The Dodger minor league teams collected 3 more wins on Wednesday and appear to be breaking out of their collective slump. The two class A teams came away with exciting, yet unconventional walk-off victories, while the Isotopes lost the only game in a boring contest.
Minor League Player of the Day – Ryan O'Sullivan - 3 IP, 1 Hit, 0 Walks, 4 K's. I'm still not sure why the Loons are using O'Sullivan out of the bullpen, but so far he seems to be adapting to the role. I'm guessing his injury history has something to do with the organization wanting to limit his innings, although I do foresee him joining the rotation later this spring.
AAA – The Isotopes fell back into the loss column on Wednesday as Albuquerque was defeated by the Iowa Cubs 5 to 1. Francisco Felix ended up getting the start in what was the most boring minor league game of the day, but he lasted just 3 innings as he allowed 4 runs on 6 hits. Michael Antonini piggy backed off Felix and tossed the final 5 frames of the game, and actually had a very strong showing. The left hander allowed just 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 4. The Isotope offense was extremely quiet as the lineup managed just 5 hits. Alex Castellanos provided the only highlights as he collected 3 of the hits, including 2 doubles. Scott Van Slyke was finally shut down as he went 0 for 3, and Jerry Sands was given the night off.
AA – Starter Ethan Martin was shaky at best, but he somehow managed to keep his team in the game and a 6 run 8th inning helped the Lookouts burn the Suns (Marlins) with a 10 to 5 victory. Martin had a classic game as he walked the first 4 batters of the game and in total issued 7 free passes, but he also allowed just 1 hit and limited the damage to just 3 runs over 4 frames. What's odd about his outing is that he only struck out 1 batter. Jon Michael Redding picked up the win in relief with 2 hitless innings, but Javier Solano struggled a bit and gave up 2 runs. Luckily Chattanooga was up big at that point thanks to the aforementioned 8 inning rally. Luis Nunez came up big that inning with a bases loaded single, while Matt Wallach, Rafael Ynoa, and Kyle Russell also had RBI singles during the frame. Wallach came up big earlier in the game as well when he smoked a two run homer over the right field wall in the 2nd inning.
HiA – The Quakes beat the JetHawks (Astros) on Wednesday with a 6 - 5 walk-off victory, but the walk-off didn't involve a hit. With the game tied at 5, Pedro Guerrero led off the bottom of the 9th with a double, then after a walk to Nick Akins (who homered earlier in the game) Guerrero moved to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt. Lancaster chose to load the bases by issuing an intentional pass to Leon Landry, but the move backfired as the next batter, Tyler Henson, also walked to drive in the winning run. For Henson it was his 3rd RBI of the night, as he had drove in 2 runs earlier with a double. Landry also had a solid night as he collected two singles, but that was about it for the offensive highlights. Rancho starter Chris Reed had an interesting night and actually had a very similar stat line to Ethan just minus a few walks and with a lot more strikeouts. Reed allowed just 1 hit and K'ed 7 batters, but the 3 walks he issued led to 3 runs. The other pitching highlight came from Juan Rodriguez as he struck out the side in the 9th and picked up the win.
LoA – The Loons were involved in a marathon contest on Wednesday and eventually came out victorious with a 5 - 4 win over the Captains (Indians). Great Lakes scored four early runs thanks to an RBI double by Scott Schebler, a RBI single by Kevin Taylor, and another home run by Jesse Bosnik, but Lake County tied the game by the 5th. Both teams were then held scoreless for the next 8 innings thanks to outstanding relief pitching, before the game finally ended in another unconventional walk-off. In the bottom of the 14th Pratt Maynard singled with 1 out, then scored all the way from first on another single by Taylor thanks to a miscue by the right fielder and heads up base running. Getting back to the pitching, starter Jarret Martin had an OK outing, but as mentioned above the bullpen was excellent. Jose Dominguez started the trend by throwing 3.1 scoreless frames, and was followed by two shutout innings by Jason West. Ryan O'Sullivan had the performance of the day with 3 innings of 1 hit ball and 4 K's, while Matt Shelton finished the job in the top of the 14th and picked up the win. One final note is that James Baldwin has returned to action, but has really struggled thus far and went 0 for 6 in this game with 4 K's.
Coming up – The Isotopes play another day game on Thursday and send Stephen Fife to the mound, then after the contest the team will head home for the first time in 2012. Aaron Miller will get the ball for the Lookouts while fellow 2009 draftee Garrett Gould will start for the Quakes. The Loons starter for Thursday has not yet been announced, but my bet is on Brandon Martinez.
Minor League Transactions: AAA - Wil Ledezma returned from the bereavement list and Derrick Loop was removed from the roster.