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Link Report for Monday 6/15


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Monday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Colorado Springs: RHP Josh Roenicke at home vs. Oklahoma City (Dodgers), 7:35 PM pre-game, 8:05 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

We welcome Dan Karcher, who is the longtime play-by-play voice of the Sky Sox; follow him on Twitter @SkySoxKarch

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; all Colorado Springs games, home and away, will be available to watch via MiLB.TV's $49.99 season-long package ($12.99 to pay for a single month). The audio feed is from the home team. The video of each game is archived online, which is a nice feature. All MiLB.TV details available at the link.

 

NOTE: Notice that on MiLB.TV's page, you can click on "Filter", then "Milwaukee Brewers", and you'll see just the Crew's organizational TV lineup.

 

**********

 

Biloxi: LHP Brent Suter at Mississippi (Braves), 6:45 PM pre-game, 7:00 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

We also welcome Chris Harris as the very first play-by-play voice of the Shuckers! Follow Chris on Twitter @CHarris731. We'll be looking off to his very promising "Shuck Dynasty" blog. All games, home and away, are scheduled to be radio broadcast.

 

MiLB.TV - Eight of the ten Southern League teams telecast their home games, and Biloxi is among them!

 

NOTE: The Mississippi video/audio feed is available for this series to MiLB.TV subscribers.

 

**********

 

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

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

Dave Walkovic returns as the play-by-play voice of the 'Tees; follow the Brevard broadcast booth staff on Twitter @BCManateesRadio, as all home games and the "commuter" road games are scheduled to be broadcast in 2015.

 

No Florida State League games are available via MiLB.TV.

 

**********

 

Wisconsin: RHP Angel Ventura at Bowling Green (Rays), 11:45 AM pre-game, 12:05 PM gametime; expect LHP Luis Ortega to see action in a tandem role

 

Free Live Audio Link - 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.

 

NOTE: Forty-two (!) of the Rattlers' 70 home games will be broadcast on TV this season. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (9) and WACY-TV My NEW32 (34) will split duties. We'll let you know when and who, and remember to refer to the Rattlers' full TV schedule (scroll to bottom of link) so you can coordinate your DVR activity.

 

So, for the $49.95 season-long package, fans in Brewer Nation can watch all Sky Sox games, most Shuckers games, and all Timber Rattlers home games and some road games.

 

***

 

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

 

We'll link to this Dominican Summer League Brewers' thread as part of the Daily Menu all season to assist you with your familiarity with these young men.

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Look for these just prior to the respective game times --

 

Colorado Springs Media Notes - Home games only, it's a unique link each day, but look for it under the "Multimedia" banner on the Sky Sox' site.

 

Biloxi Media Notes - Linked on the Shuck Dynasty blog

 

Brevard County Media Notes - It's a unique link each day, but look for it under the "Multimedia" banner on the Manatees' site.

 

Wisconsin Media Notes - Linked on the Rattler Radio blog

 

***

 

STANDINGS:

 

AAA - Pacific Coast League American Northern Division

 

AA - Southern League South Division

 

High-A - Florida State League North Division

 

A - Midwest League Western Division

 

***

 

Sortable individual stat pages:

 

Colorado Springs

 

Biloxi

 

Brevard County

 

Wisconsin

 

***

 

Weather.com:

 

Colorado Springs, CO

 

Pearl, MS

 

Viera, FL

 

Bowling Green, OH

 

Boca Chica, DR

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Hall's recent dominance helps Shuckers close out 1st half title

Patrick Magee, Biloxi Sun-Herald

 

PHOTOS AT LINK

 

With 58 of their first 63 games spent on the road, it's easy to understand why the Biloxi Shuckers found cause Sunday to celebrate their Southern League South Division first-half championship.

 

The Shuckers did the traditional Gatorade dump on manager Carlos Subero and the party worked its way into the locker room at Trustmark Park in Pearl after the 9-0 victory over the Mississippi Braves.

 

"The post-game celebration was great," Shuckers pitcher Brooks Hall said. "There was a lot of beer and champagne poured on each other.

 

"It felt great not to have a care in the world. I partied with all the boys. It was really fun."

 

Hall has played a big role in the Shuckers' playoff pursuit with a 7-3 record and a 3.05 ERA in 12 starts.

 

On Sunday, he was the winning pitcher with two hits allowed in an eight-inning outing. He struck out five and walked one.

 

Hall was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after picking up a pair of wins in the span of seven days, holding opponents to a total of one run on five hits in the two games.

