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Link Report for Thurs. 6/13


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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Thursday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Nashville: RHP Tyler Thornburg at home vs. Omaha (Royals), 6:45 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

Jeff Hem is the play-by-play voice of the Sounds; follow him on Twitter @jeffhempbp; we'll link to his blog updates at On the Air…and Off

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; all Nashville games, home and away, will be available to watch via MiLB.TV's $39.99 season-long package ($9.99 to pay for a single month). The audio feed is from the home team. All MiLB.TV details available at the link.

 

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Huntsville: RHP Drew Gagnon at Chattanooga (Dodgers), 6:28 PM pre-game, 6:43 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Huntsville feed from the MiLB main audio page

 

Alex Cohen is the play-by-play voice of the Stars; follow him on Twitter @alexmcohen. All games, home and away, are scheduled to be broadcast. It appears four Southern League teams air their home games on MiLB.TV, and we'll let you know when those dates pop up on the schedule

 

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Brevard County: RHP Chad Pierce at home vs. Jupiter (Marlins), 5:05 PM pre-game, 5:35 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the link based on listed schedule

 

Manatees audio, hooray! Dave Walkovic is the first play-by-play voice of the 'Tees since 2007, he's joined by Andy Towne; follow the Brevard broadcast booth staff on Twitter @BCManateesRadio. All home games and many road games are scheduled to be broadcast. When road games are only available via the opponents' audio feed, we'll let you know that.

 

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Wisconsin: RHP's Hiram Burgos (on a rehab assignment) and Austin Blaski in a doubleheader at Beloit (Athletics), 4:10 PM pre-game, 4:30 gametime; each contest slated for seven innings

 

Free Live Audio Link - 1280 AM WNAM

 

Chris Mehring is back to do his customary fantastic work as the Voice of the Rattlers. Follow him on Twitter @CMehring; we'll link to Chris' infamous blog often -- Rattler Radio.

 

So for the $39.95 season-long package, fans in Brewer Nation can watch all Sounds games, Stars' road games from four Southern League locales, and all Timber Rattlers home games and some road games.

 

NOTE: 32 of the Rattlers' 70 home games will be broadcast on TV this season. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel has seventeen games scheduled and WACY-TV My NEW32 plans to show fifteen games. We'll let you know when, but won't be providing day-before DVR reminders, so regularly check for proper channel and time planning (scroll to the bottom of this link).

 

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DSL Brewers: at home vs. the DSL Tigers, 9:30 AM, although game data won't be available until later in the day

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Fun fact: Gord Ash, in Part 1 of the audio interview he did with Jeff Hem that was posted last night, mistakenly called Hiram Burgos "Henrique Burgos." So there's that.

 

Yea, I listened to that last night. I'm not buying what they are selling regarding the lack of strike outs from Hellweg and Jungmann, but who knows, they might be right.

"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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I hadn't known about the additional scouting hires in Latin America, that's good news.

"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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Fun fact: Gord Ash, in Part 1 of the audio interview he did with Jeff Hem that was posted last night, mistakenly called Hiram Burgos "Henrique Burgos." So there's that.

 

Yea, I listened to that last night. I'm not buying what they are selling regarding the lack of strike outs from Hellweg and Jungmann, but who knows, they might be right.

I can only speak regarding Hellweg, since he's been on my 'beat' this season... but AAA teams just haven't seemed able to square up his pitches. I think there is something to that.

 

He isn't piling up the strikeouts, but he does seem to be not piling up hittable pitches. I need to watch his next start to get a better feel for how he's operating.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Interesting between games interview from Chris and Matt Erickson today.

 

Erickson said that Damien Magnifico's 2 seamer might actually be his best pitch, but they aren't letting him throw it much, they've been looking for Damien to utilize the big velocity (which I've noted has fallen off a tad quickly) to locate in the down in the zone early in the count and then elevate for strike outs after he's ahead.

 

Apparently Austin Blaski doesn't work near 90 MPH (Chris' phrase), but Matt says he's probably the best competitor of the pitchers and has the best pitchability. He talked about Austin's cutter being one of his better pitches.

 

They also discussed Jorge Lopez' struggles with his delivery early this season and they mentioned that opposing managers have been impressed with Lopez' stuff at times.

