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Link Report Sat. 7/28 -- Helena in Playoffs; Sarfate Injured

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Saturday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP R.A. Dickey at home vs. Sacramento (A's), 5:45 PM pre-game; 6:00 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: RHP Corey Thurman at home vs. Chattanooga (Reds), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: It's a doubleheader at Vero Beach (Dodgers), 3:45 PM pre-game, 4:00 gametime; LHP Brae Wright is scheduled to make his Manatee debut starting one of the two games


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



West Virginia: RHP Donovan Hand making his Power debut at home vs. Hagerstown (Nationals), 5:55 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


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



Helena: RHP Evan Anundsen at Great Falls (White Sox), 7:50 PM pre-game, 8:05 gametime -- if the H-Crew wins today (or Sunday), they're first-half champs


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



Arizona: TBD at the Angels' complex in Tempe, 7:00 PM local time in Arizona, 9:00 Central; never any audio for Arizona Rookie League games

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Follow Saturday's action as it happens:

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










Brevard County Game One:




Brevard County Game Two:




West Virginia:











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These links will be included in each daily report when the Nashville Sounds and/or Huntsville Stars are scheduled to play. Normally they are updated an hour or two prior to gametime, with Nashville's usually earlier:


Nashville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):




Huntsville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):



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Standings through Friday's action:


 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nashville 65 41 .613 - 35-15 30-26 W3 Iowa 59 48 .551 6.5 34-22 25-26 L2 Omaha 52 55 .486 13.5 33-18 19-37 L1 Memphis 44 63 .411 21.5 24-32 20-31 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chattanooga 20 15 .571 - 11-9 9-6 W5 Huntsville 20 15 .571 - 10-5 10-10 L3 Tennessee 17 18 .486 3.0 14-6 3-12 W3 Carolina 16 19 .457 4.0 8-7 8-12 L3 West Tenn 15 20 .429 5.0 8-12 7-8 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 20 14 .588 - 10-7 10-7 W1 Jupiter 17 15 .531 2.0 9-4 8-11 W6 Palm Beach 15 19 .441 5.0 8-12 7-7 L1 Daytona 14 20 .412 6.0 8-11 6-9 L1 St. Lucie 14 21 .400 6.5 5-11 9-10 W1 Vero Beach 8 25 .242 11.5 3-13 5-12 L3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hickory 23 13 .639 - 15-8 8-5 L1 Lakewood 18 15 .545 3.5 10-5 8-10 W1 Lake County 18 16 .529 4.0 8-8 10-8 W1 Lexington 17 18 .486 5.5 11-9 6-9 L1 Greensboro 17 19 .472 6.0 12-6 5-13 W9 West Virginia 17 19 .472 6.0 9-9 8-10 L1 Delmarva 16 19 .457 6.5 5-11 11-8 L3 Hagerstown 10 25 .286 12.5 5-11 5-14 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pioneer League (R+) - PIO North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Helena 25 11 .694 - 11-7 14-4 W2 Great Falls 23 13 .639 2.0 14-4 9-9 L2 Billings 18 17 .514 6.5 11-6 7-11 W1 Missoula 14 22 .389 11.0 6-13 8-9 L6 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona League (R) - Arizona League Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AZL Mariners 21 8 .724 - 12-2 9-6 W1 AZL Angels 19 10 .655 2.0 15-4 4-6 L1 AZL Padres 19 10 .655 2.0 11-3 8-7 W4 AZL Cubs 15 14 .517 6.0 7-7 8-7 W2 AZL Giants 14 15 .483 7.0 8-7 6-8 L4 AZL Royals 13 16 .448 8.0 6-8 7-8 W2 AZL Athletics 12 17 .414 9.0 6-7 6-10 L2 AZL Rangers 10 19 .345 11.0 4-9 6-10 L5 AZL Brewers 7 21 .250 13.5 2-12 5-9 L2

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Sarfate - wow - Got a start - maybe showcasing him for a trade? - Wow - not good - in fact - oh my. Dennis please - no - oh what to do? A BFN favorite disintegrating before our very eyes. Say it ain't so Dennis! Someone help me - talk me down off the ledge.
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Sarfate was the name I had in the back of my mind when I had hinted in the Transaction Thread that there might be some surprising moves coming up to free up the Nashville logjam. They're grasping at straws with him now. And Tim Dillard is having as disappointing a season as just about anybody.


