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Dodgers 7/20/12 Minor League Report - Sands' Walk-off Blast Buries the Cubs

Sands had two homers for the Isotopes on Friday, including a walk-off blast
Sands had two homers for the Isotopes on Friday, including a walk-off blast

Minor League Player of the DayKazuki Nishijima (Ogden) - 5 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, 0 runs, 4 K's. Anytime a pitcher throws 5 perfect innings, you pretty much have to give him the player of the day award. The 22 year old Japanese native has emerged as the Raptors long reliever this season, and on Friday had obviously had his best performance of the year and helped preserve Ogden's win. The lefty isn't a big prospect by any means, but if he continues to succeed he could be an interesting player to follow over the next few years.

AAA – There were a bunch of big offensive games for the Isotopes on Friday, but Jerry Sands was the hero as he hit a walk-off 3-run homer to defeat the Cubs 10 to 7. The homer was Sands' second bomb of the game, giving him 14 jacks for the year and 4 RBI's on the night. Elian Herrera played shortstop for Albuquerque and went 4 for 5 with a double, a triple, and 4 runs scored, while Josh Fields has yet another strong showing as he singled, walked twice, and hit a two-run homer. Scott Van Slyke also had 3 hits including a double and drove in a run. Starter Will Savage had an early exit on Friday as he got hammered for 8 hits and 6 runs over 3 frames, but Cole St. Clair was able to provide 4 innings of 1-run relief to keep his team in the game. Erick Threets made his 2012 Albuquerque debut with a shutout inning, while Angel Guzman got the win with a scoreless 9th.

AA – Rain caused this game to end after 8 innings, but luckily the Lookouts were able to beat the storm and come away with a 4 - 1 win over the Smokies (Cubs). Starter Allen Webster allowed just 1 run over 6 innings and struck out a season high 10 batters to collect his 4th win of the year. Logan Bawcom gave up 2 hits and a pair of walks in 2 innings of relief, but he also recorded all 6 of his outs via the K and picked up his 13th save of the year. At the plate it was Matt Wallach who had a rare offensive outburst as he connected on a pair of homers and drove in 3 of the 4 runs. That was about it was from the offense, however, as the team had only 4 hits in the victory.

HiA – The Quakes outhit the JetHawks (Astros) on Friday, but Lancaster still ended up with a 8 - 2 win over Rancho. Garrett Gould was saddled with his 7th loss of the season by allowing 7 hits and 6 runs over 5.2 frames, but only 3 of those runs were earned and he struck out 6. A trio of relievers finished off the loss, but nobody had a notable performance. On offense Joc Pederson connected on his 8th homer of the year, while Pedro Baez had a double and a RBI. Scott Wingo collected a game high 3 hits including a two-bagger of his own.

LoAJames Baldwin provided the game winning double in the top of the 13th to send the Loons to a a 2 - 1 win over the Timber Rattlers (Brewers). The big hit was a relief for Baldwin who had actually struck out in his first 4 at bats on Friday. Pratt Maynard had Great Lakes' only other extra base hit with a double, while Darnell Sweeney drove in the team's only other run. The Loons' pitching staff struck out 21 batters in this game, starting with Duke von Schamann who K'ed 5 and allowed just 2 hits and 1 run over 5 frames. Matt Shelton struck out all 6 batters he faced in relief, while Michael Thomas punched out 5 over 2 innings and picked up the win. Jose Dominguez got the save with a perfect 13th inning which included one strikeout.

Rookie Ogden – The Raptors' pitching staff allowed just 2 hits on Friday as Ogden defeated Great Falls (White Sox) 2 to 1. Starter Ross Stripling lowered his season ERA to 0.64 with 3 shutout innings, then long reliever Kazuki Nishijima was spectacular in relief as the fired 5 perfect innings and struck out 4. Scott Griggs walked a trio of batters in the 9th which resulted in the only run of the game for the Voyagers, but he got out of the jam and ended up recording his 4th save of the year. Jeremy Rathjen continued the strong start to his season by going 2 for 5 with a double and drove in the only two runs of the game for Ogden. Malcolm Holland went 2 for 4 with a two bagger, while Jesus Valdez's double and Jose Capellan's triple rounded out the extra base hits for the Raptors.

Rookie Arizona – The Arizona Dodgers had a good offensive game, but they still got crushed by the A's 20 to 7. Things got ugly early as starter Luis Meza allowed 3 runs over 3 frames, then Victor Araujo got dismantled for 7 runs in just 2 innings. Defense was also a liability for the Dodgers on Friday as Jordan Hershiser gave up 6 unearned runs in relief, although he also allowed 3 earned runs as well. Despite the loss Paul Hoenecke had a strong game in his return from a knee injury as he went 3 for 4 with a trio of doubles and 3 RBI's. Jesmuel Valentine also doubled and drove in a run, but that was it for the extra base hits and RBI's

DSL – Rain shorted this game significantly as it only lasted 5 and a half innings, and the Dominican Dodgers came out on the short end of the stick as they lost to the Cardinals 5 to 4. All of the damage against the Dodgers came in the first two frames as starter Luis Jimenez gave up all 5 of the games' runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Luis De Paula pitched the final 4 innings in relief and was actually very good as he did not allow a run while striking out 4. Jose Luis Javier went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI's, while Jonathan Linares had the team's only extra base hit as he doubled and scored a pair of runs.

Coming up – After a rough outing on Sunday, Zach Lee will try to rebound for the Lookouts and will highlight the days action. Angel Sanchez will start for the Quakes, and a TBD pitcher will take the mound for the Isotopes. Gustavo Gomez will be throwing for the Loons, and it appears that Craig Stem will be making his first start of the season for the Raptors.

Minor League Transactions – AAA: Bret Montgomery was placed on the DL with right quad tightness. LoA: 27 year old outfielder Gabriel Suarez was signed out of the Mexican League and assigned to the Loons, while Delvis Morales was sent to the Raptors.

Albuquerque Isotopes Box Score (AAA)

Chattanooga Lookouts Box Score (AA)

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Box Score (HiA)

Great Lakes Loons Box Score (LoA)

Ogden Raptors Box Score (Rookie)

Arizona Dodgers Box Score (Rookie)

Dominican Dodgers Box Score (DSL)

Minor League Central - Daily Dodger Recap