I was in attendance at the Quake game on Sunday, and while it was a good game it was nothing compared to the wild contest in Albuquerque. Overall, the Dodger minor league teams won 4 out of 5 games on Sunday.
Minor League Player of the Day – Trayvon Robinson - 5 for 6, 1 2B, 4 RBI's, 3 runs. A 5-hit day is a rare occurrence, so this award has to go to Trayvon. With the big day Robinson has gotten his batting average all the way up to .299 to go along with his 13 HR's and .900 OPS.
AAA – It was a wild and crazy day in Albuquerque on Sunday, but when the smoke cleared it was the Isotopes who were able to walk away with the 16 to 14 win over the Nashville Sounds (Brewers). You'll have to check the box score to see all the stats of this game, but of course I do want to highlight a few. Trayvon Robinson had a huge day at the dish as he went 5 for 6 with a double, 3 runs scored, and 4 RBI's. Russell Mitchell also came up big with 4 hits and 5 RBI's, including his 5th homer of the season. Eugenio Velez had 4 hits as well, collecting 2 doubles and an RBI on the day. Finally, Jerry Sands upped his AAA batting average to .412 with a single and a double in 4 at bats. As good as our hitting was, the opposite could be said for our pitching. John Ely got the start and completely unraveled in the 4th inning despite a comfortable lead, and in total he gave up 12 hits and 9 runs (7 earned) in 3.1 innings. The next two arms out of the Albuquerque bullpen weren't great either, but luckily Merkin Valdez was able to shut out the Sounds for the final 2 frames to preserve the victory.
AA – It took 13 innings and 6 pitchers, but after a long afternoon the Lookouts were finally able to outlast the Braves 2 to 1. On offense, Kyle Russell was the hero in this one as the clubbed his 13th homer of the year in the 13th inning to put Chattanooga up for good. Russell also doubled earlier in the game, and Brad Coon had a couple of 2 baggers to led the limited hitting attack. Nate Eovaldi started this game and went 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 7 hits while punching out 6 batters. The bulllpen then threw 7 scoreless innings to complete the masterpiece, and the order was: Cole St. Clair (1 IP, 1 hit, 0 K's), Josh Wall (2 perfect IP, 1 K), Shawn Tolleson (1 IP, 1 hit, 0 K's), Steven Ames (1 perfect IP, 2 K's), and newcomer Scott Rice (2 IP, 2 hits, 0 K's).
HiA – I watched this game in person on Sunday and am happy to report that the Quakes were able to come away with a 6 to 2 victory over the Visalia Rawhide. The win was big for Rancho Cucamonga because it gives the team a 5 game lead in the South Division with just 7 games left in the 1st half of the California League season. Jon Michael Redding started this game and did very well, going 5.1 innings and allowing just 2 hits and an unearned run. The outing brought his season ERA down to 2.63 through 54.2 innings, which is a huge improvement over last year. In terms of a quick scouting report, Redding showed good movement on his fastball which sat between 89 and 91 according to the stadium gun (which appears a tiny bit slow). Redding also threw a mid 70's curveball a few times and looked like he had a decent slider going. Justin Orenduff and Steve Smith finished off the game on the mound, but there wasn't anything too interesting about their outings. At the plate, Blake Smith was the big hitter as he crushed an opposite field double to left in the 3rd inning, then added his 13th homer of the season to center field in the 5th which I'd estimate traveled at least 425 feet. J.T. Wise had the team's only other extra base hit, a line drive double to right-center which resulted in an RBI. Nick Buss also had a solid game with a couple of singles (including a perfectly placed drag bunt), 3 stolen bases, and an outstanding sliding catcher in center field. One other note is that in the 2nd inning, Austin Gallagher got a questionable called strike 3 and argued a bit before returning to the dugout. When the next batter stepped in, there was another questionable strike call on the 1st pitch of the at bat which resulted in some yelling from the Quake dugout. The umpire immediately threw someone out of the game, and at the time everyone assumed it was Gallagher. However it turned out that Angelo Songco was the one who got kicked out, so unfortunately I only got to see him bat once in this game. Finally, I talked to Rancho manager Juan Bustabad after the game and he seemed like a great guy. He said the transition from LoA to HiA has been very easy since 15 of the players he had last year are also on this year's roster. I also asked him about Ethan Martin's move to the pen, and he said it was a decision made by upper management and that they hope he'll do better in 1 to 2 inning appearances rather than starting games.
LoA – The Loons played a pretty boring game on Sunday as they lost to the Quad City River Bandits (Cardinals) 4 to 1. Red Patterson was the starter for Great Lakes and went 5 innings, but he gave up 8 hits, 3 walks, and 4 runs in the process. While the bullpen was great (2 perfect innings from Ryan Acosta and a shutout frame by Pete Budkevics), it didn't matter because the offense wasn't able to get much going at the plate. Big Chris Jacobs did hit his first homer of the year and Bobby Coyle had a couple of singles, but besides that the Loon hitters didn't do much.
DSL – The Dominican Dodgers had an outstanding day on the mound as they defeated the Rays 4 to 1. 17 year old Miguel Sulbaran started the game and allowed just 2 hits and 1 run over 5 innings while striking out 5. Sawil Gonzalez threw in relief and was actually even better, tossing 4 shutout frames in which he gave up just 1 hit. At the plate, most of the damage came from 18 year old Jeffry Rojas who went 4 for 4 with a homer and 2 runs scored.