Pensacola took the lead from a four-run rally in the second inning and cruised to an 8-1 win at Huntsville. Tim Crabbe had another solid start, allowing only one run on five hits/one walk in six innings for the win. Michael Lorenzen and Chris Manno combined for three scoreless innings of relief to end the game.
Crabbe also helped himself offensively by driving in the first run of the game with a single and was on board when Devin Lohman connected with a three-run homer. Lohman reached when hit by a pitch in the fifth and scored later on a wild pitch. He also singled when the seventh when the Wahoos added three more with a two-run double by Mike Costanzo who scored later on a sac fly. Lohman finished with three hits, three RBI, and three runs. Costanzo, Travis Mattair, and Theo Bowe added two hits apiece.
Crabbe is finishing up a solid AA season and has lowered his ERA to 3.27 after 25 appearances. It's been a much different story over one year ago when he left Pensacola to go back to Bakersfield. Now he's ready for AAA where he should debut at the beginning of next season unless he makes a short trip to Louisville during the remaining two weeks this year.
Now at the age of 25 perhaps it's a sign that he's maturing as a pitcher to see his ERA go down in spite of his strikeout rate declining. He's also cut back by two thirds the walk rate that plagued him at the AA level last year and is issuing only 2.3 free passes per nine innings. He's still striking out a decent rate at 6.7 per nine and his K/BB is almost three over 140 innings pitched.
It's no surprise that the Reds remained high on Crabbe even after his AA struggles a year ago and used one of their spots in the Arizona Fall League to have him pitch after the end of the season. He's got a mid-90's fastball and has flashed a very polished curve at times. Improved command was atop his agenda coming into the season and he's made great strides in that department. He's fulfilled requirements to "graduate" from this level and might have already made the trip to Louisville if the Reds had not already been so deep in the rotation. He should get plenty of time there in 2014 and over the course of a long MLB season nearly every team will need at least a few starts from minor leaguers. Depending on how well Crabbe fares at the next level he could earn some attention when that time comes.
The Reds have been high on Crabbe since they drafted him out of Westmont College in 2009 and many felt they found a real sleeper in the fourteenth round that season. Now the right-hander is making them look correct and will have a chance to prove his case further at the highest development level in 2014.
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The Reds could get nothing going offensively until a two-run home run by Chris Heisey in the eighth, but that was not enough in their 5-2 home loss to Arizona. Tony Cingrani started off well retiring the first ten batters but he took the loss for allowing a solo homer and left with a back strain in the fourth inning. Alfredo Simon relieved him with two-plus scoreless innings, but the normally reliable bullpen got roughed up for a grand slam in the eighth.
Louisville pulled away with a three-run sixth inning in their 5-1 win at Rochester. Greg Reynolds threw a complete game five-hitter with no walks and four strikeouts. Mike Hessman had a couple of doubles for the offense and Billy Hamilton added two hits, a walk, an RBI, and scored a run.
Bakersfield allowed two runs in the eighth inning in their 5-4 loss at Inland Empire. The Blaze were held to five hits, but did draw seven walks, two each by Juan Perez, who also doubled, and Juan Morillo. Shane Dyer got no decision from a quality start, allowing three runs (two earned) off four hits in six innings which included seven strikeouts without a walk. Jimmy Moran allowed an earned run and an unearned one without recording an out for the loss.
Dayton fell behind by three in the third en route to a 6-3 loss to visiting West Michigan. Sammy Diaz had two of the four Dragon hits and drove in a run. Nick Travieso took the loss for allowing six runs in four innings pitched. Tony Amezcua relieved him with four scoreless frames.
Billings had the day off and will return home to open a series against Idaho Falls on Wednesday.
The AZL Reds took a lead with a four-run second inning and held on for an 8-4 win over the AZL Brewers. Eighteen year-old Alberti Chavez had four singles in the game while Kevin Garcia stroked two hits, drew a walk, scored twice, and drove in three to raise his average to .335. Shedric Long and Dalton Carter added two hits each. On the mound Nick Routt allowed two unearned runs over the first two-plus innings and was relieved by Franderlin Romero who allowed only one run while finishing the eighth for the win. Jesus Parra struck out the only batter he faced to end the game and record the save.
The two Dominican affiliates were affected by rain, one game was postponed and the other was suspended.
Crabbe Remains Steady
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