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Link Report for Wednesday 6/17 - Javier Salas Complete Game Win as Brevard Battles Marlins' Jose Fernandez


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Wednesday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Colorado Springs: RHP Drew Gagnon at home vs. Oklahoma City (Dodgers), 1:05 PM pre-game, 1:35 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.

 

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Biloxi: RHP Jorge Lopez at home vs. Montgomery (Rays), 6:55 PM pre-game, 7:10 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!

 

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Brevard County: RHP Javier Salas 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.

 

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Wisconsin: RHP Cy Sneed at Kane County (Diamondbacks), 11:40 AM pre-game, 12:00 PM gametime

 

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.

 

NOTE: Kane County does provide MiLB TV, you'd be hearing the Cougars' audio feed as well

 

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DSL Brewers: at home vs. the DSL Yankees #2 squad, 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

 

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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

 

Biloxi, MS

 

Viera, FL

 

Geneva, IL

 

San Pedro de Macoris, DR

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I get that Sthervin Matos has had some fun moments, but someone will need to explain to me how Tucker Neuhaus (.289/.353/.400, turns 20 on Thursday) isn't playing third base every single day, being groomed as the big league rookie third baseman in 2018/2019.

 

Sigh...

 

He's below average defensively as a 3B, he's been much better at 2B. I know many of us don't really believe in 2B prospects, but I think that's where Tucker belongs defensively. He seems to do better having more time to react, though he doesn't have the range of any of the SS in the system who could also slide over to 2B, range wise he's more of Gennett.

 

Could he be MLB average at 3B? Maybe? As a 3B he's 2, maybe 3 notches below Matos right now who's been pretty outstanding defensively.

 

Neuhaus is interesting in that I was getting ready to write him off before getting a chance to watch him and now that I can see him play I've found quite a bit to like. He's the one guy with "eye issues" who seems to have really improved since his diagnosis, I've grown to be skeptical of that "excuse" over years (Bill Hall anyone?). I just really like how fundamentally sound and quiet his swing is for this level of play.

 

Where he fits defensively, well that's tough. He's not a SS, that much I can tell you, with more time at 3B could he be average? I'm not sure, he didn't demonstrate that quick twitch side to side ability most MLB 3B have which is necessary playing closer to the plate. It doesn't necessarily mean that's not in his repertoire, that just means I hadn't witnessed him demonstrate it before he was transferred across the diamond.

 

I think Erickson is in a tough spot, the pitching is so spotty he can't really afford to give away outs on defense, but many of his better hitters are playing the same position; Castillo and Neuhaus at 2B, and McCall and Leal at C. Minor League Baseball isn't really about winning games, but yet Matt is still trying to juggle development and winning, winning is really the only reward the players get for their hard work during the season. There aren't many candidates worthy of a mid season bump, but that doesn't mean the guys aren't working hard.

 

Offensively Neuhaus is far and away the better prospect which means he's the better MLB prospect, but I think Matos has better all around tools.

 

I hope that made sense, it feels like I typed in a big circle.

"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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Cougars wreck Rattlers rally with late comeback

Kane County tops Rattlers 8-7

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/1/4/4/129205144/cuts/6_June_6_Rubio_g3w9ow6k_ml1fqfmi.jpg

Elvis Rubio had two doubles, scored a run, and drove in a pair of runs for the Rattlers on Wednesday at Kane County. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers/Ann Mollica)

 

GENEVA, IL - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored four times in the top of the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead on the Kane County Cougars Wednesday afternoon at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. But, Kane County rallied with three runs in the bottom of the eighth and held off Wisconsin in the ninth for an 8-7 victory.

 

Wisconsin (21-45) got on the board first. Francisco Castillo singled to start the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Diaz, and took third on a grounder by Elvis Rubio. Kane County starter Markus Solbach hit Dustin DeMuth to extend the inning. Sthervin Matos blooped in a single to drive in Castillo from third for a 1-0 lead.

