Minor League Player of the Day – Kyle Cofield (AA) - 4 IP, 1 Hit, 0 Runs. For the second day in a row a Lookout reliever win this award for impressive work out of the bullpen. While Cofield isn't much of a prospect, he did throw very well in relief on Thursday and gave the bullpen a big boost after Zach Lee's abbreviated outing.
AAA – The Isotopes won their third straight game on Thursday as the doubled up on the Round Rock Express (Rangers) 10 to 5. As you may have guessed Scott Van Slyke was the big hitter for Albuquerque as he went 3 for 5 with his league leading 8th homer of the season. Alex Castellanos also took one deep, his 4th of the year, while Matt Angle went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI's and a couple of stolen bases. Dee Gordon reached base twice with a single and a walk, and he swiped two bags as well to reclaim the league lead with 11 steals. On the mound Blake Johnson pitched well enough to record the win, although he did allowed 4 runs in 6 innings. Geison Aguasviva gave up a run in his two innings of work, but Chris Withrow kept his ERA flawless with another scoreless frame that included a pair of strikeouts.
AA – In a match up of top pitching prospects, Taijuan Walker got the best of Zach Lee as the Jackson Generals (Mariners) defeated the Lookouts 6 to 2. Walker allowed just 2 hits and 1 run over his 7 innings off work, while Lee had by far his worst outing of the season. Zach lasted just 3 innings and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits, although only 4 of the runs were earned. The bullpen for Chattanooga was great, however, as Kyle Cofield gave up just 1 hit in his 4 innings of relief and Luiz Vasquez struck out 4 in his two shutout frames. The only player to get anything going at the plate for the Lookouts was J.T. Wise who went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles. Joc Pederson unfortunately had his hitting streak snapped, although he still reached base twice with a couple of walks.
HiA – The Quakes lost their fourth straight game on Thursday, this time falling to the 66ers (Angels) 8 to 4. Jarret Martin lost for the 4th time in four starts after he allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and 4 runs in just 3.1 innings. Raydel Sanchez wasn't much better in relief as he gave up 3 runs in his only inning of work, but Craig Stem and Pedro Baez were much better out of the bullpen to keep the game relatively close. The offense wasn't able to mount a comeback, however, even though Ryan Mount did hit a 9th inning homer. Darnell Sweeney plated two runs with a triple earlier in the game, but that was it for the offensive highlights.
LoA – Cedar Rapids had a field day against Angel Sanchez and the rest of the Loons' pitching staff as the Kernels (Twins) crushed Great Lakes 16 to 7. The interesting part was the the Loons actually out-hit the Kernels 12 to 11, but the fact that 8 of the Kernels hits went for extra bases made the difference. Sanchez got lit up early as he gave up 5 runs in the first two innings, and in total he allowed 8 hits and 6 runs over 5 frames. Jake Hermsen was even worse in relief, however, as he walked 5 batters permitted 8 runs to score (5 earned) while recording just 3 outs. Not too much to talk about in terms of the Loons' offense other than a couple of two-hit performances. Paul Hoenecke went 2 for 5 with a double and a RBI while Jeremy Rathjen singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored twice. Corey Seager had a RBI single, while fellow 2012 first round pick Jesmuel Valentin made his Midwest League debut as a pinch hitter and walked.
Coming up – The most interesting match up on Friday will come in AAA where Javy Guerra will face off against former teammate Josh Lindblom. Other scheduled starters are Chris Reed who will look to continue his hot streak for the Lookouts, Gustavo Gomez who will look to rebound for the Quakes, and Zach Bird who will try to make it past the fourth inning for the first time this season.
Minor League Transactions – AA: Rafael Ynoa was placed on the DL with a sprained back, and Casio Grider moved up from the Loons to take his spot on the roster. LoA: The big news of the day was that 2012 supplemental 1st round pick Jesmuel Valentin has been added to the Loons roster to take the spot of Grider. Given that the Loons don't really have a 2nd baseman, expect Valentin to get most of the starts there.