The Loons won again on Saturday, but they actually didn't yet clinch a playoff spot because I had their tie-breaker wrong. I can now confidently say, however, that with one game to play in the 1st half their magic number is officially down to one as they'll clinch a playoff spot with a win or a Lansing Lugnut loss.
Minor League Player of the Day – Red Patterson - 8 IP, 0 Runs, 3 Hits, 7 K's. Patterson threw a gem on Saturday as he got the Loons one step closer to a playoff spot. The start was one of his best of the year, and hit lowered his batting average against to .233 for the season.
AAA – The Isotopes played in another high scoring affair on Saturday, and they again came out on top with a 13 to 10 victory over the Iowa Cubs. Albuquerque was down 4 to 0 early, but they scored 11 runs in a crazy 2nd inning to capture the win. Trayvon Robinson went 3 for 3 and walked twice to reach base in all 5 plate appearances, and Jamie Hoffmann went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI's. A.J. Ellis also had a solid game with a couple of hits in 3 at bats, and was pulled in the 6th inning as a precaution for the Rod Barajas injury. On the mound, Tim Sexton got rocked for 13 hits and 10 run (7 earned) in 3.2 innings for his first ugly game in AAA. Luckily his bullpen was great as Joey Newby gave up just 1 hit in 3.1 innings and Jon Link picked up his 6th save with a perfect 9th.
AA – The Lookouts played a solid game on the road as Chattanooga defeated the the Tennessee Smokies 5 to 3. Starter Nate Eovaldi was excellent in the early innings, and even though he allowed a couple of runs later in the game he had an overall good outing as he gave up just 4 hits in 6 innings and struck out 7. David Pfeiffer threw 2 shutout innings of relief, then Steven Ames collected his 4th save of the year with a scoreless 9th. At the plate Alfredo Silverio continued his hot hitting with his 7th homer of the season, and Corey Smith also hit one out of the park. Kyle Russell went 2 for 5 with a couple of RBI's, while Hector Gimenez had a single and a double in 4 at bats.
HiA – The Quakes held an early lead on Saturday, but the Ports came back and won as Stockton (A's) beat Rancho Cucamonga 4 to 3. Starter Arismendy Ozoria took the loss with 4 runs allowed in 6 innings, with 3 of the runs coming on solo homers. Jordan Roberts threw 3 shutout frames of relief, but it didn't matter in the loss. On offense Austin Gallagher connected on his 7th homer of the year, a 2-run shot, while Rafael Ynoa had the only multi-hit game.
LoA – The Loons and TinCaps (Padres) flew threw their game on Saturday in just 1 hours and 50 min, with Great Lakes scoring the only run of the game in the bottom of the 8th for a 1 - 0 victory. The contest was played so fast that it was still light when the game ended, so the post-game firework show had to be put on hold for quite some time. Red Patterson was the starting pitcher for the Loons and threw a masterful game for the 2nd time in his past 4 starts. Red threw 8 shutout innings, and allowed just 4 base-runners on 3 hits and a HBP. Patterson had a low enough pitch count to throw the complete game, but manager John Shoemaker instead opted to go to his closer Logan Bawcom who sealed the deal with his 10th save. As you can image, there wasn't much going on at the plate in this game as Great Lakes had just 4 hits. The winning rally occurred with 2 outs in the 8th when Leon Landry doubled, reached 3rd on a wild pitch, and then scored on a slow infield single by Blake Dean that he barely beat out.
DSL – The Dominican Dodgers and the Royals played 12 innings, but that wasn't enough to decide a winner as the game was suspended at a 10 to 10 tie. Josmar Cordero went 5 for 6 with a double and 2 RBI's, while Vadimir Martinez and Jeffry Rojas both had 3 hits and scored 3 runs each. 18 year old catcher Jonathan Linares also had a solid game with 2 doubles and 3 RBI's on the night. 5 different pitchers took the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday, but only 2 players had notable games. Aris Angeles allowed just 1 hit in 2.2 innings, and 18 year old Andrew Shellon did not give up a hit in 2 innings of work.