Daily Minor League Report – July 21

InsidethePark.com's exclusive Daily Minor League Report - the complete source for all the stellar performances from around the Mariners' minor league system and some other information worth mentioning.

After struggling on offense for most of the season, Inland Empire has taken to out-slugging their opponents lately and they had to against High Desert on Sunday.

The 66ers led by eight going into the ninth inning before their depleted bullpen barely held on to post the 9-7 victory.

Manager Steve Roadcap had no choice but to remove left-hander Justin Blood, after a bases-loaded walked plated the third run of the last frame for the Mavericks – all after two outs.

Juan Done added more fuel to the flame of embarrassment with a three-run double to the first batter he faced, before retiring Johnny Raburn for his second out of the inning.

Even though he let all three inherited runs to score, Done picked up his second save because Raburn amounted to the tying run on-deck when Done entered the game.

All six runs were charged to Blood, the submarine, right-hander who also gave up the lead and, eventually, the game to High Desert on Friday.

Left-hander Glenn Bott (4-5) did his part to allow the 66ers to build the huge lead with seven, one-run, three-hit innings.

Jared Thomas followed with one hit and two strikeouts in the inning preceding the debacle in the ninth inning.

Including his first homerun of the season, catcher Chris Collins had three hits and as many RBIs. First baseman Blake Bone also chipped in with his fourth home run on the season and two runs scored.

Albuquerque 5, Tacoma (AAA) 4: A valiant effort for the Rainiers in the ninth couldn't stop the Isotopes from completing their four-game sweep.

The Rainiers scored three times in the ninth inning, but left the tying run stranded at first base.

In his first start at the AAA level, Chris Wright (0-1) gave up all five runs in four innings including triples to the unlikely duo of Pacific Coast League home-run leader Rob Stratton and catcher Matt Treanor.

J.R. Phillips smashed his eighth home run since joining the Rainiers and Pat Borders continued his excellence with four hits and an RBI.

San Antonio (AA) 9, Frisco 3: The runs came early and often for the Missions with Jose Lopez and Justin Leone starting the game off with homers in the first inning.

The Missions scored in the first four innings, giving Gustavo Martinez plenty of cushion in his second start since moving into the rotation.

Martinez struck out eight and walked only one, but couldn't get out of the fifth inning to qualify for the win.

Left-hander George Sherrill pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to pick up his first victory since joining the Missions from the independent Northern League.

Chris Snelling and Justin Leone both had three hits for the Missions. Leone led the way with three RBIs.

Snelling has either hit a homer or collected multiple-hits in eight of his last 11 games.

Wisconsin (A) 3, Quad City 2: Juan Sandoval inched closer to evening his season record as Wisconsin avoided a four-game sweep.

Sandoval (7-8) pitched seven strong innings giving up only two runs, but Quad City had the advantage until centerfielder Gary Harris hit a two-run shot, his third, to tie the game in the fifth.

Sandoval held the Bandits in check for the next three innings and Carlos Arroyo provided the difference with a solo homer in the sixth.

Renee Cortez took over in the eighth and pitched two perfect innings for his fourth save.

Everett (SS-A) 7, Spokane 5: Bryan LaHair's first home run of the season capped the scoring and proved enough to give the AquaSox just their third win in 10 tries against Spokane.

LaHair's two-run bell ringer extended the AquaSox lead to 7-4 going into the ninth, more than enough distance for closer Brandon Moorhead to cover.

Moorhead saved his 10th game of the season, though he did give up his first run in 14.1 innings.

Brian Stitt (1-1) entered in the seventh and pitched two innings in relief of starter Thomas Oldham, who, after giving up three runs on an outfielder miscue and a passed ball, held the best offense in the Northwest League scoreless.

On Deck:
Tacoma (42-60; -12.5): LH Craig Anderson (6-10 W-L, 3.95 ERA) at Omaha
Notes: The Rainiers have lost five straight including three-straight one-run decisions. The Rainiers left runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth and the tying run on in the ninth.

San Antonio (20-11; +7.0): RH Clint Nageotte (10-2, 2.75) vs. Frisco
Notes: Nageotte has hit a bit of a snag in his last two outings. He's allowed 20 base runners in just 10 innings.

Nageotte still maintains the third-best ERA in the Texas League and the second highest strikeout total…

Nageotte will face a real challenge tonight against Frisco right-hander Jose Dominguez.

Dominguez has an unblemished, 8-0 record, with four of the wins coming since moving up from the Advanced-A level…

Frisco also has enjoyed the benefits of a restocked Rangers' farm system in the wake of deals sending Carl Everett and Ugueth Urbina packing.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, former number-one overall pick by the Florida Marlins, has smoked the ball since joining the Rangers' organization.

Gonzalez has hits in each of the seven games he's played for a .481 batting average.

Inland Empire (19-11, second half; +1.5): Idle
Notes: Since injured closer Mike Steele's last save on June 12, no-less-than seven different pitchers have garnered saves for the 66ers.

Steele still leads the California League with 16 saves; however, the 66ers do not expect him to return this season.

Wisconsin (12-17, second half; -7.5): T.A. Fulmer (6-5, 2.64) vs. Quad City
Notes: The effects of injuries at the upper levels have trickled down to Wisconsin, as the team has now lost a third member of the bullpen to promotion.

It seems Renee Cortez's save will be his last before heading west to Inland Empire.

Cortez has struck out 51 batters in 46 innings and now will join Rich Dorman and Ryan Rowland-Smith as former Timber Rattlers in the 66ers' bullpen…

The Mariners organization has found a replacement in left-hander Justin Dowdy.

Dowdy comes from the Rockford Riverhawks, where he posted a 2-1 record with a team-leading seven saves with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.

Dowdy is the third player the Mariners have signed during the season from the independent leagues.

Everett (16-16; -1.0): RH Felix Hernandez (5-0, 0.82) at Eugene
Notes: Hernandez faces Eugene tonight with a share of first place on the line.

Hernandez gave up only one run in his last start, but he also walked four, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.

These are small complaints as the 17-year-old right-hander pitched enough to innings to qualify for league ERA title.

James is a Central Washington University student interning for InsidethePark.com this summer. He welcomes your feedback, hints, tips or other observations (including any ideas on a better name than "Daily Minor League Report." Original, huh?) at jamesinsidethepark@yahoo.com

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