 

Matt thinks if the team quits giving away so many bases with walks, wild pitches, passed balls, and errors the T-Rats would be a very competitive club, and that they continue to work on those issues on a daily basis. Which got me thinking about BA's post from earlier in the day which BA briefly covered Clint Coulter. I think there was a typo in that they meant to say Coulter's offense was supposedly ahead of his defense but they posted it backwards saying it the other way.

 

Finally they talked about Michael Reed, Tyrone Taylor, and Victor Roache (why no Orlando Arcia Chris?, don't hate on my boy! ;)) Matt said that in the past Reed took too many pitches and they've been working him to be more aggressive, he's moved up in the order because he carries the teams best OBP. Matt was very complimentary of Taylor's pitch selection and tools, he said Taylor has naturally had that pitch selection since day 1. When discussing Roache, Erickson said that all young players will go through these adjustment periods and that Victor has been very receptive to coaching in the cage and is working hard to improve his offense. Matt also discussed Victor's power saying that you just don't find that special kind of power and sound off the bat in many players.

 

*Note that Roache went 0-3 in Game 1 with 2 more SOs. His AVE is down to .171 and he's struck out 14 times in his last 10 games.

"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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Beloit beats Wisconsin in game one

Snappers stop Rattlers 3-1

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

BELOIT, WI - The Beloit Snappers scored three early runs and that was more than enough for Michael Ynoa to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in game one of Thursday's doubleheader at Pohlman Field. The Snappers beat Wisconsin 3-1 to clinch a first half playoff spot in the Western Division.

 

The Timber Rattlers (26-35) threatened early against Ynoa. Orlando Arcia doubled with one out and Tyrone Taylor walked. But, Ynoa struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

 

Beloit (41-25) broke through with a two-out rally in the bottom of the second inning against Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Hiram Burgos. John Wooten singled to keep the inning alive. Then, Ryan Delgado lined a double high off the batter's eye in center. That scored Wooten for a 1-0 lead.

 

Burgos finished his rehab start with the Rattlers after the second inning. He allowed one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

 

The Snappers added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Delgado doubled with one out. Dayton Alexander followed with a single to left that put runners on the corners. Christopher Bostick lined a double to center to drive in both runners and give Beloit a 3-0 lead.

 

The Rattlers were all but silenced by Ynoa after the first inning. He held Wisconsin to two hits and one walk with five strikeouts over five scoreless innings.

 

Wisconsin avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh inning with a run against reliever Andres Avila. Adam Giacalone singled with one out. Alfredo Rodriguez grounded into a fielder's choice that forced Giacalone, but a wild throw allowed Rodriguez to take second. Max Walla followed with a single to left and Rodriguez scored. Avila would end the game by striking out the next batter for the final out.

 

The Timber Rattlers are 1-7 against Beloit this season.

 

WP: Michael Ynoa (2-1)

LP: Hiram Burgos (0-1)

SAVE: Andres Avila (2)

 

TIME: 1:32

 

Wisconsin Boxscore

So between Michael Ynoa and Raul Alcantara the Rattlers have faced both pitchers twice in the last week and are 0-4 having scored 1 run in 23 innings.. yuck. Thankfully after this series they won't see the Snappers again until August and maybe at least Alcantara will be gone by then.

 

With only 3 hits and 2 walks, there isn't much else to discuss.

 

Wisconsin Recap

"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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Wisconsin gets the split with 2-1 win in game two

Blaski earns third victory, Reed keeps on base streak rolling

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

BELOIT, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Beloit Snappers 2-1 in game two of Thursday's doubleheader at Pohlman Field. The win allowed the Rattlers to earn the split after the Snappers won game one 3-1.

 

Wisconsin (27-35) wasted no time in game two as they scored in the top of the first. Tyrone Taylor doubled with two outs. Michael Reed followed with a triple to right to drive in Taylor for a 1-0 lead.

 

Reed extended his current on base streak to 33 games with that first inning triple. That ties him with Jeff Holm of West Michigan for the longest on base streak in the Midwest League this season.

 

The Timber Rattlers pushed another run across the plate in the top of the fifth. Max Walla singled to start the inning. Brent Dean dropped a sacrifice bunt to move Walla to second. Beloit starter Seth Streich threw a wild pitch to move Walla to third. He would throw another wild pitch to let Walla score for a 2-0 advantage.

