Aaron Miller made his season debut for the Lookouts, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on an interview with Miller that was conducted by local media member Curt Hitchens (thanks Curt!). The interview can be heard in its entirety by clicking here: Aaron Miller Interview. The short of it is that Miller is happy to be fully healthy after dealing with a torn abdomen in 2011 which put him on the DL 5 for 6 times last year. His biggest goal this year is to stay healthy because is confident things will fall into place for him if he can stay on the field. In terms of the action on the field on Saturday, the Dodgers' minor league teams won 2 of their 5 games which proves to be the best day yet. Finally, I was able to upload the videos from the Quakes game last night, so look for those after the jump.
Minor League Player of the Day – Kyle Russell - 3 for 4, 2 2B's, 2 RBI's, 2 Runs, 1 BB. Russell managed to avoid the strikeout on Saturday and actually had a very good game as he led the Lookouts to a game winning rally.
AAA – Omaha scored four runs in the 1st inning, then never looked back as the Storm Chasers (Royals) defeated the Isotopes 5 to 0. Starter Stephen Fife lasted just 1.1 innings and allowed all 5 runs, but only 1 run was earned as 2nd baseman Alex Castellanos made one error in the first inning and misplayed another ball which lead to 4 unearned scores. Francisco Felix came in from the bullpen and threw 3.2 frames of scoreless relief, as did Cole St. Clair (2 IP) and Ramon Troncoso (1 IP). The Albuquerque offense was limited to just 3 singles, one of them coming from Scott Van Slyke who also walked. Jerry Sands had another poor showing as he went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.
AA – The Chattanooga offense finally broke out of its slump on Saturday as the Lookouts defeated the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) 10 - 2 for their first win of the season. Three different players had 3-hit games for the Lookouts, including Kyle Russell who connected on a pair of doubles and drove in 2 runs in 4 official at bats. Leadoff man Nick Buss also went 3 for 4, while JT Wise scored two runs and singled three times. Jake Lemmerman completed the hit parade with a double, a single, and a walk. Starter Aaron Miller lasted just 2.2 innings thanks to a high pitch count and the heath concern that is mentioned above, but he only allowed 1 run and handed the ball over to Red Patterson with the game tied. Patterson allowed a run of his own in his 3.1 innings of work, but he struck out 4 and picked up the first win of the season for the Lookouts. Shawn Tolleson also got his first work in for 2012 and stuck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.
HiA – The Quakes picked up their first win of the season as Rancho scored 4 in the 6th and outlasted the 66ers (Angles) 5 to 4. Starter Garrett Gould got hit around a bit in his first taste of the California League as he allowed 7 hits and 3 runs over 5 innings, but he struck out 7 batters and kept his team in the game. Reliever Scott McGough picked up the win in relief despite allowing a run in his two innings of work, while Logan Bawcom recorded the save with two perfect frames. At the plate, 8 of the 9 batters in the Quakes' lineup recorded at least one hit, and Nick Akins was the only one without a base knock. 2nd baseman Tyler Henson led the way with a homer and two runs scored, while Jonathan Garcia and catcher Chris O'Brien also had two hits each. Tony Delmonico's 2-RBI triple also helped the Quakes in the win.
LoA Game 1 – The Loons played a scheduled double header on Saturday, but unfortunately their day got off a rough start as Great Lakes lost to the Lugnuts (Blue Jays) 4 to 2. Starting pitcher Brandon Martinez, who was the feature in a recent article by Hugh Bernreuter, probably didn't have the debut he wanted as he was constantly in trouble. B-Mart allowed 5 hits and 2 walks over 4.1 frames which resulted in 3 runs being charged against him. Matt Shelton pitched the final 1.2 innings of the shortened game (both games of the double header were only scheduled for 7 innings) and gave up 1 run on 2 hits while striking out a pair. At the plate, the Loons showed their first signs of life in 2012 and were led by 2nd baseman Jesus Arredondo who went 3 for 3 with a double and a walk. The 21 year old was signed out of Mexico last season, but didn't participate in a game for the organization until now. 2011 draftee Kevin Taylor had a pair of singles, while Joe Winker and Jan Vazquez both doubled in the game.
LoA Game 2 – The Loons battled back from an early deficit in game two of their double header on Saturday, but they eventually fell in extra innings to the Lugnuts, 4 - 3. The loss means that Great Lakes was swept in their first series of the season, and are now 0 - 3 on the year. Starter Matt Laney toyed with hitters in the Arizona Rookie League last season, but he found the Midwest League to be much more challenging as he allowed 8 base runners (4 hits and 4 walks) and 3 runs over 5 innings. Yimi Garcia, on the other hand, picked up right where he left off in Ogden as he threw 2 scoreless innings of relief and struck out 3. Tied at 3 after 7 innings, the game went into extra innings but the Loons went down in order in the top of the 8th. Ryan O'Sullivan, who to my surprise is being used out of the bullpen to start the season, replaced Garcia in the bottom of the 8th and promptly allowed a walk, a stolen base, and a single which plated a run and ended the game. The Great Lakes offense was relatively quite again with just 5 hits, although Devin Shines had a solid game by going 2 for 3 with a double and a RBI. Scott Schebler also had an RBI double in the game, but there was no sign of James Baldwin who is apparently out with a hand injury.
Finally, follow the jump to see a couple videos from Friday's Quakes game that I wasn't able to upload until now
Chris Reed pitching for the Quakes (via blennox8)
Chris Reed Quakes Strikeout (via blennox8)
Chris Reed Strikeout (via blennox8)
Jonathan Garcia batting for the Quakes (via blennox8)