 

Hall is tied with Chattanooga's Jose Berrios for the Southern League lead in victories with seven, but he was somehow neglected when the Southern League All-Star teams were announced last week.

 

It was a baffling omission and Hall admitted he was "a little bit" annoyed by being left off the team.

 

"I don't really get to choose that kind of thing," Hall said. "I just have to keep pitching."

 

Shuckers starting pitchers Tyler Wagner (5-2), Hobbs Johnson (4-3) and Jorge Lopez (4-2) are all on the Southern League South All-Star Team.

 

Hall is currently throwing the best he has all season, putting together back-to-back dominating performances against the M-Braves and Mobile BayBears.

 

The 6-foot-5 pitcher credits his recent performance to the development of a new pitch.

 

"I've been kind of messing around with a new pitch the last two starts. Maybe that has helped me," Hall said. "It's a variation on my fastball. I get a little more sink on my four-seam fastball."

 

Shuckers pitching coach Chris Hook helped Hall develop the pitch during bullpen work.

 

"It's opened up everything else," Hall said.

 

Hall is healthy again after bone spurs in his right elbow ended his 2014 season early.

 

The right-hander was a fourth-round draft pick by the Brewers in 2009 out of Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C.

 

Hall has already equaled his season high in victories after going 7-5 at Class A Wisconsin in 2011.

 

The Shuckers have an off day Tuesday before returning to MGM Park in Biloxi for a 7:10 PM game Wednesday against the Montgomery Biscuits to begin a five-game series.

 

Hall and the Shuckers can return to Biloxi as first-half champions with a guaranteed spot in the Southern League playoffs.

 

How have the Shuckers managed to overcome such a difficult stretch of road games to win a first half championship?

 

"It's more about just having fun," Hall said. "We have fun in the clubhouse and keep each other relaxed. This is the first time I've been on a team where everybody likes each other. There are no enemies. It's great."

 

The Shuckers will take on the second-half champion in the Southern League South playoffs in September. If they manage to win the second half also, they will play the team with the second-best record in the South this year.

 

"It's been a great season so far," Hall said. "Hopefully we can keep this thing going and win the Southern League."

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Big sixth inning helps Rattlers past Bowling Green

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/0/8/8/118574088/cuts/Angel_Ventura_Article_Photo_zqt03vc9_xuiy982s.jpg

Angel Ventura pitched five shutout innings to earn the win for the Timber Rattlers on Monday afternoon. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers/Ann Mollica)

 

BOWLING GREEN, KY - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had their biggest offensive inning of the season and it helped them defeat the Bowling Green Hot Rods 7-3 at Bowling Green Ballpark on Monday afternoon.

 

Dustin DeMuth gave the Timber Rattlers (21-43) a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning. Carlos Leal and Jose Pena singled with one out against Bowling Green starting pitcher Henry Centeno. DeMuth followed with a home run to right-center. The homer, DeMuth's fourth of the season, was just the start of Wisconsin's offense in the sixth.

 

Brandon Diaz and Alan Sharkey both singled with two outs and drove Centeno from the game. Tucker Neuhaus doubled off the wall in right-center against Bowling Green reliever Kyle Bird to drive in Diaz. Francisco Castillo was next and he singled to center to drive in both Sharkey and Neuhaus. The Rattlers scored six runs on seven hits in the sixth inning to take a 6-0 lead.

 

Wisconsin starting pitcher Angel Ventura pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five. That put him in line for his second win of the season.

 

The Hot Rods (37-27) rallied against reliever Luis Ortega in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Nick Ciuffo's sacrifice fly drove in Bowling Green's first run. Cristian Toribio followed with a two-run double and Wisconsin's lead was down to three.

 

Diaz and Sharkey combined to pad the lead in the top of the eighth inning. Diaz doubled to start the frame. Sharkey followed with a single to center to make it 7-3 Wisconsin.

 

Scott Lieser pitched a scoreless eighth and a scoreless ninth to close out the win.

 

Wisconsin finished their twelve game stretch against teams from the Eastern Division of the Midwest League 6-6.

 

The Timber Rattlers continue their road trip with three games against the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Illinois. Game one of the series is Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Devin Williams (2-3, 3.95) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. The Cougars will send Markus Solbach (6-2, 2.76) to the mound. Game time is 6:30pm. Catch the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:10pm. The broadcast may also be heard on Tune In Radio and IHeartRadio. Subscribers to MiLB.TV can follow the action that way.

