The Dodger minor league affiliates had a busy schedule on Saturday with 6 games on tap, and came away with 4 victories. Several former early draft picks had solid performances, including decent outings from former 1st round picks Chris Withrow and Ethan Martin. Scott Elbert, another former 1st round pick, also had a good night, while former 2nd round picks Josh Lindblom and Garret Gould were solid as well.
Minor League Player of the Day – Jonathan Garcia - 4 for 8, 2 HR's, 1 2B, 5 RBI's, 1 OF assist. There were a few candidates for this award, but the Garcia got the nod because he showed off all of his tools and did so in near-freezing conditions. Garcia is just 19 years old, but he leads the Midwest League with 5 homers and has an OPS of 1.227 for the season.
AAA – Albuquerque was down 4 to 1 through 5 innings, but the Isotopes rallied for two in the 6th, two in the 8th, and one in the 9th to come away with the 6 to 5 victory over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Astros). The two main sparks in the comeback were Russell Mitchell's 2 run homer in the 8th and Trent Oeltjen's solo shot in the 9th. Trayvon Robinson also made significant contributions in the win with 3 singles and 2 RBI's. It was Robinson first 3 hit game of the season and it brought his average up to .281. Tim Redding was the starter for Albuquerque but didn't get through the 5th as he allowed 12 baserunners and 4 runs. Luckily the bullpen was solid as the Isotopes staged their comeback, and was highlighted by Scott Elbert's first save of the season. So far Elbert has given up just 1 earned run in 5.1 innings and has 4 walks to go along with 7 strikeouts.
AA Game 1 – Chris Withrow did his best to show that he still deserves to be in the discussion of top Dodger pitching prospects with a solid performance on Saturday, but he still walked away with the loss as the Barons (White Sox) shutout the Lookouts 2 to 0. Withrow pitched all 6 innings of the game, which was shortened because it was part of a doubleheader, and struck out 9. He also allowed just 3 hits and 2 runs, although he put 3 additional runners on base via the walk. The Chattanooga offense was almost no-hit in this game as the only base knock came on Alfredo Silverio's single in the 5th. Through the first 9 games of the season, the Lookouts as a team are hitting .254 and have a league low 2 homers.
AA Game 2 – The 2nd game of the Lookouts twin bill saw Chattanooga score a single run in each of the final 3 innings as they pulled out a 3 to 2 victory over the Barons (White Sox). The Lookouts were stingy with their hits once again, collecting only 4 in the game, but the hits were timely and got the job done. The game winning run came on a 2 out double in the final inning by outfielder Brad Coon. The Chattanooga starter was 29 year old Steven Jackson, and he did very well in his 5 innings of work. Josh Lindblom picked up his first save in an impressive fashion as he struck out all three batters he faced.
HiA – Ethan Martin made his 2nd start of the 2011 season, and while he got touched up for 2 early homers he settled down nicely and showed great improvement from last week. Martin was able to make it through 5.2 innings and racked up 8 K's while walking only 2. While he left the game losing 4 to 2, Ethan didn't factor in the decision because Rancho Cucamonga came from behind and beat the Lancaster JetHawks (Astros) 5 to 4. Josh Walter came in for Martin in the 6th and threw 2.1 perfect innings to pick up the victory. Closer Steven Ames got 2 quick outs in the 9th, but then allowed a double and threw a wild pitch. Luckily Ames was able to blow a fastball by the last batter of the game to pick up his 3rd save of the year. The big hits for the Quakes came from minor league veteran Travis Denker, who jacked two homers including the eventual game winner. Blake Smith also had another nice night at the plate by going 2 for 4 with an RBI.
LoA Game 1 – The Loons were hoping to continue their winning ways and sweep the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) in the doubleheader on Saturday, but things didn't go as planned in the first game as Great Lakes lost in extra innings 7 to 6. Loons starter Ryan Christenson was knocked around for 9 hits and 5 runs in just 4.1 innings, then both Logan Bawcom and Derek Cone allowed a single run in relief to give each of the three pitchers an ERA of 6.75 at the end of the day. The winning run actually scored on Cone's 3rd wild pitch of the game. The Loons offense had a solid night, although it obviously wasn't enough to get the win. All the heavy lifting was done by just 3 players, led by Jonathan Garcia's 3 for 4 performance that included both a homer and a double and left him just a triple shy of the cycle. Blake Dean had his first multi- hit game of the season and picked up 2 RBI's with two doubles and a single, while Leon Landry went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base. One final note of interest is that 2nd baseman Casio Grider walked in all 4 of his plate appearance.
LoA Game 2 – The Loons fared much better in the 2nd game of the double header on Saturday as Garrett Gould pitched the team to a 7-2 victory over the TinCaps (Padres). Gould allowed just 2 hits and 1 run over 5 innings of work, striking out 4 in the process. The win was Gould's second of the young season and lowered his season batting average against to .154. Raul Burgos pitched the final two innings of the shortened game and picked up the save with a decent outing. The Great Lakes offense gave the pitching plenty of support in this game with the 7 runs they scored. Roman Pena, the 24 year old player we received when the Dodgers traded away Preston Mattingly, made an impact for the first time with a homer and two singles. Jon Gone Garcia also hit his Midwest League leading 5th homer and now has 10 extra base hits for the season compared to just three singles. Catcher Steven Domecus was the only other player with a multi-hit game and is quietly having a good start to his season, albeit in just 15 at bats.