In some roster news with the Rainiers, Jon Nelson has joined the team from AA West Tenn. Nelson replaces Michael Saunders, who left the team to play for the Canadian team in the Olympics in Beijing. Six Tacoma players are currently on the disabled list: pitchers Rich Dorman, Chris Jakubauskas, Eric O'Flaherty, and Robert Rohrbaugh; infielder Yung Chi Chen; and outfielder/catcher Mike Kinkade.
West Tenn got a win yesterday in Montgomery, 6-5 in 10 innings. Johan Limonta, back playing first base occasionally, went 3-for-5 with a homer and three runs driven in, including the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th. Brent Johnson was also 3-for-5 and scored twice. Gaby Hernandez made his first start for the Jaxx and was underwhelming: 6 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. He gave up back-to-back homers in the third inning. Shawn Kelley threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win, and lowered his ERA to 0.89 with West Tenn.
In Diamond Jaxx roster news, they replaced Jon Nelson with 31-year-old free agent Noah Hall, who was previously in the White Sox organization this season. Hall batted .226/.350/.298 in 26 games with AA Birmingham and .292/.393/.375 in 15 games with AAA Charlotte this season. He spent 2007 with Trenton in the Yankee organization. Before signing Hall, West Tenn was playing with only three true outfielders: Greg Halman, Brent Johnson, and Mike Wilson. Johan Limonta was seeing a lot of time in the outfield, but will probably move back to first base with Hall's arrival. This will allow Marshall Hubbard to see a lot of time at DH.
High Desert wrapped up a sweep of Inland Empire on Sunday, 11-6. The Mavs scored 30 runs in the three-game series. On Sunday, the Mavs scored seven runs in the fourth inning, all with two outs. It was once again the Carlos Triunfel show on Sunday, as he went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and two stolen bases. He has 10 steals in his last 10 games, and is working on a nine-game hitting streak. James McOwen, Kevin Reynolds, and Fernando Encarnacion all had three hits each as the Mavs racked up 19 hits on the day.
Speaking of Reynolds, he was called up to the Mavs after tearing it up for the Everett AquaSox. With Leury Bonilla and Carlos Peguero on the DL and Kuo Hui Lo in Beijing for the Olympics, the Mavs had an open spot in the outfield. The 26-year-old Reynolds hit .342 in 37 games with Everett, and hit .400 in 26 games with High Desert in 2007. Chris Minaker, the Cal League leader in doubles, was recently placed on the DL along with pitchers Ricky Orta and Alfredo Venegas. Jacob Wild was brought up from Wisconsin to take one of the pitching spots, and Chris Kirkland was brought up from Arizona to take the other spot. Kyle Parker made his first appearance since June 17th on Saturday, throwing 2 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Parker was selected as a Cal League All-Star, but was unable to pitch in the game due to injury.
Michael Pineda struck out a season-high 11 batters for Wisconsin on Sunday in a 3-2 win over Great Lakes. Pineda "struggled" in July, posting a 4.00 ERA, but he got it back together for his first August start. He did allow eight hits but just one earned run, walking none. Pineda's season ERA is 2.29 and he has nearly a 3/1 K/BB ratio. Jeff Dunbar is settling well into his new role as closer for the Rattlers, as he picked up his third save, pitching a perfect ninth. Dunbar has given up no runs in 8 1/3 innings since joining the Rattlers in mid-July.
Everett fell even further out of the Northwest League race with their seventh loss in eight games on Sunday. Vancouver twice rallied from one-run deficits to tie the Frogs, then pushed across the winning run in the ninth inning of a 6-5 contest. Bennett Billingsley and Ryan Royster homered for the AquaSox, who are now 17-29 on the season, the worst mark in their division.
Pulaski struggled through a weekend series with Danville, dropping two of three. Sunday's 9-6 loss saw Kyle Haas getting lit up for six runs in 2 2/3 innings. Haas has an 8.78 ERA in nine starts for the P-Mariners. Dwight Britton and Deybis Benitez homered for the M's yesterday, but they fell behind early and couldn't recover. Fortunately, this game went better than Friday night's game, when Danville scored 21 runs in a four-inning stretch to coast to a 21-2 beatdown of the M's. Despite being on the wrong end of some hugely lopsided games this season, the Mariners are still in first place in the East Division with a 27-18 record.