Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Colorado Springs 10, Fresno 5
CF Fred Lewis - 1-4, 3B, RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO, .275
SS Jose Flores - 1-5, R, 2B, 0 BB, 0 SO, .237
3B Adam Shabala - 0-5, 0 BB, 2 SO, .304
RF Todd Linden - 2-3, 3B, RBI, 2 BB, 0 SO, .248
LF Dan Ortmeier - 0-5, 0 BB, 0 SO, .257
1B Chad Santos - 3-3, 2 R, 3B, 1 BB, 0 SO, E (9), .264
2B Juan Melo - 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO, .249
C Justin Knoedler - 1-4, RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, .216
SP Matt Palmer - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 7.20
RP Merkin Valdez - 1.0 IP, 1, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, WP, 4.72; L, 0-2
RP Carlos Hines - 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, WP, 4.37
RP Erick Threets - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, WP, 3.90
RP Brandon Villafuerte - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 4.86
The weak link of the system performed at their level of usual poor play in a loss to Colorado Springs. Despite ten hits and offensive threats in the fourth and sixth innings, and good nights from Todd Linden and Chad Santos, the Grizzlies allowed ten runs thanks to bad pitching all around. Matt Palmer got the call from AA to start for Fresno Thursday and kept the team in it even through five shaky innings. Merkin Valdez and friends let the game get away, and the highly rated Giants prospect took the loss.
Notes: At least Fresno isn't dead last in the Pacific Coast League. They may be in the Pacific South division, but the dishonor of being the worst team in the PCL goes to the Omaha Royals. Fresno's record sits one game better than Omaha's at 29-44, and with a 16.5 game difference between division and league leader Tucson, there's little reason to believe in Fresno this year. Again.
Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Portland 5, Connecticut 4
CF Clay Timpner - 0-5, 0 BB, 0 SO, .229
LF Brian Horwitz - 1-4, 0 BB, 0 SO, .250
3B Brian Buscher - 1-4, 0 BB, 1 SO, .273
RF Nate Schierholtz - 1-4, R, HR, RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, .235
1B Travis Ishikawa - 1-3, 2B, 1 BB, 1 SO, E (2) .261
DH Tyler Von Schell - 2-4, R, 0 BB, 1 SO, .250
PH/2B Derin McMains - 0-1, R, 1 BB, 0 SO, .204
C Brian Munhall - 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO, .254
SS Jake Wald - 1-2, 2 BB, 1 SO, E (17), .198
SP James Garcia - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 2 HBP, 3.00; L, 0-1
RP Ryan Spiehs - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 4.39
Connecticut fell short of victory in a tough loss. James Garcia's promotion to AA from class A San Jose didn't go well for him, as Portland scored three runs off him in six innings of work. The scheduled starter, Matt Palmer, was promoted to AAA Fresno thanks to his Eastern League best 1.30 ERA, so Garcia's effort was no better than a band-aid for the team. Ryan Spiehs may have been the difference in this game; the Defenders rallied late to score their four runs, but Spiehs allowed two runs in relief, including one in the eighth inning that essentially put the game out of reach for his teammates. Nate Schierholtz snapped the offense out of its funk with a home run in the seventh inning. With the team down 5-1, Brian Munhall homered in the top of the ninth, but all the scratching and clawing got the team nowhere. Their scoring ended then and there, and Connecticut has dropped eight of its ten last games against the Seadogs. Travis Ishikawa played his first game back with the Defenders since his latest call-up, hitting a double, but did not factor into the scoring.
Notes: The Defenders lost to division-leading Portland and sit 11.5 games back of the Seadogs in the Easter League standings. Also in front of them, the Trenton Thunder, barely above .500 at 37-35. Connecticut's record of 32-38 keeps them hanging around for second place.
San Jose Giants (High-A) - San Jose 8, Lancaster 3
SS Johany Abreu - 0-5, 0 BB, 1 SO, .242
CF Pat Dobson - 2-5, R, 0 BB, 1 SO, .252
3B Tim Hutting - 0-4, 0 BB, 1 SO, .289
2B Mark Minicozzi - 2-3, R, 1 BB, 0 SO, .297
LF Mike Wagner - 2-4, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, .275
C Todd Jennings - 3-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, .280
RF Carlos Sosa - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, .298
1B Julio Cordido - 1-4, 3B, RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, .271
DH Simon Klink - 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, .255
SP Darren Sack - 5.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, WP, HBP, 0.79; W, 2-0
RP Ben Cox - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, WP, HBP, 3.43
RP Thomas King - 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, HBP, 3.32
RP Justin Hedrick - 2.0, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1.33
The San Jose Giants wasted no time declaring their intent to take on all comers in the California League. After their first half championship performance, they roared to an 8-3 victory over the Jet Hawks. First inning scoring accounted for five runs, with five San Jose batters collecting hits in a row. Todd Jennings picked up his two RBI in the first and added a single in the fifth inning, where the Giants scored three more times. Giants pitchers combined for an outstanding effort and with the offense taking the burden off starter Darren Sack and his band of relievers, it was a good night for San Jose.
Notes: The Giants lead the North division of the California League with a 3-1 record. The race for the second half title is on with the defending champs setting the pace early.