 

HOME RUN:

WIS:

Dustin DeMuth (4th, 2 on in 6th inning off Henry Centeno, 1 out)

 

WP: Angel Ventura (2-2)

LP: Henry Centeno (4-3)

 

TIME: 2:43

ATTN: 2,189

 

Wisconsin Boxscore

Angel Ventura people!

 

Offensive outbursts have been somewhat rare for the Rattlers this season so this game was a much needed boost in that department as Jose Pena (2-5,2B), Dustin DeMuth (2-5,HR), Brandon Diaz (2-4,2B), Alan Sharkey (2-3,BB), and Tucker Neuhaus(2-4) all contributed multi-hit efforts. This was by far the most even offensive contribution from this year's squad. Sharkey has been pretty good defensively since taking over for Denson.

 

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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In what must be a first, we link to an interview with a member of the Dominican Summer League Brewers. Not sure how you pulled it off, Brad Krause, but kudos to our Link Reporter.

 

Brad's fine website:

 

Miller Park Prospects -- Profile: Franly Mallen

 

***

 

Bob Brainerd's latest Timber Rattlers feature -- Kodi Medeiros

 

Each of the above also linked in our respective season-long feature threads...

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Had to go back and look at the Jorge Ortega archives, going back to his age 17-18 year old 2011 DSL season.

 

Amazing to see that the young Venezuelan was doing much of the same back then --

 

LINK: Ortega was efficient with an ERA of 1.80 in 25.0 IP in July, only giving up 17 hits and 3BB. But also only 16Ks (5.8K/9IP).

 

2012 links, glance at these:

 

Opening game

 

Five days later

 

July 9th

 

DSL All-Star Game

 

August 6th 7-inning complete game

 

***

 

So we saw it coming even 3-4 years ago, but not sure we saw this coming, jumping Wisconsin with ease; need to see how those smaller parks outside the Florida State League will treat Jorge...

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Final: DSL Brewers 5, DSL Pirates 6

 

The Brewers jumped out to an early lead when Franly Mallen knocked in Ignacio Otano, who led off the game with a double, but the Pirates put two on the board in the third inning and then followed with four more in the fourth off of starter Nattino Diplan. The Brewers got a pair back in the fifth to pull within 6-4 and the score remained the same until the ninth. Javier Castillo singled with one out and scored on a triple by Otano, leaving the tying run just 90 feet away, but Adolfo Morillo grounded back to the pitcher for out number two, keeping Otano at third, and Mallen grounded out to third to end the game.

 

DSL Brewers Box Score

 

Is it too early to get excited about the 18-year-old Otano? Still a small sample size, but this was his fifth straight multi-hit game as he collected two doubles and a triple in five at bats to raise his average to .418. First baseman Nicol Valderrey also tripled and Henry Correa doubled and drew a walk. Nattino Diplan allowed all six runs in 3.1 innings, though only two of the runs were earned. 19-year-old Joaquin De La Cruz followed with 3.2 scoreless innings.

 

DSL Brewers Play-By-Play

 

The ninth inning rally that came up just short.

 

DSL Brewers Top of the 9th

Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Ariel Estades replaces Sandy Martinez.

Ariel Estades flies out to right fielder Jeremias Portorreal.

Javier Castillo singles on a ground ball to center fielder Yondry Contreras.

Ignacio Otano triples (1) on a fly ball to right fielder Jeremias Portorreal. Javier Castillo scores.

Adolfo Morillo grounds out, pitcher Angel Vasquez to first baseman Huascar Fuentes.

Franly Mallen grounds out, third baseman Ramy Perez to first baseman Huascar Fuentes.

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Final: Biloxi 2, Mississippi 1

 

Shuckers pick up 40th win in series finale at Pearl

Posted by SUN HERALD

 

PEARL - Brent Suter threw six scoreless innings to pick up the victory as the Shuckers beat the Mississippi Braves, 2-1, Tuesday night at Trustmark Park.

 

Shuckers pitchers have combined to hold the M-Braves to a total of three runs over the last three games.

 

Monday's game was the series finale, giving the Shuckers four wins in the five-game series in Pearl.

 

Biloxi improved to 40-24.

 

Suter gave up three hits, struck out five and walked one to improve to 4-2.

 

Biloxi clinched the Southern League South Division Sunday and will return to MGM Park for a 7:10 p.m. game on Wednesday to start a five-game series with the Montgomery Biscuits.

