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Link Report for Sat. 5/3 -- Only Nashville Saves the Day (Again)

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Saturday's Daily Menu:

All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Richie Gardner at home vs. Salt Lake (Angels), 5:45 PM pre-game; 6:00 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Brae Wright at Montgomery (Rays), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime


Audio link via WUMP (game will also archive at this link):



Brevard County: TBD at Clearwater (Phillies), 5:30 PM gametime


Sorry, no audio for this series...


West Virginia: LHP Dan Merklinger at Delmarva (Orioles), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


Audio link via WSWW, be sure to select the proper date (games will also archive at this link):


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Follow Saturday's action as it happens:
Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Open the Nashville Gameday. For the others, choose "Log" or "Recap". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.





Brevard County:


West Virginia:


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 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Omaha 14 12 .538 - 9-5 5-7 L3 Iowa 12 15 .444 2.5 6-8 6-7 W1 Memphis 11 17 .393 4.0 3-9 8-8 L3 Nashville 8 19 .296 6.5 5-7 3-12 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 19 9 .679 - 13-2 6-7 L1 West Tenn 19 10 .655 0.5 8-2 11-8 W3 Carolina 17 12 .586 2.5 9-5 8-7 L3 Chattanooga 16 12 .571 3.0 10-5 6-7 L2 Tennessee 11 17 .393 8.0 6-9 5-8 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 18 10 .643 - 11-3 7-7 L2 Brevard County 16 12 .571 2.0 9-5 7-7 L2 Jupiter 16 12 .571 2.0 11-3 5-9 W2 Daytona 14 14 .500 4.0 6-8 8-6 L5 Vero Beach 13 15 .464 5.0 9-5 4-10 W2 St. Lucie 7 21 .250 11.0 4-10 3-11 W3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 16 10 .615 - 6-5 10-5 L2 Greensboro 14 12 .538 2.0 5-8 9-4 W2 Delmarva 15 13 .536 2.0 9-7 6-6 W1 Hickory 15 14 .517 2.5 6-5 9-9 L1 Hagerstown 13 14 .481 3.5 5-7 8-7 W1 Lakewood 13 15 .464 4.0 7-9 6-6 L2 West Virginia 11 17 .393 6.0 5-9 6-8 L1 Lexington 9 19 .321 8.0 3-11 6-8 L1 

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Final: Nashville 10, Salt Lake (Angels) 2

Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for new photo of Brendan Katin (solid), text follows --


Sounds Stay Hot, Sting Bees 10-2

NASHVILLE - The Nashville Sounds continued their hot play on Saturday evening, routing PCL frontrunner Salt Lake, 10-2, in front of a standing room only crowd of 10,168 fans at Greer Stadium.


The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Sounds (9-19).


Right fielder Brendan Katin went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and designated hitter Russell Branyan homered as part of a 3-for-4 evening to pace the Nashville offense. Every Sounds batter recorded at least one hit in the contest.


Prior to arriving in Music City, Salt Lake (24-4) had lost twice in their first 26 games. They are winless in two games at Greer Stadium this weekend.


Nashville starter Richie Gardner (1-1) picked up his first win of the year after he worked a season-high five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while tossing 90 pitches (52 strikes). He walked two batters and struck out three.


Relievers Erasmo Ramirez, Ben Howard, and Jason Shiell closed out the contest with four shutout innings behind Gardner. The Nashville bullpen has allowed only one run in its last 19 2/3 innings of work over six games (0.46 ERA).


The Sounds jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the third inning. Ozzie Chavez, Hernan Iribarren, and Abraham Nunez opened the frame with three consecutive singles off Salt Lake starter Shane Loux, the last of which plated Chavez with the game's first run. Iribarren scored from third a batter later on a Laynce Nix double play groundout to push the lead to two.


Bees first baseman Matthew Brown halved the lead in the top of the fourth with a leadoff home run down the left field line off Gardner, the infielder's team-leading seventh roundtripper of the year.


