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Link Report for Tue. 6/10 -- Final Update Includes Insight on Merklinger

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Tuesday's Daily Menu: We're heading to Ned Flanders' Leftorium tonight...

All times Central; pitchers subject to change --

Nashville: LHP Lindsay Gulin at Oklahoma (Rangers), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime

Audio link:

Huntsville: Idle

Brevard County: LHP Zach Braddock at Lakeland (Tigers), 6:00 PM gametime

Sorry, no audio for this series...

West Virginia: LHP Dan Merklinger at home vs. Kannapolis (White Sox), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime

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

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Follow Tuesday'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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa 36 27 .571 - 19-11 17-16 W6 Memphis 32 33 .492 5.0 13-16 19-17 L1 Omaha 29 33 .468 6.5 15-19 14-14 L5 Nashville 27 36 .429 9.0 15-16 12-20 L2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 39 26 .600 - 22-13 17-13 W1 West Tenn 38 27 .585 1.0 21-9 17-18 L1 Carolina 35 29 .547 3.5 17-12 18-17 L1 Chattanooga 35 30 .538 4.0 20-15 15-15 W4 Tennessee 26 39 .400 13.0 13-22 13-17 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 40 24 .625 - 25-9 15-15 W1 Brevard County 33 31 .516 7.0 21-14 12-17 W2 Vero Beach 32 32 .500 8.0 20-12 12-20 L1 Jupiter 31 32 .492 8.5 18-12 13-20 W3 Daytona 31 33 .484 9.0 15-17 16-16 W1 St. Lucie 17 47 .266 23.0 8-24 9-23 W2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 37 25 .597 - 15-15 22-10 W1 Delmarva 34 27 .557 2.5 20-11 14-16 W1 Lakewood 35 28 .556 2.5 19-15 16-13 L2 Greensboro 35 29 .547 3.0 15-18 20-11 W2 Hagerstown 30 32 .484 7.0 14-19 16-13 W1 Hickory 28 36 .438 10.0 12-17 16-19 L5 West Virginia 27 36 .429 10.5 8-19 19-17 L2 Lexington 20 43 .317 17.5 10-24 10-19 L1 

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If Braddock can cut down his walks he is going to be something special. 10 K's in 5 innings. Bryson also having a solid night 5 K's and no runs in 3.1 innings so far. Is it me or is he better in the long relief role than the starter role? Does not seem to be a real reason for it because he pitches numerous innings when he comes in in relief
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Well, in the low minors, it's not really long relief; he comes in as a reliever and pitches multiple innings, yes, but he's really just the second starter. Bryson's future might definitely be in the bullpen, though.
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Outside of a few bright spots, the Power have really been struggling this year. Yes, they won tonight, but the game certainly got scary late. A win is a win, but the team is full of prospects that for the most part have not stepped up yet this year. I know it's still early, but Jonathan Lucroy is definitely putting up overall numbers worthy of a bump up, especially since he was drafted out of college and probably could handle the bump better than most, but I'm somewhat curious if the Brewers are keeping him in WV to somewhat keep the team together. We've read the stories and read his blogs and know that he is a very strong individual with natural leadership qualities, and you almost have to wonder where this team would be without him.


And this is new for WV, at least given their seasons the past couple of years, as Charleston has been more of a launching pad for some of the team's most brightest prospects that are now at A+ and up. It will be interesting to see if the team aggressively promotes any of their recent draftees (and recently signed draftees at that) to WV since there is still some intriguing talent to look forward to at Helena, and for the most part the team has not promoted their recently drafted players past Helena, especially not in June or July.


As for Braddock, I'm not too concerned about his command. Prior to his promotion, that was his strongest attribute, and I'm sure he'll iron out his control before too long.


Taylor Green, as others have noted recently, is quietly having a monster season for the FSL.

