Minor League Notebook: July 7th

Everyone's worried about when 2006 top pick Tim Lincecum will debut, but don't forget about that top pick from 2005. Ben Copeland managed 5 RBI from the leadoff spot (and that leadoff home run was just one of them, obviously) and is leading the hottest team in the system, the Augusta GreenJackets. Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Fresno 12, Colorado Springs 2

RF Todd Linden - 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B (11), 1 HR (5), 1 RBI, .282
3B Mike Cervenak - 3-5, 2 R, 1 2B (2), 1 SO, .413
1B Chad Santos - 2-5, 2 R, 1 HR (12), 2 RBI, 1 E (11), .260
C Guillermo Rodriguez - 1-2, 3 R, 1 HR (1), 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO, .222
CF Clay Timpner - 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B (3), 1 RBI, 1 SB (3), .316
LF Fred Lewis- 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 SB (11), .261
SP Matt Palmer - 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 3.63; W, 1-1
RP Carlos Hines - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.60
RP Jack Taschner - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2.97

Fresno fell behind early, with Palmer giving up 2 runs in the top of the first, but it was all gravy after that. Fresno took the lead in the 2nd, when Rodriguez hit a solo home run, Timpner came around on a wild pitch and Lewis hit an RBI single. Santos had a 2 run homer in the 3rd, and Linden added a solo shot in the 5th.

Notes: Fresno is 35-53, and are 19.5 games back of first place Tucson, and 8.5 games behind third place Sacramento. The Grizzlies granted an outright release to Michael Tejera, who is free to look for an opportunity with another team. Tejera was the Grizzlies' best and most consistent starter.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Connecticut 2, New Britain 1

LF Brian Horwitz - 3-4, 1 R, .242
RF Nate Schierholtz - 2-4, 1 SO, .238
DH Jon Armitage - 1-2, 1 R, 1 2B (1), 1 RBI, 1 SF, .189
C Andy Busch - 1-2, 1 RBI, 1 SO, .074
1B Travis Ishikawa - 0-4, 1 SO, .233
SP Jesse Floyd - 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.61; W, 2-9
RP Scott Munter - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 4.86; H, 1
RP Billy Sadler - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 3.82; S, 11

Once again, the pitching was good enough to bail out a lackluster offense into another win. Floyd gave up a run early, giving up a leadoff triple followed by a groundout to knock in the run, but that's all New Britain would get. But Armitage helped the Defenders get their runs. In the 5th, he doubled with one out, scoring on Busch's single. In the 7th, Horwitz and Schierholtz singled back-to-back to open the inning, and Armitage followed with a sacrifice fly to get the winning run home.

Notes: Connecticut is 40-46, and is alone in 4th place in the 6 team division. They are 1.5 games behing Binghamton for third place, and 10 games back of Portland for first. Connecticut has won 7 of their last 10 games, including 3 of 4 (with a 5th postponed) against first place Portland.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - Stockton 5, San Jose 2

2B Mark Minicozzi - 2-3, 1 R, 1 HBP, .288
DH Carlos Sosa - 2-4, 1 R, 1 SO, .317
C Todd Jennings - 0-2, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2 HBP, .282
SP Gregorio Martinez - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR, 4.12; L, 4-6
RP Thomas King - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HBP, 2.85

San Jose's offense got clipped in Stockton, while Martinez gave up a couple of home runs to take the loss. Martinez gave up a solo first inning home run and a 2 run shot in the 4th to fall behind early. Meanwhile, the closest to big hits that the Giants got were Jennings getting hit by two pitches and Minicozzi by another.

Notes: San Jose is 10-5, and is holding onto a slim half game lead over Visalia for first in the California League North division.