 

Brandon Macias hit a solo homer in the third inning, his second of the season, to give Biloxi a 1-0 lead.

 

Taylor Green pushed the advantage to 2-0 in the ninth inning on an RBI single to center to score Michael Reed.

 

Biloxi needed the insurance run. The Braves (32-31) pushed one across on an RBI double by Kevin Ahrens with two out in the ninth before closer Damien Magnifico finished the game for his seventh save of the season.

 

Biloxi Box Score

 

After clinching last night, several Shuckers got the night off on Monday. Orlando Arcia, Kyle Wren and Nick Ramirez were all on the bench for this one. Nathan Orf made his first start of the season at shortstop and picked up a pair of hits. Michael Reed keeps plugging along, reaching base in three of his four trips to the plate and stealing his 19th bag. Brent Suter turned in six scoreless, allowing three hits and striking out five and lowering his earned run average to 1.97.

 

Biloxi Game Long

 

Magnifico got in to a little bit of trouble in the ninth, but worked out of it for his seventh save.

 

Mississippi Bottom of the 9th

Pitching Change: Damien Magnifico replaces Manny Barreda, batting 9th.

Eric Garcia strikes out swinging.

David Rohm walks.

With KD Kang batting, David Rohm steals (2) 2nd base.

KD Kang strikes out swinging.

Kevin Ahrens doubles (9) on a line drive to left fielder Josh Fellhauer. David Rohm scores.

Seth Loman walks.

Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Mallex Smith replaces Kevin Ahrens.

With Emerson Landoni batting, Mallex Smith steals (22) 3rd base.

Emerson Landoni lines out softly to right fielder Michael Reed.

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TheCrew, I don't see you get too excited about Brewer pitching prospects. What does the stuff look like? Have you had the gun on him? From afar, he seems a bit old for A ball.

 

I have not had the gun on him, I'd guess he's 88-92 from watching on TV. His secondary stuff is second only to Medeiros on this squad, but he's able to pitch down in the zone more than Kodi, though both have lots of work to do control wise.

 

I just got the gun back 2 weeks ago (the HS baseball team and I went halves 3 years ago on it) and it didn't work out for me to get to a game before this extended road trip. I'll have velocity charts for all of the interesting T-Rat pitchers later in the summer and post them in the LRs.

 

I mentioned this in another thread but pretty much all of the T-Rat Latin pitchers have the same complications in their delivery, Gian Rizzo is really the only one who approaches "clean", but he doesn't have much stuff. I'd put the odds on Ventura sticking the rotation about the same as Peralta when he was in WI, 50/50, though if I had to guess Ventura will be a reliever if he makes it. Actually now that I think about it his delivery is very similar to Peralta's at the same point...

 

As to the age question, baseball-reference gives that as part of the standard MiLB stat package:

[pre]Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev Aff ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W

2011 18 -0.9 Brewers DOSL FRk MIL 6.00 24.0 25 19 16 3 16 16 1.708 9.4 1.1 6.0 6.0 1.00

2012 19 0.1 Brewers DOSL FRk MIL 7.12 30.1 46 32 24 2 13 27 1.945 13.6 0.6 3.9 8.0 2.08

2013 20 1.2 Brewers DOSL FRk MIL 2.70 60.0 47 29 18 1 22 65 1.150 7.0 0.2 3.3 9.8 2.95

2014 21 0.6 Brewers ARIZ Rk MIL 5.19 50.1 56 33 29 2 9 46 1.291 10.0 0.4 1.6 8.2 5.11

2015 22 0.1 Wisconsin MIDW A 2.47 43.2 36 15 12 1 20 42 1.282 7.4 0.2 4.1 8.7 2.10[/pre]

 

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table

 

He's right on track now.

"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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Manatees Take Series Opener Behind Ortega Shutout

By Jerry Durney / Brevard County Manatees

06/15/2015 10:08 PM ET

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/1/7/0/121863170/cuts/SM2_1672a_XL_zp906qhc_qgc4c8jd.jpg

 

Jorge Ortega, seen here from a game earlier this season, did not allow an earned run in five innings, but took the loss on Saturday. (Dennis Greenblatt/Hawk-Eye Sports Photography)

 

Viera, Fla. - Jorge Ortega delivered the best performance of his all-star season on Monday, firing his fourth complete game of the year, along with his first shutout as the Brevard County Manatees (28-35) took the series opener against the Jupiter Hammerheads (31-33) 4-0 at Space Coast Stadium.