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Agreed on Green. He's 4th in the league in OPS and the top five or six other guys are all a couple years older for the most part. Taylors numbers compare very favorably to what Gamel did there last year (850 OPS) at the same age. Be kinda cool if he blossomed in the same manor at AA.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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I know it's still early, but Jonathan Lucroy is definitely putting up overall numbers worthy of a bump up, especially since he was drafted out of college and probably could handle the bump better than most, but I'm somewhat curious if the Brewers are keeping him in WV to somewhat keep the team together. We've read the stories and read his blogs and know that he is a very strong individual with natural leadership qualities, and you almost have to wonder where this team would be without him.
Not disagreeing with you, Colbyjack....

But doesn't that go against the general philosophy of minor league baseball?!?! For an organization to keep their talent at a certain level for the benefit of that team is wrong and unfair. Farm systems have always been and should continue to be about the individual cultivation and improvement of the players as they move up from level to level. As backwards as it may sound for a game with a true "team concept," it's more about how the players themselves do on a nightly basis than how the teams do. If this is, in fact, the case with Jonathan Lucroy and others such as Chris Cody.....then I am disgusted with those in charge and am hoping they change their ways.

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I'm not saying I agree with the point I brought up Cmnder37, I just brought it up as a distinct possibility for the sake of conversation.


More than likely Lucroy is being kept at WV because the team wants to see him put in 400+ ABs at the low-A level.

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Their dealings with Lucroy may also have a lot to do with their catching depth. In other words, if Salome gets promoted to AAA soon, Lucroy may jump to AA with perhaps Fryer resuming his natural position in West Virginia.
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Yeah.....there are probably variables that we aren't told about when it comes to lack of moves. What's your take on Cody's situation? From what I've seen he tore it up at the "A" level for the Tigers and after finishing last season with Brevard, was seemingly only sent to WV as a rehabilitative measure from extended SP.
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Final: West Virginia 7, Kannapolis (White Sox) 6


West Virginia Site Game Summary:




The West Virginia Power scored three runs in the fourth inning and did the same in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's game against the Kannapolis Intimidators to take the second game of the series 7-6, setting up the rubber match on Wednesday night.


Zelous Wheeler extended his hitting streak to ten games with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first. Kannapolis used sacrifice flies from Sergio Morales and Mark Fleisher in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Caleb Gindl began the fourth inning with a walk and scored on Steffan Wilson's double. Eric Fryer brought Wilson home with a triple and scored later in the inning on Scott Houin's base-hit.


West Virginia added three big insurance runs in the eighth inning. Wheeler singled in another run and Curt Rindal drove in the last two with a double to right field. The Kannapolis Intimidators made things interesting in the top of the ninth with a four-run frame. Matt Inouye, Joe Persichina and Sergio Miranda hit three consecutive doubles to start the inning. Persichina and Miranda both brought in runs with their two-baggers before Morales's groundout plated Miranda. Jim Gallagher brought in the final run of the inning with an RBI single.


Rob Bryson (3-2) allowed just one base runner through his first three and a third innings of relief before allowing all four runs in the ninth, but still secured the victory and fanned five in the process. Mike Ramlow (7) relieved Bryson in the ninth inning to secure the save. Charlie Shirek (1-3) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs on six hits over three and a third. Dan Merklinger came an out away from getting the decision, allowing just two runs on four hits over four and two-thirds.


The Power improved to 28-36 with the win and the Intimidators fell to 28-37 with the loss. Seven Power players hit safely. Wheeler, Wilson and Jonathan Lucroy paced the Power with two hits apiece. Lucroy extended his hitting streak to eight games and has scored a run in eight straight as well. Wilson has driven in a run in each of his last five games. Caleb Gindl did not record any hits but he reached twice and has reached safely in every game this month.


The Power will finish the three game series with Kannapolis Wednesday night. Right hander Evan Anundsen (4-4, 4.15) will get the start for the Power and the Intimidators will counter with right hander Miguel Socolovich (0-2, 7.41). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).




Link while active, text follows:


Power hangs on for rare home win

By Tommy R. Atkinson

Charleston Gazette Staff writer


Yes, that was cheering you heard coming from Appalachian Power Park Tuesday night.