Look for Chris Barnwell to get some mound action tonight. Like Ryan Crew with Huntsville the other day...

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Final: Vero Beach (Devil Rays) 6, Brevard County 0, six innings, rain




Wlodarczyk blanks Manatees


Michael Wlodarczyk tossed a two-hitter as Vero Beach blanked visiting Brevard County, 6-0, in the rain-shortened opener of Saturday's doubleheader.


Wlodarczyk (7-4) walked one and struck out three over six innings for his third straight win and second complete game of the year. The 24-year-old left-hander has given up four runs in his last 29 frames to lower his ERA to 3.13.


Sergio Pedroza delivered an RBI groundout in the first, opened the fourth with his 15th homer and tripled and scored in the sixth for the Devil Rays (9-25), who snapped a three-game skid.


Vero Beach's Patrick Cottrell stroked a two-run double in the first and Christopher Cunningham and Matthew Devins ripped back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth.


Manatees starter Rafael Lluberes (5-7) tossed his first career complete game, surrendering six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three over six frames.


Darren Ford and Lorenzo Cain had the hits for Brevard County (20-15). Mat Gamel drew a leadoff walk in the seventh before the game was called. The nightcap was postponed. -- Marissa Rega/MLB.com


Brevard County Box Score:




Brevard County Game Log:



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This day has been like . . . you have to look for shelter, and the only shelter is in West Virginia and below. I've never been so depressed, organization-wide; I'm emotionally invested in Helena, for God's sake.



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I'm really bummed, as both Dennis and Dillard have been favorites for a few years, along with Hammond. Really, the only pitcher that I was excited about entering the year that HAS had success is Periard. Well, I guess I did root for Garrison a lot, too. Come on Dennis, Tim, and Hammy...make me feel good about always rooting for you boys!
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Final: Helena 4, Great Falls (White Sox) 1


Helena Independent Record:




Brewers secure first-half division title


GREAT FALLS ? The Helena Brewers are headed to the Pioneer League?s postseason.


The Brewers claimed the North Division first-half title Saturday night with a 4-1 win over Great Falls.


Evan Anundsen was in top form on the mound for Helena as he pitched eight innings, giving up one earned run and two hits in that span.


?He did a good job locating his fastball,? said Brewers manager Jeff Isom. ?He was able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes when he needed to.?


Curtis Pasma came in during the ninth and notched a save. The White Sox had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, but Pasma struck out Joe Persichina to end the game.


Offensively, Helena saw David Fonseca go 2-for-3 in the game, and he hit his second home run of the season. That came in the top of the seventh as he cracked a solo shot. Mike Goetz drove in a run as well for Helena.


?Those guys came up big with some clutch hits in those situations.? Isom said.


Helena went 20-5 in July.


?The guys bought into the system and the hitting coach (Paco Martin) has been excellent working with the guys,? Isom said. ?The players have been tireless in the amount of time they have been working.?


Helena will conclude the first half today with the third game in a three-game series with the White Sox. They will be back at home Monday to start the second half against the defending Pioneer League champion Missoula Osprey.


Link while active, text follows:




White Sox can't break through


Great Falls Tribune Asst. Sports Editor


A steamy summer series is no time to suffer a power outage.


But that's exactly what has happened to the Great Falls White Sox, whose playoff hopes went up in smoke ? literally, thanks to Montana's wildfires ? at Centene Stadium on Saturday night.


The White Sox fell 4-1 to the Helena Brewers, who clinched the first-half title in the Pioneer League's Northern Division thanks to a second straight road victory.


"It's the third or fourth time pitching against these guys so I had a little clue going in," said righthander Evan Anundsen, who was brilliant for the Brewers of manager Jeff Isom.


Anundsen allowed only two hits and one earned run in eight innings to a Great Falls team that prior to Friday's 4-3 loss had been averaging seven runs per game.


"I'm a sinkerball pitcher and I was trying to get ground ball, ground ball, ground ball," Anundsen said. "Thanks to the infield. I mean, I've gotta have a defense behind me."