Nashville got the run back in the bottom of the frame when Katin plated Vinny Rottino with a two-out RBI double.


Salt Lake pulled within a run at 3-2 in the fourth with an unearned run stemming from a Gardner fielding error on a bunt attempt.


The Sounds gave themselves some breathing room in the sixth, chasing Loux with a five-run inning that increased the lead to 8-2.


Branyan belted a two-run, opposite-field homer to left, his fifth longball of the year, to score Brad Nelson who had led off with a double. Vinny Rottino and Adam Heether followed with singles before Katin continued his solid night with a two-run triple to the wall in right-center, his team-leading third three-bagger of the year. Iribarren finished the rally with an RBI bloop single to left.


Nashville added two more runs in the seventh in unearned fashion against Bees reliever Matt Wilhite. Nelson reached on a dropped infield popup and scored on Rottino's RBI double off the center field wall. Katin plated his fourth run of the night when he lofted a sacrifice fly to left later in the frame to bring the score to its final 10-2 count.


AUDIO: Vinny Rottino RBI Double


Loux (4-2) absorbed the loss for the Bees after he was tagged for eight runs on 10 hits over his five-plus frames of action.


The teams continue the series with a 2 p.m. meeting on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Mark DiFelice (2-0, 3.00) will toe the rubber for the Sounds to face Salt Lake right-hander Kasey Olenberger (1-1, 5.79).


Nashville Box Score

26-year-old Richie Gardner is on the 40-man roster, and his spot seems secure through the season, given that Manny Parra could be placed on the 60-day DL if need be, "sob"; Russell Branyan with an OPS of 1.071 -- wouldn't he have looked interesting as a bases-loaded pinch-hitter in the critical 6th last night, rather than Tony Gwynn?


Nashville Game Log

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Sounds win second straight over Bees


Tennessean Staff Writer


If the Sounds are awed by Salt Lake's best start in minor-league baseball, they haven't let on yet.


Russell Branyan's two-run homer sparked a five-run sixth inning and Nashville treated a sellout crowd of 10,168 to a 10-2 romp of the Bees on Saturday night at Greer Stadium.


Salt Lake rolled into town with a 24-2 record on Friday, but consecutive losses to the Sounds have doubled the Bees' loss total.


By contrast, the suddenly hot-swinging Sounds have won four of five games for the first time all season.


"I don't want to jinx us," said the Sounds' Brendan Katin, whose two-run triple capped five consecutive hits to start the sixth, chasing Salt Lake starter Shane Loux (4-2).


"It seems like we're having a little more fun out there. Maybe we just didn't expect to play this well against them. They were hot, but we're just taking advantage of mistakes."


Every starter hit safely for the Sounds, who pounded out 14 hits - six for extra bases - to help starter Richie Gardner (1-1) earn his first win in four starts.


Gardner threw a season-high 90 pitches in five innings, allowing two runs while scattering five hits. He exited leading 3-2 and was able to rest easy after the sixth when the Sounds' lineup took advantage of a tiring Loux.


Brad Nelson's leadoff double was followed by Branyan's fifth homer of the season. Vinny Rottino and Adam Heether singled to bring up Katin, who laced the first pitch he saw up the right-center field alley to make it 7-2.


Katin scored on Hernan Iribarren's bloop single.


"We swung the bats well, pitched out of some jams and played good defense," Sounds Manager Frank Kremblas said. "I think (Loux) got a little bit tired, got some pitches up and we hit them hard."


Rottino's RBI-double highlighted a two-run seventh inning, helping the Sounds score 10 or more runs for the fifth time this year.


Nashville has two games left with Salt Lake to wrap up an eight-game homestand.


What they said: "We're getting better pitching. That's what the whole thing comes down to. You're always going to have days where you hit and days you don't, but pitching and defense keeps you in the game." - Kremblas




Salt Lake pitcher Matt Wilhite, who played college ball at Western Kentucky, made his first appearance at Greer Stadium in two years in the Sounds' 10-2 win Saturday.