Eric Fryer drove in the go-ahead run and closer Mike Ramlow extinguished a late-inning rally as the West Virginia Power held on for a 7-6 victory over the Kannapolis (N.C.) Intimidators. A paid crowd of 4,374 attended the South Atlantic League matchup.


Fryer lined an 0-2 pitch into the right-field corner for a run-scoring triple to give the Power the lead for good at 3-2 in the fourth inning. West Virginia seemed as if it would cruise to only its ninth win at home this season, taking a 7-2 advantage into the ninth.


But nothing ever comes easy for the Power at home this season.


Kannapolis (28-37) pushed across four runs in the top of the ninth, closing its deficit to 7-6. Ramlow entered with runners on first and second base with none out and promptly induced the first two batters to ground out, although the latter pushed across a run.


After giving up an RBI single to the Intimidators' Jim Gallagher to narrow the Power's edge to 7-6, Ramlow forced Kannapolis' Mark Fleisher to hit a grounder to West Virginia third baseman Steffan Wilson, who flipped to second for the force out and the win.


Victories at home have been few and far between for the Power (28-36) this season. West Virginia entered Tuesday with an 8-19 home record, the fewest home wins in the 16-team Sally League. West Virginia has posted a respectable 19-17 mark on the road.


"It felt nice,'' said Fryer of giving the fans something to cheer about. "We pulled out the 'W'. [We] had a pretty nice crowd, they were loud and they were behind us. It's nice to get good fan support at home. That's what makes it nice playing at home [and] having the fans cheer for you.


"We've been playing real well on the road, [but] we just haven't really been able to put it together at home. We have a long home stand coming up and if we can just keep adding on to [Tuesday's game] then things will start turning our way.''


Power starting pitcher Dan Merklinger turned in one of his best performances despite not getting the win. Merklinger (0-5, 7.82 ERA), who needed one more out to qualify for the victory, allowed two runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings.


West Virginia reliever Rob Bryson (3-2) picked up the win, allowing four earned runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Bryson tossed shutout ball from the sixth through the eighth but ran into trouble in the ninth, allowing three consecutive doubles and a walk before Ramlow, who earned his seventh save, quelled the uprising.


Steffan Wilson went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Wilson's RBI double off the right-field wall in the fourth knotted the game at 2-all. Zelous Wheeler singled in a run and Curt Rindal doubled in two in the eighth to provide West Virginia with much-needed insurance and a 7-2 advantage.


"The last couple of weeks I think we've really turned the corner,'' Fryer said. "We're playing a lot better baseball all around, even games where we don't pull out [the win]. I think our bats are getting better [and] our pitching's getting better. Everything seems to be going in the right direction.''


POWER POINTS: Wheeler, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-out RBI single in the first. He also made a diving stop in the field in the second that prevented a run from scoring. ... Power catcher Jonathan Lucroy (2-for-3) extended his hitting streak to eight games. ... West Virginia designated hitter and leadoff man Lee Haydel saw his six-game hitting streak come to an end after an 0-for-4 performance. ... The Power didn't commit an error Tuesday after turning in a season-high five in Monday's 8-5 loss to the Intimidators. ...


Charleston Gazette Photo by Chip Ellis

Caleb Gindl slides home safely, beating the throw to Kannapolis catcher Matt Inouye.



West Virginia Box Score

West Virginia Game Log

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Andy "Bull" Barch and Jacob Messer of the Charleston Daily Mail discuss the Power on the "Bull on Baseball" pre-game show
Go to the WSWW audio archive of June 10th, then to the 26:00 minute mark...

West Virginia Pre-Game Audio Interview with Catcher Jonathan Lucroy (same link as above)
Go to the WSWW audio archive of June 10th, then to the 34:00 minute mark...

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Final: Oklahoma (Rangers) 4, Nashville 3


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Callix Crabbe photo, text follows --


RedHawks Steal 4-3 Win From Sounds

OKLAHOMA CITY - Joaquin Arias stole home to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Oklahoma RedHawks and hang a disappointing 4-3 defeat on the Nashville Sounds on Tuesday evening at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.