 

Beloit (41-26) got a run off Austin Blaski with three straight singles in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sam Roberts singled with one out. Brett Vertigan reached on a bunt single. Christopher Bostick singled to drive in Roberts. Blaski retired the next two batters to keep Wisconsin in front.

 

Blaski worked five innings and scattered four hits and four walks with four strikeouts mixed in for good measure.

 

Taylor Mangum took over for Blaski in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Snappers had two on with one out, but Mangum got a flyout and a strikeout to end the Beloit sixth with the Rattlers still up 2-1. Mangum worked a scoreless bottom of the seventh to close out Beloit and earn his third save of the season.

 

The win by Wisconsin ended Beloit's nine-game winning streak.

 

The Timber Rattlers begin their final series of the first half on Friday night when they face the Kane County Cougars at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Jorge Lopez (2-5, 7.47) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Michael Heesch (3-4, 3.73) is the probable starting pitcher for Kane County. Game time is 6:30pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm.

 

WP: Austin Blaski (3-2)

LP: Seth Streich (6-4)

SAVE: Taylor Mangum (3)

 

TIME: 2:09

ATTN: 972

 

Wisconsin Game 2 Boxscore

It was dicey in the 5th, Austin Blaski and the Rattlers barely hung on for the W, but I'll take it.

 

Victor Roache took a much needed mental breather in game 2 with Michael Reed playing LF instead. Speaking of Reed, he had 2 hits, while Tyrone Taylor and Orlando Arcia each went 1-3. Taylor has pushed his AVE up to .277 and while Arcia has leveled off a bit in June he has still bumped his average all the way up to .260, that's a far cry from his .180ish bottom.

 

Wisconsin Recap

 

Nunez thought he had hit the go ahead home run, flying out to Reed up against the wall in LF, and I'll quote Chris from the game broadcast "... and the bat flip from Nunez doesn't mean a gosh darn thing!"

 

Beloit Bottom of the 5th

  • Nick Rickles strikes out swinging.
    Sam Roberts singles on a fly ball to right fielder Max Walla.
    Brett Vertigan singles on a bunt ground ball to third baseman Mike Garza. Sam Roberts to 2nd.
    Chris Bostick singles on a ground ball to center fielder Tyrone Taylor. Sam Roberts scores. Brett Vertigan to 2nd.
    John Wooten strikes out swinging.
    Renato Nunez flies out to left fielder Michael Reed.

"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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Final: Huntsville 3 Chattanooga 1

 

The Stars and Lookouts hooked up in an old fashioned pitchers duel Thursday night with Huntsville coming out on top 3-1 at The Joe. Righty Drew Gagnon got the start and earned his first AA win. Gagnon, who struggled a bit in his 1st start, was in control from the start. Gagnon (1-0, 5.40) worked 6 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. Gagnon threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes. He also had a 9-3 ground out to fly out ratio. Gagnon outdueled Dodger top prospect Zach Lee tonight to earn the "W".

 

The Stars bullpen was strong, helping Gagnon secure that win. Frankie De La Cruz worked 1 1/3 innings, allowing only 2 hits and no runs while striking out 1. Lefty Dan Meadows pitched 2/3 of an inning, giving up a hit and hitting a batter, but a double play got him out of that jam. Finally, 6'-8" right hander Greg Holle came on to close things out in the 9th. Holle allowed a hit and walked a batter but earned the save, his 5th on the season.

 

The Lookouts nearly broke through in the 8th, but a couple of fine defensive plays by shortstop Hector Gomez kept them off the board. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Gomez saved a run by flagging down a grounder and keeping it on the infield. The next batter grounded into a double play to get out of the inning. So while he's struggling at the plate, Gomez is still playing top notch defense and helping the Stars win games.

 

Huntsville Box Score

 

On offense, it was the Kentrail Davis and Jason Rogers show for the Stars tonight. Davis got the Stars off and running in the bottom of the 1st, blasting a 2 run homer, his 5th on the season. Davis also singled, doubled, scored twice, and stole his team leading 16th base. Rogers went 2-3 with a walk and added a much needed insurance run in the 8th with a clutch RBI single. Rogers was later doubled off 2nd on a fly out to end the inning. The Stars also got hits from Rene Tosoni and Nick Shaw. Tosoni added a stolen base and Shaw also scored a run. Mike Walker drew a walk as well.

