Yankees Minor League Notebook for June 4th

Justin Pope turns in a complete game gem for the Tampa Yankees; Kevin Thompson providing a huge spark for Tampa as he has six hits in his first two games; White tosses a beauty for Battle Creek; Jared Koutnik becoming an unsung hero for Tampa this season as he has moved into fifth in the league in RBI; Rifkin still red hot for the Trenton Thunder at the plate; Melky lighting up the Florida State League. All this and more in this edition of Yankees Minor League Notebook.

Columbus Clippers. The Columbus Clippers were one of three Yankee farm teams on Friday night to bounce back from a Thursday night loss. The Clippers were taking on the Buffalo Bisons on Friday and took them out with good pitching and solid offense. Columbus went on to win this ballgame by the final score of 5-3. They also out hit Buffalo by the final count of 9-5. Jeff Deardorff was one of the only two Clippers to have a multi hit game on Friday as he picked up two hits in four trips to the plate. John Rodriguez was the other and he went 2-4 with a double and two runs scored. Darren Bragg had a productive night out of the leadoff spot as he had one hit but had two RBI on the night as well. Andy Phillips, seeming impossible to get out these days, had a double in four trips to the dish and he still has that lofty .380 batting average. Caonabo Cosme is still in his monstrous tailspin and has watched his batting average drop all the way down to a lowly .249 for the season. Eric Schmitt was on the hill for the Columbus Clippers and he turned in a very solid outing. Schmitt lasted six innings, relinquishing three runs on five hits while walking none and striking out four. He picked up the win to improve to 3-1 on the season.


Trenton Thunder. The Trenton Thunder seemed to have fallen flat on their face in the past two games after being red hot for a period during last week. Their offense has been fairly solid but the pitching has failed them as of late. The thunder were taking on the Norwich Navigators on Friday evening but went on to lose by the final score of 7-5. However, Trenton out hit Norwich by the final count of 10-8. Jake Weber has been heating up his bat as of late with Trenton as he had two hits in five trips to the plate while also scoring a run. His season average has suddenly jumped up to .265. After slumping for a couple weeks, Robinson Cano has his swing back and it is showing in the results. Cano went 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Aaron Rifkin has been on a steady hot streak for over two weeks now and has raised his average from right around .200, all the way up to .281. Rifkin also picked up two hits in four at bats on Friday including an RBI. The newest Trenton Thunder acquisition, Carlos Reyes had a very solid outing in his last time out and was on the mound again on Friday. Reyes went seven innings, conceding four runs (two earned) on six hits while walking none and striking out seven.


Tampa Yankees. After a tough loss on Thursday night, the Tampa Yankees came back in a big way on Friday night and took it out on the Dunedin Blue Jays. Their big bats were back in force and they got a big boost from some newcomers. The T-Yanks went on to defeat the Blue Jays by the final count of 13-3. They also pounded out 18 hits as in comparison to Dunedin's seven. As already stated, they are getting a big boost from some newcomers. The biggest contributor of this category was Kevin Thompson who recently returned from the DL. Thompson had three hits in his first game back on Thursday and had another three on Friday! On this night, he went 3-5 with a double and three runs scored. Thompson is now batting a lofty .600 since his return. Melky Cabrera was also in on the action on Friday as he picked up two hits in five trips to the plate including an RBI and a run scored. Jared Koutnik is turning a surprisingly good start into a solid season overall. Koutnik had three hits on the night and raised his average just over .300. Koutnik also had two more RBI to raise his season total to 35 on the season. He is now tied for fifth in the league in that category. Even though hitting was the big story on this night for Tampa, one must not forget about the great pitching performance of Justin Pope. The righthander was outstanding as he tossed a complete game, surrendering three runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out four. Pope got the victory to improve his record to 4-3 on the season.


Battle Creek Yankees. The Battle Creek Yankees came back on Friday night after a Thursday night loss and played a well pitched, crisp ballgame against the Dayton Dragons. They hit very well and went on to defeat the Dayton Dragons by the final score of 4-1. Despite scoring only four runs, the Battle Creek Yankees pounded out 14 hits as oppose to Dayton's three. Matt Carson, after taking a quiet night at the plate with no hits, came right back and became red hot again. Carson picked up three hits in five at bats including a double and a run scored. At the bottom of the lineup, Rafael Rodriguez is very quietly posting some solid numbers. Rodriguez smacked three hits in the game in four trips to the plate with a run scored. Hector Made, little by little trying to cement himself into the second spot in the order, had a good night as well. Made had two hits in five trips to the plate with two RBI and a double. Estee Harris had two hits and two RBI as well in this game. Steven White took the mound for the Battle Creek Yankees and did an outstanding job as he has become an anchor on this staff. White went seven strong innings, yielding one run on three hits while walking three and striking out ten. He got the win to improve to 3-2 on the season.

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