 

Kane County (33-32) countered in the second inning against Wisconsin starting pitcher Cy Sneed. Colin Bray tripled to start the frame. Chuck Taylor drove in Bray with a sacrifice fly to tie the game,

 

The Rattlers answered back in the top of the third. Elvis Rubio doubled with one out. DeMuth put the Rattlers up 2-1 with a single to right-center that drove in Rubio.

 

Marty Herum started the Kane County fourth with a single. Bray followed with a bunt single up the third base line and the throw to first was wild. Herum scored all the way from first and Bray wound up on third base. Taylor knocked in Bray with a grounder and the Cougars were up 3-2.

 

In the fifth, Victor Reyes started the inning with a slow grounder to the right side of the infield. After brief confusion as to who would field the ball, second baseman Tucker Neuhaus took the ball and flipped the ball from his glove to Sneed covering first base. The play appeared to be in time, but Reyes was ruled safe. Cody Regis followed with a triple to right-center to drive in Reyes for a 4-2 lead..

 

Joe Munoz started the Kane County seventh inning with a double off Sneed and the Rattlers brought Tyler Linehan out of the bullpen. Reyes singled to center off Linehan and Munoz scored for a 5-2 advantage.

 

Tucker Neuhaus, who had singled earlier in the game to extend his hitting streak to ten games, singled to start the Wisconsin eighth against reliever Steve Hathaway. Jose Pena followed with a double. Then, Alan Sharkey singled to center to score Neuhaus. Hathaway got the next two outs before giving way to Luis Ramirez.

 

Diaz dropped a hit in behind the mound to allow Pena to score and the Rattlers were within a run.

 

Rubio completed the comeback when he sent an 0-2 pitch from Ramirez just fair inside the line at third base for a two-run double and the Rattlers were up 6-5.

 

But, the Cougars had a rally of their own.

 

Linehan got the first out of the frame, but gave up singles to Taylor and Michael Perez. Munoz followed with a single to left to score Taylor with the tying run. Perez and Munoz each moved into scoring position on the throw to the plate. Wisconsin elected to walk Reyes intentionally to load the bases, but set up the double play. However, Linehan hit Regis to force in the go-ahead run for Kane County.

 

Zach Cooper was summoned from the bullpen and had a 3-1 count on Ildemaro Vargas when he balked to allow Kane County's eighth run of the game to score. Cooper escaped the inning with no more damage.

 

Neuhaus started the Wisconsin ninth against Cougars close Zac Curtis with a single, his third hit of the game. Pena bunted Neuhaus to second and Sharkey drove in Neuhaus with a hit. Sharkey's third hit of the game made it 8-7.

 

Greg McCall was next and his deep fly to left died on the warning track for the second out.

 

Castillo kept the game alive for the Rattlers with a single, but Curtis collected his thirteenth save of the season with a strikeout of Diaz to end the game. Curtis is 5-for-5 in save opportunities against the Timber Rattlers this season.

 

The Rattlers collected a season-high 17 hits in the game and went 6-for-17 with runners in scoring position, but could not stop themselves from falling to a season low 24 games under .500.

 

DeMuth joined Neuhaus and Sharkey with three-hit games. DeMuth also reached base on a hit batsman and a walk on Wednesday.

 

The Timber Rattlers conclude their three-game series with the Cougars on Thursday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. Zach Hirsch (2-3, 2.98) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Kane County sends Wei-Chieh Huang to the mound. Game time is 6:30pm. Catch the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:40pm. The broadcast may also be heard on Tune In Radio and IHeartRadio. Subscribers to MiLB.TV can follow the action that way.

