Minor League Notebook: August 13th

Six minor league teams, six wins. A record tied. Playoff implications for the contenders and a surprise or two in unexpected races. And a very low draft pick won yet another game. It's all good for the Giants minor league teams on Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Fresno 7, Las Vegas 2

LF Fred Lewis - 0-3, RBI (47), SF, .264
SS Kevin Frandsen - 0-1, HBP, .304
PR/2B Juan Melo - 1-3, R, SO, .254
CF Jason Ellison - 3-5, R, 2B (8), .418
SS Tomas De La Rosa - 2-4, 2B (20), RBI (39), .283
1B Lance Niekro - 2-3, 2 R, BB, SO, .351
3B Mike Cervenak - 3-4, 2 R, 2B (11), HR (4), 3 RBI (31), .296
RF Abraham Nunez - 2-4, R, 2B (14), 2 RBI (39), .245
SP Matt Palmer - 8.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 SO, 2.93; W, 5-1
RP Michael Tejera - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 0 SO, 3.40

The Grizzlies have won five of their last seven games, injecting some energy and hope to a dismal season. Matt Palmer's pitching performance was an encouraging start to the final stretch of the season. He took a shutout into the ninth inning but faltered to allow two runs. Michael Tejera picked his starter up with one perfect inning of relief pitching. Jason Ellison and Lance Niekro are on a mission to regain the right to play at the major league level. Both had multi-hit games and three runs scored between them. Mike Cervenak's return from the Korean Baseball Organization is going well with three hits, one a home run. Not all the news in this one was good. Kevin Frandsen took a pitch in the head and had to leave the game in the third inning.

Notes: There's no reason to calculate what the Grizzlies can do to advance in the division. Fresno's record is 49-72 and they are 26 games behind Tucson in the division. However, with their recent good play and Las Vegas stumbling, the Grizzlies could make up some ground on the six games that separate the two teams. That would mean no more last place, and it would put the Los Angeles Dodgers' AAA club in the cellar.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Connecticut 5, Erie 1

LF Quincy Foster - 2-4, R, RBI (7), .272
DH Nate Schierholtz - 1-3, R, BB, .256
3B Brian Buscher - 1-2, R, RBI (41), BB, SF, .269
1B Tyler Von Schell - 2-4, SO, .234
CF Dan Ortmeier - 0-4, 2 RBI (8), 2 SO, .292
RF Brian Horwitz - 0-3, .281
2B Derin McMains - 0-2, R, BB, .224
C Todd Jennings - 1-3, R, 2B (3), RBI (11), .268
SS Jake Wald - 0-3, SO, .211
SP Eugene Espinelli - 6.0 IP, 7 H, R, ER, BB, 6 SO, HR, 3.74; W, 7-5
RP Oscar Montero - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 6 SO, 3.92; H, 4
RP Billy Sadler - 1.0 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 2.62

The Defenders made another step toward their improbable march to the playoffs with a win over Erie. Eugene Espinelli turned in six strong innings, allowing the only run of the game in the sixth inning. Independent league pickup Quincy Foster had two hits and an RBI, the run batted in coming in the early scoring push. Connecticut scored four runs in the first three innings to give Espinelli all the room he needed. Dan Ortmeier went 0 for 4 but had two groundout RBI.

Notes: Connecticut won, and Binghamton and Portland lost. Connecticut's record is still under .500 but they are a handful of games behind those two in the loss column. Second place means a playoff spot, and as long as the Defenders play well they have a chance to get into the post-season.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - San Jose 7, Lake Elsinore 6

SS Johany Abreu - 0-4, BB, SO, .209
2B Mark Minicozzi - 0-5, 2 SO, .290
C Yamid Haad - 2-5, R, 2B (2), SO, PO, .462
1B Pat Dobson - 1-3, BB, .254
LF John Bowker - 3-4, 2 R, RBI (55), SB (5), BB, .286
1B Julio Cordido - 2-5, R, 2B (18), HR (10), 2 RBI (63), SB (9), SO, E (14), .284
3B Tim Hutting - 0-4, SO, .245
RF Carlos Sosa - 2-5, R, HR (8), 3 RBI (46), SO, .326
DH William Thompson - 0-3, R, BB, .209
SP Gregorio Martinez - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 5 SO, 3.53; W, 8-6
RP Brooks McNiven - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, SO, 4.40; H, 5
RP Justin Hedrick - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 SO, 1.81; H, 16
RP Brian Anderson - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 SO, 1.53; SV, 33

A wild game in Lake Elsinore for two of the best teams in the California League. San Jose scored in every inning between the second and seventh, but the Storm kept the pressure on by answering the Giants run for run in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. They threatened again in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring two runs against Brian Anderson. Anderson has been basically automatic this season, and the scare didn't deter him from locking up his 33rd save. He is one save away from the Cal League record of 34 saves.

The craziness wasn't limited to the plays on the field. Storm catcher Nick Hundley was ejected in the seventh inning, and manager Rick Renteria was also booted in the eighth. Home plate umpire John Conrad did the honors on both ejections.

Notes: The Giants are closing the gap on Visalia in the Cal League North. San Jose is just a half game behind the Oaks, tied in wins at 29 and one game behind in the loss column.

