Minor League Notebook: June 13th

It's wild! It's crazy! It's good pitching and shady defense! It's late inning heroics and tough luck losses! It's the battle for first half supremacy! It's a writer who has been up too late and had too much caffeine! It's an overuse of certain types of punctuation! It's Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Salt Lake 7-Fresno 6

DH Fred Lewis 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SO, .274
SS Juan Melo 2-5, RBI, .254
3B Kevin Frandsen 2-5, 2 S0, .325
RF Todd Linden 1-4, HBP .242
1B Chad Santos 0-4, R, BB, SO, .246
CF Dan Ortmeier 2-4, 2 R, 2 H, .260
LF Adam Shabala 1-3, R, H, RBI, SO, BB, .304
2B Jed Hansen 0-3, R, 2 SO, .258
C Justin Knoedler 2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI, SO, .214
SP Pedro Liriano 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 4.08
RP Matt Anderson 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 9.12
RP Erick Threets 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.49
RP Merkin Valdez 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 4.38, L (0-1)
RP Brandon Villafuerte 0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 4.85

In Salt Lake City the Grizzlies had to fight the entire game against the Buzz, and ended up losing in the bottom of the ninth anyway. Salt Lake knocked Fresno starter Pedro Liriano out of the game early, after only 2.2 innings pitched, and beat up on Matt Anderson. Anderson pitched in relief and allowed Salt Lake to score six runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Erick Threets relieved Anderson and from there tossed two innings of scoreless ball. Meanwhile the Grizzles offense came back in the seventh and eighth innings, scoring three runs in each frame, thanks to timely hitting on the Fresno side and poor fielding on the part of Salt Lake. A wild pitch and an error saw Ortmeier get to third following his base hit. Juan Melo, Kevin Frandsen, and Justin Knoedler also collected hits in the seventh inning, with Knoedler's the big blow. He brought Ortemier and Jed Hansen home on two-run triple. The top of the eighth inning went the same; Chad Santos walked, Ortmeier singled again, Adam Shabala picked up the RBI on a base hit, scoring Santos. Hansen sacrifice bunted the runners over, and Fred Lewis connected for an RBI double. Ortmeier and Shabala scored.

It unraveled for Merkin Valdez in the ninth. He pitched a stellar eighth inning, retiring all three hitters he faced on ground balls to second base. In the ninth inning, however, Valdez allowed two singles and was lifted with runners on the corners. Brandon Villafuerte came in and promptly gave up the winning run on a base hit.

Notes: Fresno has a stronghold on last place in the Pacific South division of the Pacific Coast League. Tuesday's loss means they have lost 11 of their last 17 games.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Akron 3, Connecticut 2

1B Brian Horwitz 1-4, .250
3B Brian Buscher 1-3, S .253
RF Randy Walter 1-4, HR, RBI, 1 SO, .223
CF Clay Timpner 0-4, 1 SO, .239
DH Tyler Von Schell 2-4, 2B, RBI, .252
SS Jake Wald 0-3, 2 SO, E (16), .196
SP Chris Begg 6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 3.90, L (5-6)
RP Eugene Espineli 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.95
RP Billy Sadler 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.35

Chris Begg (5-6) let a few bad innings get to him, allowing all his runs in the first and fifth innings. In between he pitched very well, getting out of a small jam with two base runners in the second, then shutting Akron hitters down until the fifth inning. He retired seven in a row before allowing a single to Ivan Ochoa, who would later score in the inning. Brian Horwitz was promoted to AA from San Jose to take Travis Ishikawa's place on the Connecticut roster as the Defenders' starting first baseman was called up to San Francisco. Horwitz played first and collected a single. The promotion can be seen as a demotion, of sorts; it was his first call to AA, but he played with AAA Fresno earlier in the year. The Defenders dropped the game at home against a hot Akron team that has won nine in a row.

Notes: Connecticut's record stands at 28-33, ten games back of Northern Division leading Portland. This is their fifth straight loss by one run.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - San Jose 3, Inland Empire 2, 13 innings

SS Johany Abreu 2-6, R, .286
DH Marcus Sanders 2-6, R, 2B, .216
RF John Bowker 0-5, BB, 2 SO, .255
2B Mark Mincozzi 2-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, .261
LF Carlos Sosa 2-6, 3B, RBI, .309
1B Julio Cordido 0-5, 3 SO, .269
C Todd Jennings 0-3, 2 SO, .280
CF Pat Dobson 1-4, 2 SO, HBP .245
SP Nick Pereira 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2.06
RP Thomas King 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2.48
RP Justin Hedrick 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.56
RP Brian Anderson 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1.35
RP Ben Cox 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 3.35

A wild one in San Jose Tuesday night. The 66ers got to Cal League All-Star Nick Pereira in the first inning and scored again off him in the sixth. Inland Empire hit what Pereira had to offer and they hit it hard, but were limited to just the two runs in an otherwise strong six inning performance for the San Jose starter. He finished the night with seven strikeouts. The bigger story is how the Giants bullpen pulled together; 7 scoreless innings pitched between four pitchers, and as they held the line, the San Jose offense chipped away at the lead. As seen in the Fresno game, defensive wildness combined with good hitting tied the game up for the Giants in the eighth inning. Carlos Sosa sent everyone home happy in the bottom of the thirteenth when he hit a triple with a runner aboard to win the game for San Jose.

Notes: San Jose and Inland Empire battle for the first half California League title in this series. The Giants have the best record in the league at 38-26, five up on Modesto in the North division, and Inland Empire chases the league leaders with a record of 35-28.

Augusta GreenJackets (Low-A) - Augusta 6, Rome 0

LF Ben Copeland 1-4, 2B, RBI, 1 SO, .276
DH Eugenio Velez 1-4, RBI, .276
RF Michael Mooney 1-4, 2B, .301
3B David Maroul 0-3, SF, RBI, 1 SO, .290
C Barry Gunther 2-3, HR, RBI, .246
2B Kyle Haines 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, .239
CF Antoan Richardson 0-2, 3 BB, .238
SP Ryan Shaver 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, HBP 2.16, W (6-3)
RP Taylor Wilding 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1.80 SV (1)

Ryan Shaver and Taylor Wilding put together a masterful pitching performance against the Rome Braves. Shaver won his team-leading sixth game with six scoreless innings, and Wilding chipped in three innings where he allowed only one hit, good for his first save of the year. Augusta's offense started in the second inning when Michael Mooney doubled, then stole third. He came home on David Maroul's sacrifice fly to center. Barry Gunther and Kyle Haines kept the runs coming by hitting a home run each. Antoan Richardson pulled his best Bonds impersonation by collecting three walks in the game.

Notes: The win puts the Greenjackets (36-28) four games behind the Braves for the Southern Division lead, with six games to go in the first half.

Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom and first where she's had the honor to write for the Giants on SFDugout.com. Love/hate mail can be sent to seasond_salt@yahoo.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.

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