Minor League Notebook: April 22nd

Well, it wasn't starting pitching that failed Fresno today; surprisingly the bullpen gave way, and it was contagious. A horrendous 9th inning kills the Defenders as well. But the bullpen had no problems in San Jose, as the Giants engineered their 2nd straight shutout in a rematch of the 2005 California League Championship series.

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Tacoma 10, Fresno 8

For the first time in a while, it was Fresno's bullpen taking a pounding leading to a loss. Fresno went up 4-0 by the second inning, powered by doubles by 2B Kevin Frandsen and DH Adam Shabala, and then up 8-4 at the 7th inning stretch. But RP Michael Tejera, who had been previous unscored upon, gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and a walk without getting an out in the 7th. RP Brandon Villafuerte gave up 3 more in the inning, and the lead was gone.

SP Brian Cooper left with the lead, going 5.2 innings and giving up 4 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits and 1 walk. RP Jack Taschner mad his second relief appearance in the 7th, allowing 2 hits and 2 inherited runners to score, but he was not credited with any runs. RP Erick Threets pitched the 8th without allowing a baserunner. Frandsen went 2 for 5 with a double to raise his average to .338, extending his hitting streak to 6 games, during which he has gone 10 for 25 with 5 doubles.

In other news, 4 Grizzlies players have been hit with suspensions for their parts in Monday's brawl. First Baseman Chad Santos received a 5 game suspension, while Cooper, infielder Jen Hansen and utility man A.J. LaBarbera each received 3 games. Pitching Coach Trevor Wilson also got a 3 game suspension. The PCL should stagger the suspensions over the next couple of weeks, since serving the suspensions concurrently would drop the Grizzlies roster to only 20 active players, and teams may not add players to fill in for suspended players. The 3 position players suspended will put the team in a tough spot, as the team only has 5 infielders, and each of those players are one of them.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Trenton 10, Connecticut 3

As bad as Fresno's bullpen was, Connecticut's performance was jawdropping. Leading 2-1 in the 8th, Matt Palmer gave up 2 singles, and Trenton DH J.T. Stotts stole home to tie the game. But it was the 9th where things hit the fan. RP Joe Bateman, who was tied for 3rd in the Eastern League with 4 saves, gave up an unprecedented 6 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while RP Billy Salder allowed 2 more in the 9th to put the game far out of reach. The bullpen's breakdown cost SP Garrett Broshuis, who went 6 innings giving up just 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 5, lowering his ERA to 2.00.

LF Eddy Martinez-Esteve, who had his 13 game hitting streak ended on Friday, went 1 for 3 with a double to bring his EL-leading total to 9. RF Nate Schierholtz went 1 for 4 with a strikeout. 1B Travis Ishikawa had a night off after his return to AA from his major league cup of coffee.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - San Jose 6, Lake Elsinore 0

SP Gregorio Martinez made his season debut, and couldn't have been much better, giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk in 6 innings while striking out 3 to help San Jose to it's 2nd straight shutout. RP Brooks McNiven gave up 1 other hit in 2 innings of relief, and RP Spencer Grogan gave up just a walk to seal the deal for the Giants.

The offense got runs home, but no hitter had more than 1 hit, and they were helped by 3 Storm errors. DH Guillermo Rodriguez went 1 for 2 with a double and 2 walks, and scored 2 runs. 2B Mark Minicozzi had a 2 RBI double in the 5th, and was the only hitter with more than 1 RBI. 1B Pat Dobson went 1 for 4 with a double, while Brian Horwitz went 1 for 3 with a run scored.

Augusta GreenJackets (Low-A) - Augusta 7, Rome 3

3B Pablo Sandoval hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot to top off the scoring in the 9th, as Augusta rolled to a victory over the Braves. The homer was Sandoval's only hit in 5 at bats, dropping his average to .259. Ben Copeland added 2 hits in 4 at bats, raising his slumped average to .184. CF Alex Requena remains the biggest consistent performer, going 3 for 5 for a .352 average. 2B Anthony Contreras went 3 for 4 in just his 7th game of the year, raising his average to .417.

SP Ronnie Ray went 6 innings, giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 9. Sergio Romo picked up the save, his second of the season, going 2 innings and striking out 3.

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