Minor League Notebook - April 11th, 2005

Matt Cain started his first game in AAA. David Aardsma made his first appearance of the year in AA. And Marcus Sanders may be the hottest hitter in Augusta not named after a cat. Just another day in the minors!

Fresno (AAA): Fresno 4, Portland 0
WP: Matt Cain (1-0)
LP: Chris Oxspring (0-1)
Game Recap:
Ace prospect Matt Cain made his first start of the season, and his first start of his career in AAA, and didn’t disappoint. Cain went 6 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk and a wild pitch while striking out 7 to get the win. Jeremy Fikac pitched 2 shutout innings, and Scott Munter got 1 inning to hold the shutout. The offense came early for the Giants. Adam Shabala and Mickey Lopez hit back to back doubles to open the game, then Lopez stole 3rd and was singled in by Linden. Yamid Haad also had an RBI single in the first, and Doug Clark had an RBI double in the 3rd.

Game Notes:
Cain threw only 6 innings today despite carrying a shutout. Expect Cain not to get overworked this season. Cain suffered a slight dropoff late in the season after being promoted to AA, and a lot of that was contributed to his natural increase in workload. In 2004, Cain threw a total of 158.2 innings, more than the total innings pitched in the two years of his career prior (93.1). With his young age (19 last year), this was expected and worries no one. Still, expect the Giants to build up his stamina slowly, and also try to keep him fresh just in case he gets a callup to the bigs this season.

Notable Performances:
Mickey Lopez – 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 SO, .300
Todd Linden – 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .176
Mike Cervanek – 2-3, 1 BB, .312
Doug Clark – 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, .200
Adam Shabala – 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, .222
Matt Cain – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 $, 1 BB, 7 SO, 1 WP, 0.00 ERA
Jeremy Fikac – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
Scott Munter – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.00 ERA

Norwich (AA): Norwich 2, New Hampshire 0
WP: David Aardsma (1-0)
LP: Shaun Marcum (0-1)
SV: Jeremy Accardo (1)
Game Recap:
Brian Buscher hit an 2 RBI single in the 6th inning, and that was all the offense Norwich would get, and need, in a 2-0 win over the Fisher Cats. Starter Brain Mazone and reliever David Aardsma would make that stand, each throwing 4 innings of shutout ball. Mazone gave up 4 hits and struck out 2, while Aardsma gave up 2 hits and struck out 6.

Game Notes:
Aardsma, who made the major league Opening Day roster in 2003, was sent to Norwich to continue working on developing his offspeed pitches. There was no room in Fresno’s rotation this year. Aardsma should start a game later this week or early next, but is still considered a reliever by the major league brass. He is wanted to start games in the minors so he can throw more innings to work on his offspeed pitches in games, something difficult to do when pitching only an inning at a time.

Notable Performances:
Brian Buscher – 2-4, 2 RBI, .200
Daniel Ortmeier – 2-4, 1 SO, 1 CS, .150
Timothy Hutting – 2-3, 1 R, 1 SO, .188
Fred Lewis – 1-4, 2 SO, .318
Brian Mazone – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
David Aardsma – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA
Jeremy Accardo – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 Bb, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA

San Jose (High-A): No Game Scheduled

Augusta (Mid-A): Rome 5, Augusta 2
WP: Chris Vines (1-0)
LP: Darren Sack (0-1)
SV: Jonathan Venters (1)
Game Recap:
A late comeback powered by Marcus Sanders’ 2 run homer was not enough for Augusta, as they lost 5-2 to the Rome Braves. Sanders went 3 for 4, but his biggest hit was a 9th inning home run, knocking in Alex Requena. Those would end up being Augusta’s only 2 runs, and ultimately, the GreenJackets only were able to manage 2 hits outside of Sanders. Meanwhile, Darren Sack was peppered for single runs in the first, third and fourth to take the loss. He gave up 2 earned runs and 1 unearned run, along with seven hits and a walk in 3+ innings pitched.

Notable Performances:
Marcus Sanders – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO, .455
Alex Requena – 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB, .316
Darren Sack – 3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 6.00 ERA

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