The Brewers grabbed an early lead with a run in the second, then added a pair in the fifth. Wisconsin native Mike Goetz knocked in one of the runs with a single.


"Milwaukee's been my team my whole life," said Goetz, a native of Franklin, Wis., who played at Greenfield High and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "We had an awesome first half. We have a tough, tough lineup."


Of course, so do the White Sox. But Great Falls is at 23-14, three full games behind the Brewers (26-11). Helena will meet the Northern Division's second-half winner in the first round of the playoffs. In the Southern Division, the Idaho Falls Chukars clinched the first-half pennant.


The White Sox hope to join the playoff party, too, but now the team must set its sights on the final five weeks of the summer.


"They're a tough team. They match up very well against us," Goetz said of Great Falls. "We bang out 15 hits a game, usually, and we're lucky to get seven or eight against these guys."


"But today it was all Brewers," said Anundsen, a fourth-round pick in the 2006 draft out of Columbine High in Littleton, Colo. "We got a few runs right out of the gate and that really helped."


The White Sox manager Chris Cron have had a great season to date, but the clutch hitting just wasn't there either Friday or Saturday.


"You've really got to tip your hat to the kid," said Cron of Anundsen. "He shut down a team that has a lot of offensive potential, and he made it look real easy. ... He was pretty much dominating. He kept us off-balance and had a nice little sinker. I don't know how many ground-ball outs he got, but a lot of them. It was too bad we couldn't do a little bit more ...


"We just got cold at the wrong time."


The White Sox finally scored in the sixth when C.J. Retherford tripled with one out and Christian Marrero's fly ball to left ? a sacrifice fly ? was dropped by Goetz. And for a few moments a large crowd of 2,618 came to life at Centene.


But the Brewers got the run right back in the top of the seventh when David Fonseca homered off Sox reliever Ronnie Morales, the former Great Falls Legion baseball star who has had many solid outings this summer.


In the ninth, the White Sox brought the tying run to the plate following singles by Salvador Sanchez and Jim Gallagher. The latter's basehit marked the 28th straight game in which he's reached base. But the rally died as Andrew Mead popped up and Joe Persichina struck out.


Cron believes there is much to look forward to for his club, who will finish the first half today and begin the second half of the Pioneer's 76-game slate Monday in Billings.


"Definitely there is," Cron said. "A lot of positives happened for us in the first half. We put together some real good baseball. We know what we're capable of and we're looking forward to the second half.


The Brewers and White Sox will close out the regular season this afternoon at 4:00 PM (5:00 Central) at Centene.




Anundsen stymies Brewers


Evan Anundsen pitched eight strong innings and David Fonseca homered to lead visiting Helena to a 4-1 win over Great Falls on Saturday.


Anundsen (5-2) limited the White Sox (23-15) to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out four in the longest outing of his two-year career. The 19-year-old right-hander tossed a seven-inning two-hitter at Idaho Falls on July 12 and has allowed only five earned runs over his last 26 innings.


Curtis Pasma pitched around two hits in the ninth for his first save.


Fonseca cracked a solo homer, his second of the season, in the seventh. He also followed Mike Goetz's RBI triple in the fifth with a single. Caleb Gindl went 2-for-4 with a run scored to raise his average to .449 through 24 games with the Brewers (27-11).


Great Falls starter Anthony Carter (3-3) gave up three runs on five hits and a walk while fanning four over four frames.


C. J. Retherford tripled and scored the White Sox's lone run on Christian Marrero's sacrifice fly in the sixth. Jim Gallagher singled in the ninth to extend his on-base streak to 28 games. -- Michael Blinn/MLB.com


Helena Box Score:

15 ground ball outs for Mr. Anundsen...




Helena Game Log:



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Saturday's Helena KCAP Audio Pre-Game Interview with Minor League Hitting Coordinator Mike Lum:

Interesting discussion about Caleb Gindl and West Virginia's Andrew Lefave included -- be sure you're on the July 28th archive, go to the 6:00 minute mark:




On that same archive, go the two hour, 35 minute mark for the final two game-ending at-bats.

