A couple of rainouts on Tuesday meant the Dodger minor league affiliates had a busy day on Wednesday.
Minor League Player of the Day – John Ely - 7 IP, 1 hit, 4 BB's, 0 Runs, 7 K's. Ely had been unimpressive in his first two starts of the season (one with the Dodgers and one in AAA), but he really turned things around Wednesday with a near no-hitter. As usual he wasn't throwing very hard, sitting in the high 80's with this fastball, but he used his offspeed stuff effectively and placed his pitches well to pick up the 1 hit shutout.
AAA Game 1 – The Isotopes were apparently mesmerized by Cubs pitching in the 1st game of their double header as Albuquerque collected just 2 hits in the 3 to 1 defeat. Starter Dana Eveland took the loss despite a solid 6 inning complete game effort in which he struck out 8. Eveland's pitched relatively well in each of his 3 starts, and is trying to get his name to the top of the list as a starting pitcher injury replacement. Trayvon Robinson had the only good game on offense for Albuquerque as he reached base in all 3 plate appearances (2 walks and a single). He also scored the team's only run on a sac fly by Dee Gordon.
AAA Game 2 – John Ely was oh-so-close to a 7 inning no hitter on Wednesday, but a two out double by Marquez Smith ruined the celebration and Ely had to settle for a one hit shutout. In addition to the one hit, John gave up 4 walks and struck out 7 in what was by far his most impressive performance of the season. The Isotopes themselves weren't too impressive on offense, but a Trayvon Robinson 2-run homer was all the team needed for their 3 - 0 shutout. His 3rd homer of the year increased his average to .300 and his OBP to .404, but he has been striking out at a fairly alarming rate so far this season. Corey Smith also picked up an RBI with a double.
AA – The Lookouts played a breakfast special on Wednesday as the game started just after 8 am PST, and the hitters on both teams must have still been asleep in the early innings as only one run was scored though 6 frames. Chattanooga pieced together a few hits in the 7th to score two runs, however, including an RBI single by rehabber Dioner Navarro, and the that ended up being enough as the Lookouts defeated the Huntsville Stars (Brewers) 3 to 1. Starter Will Savage took advantage of the lethargic hitters and had a nice rebound game with 6 shutout innings. He gave up just 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. Justin Miller got into some trouble in the 7th, but the sinker baller was able to induce a ground ball double play to get out of the inning. Josh Lindblom allowed two runners to reach base in the 9th, but he was able to strand the potential tying runs to get the save. At the plate, Scott Van Slyke stayed hot with a solo homer, while Kyle Russell doubled and K'd 3 times. Finally, it should be noted that in addition to Navarro's single, he swiped two bags.
HiA – Rancho Cucamonga used a solid pitching performance and timely hitting to win the game and series against Lake Elsinore with a 5 to 3 victory. Jon Michael Redding was the starting pitcher for the Quakes and allowed 8 hits, but he limited the damage as just 2 runs scored against him in 6 innings. Javier Solano made his first appearance of the season in the 7th and threw two innings, giving up 2 hits and a run while K'ing 1. Steven Ames then finished the game in Tollesonian fashion by striking out the side in the 9th. Former Dodger farm-hand Michael Watt started the game for the Storm, but he was jumped for 7 hits and 5 runs (2 earned) in 4.1 innings. Griff Erickson went 2 for 4 with a triple, and picked up 2 RBI's. Austin Gallagher didn't drive in any runs, but he went 4 for 4 to raise his average to .432 for the season.
LoA Game 1 – The first game of the Loons doubleheader got off to a quick start as Great Lakes scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning on 4 consecutive singles, but the Silver Hawks (Dbacks) came back in the later innings and ended up edging the good guys 4 to 3. Nobody really had a standout performance for the Loons at the plate as the team's only extra base hit was a double by Nick Akins. Starter Tim Sexton was great through 3, but things went sour in the 4th and he ended up allowing 2 homers and all 4 runs. Pete Budkevics was solid in relief as he threw 2 innings of 1 hit ball, but his effort was all for naught in the 7 inning game.
LoA Game 2 – The Loons picked up a split in Wednesday's doubleheader with a 4 - 1 win over South Bend (Dbacks). Pitching was key to the victory, even though Derek Cone was wild in the first start of his professional career and lasted just 3 innings. The bullpen picked up for Cone and did very well, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 8 over the final 4 innings of the shortened game. Logan Bawcom threw 3 of the 4 frames and struck out 5 while giving up 1 hit and 1 walk. Closer Shawn Tolleson then came in and walked a couple, but he yet again recorded every out via the K. He now has 15 strikeouts and his K/9 is 25.3 though 5.1 innings. It will be interesting to see how many strikeouts he has when he reaches the 9 inning mark for the season. In terms of offense, the Loons recorded 7 hits and scored single runs in each of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. Roman Pena had the only multi-hit game and also collected 2 of the team's 3 extra base hits on the day. Jonathan Garcia has slowed down a bit as of late in terms of homers, but he did record the other extra base hit (a double) and has at least one hit in 11 of his last 12 games.