After Zach Jackson retired the first batter of the ninth, Arias and ex-Sound Nelson Cruz posted back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. With Chris Davis at the plate, Cruz broke for second and drew a throw before Arias sprinted home to barely elude a tag from Vinny Rottino and end the contest.


The Sounds had rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the final two innings, including tying the game in the top of the ninth on Callix Crabbe's two-out, two-run triple.


Nashville (27-37), which lost for the sixth time in six games against the RedHawks this season, fell to a season-low 10 games out of first.


The RedHawks took a 1-0 lead when Davis led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to right off Lindsay Gulin, the first baseman's third longball of the year. Left fielder John Mayberry doubled the home team's advantage to 2-0 in the fifth with a leadoff solo homer to left off Gulin, his sixth big fly of the season.


Oklahoma tacked on its third run in the seventh against Jackson. Davis drew a two-out walk and scored when Mayberry followed with an RBI double to left.


After being held to four hits through seven scoreless frames by three Oklahoma hurlers, Nashville finally got on the board in the eighth when newly-added outfielder Lorenzo Cain recorded his first career Triple-A RBI, driving in Crabbe from third on a fielder's choice groundout against Kazuo Fukumori.


With the Sounds down to their last out, Crabbe knotted the contest at 3-3 in the top of the ninth with a two-out, two-run triple off RedHawks reliever Wes Littleton, plating Brendan Katin and Chris Woodward. The three-bagger was Crabbe's third in 21 PCL games, tying him for the team lead.


AUDIO: Crabbe Game-Tying Triple In 9th


After intentionally walking Tony Gwynn and allowing a steal of second, Littleton struck out Cain to avoid further damage and strand a pair of Sounds runners in scoring position.


Littleton (3-1) backed into the win for Oklahoma after suffering his first blown save of the year but benefitting from the bottom of the ninth rally.


Jackson (1-5) was saddled with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits over three innings of work.


Rottino (2-for-4) singled in the top of the second inning to extend Nashville's longest hitting streak of the season to 19 games.


The teams continue the series with an 11:05 a.m. meeting on Wednesday morning. Right-hander Jeff Weaver (2-3, 5.51) will man the bump for Nashville to face Oklahoma left-hander Matt Hairston (0-0, 6.75).


Nashville Box Score

Lindsay Gulin walked six; Zach Jackson pitched well until the tough-luck 9th; Lorenzo Cain 0-for-5 in his AAA debut with the RBI groundout; Vinny Rottino's hit streak should begin to garner some national attention -- he's up to .270 now...


Nashville Game Log

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Final: Brevard County 9, Lakeland (Tigers) 5


By Steve Conley / Special to MLB.com

Zach Braddock has gone more than five innings only once in eight starts this season. But that hasn't kept him from piling up strikeouts at a rapid pace.

Braddock fanned 10, allowing a run on two hits over five frames as the Brevard County Manatees topped the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 9-5, on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Braddock (3-3) worked around a pair of singles in the opening frame by striking out the side swinging. After struggling with control problems in the second that led to three walks and a hit batsman (Louis Ott) to forced in a run, Braddock struck out Cale Iorg swinging to escape further damage.

The 20-year-old left-hander retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced, striking out two in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Six of the 10 strikeouts were on swings, leaving four batters caught looking at strike three.

It was the third double-digit strikeout performance that gave Braddock his second win in three starts. He began the season by fanning 13 batters in six innings over two starts for the Class A West Virginia Power. He fanned 10 over four frames April 27 against the Delmarva Shorebirds and whiffed 11 over six innings May 31 against the Vero Beach Devil Rays. In 11 outings on the season -- including eight starts -- the New Jersey native has struck out 56 in 41 innings.

Milwaukee's 18th round pick in 2005, Braddock went 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA in 10 games -- nine starts -- for West Virginia last season and was named a South Atlantic League Midseason All-Star.

Kenny Holmberg delivered a two-run single in the first, Brent Brewer singled twice and had two RBIs and Taylor Green went 3-for-5, driving in a run and scoring one for the Manatees (34-31).

