Daily Minor League Report – August 14

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.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers play Beloit two more times, but they can't expect the kind of game which resulted in Wednesday's 8-0 win.

Not only did the Mariners class-A affiliate shut down the Snappers from the mound behind brilliant pitching from T.A. Fulmer, it took advantage offensively of an amazing amount of its opponent's mistakes.

The Timber Rattlers opened the scoring with two runs in the third without needing a hit.

They loaded the bases on an error and two walks, scored the first run of the inning on a fielder's choice which still left the bases loaded and scored the second when C Rene Rivera walked.

Beloit's starter left the game after the inning after walking six, hitting a batter and giving up no hits.

The next Beloit offering turned out to be just another victim, as he jacked the Snappers' walk total up to 11 for the game. He also gave up some hits too, as Wisconsin put the game away with four more runs in the fourth.

Fulmer (9-7) kept a handle on the game for the Timber Rattlers with seven, five-hit innings. He also struck out four and walked two.

Offensively, the Timber Rattlers didn't let the abundant free passes go to waste. LF Jon Nelson, DH Carlos Arroyo and 3B Matt Hagen all drove in two runs

Tacoma (AAA) 6, Edmonton 5: The Rainiers picked up what could be a costly victory, as two star prospects both had to leave the game early.

OF Chris Snelling left after his first at-bat, where he injured his left knee while running to first base. Snelling felt pain the same knee last year while with the Mariners shortly after his major-league debut.

Staff ace Rett Johnson also felt pain from his performance and in his shoulder as he left.

Johnson's ERA rose to 2.15 as he gave up three runs, seven hits and two walks in just three innings.

Johnson hadn't pitched less than six innings in his six starts over the last month, but he left with a 3-1 deficit after the third with a sore shoulder.

However, his Rainiers teammates didn't leave him with a sore record as they scored runs in the seventh and eighth to take the lead and the game.

3B Luis Figueroa walked in the bottom of the eighth and scored the go-ahead run on a ground out by CF Jamal Strong.

Figueroa also recorded two hits, including a two-RBI double in the sixth to tie the game at 4. He also walked twice.

Ken Cloude picked up his second win in a week with two innings of relief. Cloude (3-4) allowed the Trappers take a 5-4 lead in seventh, but shut them down in the eighth to get it to J.J. Putz in the ninth.

Putz sent Edmonton down in order in the ninth for his sixth save. He struck out two to drop the Trappers into second place in the PCL North Division.

San Antonio (AA) 11, Wichita 6: Left-hander Travis Blackley has made a mockery of the Texas League in his first experience at the Double-A level.

Wichita thought they'd have a laugh at his expense after scoring a run in the first inning, but the Australian lefty kept them quiet for the following five innings.

Blackley (15-3) pitched into the seventh inning before find more trouble, but he gave up only two runs overall and struck out seven.

Blackley leads the Texas League in wins and ERA (2.52) and trails only two other pitchers, including teammate Clint Nageotte, in strike outs (132).

The Missions lineup backed up Blackley with 16 hits. Every Missions batter reached base at least once, and five had multiple hits.

OF Jaime Bubela, OF Elpidio Guzman, 2B Luis Ugueto and C Scott Maynard each had two RBIs.

Inland Empire (Advanced-A) 5, Bakersfield 2: Troy Cate dominated for the 66ers in last outing against first-place Lake Elsinore, and he did the same to last-place Bakersfield.

Cate (9-10) struck out 14 batters in 7.1 innings to win his third straight decision. Cate has struck out 25 batters in his last 14 innings.

The left-hander would have been inline for a no-hitter, if it weren't for the fifth inning. Cate gave up three hits in the fifth, including a home run which gave Bakersfield a 2-1 lead.

After Dewon Brazelton left the game after four innings, the 66ers jumped all over two Blaze relievers for four unanswered runs.

CF Dustin Delucchi did the most damage with a game-tying RBI single in the fifth and a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh.

3B Hunter Brown and 1B John Castellano also had two hits for the 66ers.

Right-hander Renee Cortez finished the game with 1.2 perfect innings for his second save with Inland Empire.

Eugene 6, Everett (SS-A) 1: As pitchers innings decrease, their runs allowed aren't supposed to increase. However, this happened for the AquaSox in their loss to the Emeralds.

Felix Hernandez (7-2) opened the game with six, superb, seven-hit innings. The 17-year-old left down 1-0 in favor of right-hander Brian Stitt, who gave up two runs in two innings, and lefty Juan Ovalles, who gave up three runs in the final inning.

None of this mattered, because Everett only struck for three hits of Eugene pitching.

2B Eric Blakeley had two hits, including a double, a stolen base and a run scored.

RF Chris Colton had the other hit, driving in Blakeley.

On deck:
Tacoma (55-70, - 6.5): RH Jeff Heaverlo (5-6 W-L, 4.69 ERA) vs. Edmonton
Notes: Heaverlo has started five games since returning from the disabled list on July19 with nothing but success.

Heaverlo, a first-round supplemental draft pick in June 1999, hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his starts since his return.

The University of Washington graduate hadn't picked up a win, however, until throwing seven shut out innings in his last start.

Over his last five starts, Heaverlo has a 2.57 ERA and 1.26 ratio of baserunners per inning.

San Antonio (33-20, second half; +9.0): RH Cha Seung Baek (6-4, 3.04) vs. Wichita
Notes: DH/OF Greg Jacobs has reached base via hit or walk in 14 of his 17 games since his promotion from Inland Empire.

The 26-year-old has hits in 10 of his last 13 games at the Double-A level and multiple-hits in six of those games.

Even though his OPS has dropped almost 200 points from his Inland Empire performance, Jacobs still has a .348 batting average and 11 RBIs.

Jacobs still has enough at-bats to qualify for the California League batting title, and he still leads the circuit by 12 points.

Inland Empire (31-21, second half; -0.5): RH Rich Dorman (3-0, 0.98) vs. Bakersfield
Notes: Renee Cortez hasn't allowed a run in his 12 innings facing Cal League batters. Since arriving from Wisconsin on July 21, Cortez has held the opposition to a .095 batting average. The 66ers have counted on a number of pitchers out of the bullpen since they lost closer Mike Steele to an injury.

Steele's last save came on June 13, yet his 16 saves still led the league until Lancaster's Pete Sikaras picked up his 17th on Aug. 11.

Wisconsin (23-28, second half; -11.0): LH Cesar Jimenez (8-9, 2.75) at Beloit
Notes: Milwaukee Brewer faithful will get to see their future on display at the first Midwest League game at Miller Park and a young, locked-in left-hander named Cesar Jimenez, as well.

How can a pitcher with a 1-5 record in his last six starts be locked-in? He's locked-in when he's allowed three runs or less in seven of his last eight starts.

His ERA lies just outside of the top-10 among Midwest League pitchers. Oh yeah, and he's also only 19-years-old.

Everett (24-31, -5.0): LH Sam Hays (0-1, 5.87) vs Eugene
Notes: Hernandez lowered his ERA to 1.80 to move into the league-lead and recorded double-digit strike outs for the first time in his professional career.

His 10-strike out performance nudged him into fourth place in strike outs with 65.

Both of his professional losses have come at the hands of the Eugene Emeralds.

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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