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Final: West Virginia 10, Hagerstown (Nationals) 6


West Virginia Site Game Summary:




Donovan Hand shut down the Hagerstown Suns through five innings of Saturday?s game at Appalachian Power Park as the Power offense pounded out ten runs on 15 hits and defeated the Suns 10-6 to take the final game of the series.


The Suns scored in the first inning when Joe Napoli was hit by a 1-2 pitch with the bases loaded. West Virginia plated three runs in the bottom of the inning. Andrew Lefave and Chuckie Caufield ripped back-to-back RBI singles and Lefave scored later in the inning when Kenny Holmberg reached on a fielder?s choice. Steve Chapman increased the Power lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the third. Taylor Green reached on a fielder?s choice and scored Charlie Fermaint in the fourth inning.


In the sixth inning Francisco Guzman grounded out and knocked in Jhonathan Solano. The Suns made it a 6-3 game in the top of the eighth inning when Patrick Nichols singled in Jonathan Castro. The Power scored four big insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. Lefave doubled in two runs and scored on Green?s two-bagger before Holmberg capped the inning with a run-scoring single. The Suns plated three runs in the ninth but it wasn?t enough.


Hand (1-0) allowed a run on eight hits and struck out six through five innings to get the win in his Power debut, J.T. King (3) earned the save and Zach Baldwin (3-1) was tagged with the loss.


The Power improved to 66-39 overall and 18-19 in the second half, and the Suns fell to 39-64 overall and 10-26 in the second half with the loss. Lefave went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI. Fermaint also scored three times for the Power while Holmberg, Green and Chapman all knocked in two runs.


The Power are off on Sunday but will begin a four game series against the Columbus Catfish at Golden Park on Monday night. The Power will start right hander Alex Periard (5-3, 3.42) and the Catfish will counter with right hander Woods Fines (6-6, 4.61). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM (6:00 Central).


Link while active, text follows:




Home is not so sweet

Power bashes Baldwin in 10-6 win over Hagerstown

By Tommy R. Atkinson

Charleston Gazette Staff Writer


The West Virginia Power crashed Zach Baldwin?s homecoming party.


Baldwin, the current Hagerstown (Md.) Suns starter and former Cabell Midland High School and West Virginia State standout, surrendered six earned runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings as the Power took a 10-6 victory in the finale of the four-game series Saturday night.


A crowd of 4,761 attended the South Atlantic League matchup at Appalachian Power Park.


Baldwin (3-1), who suffered his first loss of the season, needed 76 pitches to get through 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander had about 100 friends and family members in the stands, plus State coach Calvin Bailey.


Baldwin has been exceptionally good since being moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation. The 31st-round selection by the Washington Nationals in last year?s amateur draft entered Saturday?s game with a 2.12 earned run average. In his previous four starts, he walked just two batters in 27 2/3 innings and posted a 1.63 ERA.


?You always want to do well in front of your friends, family and the local baseball community, but the ball didn?t bounce my way,?? said a dejected Baldwin. ?It?s always nice to come home. It felt good. Once I got out there and got going, I felt good. I just wish I would have performed a little bit better.


The beginning looked bright for the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Baldwin, as the Suns sent seven batters to the plate in the top of the first.


However, Power starter Donovan Hand, who was making his first start at the Class A level after getting called up from Helena (Mont.) of the rookie Pioneer league, only allowed one run and escaped a bases-loaded jam with an infield popout and strikeout.


The Power took the lead for good in the bottom half of the first as the first four batters reached against Baldwin. Power first baseman Andrew Lefave and right fielder Chuckie Caufield rapped out run-scoring singles while third baseman Taylor Green added an RBI groundout for a 3-1 advantage.


After getting the first out of the second, Baldwin allowed back-to-back hits but received some help when center fielder Francisco Plasencia threw out Power runner Brad Miller at home.


Baldwin surrendered two more runs in the third and another run in the fourth before leaving with two outs as the Power jumped out to a 6-1 edge.


?I was up with my pitches and with the velocity I pitch at, I can?t miss up,?? Baldwin said. ?I have to be down at the knees. I?ll just try to put it behind me and five days from now, take the mound again.??


