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Lookouts & Raptors clinch playoff spots, Loons move closer, Quakes eliminated

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The Lookouts clinched a playoff birth after sweeping their double-header and the Raptors too will see the post-season, but the Loons need help in order to continue playing after Monday

Corey Seager helped the Lookouts clinch a playoff birth on Sunday
Corey Seager helped the Lookouts clinch a playoff birth on Sunday

Minor League Player of the DayTheo Alexander (Ogden) - 4 for 5, 2 2B's, 4 RBI's.  The 2012 7th round pick has been extremely quiet in 2014, but on Sunday he put together a very big game to help lead his team to victory.  The 20 year old hasn't really shown promise since signing with the Dodgers as he has a career .235 average and strikes out way too much, but hopefully he's still young enough to turn things around.

AAA – The Isotopes, who were down 8 to 0 at one point, rallied all the way back for a 12 - 11 win over the 51's (Mets) on Sunday.  Starter Matt Magill got lit up in the first two innings as he allowed 5 runs, then Bruce Billings got touched up for 3 more scores.  From that point on it was a back and forth contest, and eventually Red Patterson picked up the win by tossing a couple of scoreless frames in extras.  At the dish, the Albuquerque rally started in the 6th inning when the offense parlayed 4 singles and 3 doubles into 6 runs.  Walter Ibarra sent the game into extra innings with a pinch hit RBI single in the bottom of the 9th, then in the bottom of the 11th is was a sacrifice fly by Roger Bernadina that gave the Topes the walk-off victory.  Despite the 12 runs scored nobody had more than 2 RBI's in this game, although Alex Guerrero and Griff Erickson both homered and drove in a pair.  Mike Baxter only had one RBI on the night, but he had a team high 4 hits including a couple of doubles.

AA (double-header) – The Lookouts clinched a playoff birth by sweeping the Smokies (Cubs) in Sunday's double-header.  Chattanooga shutout Tennessee in the opener 9 - 0 thanks to a masterful performance from starter Steve Smith and some timely offense.  Smith tossed 7 scoreless innings and allowed just 4 hits while lowering his ERA to 2.76.  While he's bounced around between AAA and AA this season and overall didn't have a great year, he could be a key contributor for the Lookouts during the playoffs.  At the dish Corey Seager connected on his 2nd homer since joining the Southern League and drove in 4 runs.  Darnell Sweeney plated a couple of runs while Chris O'Brien and Jeremy Hazelbaker had two hits and a RBI each.

In the nightcap the Lookouts got another strong pitching performance to defeat the Smokies 3 to 2.  Starter Matt Shelton struck out 8 and allowed just 2 runs over 5 innings, then his bullpen recorded the final 6 outs to record the win (Jhan Martinez) and the save (Daniel Coulombe) after the Chattanooga offense came alive.  Scott Schelber got the offense going in the 3rd with his league leading 28th homer of the season, then in the 6th it was Chris O'Brien's pinch hit RBI triple that clinched the win and the playoff spot for Chattanooga.

HiA – The Quakes were eliminated in their hunt for the playoffs on Sunday after falling to the Storm (Padres) 6 to 3.  Things got off to a rocky start after the rehabbing Onelki Garcia allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning.  Luis Chirinos followed with 4.1 innings of 1 hit ball, although he did walk a pair and in total gave up 2 more runs.  Rancho didn't do much at the plate outside of a double from Erisbel Arruebarrena and James Baldwin's 14th homer of the season.

LoA – The Loons defeated the Whitecaps (Tigers) 4 to 3 on Sunday, but they still need help to clinch a spot in the playoffs.  With just one game left in the regular season Great Lakes is still a half game behind Fort Wayne, so they need to win on Monday coupled with a TinCap loss to make it into the post season.  In terms of this game, the offense accumulated 14 hits in this one as 7 of the 9 batters in the lineup connected on more than one base knock.  Joey Curletta and Webster Rivas both had two hits including a double, while Devan Ahart and Paul Hoenecke both drove in a run.  On the mound starter John Richy fell just short of the required 5 innings to pick up the win, but he still had a solid game as he allowed just 2 runs over 4.2 frames.  Kyle Hooper threw 1.1 shutout innings in relief while Jacob Rhame started a new scoreless streak with 2 perfect frames.

Rookie Ogden – The Raptors used a big 14 to 4 win over the Chukars (Royals) to clinch a spot in the Pioneer League playoffs. Player of the day Theo Alexander had his best game of the season as he went 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and drove in a team high 4 runs.  Jimmy Allen wasn't too far behind as he had 4 hits and 2 doubles of his own, although he only knocked in one.  Alex Verdugo, who literally came straight from Arizona after his team's playoff loss, was incredible in his Pionner League debut as he went 3 for 5 with a two-bagger and 3 RBI's.  Finally Julian Leon continued his amazing season with 2 more his and 3 more runs batted in.  On the mound starter Brock Steward picked up the win after allowing 4 hits and 2 earned runs over 5 frames.  Billy Flamion followed with 2 scoreless innings to keep the game in check.

Rookie Arizona – season over

DSL – season over

Coming up – Monday is the final day of the regular season for everyone except for the Raptors who will send Grant Holmes to the mound.  Scott Barlow starts the early game as he takes the mound at 10 am PT for the Loons, while the Lookouts have yet to announce their pitcher for their 11:15 game.  Zach Lee will toe the rubber for the final time in 2014 for the Isotopes, and Tom Windle will throw in the Quake season finale.

Minor League Transactions – AAA: Miguel Rojas and Carlos Frias were optioned to Albuquerque while Justin Germano was placed on the DL.  Also, Josh Ravin was activated from the disabled list.  HiA: Onelki Garcia joined the Quakes on a rehab assignment.  Ogden: With the season being over in Arizona, Alex Verdugo, Jairo Pacheco, and Derrick Sylvester are all joining the Raptors.  Jose Dominguez will also join Ogden on a rehab assignment, while Joseph Meggs and Francisco Martinez were removed from the roster.

Albuquerque Isotopes Box Score (AAA)

Chattanooga Lookouts Box Score - Game 1 (AA)

Chattanooga Lookouts Box Score - Game 2 (AA)

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Box Score (HiA)

Great Lakes Loons Box Score (LoA)

Ogden Raptors Box Score (Rookie)

Minor League Central - Daily Dodger Recap