 

WP: Luis Ramirez (1-0)

LP: Tyler Linehan (1-1)

SAVE: Zac Curtis (13)

 

TIME: 3:00

ATTN: 7,787

 

Wisconsin Boxscore

Man, another game this young T-Rats squad basically gave away... a 2 run error, a mix up on a ground ball to the right side, and a HBP and Balk to allow runs in the 8th. Cy Sneed wasn't as sharp as he's been, but he was good enough here with better defense. I will say this though, the Rattlers are gradually becoming a much more resilient team. They took it on the nose yesterday only scoring 2 runs, but over the last couple of weeks they've started to battle back from multiple run deficits and compete for 9 innings. I know that's not reflected in the record, a loss is still a loss, but progress is being made. There are still games with stretches of prolonged offensive futility, as in 9+ guys making in outs in a row, but make no mistake that slow and steady progress is being made. In fact Wisconsin has scored more than 5 runs in 3 of the last 4 games, the pitching and defense has suddenly fallen apart which has been disappointing, there haven't been many games where all 3 phases were in sync.

 

The 3 hit days were highlighted above, Elvis Rubio's day was captioned underneath the photo, and Francisco Castillo (2-6) had the final multi-hit day.

 

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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Final: DSL Yankees2 3, DSL Brewers 11

 

DSL Brewers Box Score

 

The Brewers were down 3-1 in the seventh before they put up eight runs in the bottom half of the inning thanks in big part to the Yankees pitching and defense. Four walks, two wild pitches and two errors helped lead to the big inning. Rodrigo Benoit got the start and allowed all three runs (two earned) in five innings. Juan Diaz followed with two hitless innings and got the win and Joaquin De La Cruz tossed the final two frames, striking out four. 20-year-old Bismar Nunez reached base in all three at bats with two singles and a walk before being lifted for a pinch runner. Franly Mallen had a single and a double as the designated hitter and Ignacio Otano hit his first home run of the season.

 

DSL Brewers Game Log

 

The big eight run seventh inning that broke the game open for the Brewers

 

DSL Brewers Bottom of the 7th

Nicol Valderrey singles on a ground ball to center fielder Jonaikel Delgado.

Anderson Jesus strikes out swinging.

Ariel Estades walks. Nicol Valderrey to 2nd.

Bismar Nunez walks. Nicol Valderrey to 3rd. Ariel Estades to 2nd.

Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Roosevert Chal replaces Bismar Nunez.

Adolfo Morillo walks. Nicol Valderrey scores. Ariel Estades to 3rd. Roosevert Chal to 2nd.

Pitching Change: Leyfer Ramirez replaces Anderson Diaz.

With Javier Castillo batting, wild pitch by Leyfer Ramirez, Ariel Estades scores. Roosevert Chal to 3rd. Adolfo Morillo to 2nd.

Javier Castillo singles on a ground ball to right fielder Carlos Tatis. Roosevert Chal scores. Adolfo Morillo scores. Javier Castillo to 2nd on the throw.

Ignacio Otano walks.

With Julio Mendez batting, throwing error by Leyfer Ramirez on the pickoff attempt, Javier Castillo scores. Ignacio Otano to 2nd.

Julio Mendez pops out to pitcher Leyfer Ramirez.

Franly Mallen singles on a ground ball to left fielder Antonio Arias. Ignacio Otano to 3rd.

Nicol Valderrey reaches on a fielding error by second baseman Brallan Medina. Ignacio Otano scores. Franly Mallen to 2nd.

With Anderson Jesus batting, wild pitch by Leyfer Ramirez, Franly Mallen to 3rd. Nicol Valderrey to 2nd.

Anderson Jesus singles on a ground ball to center fielder Jonaikel Delgado. Franly Mallen scores. Nicol Valderrey scores.

Pitching Change: Havid Burgos replaces Leyfer Ramirez.

Ariel Estades grounds out, shortstop Holman Miranda to first baseman Miguel Flames.