 

The Stars had one other base runner tonight. Catcher Adam Weisenburger was hit by a pitch in the 2nd. He stayed in the game and ran the bases, but was removed before the top of the 3rd with what was described as an "upper body injury" which was peculiar as he was hit in his lower part of his body.

 

Huntsville Play By Play

 

The Stars take an early 2-0 lead

 

Huntsville Bottom of the 1st

 

Nick Shaw singles on a line drive to left fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez.

Hector Gomez pops out to third baseman Sean Burroughs in foul territory.

Kentrail Davis homers (5) on a fly ball to right center field. Nick Shaw scores.

Jason Rogers singles on a ground ball to left fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez.

Rene Tosoni grounds into a force out, first baseman Angelo Songco to shortstop Miguel Rojas. Jason Rogers out at 2nd. Rene Tosoni to 1st.

With Brock Kjeldgaard batting, Rene Tosoni steals (4) 2nd base, . Rene Tosoni advances to 3rd, on a throwing error by catcher Jan Vazquez.

Brock Kjeldgaard called out on strikes.

 

Jason Rogers adds an insurance run

 

Huntsville Bottom of the 8th

 

Hector Gomez strikes out swinging, catcher Jan Vazquez to first baseman Angelo Songco.

Kentrail Davis doubles (14) on a ground ball to right fielder Blake Smith.

Jason Rogers singles on a line drive to center fielder Joc Pederson. Kentrail Davis scores. Jason Rogers advances to 2nd, on a throwing error by center fielder Joc Pederson.

Rene Tosoni singles on a line drive to left fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez.

Brock Kjeldgaard flies into a double play, left fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez to shortstop Miguel Rojas. Jason Rogers doubled off 2nd.

 

The Stars and Lookouts will play game 2 of this 5 game series tomorrow night. Righty Ariel Pena (5-4, 3.00)will take the hill for Huntsville (28-36). The Stars will face another top pitching prospect in Chris Reed. Game time is set for 6:43 Central with Stars play-by-play man Alex Cohen kicking things off at 6:30 with the pregame show.

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FINAL: Brevard County 2, Jupiter 1

 

Brevard edges Jupiter, 2-1

'Tees improve to 18-6 in one-run games, one-half game out of first

By Andy Towne / Brevard County Manatees

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/5/1/4/47501514/cuts/Pierce_4.14_h7w77ac7_v6udqjtd.JPG

Brevard County starting pitcher Chad Pierce struck out a career-high nine hitters in 5.1 innings of work as the Manatees won their 18th one-run game of the season, 2-1, over the Jupiter Hammerheads on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium. (Dennis Greenblatt/Hawk-Eye Sports Photography)

 

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS

 

VIERA, Fla. - Yet another one-run game went the way of the Brevard County Manatees as a 2-1 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium brought the team into the All-Star break just one-half game out of first place in the FSL North Division first half standings.

 

Brevard County (34-30) starting pitcher Chad Pierce (2-2, 4.47) set a new career-high with nine strikeouts in his 5.1 innings of work, even though he left the game in for the loss despite giving up only one run on two hits.

 

Jupiter (33-32) scored that lone run off of Pierce and the 'Tees the fourth inning, as Austin Barnes was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and scored three batters later on a double from Alex Burg. Barnes was able to knock the ball away from catcher Cameron Garfield on a play at the plate to score.

 

The Manatees squeezed out just enough offense in the bottom of the sixth inning to get the job done. Brandon Macias led off the frame by reaching base on a fielding error by Jupiter shortstop Austin Nola. Chadwin Stang then drew a walk to put two on with no outs.

 

T.J. Mittelstaedt's sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, with Greg Hopkins following with an RBI groundout to plate Macias and then Mitch Haniger delivered a run-scoring single to give the 'Tees the 2-1 lead.

 

The win went to Mark Williams, who tossed 2.2 scoreless innings out of the Brevard County bullpen, despite a two-base error and a wild pitch that put a runner on third base with nobody out in the eighth. Tommy Toledo picked up his tenth save with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth as he stranded two runners on base.

 

Jupiter starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, who was on a Major League rehab assignment from the Miami Marlins, threw five scoreless frames and allowed four hits with a strikeout, in a no-decision.

