Minor League Player of the Day – Noel Cuevas (Ogden) - 5 for 5, 1 2B, 3 RBI's, 2 Runs. I wanted to give this award to Zachary Bird as his 3.1 innings of no-hit ball in the Arizona Dodgers playoff game were quite impressive, but it's hard to ignore a perfect 5 for 5 effort from Cuevas so I'm giving the player of the day to him. Cuevas has jumped around this season and has only spent about a week in the Pioneer League, and despite losing a lot of the season due to injury he remains a decent outfield prospect and has a lot of raw power. Hopefully he comes out healthy in 2013 and shows all his tools.
AAA – The Isotopes saw their division lead slip to just 1.5 games as they lost to the RedHawks (Astros) 3 to 1. The loss was the 5th in a row for Albuquerque, and it also meant that they got swept in their 4-game series with Oklahoma City. With 4 games left to play (all at home), the Topes are going to have to start winning if they want to make the post season. Getting to the game at hand, starter Fernando Nieve actually threw pretty well as he allowed 6 hits over 7 frames, struck out 9, and gave up just 2 earned runs. Scott Rice followed with a perfect inning of relief, but the Albuquerque offense just couldn't get anything going to support their pitchers. The club didn't have an extra base hit in the game, and Tim Federowicz drove in the the only run with one of his two singles. Elian Herrera and Josh Fields also had 2 hits each, but that was it for the highlights.
AA – The Lookouts officially clinched a playoff birth on Thursday as they defeated the Baron (White Sox) 4 to 2. Matt Magill made his last start of the regular season a good one as he tossed 7 innings of 2-hit ball. He did walk 3 and allowed a 2-run homer, but he also struck out 7 and will finish the season with a K/9 of 10.3. A trio of relievers finished off the victory, with Steve Ames and his 1.56 ERA recording his 18th save with a perfect 9th. Chattanooga actually only had 4 hits themselves in this game, and Brahiam Maldonado's homer was the only one that went for extra bases. Luis Nunez and J.T. Wise both had a single and a RBI each.
HiA – Brandon Martinez struggled again on Thursday as the Quakes lost to the Mavericks (Mariners) 7 to 1 in their home finale. B-Mart allowed 5 hits, 4 walks, and 5 runs in just 2+ innings of work, and saw his California League ERA balloon to 7.24. Jordan Roberts was forced into 5 innings of long relief and he did a decent job by allowing just 2 runs and striking out 6, but the offense just wasn't able to make up the early deficit. Pedro Baez went 2 for 4 with a double while Austin Gallagher, Chris Jacobs, and Joc Pederson all also had a two-bagger each, but that accounting for all the Rancho hits in this game.
LoA – The Loons continue to end their season on a high note as their 8 - 6 victory over the Dragons (Reds) gave them their 7th win in their last 8 games. Great Lakes connected on a trio of homers in this game, starting with Jesse Bosnik who hit a 2-run shot and finished the game with 3 RBI's. O'Koyea Dickson jacked his 17th long ball of the season, while Nick Akins crushed his 8th. Other notable performances belonged to Darnell Sweeney, who went 2 for 4 with a double and 3 runs scored, and James Baldwin two doubled and stole his 50th base of the season. On the mound James Campbell started and allowed 2 runs over 4 frames, then Scott Griggs had trouble with his control again and gave up 2 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs. Matt Shelton also permitted a run to score but got the win while Craig Stem saved his 3rd game of the year.
Rookie Ogden – The Raptors put on another offensive show on Thursday and their 11 - 5 victory over the Chukars (Royals) gave them their 7th straight win. Several Ogden players had big games at the plate, none better than Noel Cuevas who went a perfect 5 for 5 with a double, 3 RBI's, and 2 runs scored. Justin Boudreaux had a double and a homer to go along with 4 RBI's, while Jeremy Rathjen and Tae-Hyeok Nam also went yard. On the mound starter Gregg Downing threw a season high 7 innings and picked up the win, allowing 8 hits and 4 runs in the process. Alan Garcia pitched a shutout 9th and recorded a pair of K's to finish off the game.
Rookie Arizona – The Arizona Dodgers will not repeat as the Arizona Rookie League champions as their playoff run lasted just one game thanks to a 7 - 3 defeat to the Rangers. The normally reliable Miguel Sulbaran picked the wrong time to have the worst outing of his rookie league career as he allowed 6 runs and 6 hits (including 2 homers) over 4.2 innings. The good news is that sleeper prospect Zachary Bird followed with 3.1 frames of no-hit ball, striking out 5 in the process. Despite the solid relief and some late scoring the Dodgers just weren't able to make up the ground to continue their season. Only one of the club's hits on Thursday went for extra bases and that was Justin Chigbogu's solo homer, while Jesmuel Valentin had the only multi-hit game.
DSL – Season over
Coming up – Duke von Schamann will most likely make his AA debut for the Lookouts, while Stephen Fife will try and halt the Isotopes losing streak. Jon Michael Redding is the only other scheduled starter, and he'll do his best to keep the Quakes post-season hopes alive.
Minor League Transactions – AAA: Josh Wall was optioned back to Albuquerque. AA: Tyler Henson was assigned to the Lookouts from the Isotopes, and Andres Santiago was placed on the inactive list. LoA: Victor Araujo was promoted to the Loons from the Arizona Dodgers
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)