Wilhite, a native of Franklin, Ky., located 45 miles from Nashville, entered in the sixth inning to clean up for starter Shane Loux after the Sounds had opened a 7-2 lead and had a runner on third with no outs.

Wilhite worked two innings and allowed two runs, none earned. Although Wilhite has struggled with a 7.07 ERA this season, he has 11 strikeouts in his last eight innings pitched.

Stands full: Postgame fireworks and ideal weather brought out an announced crowd of 10,168 - the Sounds' largest home crowd and first sellout of the season. The previous attendance high was 9,840 versus Colorado Springs on April 30.

Steady bats: Brad Nelson's double in the sixth inning gave the Sounds' first baseman a hit in 20 of the 24 games he has played.

Catcher Vinny Rottino continued his recent tear with two hits and has hit safely in 12 of his past 14 games.

Triple time: Brendan Katin legged out his third triple of the season during a five-run sixth, giving him half of the team's six triples in 2008.

Photo by Larry MacCormack of the Tennessean

Nashville's Vinny Rottino somehow slides safely past Gary Patchett after getting caught in a rundown.



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Final: Montgomery (Rays) 6, Huntsville 1


Huntsville Site Game Summary:


De Los Santos Deals in Front of Big Home Crowd

By Brett Pollock / Huntsville Stars


Richard De Los Santos spun 7 1/3 impressive, shutout innings in pitching Montgomery to a 6-1 win over Huntsville in the fourth of a five-game set in front of a Saturday night crowd of 7,129 at Riverwalk Stadium. The Biscuits improved to 11-18 on the season by winning back-to-back games for only a third time, while the Stars slipped to 19-10 and fell a half game behind new North Division leaders West Tenn.


De Los Santos retired the first 11 batters he faced before Mat Gamel singled and Matt LaPorta walked. The converted reliever worked out of trouble by retiring Chris Errecart on a come-backer to end the inning. Cole Gillespie singled to lead off the fifth before De Los Santos set down the next eight hitters before Gillespie ended the run with a double to right field. Freddy Parejo singled with one out in the eighth before De Los Santos exited to a well deserved round of applause from the biggest crowd the Stars have played in front of this season. Roger Deago took over and induced Michael Brantley to ground into an inning-ending double play.


The Stars only run of the night came in the ninth when Alcides Escobar struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch, moved to second on a Gamel single, advanced on another wild pitch and scored on an infield hit by Gillespie, his third of the game. Escobar and Gamel in the ninth were the only Stars' runners to advance past second base.


Pat Cottrell got the scoring started with a three-run home run in the second inning, his third of the season and the first allowed by Stars' starter Brae Wright. The Biscuits added a run in third when Ronnie Merrill scored on a Chris Nowak double play grounder. John Jaso's double in the fifth chased home Rashad Eldridge to give the home side a 5-0 lead.


Wright was charged with five runs, four earned, on eight hits over seven frames and suffered his third loss in as many starts on the road. E.J. Shanks allowed a run-scoring double in the eighth to Sergio Pedroza, who has collected a two-base hit in each game of the series.


The series wraps up Sunday afternoon with southpaw Sam Narron taking the hill for Huntsville and he'll be opposed by Biscuits' southpaw Mike Wlodarczyk. Coverage of the game begins at 1:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com and www.730ump.com.


Huntsville Box Score

Brae Wright's season-to-date peripherals are not strong, but nice to see a seven-inning outing, his second thus far in his first taste of AA; Alcides Escobar with six errors now, brilliant defensive play will still lead to miscues...


Huntsville Game Log

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BISCUITS BASEBALL: De Los Santos shuts down Huntsville

By A. Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser


Richard De Los Santos leaned heavily on his third-best pitch Saturday and turned in the best start of the season for the Montgomery Biscuits.


De Los Santos used his slider liberally and threw 7 1/3 shutout innings in the Biscuits' 6-1 win over the Huntsville Stars.


"It's my third pitch, but today it was my first," De Los Santos said. "Being able to throw it was a key."


