1. Travis Mortimore, P, Wisconsin
The Mariners' 21st-round pick in 2007 is quietly dominating the Midwest League out of the bullpen. Last night was just the latest in a string of spectacular performances for the 6'5" lefty. Mortimore threw four scoreless innings yesterday, allowing one hit while striking out four. In his last 10 appearances, covering 16 1/3 innings, he has given up one run and five hits. Opposing batters are hitting .143 off of him, and he's actually holding right-handers to a .138 average. His 0.68 ERA leads the team.
2. Chris Minaker, SS-2B, High Desert
The 24-year-old Stanford alum and Seattle native is starting to swing it well for the Mavs. He's also starting to get more time at shortstop, with Carlos Triunfel moving over to second base for the time being. Minaker was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI in High Desert's big win last night. Minaker leads the California League in doubles with 24, and he's second on the Mavs with 40 runs scored. His .290 batting average is also good for second on the team.
3. Kyle Parker, P, High Desert
Parker was named to the California League All-Star Team yesterday, the only Maverick to make the team. Parker is 5-2 with a 3.79 ERA this season. He has struck out 63 batters and walked 27, and he leads the team in nearly every pitching category. The University of Washington alum was the 24th-round pick of the M's in 2006 but has pitched well in his professional career thus far. He was named as Wisconsin's Most Valuable Pitcher by the Mariners last season.
Salt Lake 7, Tacoma 4
The Buzz got four runs in the first inning off of Rainiers starter Robert Rohrbaugh and never looked back. Rohrbaugh gave up all seven runs on seven hits in six innings. He dropped to 4-5 on the year, and his ERA stands at 6.06. Offensively, Rob Johnson had two RBI singles to lead the way. Bryan LaHair was 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. Prentice Redman had two hits, including a double.
West Tenn had the day off yesterday, after dropping three of five to division-leading Huntsville. Rich Dorman has been the best starter this season for the Diamond Jaxx. The 29-year-old right-hander was re-signed by the Mariners in February after spending last season in the Marlins organization. Dorman had previously spent five years in the M's system. Dorman is 6-2 this year with a 2.70 ERA in 13 starts. He has a team-leading 71 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings, and has walked just 29. His 1.14 WHIP also leads the starting staff.
High Desert 17, Rancho Cucamonga 7
After giving up 34 runs in two ugly losses on Sunday and Monday, the Mavs decided it was their turn to explode offensively. The Mavs scored in each of the first six innings, including a seven-run fifth inning, as they hung a season-high 17 on the Quakes. Greg Halman, inexplicably left off the California League All-Star Team, hit his 18th and 19th home run of the year to lead a balanced Mavs attack. Every starter had at least one hit. Carlos Triunfel, mired in a 3-for-45 slump, was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and his first professional home run in 556 career at bats. Travis Scott was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Ogui Diaz had two hits and scored three times. Anthony Varvaro was far from impressive in his start, but he picked the right night to have a rough outing. He gave up six runs (five earned) on four hits and six walks in 3 1/3 innings. Bryan Harris settled things down with 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. Alfredo Venegas struck out the side in the sixth inning, and Austin Biben-Dirkx actually earned a save for his three innings of one-hit, one-run work.
Burlington 6, Wisconsin 2
Donnie Hume didn't have his good stuff on Tuesday, and the Rattlers couldn't rebound from an early hole in Burlington. Hume allowed four earned runs in 2+ innings in his worst start as a Rattler. It was the first time in 10 starts that he had given up more than three earned runs. By the time he left the game in the third inning, the Rattlers were down 5-0 and they had no answers offensively. Blake Ochoa's two-run homer in the seventh was all they would get. Juan Diaz was 2-for-4 on the night. The Midwest League All-Star is batting .333 over his last 10 games.
Where They Stand
Tacoma: 31-33, 3rd in PCL Pacific North, 11.5 GB
West Tenn: 38-27, 2nd in SOU North, 1 GB
High Desert: 28-37, T-3rd in CAL South, 4 GB
Wisconsin: 27-32, 5th in MID Western, 12 GB