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Final: Montgomery 2, Biloxi 6

 

Green, Lopez guide Shuckers to fifth straight win, 6-2 over Biscuits

Biloxi’s 41st victory extends best record in Southern League to 1 ½ games over Chattanooga Lookouts

Biloxi Shukers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/7/3/0/131361730/cuts/8S1A2618_s7hrozbd_6yijc5de.JPG

Taylor Green blasted his fourth Biloxi homer and second at MGM Park on Wednesday night. (Mike Krebs)

 

BILOXI, MS. – The Shuckers opened their second homestand in Biloxi on Wednesday night and won their fifth straight game in convincing fashion, 6-2 over the Montgomery Biscuits in front of 3,572 fans at MGM Park. Taylor Green belted a three-run homer, capping a four run fourth inning for the Shuckers. Starter Jorge Lopez (5-2) picked up Biloxi’s 12th quality start in its last 15 games, surrendering just an unearned run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts in his six innings of work. Since June 2, the Biloxi rotation has a 1.60 ERA. The Shuckers maintain the best record in the Southern League and are one of only eight teams in all of minor league baseball with 41 victories.

 

Biloxi (41-24) got on the scoreboard first for a sixth consecutive game and carried a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning before padding on four runs to open up the lead to five.

 

Michael Reed (0x2, R, 2 BB) and Nick Ramirez (1x3, R, BB) led off the frame with back-to-back walks for Tyrone Taylor (2x4, RBI, R), who deposited a single into center to plate Reed and give the Shuckers an insurance run. Taylor Green (HR, 3 RBI, R) followed with a towering fly onto the berm in right field for his fourth home run of the season, giving Biloxi a five-run advantage.

 

Montgomery (33-32) broke up the shutout in the fifth with a RBI groundout off the bat of Boog Powell to score Patrick Leonard.

 

The Shuckers responded in the sixth off of reliever Colton Reavis, using a single by Adam Weisenburger (1x3, BB) to move Victor Roache (1x4, R) to third. An errant throw by right fielder Dayron Varona allowed Roache to score and moved Weisenburger up to second.

 

Jed Bradley (IP, R, H) made his debut for the Shuckers and allowed a RBI groundout to Juniel Querecuto, bringing home Leonard to trim the lead to 6-2. Austin Ross (2 IP, H, SO) worked the final two frames and got Leonard to strikeout to end the game and extend the Shuckers winning streak to five.

 

Biloxi will look to take a two-game lead in the final series of the first half on Thursday night at MGM Park. Shuckers’ All-Star LHP Hobbs Johnson (4-3, 3.05) will take on RHP Jared Mortensen (4-3, 2.75) for the Biscuits. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:55 p.m. on 1240-AM WGCM 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. The game will also be available on MiLB.tv.

 

Biloxi Box Score

 

Jorge Lopez turned in his third straight quality start. He scattered four hits and gave up just the one unearned run, but the really encouraging number is only one walk over six innings. Tyrone Taylor had another two hit game. That makes five multi-hit game sin his last eight. Victor Roache singled in his Double-A debut and leadoff hitter Josh Fellhauer reached base in four of his five plate appearances with a single, double and a pair of waks.

 

Biloxi Game Log

 

Taylor Green's fourth home run of the season was more than enough offense for the Shuckers

 

Biloxi Bottom of the 4th

Michael Reed walks.

Nick Ramirez walks. Michael Reed to 2nd.

Tyrone Taylor singles on a ground ball to center fielder Boog Powell. Michael Reed scores. Nick Ramirez to 2nd.

Taylor Green homers (4) on a fly ball to right field. Nick Ramirez scores. Tyrone Taylor scores.

Victor Roache grounds out, shortstop Juniel Querecuto to first baseman Cameron Seitzer.

Adam Weisenburger flies out to right fielder Dayron Varona.

Josh Fellhauer singles on a line drive to right fielder Dayron Varona.

Nathan Orf grounds into a force out, shortstop Juniel Querecuto to second baseman Thomas Coyle. Josh Fellhauer out at 2nd.

