Minor League Player of the Day – CJ Retherford - 3 for 3, 1 2B, 1 Walk, 2 Runs, 1 RBI. There were not a lot of options for this award on Thursday, so I was forced to give it to the 26 year old Retherford who actually spent most of 2011 playing Indy ball. That being said CJ did have a nice night for the Quakes as he was perfect at the plate and started the game winning rally with a single in the 8th. While he played 3rd base in this game, he has also spent a significant amount of his career at 2nd.
AAA – The Isotopes matched the Zephyrs with 11 hits, but the final score didn't reflect their effort as New Orleans (Marlins) defeated Albuquerque 9 to 4. The biggest problem for the Topes was that only two of their hits went for extra bases, even though one of them was a two run bomb by Jerry Sands. The other was a double by Scott Van Slyke, who also drove in a run. Elian Herrera, Trent Oeltjen, and Luis Cruz rounded out the mini hit parade as they all had a pair of singles. On the mound it was Fernando Nieve who started the game, but he lasted just 2 innings in what turned out to be a bullpen game. Brent Leach took over in the 3rd and absorbed most of the damage as he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits over 3 frames, then Ryan Tucker made his Albuquerque debut and pitched a scoreless inning. Ramon Troncoso got roughed up for the first time this season as he was touched up for 3 scores in less than a inning, while Josh Wall continued his solid season with a perfect frame to lower his ERA to 1.93.
AA – The pitching duel that was anticipated on Thursday between two top prospects never materialized as the Lookouts lost to the BayBears (Dbacks) 9 to 5. Chattanooga starter Allen Webster started off strongly enough with 3 hitless frames, but he lost control in the 4th innings...literally. He started the inning with a hit batter, then allowed a single and a homer. He hit yet another batter after the bomb, and that runner eventually came around to score as well. Webster gave up 3 more scores in the 5th, and in total was roughed up for 8 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 hit batters. BayBear starter Trevor Bauer, on the other hand, gave up 3 earned runs in 6 innings and struck out 9. Nick Buss was able to get a hold of one off of Bauer as he connected on his 1st homer of the year, while Griff Erickson hit a rare triple to drive in a run. Pedro Baez also had a nice game as he went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Hi – Like most other hurlers Zach Lee found the pitching environment of Lancaster to be a bit challenging, but the Quakes rallied late and came away with a 5 - 4 victory to avoid a sweep by the JetHawks (Astros). Despite the 25 mph winds Lee actually didn't pitch poorly at all outside of the pair of home runs he allowed as he lasted 6 innings and gave up 4 scores while striking out 5. Juan Rodriguez threw the 7th and was credited with the win after getting out of a mini jam with 2 K's, and Logan Bawcom nailed down the win with another hitless inning for his 5th save of the season. Through 9.1 innings this season, Bawcom has allowed just 1 hit and has 13 K's. At the plate it was minor league veteran CJ Retherford who had a the big game as he went 3 for 3 with a double and started the game winning rally in the 8th. Tyler Henson drove in the tying run with a RBI double, while Charlie Mirabal singled in the eventually game winner for his 2nd hit and RBI of the night.
LoA – The Loons scratched together a few early runs and held a 3 - 1 lead midway through the contest, but the LumberKings (Mariners) scored 6 in the 5th and evened up the 3 game series at 1 win apiece with an 8 - 4 victory over Great Lakes. Starter Jarret Martin had a forgettable game as he got torched for 7 runs on 11 hits, but I'll cut him some slack since it was his first bad appearance in 5 outings this season. The good news was that his bullpen was pretty solid as Ryan O'Sullivan gave up just 1 run in 3 frames with 4 K's, while Matt Shelton struck out the side in the 9th. The Loons had just two extra base hits in this game, a triple by Jesus Arredondo and a double by James Baldwin who also walked twice and stole his 8th base of the season. Jesse Bosnik had the only other notable performance as he went 3 for 4 and drove in a run.
Coming up – Chris Reed will try and extend his scoreless streak on Friday as the Quakes finally leave the hitting haven of Lancaster and head to Lake Elsinore. Ethan Martin will start for the Lookouts, and Mike Parisi will take the mound for Albuquerque. It is Brandon Martinez's turn in the rotation for the Loons and he will look to rebound from a rough start last time out.
Minor League Transactions - AAA: Ryan Tucker and Shane Lindsay, who have been MIA since spring training, have both been added to the Isotopes roster. Derrick Loop has been removed from the roster while Francisco Felix was loaned to a team called Saltillo in the Mexican League.