Minor League Player of the Day – Jharel Cotton (LoA) - 7 IP, 0 Runs, 0 Walks, 4 Hits. Cotton was the Loons lone bright spot on Thursday, but the more important stats to note are that after a rough 2013 debut, Jharel has allowed just 2 earned runs over his last 24.1 innings.
AAA – The Isotopes started this game with 7 straight hits which lead to 5 runs, then held on for a 8 - 7 victory over the Padres. The offense in this game was spread among several different players in this one, although Alfredo Amezega led the club with 3 hits including the only homer of the game. Scott Van Slyke was again in the outfield and had a double and two walks, while four other Albuquerque hitters had a pair of base knocks. Angel Castro had a rough game on the mound as he allowed 10 hits and 5 runs over just 4 frames, but his bullpen was able to do enough to hold on for the win. Kelvin De La Cruz gave up 1 run over 3 frames, and Steve Ames got the save despite allowing 3 hits and an unearned run in the 9th.
AA – The Lookouts were held without a run over the first 8 innings of the game and ended up falling to the BayBears (Dbacks) 5 to 2. Joc Pederson found a way to collect a couple of singles in the loss, while Yasiel Puig's only hit came in the 9th when he drove in one of the runs with a double. Griff Erickson and C.J. Retherford also had a two-bagger each in this game. Chattanooga starter Andres Santiago had an OK outing as he allowed 5 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs (2 earned) over 5 frames. Hector Nelo and Luis Vasquez worked 2 innings each in relief and both gave up a run.
HiA – The Quakes scored 5 quick runs on Thursday, but then their bats fell silent as the 66ers (Angels) doubled up on Rancho 10 to 5. Despite the 5 runs the offense had just 4 hits, with one of them being Scott Wingo's first homer of the year. Ryan Mount tripled and Jonathan Garcia had a RBI single, but that was it for the highlights. Starter Garrett Gould wasn't as good as his last time out, but he wasn't awful either as he allowed 7 hits and just 3 runs over 5.2 frames. Relievers Owen Jones and Freddie Cabrera were bad, however, as they combined to give up the final 7 runs over the last 3.1 innings (although two of those runs were unearned).
LoA – The Loons were no-hit on Thursday, but the TinCaps didn't secure their 1 - 0 victory until the bottom of the 9th when Fort Wayne finally pushed a run across in an unusual fashion. Held to just 4 hits and no runs themselves over the first 7 innings by Great Lakes starter Jharel Cotton, the TinCaps didn't have any luck either in the 8th against Scott Griggs. In the 9th, however, Griggs walked the first batter he faced, hit the next two batters to load the bases, then walked in the winning run to live up to his wild reputation. There were obviously no offensive highlights in the no-hitter, although it should be noted that the starting pitcher in this game for Fort Wayne was Max Fried, the 7th overall pick of the 2012 draft. Also Jesmuel Valentin did reach base twice with a couple of walks.
Coming up – All eyes will be on Rancho Cucamonga on Friday as Zack Greinke will make his first (and possibly only) rehab appearance for the Quakes. Scott Elbert is also expected to throw in that game. The Lookouts haven't annoucned their starter (although my guess is that it will be Ross Stripling making his AA debut), while the Isotopes and Loons will send Blake Johnson and Carlos Frias to the mound, respectively.