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Final: Oklahoma City 4, Colorado Springs 3, 11 innings

 

Sox and Dodgers Make Up For Lost Time In Tough Loss

Diaz and Schafer Collect Three Hits Each as Colorado Springs Falls to OKC in 11

By Ed Pearsall / Colorado Springs Sky Sox

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/6/5/8/131278658/cuts/06_02_062_pk_snzedldm_zvhyyeb6.jpg

 

Robinzon Diaz collected three hits and scored two runs in the Sox 4-3, 11-inning loss on Wednesday. (Photo by Paat Kelly)

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - On the heels of consecutive rain-shortened games, the Sky Sox and Oklahoma City Dodgers did their best to make up for lost innings in Colorado Springs's 11-inning, 4-3 loss in the series finale before a crowd of 3,694 at Security Service Field on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Continuing another recent trend, the Sky Sox offense struck for the game's first run in the bottom of the second against OKC starter Ian Thomas. It was the third straight game that the Sox scored a run in the second to take an early lead. Robinzon Diaz and Logan Schafer got the Sox going with back-to-back one-out singles that put runners on the corners for the consistently productive Yadiel Rivera. The shortstop would reach first safely on a fielder's choice throwing error by Thomas, allowing Diaz to scoot home from third with ease. The Dodgers lefty would work out of further trouble to end the second with his team trailing by one. Thomas settled down and would allow just two more base runners over his final four innings of work, finishing his day with six innings of one-run ball under his belt.

 

Sox starter Drew Gagnon was nearly as impressive in his turn on the mound, allowing just two runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings of work while striking out three. The right-hander cruised through three before stumbling slightly in the top of the fourth. Gagnon gave up his only two runs and the Sox lead in the frame thanks to a leadoff double by top prospect Corey Seager followed by one-out RBIs on an Austin Barnes triple and Scott Schebler single.

 

Oklahoma City held the 2-1 lead until the home seventh when Colorado Springs broke out for a two spot of their own against Dodgers reliever Daniel Coulombe. Rivera once again came through for the Sox, plating Diaz from third on a fielder's choice groundout to knot the game at two. Donnie Murphy followed with a productive groundout, allowing Rivera to advance 90 feet and give Matt Long a chance at taking the lead for the home side. Long delivered an RBI single to score Rivera and regain the Sky Sox one-run lead at 3-2.

 

Rob Wooten came on in the eighth for reliever David Goforth who tossed a scoreless seventh to keep the Sox in the ballgame. Wooten was not welcomed kindly as a Rivera error allowed leadoff man Hector Olivera to reach base before Seager's second double of the game drove in the Cuban import to tie the contest for the third time. The righty would work out of the seventh allowing just the one unearned run but the damage had been done.

 

The Dodgers sent two more left-handers to the bump over the next 3.1 innings, making it four consecutive used on the day by OKC manager Damon Berryhill. Ryan Buchter and David Huff (3-0, 2.08) combined to keep the Sox offense off the board through the critical 8th, 9th and 10th innings, leaving their own offense the opportunity to steal an extra-inning win. Jaye Chapman and Michael Kirkman teamed up to shutout OKC over the ninth and tenth innings with each collecting two strikeouts in their lone frames.

 

Wirfin Obispo (0-1, 5.40) was the sixth and final pitcher used by Sox manager Rick Sweet and despite his best efforts; the journeyman reliever could not keep the Dodgers from taking the late lead. The righty walked the 11th inning leadoff man in Brian Burgamy before collecting three straight outs to end the inning. Unfortunately for Obispo, Burgamy would make it all the way to third with just one out on a sac bunt by Luis Mateo and a wild pitch before pinch-hitter O'Koyea Dickson drove his fellow outfielder home on a sacrifice fly to left field. Obispo struck out leadoff hitter Darnell Sweeney to end the inning in the following at-bat but not before Oklahoma City scored what would be the game-winner.

 

Colorado Springs posed its greatest late-inning threat in the home 11th as a Diaz double and Schafer walk set up the Sox with a chance to send fans home happy after a long day at the ballpark. Rivera followed with a one-out groundout, advancing both runners into scoring position with two away and Pete Orr coming to the plate. In the most pivotal moment of the day, Orr lined a ball that looked to be ticketed for centerfield before it deflected off the leg of Dodgers closer Juan Gonzalez into the glove of Seager at shortstop. The hustling Orr would be thrown out by a few steps to end the ballgame on a play that simply didn't go the Sox way. Gonzalez earned his second save of the season to secure the Dodgers' 4-3, series-clinching win.