De Los Santos (3-2) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out six against the Southern League's top hitting team.


The Stars entered Saturday with a .289 team average. Huntsville clubbed 21 extra-base hits in the first three games of the series at Riverwalk Stadium.


"Unbelievable," infielder Patrick Cottrell said. "We've been getting behind hitters and had to throw fastballs, and they're a fastball-hitting team.

"De Los Santos got ahead and, once he did, he could do whatever he wanted."


De Los Santos retired the first 11 hitters he faced and didn't allow a runner to reach third. The right-hander, who moved into Montgomery's rotation this season, had allowed four runs in each of his last two starts.


De Los Santos threw 70 of his 103 pitches for strikes.


"For the most part, he was in control from the first pitch until his last one," Biscuits manager Billy Gardner said. "He stepped up big-time."


Cottrell hit a three-run home run in the second inning for Montgomery's first score and the Biscuits led 5-0 when De Los Santos departed.


Gabriel Martinez and Erold Andrus started the inning with singles before Andrus was erased on a Sergio Pedroza grounder. Cottrell hit the first pitch he saw from Brae Wright (1-3) over the wall in left-center.


"I was looking for a pitch up and not necessarily a particular pitch," said Cottrell, who has three homers this year. "He happened to hang a slider."


Montgomery scored in the third when Ronnie Merrill singled and came home on a double play. In the fifth, center fielder Rashad Eldridge scored from first on catcher John Jaso's two-out double.


It was plenty enough for De Los Santos, who left after Huntsville's fourth hit. Right fielder Freddy Parejo reached on a grounder that rolled into the third-base bag.


"That's the kind of team that I want to pitch against," De Los Santos said. "They've been crushing us, so if you do well against them, you've done something."


BISCUIT CRUMBS: Houser faces suspension after hitting LaPorta


Biscuits pitcher James Houser could be suspended three games for hitting Stars slugger Matt LaPorta on Friday.


Southern League president Don Mincher is scheduled to receive umpire Nick Nolde's report Monday and, if he agrees with Nolde that Houser intentionally threw at LaPorta, will suspend Houser.


Houser said he didn't intentionally throw at LaPorta. LaPorta and Biscuits manager Billy Gardner said they didn't think Houser intentionally threw at LaPorta, either.


Nolde ejected Houser after the first pitch of the second inning hit LaPorta in the left arm.


LaPorta, the league leader in home runs and RBIs, had two homers and eight RBIs in the first two games of the series.


"For him especially, you don't want to make a mistake over the plate, because he'll hurt you," Houser said. "When the catcher calls for a fastball in, I wanted to make sure it was in and not middle."


Gardner said he spoke with Mincher on Saturday to give his side of the story.


Part of that includes that Houser and LaPorta are former summer teammates and high school rivals who are friends. The two even ate dinner together Thursday night at Shogun's steakhouse.


"I just think he was trying to come inside and it happened," LaPorta said. "The umpires did what they felt they had to do. That's up to the umpires."


LaPorta has been hit by a pitch four times this year and Chris Errecart, who regularly bats after LaPorta, has been hit five times. Errecart was hit Thursday just after a LaPorta home run.


"I know he's been swinging the bat well lately and the umpires took care of the situation," Stars manager Don Money said. "Some guys don't get hit five times all year."


Nolde didn't issue any warnings before ejecting Houser, but he's not required to if he feels such a pitch was intentional.


The Biscuits expect Mincher to rule Monday. Houser's next scheduled start is Wednesday.


"He has the right to side with the umpires and I would think he probably would," Gardner said. "Once he reads the report, I'm sure he'll hand down his decision."




7 1/3: Shutout innings thrown by Biscuits starter Richard De Los Santos on Saturday in Montgomery's 6-1 win over Huntsville. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out six, all swinging.


11: Hitters in a row retired by De Los Santos to start the game. Mat Gamel singled off the left-field wall to break De Los Santos' streak.