Augusta Greenjackets (Low-A) - Augusta 7, Greensboro 5
LF Ben Copeland - 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, .271
3B David Maroul - 0-4, 1 BB, 1 SO, SB, .262
DH Eugenio Velez - 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO, .291
RF Mike Mooney - 1-4, 2B, 0 BB, 1 SO, .302
SS Anthony Contreras - 2-4, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO, .324
CF Antoan Richardson - 2-4, 0 BB, 0 SO, SB, .245
1B Pablo Sandoval - 1-4, 0 BB, 0 SO, .259
SP Ronnie Ray - 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 4.91
RP David Quinowski - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1.62
RP Osiris Matos - 2.0 IP, 2H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 2.41; W, 3-3
RP Wayne Fotlin - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.51; S, 10
It was a green day in Greensboro, with the Greenjackets turning around a poor start from Ronnie Ray. Both teams scored early, posting four runs each in the first three innings. Benj Copeland started things for the 'Jackets with a leadoff home run and Eugenio Velez followed the act in the third with a three-run bomb to score Antoan Richardson and Copeland, who had reached on an error. Augusta put up two unanswered runs late in the game after tying the game in the fifth inning. Relievers Osiris Matos and Wayne Fotlin stablizied the pitching situation after Ray and David Quinowski's sloppy combined six innings, Matos earning the win and Fotlin getting his team-best tenth save. Greenjackets celebrity in the making Pablo Sandoval is headed to the All-Star Futures Game in Pittsburgh in July. He had a quiet day at the plate Thursday.
Notes: Another "season" begins; in this case, the second half of the South Atlantic League started Thursday night, and the Greenjackets set the pace by winning the first game of the new beginning.
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-A) - Salem-Keizer 7, Spokane 1
SS Emmanuel Burriss - 1-5, R, 0 BB, 0 SO, E (1), .133
DH Bradley Boyer - 0-5, 0 BB, 0 SO, .176
1B William Thompson - 2-3, R, 2B, RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, .538
C Adam Witter - 2-4, 2 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, .333
3B Ryan Rohlinger - 2-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 0 BB, 0 SO, S, .583
LF Matthew Weston - 0-2, RBI, 1 BB, 0 SO, .222
PR/LF Lance Salsgiver - 0-1, R, RBI, 1 BB, 0 SO, .333
RF Ryan Neal - 1-3, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO, SF, .353
CF Michael McBryde - 1-4, 0 BB, 0 SO, .235
SP Adam Cowart - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00; W, 1-0
RP Jesse English - 3.0, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0.00, H, 1
RP Steven Calicutt - 1.0, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, WP, 3.00
The newest Giants made a lot of noise in this early season Northwest League game. Supplemental first round draft pick Emmanuel Burriss collected a hit in the third inning. Ryan Rohlinger (sixth round pick) had another excellent game with two doubles. The Volcanoes had plenty of offense to go around, not that their pitchers needed it. Adam Cowart (35th round) made his professional debut, throwing five very strong innings were he only allowed one run on one hit, and struck out three hitters. Steven Calicutt (21st round) worked one hitless inning in relief. It's early yet but these Volcanoes look to repeat the success Salem-Keizer fans have become accustomed to.
Notes: All teams in the West division of the Northwest League have perfect records thus far. Eugene and Salem-Keizer lead the way with 4-0 records, followed by Everett and Vancouver.
AZL Giants (Rookie) - AZL Giants 8, AZL Athletics 4
SS Sharlon Schoop - 2-2, 2 R, 2B, 3 BB, 0 SO, .500
2B Jose Flores - 2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 0 SO .500
CF Tayler Creswell - 1-5, RBI, 0 BB, 1 SO, .200
RF Joe Roundy - 1-5, R, 0 BB, 1 SO, .200
1B Rich Janeway - 1-4, R, 0 BB, 1 SO, E, .250
DH Sean Van Elderen - 2-2, R, 0 BB, 0 SO, SB, 1.000
PH/DH Allen Balmer - 1-2, 3RBI, 2B, 0 BB, 1 SO, .500
3B Matthew Downs - 1-4, R, 0 BB, 0 SO, E, .250
C Matt Klimas - 0-2, 0 BB, 2 SO, .000
SP Manuel Cabeza - 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, WP, 1.80; W, 1-0
RP Leonardo Martinez - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0.00
RP Adam Ortiz-Jusino - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, BK, 18.00
2005 was a good year for the Giants, at least in the minor leagues. The AZL Giants lead the Arizona Rookie League in wins last season and they started the 2006 season off on the right foot. New draftees Matthew Downs (36th round pick) and Matt Klimas (8th round) struggled through the game, but expect growing pains with these two. Downs is a converted pitcher and made 16 errors this season playing for Alabama. Klimas is young, right out of Texarkana Junior College in Texas. But that's what the rookie league is for, right?
Jose Flores and Allen Balmer put together the offense for the season opener. With seven RBI between them, Flores' fifth inning home run and Balmer's pinch-hit double to clear the bases, the solid pitching efforts of starter Manuel Cabeza were enough for a win over the AZL Athletics.
Notes: Day 1 of the Arizona Rookie League sees the Giants in a four-way tie for first place. All numbers look inflated on the first day.
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 email@example.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.
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