Hand (1-0), who was promoted Thursday when Power pitchers Brae Wright and Travis Wendte were promoted to high Class A Brevard County (Fla.), surrendered only the one run in the first, scattered eight hits, struck out six and walked none in five innings.


?The first inning was a little struggle, maybe the nerves took over but I settled down,?? said Hand, Jacksonville, Ala, native who was a 14th-round pick in this June?s amateur draft. ?I had one 1-2-3 inning, so something to improve on there. Overall it was a good first outing, get the first win under your belt.??


Lefave finished 4-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and three RBIs while Green, designated hitter Kenny Holmberg and left fielder Stephen Chapman drove in two runs each for the Power (18-19 second half).


The Power is off today before beginning an eight-game road trip Monday with a four-game set with the Columbus (Ga.) Catfish.


Power points


Chapman, who belted three home runs during the four-game set with the Suns and now has 18 on the year, is a pair of round-trippers shy of tying the Charleston single-season franchise record of 20 set by the Charleston Alley Cats? Jason Parsons in 1997. ...


Caufield, who has 123 hits on the year, needs 40 more to break Lorenzo Cain?s single-season club record of 163 set last year. Caufield also has 76 RBIs, 26 shy of another Parsons? mark also set in 1997.


West Virginia Box Score:

Andrew Lefave 4-for-5, amazing season; Charlie Fermaint on base four times as well...




West Virginia Game Log:



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Final: Arizona Angels 9, Arizona Brewers 1

So much for fresh starts...


Arizona Box Score:

19-year-old Dominican RHP Pedro Lambertus with a fine five-inning start; DH Ryan Jensen, in only his third pro game, walks three times and collects his first hit; OF's Erik Miller and Jovanny Felix combine to go 0-for-8 with seven K's...




Arizona Game Log:



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Final: Chattanooga (Reds) 8, Huntsville 3


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Looks Leap Past Stars Back Into Top Spot


Chattanooga made the most of its five hits, all for extra bases, in downing Huntsville 8-3 Saturday night in the opener of a five-game set at Joe Davis Stadium. The Lookouts won their sixth straight game to improve to 21-16 and move into first place in the North Division by one game over the Stars, who lost their season-high fourth consecutive game to fall to 20-16 in the second half.


Stars? starter Corey Thurman retired the first four batters he faced before Tyrell Godwin belted a home run, his fifth, to give the visitors the early lead. Thurman has allowed eight home runs in his six starts and at least one long ball in all six turns. Craig Tatum followed with a triple that was misplayed in center field by Steve Moss and scored on a fielding error by shortstop Alcides Escobar that also allowed Caonobe Cosme to reach safely. Marland Williams walked before both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher James Avery and then scored on a triple by Adam Rosales to make it 4-0. Thurman was lifted after four innings, giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits and dropped to 3-6.


The Stars got sacrifice flies from Steve Sollmann in the third and Hernan Iribarren in the fifth to trim the lead to 4-2 but that is as close as they would get. Robert Hinton replaced Thurman and retired the first four hitters he faced, but then walked Godwin and Tatum before Cosme hit a three-run homer to right field, his eighth of the season and third in Huntsville, to push the Lookouts lead to 7-2. Hinton has allowed multiple runs in nine of his last 14 outings.


Avery went five frames, yielding two runs on four hits, walking four and fanning four to earn his eighth win and second against the Stars. Brendan Katin hit his 18th home run of the season in the sixth to draw the Stars within 7-3 but Drew Anderson tripled to lead off the eighth and scored on an Enrique Cruz sacrifice fly to finish the scoring. Pedro Viola retired the last seven Stars hitters in his double-A debut to close out the win for the Lookouts, who are now 6-6 at the Joe this season.


The series continues Sunday evening with left-hander Derek Miller taking the hill against Lookouts? right-hander Carlos Fisher. Coverage of the game begins at 5:50 p.m. central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Link while active, text follows:




Stars return home, fall flat

Chattanooga produces eight runs on five hits


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, markcolumn@aol.com


The 12-game win streak seems more ancient history than the Roman Empire. The buoyant feeling surrounding the Huntsville Stars this time a week ago has been played by a sinking sensation.