Augusta Greenjackets (Low-A) - Augusta 10, Rome 8

LF Ben Copeland - 1-6, RBI (61), SB (28), SO, .277
2B Eugenio Velez - 3-4, R, 3B (15), 2 RBI (75), SB (52), SO, SF, .305
RF Mike Mooney - 0-4, BB, SO, SB (35), .279
3B Anthony Contreras - 3-5, 2 R, .305
SS Kyle Haines - 3-5, 2 R, RBI (15), E (10), .258
CF Antoan Richardson - 1-3, R, 2 RBI (21), SB, 2 SB (59), 2 BB, SO, SF, .299
DH Julian Benavidez - 1-5, .262
PR/DH Adalberto Paulino - 0-0, R, .308
1B Pablo Sandoval - 1-4, R, RBI (44), SF, .257
C Barry Gunther - 2-4, 2 R, BB, E (5), .263
SP Dave McKae - 6.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, WP, 2.39; W, 6-2
RP Wayne Fotlin - 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, WP, 3.33
RP Taylor Wilding - 2.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, SO, 2.70; SV, 2

A few days after Sergio Romo and friends put together a no-hitter against these same Rome Braves, the two teams matched up for an eighteen run slugfest. Augusta got it started with a four run second inning, and the runs kept coming from there. Antoan Richardson and Eugeino Velez did what they do best, stealing bases to add to their 50+ stolen base totals for the season, and they each picked up a pair of RBI. Ben Copeland had an RBI and a steal. Kyle Haines had a three hit day. Wayne Fotlin seems to have taken a backseat from the closer's role of late, handing it off to Taylor Wilding for the two-inning save.

Notes: The Greenjackets have a nine game lead over Charleston in the Southern division of the South Atlantic League. They retain the best record in the league and the magic number to win the division is 12.

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-A) - Salem-Keizer 2, Spokane 0

2B Brian Bocock - 1-2, .226
SS Emmanuel Burriss - 0-3, BB, SB (29), .288
DH Brett Pill - 0-4, R, 2 SO, .239
1B/C Adam Witter - 1-3, RBI (29), BB, E (2), .288
3B Ryan Rohlinger - 0-3, SO, HBP, .276
RF Lance Salsgiver - 2-4, 2B (3), RBI (3), BB, .174
LF Matt Weston - 1-4, 2B (9), SO, .295
SP Adam Cowart - 5.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 0.29; W, 8-0
RP Steven Calicutt - 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO, 1.91; H, 2
RP Paul Lussier - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO, 3.76; H, 5
RP Ryan Paul - 0.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, SO, 7.20; H, 3
RP Juan Trinidad - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1.10; SV, 13

Adam Cowart's outstanding season rolls on with his eighth win of the year. Another shutout makes his earned run average a ridiculous 0.29. Lance Salsgiver doubled in the second inning to score Brett Pill, and even the 1-0 lead would have been enough for Cowart over 5.2 innings pitched. The Volcanoes added another run in the eighth inning when Ryan Rohlinger scored on Adam Witter's base hit. Steven Calicutt has settled into middle relief and collected his second hold. Emmanuel Burriss stole his 29th base of the season, not bad for two months of play. He had 42 steals his entire 2006 season at Kent State University.

Notes: The Volcanoes have opened up a seven game lead over Eugene in the division and lead the Northwest League at 37-17. Their magic number is 16.

AZL Giants (Rookie) - AZL Giants 9, AZL Brewers 5

SS Marcus Sanders - 1-2, 2 R, RBI (2), 3 BB, .182
DH Hector Borg - 3-5, R, 2B (2), 3B (1), 3 RBI (8), SO, .244
CF Tayler Creswell - 0-3, R, RBI (19), BB, 2 SO, SB (14), SF, E (2), .241
1B Rich Janeway 3-4, 2 R, 3B (2), RBI (27), BB, SO, SB (5) .303
2B Sharlon Schoop - 2-4, 2B (7), 2 RBI (19), 2 SO, SF, .356
RF Matt Roundy - 0-4, .250
C Elio Sarmiento - 0-4, SO, PB (7), .339
3B Allen Balmer - 1-2, 3 R, BB, HBP, E (1), .245
LF James Simmons - 1-4, SO, .250
SP Orlando Yntema - 6.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 3.40; W, 4-2
RP Robert Grace - 0.2 IP, H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 2 WP, 27.00
RP Carlos De La Rosa - 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 4.09
RP Julio Paulino - 0.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 7.30
RP Leo Martinez - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO, 3.97
RP David Newton - 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1.42; SV, 9

The greenest of the Giants took the lead from the clubs ahead of them on the minor league chain and had a hitting party of their own Sunday. Hector Borg and Rich Janeway hit the ball all around the field, each with a triple, and four RBIs from their bats alone. Orlando Yntema was in control over six innings, but after he left the game things got messy. Five pitchers had to handle two innings, and the game could have gotten away from the Giants if Leo Martinez and David Newton hadn't buckled down and stopped the bleeding.

Notes: The Giants lead the Arizona League by a full game, ahead of the Royals. The Angels are also right there at 1.5 games behind, as are the Padres at 2 back.



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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