Minor League Player of the Day – Blake Smith - 4 for 5, 2 2B's, 1 3B, 4 RBI's. Smith not only had a big game at the plate on Saturday, but he also drove in the game winning run in the 10th inning to lead the Lookouts to victory. Smith's season to date has been mediocre at best with his .252 average and .761 OPS, although he has shown some signs of breaking out and thanks to his big game on Saturday his OPS over the last 10 days is almost .900.
AAA – 8 of the 9 batters in the Isotopes starting lineup had at least one hit on Saturday, but Albuquerque was unable to come away with the win as the Isotopes were drowned by the River Cats (A's) 7 to 6. Will Savage started the game for the Isotopes and allowed just 2 earned runs over 5.1 innings, but his defense didn't do him any favors as a trio of errors resulted in 3 additional runs. Scott Rice gave up a run in relief despite K'ing 4 batters in 2 innings, while Shane Lindsay gave up the winning score in the 9th thanks to 3 walks. At the plate the Isotopes only accumulated 2 extra base hits, including Tim Federowicz's bases loaded double which plated 3 runs in the 3rd inning. Other than that there isn't much to write about other than Aaron Miles who went 2 for 5 in his 2012 debut and will be looking to join the big league club in the very near future.
AA – The Lookouts won in walk-off fashion on Saturday in extra frames to claim a 5 to 4 victory over the Stars (Brewers). The winning run scored on the fourth hit of the night from Blake Smith, who finished the night with 2 doubles, a triple, and 4 RBI's. Smith's 4 base knocks were more than the rest of the Chattanooga team combined, and the only other offensive highlight was a pinch-hit homer by J.T. Wise. Starting pitcher Chris Withrow struck out a season high 9 batters in his 5 innings of work and only gave up 4 hits, yet he also walked 2 and allowed 4 runs to score. Javier Solano worked around a hit and a walk for a scoreless inning of relief, then Luis Vasquez and Logan Bawcom tossed 2 shutout frames each to secure the victory.
HiA – The Quakes also scored a walk-off win in extra innings on Saturday as they defeated the Mavericks (Mariners) 6 to 5. Alexis Aguilar was the hero in this one as his only hit of the night plated the winning run. Jonathan Garcia had his second strong game in a row in his return to the California League as he went 3 for 4 with a double and a RBI, while Scott Wingo had the only other multi-hit game with 2 singles and a RBI. Starter Jon Michael Redding had a tough outing as he allowed 5 runs in 5 innings thanks to a pair of gopher balls, but the Rancho bullpen was excellent which helped secure the victory. Steve Smith threw two perfect innings to lower his ERA to 2.11, while Eric Eadington recorded the win by allowed just 1 hit and striking out 3 in his two frames.
LoA – The Loons scored two touchdowns and allowed just a field goal in a 14 - 3 victory over the Dragons (Reds). Several Great Lakes hitters got in on the action in the offensive explosion, highlighted by Scott Schebler who went 4 for 6 with his league leading 6th triple and 3 runs scored. Kevin Taylor plated a game high 3 runs with a double and a homer, and Noel Cuevas had the same stat line as Taylor just with one less RBI. Pedro Guerrero and Jesse Bosnik rounded out the multi-hit action as they both had two base knocks and drove in 2 runs. Starting pitcher Ryan O'Sullivan worked a career high 6.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. By that time the game was already well in had so relievers Matt Laney and Raydel Sanchez didn't have much to worry about in their shutout innings.
Coming up – All four teams play day games on Sunday, highlighted by Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Gould starting for the Lookouts and Quakes, respectively. Gustavo Gomez will try to build upon his recent success for the Loons, while Stephen Fife will simply try to keep the Isotopes in the game.
Minor League Transactions – AAA: Aaron Miles was assigned to the Isotopes and Ivan De Jesus was promoted to Los Angeles. HiA: Craig Stem was sent back to extended spring training after his rough outing on Friday, and the recently signed Eammon Portice, a 26 year old who was originally a 2007 12th round pick Boston and has been with the Red Sox for his entire career, was assigned to the Quakes. LoA: Devin Shines was placed on the DL to make room for the recently demoted Nick Akins.
Albuquerque Isotopes Box Score (AAA)
Chattanooga Lookouts Box Score (AA)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Box Score (HiA)
Great Lakes Loons Box Score (LoA)