Looking bus-lagged after an all-night ride from Florida, the Huntsville Stars sleep-walked through an 8-3 loss to Chattanooga Saturday night in front of an announced crowd of 3,887. "A flat game all the way around," said Stars manager Don Money.


The evening's bizarre stat: The Lookouts managed only five hits to get those eight runs, and none of the hits was a single. Chattanooga had two homers and three triples.


The Stars have lost five of their last six after a dismal stretch in Jacksonville and stand at 20-16 in the second half. They have fallen out of first place in the Southern League North for the first time since July 13.


The Lookouts (21-15) have won six in a row, a surge that has enabled them to leapfrog the Stars into first place. The series between the two - the last meetings before a potential Southern League North playoff rematch from last year - continues tonight at 6:05. Birdzerk! will make an appearance and "The Simpsons" movie will also be promoted. Any fan named Simpson will be admitted free.


After Friday's game at Jacksonville, the Stars bused home and arrived a little before 8 a.m. Money refused to make that a factor.


"I don't believe the bus ride had anything to do with it. We got in around 8 and they didn't have to be here until 5:30. They probably didn't get up until 2 or 3," he said. "To me, that's just an excuse."


In the series at Jacksonville, the Stars left 51 runners on base and failed six out of seven times to produce a run with the bases loaded.


Said Money, "They're a good club, but they took advantage of every break they got. And we didn't."


At least the script changed this time. After taking the lead in each of the games in Florida, the Stars quickly fell behind 4-0 to the Lookouts, who proved as opportunistic as the Suns had. And, with only five hits, left-on-base wasn't much of a problem, either.


Corey Thurman, a stalwart in the starting rotation a year ago, made only his sixth start of the season Saturday (out of 24 appearances). His return to the starting role was necessitated by the trade of Will Inman to San Diego.


After cruising through the first, Thurman was socked with a homer by Tyrell Godwin with one out in the second. Craig Tatum followed with a triple that center fielder Steve Moss lost in the twilight, then Caonabo Cosme reached on an error by shortstop Alcides Escobar that scored Tatum. After a walk and a bunt, Adam Rosales tripled in the left-center gap for two more runs.


A pair of sacrifice flies - by Steve Sollmann in the third and Hernan Iribarren in the fifth after an Escobar triple - cut the lead in half, 4-2.


Alas, reliever Robert Hinton issued a pair of one-out walks in the sixth - three Stars pitchers combined for seven walks - then Cosme homered to right for a 7-2 lead.


Brendan Katin socked his 18th homer of the year in the sixth inning, bringing his RBI total for the season to 73, one behind league-leader Brandon Jones.


"It all boils down to how the pitching goes," said Money, who is concerned that "they're always pitching behind (in the count) and throwing a lot of pitches in a short amount of innings."


To avoid even more wear-and-tear on the pitching staff, he had infielder-outfielder Ryan Crew loosening up to pitch in the ninth, had it been necessary.


Huntsville Box Score:

Robert Hinton's miserable season continues -- has any top prospect taken a harder tumble in 2007?




Huntsville Game Log:



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Link while active, text follows:




Stars notebook

Mark McCarter, Huntsville Times


Covering the bases


For the first time since 1990, the Huntsville Stars have been involved in a pennant-race trade. That says less about Huntsville and more about its affiliates - first Oakland, now Milwaukee - and their inability to contend in the major leagues.


Last week, Will Inman, a top prospect in the Brewers' chain who had only recently been promoted to Huntsville, was part of a package of players sent to San Diego for pitcher Scott Linebrink, whom the Brewers hope will help them in the NL Central race.


Not since infielder Stan Royer was swapped from Oakland to St. Louis as part of a trade for outfielder Willie McGee on Aug. 29, 1990, had Huntsville lost a player because its parent club traded for help in a pennant race. After 1990, Oakland was in only one other pennant race while affiliated with the Stars. This pennant race is Milwaukee's first in 15 years.


"Our job is to get guys ready to help the big club," said Stars manager Don Money. "We tell the guys, we don't care if you're behind (Ryan) Braun or Prince (Fielder), there are 29 other teams out there who may be looking for a third baseman or a first baseman." ...


