Minor League Player of the Day – Lindsey Caughel - 6 IP, 0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Walks, 6 K's. A 23rd round pick in the 2012 draft, Lindsey Caughel got my attention with a solid professional debut. His 2012 performance earned him a spot in the Loons rotation and he is showing no signs of letting up after an outstanding 2013 debut.
AAA – The Isotopes pounded out 15 hits on Friday as they downed the Iowa Cubs 10 - 6 to remain perfect on the young season. Six different Albuquerque players had two hits in the afternoon game, with center fielder Matt Angle leading with way with a pair of doubles that resulted in two RBI's. Tony Gwynn and Elian Herrera both had a double and a single and drove in two each, while Alex Castellanos continued to terrorize the Pacific Coast League with a two run homer. Other notable offensive performances include Dee Gordon going 2 for 5 with a double and a stolen base, and Matt Wallach collecting a single and a double in his AAA debut. Starter Matt Magill had a rough start to his season as he allowed 5 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs over just 4 frames, striking out two in the process. Steven Ames was the lucky pitcher to be on the mound prior the the Topes scoring 6 runs in the 5th, so he picked up the win in his first AAA game. Peter Moylan got roughed up in his two innings of work, but Shawn Tolleson closed the door with a couple of hitless frames to record the save.
AA – Yasiel Puig had a pair of singles in his AA debut, but that wasn't enough as the Lookouts fell to the Huntsville Stars (Brewers) 7 to 5. Chattanooga got off to an early 4 - 0 lead thanks to a couple of unearned runs in the 1st and a 2-RBI double by Blake Smith in the 3rd, but 5 defensive errors eventually led to their demise. 1st baseman Chris Jacobs made three of those miscues, and each led to an unearned run. Lookout starter Zach Lee was the biggest loser in this story as he threw 4 solid innings, but left the game after reaching his pitch count despite allowing just 4 hits and 1 earned run. Lee struck out 5 over 4 frames and also gave up a pair of unearned runs. Ryan Acosta struggled in relief as he permitted 5 hits and 3 runs in his inning of relief, while Kelvin De La Cruz and Gregory Infante pitched well out of the bullpen as neither allowed an earned run in their 4 frames of combined work.
HiA – For the second straight day the Quakes had a rehabbing big league pitcher take the mound for them, but this time the offense couldn't make up for a poor starting performance as Rancho lost to the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres) 6 to 2. Ted Lilly lasted 6 innings for the home team in his rehab appearance, and is apparently big league ready as he allowed 9 hits (including 3 homers) and 5 runs over 6 frames. The Storm actually put up a picket fence against Lilly as they scored a single run in each frame from the 2nd through 6th innings. Once Ted left the mound a trio of relievers held Lake Elsionor in check, including a perfect inning from Pedro Baez who officially made his minor league pitching debut on Friday and hurled a perfect frame outside of his own fielding error. At the plate Rancho had just 3 hits in this game, with Angelo Songco's two RBI double being the only extra base knock. Darnell Sweeney and Noel Cuevas had the other two hits in the game for Rancho.
LoA – Despite connecting on just two hits Friday the Loons looked like they were going to get a win, but a six run outburst by the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) in the 9th tore out the hearts of the home crowd as Great Lakes ended up losing 6 - 2. Loons starter Lindsey Caughel deserves none of the blame as he blanked the TinCaps for 6 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out 6. Reliever Luis Meza was also very good as he followed with a pair of shutout frames, but in the 9th Daniel Carela ran into a bunch of trouble and permitted 4 runs to score. With a defeat already imminent Great Lakes turned to Sawil Gonzalez to get out of the inning, but he permitted two more runs to score which really put the game out of reach. The Loons were lucky to even be in the game as they managed just two singles, but to their credit they took advantage of wild pitches and fielding errors to keep the game close. DH Tyler Ogle had one of the base knocks and recorded a RBI, while Corey Seager was held hitless but did walk twice.
Coming up – Chris Reed will highlight the pitching matchups on Saturday as he takes the mound for the Lookouts. Given that Garrett Gould didn't end up pitching on Friday in relief of Lilly I'm guessing that he'll be the starting pitcher for the Quakes, while Blake Johnson will toe the rubber for the Isotopes. The most interesting starter of the day is Jharel Cotton for the Loons as I expected him to be in the Great Lakes bullpen, but apparently he will be in the rotation to start the season.