Yankees Minor League Notebook for May 11th

Columbus gets a visit from Jose Contreras and rehabbing Felix Heredia who both have solid outings for the Clippers; Aaron Rifkin is finally coming out of his hitting slump it appears as he gets a hit in each game of the doubleheader; Jared Koutnik starting to get the stick going for the TYanks; Sean Henn smacked around against New Hampshire; Abel Gomez has another superb outing for Battle Creek. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. The Columbus Clippers pulled out a win facing the Norfolk Tides whom they have handled very well in their series against them. Columbus won this Tuesday night game by the final score of 4-3. However, they were still out hit by Norfolk 8-6 but did come up big in key situations. The Clippers had some big league visitors in this game from two of the New York Yankees pitchers. Jose Contreras got the start in the game and had a fairly solid outing. Contreras went 6 2/3 innings, yielding three runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out seven. In relief of Contreras was the rehabbing Yankee relief pitcher, Felix Heredia. Heredia was excellent, pitching 1 1/3 innings and giving up no runs on one hit while walking one and striking out two. Andy Phillips had another hit in this game and he has now hit safely in all of his AAA games this season except one. Caonabo Cosme's hot bat was finally cooled off as he was held hitless in the contest. John Rodriguez has slowly but surely pulling up his batting average and has now inched himself up to .282 for the season. J-Rod picked up a team leading two hits on the night including a double. Darren Bragg also got in on the offense, blasting his second home run of the season.


Trenton Thunder. Game 1. The first game of a disappointing double header started just the way it finished for the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday. They lost the first game by the crooked final score of 10-3. They were also out hit by New Hampshire by the final total of 14-4. The four hits in the game belonged to Kevin Reese, Jake Weber, Dioner Navarro and Aaron Rifkin. The only extra base hits of the game were smacked by the leadoff man, Kevin Reese who had a double and Dioner Navarro who also had a double. The formerly sizzling hot Robinson Cano went silently in this game after a four hit performance ins the last game. However, Cano still leads the team with his .336 season batting average. The emergence of Aaron Rifkin at the plate was an excellent sign for Trenton as he also had two RBI in the game. But, he is still only batting .182 for the season. Sean Henn, who has pitched solid baseball throughout the year for Trenton, was on the hill on Tuesday but was knocked around. Henn lasted 6 innings, conceding five runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three. This one was one of Henn's worst outings of the season by far as he took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season.

Game 2. Well, if anyone though the first loss of this doubleheader was disappointing for the Trenton Thunder, the second game may have been worse from the team standpoint as they were swept in the twin bill by New Hampshire. They lost this one by the final score of 2-1. They only managed to scratch out three hits in the game but that did match the total that New Hampshire had as well. Even though they had very little offense in the game, that did not stop Trenton's hottest hitter Kevin Reese from hitting the ball. Reese smacked two hits in the contest and had three combined in the doubleheader. Considering that as a team, Trenton had only seven hits all day, three hits is very impressive for Reese. He is now batting .336 for the season. Aaron Rifkin had another hit in this game as he managed a hit in each of the two games played on Tuesday. Rik Currier was on the mound for the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday evening and he pitched a very solid game. Currier went 5 2/3 innings, relinquishing two runs on two hits while walking on and striking out seven. Currier took the hard luck loss to drop his season record to 1-2.


Tampa Yankees. The Tampa Yankees suffered a heartbreaker of a loss on Tuesday night to the Jupiter Hammerheads. Tampa lost this one by the final score of 4-3 in a very tight game and well pitched game by both sides as well. Tampa was also out hit in the contest 9-7. Tommy Winrow is suddenly starting to put together one very solid season as he just continues to hit and hit some more. Winrow had yet another multi hit game as he picked up two hits in four at bats. Winrow had a double and a run scored. Jared Koutnik is really hitting the ball well as of late and that is the main reason that he is remaining in the lineup. Koutnik is now 7 for his last 18 at bats (.388) and he is also riding a mini five game hitting streak. Jon-Mark Sprowl had a single in this game to snap out of his small slump. Sprowl also had an RBI in the game. Jose Valdez got the ball for the Tampa Yankees on Tuesday and pitched a decent game. Valdez pitched six solid innings, conceding four runs (three earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out six as well. Despite his solid efforts, Jose Valdez took the loss in this game to drop his season record to 2-3.


Battle Creek Yankees. It was an all out pitcher's duel between the Battle Creek Yankees and Quad Cities and this was a duel that the BC Yanks pitching would win. Battle Creek took this game against Quad Cities by the final tally of 3-0. But they were out hit on this Tuesday night 6-5. There was some hitting of course for the Battle Creek ball club. Once again, Melky Cabrera pinched in with a hit and a run scored out of the leadoff spot. Eric Duncan is starting to improve upon his power numbers in a big way. He has upped his home run total in the last two games to six on the season and he is starting to load up on extra base hits. Duncan had one hit in this ballgame and that was a double. Despite going hitless on the evening Bryce Kartler still managed to drive in a two runs in the game. The Battle Creek Yankees may be starting to worry about the bat of Estee Harris. At one point, he began to hit like everyone expects he can but he has suddenly fallen even deeper into his season long slide. Abel Gomez was on the mound for Battle Creek and he pieced together a very fine outing. Gomez went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering no runs on only three hits while walking four and striking out five. He took the loss to improve his record to 3-0.

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