score by Innings
Ogden	        000 140 100-6
Idaho Falls	010 050 001-7

  Ogden	        ab r  h  bi  ave
Ruggiano 3b	5  2  2  1  .380
Guerrero ss	5  0  2  1  .250
Galvez rf	4  1  1  1  .336
Songco lf	4  0  0  0  .341
Erickson c	4  0  0  0  .315
Akins dh	2  1  1  0  .246
Jacobs 1b	4  0  1  0  .276
Hernandez 2b	3  1  1  1  .278
McGee cf	4  1  2  1  .265
---------------------------------
  Totals	35  6 10  5
  Idaho Falls	33  7  8  6

  Errors- Guerrero (13), Ruggiano (8).
2B- Jacobs (9), McGee (10), Ruggiano
(11). HR- Galvez (14). RBI- Galvez (52),
Hernandez (13),, McGee (18), Ruggiano
(30), Guerrero (21). LOB- Ogden 5, Idaho
Falls 5. PO- McGee. DP- Jacobs, Guerrero
and Jacobs.

  Ogden	         in  h r-er bb so  era
Vasquez	        4.1  5-5  3  2  5.10
Roberts	        3.2  2  1-0  0  2  3.66
Rondon (3-4)	0.2  1  1-1  1  0  4.12
  Balk- Vasquez 2, T- 2:46. Att- 2,193.
Dodgers, Royals Split
The Arizona Dodgers topped the Royals 2-1 in the completion of a game suspended August 21, then lost the regularly-scheduled game 7-6 on a late, five inning Royals rally.

Suspended Game
Bolivar Medina and Beyker Fructuoso (1-4) held the Royals to a first inning single and rammed across a pair of runs of their own in the seventh to take a 2-1 decision in the game suspended on August 21. Medina worked first six innings and allowed the only hit, as well as a run in the third that scored on a walk, a stolen base and two ground balls.

Trailing 1-0 in the seventh, Austin King singled and moved up on a wild pitch. Jeffrey Hunt tripled to right field to tie the scored, then pinch-runner Ramon Jean crossed the plate on a two-out wild pitch.

Medina struck out eight in his six innings and Fructuoso earned his first win of the year with three perfect innings in relief, collecting three more strikeouts.

Garrett Green led the Dodgers with three singles. King added two.

  Score by Innings
  (Completion of game suspended on 8/21/09)
AZL Royals	001 000 000-1
AZL Dodgers	000 000 20x-2

  Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Grider ss	4  0  0  0  .247
Banks cf	4  0  0  0  .229
Tavarez dh	4  0  0  0  .340
Henderson 1b	4  0  0  0  .250
Green 2b-3b	4  0  3  0  .292
JonGarcia rf	4  0  1  0  .298
King lf        	3  1  2  0  .213
Vazquez c	3  0  0  0  .175
Hunt 3b        	3  0  1  1  .176
 Jean pr-2b	0  1  0  0  .270
---------------------------------
  Totals	41  2  7  1
  Royals	28  1  1  1

  3B- Hunt (1), RBI- Hunt (1).
LOB- Dodgers 7, Royals 1. SB- King
(4), Grider (18). 

  Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Medina	        6.0  1  1-1  1  8  2.13
Fructuoso (1-4)	3.0  0  0-0  0  3  6.18
  T- 1:56 (1:00 delay).
Second Game
The Dodgers almost pulled off a delayed sweep, taking a 5-1 lead into the fifth inning of a scheduled seven inning game. The Royals spoiled that idea by tacking Bolivar Medina (3-2), who also had started the suspended game five days before, for six runs, five earned, before Amauri Guzman rescued him and finished out the game.

The Dodgers used Ramon Jean's leadoff single, a stolen base and a passed ball to score the first run in the opening inning. Garrett Green walked, scored on Jonathan Garcia's triple and Pedro Tavarez's RBI-single made it 3-0.

Melvin Ray slugged his second home run of the season in the second and after the Royals had scored once in the third, added a final run in the fifth when Ivan De Jesus was hit by a pitch, moved to second on Michael Pericht's single and to third on a fly ball. He scored on Garcia's sac fly for a 5-1 lead.

Medina had allowed four hits going into the bottom of the fifth but the Royals used a hit by pitch, two singles and a double plus a costly error to pull within a run of the Dodgers. Amauri Guzman took over and allowed a pair of singles that gave the Royals a 6-5 lead.

Ray singled in the sixth and Green walked in the seventh but the Dodgers couldn't move either of them up.

  Score by Innings
AZL Dodgers	310 010 0-5
AZL Royals	001 050 x-6

  Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Jean 2b	        4  1  1  0  .277
De Jesus ss	2  1  0  0  .000
  Grider ss	1  0  0  0  .250
Henderson 1b	1  0  0  0  .255
 Pericht pr-21b	2  0  1  0  .221
Green dh	2  1  0  0  .264
 Banks pr-dh	0  0  0  0  .236
JonGarcia rf	3  1  1  2  .304
Tavarez c	3  0  1  1  .325
King lf	        3  0  1  0  .233
Hunt 3b        	2  0  0  0  .150
Ray cf        	3  1  2  1  .118
---------------------------------
  Totals	26  5  7  4
  Royals	27  6 11  6

  Error- Jean (20). 3B- JonGarcia (1).
HR- Ray (2). RBI- JonGarcia 2 (21),
Tavarez (26), Ray (5). SF- JonGarcia.
LOB- Dodgers 6,Royals 6. SB- Jean (14),
DP- De Jesus, Jean and Henderson.

  Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Medina (3-2)	4.1  7  6-5  1  2  2.89
Guzman	        1.2  4  0-0  0  1  3.38
  HBP- by Median, Henderson, De Jesus.
T- 1:44.

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