The Mariners had a representative at Shea Stadium this weekend to check out Ken Griffey, writes the Dayton Daily News' Hal McCoy.
The Portland Tribune's Dwight Jaynes devoted his latest column entirely to Ichiro getting thrown out at the plate after Willie Bloomquist fell for the fake-throw-to-third trick while on first base on Saturday night. Jaynes hints that Ichiro is too often exempt from criticism.
The Times' Steve Kelley does what so many of us are trying hard not to do --- place some great significance in one win. The wins have been hard to come by this season, but the major problems haven't been solved in one day.
Around the Minors
Tacoma (19-17, 10.0 GB in PCL North) managed just four hits in a Friday loss to Iowa, but bounced back to sweep a doubleheader on Sunday in Omaha. Saturday's game at Rosenblatt Stadium was rained out, setting up yesterday's twin bill. Ryan Feierabend turned in another great performance for the Rainiers in game 1, allowing just one run in six innings and lowering his ERA to 1.67. Jeremy Reed put Tacoma ahead for good with a fifth-inning home run, and they held on for a 3-1 victory. In game 2, the Rainiers were held scoreless until the seventh inning, when Shawn Garrett launched his first home run of the season off Omaha closer Neal Musser. The three-run shot gave Tacoma a 3-2 lead, which Jon Huber was able to hold on to in the bottom of the inning (games are only seven innings in minor league doubleheaders). Chris Jakubauskas had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 20, but still pitched well, striking out four and allowing two runs in five innings.
Victor Diaz joined the Rainiers on Friday after signing a minor-league deal with the Mariners. Diaz has played in the majors with the Mets and Rangers, and was hitting .296 this season with the Round Rock Express of the PCL when he was released on May 2nd by the Astros. Diaz hit fourth for the Rainiers in all three games over the weekend, going 2-for-9 with a run scored.
West Tenn (23-14, 3.0 GB in SOU North) had a rough weekend in Birmingham, dropping the first two games of a five-game set against the Barons. The Jaxx pushed across two runs in the first inning on Saturday, but the offense went silent the rest of the way and Birmingham registered a 7-2 victory. Doug Fister allowed four earned runs in five innings to take the loss. Adam Moore and Jon Nelson each had two hits for the Jaxx. On Sunday, the Jaxx were held scoreless for seven innings but were kept in the game by Rich Dorman, who threw seven strong innings. Trailing 1-0 in the eighth, Jon Nelson and Ronald Prettyman had consecutive two-out hits that scored two runs and gave West Tenn a 2-1 lead. But the Barons struck back in the bottom of the eighth with two runs and held on this time for the 3-2 win.
The Jackson Sun's Brandon Shields reports that the Jaxx have recently been sold to a group in Nashville, but that there is currently no plan to move the team out of Jackson.
High Desert (17-20, T-1st in CAL South) had a big weekend offensively, taking two out of three from Rancho Cucamonga. The Mavs dropped game one of the series 6-4 but bounced back to score 10 runs in each of the last two games. On Saturday, Leury Bonilla went 3-for-4 with two runs scored an an RBI to lead a balanced offensive attack. Nine different Mavs had hits in the game, and eight different players scored in the 10-4 win. Kyle Parker earned the win for the Mavs. Bryan Harris pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings to help nail down the victory. Sunday was a more unlikely win, as Rancho sprinted out to a 6-0 lead before the Mavs erupted with two big innings: a three-run fifth and a seven-run seventh. High Desert pounded out 16 hits on the day, led by Matt Mangni's 5-for-5 effort. James McOwen was 3-for-5, and Kuo Hui Lo went 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Alfredo Venegas got the win in relief, giving up no earned runs in five innings in relief of starter Ricky Orta, who had a second consecutive rough outing. The Victorville Daily Press has the lowdown on the Mavs' big seventh inning on Sunday.
Wisconsin (14-18, 10.0 GB in MID Western) took two out of three over the weekend from Cedar Rapids. Juan Ramirez struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings on Saturday to pick up his first victory of the season as the Rattlers won 7-4. Gavin Dickey was 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the offense. The Rattlers only picked up three hits on Sunday but were able to pick up a 3-1 win behind the stellar pitching of Edward Paredes, Jacob Wild, and Robert Harmon. Cedar Rapids won the series opener 5-0 on Friday night. Michael Pineda threw for the Rattlers, and he ran his scoreless inning streak to 16 2/3 since becoming a starter. On the season, the 19-year-old Pineda has allowed only one run in 23 2/3 innings, walking only three and striking out 20. The Rattlers wore pink jerseys on Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day, writes Ryan Wilson of the Appleton Post-Crescent.