Minor League Notebook: August 17th

No matter how bleak their season is, Fresno won't quit. Salem-Keizer's best efforts keep them on top. San Jose and the rookie Giants have little breathing room these days, yet they dare to test it. At least there were a couple days off, and even a Bob Dylan concert. If none of this makes sense, remember: It's Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Fresno 5, Salt Lake 4

DH Fred Lewis - 0-4, 2 SO, .271
RF Jason Ellison - 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B (12), RBI (11), 2 SO, .420
SS Tomas De La Rosa - 1-3, R, HR (8), 2 RBI (43), SB (8), HBP, .294
1B Mike Cervenak - 1-4, RBI (36), .296
CF Clay Timpner - 1-3, R, 2B (4), BB, SO, CS (7), .268
LF Abraham Nunez - 2-4, SO, .256
SP Merkin Valdez - 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 5.93
RP Matt Kinney - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR, 5.15; W, 7-7
RP Michael Tejera - 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 0 SO, 3.56; H, 6
RP Carlos Hines - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, SO, 4.84; H, 9
RP Brandon Villafuerte - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.74; SV, 2

There is life for the Grizzlies, this late in the season and regardless of how poor they have been. Tomas De La Rosa and Jason Ellison helped the offense in the fifth inning. De La Rosa's home run and Ellison's RBI double added to Mike Cervenak's base hit RBI for four runs in the inning. Ellison may be the difference in this game. He doubled in the third inning and would score on a throwing error by Salt Lake right fielder Nick Gorneault. Fresno would need that run for when the Bees scored two runs late to pull within one run of the lead.

Merkin Valdez started the game for Fresno and the switch to the rotation is permanent. He needs to work into the role of starter after being misused in the bullpen. In three innings pitched he looked like the top prospect the Giants brass thought he could be. Matt Kinney went four innings for the win behind Valdez. As the season winds down, things are coming together for the worst team in the system. Perhaps there is something to look forward to for next season.

Notes: The optimism fades with a look at the Pacific Coast League standings. Back to reality for the Grizzlies, and it's ugly. 24 games out of first and even a sizeable gap between them and the next to last team in the Pacific South division, the Las Vegas 51s.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - No game scheduled

Notes: Connecticut is 10.5 games behind division-leading Trenton. Portland and Binghamton are still slugging it out ahead of the Defenders.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - Bakersfield 8, San Jose 4

2B Mark Minicozzi - 0-4, .288
1B Pat Dobson - 1-4, RBI (44), SO, SB (18), E (5), .254
3B Tim Hutting - 0-3, BB, .244
C Yamid Haad - 1-3, R, BB, SO, .421
CF Alex Requena - 1-3, R, 3B (2), 2 RBI (11), SO, .317
DH Simon Klink - 1-4, R, 3 SO, .237
SP Kelyn Acosta - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, HR, 6.75; L, 0-1
RP Anthony Moreno - 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 7 SO, 4.55
RP Alex Hinshaw - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, SO, 4.38

San Jose has to take this loss hard. Kelyn Acosta's road back from injury hit a snag when he allowed four runs over two innings pitched. Bakersfield took advantage of shaky San Jose pitching to jump out to a big lead in the second inning, and they didn't give the Giants a chance to get close. The Giants managed four runs on five hits in the costly loss. Pat Dobson and Alex Requena did what they could, Dobson with one RBI and Requena with two, but the rest of the bats were quiet, and the pitching was no help.

Notes: The loss drops the Giants 1.5 games behind Visalia in the Cal League North division. The Oaks won their game, and down the home stretch of the season every game counts.

Augusta Greenjackets (Low-A) - No game scheduled.

Notes: Augusta enjoyed a day off with no threat to their stranglehold on the South Atlantic League. Their magic number is 8. The doubleheader against Savannah was put off again by an off day. They couldn't play if they wanted to, because of a Bob Dylan concert taking place at Augusta's ballpark.

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-A) - Salem-Keizer 7, Tri-City 1

SS Emmanuel Burriss - 2-4, R, E (13), .298
DH Christopher Todd - 2-4, R, 2 RBI (9), BB, .288
1B Brett Pill - 0-5, R, SO, RBI (25), .227
CF Michael McBryde - 3-4, 3B (4), 2 RBI (28), CS, .275
LF Tyler Graham - 1-3, 2 R, RBI (7), BB, SO, CS, .258
SP Steven Calicutt - 3.0 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1.72
RP Clayton Tanner - 3.0 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.32; W, 2-2

Steven Calicutt moved up, for one game at least. He threw three innings in his start and gave up the lone Tri-City run of the game. He split pitching duties with Clayton Tanner, who earned the win with three scoreless innings of his own. Lots of runs supplemented the great pitching. Michael McBryde had a triple and two RBI in the scoring barrage that came in the early innings. Emmanuel Burriss made an unlucky thirteenth error of the season but had two hits to keep his average hovering around .300. And don't say these Volcanoes are on autopilot as they dominate the Northwest League. Tyler Graham was caught stealing home in the second inning. The play ended the inning, but it took a lot of guts to risk a one-run lead on such a play.

Notes: Salem-Keizer's lead in the league grew to eight games with the win. Vancouver's 31-25 record would tie them for the division lead in the East division with Boise, but in the West it puts them way behind the Volcanoes. SK's magic number to clinch is 12.

AZL Giants (Rookie) - AZL Royals 11, AZL Giants 5

SS Marcus Sanders - 1-4, SO, BB, .136
LF Emmanuel Cividanes - 1-5, R, RBI (13), .289
3B Matt Downs - 2-5, 2 R, 2B (15), .306
DH Rich Janeway - 2-4, R, 3B (3), 3 RBI (30), BB, SF, .310
RF Matt Roundy - 2-4, 2B (8), RBI (16), .251
SP Henry Sosa - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, ER, BB, 2 SO, 3.95
RP Carlos De La Rosa - 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, HBP, 5.40; L, 1-3
RP Adam Ortiz-Jusino - 1.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, HBP, 3.52
RP Lenny Martinez - 2.1 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 3 SO, 3.95

The rookie Giants took a beating from one of the best teams in the Arizona League. It started out well when the Giants scored two runs in the first inning. Starting pitcher Henry Sosa didn't go far, and his relievers fared worse. Giants pitching gave it up early and often, surrendering the bulk of the runs in the innings following the Giants' two runs scored. What the offense could do didn't keep up. Rich Janeway had three RBI, almost carrying the offense by himself.

Notes: Leads change hands often in the Arizona League. The Angels are on top with the Giants and Royals tied at a game behind.

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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