Blaze Overcome Errors to Hold off Nuts

While the Bakersfield offense has been led by Billy Hamilton leading off and Donald Lutz cleaning up, David Vidal has been a solid contributor all season long while hitting in the middle of the lineup. The 22 year old third baseman hit a lot of analyst radars with a solid season at Dayton last year. Thus far in 2012 he's continuing to give them reason to raise him higher on the prospect list.

Bakersfield had twelve hits last night to overcome sloppy defense and survived a late Modesto rally to hold on for a 7-6 win. They were behind 2-0 before they came to bat in the bottom of the first until Juan Duren tied it with his third home run of the season. They then built up a 6-3 lead before the Nuts hit back to back solo homers in the seventh. They added what turned out to be a needed insurance run in the bottom of that inning before Modesto closed out the scoring with one more in the eighth. The Blaze won despite committing five errors and allowing three unearned runs. They are now in second place in the California League North Division with a 16-12 record despite leading the league with 41 errors.

Errors contributed to Chad Rogers throwing a lot of pitches early and he was replaced after four innings. The starter allowed three runs but none of them were earned. Pat Doyle pitched 2 2/3 to get the win. Brian Pearl turned in his tenth scoreless outings in eleven appearances this year to pick up his fifth save. Meanwhile Blaze offense was a balanced attack. Bryson Smith moved up to leadoff while Billy Harper is on leave to attend a funeral and had a couple of hits. David Vidal and Andrew Means added two each and they are both hitting over .300. Reserve infielder Josef Terry contributed a couple more.

Bakersfield has benefited from a solid bat from third baseman Vidal all season long. He's third on the team in hitting and on-base pct. at .305/.383 while hitting 5 HR in 28 games. His 15 RBI are the second highest total on the team behind Donald Lutz. A high priority coming into this season for him was to improve plate discipline. Thus far he's increased his walk rate from 1/11.7 PA last season to 1/9.7.

Vidal came into the Cincinnati organization when they selected him in the eighth round of the 2010 draft out of Miami-Dade J.C. He went to work that same year in the rookie leagues and made it up to low-A Dayton for his final four games of the season. Last year he put up some big numbers for the Dragons when he hit .280/.350 with 37 doubles, 20 HR and 85 RBI. He also wielded a solid glove at the hot corner and committed only ten errors. That performance elevated the 22 year-old onto the radar of top Reds prospects. The year he's picking up where he left off and giving good reason for analysts to move him into the organization's top 10.

Other News from the Farm:

Louisville was shut out 4-0 in their series opener at Indianapolis. Chad Reineke surrendered all the runs of the game and was charged with his first loss of the season.

Pensacola shut out Jacksonville 4-0 at Blue Wahoos Field. J.C. Sulburan picked up the win with his best outing of the season by pitching seven innings of five-hit ball. He also struck out nine without walking anyone. Justin Freeman contributed two innings of scoreless relief. The Wahoos had five hits including homers from P.J. Phillips and Cody Puckett. Phillips is the brother of the Reds All Star second baseman.

Billy Hamilton Steal Watch:

Hamilton missed another game last night while on leave to attend a funeral. He's still at 31 stolen bases in 26 games.

Dayton was shut out on three hits by visiting Fort Wayne. Tanner Robles allowed only one earned run in five innings and was charged with the loss.

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