 

Colorado Springs collected nine hits, six of which came from three-hit games by Diaz and Schafer. The Sox fall to 26-38 with the difficult loss as the division-leading Dodgers improve to 43-22.

 

The Sky Sox will look to get back in the win column on Thursday night as they welcome the New Orleans Zephyrs to town for the first of a four-game set. Tyler Cravy (7-4, 3.36) leads the charge against Zephyrs lefty Adam Conley (5-2, 2.77) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM MDT (8:05 Central) at Security Service Field.

 

Colorado Springs Box Score

 

Catcher Nevin Ashley now 0-for-his-last-16 after such a great season-long run; Matt Clark, again in LF, is just 6-for-50 in June with 16 K's (ouch) as his average has tumbled down to .260; Logan Schafer 7-for-9 with a walk as he hangs on to his 40-man roster spot; with Ashley and Robinzon Diaz raking (well, Ashley until recently as noted), catcher Juan Centeno a lineup afterthought; Diaz was 14-for-24 in May, now 11-for-23 in June - he's 25-for-57 with 22 singles, talk about BABIP, wow.

 

Colorado Springs Game Log

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I was driving on my commute home this afternoon with Dan Karcher's 11th inning Sky Sox call playing on my phone.

 

Colorado Springs posed its greatest late-inning threat in the home 11th as a Diaz double and Schafer walk set up the Sox with a chance to send fans home happy after a long day at the ballpark. Rivera followed with a one-out groundout, advancing both runners into scoring position with two away and Pete Orr coming to the plate. In the most pivotal moment of the day, Orr lined a ball that looked to be ticketed for centerfield before it deflected off the leg of Dodgers closer Juan Gonzalez into the glove of Seager at shortstop. The hustling Orr would be thrown out by a few steps to end the ballgame on a play that simply didn't go the Sox way. Gonzalez earned his second save of the season to secure the Dodgers' 4-3, series-clinching win.

 

You'll find the video of that final play (ball scorched) at the link below.

 

Short-handed Sky Sox fall in 11 when deflected ball bounces Oklahoma City's way

by Brent Briggeman, Colorado Springs Gazette

 

The challenges of Triple-A roster management were on full display for the Sky Sox on Wednesday in a hard-luck loss to Oklahoma City.

 

Colorado Springs, playing without the designated hitter as it faced a fellow National League affiliate, entered the game with just two available players on its bench. With limited options, manager Rick Sweet had to pinch hit a pitcher in the ninth inning.

 

Oklahoma City eventually took a 4-3 lead in the 11th with a walk, wild pitch and two sacrifices. The Sky Sox climbed back into position to win, but Pete Orr's hard-hit ball ricocheted off the pitcher to the Dodgers' shortstop, who used the kick-save to convert the final out and strand runners on second and third.

 

Would the game have gone differently had the Sky Sox not released Chris Nelson before the game without first bringing in a replacement?

 

Sweet wasn't going there.

 

"We had so many chances in this game to win and we just didn't take advantage," Sweet said. "We played just good enough to lose, and we are better than that. That's why I'm upset. I'm not upset we lost the game, I'm upset the last three games we lost because I want someone to execute. I want someone to get it done in the middle of this game."

 

Sweet said playing short-handed is part of Triple-A.

 

In 15 years at this level, he estimates at least 80 percent of the time he's been at least one player short. On Wednesday he was without Nelson and catcher Juan Centeno, who was active but held out for a minor injury.

 

Sweet had already used Donnie Murphy as a pinch hitter with a runner in scoring position in the seventh, so Orr was his only available bat in the ninth. When the first man in the inning was retired, Sweet went to pitcher Josh Roenicke - a .250 hitter.

 

Saving the last position player worked as planned, as Orr entered the game in the 11th as part of a double switch and he came to the plate with two outs and a chance to win it in the 11th. Oklahoma City was saved only by catching the break of the ball hitting the pitcher.