Augusta GreenJackets (Low-A) - Augusta 13, Hickory 7

LF Ben Copeland - 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B (21), 1 HR (3), 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, .308
3B Anthony Contreras - 3-6, 2 R, 1 2B (13), 2 RBI, 2 SO, 1 SB (11), 1 E (13), .325
RF Michael Mooney - 2-4, 2 R, 1 3B (5), 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS (2), 1 PO, .291
SS Eugenio Velez - 2-6, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 SO, .286
1B Pablo Sandoval - 1-5, 1 RBI, 3 SO, .256
CF Antoan Richardson - 1-3, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO, .264
SP Shairon Martis - 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 3.75; W, 4-4
RP Taylor Wilding - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1.26
RP Bryan Millikan - 1.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 5.24; H, 2
RP Sergio Romo - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.15

Augusta got this game off to the right start, with Copeland leading off the game with a home run. 2 errors followed that, letting Contreras reach and get to 2nd base, and he went to third on Velez's single. Monney tripled them both home. After 2 outs, Kyle Haines was hit by a pitch, and Richardson singled to score Mooney. Following a walk, Copeland came back up and double, plating 3 more runs and chasing the starting pitcher before he could complete an inning of work.

Notes: Augusta is 13-3, and has opened up a 2 game lead over 2nd place Asheville. This is the third game in four that the GreenJackets have scored 10 runs or more, all against last place Hickory. They had only reached doubled digits in runs only 3 times previous in the season. Augusta has an 8 game winning streak, and has won 11 of 12.

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-A) - Eugene 4, Salem-Keizer 3 (10 Innings)

CF Michael McBryde - 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SB (6), .281
SS Emmanuel Burriss - 1-5, 1 R, 1 SO, 1 SB (8), .234
RF Bobby Felmy - 1-5, 1 R, 1 SO, 1 SB (5), .326
DH William Thompson - 1-2, 1 RBI, 3 BB, .386
SP Adam Cowart - 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00
RP Jesse English - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO, 5.59; H, 2
RP Adam Paul - 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 1 WP, 1 BK, 2 HBP, 5.40; BS, 1; L, 0-1

Well, Adam Cowart's run of dominance ended, sort of. He gave up as many baserunners (4 hits, 1 walk) in 5 innings as he had in 16 previous innings, but still didn't allow any runs to score. He didn't get a win, however, as Paul had a rough outing and blew his first save of the season. English started the 8th and gave up a hit and walk, and got a sacrifice Bunt before giving way to Paul. Paul immeadiately gave up a single to allow one run to score, hit a batter, then gave up a single to score a second runner, and a sacrifice fly that allowed a third to score, giving Eugene a 3-2 lead. In the 9th, Burriss reached on a one out error, stole second and came in on Thompson's single to tie the game. But in the 10th, Paul was wild again, hitting a batter to lead off the inning. After a balk, Paul intentionally walked the next batter, and got a double play that left a runner at third. He scored on a wild pitch. S-K was aggressive on the basepaths, with McBryde stealing home on a straight steal in the 2nd with one out. In the 8th, the Volcanoes tried a double steal with runners on the corners, but Adam Wiitter was caught stealing home.

Notes: Salem-Keizer is 14-5, and remains in first place. Vancouver is one game behind them for second.

AZL Giants (Rookie) - Giants 6, Cubs 1

RF Ariel Nunez - 2-4, 2 RBI, .500
3B Matt Downs - 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B (5), 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (4), .333
SS Tomas De La Rosa - 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, .407
CF Tayler Creswell - 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B (1), 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 CS (1), .227
C Matt Klimas - 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB, .400
SP Lenny Martinez - 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 2.77
RP Ryan McGovern - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.00
RP Manuel Cabeza - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 2.12; W, 4-0
RP David Newton - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.60

The Rookies used a big third inning that featured both of their only extra base hits to beat the Cubs. Creswell doubled with Klimas on 2nd to score the first run of the inning, and then with runners on the corners, Downs doubled and scored both of the runners. 2 errors in the inning helped lead to 5 runs coming in on the inning.

Notes: The AZL Giants are 9-4, and remain tied for first place with the Royals.



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