 

Ortega was rarely touched, as Jupiter's sole scoring threat came in the top of the third, starting with their first hit of the ballgame on a one-out double by Harold Riggins. After inducing a groundout from Chris Hoo, Yefri Perez slapped a ball that seemed destined for centerfield to score Riggins but Chris McFarland's sliding backhand snare made Riggins stop at third. That's as close as the Hammerheads would come the rest of the night as Avery Romero flew out to left to end the inning.

 

The Manatees would provide Ortega with all the run support he would need in the bottom of the second, which was led off by a leadoff base hit by Garrett Cooper. Taylor Brennan then just missed his first home run off the season on a deep drive to right field that bounced on the warning track, one-hopping the wall to set up runners at second and third for Cameron Garfield. Garfield's recent run of good work at the plate paid off with a bit of luck on a ball that hit Hammerheads starting pitcher Sean Townsley in the leg and into right field to score Cooper for the game's first run. Angel Ortega then followed with a single through the middle to bring Brennan home. The threat would be extinguished as Omar Garcia hit a grounder to third that turned into a double play and McFarland flew out to center.

 

Brevard County then gave themselves some insurance in the bottom of the sixth. The rally would be kick started by a one-out single by Brennan. Garfield followed with his third hit of the night, this one a flare into shallow right. As Garcia came to the plate, Brennan and Garfield successfully executed a double steal. Both runners would come home when Garcia hit a liner just over the head of Jupiter shortstop Justin Bohn.

 

Ortega retired the first seven hitters he faced and 19 of the last 21 for his first career shutout. For the fourth consecutive start, Ortega did not walk a batter, taking his streak of consecutive innings without issuing a free pass to 39.0. Ortega threw 93 pitches to complete the masterpiece, each of his three nine-inning complete games this season have taken less than 100 pitches to achieve.

 

RHP Eric Marzec (1-4, 3.76 ERA) has a tough act to follow as he will get the start on Tuesday against former Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson (1-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

 

Brevard County Box Score

 

Jorge Ortega in complete control in this one. Not much offense needed but Taylor Brennan had two hits including his 9th double of the season. Cameron Garfield had three hits and has now raised his batting average to .250 which, not long ago, was under .200. Victor Roache had his 11th double. Note that Narv-dog is making the next start for Jupiter against the Manatees. The Hammerheads are one the poorer hitting squads in the FSL. It was mentioned during the broadcast that there will likely be few changes in the Manatees roster just because the Brewers are wanting to keep the Biloxi team together so there is no place to promote guys from Brevard County. Please enjoy this box score!

 

Brevard County Game Log

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SHUCKERS CLOSE OUT BRAVES WITH FOURTH STRAIGHT VICTORY, 2-1, EARN 40TH WIN

Brent Suter picked up Biloxi’s 11th quality start in the last 14 games on Monday night

Biloxi Shuckers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/8/3/0/130884830/cuts/_BRP3927_oyx4k9va_r23cazp0.jpg

Brent Suter tossed his third straight quality start and earned his fourth win on Monday night in Pearl (Benton Reed Photography)

 

PEARL, MS – The Shuckers closed out a five-game series with the Mississippi Braves with their fourth straight victory, a 2-1 win at Trustmark Park on Monday night. Biloxi’s pitching staff held Mississippi (32-31) off the scoreboard for 29.2 innings before the Braves scored on a two-out double in the ninth. The Shuckers take four of five in a series for the second time this season and outscored their inter-state rival 24-3 over the four-game winning streak. The Shuckers lead the season series, 6-4. The Shuckers are the sixth team in minor league baseball to 40 wins and the first in the Southern League. The Shuckers are a season-high 16-games over .500 and winners of seven of their last 10 and six straight in series play.

 

Shuckers’ starter Brent Suter (4-2) kept the dominating trend going for Biloxi starters, tossing six innings of shutout ball with three hits allowed, a walk and five strikeouts. Shuckers’ starters kept the Braves off the scoreboard in their last 21.1 innings, giving up eight hits in that span and striking out 18. Since June 6, starters have a 1.71 ERA over 14 games with 11 quality starts, allowing 16 earned runs in 86 innings with 86 strikeouts and 27 walks.

 

Mike Strong (IP, SO) and Manny Barreda (IP, BB, 3 SO) bridged the way to the ninth for Damien Magnifico (SV, 7, IP, R, H, BB, 2 SO), who closed out the Braves with

 

Biloxi (40-24) continued to jump out to early leads against the Braves, this time with Brandon Macias (1x3, HR, RBI, R) taking Tyrell Jenkins deep to start the third inning, giving the Shuckers a 1-0 lead.