Not only did the Stars have their record-tying 12-game win streak snapped during this past week's trip to Jacksonville, they were cooled off considerably. After Inman pitched beautifully on Monday, he gave up an eighth-inning Juan Gonzalez homer. The Stars won Tuesday, but almost blew a 5-0 lead. They did blow a 4-0 third-inning lead Wednesday, and the Suns got a tie-breaking eighth-inning sac fly off Bo Hall. It was 4-0 after Brendan Katin's grand slam in the first on Thursday, then the Suns followed with 14 runs off four Huntsville pitchers. Luis Pena yielded a two-out single to Cory Dunlap to lose in the 10th on Friday. ...


The Stars made Gonzalez the no-brainer Southern League Player of the Week. He had a game-winning homer Monday, hit a two-run blast Wednesday, added five RBIs on Thursday and threw out the potential winning run at the plate Friday. ... The Stars loaded the bases seven times against the Suns and scored only once.


The Stars will be accepting donations throughout the homestand for the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund, which was established when the former Huntsville third baseman was killed last Sunday when struck by a line drive. Coolbaugh and wife Mandy had two children, with a third due in October. ... Grant Balfour, who began the season with Huntsville, was traded Saturday by the Brewers to Tampa Bay.


Around the league


Jai Miller, an Auburn native playing for Carolina, had three homers and drove in seven runs in a rout of Knoxville on Tuesday. ... West Tenn kept itself alive in the SL North with a six-game win streak, then got cooled off by losing three of five to Birmingham. ... Chattanooga made two roster moves Saturday, with pitchers Tyler Pelland and Brock Till moving to Triple-A and lefties Carlos Bohorquez and Pedro Viola coming up from Single-A Sarasota. ... Corwin Malone, once a top White Sox prospect, was 0-5 as a Barons reliever, but pitched five scoreless innings in his first start on Friday. ... Montgomery had lost six of seven going into Saturday's play. Give the Biscuits credit, though. They still drew 6,903 on Friday and are second in the league in attendance at 4,637 per game. ... Mississippi has certainly cooled off, losing five straight at Chattanooga and six overall. The M-Braves have been racked by promotions. ... Former Star Tanyon Sturtze, 36, made a rehab start for Mississippi last Saturday. He's recovering from rotator cuff surgery.




Triple-A Nashville Sounds (65-41 before Saturday's play, first place in Pacific Coast League American Division): P Adam Pettyjohn 7-2 after four straight wins


Single-A Brevard County Manatees (20-14, first place in second half in Florida State East Division): SS Yohannis Perez six RBIs on Tuesday; .348 in 32 games since demotion from Huntsville, .515 with runners in scoring position


Single-A West Virginia Power (17-19, fifth in South Atlantic League Northern Division this half): P Jeremy Jeffress (6-4, 3.54) nine consecutive strikeouts and no-hitter before yielding five runs in the fifth in Friday loss


Rookie league Helena (25-11, first in Pioneer League North): P Robert Bryson six saves, 1.99 ERA


Rookie league Arizona Brewers (7-21 last in Arizona League as first half ends): P Santo Manzanillo 2-1, 1.98, one save


On deck


The Stars host Chattanooga this evening at 6:05 and again Monday through Wednesday at 7:05 in a series matching the top two teams in the SL North. Birdzerk! makes his annual appearance tonight. It will also be Simpsons Night, honoring the release of the cartoon family's movie. Any fan with the last name Simpson will be admitted free.

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Final: Sacramento (A's) 13, Nashville 6


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Andy Abad photo, text follows --




Cats Pounce Early, Defeat Sounds 13-6


NASHVILLE ? The Sacramento River Cats scored 12 runs in the first three innings of play en route to a 13-6 victory over the Nashville Sounds on Saturday evening at Greer Stadium in front of 9,228 fans in the opener of a four-game series.


The 13 runs and 20 hits allowed were the most surrendered by Nashville (65-42) in a game this season. Every Sacramento player except Gregorio Petit (0-for-5) registered two or more hits on the contest.


Andy Abad went 3-for-5 and drove in five of the Sounds? six runs on the evening, finishing a triple short of the cycle. All five RBIs came with two outs in an inning.


The visitors grabbed a 5-0 lead by sending 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning. Dee Brown got things started against Sounds spot starter Dennis Sarfate with a one-out RBI double before Jorge Piedra added a two-run single to increase the advantage to three.