 

The Florida State League will convene in Dunedin this Saturday for the 2013 FSL All-Star Game, a contest that will feature Manatees pitcher David Goforth, first baseman Nick Ramirez and catcher Cameron Garfield. Ramirez will also participate in the Home Run Derby prior to Saturday's game. Pitcher Brooks Hall (promotion) and Seth Harvey (injury) were also selected but will not play.

 

Upon returning to action on Monday night at 6:35 p.m., Brevard County will host the Lakeland Flying Tigers for a three-game series to conclude the first half of play.

 

The Manatees will send southpaw Jed Bradley (4-2, 4.26) to the hill, while the Flying Tigers will counter with right-hander Wilsen Palacios (3-4, 4.10).

 

 

Brevard County Box Score

 

BC Hitters

Mitch Haniger: 1-4, RBI

Cameron Garfield: 1-3

Cody Hawn: 1-3

Chadwin Stang: 1-2, BB

 

BC Pitchers

Chad Pierce: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO

Mark Williams (W, 2-0): 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO

Tommy Toledo (S, 10): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

 

All six Manatees hits were singles.

 

Not all of Chad Pierce's season numbers are outstanding, but the Fond du Lac native has recorded 58 strikeouts in 46.1 IP this season, for an impressive 11.3 SO/9.

 

Jupiter was 0-10 tonight with runners in scoring position, and combined with last night Jupiter went 0-21 with runners in scoring position the past two evenings.

 

 

Brevard County Play-by-Play

 

BC's two runs came off last year's #9 pick in the MLB draft, LHP Andrew Heaney:

 

Brevard County Bottom of the 6th

  • -Pitching Change: Andrew Heaney replaces Henderson Alvarez.
    -Brandon Macias reaches on a fielding error by shortstop Austin Nola.
    -Chadwin Stang walks. Brandon Macias to 2nd.
    -T. J. Mittelstaedt out on a sacrifice bunt, catcher Wilfredo Gimenez to first baseman Ryan Rieger. Brandon Macias to 3rd. Chadwin Stang to 2nd.
    -Gregory Hopkins grounds out, shortstop Austin Nola to first baseman Ryan Rieger. Brandon Macias scores. Chadwin Stang to 3rd.
    -Mitch Haniger singles on a line drive to center fielder Isaac Galloway. Chadwin Stang scores.
    -Nick Ramirez walks. Mitch Haniger to 2nd.
    -Cameron Garfield strikes out swinging.

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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I'm a little too gassed tonight, sorry for the bare-bones post. I do like those royal blue throwback jerseys!

 

Home Runs Sink Sounds, 4-2

Nashville's Tyler Thornburg Delivers First Quality Start

Nashville Sounds

 

http://i.imgur.com/x3Us1rg.jpg

Tyler Thornburg (Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

 

AUDIO: Sean Halton's RBI-Single

AUDIO: Josh Prince's RBI-Double

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Sounds were bested by the Omaha Storm Chasers, who served up two home runs Thursday night at Greer Stadium to defeat the home team 4-2. The teams split the series, 2-2.

 

The Storm Chasers picked up two runs off Sounds starting pitcher Tyler Thornburg (0-8) in the first inning when infielder Xavier Nady lifted a two-out, two-run home run over the centerfield wall.

 

After the first, Thornburg settled in to turn in his first quality start of the season, logging seven innings for Nashville in the losing effort. He fanned six batters and walked one, limiting Omaha to four hits.

 

The seven-inning outing matches the longest start by a Sound this season and seventh occurrence.

 

Nashville quickly took one run back in the home half of the first inning as outfielder Sean Halton hit an RBI-single to score Josh Prince, 2-for-5, who doubled earlier in the frame. Halton, 3-for-4, extended his hit streak to a season-best nine games.

 

Lefty Chris Dwyer (5-4) picked up the win for Omaha, scattering nine of Nashville's hits across seven innings of work to allow one run. Reliever Louis Coleman pitched two innings for Omaha to pick up his fourth save of the year.

 

Omaha added to their lead with two runs in the eighth inning against Sounds reliever Travis Webb. After Willy Taveras led-off with a single into right field, nine-hole hitter Quentin Berry connected for a homer just left of dead center, his first of the year.

