The four minor league teams split the day on Tuesday with two wins and two losses, and were involved in two shutouts.
Minor League Player of the Day – Alex Castellanos - 3 for 5, 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 3 RBI's, 4 Runs, 2 SB's. One day after I named Castellanos to the Dodgers Minor League Hot Sheet, Alex had probably his best game of 2012 as he did it all on Tuesday. 3 extra base hits, 2 stolen bases, and 4 runs scored...well done.
AAA – After allowing double digit runs in 4 games already this season, the Isotopes finally turned the tables and scored more than 9 runs for the first time in a win as Albuquerque crushed the Cubs 13 to 6. The Isotopes pounded out 20 hits and were led by the team's 3 hottest hitters as Alex Castellanos, Scott Van Slyke, and Luis Cruz had 3 base knocks each. Castle had the best game of the group as he fell just a single shy of the cycle with a homer, a triple, and a double while driving in 3 and scoring 4 runs, and he even stole 2 bases. Cruz also fell just short of the cycle as he missed it by a triple and he knocked in 3 guys as well. Even starting pitcher Stephen Fife got into the act as he went 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI's. He wasn't as impressive on the mound, however, as Fife allowed 10 hits and 6 runs while striking out just 1 over 5.2 frames, although he did managed to record the win. Ramon Troncoso was excellent in relief as he was perfect over 2.1 innings, recording 4 punchouts in the process. That dropped Ramon's ERA to 1.42 as he is fighting to stay relevant
AA – Starter Aaron Miller didn't have his best stuff on Tuesday as the Barons (White Sox) doubled up the Lookouts 4 to 2. Miller allowed just 3 hits in 4.1 innings and struck out 4, but in what has seemed to be a recurring theme recently among Dodger minor league pitchers, he had trouble finding the plate as he walked 6 batters. The good news, however, is that Red Patterson was solid in his 4 innings of relief as he gave up just 1 run on 4 hits and K'ed 6 batters. There isn't a whole lot to write about in terms of offensive performances, and I guess you can say that Matt Wallach led the way with 2 singles. Blake Smith doubled, just his 2nd extra base hit of the season, while Rafael Ynoa also connected on a two-bagger.
HiA – Garrett Gould punched out 9 batters and had a relatively decent outing, but the Quakes' offense wasn't able to get anything going in a 4 - 0 loss to the Giants. The bad news on Gould's night was that he lasted just 4.2 innings thanks to the 95 pitches he threw, but I guess that came with the territory of the 9 K's. In total he allowed 4 hits and two runs, while relievers Jordan Roberts and Bret Montgomery gave up the other two runs. At the plate Joc Pederson had the first two hits of his 2012 campaign with a single and a triple. Fellow outfielder Jonathan Garcia had the only other multi-hit game with a pair of singles.
LoA – The Loons pitching staff put together their best performance of 2012 on Tuesday as three hurlers combined on a 1 - 0 shutout over the Hot Rods (Rays). Starter Brandon Martinez got the ball rolling by blanking Bowling Green for 6 innings, allowing just 5 base runners in the process (3 hits and 2 walks). The interesting part about B-Mart's performance was that he struck out just 1, and got 9 flyouts vs. just 3 groundouts. Juan Noriega continued the shutout with two more scoreless innings, then Eric Eadington ended the gem with 3 strikeouts and his 2nd save of the season. Great Lakes scored their only run in the 4th on a Pratt Maynard sacrifice fly. He drove in Scott Schebler who had another big game by going 2 for 4 with a double.
Coming up – There will be a pair of early morning games played on Wednesday, as both the Lookouts and Loons start their contests before 9 am local time. Matt Magill will look to continue his strong start for Chattanooga while the Great Lakes starter is undetermined. The Isotopes will send Fernando Nieve to the mound, while it looks like the Quakes will need to find a replacement starter as the rainout last week has messed up their rotation a bit.