Jeramy Laster homered, doubled and scored twice and Brennan Boesch went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI single for the Flying Tigers (32-33).

Lakeland starter Mark Brackman (0-3) gave up four runs on six hits and one walk with one strikeout while recording just five outs.


Brevard County Box Score

Taylor Green (eight-game hit streak, 13-for-32) getting a bit of a break DH'ing some as of late...


Brevard County Game Log

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Link while active, text follows:


Merklinger throws fastball for strikes, helps Power to win

by Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


Mired in a season-long slump, West Virginia Power pitcher Dan Merklinger needed an outing like this.


Merklinger allowed two runs on four hits in four-plus innings Tuesday night to help his team earn a hard-fought 7-6 South Atlantic League baseball victory over visiting Kannapolis (N.C.) at Appalachian Power Park.


Merklinger, who fanned three and walked three, entered the game with an 0-5 record and 7.82 earned run average in nine appearances.


"Yes, I definitely needed to turn the corner and make some strides," said Merklinger, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound left-hander who throws a two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, curveball and changeup. "I think tonight I gave our team a chance to win. I did my job."


Merklinger pointed to his fastball command -- or lack of it -- when asked to explain his struggles. Power pitching coach John Curtis offered the same assessment.


"He wasn't throwing fastballs for strikes," Curtis said of Merklinger, a New Jersey native and Seton Hall product who the Milwaukee Brewers selected in the sixth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. "He was up in the zone when he got behind (in the count) and he got beat up."


Although he left with the lead, Merklinger didn't get the win because he didn't pitch five innings.


"It was decent," Merklinger said of his outing. "It could have been better. It could have been worse."


Curtis called it Merklinger's best performance this season.


"This was important for his confidence more than anything," Curtis said. "I'm sure he's disappointed he wasn't able to close it out and get a win, but he mixed (his pitches) up very well tonight."


The 22-year-old Merklinger missed the team's first 23 games while he recovered from an elbow injury he suffered during spring training.


"He tried to field a ground ball in his last pitching stint in spring training, and the ground ball came back and bent these two fingers back into his hand," Curtis said. "After that happened, he had no feeling in his hand. Instead of saying something, he continued to pitch.


"He threw a curveball at the end of the game and the nerve in his elbow probably jumped out of the groove. There was some pain the next day. So, we were very precautious about it. We kind of nursed him back. It has been rough for him. Those numbers (his record and earned run average) ... that's the hardest part.


"He was out for the first month and, boy, that's a rough month to miss. All of that work you did in spring training goes down the drain. He has been getting himself back into shape, but that's no excuse. He has had plenty of opportunities to get it back on track. Tonight was a positive step for him. It's something he can build on when we go to the mound and do our workout."


The Power took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a pair of two-out singles by Jonathan Lucroy and Zelous Wheeler.


The Intimidators tagged Merklinger for two runs in the third, but the Power regained the lead with three runs in the fourth.


Caleb Gindl drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Steffan Wilson's double. Wilson crossed the plate on Eric Fryer's triple. Scott Houin followed with a single to score Fryer and chase Kannapolis starter Charlie Shirek (1-3), who took the loss.


Power Manager Jeff Isom pulled Merklinger after he issued a pair of two-out walks in the fifth and replaced him with Rob Bryson, who induced an inning-ending groundball.


Bryson (3-2) got the win despite allowing four runs in the ninth. Mike Ramlow recorded the final three outs to pick up his seventh save.


Fortunately for Bryson, West Virginia scored three insurance runs in the eighth -- and the Class A club needed every one of them.


Lucroy led off the inning with a double. Wheeler came through with an RBI single. Gindl reached on a fielder's choice and Wilson followed with a single. Both scored on Curt Rindal's double.


Lucroy, Wheeler and Wilson each had two hits for the Power. Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Lucroy has collected a hit and scored a run in eight consecutive games.


The South Atlantic League teams will complete their three-game series tonight. West Virginia (28-36) will start right-hander Evan Anundsen (4-4, 4.15). Kannapolis will go with right-hander Miguel Socolovich (0-2, 7.41).

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