SFDugout Minor League Notebook for 5/16

An in-depth look into the San Francisco Giants minor league affiliates - Fresno Grizzlies (AAA), Norwich Navigators (AA), San Jose Giants (A), and the Hagerstown Suns (A)- the games played on May 16th, and who's hot and who's not.

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA)

Fresno 2, Omaha 5

Game Notes: Fresno lost 5-2, ending a two game winning streak. A close 1-1 tie was obliterated in the bottom of the 5th by Omaha with 4 runs. They coasted on that to the win. Minor league vets Damon Minor and Robert Stratton led the offense with 2 hits apiece; Stratton had a double. Jason Ellison and Todd Linden scored the runs and Linden and Cody Ransom had the RBIs. Noah Lowry started and took the loss. He pitched 4.1 innings and was wild, walking 5 and giving up 4 hits for 4 runs, all earned, plus 2 strikeouts. Leo Estrella came in the fateful 5th and promptly poured gas on the fire by eventually giving up a two-run single to former Giant Alberto Castillo. In 1.1 innings, he gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, 1 run. Jeff Urban finished, keeping the Grizzlies close, 2.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, no runs.

Team Notes: The Grizzlies are replicating their parent club's woes by being last in the South Division of the PCL, 8.5 games behind the leader. Minor raised his average to .336, which is 16th in the PCL, and his slugging to .621, which is 8th in the PCL. Brian Dallimore had a hit, keeping his average 3rd in the league; he is now hitting .374. Todd Linden scored his 29th run and drove in his 24th RBI, good for 3rd and a tie for 18th, respectively, in the PCL. Jason Ellison stole his 13th base of the season, good for 2nd in the league.

Norwich Navigators (AA)

Norwich 1, Harrisburg 5

Game Notes: Norwich lost to the Harrisburg Senators, 5-1, snapping a two game win streak. Michael Cervenak had two hits to lead the anemic 6 hit offense. Francisco Santos drove in Dan Ortmeier in the fourth for the Navigators only run. Pat Misch started and took the loss, pitching 7.0 innings, giving up 7 hits and 0 walks for 4 runs, 3 earned, and 5 strikeouts, nice but unfortunately two of the hits were for the long ball, giving up two solo homers. Scott Munter pitched an inning and gave up 2 hits for 1 run with a strikeout.

Team Notes: Norwich fell to 20-17 and is 3rd, 2 games back of the tied leaders. Cervenak raised his average to .358, good for a tie for 2nd in the Eastern League. Pat Misch evened his record to 2-2 with the loss. His ERA for the season is still only 2.61 despite runs.

San Jose Giants (A)

San Jose 14, Stockton 3

Game Notes: San Jose crushed the Stockton Ports 14-3, scoring 2 runs in the first, and keeping the pressure on all game long, scoring 3 in the 3rd, 5 in the 5th, 1 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th, in a 14-hit attack. Lance Niekro, who is only playing here because he is rehabilitating from his spring training injury, went 5 for 5 with 2 doubles, 5 runs scored, and 3 RBIs, along with a walk. Fred Lewis, Carlos Sosa, and Dan Trumble added 2 hits apiece and Trumble drove in 3 runs too, as well as getting 3 walks. Jeffrey Petersen started and got the win, pitching 6.0 innings with only 4 hits and 3 walks, no runs, and 1 strikeout. Josh Cram and Jason Waddell then relieved but gave up 1 run and 2 runs respectively. James Garcia pitched the 9th and gave up only 1 hit with 1 strikeout.

Team Notes: San Jose's win gives them 7 wins in the last 9 games, 10 wins in the last 13 games. They are now 20-18, only 1.5 games behind the leader of the North Division of the California League, quite a bit better than their 10-15 record when their win streak started. Dan Trumble raised his average to .328 and is now 6th in the league and Fred Lewis is 9th with a .322 average. Trumble is also 9th in RBIs now and leads the California League with a .689 slugging average, power that is supplied by his 9 doubles - good for 12th - and 10 homeruns, which is good for 2nd. Niekro, despite only playing 13 games of 38 games so far, is tied for 4th on the team in doubles, is 6th in RBIs, and tied for 7th in runs scored. He leads the team with a .345 average and his joining the team is a big spark to their recent win streak. He looks to be fully rehabilitated thus he could be leaving any day now to rejoin the Grizzlies and given them a needed boost

Hagerstown Suns (A)

Game 1: Columbus-A 4,Hagerstown 6
Game 2: Columbus-A 3 Hagerstown 1

Game Notes: The Suns split the double-header created by the rain-suspended game on Saturday, which was stopped after two innings. They won the first game 6-4 and lost the second game, 3-1. Nate Schierholtz hit a walk-off 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th with two outs to win the opener 6-4, after trailing 4-3 since the Columbus Catfish scored 3 runs in the top of the 6th to take the lead. A key error by the Catfish kept the inning alive long enough for Schierholtz to make them pay. Schierholtz led the offense with 2 hits, 2 runs scored, the homer and 3 runs batted in. Jonathan Armitage helped with a 1-1 day, 1 run, 1 double, 2 RBIs and 3 walks. Juan Serrato started on Saturday and pitched only 2 innings and left the game after it was suspended on Saturday. He gave up only 1 hit and 1 walk for 1 run plus 2 strikeouts. Sean Martin then took over on Sunday and relieved, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up 6 hits and no walks for 3 runs, 1 earned, plus 2 strikeouts. Travis Nesmith then kept it close, pitching 2.1 innings with only 1 hits and 1 strikeout. Joe Bateman got the win pitching 1.1 innings without getting into any trouble and striking out 3.

In the nightcap, Hagerstown couldn't get any offense going and lost 3-1. They only got 5 hits and Schierholtz had the only extra base hit, a double. Jesse Schmidt drove in Travis Ishikawa in the bottom of the 6th for the Suns' only run of the game, which tied the game, but then the Catfish came back the next inning and scored 2 runs for the winning margin. Bryan Millikan started and took the loss, pitching 6.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and no walks or strikeouts, for 2 runs, both earned. He left with a runner on and one out and Mike Musgrave gave up two hits and a walk for both the runs to come in.

Team Notes: The Suns are now 15-22, 8 games back of the leaders and last in the Northern Division of the Sally League, an unfortunately common theme in the Giants system this year, from top to bottom. Nate Schierholtz got his 9th homer and 30th RBIs, good for 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the league. In addition, Schierholtz is 9th in batting and 3rd in slugging. Jonathan Armitage got his 23rd RBI, good for a tie for 14th in the league and 2nd on the team. Jesse Schmidt's RBI was his 15th of the season and he is third on the team. Joe Bateman got his 4th win, making his record 4-1 as he lowered his ERA to 1.35. He has been lights out: in 26.2 innings pitched, he has given up only 10 hits and 6 walks with 26 striketouts in 13 games. Bryan Millikan's record fell to 1-2 with the loss.

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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