Blaze Shut Out 66ers

Right-hander Chad Rogers was not one of the one of the top rated prospects in the Cincinnati system after they selected him out of Galveston C.C. in the 28th round of the 2010 draft. He kept an ERA under three while working out of the Dayton bullpen in 2011. This year he may wind up the top starter in the Bakersfield rotation after the expected promotion of Tony Cingrani.

Bakersfield won their fourth in a row last night with a 4-0 shutout at Inland Empire. They became the second team in the California League to win twenty games this season and are currently one game behind San Jose for the North Division lead.

It was the best outing of the season for Chad Rogers. He threw eight scoreless innings while allowing only four hits and one walk and never faced more than four batters in a frame. Pitch count considerations prompted manager Ken Griffey, Sr. to call on Chris Joyce to finish off the ninth for his first appearance of the season. Offensively the Blaze was led by the top of the lineup. Billy Hamilton, Devin Lohman, Bryson Smith, and Donald Lutz each had two of the team's ten hits.

Rogers is now 2-2 on the season with a 1.75 ERA and 1.083 WHIP after seven starts. The 22 year-old came into the Reds organization from a pick in the 28th round of the 2010 draft. Last year at Dayton he was used out of the bullpen where he kept a 2.99 ERA while striking out more than one per his 69 innings pitched. He's also showing nice command of his pitches at a young age by keeping his K/BB ratio over three.

The 5'11"/175# right-hander out of Galveston C.C. was not one of the higher rated pitchers on the Blaze staff coming into this season. Since opening day Kyle Lotzkar has been promoted to Pensacola and Tony Cingrani has made a strong case for himself with a 0.53 ERA. Now Rogers could soon find himself the top pitcher in the rotation. He's already experienced challenges associated with not having a high draft selection invested in him. The best thing he can do to overcome that is get batters out which is what the Texan has been doing since starting his career in the Cincinnati organization.

Other News from the Farm:

Louisville lost their third of a four game set against Norfolk by falling 4-1 at Louisville Slugger Field. Chad Rieneke picked up his second loss despite turning in his fourth quality start in seven outings and bringing his ERA below four. The right-hander allowed two runs over six innings while striking out six. Dioner Navarro went 3-3 and drove in the only Bat run to raise his average to .326. Neftali Soto added a couple of hits and scored a run.

A bases-loaded walk to Cody Puckett in the tenth provided the margin of victory for the Blue Wahoos in a 4-3 win at Mississippi. They finished a five game set where none of the contests ended after nine innings. Tuesday's game was rain-shortened and the other four went into extra innings. Tim Crabbe pitched five innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts and four walks before leaving with a 3-1 lead. Wirfin Obispo blew his first save when he allowed three in the sixth inning that included two hit batsmen. Donnie Joseph entered in the ninth and retired all six batters he faced to record his fourth win. He's now sporting a 0.50 ERA over 18 innings. Offensively Ryan LaMarre did a good job in the leadoff spot going 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Didi Gregorius had a couple of doubles and an RBI to get his average back up to .300. Puckett also went 2-4 with a walk and drove in two.

Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:

Hamilton led the game off with a single and swiped second base. The only other time he reached base on the night was when he hit a triple. He now has 33 steals in 30 games.

Dayton lost their tenth out of the last eleven games last night in a 2-1 contest at Lake County. Tanner Robles was charged with the loss despite a strong outing where he held the Captains to two runs on four hits and a walk over six innings. He gave up a run in each of his first two innings with triple leading off the first and a solo home run in the second. After that he settled down and allowed only two more base runners in his last four frames. His ERA is now at 2.72.

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