 

Sweet said he would have used Orr in the ninth instead of Roenicke had a runner been in scoring position.

 

"What happens is people in the stands and sometimes you guys don't understand how far ahead I think," Sweet said. "At least for two or three innings, I know exactly what I'm going to do with everything lined up perfectly. What happens is the execution of your players makes you either look good or look bad. That's what it comes down to. To me, managers don't win games; managers only screw up and lose games."

 

Colorado Springs (26-38) has won just one of its past eight series, tying two of those.

 

Robinzon Diaz and Logan Schafer each had three hits for the Sky Sox and Yadiel Rivera drove in a pair.

 

Catcher Austin Barnes had a triple and an RBI in his three-hit day for the Dodgers and top prospect Corey Seager scored a run, drove in a run and cracked two doubles.

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Lopez tosses another gem as Shuckers top Biscuits, 6-2

Patrick Magee, Biloxi Sun-Herald

 

PHOTO GALLERY: Ten nice photos by Amanda McCoy of the Sun-Herald at the link

 

BILOXI – With a 6-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits Wednesday night, the Biloxi Shuckers' pitching staff continued its recent outstanding run against the Southern League.

 

Right-hander Jorge Lopez took his turn in the Shuckers' rotation and put together another quality start. Lopez allowed one run on four hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one.

 

“I just attack the hitter,” Lopez said. “I've been learning lot. I've got to credit (catcher Adam) Weisenburger. He's been doing a really good job back there. I work off that and try to make those pitches.”

 

Lopez, a Southern League South Division All-Star, improved to 5-2.

 

In Biloxi's current five-game winning streak, the team's starting pitchers have allowed three runs on 16 hits in 33 innings.

 

Since June 2, Biloxi's pitchers have registered 12 quality starts in the last 15 games and a 1.60 ERA.

 

“When you've got good pitchers, they feed off each other,” Shuckers manager Carlos Subero said.

 

Biloxi pitching coach Chris Hook has seen a healthy dynamic develop on the pitching staff as a whole.

 

“They're a competitive group,” Hook said. “They're all pulling for each other, but they're all competitive. That's just how it works. Guys go out and throw well. The next guy tries to throw better. We had a little down swing in mid-May, but the guys have really thrown well.”

 

A total of 3,572 fans showed up to watch the series opener Wednesday for the third largest crowd in MGM Park's brief six-game history.

 

Wednesday night marked the first time that the suites have been open at the new ballpark.

 

Biloxi broke through with a four-run run fourth to set the lead at 5-0 and put the game out of reach for the Biscuits.

 

As part of the four-run rally, Taylor Green lifted a high homer to the power alley in right field for a three-run shot, his second homer at MGM Park and his fourth of the season.

 

“I would say that was the key at-bat of the game,” Subero said. “He had a good hit in the ninth against Mississippi the other day. He's an experienced guy. He knows what to do with a 2-0 changeup.”

 

The fourth run of the fourth came on a throwing error by Montgomery right fielder Dayron Varona following a single by Weisenburger. Victor Roache advanced from second to third on the hit and took home when Varona's throw home was well off the mark.

 

With the speedy Kyle Wren promoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier this week, Josh Fellhauer filled in well in the leadoff spot on Wednesday for the Shuckers.

 

Fellhauer reached base four times against the Biscuits. He went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two bases on balls.

 

“That's my job, get on base for the big boppers,” Fellhauer said. “I think I did my job tonight.”

 

Fellhauer doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and later took home on a wild pitch by Biscuits starter Ryne Stanek (2-1) to give the Shuckers an early 1-0 lead.

 

It was just the first of many examples of poor control from Stanek, who walked five and gave up four earned runs on five hits in five innings.

 

The Shuckers host Montgomery at 7:10 PM. Thursday with left-hander Hobbs Johnson (4-3, 3.05) set to start for Biloxi. Right-hander Jared Mortensen (4-3, 2.75) will start for Montgomery.

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