Yankees Minor League Notebook for May 25th

Alex Graman continually proving he is the true ace of the Columbus pitching staff; Andy Phillips hitting better than any other player in the Yankee Farm System; Reese's solo leadoff blast enough to take down Harrisburg; Steven White pitching excellent baseball for the Battle Creek Yankees; Javier Ortiz pitches his second fantastic outing in a row; Sardinha a model of consistency for Tampa. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. As a team, the Columbus Clippers are officially red hot as they won yet another game on Tuesday against the Scranton Red Barons. The Clippers really took it to the Red Barons on Tuesday and pummeled them by the final score of 9-1 as they continue to tear up the International League. They also out hit the Red Barons by the final count of 15-4. Mike Vento led the charge for Columbus and had one his best games all season long. Vento smashed four hits in five at bats including a double, a home run, three RBI and four runs scored. The team is hoping that one of their best hitters is starting to return to his 2003 form once again. Darren Bragg has been and continues to be all the Clippers could ask for out of the leadoff spot as he had another big game with two hits. By far, Andy Phillips has been the best hitter in the Yankee farm system statistically speaking this year. Phillips just hits, hits and hits some more. He had another three hits on Tuesday to raise his AAA batting average to an amazing .384 on the season. Alex Graman has truly solidified himself as the ace of the staff in Columbus this year and had yet another excellent start on Tuesday night. Graman went seven inning, conceding one run on four hits while walking three and striking out six. He picked up the win to improve to 3-2 on the season.


Trenton Thunder. What a game it was in Trenton on Tuesday night but probably not if you asked the hitters. It was not a hitters night but it was a night for the pitchers. The Trenton Thunder got the better end of the deal against Harrisburg though as they edged them out in a pitchers duel by the final score of 1-0. Both teams were tied up with five hits apiece. The hottest hitter on the ballclub and for that matter, the hottest hitter in the entire league Aaron Rifkin picked up one of the few hits on the evening foe either team. The game did not start like it would end up in the ninth inning. The game started off with a bang as Kevin Reese blasted leadoff home run that was his third of the season. Robinson Cano is falling deeper and deeper into his slump as he went hitless in this game yet again, going 0-3 and lowering his average to .290 for the year. The recently hot Jason Grove was cooled off at least for one night as he was held hitless by Harrisburg. Pitching was the key tonight and in that case, the key for Trenton was Javier Ortiz. It appears that Ortiz is starting to build on his last start in which he pitched well also. He was even better on Tuesday as he went eight innings, surrendering no runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. Ortiz got the win to improve to 3-3 on the season.


Tampa Yankees. The Tampa Yankees faced off against the Palm Beach Cardinals on Tuesday night once again and played a very tight game throughout. They fended off a late comeback attempt to eventually defeat the Cardinals by the final score 7-5. However, they were out hit by the Palm Beach Cardinals by a slight margin of 9-8 and both teams committed an error. Bronson Sardinha seems to get a hit almost every night in this great 2004 season for him and he did it again on Tuesday, going 1-3 including a run scored and a walk. Jon Mark-Sprowl continues to be a major run producer for the T-Yanks as he drove in another two runs on Tuesday night with a double in four at bats. Gabe Lopez took credit for the only multi-hit game for Tampa on this night, picking up two doubles in three at bats including two runs scored and a walk. Eric Verbryke provided the power for the T-Yanks on Tuesday for his second long ball of the year. It was his only hit of the ballgame. Justin Pope was on the hill for Tampa and had a merely short and semi-disappointing outing. Pope lasted only four innings, yielding three runs on four hits while walking three and striking out six.


Battle Creek Yankees. After a night and game of great triumph for the individual and the team, the Battle Creek Yankees cam back on Tuesday with a very disappointing game overall. Battle Creek took on the South Bend Silver Hawks and took a loss by the final score of 6-4. The BC club was also out hit slightly by the Silver Hawks by the final count of 9-7. From the top of the lineup, Melky Cabrera has been everything to the Battle Creek Yankees and he had one hit again on Tuesday in four at bats. He has only had two games in which he did not get a hit since his hitting streak was snapped at 17 straight games. He still leads the team with his impressive .333 season batting average. With the way he is hitting, there is a good chance that a promotion is in his very immediate future. Bryce Kartler is really starting to heat it up as he has now hit in his last three games as had a one hit night in four at bats including an RBI. Despite, a slight lack of hitting on this day, there was no doubt that the pitching was there for them. Steven White has been superb for them since he came to the team. He had another great outing on Tuesday as he went six solid innings, relinquishing one run on four hits while walking three and striking out two. White only received a no decision for his efforts.

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