.289: Huntsville's league-leading team batting average entering Saturday's game.



Saturday: 7,128

Season total (13 dates): 67,446 (5,188 average)

2007 (13 dates): 59,466 (4,574 average)


The Stars make their final scheduled Riverwalk Stadium appearance of the season this afternoon.


Montgomery left-hander Mike Wlodarczyk (0-3, 9.15 ERA) will face Huntsville lefty Sam Narron (4-1, 2.90).


Narron has gone at least six innings in four of his five starts, including a complete-game two-hitter against Mississippi on April 23. Narron has held hitters to a .223 average.


Wlodarczyk worked a season-high 5 2/3 innings in his last start. Hitters have a .404 average against him this season.

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Final: Clearwater (Phillies) 6, Brevard County 3

Brevard County Box Score

Zach Braddock's introduction to high-A was hardly dominant, but neither a disaster -- 3 IP in relief, 3 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's; Mike Jones a shaky two-inning start; Taylor Green 3-for-4 including a double -- his OBP of .412 outpaces his slugging (.400, seven doubles, 26 singles); Kenny Holmberg (2-for-4) sees his first action since April 26th, after injuring his hand; Darren Ford with his first home run, leading off the game; Matt Cline tripled and walked...


Brevard County Game Log

Nearly 5,000 on hand in Clearwater for fireworks...

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Final: Delmarva (Orioles) 7, West Virginia 3


West Virginia Site Game Summary:



The Delmarva Shorebirds scored all seven of their runs with two outs on Saturday Night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium to defeat the West Virginia Power 7-3 in the first game of the series.


Delmarva's first two-out hit was a three-run homer from Joe Mahoney in the bottom of the first inning. In the fourth, Joe Nowicki drove in Mahoney with an RBI single. The Shorebirds scored twice with two outs in the fifth on Matt Tucker's solo home run and Anthony Martinez's run-scoring single.


In the sixth, Ryan Adams singled in Nowicki for Delmarva's final run of the game. The Power plated three runs in the final two innings but it was too little and too late. Zelous Wheeler singled in David Fonseca in the eighth inning and Kurt Crowell hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth, his second of the year.


Zach Britton (2-2) tossed seven scoreless innings of three hit ball and struck out three to get the win, just six days after the Power tagged him with his second loss of the season. Dan Merklinger (0-1) gave up three runs on two hits over two innings and got the loss.


The Power fell to 11-18 with the loss and the Shorebirds improved to 16-13 with the win. David Fonseca and Steffan Wilson paced the Power with two hits a piece and were two of five Power players to reach safely multiple times in the contest.


The Power will continue the series with Delmarva Sunday afternoon. Right-Hander R.J. Seidel (1-2, 4.43) will get the start for the Power and the Shorebirds will counter with right hander Luis Noel (1-0, 3.28). The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM (1:05 Central).


West Virginia Box Score

Lee Haydel and Brent Brewer 0-for-10 at the top of the order -- that'll make for a long night; Jonathan Lucroy (OBP .376) and Scott Houin on base three times apiece; Nick Tyson has only walked three in 21 IP, but found much too much of the plate in his outing here; Power grounded into three double plays yet still stranded ten -- frustrating...


West Virginia Game Log

Nearly 9,000 in Salisbury, Maryland for this one -- folks lovin' minor league baseball...

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Through the first month of the season I find the relative lack of production of the young pitchers in WV particularily disturbing... I had such high hopes that a couple of those kids would have evolved into super prospects by now. It's not that they've pitched poorly every time out... I just didn't expect them to be so inconsistent. Some of those kids have pretty filthy stuff to be giving up as many runs as they are.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Branyan's home run was an absolute bomb. It was nice to see the Sounds swing the bats well. I'm starting to think this team can actually rebound somewhat from their poor start. Their offense has been much better with "The Hurricane" back for the past few weeks or so.


It'd be really interesting to see LaPorta called up to AAA sometime this summer. Branyan, Nelson, and LaPorta would provide quite a bit of power.

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