Excluding the game that occurred in the offensive haven known as Albuquerque, the Dodgers minor league staring pitching allowed just 1 run in 20 innings. That being said, despite the 3 wins there was not much to write about on the offensive side of the ball.
Minor League Player of the Day – Tim Sexton - 7 IP, 1 Win, 7 K's, 1 ER, 3 hits, 1 BB. Sexton started the 2010 in AA, but found himself back in LoA when the 2011 campaign began even though made his professional debut in the Midwest League way back in 2007. Tim is doing his best to show that he belongs in a more advanced league after a dominate performance on Thursday, and has a .140 batting average against for the season through 12 innings.
AAA – It was a brisk day in Albuquerque with wind gusts up to 40 mph, and when the dust cleared it was the I-Cubs who had blown over the Isotopes 10 to 6. Starter Randy Keiser was shelled for 8 hits and 7 runs in his 3.2 innings of work, and Travis Schlichting was also hit hard later in the game. Two other Albuquerque pitchers were sharp in relief, however, as Ramon Troncoso worked 2.1 shutout innings with 4 K's and Scott Elbert needed just 7 pitches to get through the 8th...which is even more impressive when you consider that he had 2 strikeouts in the inning. Jerry Sands had another great game as he notched 2 singles and a triple in 5 plate appearances and is now hitting .424. The triple was a gapper to left-center on a low pitch that Sands when down and got. The other big offensive games came from AAA newbies Joseph Becker and Charlie Mirabal. Becker has played all over the place over the last few years and is really just a fill in infielder, but he went 3 for 4 with a wind aided double. Mirabal, who is an interesting story as he was signed out of a Dodger tryout in 2007, was a pitcher for a few years in the DSL, and spent all of last season as a middle infielder in the Arizona Rookie League, had a 2-RBI double in his first AAA at bat and ended the day 2 for 4 with 3 runs driven in. Finally, after having yet another player go down to injury (Damaso Espino was hit in the head with a pitch), Jon Link was forced to play in right field.
AA – The Lookouts won their 3rd straight game on Thursday with a 2-0 victory over the Barons (White Sox). Michael Antonini was the starting pitcher Chattanooga and blanked Birmingham for 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 4. Josh Lindblom, Cole St. Clair, and Javy Guerra all threw in relief and each allowed a single hit in a scoreless inning of work to preserve the shutout. Guerra's night was especially noteworthy because he walked a couple of batters and loaded the bases, but was able to win the game by striking out the side. The Lookouts had just 5 hits in this game so there really isn't much offense to discuss. 28 year old outfield Brad Coon had the only multi-hit game for Chattanooga, and was one of three players to record a double.
HiA – The Quakes celebrated their home opener with a win on Thursday as Greg Wilborn shut out the Lancaster Jethawks (Astros) for 7 innings in the 5 to 3 victory. Austin Gallagher provided the offensive fireworks with his first homer of the season, while Griff Erickson recorded two doubles and an RBI. Jake Lemmerman, Angelo Songco, and J.T. Wise also all finished the day with 2 hits a piece. Getting back to Wilborn, he had his second straight solid outing of the season with just 5 hits allowed, and lowered his season ERA to 0.75 over 12 innings. The bullpen gave up a few runs in relief, but that wasn't enough to tarnish Greg's brilliant performance. With the win, Rancho Cucamonga evened their record to 4 and 4 for the season.
LoA – Tim Sexton, who started his career in the Midwest League back in 2007, was brilliant for the Loons over 7 innings and helped Great Lakes win the series against West Michigan with a 3 to 1 victory. Sexton is still just 23 years old, and allowed 3 hits while striking out 7 as he tries to regain the form that he had when he signed with the Dodgers for $123,000. After Tim left the game Pete Budkevics threw a scoreless 8th inning, then Shawn Tolleson came in and again struck out every batter he faced to give him the save and a 27.0 K/9 through 3.1 innings. The Loons offense managed 3 runs on just 4 hits because they scored all 3 of their runs on sacrifice flies. Christian Lara was perfect at the plate with 2 singles and 2 walks, while Casio Grider recorded his 3rd triple of the young season.