Minor League Notebook: August 3rd

Thursday was a tough day for the organization: injury, ejection, and dejection at the higher levels. Some teams can't be stopped, some were contained, and the rest were as uninspiring as is expected of them. It's just the Giants, and it's Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) – Nashville 4, Fresno 1

LF Fred Lewis - 0-3, BB, HBP, .263
SS Tomas De La Rosa - 0-3, .261
RF Jason Ellison - 0-3, BB, SO, .405
2B Kevin Frandsen - 0-4, SO, .297
C Justin Knoedler - 1-3, 2 SO, .246
CF Clay Timpner - 2-3, RBI, 3 CS (6), .271
1B Mike Cervenak - 1-4, R, SO, .307
3B Juan Melo - 2-3, .241
P Nick Pereira - 0-1, S, 2 E (2), .500
SP Nick Pereira - 6.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 4.44
RP Dusty Bergman - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, SO, 1.29
RP Carlos Hines - 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 4.81; L, 1-3
RP Erick Threets - 0.1 IP, H, R, ER, 0 BB, SO, 3.42

There was hope for Nick Pereira and the Grizzlies, at least for eight innings. It was a pitcher's duel in Fresno, each starter giving up only one run. Pereira's education continues, struggles and improvements coming in equal measure. He walked four and made two errors on pickoff throws, but struck out four hitters, laid down a sacrifice, and made an excellent play on a pop bunt in the fourth inning. Pereira caught the pop up and threw to third to get the Nashville runner for the final out of the inning.

It came down to the Fresno bullpen and it fell apart there. Carlos Hines walked two hitters with two outs and was replaced by Erick Threets. The runners advanced ninety feet each on a double steal, but Laynce Nix didn't care. He hit the go-ahead home run shortly thereafter, and the Grizzlies went quietly in the ninth inning.

Notes: The bad news is the Grizzlies are still in last in their division, 27 games behind Tucson. Not even Sacramento looks able to catch the Pacific Coast League leading Sidewinders despite playing better of late. The good news, there are now two teams who are worse than Fresno. Thank Memphis and Omaha each for having one less win than Fresno.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Bowie 4, Connecticut 2

CF Randy Walter - 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SO, .207
2B Derin McMains - 1-4, SO, .230
PH Brian Buscher - 0-1, .277
RF Nate Schierholtz - 0-3, BB, 2 SO, .237
1B Tyler Von Schell - 0-3, BB, SO, CS, .234
SS Jake Wald - 0-2, R, S, HBP, .210
LF Brian Horwitz - 1-2, 2 BB, CS, .301
DH Dan Ortmeier - 1-3, 2 SO, HBP, .286
3B Aaron Sisk - 0-4, E (11), .197
SP James Garcia - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 5.12; L, 2-6
RP Jason Waddell - 1.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, SO, WP, 2.79; BS, 2
RP RD Spiehs - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 3.45

James Garcia had no luck in his sixth loss of the season. Randy Walter gave Garcia a two run lead with his home run in the second inning. Garcia pitched well enough to put himself in line for the win, striking out seven over five innings. He walked the leadoff hitter and allowed a single in the sixth inning before he was pulled for Jason Waddell. Two of the three runs Bowie scored in the inning were charged to Garcia's record. Connecticut's offense fell asleep with only two runs scored Thursday, as opposed to the 24 runs they'd scored in the three games prior to this.

Notes: The Defenders remain near the bottom of the division in the Eastern league, keeping New Hampshire and New Britain company. At 50-61, they are a long way from the race behind division leading Binghamton, with Trenton and Portland right at the top. 1.5 games separate the three teams.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - High Desert 6, San Jose 0

CF Alex Requena - 1-2, SO, .321
2B Mark Minicozzi - 1-3, BB, SO, .283
C Stephen Holm - 0-3, 2 SO, .247
1B/CF Pat Dobson - 0-3, 2 SO, .248
RF John Bowker - 1-3, BB, SO, .276
3B Simon Klink - 0-3, 2 SO, E (19), .241
1B Chad Santos - 0-1, HBP, SO, .205
SS Tim Hutting - 0-4, .242
SP Kelyn Acosta - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.00
RP Brooks McNiven - 5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 5 SO, 4.56; L, 6-6
RP Adam Gardner - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 5.24

Encouraging news came from Kelyn Acosta's rehab start. He's back from the 60-day disabled list from an elbow injury. He threw one flawless inning before he gave way to the scheduled starter. That first inning looked optimistic for the Giants--Acosta's great performance plus three hits in the home half of the inning. Brooks McNiven did not fare as well as Acosta, and neither did the San Jose bats. McNiven took the loss while the other Giants were no-hit over the final eight innings. It was a bad day all around for San Jose. Alex Requena was ejected in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes. Simon Klink made another error, tying him for the team lead with Marcus Sanders at nineteen fielding blunders.

Notes: The Giants probably don't remember what second place looks like, as they dominated the California league during the first half of the season. Still, at only 1.5 games behind first place Visalia, and Stockton held back at five games behind, the team is in position to get a hold back on first. A quick look at the Southern Division of the Cal League has a better race. Inland Empire and Lake Elsinore are tied at the top, and 2.5 games separate the five teams. However, the leaders are at exactly .500. Only Visalia and San Jose have records better than .500.