Sarfate was removed with a right shoulder strain after facing only six batters and turned over a one-out, two-on jam to Tim Dillard, who surrendered the inning?s final two runs on a Gregorio Petit sacrifice fly and a Danny Putnam RBI single.


Nashville got a run back in the bottom of the first when Drew Anderson scored on Abad?s two-out RBI single to right, making it a 5-1 game.


The River Cats stretched the lead to 7-1 in the second on former Sound J.D. Closser?s two-out, two-run double to center and blew the game open in the third by adding five more runs on three homers against Dillard. J.J. Furmaniak belted a two-run homer to right and Jason Perry followed with a solo shot to right. The taters were each player?s 15th of the year. Three batters later, Piedra added a two-run shot to right, his sixth of the year, to make it a 12-1 contest.


Abad (2-for-4) struck again for the Sounds in the fifth, slugging a two-out three-run homer to right-center off River Cats starter Brad Knox. The four-bagger was his eighth of the year and second in two nights.


AUDIO: Andy Abad Three-Run HR --




Callix Crabbe contributed a two-out RBI single in the sixth that drove in Ozzie Chavez before Sacramento tacked on a late run against Sounds shortstop Chris Barnwell, who worked the final two innings from the hill for Nashville.


Abad wrapped up the evening?s scoring with a two-out run-scoring single in the ninth off Connor Robertson, bringing the score to its final 13-6 count.


Knox (7-5) picked up the victory after allowing five runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking four batters and striking out seven over 5 2/3 frames.


Sarfate (2-7), whose shoulder will be re-evaluated tomorrow, took the loss after allowing five runs on three hits and three walks on only one-third of an inning, continuing his recent struggles. The right-hander has posted a 13.89 ERA (18 ER / 11.2 IP) in his last 11 outings.


The teams continue the series with another 6 p.m. meeting on Sunday evening. Left-hander Zach Jackson (9-6, 4.55) will man the bump for Nashville to face River Cats right-hander Mike Madsen (3-0, 3.99).


Nashville Box Score:

RHP Seth McClung strikes out the side in a scoreless inning in his Sounds debut...




Nashville Game Log:



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Link for Sarfate mound visit (injury) photo, text follows:




Sounds pitchers struggle in defeat


Tennessean Staff Writer


Too bad starter R.A. Dickey wasn't available. The Sounds could have used him Saturday.


The Sounds took a beating from Sacramento, 13-6, in front of 9,228 fans at Greer Stadium in a lopsided game that saw Nashville (66-41) go through six pitchers.


Dickey, the would-be starter, wasn't among them, though.


He was sent to St. Louis in case the Brewers needed pitching depth in their doubleheader against the Cardinals. Dennis Sarfate was inserted into the starter's role, his first start since July 25, 2006, but it didn't go as well as Manager Frank Kremblas had hoped.


"Moving Dickey was bad timing for the team," Kremblas said. "We just had to get past that and we didn't."


Sarfate failed to get out of the first inning, allowing five runs, all earned, while walking three in just one-third of an inning. After his third walk, Sarfate called out the trainer and left the game with a right shoulder strain. He'll be evaluated today.


Dillard hit hard


His replacement, right-hander Tim Dillard, didn't fair much better.


"They had our number tonight and just kicked our butts," Kremblas said.


Dillard lasted 2 1/3 innings but gave up three home runs. One, by River Cats center fielder Jason Perry, reached Chestnut Street and was also the second of back-to-back homers.


That was enough for Kremblas, who was tossed after the fourth inning by home plate umpire Steve Fritzoni.


The only pitching bright spot was Seth McClung, who made his Sounds debut by striking out three in a scoreless inning of relief.


"I just wanted to come out and help my new team," McClung said. "It just wasn't enough."


Designated hitter Andy Abad drove in five of the Sounds' six runs.


Roster move: To make room on the roster for McClung, outfielder Jose Macias was put on the disabled list with patella tendinitis in his left knee.

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Good stuff in the Helena archive, too bad they still haven't done anything about the quality of the pre-game audio. I don't understand why it's so bad but the game feed is just fine.

"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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