Fresno lost 9-8 in the bottom of the ninth as none of their pitchers could keep Sacramento off the bases or the scoreboard. Leading the 13 hit attack, Damon Minor was 4-4 with a walk, double, and home run and 4 RBIs. Jason Ellison was 3-5 with 3 runs scored. Both Todd Linden and Tony Torcato had 2 hits; Linden also had 2 RBIs. Noah Lowry started, going 5 innings with 6 hits (2 homers) and 2 walks and striking out 4 in giving up 4 runs, all earned. Chad Zerbe, Kevin Walker, and Jeff Urban couldn't keep runs from scoring and Leo Estrella gave up the winning hit.
Fresno fell to 10-18 with the loss, 5.5 games back and in last in the Souther Division of the PCL. Minor is now tied for 7th in RBIs and 12th in batting. He leads the team in doubles, triples, homers, RBIs and walks, and is second in hits and batting average, and 4th in runs scored. After starting out real cold with only a .167 batting average when he started hitting, Jason Ellison has fashioned himself a 10 game hitting streak, going 14-40 in his streak and raising his average to .250.
Norwich Navigators (AA)
Norwich won in the bottom of the ninth on a Justin Knoedler solo homer, 6-5, over the Trenton Thunder. Doug Clark went 2-4 with a double, triple, and two RBIs. Michael Cervenak had a homer too. Luke Anderson improved his record to 2-1 with a scoreless ninth inning. The Gators won despite the poor relief effort other than Anderson. Jack Taschner started and gave up only 2 runs but 8 hits in 5 IP with 5 strikeouts. But then Alberto Montes came in for an inning and gave up 2 runs and Scott Munter threw for two innings and gave up another run, costing Taschner the lead and the win.
This was their fourth straight win as the Navigators are now 16-12 and in first place in the Northern Division of the Eastern League. Cervenak had another 2 RBIs for 25, good for a tie of the league lead. His 8th homer of the year was also good for a tie of the league lead. His .347 is good for 6th in the league. However, a triple crown is not likely right now as the two players on top are batting .407 and .406 respectively. And he is cruising on a 15 game hitting streak (though he didn't get a hit in his last game, he also didn't have an official at-bat, keeping his streak alive; that did give him a 17 game on-base streak).
San Jose Giants (A)
San Jose wasted a fine pitching outing by Matt Cain, losing 2-0, giving Cain his first loss of the season, making him 1-1. He pitched 8 innings, gave up only 3 hits and no walks, one run but it was unearned, and he struck out 5 in lowering his ERA to 1.93. The Giants were able to get 7 hits but just couldn't get the key hit at the right time. Steve Holm had 2 hits.
The loss dropped San Jose to a 13-16 record, though in a tie for second place and 5.5 games behind Modesto. Bakersfield was able to keep hot hitting Julio Cordido off the bases for the second time in three games.
Hagerstown Suns (A)
Hagerstown won 6-2 behind the stout pitching of Bryan Millikan and Ben Thurmond. Millikan pitched 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 walks for 1 run (earned), and getting 4 strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 3.91 and evening his record at 1-1. Thurmond pitched 4 innings in relief, giving up 3 hits and 1 walk, for 1 run (unearned), and 3 strikeouts, keeping his ERA at 0.00 and gaining his first save. Jesse Schmidt, Nate Schierholtz, and Jason Columbus each had two hits to pace the Suns' 10 hit attack. Schmidt, Jonathan Armitage, and Jay Knowlton each had 2 RBIs. Schmidt and Armitage each had a homer and Columbus had a triple.
Schierholtz is now batting .337, good for 11th in the league in batting; he is also 11th in on-base percentage and 8th in slugging percentage. In addition, he is also now tied for 4th in runs scored. Armitage is now tied for 9th in RBIs with 19. Also, his homer was his 5th of the season, good for first on the team and a tie for 8th in the league. Columbus raised his average to .317 with his two hits. Travis Ishikawa continued his skid, striking out all four at-bats, dropping his average to .171 for the year with 32 strikeouts in 76 at-bats. The Suns are now 11-14, 6th in the Northern Division of the Sally League and 8 games back.
Martin Lee writes 'A Biased Giant's Fanatic's View' for SFDugout.com when the mood and muse strikes him. He wants to teach and share his love of baseball and, in particular, his love for the San Francisco Giants. He will believe to his dying days that Bobby Bonds was robbed of being the first 40-40 player and should be in Cooperstown. Please feel free to e-mail him at BiasedGiantsFanatic@nospam.yahoo.com (remove the "nospam." if you wish to e-mail me) if you have a question or comment.
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