Yankees Minor League Notebook for May 9th

Tyler Clippard paces Battle Creek victory as he tosses a three hitter in seven innings of work; Bubba Crosby on fire since returning to Columbus; Andy Phillips blasting the long ball at every organizational level; Marsonek blows another game in Columbus loss to Norfolk; Eric Duncan homers for the second straight game and now has six on the season for Battle Creek. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. The Columbus Clippers lost in a very disappointing fashion to the Norfolk Tides on Sunday afternoon. They played a ten inning affair and came out on the losing end of a 7-6 score. However, they out hit Norfolk considerably 15-9 but could not capitalize. Their leadoff man is red hot right now as Bubba Crosby had another two hit game. Bubba now has an amazing eight hits in his last eleven at bats (.727). and is now batting .364 for the season. Andy Phillips seems to hit wherever he plays and no matter what position he plays. Phillips played first base on Sunday and picked up three hits in five at bats while also blasting his second home run of his season with AAA and driving in two runs as well. Felix Escalona continues to be a pleasant surprise at shortstop for the Clippers as he smacked three hits in five at bats and also driving in two runs. Alex Graman was on the mound for Columbus on Sunday and had perhaps one of his worst starts of the season. Graman pitched 5 1/3 innings, conceding five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out five. However, the loss went to the struggling Clippers reliever Sam Marsonek. Marsonek surrendered a run in the tenth inning to hand Norfolk the victory.


Trenton Thunder. The Trenton Thunder dropped Sunday's game to the Norwich Navigators in a very close contest. The final score of the game was 7-5 in a tight one but Trenton did manage to smack twelve hits which was one more than Norwich had. Kevin Reese continues to be a consistent force at the top of the lineup for Trenton and he proved that on Sunday. Reese had three hits in five at bats on Sunday and improved his batting average to a team second best .330 for the season. Robinson Cano, the team's leader in batting average (.346) bested Reese's three hit game with four hits in four at bats including two doubles and an RBI. Teuris Olivares is getting more and more playing time at shortstop as he continues to hit and the predicted regular shortstop Ferdin Tejada continues to struggle. Olivares made his case again on Sunday as he went 1-3 on the afternoon and maintained his season average of .292. Ramon Ramirez's 2004 season is still a mystery thus far as he faltered once again in his pitching outing on Sunday. Ramirez failed in his stint with AAA Columbus and is now struggling in Trenton as well. In this one, Ramirez went 5 innings, yielding five runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out two. He got a no decision but raised his ERA to 6.55 with Trenton.


Tampa Yankees. The Tampa Yankees rolled fairly easily over the Jupiter Hammerheads on Sunday afternoon due to good starting pitching, solid bullpen work and offensive output. Tampa won this one by the final score of 6-3. The TYanks also out hit Jupiter 9-4. Tommy Winrow did not have a full time job in the beginning of this season but has now cemented himself into the Tampa outfield with his .351 batting average. He had two hits and an RBI on Sunday as well. Gabe Lopez is trying to get more playing time with the recent emergence of Mario Holman at second base. Lopez did all he could to do so on this day as he picked up two hits in four at bats including an RBI. Here is a newsflash, Bronson Sardinha actually had a hitless game. The young third baseman is still batting an impressive .345 for the year. Pitching was the strongest point of the night for Tampa as they got good starting and relief performances out of their pitchers. Justin Pope was on the mound for Tampa to start and he was outstanding. Pope went 7 2/3 innings, surrendering two earned runs on three hits while walking two and striking out four. Pope got the win to improve his season record to 2-2. Edwardo Sierra, after struggling in a couple outings, picked up his ninth save of the season with no problems.


Battle Creek Yankees. Being led by a superb pitching performance, the Battle Creek Yankees pulled out a crisp victory over Wisconsin. They defeated Wisconsin by the final tally of 5-0 in a shutout behind Tyler Clippard. Battle Creek also had a total of nine hits on the game. Eric Duncan has suddenly found the power stroke in the past two games. Duncan blasted a home run on Saturday and had yet another on Sunday. Duncan now leads the ball club with six home runs on the season. But, Melky Cabrera is still hitting and hitting frequently. Melky had another hit on Sunday. Melky is still on fire and he is now 8 for his last 16 at bats (.500) and is leading the team with his outstanding .333 season batting average. Rafael Rodriguez is finally showing signs of life with the bat in the nine slot as he poked two hits on Sunday while also scoring two runs. The big story of the night though was the pitching performance of young righthander Tyler Clippard. Clippard went seven superb innings, surrendering only three hits while walking none and striking out six as well. Clippard picked up the victory and improved his season record to 2-3.

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