Augusta Greenjackets (Low-A) - Augusta 3, Hagerstown 2

CF Ben Copeland - 0-4, SO, .280
3B David Maroul - 0-4, 2 SO, .273
2B Eugenio Velez - 0-4, SO, .301
RF Mike Mooney - 1-4, R, .291
SS Kyle Haines - 1-3, BB, .251
CF Antoan Richardson - 1-1, BB, HBP, 2 SB (52), .293
DH Julian Benavidez - 1-3, R, HR, HBP, 2 RBI, .302
1B Pablo Sandoval - 0-4, .269
C Nick Conte - 1-2, BB, SO, .140
SP Joseph Martinez - 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 7 SO, 1 HR, 3.45; W, 12-5
RP David Quinowski - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1.50; H, 12
RP Osiris Matos - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.99; SV, 10

Hagerstown leadoff man Fernando Martinez greeted Greenjackets starting pitcher Joseph Martinez with a home run on the first pitch of the game. The abrupt lead for Hagerstown didn't last, as Julian Benivadez hit a home run in the bottom of the second inning. The Greenjackets find ways to win, and they stumbled across a free run after Benivadez's jack. With one out Kyle Haines walked. Antoan Richardson hit into a fielder's choice and stole his 51st base of the season. Nick Conte struck out swinging, Richardson scored, Nick Conte advanced to second base on throwing error by Hagerstown's catcher. Richardson added another steal later to make 52, easily the fastest guy on the team and maybe even in the Giants organization. Augusta's Martinez turned in seven strong innings for his team-best twelfth win. He leads the team in strikeouts (110) as well. Osiris Matos pitched a perfect inning to earn the save.

Notes: The Greenjackets are far and away the best team in the South Atlantic League in the second half. At 31-9 they are eight games ahead of Greenville in the division. They've won seven of their last ten games, ending the month of July where they lost only five times.

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-A) - Yakima 4, Salem-Keizer 2

SS Emmanuel Burriss - 0-4, BB, SO, SB (24), E (10), .268
1B Brett Pill - 0-3, BB, .214
C Adam Witter - 1-3, 2B (8), SO, BB, .280
3B Ryan Rohlinger - 1-4, SO, BB, .285
RF Bobby Felmy - 0-5, .261
2B Brad Boyer - 1-2, .189
DH Matt Weston - 1-3, R, BB, SO, .221
CF Michael McBryde - 2-4, R, 3B (3), RBI, 2 SO, .278
PH/2B - Brian Bocock - 0-0, RBI, BB, .250, SF, .250
SP Adam Cowart - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, BB, 6 SO, HBP, E (1), 0.36
RP Clayton Tanner - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 1.35; L, 1-1
RP Ryan Paul - 1.1 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.68

Salem-Keizer lost a close game despite their best starter giving them another great effort. The starting pitchers did not allow a run until the sixth inning, unearned because of Cowart's error on a pickoff throw that advanced the runner into scoring position.  Clayton Tanner allowed the first earned runs of his career and took his first loss. The Volcanoes tied the game in the seventh inning. Matt Weston led off the inning with a single, and Michael McBryde drove him in with his third triple of the season and would score on Brian Bocock's sacrifice fly. Yakima put up two more runs in the eighth inning to win the game. Imagine that--the worst team in the Northwest League beating the best team.

Notes: Despite the loss the Volcanoes own the best record in the league, 29-15. They are 3.5 games ahead of Vancouver in the Western Division. These two clubs are the top two in the league by record; Boise's 24-19 record is good for the lead in the Eastern Division but only third overall.

AZL Giants (Rookie) - AZL Giants 8, AZL Cubs

CF Tayler Creswell - 1-2, 2 R, BB, SF, 2 SB (11), SO, HBP, .222
SS Sharlon Schoop - 0-4, RBI, BB, .354
3B Scott Downs - 3-4, 2 2B (12), S, RBI, .321
DH Rich Janeway - 1-3, RBI, BB, SF, SB (3), .276
RF Joe Roundy - 1-4, R, 2B (7), BB, 2 SO, .262
1B Sean Van Elderen - 2-5, 2 R, 2B (2), 2 RBI, SO, E (2), .226
C Elio Sarmiento - 0-3, R, BB, HBP, PB (5), .342
2B Juan Jean - 0-4, SO, .286
LF James Simmons - 1-4, R, 3B (1), BB, 2 SO, .244
SP Manuel Cabeza - 1.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, SO, 3.26
RP Roberto Martinez - 4.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 3 SO, WP, 3.19; W, 1-1
RP Carlos De La Rosa - 3.0 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 5 SO, 4.15
RP Ivan Herrera-Rusova - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO, 2 WP, 3.60

The rookie Giants overpowered the rookie Cubs with plenty of offense and good pitching. Tayler Creswell led off the game with a base hit and a stolen base. The Giants put up four runs in the fourth inning and added more later in the game for a grand total of eight runs scored. Scott Downs and Sean Van Elderen did a little of everything for the team: doubles, stolen bases, runs batted in, errors. It's rookie league ball, it's supposed to lack balance.

Roberto Martinez and Carlos De La Rosa shouldered the pitching load, with one run allowed between them in seven innings of relief. Manuel Cabeza only pitched one inning, facing two batters in the second inning, before he was replaced due to a leg injury.

Notes: Mathematically the Giants are in third place in the second half of the Arizona League season. Their record is 5-2, one game back of the rookie Royals. However the Padres team stands in front of the Giants. The Padres' record of 3-1 is better in percentage points. The scoreboard for the league puts the Padres 1.5 games behind the leader. It is a matter of interpretation to decide where the Giants sit in the league.



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. 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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