 

Webb recorded one out before Johnnie Lowe came in to finish the inning. Lowe stayed in for the ninth to close out the game for Nashville, allowing two hits in 1 2/3 innings.

 

The Sounds plated their final run in the ninth on Prince's double to centerfield. The hit scored Stephen Parker, who reached base on an Omaha throwing error.

 

Other offensive highlights include Caleb Gindl, 2-for-3, and Khris Davis, who snapped his 0-for-24 slump with two hits.

 

The Sounds welcome the New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA-Marlins) to Greer Stadium Friday night at Greer Stadium for the first of a four-game set. Throwing for Nashville in the 7:05 p.m. game will be LHP Chris Narveson (0-1, 9.73) opposite the Z's RHP Matt Neil (1-2, 7.66).

 

 

Nashville Box

 

 

Nashville PbP

 

 

Nashville Gameday

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Via Jeff Hem's blog --

 

Audio from Nashville — Part 2 with the Brewers’ Gord Ash

 

Jeff's note:

 

Here is Part 2 of my two-part chat with Gord Ash, assistant general manager of the Sounds’ parent-club Milwaukee Brewers. While we talked mostly pitching on Wednesday, this segment focuses primarily on hitters, including names like Hunter Morris, Scooter Gennett, Josh Prince, Khris Davis and Brewers shortstop and budding star Jean Segura.

 

I also want to reiterate my appreciation for how gracious Ash is with his time when he visits, as all the Brewers executives are, for that matter.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Brief promotion gives Sounds pitcher a taste of success

By Jerome Boettcher, Nashville City Paper

 

In just his 10th Major League game, Tyler Thornburg proved his mettle to his Milwaukee Brewers teammates.

 

After allowing a double and single in the sixth inning of a tie game against Philadelphia last Saturday, Thornburg wiggled his way out of trouble. The 24-year-old struck out Delmon Young swinging and induced back-to-back groundouts to get out of the inning unscathed.

 

That was the end of the night for Thornburg. The Brewers rewarded him with two runs in the bottom half of the frame to make him the pitcher of record. The lead stood up as Francisco Rodriguez ended five innings of solid work by the bullpen with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fourth save.

 

As Thornburg walked onto the field to congratulate his teammates, he pondered what was to come.

 

“This is going to be the weirdest first win ever,” he thought.

 

He was right.

 

Less than an hour after notching his first career Major League win with two scoreless innings of relief, Thornburg was optioned back to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. He had been called up only four days ealier but Thornburg had a feeling the move was temporary. He was filling a spot left open by Brewers closer and former Sounds pitcher Jim Henderson, who returned from the disabled list Sunday.

 

The celebration was brief and rather tame for Thornburg. In the Brewers clubhouse, he was doused with the customary cold water and baby powder shower. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz then took him to manager Ron Roenicke’s office, where he received the news. He spent the night in a hotel and flew out the next morning.

 

“I pretty much knew the situation and that was the case,” Thornburg said. “I was blessed to get the opportunity for those four days. Every time I went up last year I was a lot more nervous. Going up this year I was a lot calmer. It really definitely helped me, getting through the first couple outings without any [problems]. Hopefully I get the opportunity to go back up and do the same thing.”

 

After allowing just five hits in four scoreless innings in two games with the Brewers last week, Thornburg is optimistic he can turn his fortune around down in the minors. The right-hander from Houston dropped to 0-8 for the Sounds this year in Thursday's 4-2 loss to Omaha at Greer Stadium. It was his first quality start of the season, though, as he allowed four hits in seven innings. He struck out six.

 

Nashville continues an eight-game homestand on Friday when it hosts New Orleans for the opener of a four-game series. The Sounds (23-41) are battling Reno (24-43) for the position of worst team in the Pacific Coast League but they have improved lately, winning nine of 14.

 

Thornburg hopes to pull from his big league experience in order to pick up his first Triple-A win since last August.

 

“If anything you probably should have a little bit more confidence,” Thornburg said. “If you put up zeros up there you should be able to do it down here. Sometimes it is not that easy. It is harder to get the adrenaline pumping and get locked in down here compared to up there when you have 40,000 screaming up there. At the same time, you have different hitters down here. They’re a little bit more aggressive, a little more energetic down here than some of the guys up there.”

