Minor League Notebook: August 26th

Grand Slams are great...when your team hits them. Too bad for the Giants system. Not one, but two teams were victimized by the biggest run-scoring hit in baseball. Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) - Fresno 7, Sacramento 5

CF Jason Ellison - 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR (1), 1 RBI, .406
3B Mike Cervenak - 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B (16), .290
C Guillermo Rodriguez - 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR (7), 1 RBI, .243
DH Lance Niekro - 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, .338
LF Fred Lewis - 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, .273
SP Pat Misch - 7.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2 HR, 4.50; W, 3-2
RP Brian Wilson - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.00; S, 6

Long out of any race, for first or the cellar, Fresno's putting together a pride run of 3 wins in a row after losing the previous 6 in a row, 5 to the same River Cats. Ellison, who has been the hottest hitter in Fresno, finally connected for his first home run in Triple-A in the 7th inning, a couple of batters after Rodriguez hit his own solo shot. Rodriguez's homer broke a 5-5 tie, and Ellison's iced the cake. Meanwhile, all 5 runs given up by Misch were knocked in by the two home runs, including a 4th inning grand slam.

Connecticut Defenders (AA) - Connecticut 3, Reading 2

RF Nate Schierholtz - 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR (14), 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 CS (3), .272
LF Brian Horwitz - 2-4, 1 2B (8), 1 SO, .279
CF Dan Ortmeier - 1-3, 2 R, 1 SO, 1 SB (5), .252
3B Brian Buscher - 2-3, 1 2B (23), 1 RBI, .262
SP Jesse Floyd - 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1 WP, 3.84; W, 4-13
RP Joe Bateman - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 3.63; H, 9
RP Osiris Matos - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 6.35; S, 1

For Connecticut, it's back to great pitching and just enough offense, literally. Floyd finally picked up his 4th win of the year despite a good 3.84 ERA, getting help from the still-white-hot Nate Schierholtz, who tied for the organizational lead in deep shots with Lance Niekro, Eugenio Velez and Adam Witter.

Notes: Connecticut is 62-71, and regained sole possession of 4th place in the Northern division. However, their elimination number remains 3, with 2nd place Portland possessing a solid hold on the last playoff spot. Coming into August, Schierholtz was batting .234 with 6 home runs. Through the 26th, he has raised his average to .272, 2nd best on the team, and has hit 8 home runs in August alone.

San Jose Giants (High-A) - Visalia 6, San Jose 2

DH Will Thompson - 2-4, 1 SO, .272
RF John Bowker - 1-4, 1 RBI, .275
1B Pat Dobson - 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, .253
SP Anthony Moreno - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 4.44
RP Alfredo Simon - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 6.82
RP Justin Hedrick - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 2.17; L, 6-4

San Jose's bullpen suffered another failure, and this one was in spectacular fashion, as Justin Hedrick gave up a two out grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to break a 2-2 tie and lose a 2nd straight to the division leading Oaks. San Jose had been down 2-0 in the 5th when Thompson led off with a single and Haines walked. Dobson and Bowker each hit RBI singles in the inning to tie the game.

Notes: San Jose is 34-27, and is now 2.0 games behind first place Visalia.

Augusta GreenJackets (Low-A) - Kannapolis 7, Augusta 5

2B Eugenio Velez - 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR (14), 2 RBI, 1 SO, 1 SB (59), 1 E (19), .312
RF Jose Yens - 2-4, 1 R, .230
SP Jeffrey Clark - 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HBP, 7.71; L, 0-1
RP Ryan Shaver - 3.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 HBP, 3.74
RP Bryan Millikan - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.91

It's one thing to look at the GreenJackets and see a hole in the pitching staff, considering they're missing Sergio Romo and Dan Griffin thanks to injuries, as well as other trades, injuries and promotions. But Augusta came into this game with its entire starting outfield sitting, and so the official division title party was postponed one more day.

Notes: Augusta is 46-15, and still have a 10 game lead on Asheville. With 8 games left on the schedule plus two unplayed postponements, the GreenJackets still have a Magic Number of 1.

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-A) - Salem-Keizer 5, Vancouver 2

LF Matt Weston - 2-3, 2 2B 914), 1 BB, 1 SO, .302
3B Ryan Rohlinger - 1-4, 1 R, .272
1B Brett Pill - 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR (5), 2 RBI, .235
C Adam Witter - 0-1, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SO, 1 CS (2), 1 PO, .279
CF Michael McBryde - 1-1, 1 2B (9), .278
SP Ben Snyder - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.58; W, 4-1
RP Adam Paul - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 3.78; H, 7
RP Juan Trinidad - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0.82; S, 15

At this point, it's all academic since the Volcanoes have clinched their division title, but who's going to tell them that? Pill's 5th home run, a 2 run shot, sealed the deal in the 8th inning after the game had been frozen at 3-2 since the 2nd. Pill had given up 8 runs in 8 innings over his past two starts, so his 2 runs through 5 was a nice break from his slump.

Notes: Salem-Keizer is 48-18, and has clinched their division title and a playoff spot. Boise holds a 3 game lead in the Eastern division, and has a Magic Number of 8 to face the Volcanoes for the NWL title.

AZL Giants (Rookie) - Royals 12, Giants 10 (10 Innings)

DH Rich Janeway - 3-4, 2 2B (11), 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP, .322
3B Matt Downs - 3-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO, .311
2B Hector Borg - 2-6, 3 R, 1 3B (2), 2 RBI, 1 SB (2), .242
LF Emmanuel Cividanes - 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B (5), 2 BB, .302
SS Sharlon Schoop - 1-6, 2 RBI, 1 SO, 2 E (9), .312
CF Tayler Creswell - 2-3, 3 R, 1 2B (7), 1 BB, 1 SB (16), 1 HBP, .233
SP Jose Valdez - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 7.38
RP Wilmin Rodriguez - 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP, 5.66
RP Ivan Rusova - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 7.36
RP Lenny Martinez - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 4.05; L, 3-2

The Giants came back, but couldn't hold on as their playoff hopes have all but slid away. A 4 run 8th, highlighted by a 2 RBI triple by Borg, and a solo run in the 9th powered by a Creswell double and the tying run coming in on a double play, tied the game just in time for the Giants. But a 2 out rally by the Royals in the 10th doomed the Giants.

Notes: The AZL Giants are 15-9, and their playoff hopes are all but dashed. They would need to win their last three games, and the Angels to lose their last 2 and the Royals to lose 2 of their last three (beating the Angels in their only win), and help with the Padres losing at least one game, to have a shot.



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