 

Taylor Green (1x4, RBI) provided some insurance in the ninth with an RBI single to plate Michael Reed (2x3, R, 2B, BB, SB) and give Biloxi a 2-0 edge.

 

The Shuckers will have Tuesday off before starting a five-game series with the Montgomery Biscuits at MGM Park. RHP Jorge Lopez (4-2, 3.34) will make his 12th start of the season for Biloxi and face off against RHP Ryne Stanek (2-0, 2.29). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:55 p.m. on 1240-AM WGCM, 1580-AM WPMO and the Biloxi Shuckers Radio Network. Fans can also listen to the game using the TuneIn Radio app or by going to http://www.biloxishuckers.com.

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Ortega spins his first nine-inning shutout

Manatees righty holds Hammerheads to four hits for third straight win

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/8/8/4/130838884/cuts/Jorge_Ortega_ciajp9ex_ngcts31w.jpg

 

Jorge Ortega has not issued a walk to Florida State League foes in his last five starts with Brevard County. (Cliff Welch/MiLB.com)

 

Jorge Ortega didn't need many pitches to warm up in the bullpen before his start. But in that limited time, batterymate Cameron Garfield and pitching coach Dave Chavarria could tell it was going to be a good start.

 

The right-handed Milwaukee prospect tossed nine four-hit frames and didn't issue a walk for the fifth straight start as Class A Advanced Brevard County blanked Jupiter, 4-0. It was his fourth complete game of the season, but his first shutout.

 

"He has good tempo, first-pitch strikes is a big thing with him and that's what he did tonight. A nice job of working ahead and getting hitters into swinging mode," Chavarria said. "He was locked in and repeating delivery and located from the very first warm-up pitch."

 

Ortega (6-4) retired the first seven batters before running into a little trouble in the third. Harold Riggins doubled and Yefri Perez singled, but the 21-year-old settled into another groove.

 

"The thing is, he doesn't waver out on the mound, he doesn't panic mode. I think he ran maybe three counts where he got into a three-ball count. He didn't shy away from the strike zone and he challenged guys in most counts," Chavarria said. "But it comes back down to confidence in what he wants to throw, conviction and just executing the pitch. He's very good at those things. It's just part of him, he just has a lot of mound presence when he goes out there."

 

The right-hander allowed singles to Marlins' No. 9 prospect Brian Anderson and No. 10 Austin Dean in the final three innings, but Ortega hung on for the victory. He delivered 93 pitches for his first nine-inning shutout.

 

"He hasn't thrown one game this year over 100 pitches; all of his complete games have been 95 pitches or below," the coach said. "He works both sides of the plate, he's not afraid of throwing the ball in the strike zone, he's not afraid of contact. It's just the basics of pitching and he does it very, very well."

 

The last time Ortega kept the opponents from crossing the plate for an entire game was on June 23, 2011, when he spun a seven-inning shutout for the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Brewers.

 

"Ortega pitched a gem, he's fearless on the mound," Garfield said. "I knew exactly in the bullpen, first couple pitches, like I said, he's fearless, he's not afraid to pitch to any hitter."

 

The 6-foot-1 hurler lowered his ERA to 1.80 -- the lowest it's been since his first start -- while lowering his WHIP to a Florida State League-best 0.77. Ortega has issued just five free passes in his 76 innings this season.

 

Chavarria said a big help to Ortega's game is the fact he is studious and always asking other pitchers questions. When farmhand Hiram Burgos spent seven games in Brevard County this year, the 21-year-old made good use of his time with a locker right next to the 27-year-old.

 

"He understands hitters, he has a knack for when to add and subtract on pitches, he controls tempo [and] he controls the strike zone very well…. He understands if he makes a mistake, and usually if he does make a mistake, it's usually the right pitch. He just misses barely with location -- that's when he makes mistakes, which is very seldom," Chavarria said. "It's one of those things where when he's on the mound, it's kind of his sanctuary. He just goes out there and puts in all his work the four days before and Day 5 is a fun day. He enjoys himself out there."

 

Garfield helped his batterymate with three hits and an RBI, while Omar Garcia plated two runs and Angel Ortega added another.

 

Jupiter starter Sean Townsley (3-8) allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out five in five innings.

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The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
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