 

Thornburg, a third-round draft pick out of Charleston Southern in 2010, was tabbed by Baseball America as the Brewers’ No. 2 prospect entering this season.

 

Rated as having the best curveball by Baseball America, the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder leads the Sounds with 62 strikeouts and has allowed just 23 walks. At the same time, Thornburg has struggled with longevity. He has made 12 starts but only pitched 56 innings this year. In his last 10 games he has failed to make it through six innings.

 

“He can be dominant when he executes his pitches,” manager Mike Guerrero said. “He is learning the process. I know the numbers doesn’t show he has been successful. But in what we’re seeing he is being successful because he is learning how to do things so he can make adjustments in the big leagues.”

 

Adjusting back to the minors after experiencing success in Milwaukee could help him get back there sooner.

 

While all but three of his appearances in the minors the last three seasons have been starts, all but three of his 10 appearances with Milwaukee have been in relief. Thornburg says his goal is to win a starting spot with the Brewers.

 

The highly touted prospect just needs to improve his results in the minors in order to get an extended stay in the majors.

 

“You think about it a little bit because you know you’re one of their guys and you know you have to do well,” Thornburg said. “Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming but it hasn’t been. I just try to use it as motivation. I like to put that pressure on myself sometimes. If anything I can take the confidence I threw well up there and hopefully it will roll over to here and get things going.”

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Gagnon, Davis Lead Stars to Victory

By Alex Cohen / Huntsville Stars

 

Coming off a stretch where they lost four of five games against the Montgomery Biscuts at Riverwalk Stadium, the Huntsville Stars returned home on Thursday to beat the Chattanooga Lookouts by a score of 3-1 in the series opener of a five-game set at The Joe.

 

For Huntsville, starting pitcher Drew Gagnon baffled the Chattanooga offense all night long in just his second start with the Stars.

 

Gagnon earned his first ever Double-A victory on Thursday and improved to 1-0 on the year with the Stars after giving up a run on just two hits in six innings of work while striking out and walking three batters each. The only blemish on the night for the Brewers 12th ranked prospect (per MLB.com) was giving up an RBI single to Lookouts outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez in the fourth inning.

 

On offense, the Stars bats put Gagnon in line for his first Double-A win early in the first inning against Lookouts ace Zach Lee (L, 5-3).

 

Two batters after second basemen Nick Shaw led off the inning with a single, outfielder Kentrail Davis launched a two-run homer well over the right-field wall to put the Stars up 2-0 and give them the lead for good.

 

The Stars tacked on their other insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI single from first baseman Jason Rogers.

 

Aside from Gagnon, the Stars got a combined two innings of scoreless relief from righty Frankie De La Cruz and southpaw Dan Meadows.

 

In the top of the eighth inning, Meadows got the Stars and himself out of a bases-loaded, one out jam by getting Lookouts outfielder Blake Smith to ground in to an inning-ending doubleplay.

 

With the Stars up 3-1 in the top of the ninth, righty Greg Holle pitched a scoreless frame while stranding two runners on base to notch his fifth save on the season.

 

From an offense perspective, Davis led the way with three hits, being just a triple shy of the cycle. Rogers also chipped in with a 2-for-3 night at the plate after just one hit in his previous 26 at-bats.

 

Huntsville is now 5-1 this season against Chattanooga.

 

On Friday, the Stars and Lookouts will play game two of a five-game series at Joe Davis Stadium. Huntsville will try to earn that series victory by sending RHP Ariel Pena (5-4, 3.00 ERA) to the bump as Chattanooga will counter with LHP Chris Reed (2-5, 4.13 ERA). First pitch is at 6:43 CT.

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Some brief Huntsville video highlights, including Kentrail Davis' HR

 

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Here's Alex's audio highlights from the Stars 3-1 victory against the Chattanooga Lookouts on Thursday night - OH YEAH!

 

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Video catch-up from the Stars' last game on Tuesday - Brock Kjeldgaard hits a two-run homer as the Stars fall to Montgomery, 8-4; an opposite-field shot tied him for the league lead with 12

 

Note -- 25-year-old Marlins OF Kyle Jensen hit his 13th HR for Jacksonville Thursday night.

 

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Video report -- Canada Invades The Huntsville Stars

While Nick Shaw says he'll stick to American sports...

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