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Link Report for Fri. 7/20 - Brewer Kids 3 Wins Over Cub Kids

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Friday's Daily Menu: TGIF!


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Mark DiFelice at Iowa (Cubs), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Steve Hammond at home vs. Tennessee (Cubs), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: TBD at Daytona (Cubs), 5:55 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


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



NOTE: Audio link above is for the Daytona feed only.


West Virginia: LHP Mike Ramlow at Lakewood (Phillies), 5:55 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


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



Helena: TBD at home vs. Idaho Falls (Royals), 7:50 PM pre-game, 8:05 gametime


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



Arizona: TBD at the Royals' complex in Surprise, 10:30 AM local time in Arizona, 12:30 Central; never any audio for Arizona Rookie League games

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Follow Friday'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:




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 Thursday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nashville 60 38 .612 - 32-14 28-24 W1 Iowa 55 44 .556 5.5 32-20 23-24 W2 Omaha 46 53 .465 14.5 30-17 16-36 L2 Memphis 41 58 .414 19.5 22-30 19-28 L3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 17 11 .607 - 8-5 9-6 W10 Chattanooga 14 14 .500 3.0 6-9 8-5 L1 Carolina 13 15 .464 4.0 6-7 7-8 L1 Tennessee 13 15 .464 4.0 10-5 3-10 L3 West Tenn 11 17 .393 6.0 6-9 5-8 W3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 15 12 .556 - 7-5 8-7 L1 Palm Beach 13 14 .481 2.0 7-11 6-3 L2 Jupiter 12 15 .444 3.0 5-4 7-11 W1 Daytona 11 16 .407 4.0 6-9 5-7 L2 St. Lucie 11 16 .407 4.0 4-9 7-7 W1 Vero Beach 6 21 .222 9.0 3-11 3-10 L3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lakewood 16 10 .615 - 9-5 7-5 W2 Lake County 15 11 .577 1.0 8-7 7-4 L1 Hickory 16 12 .571 1.0 9-7 7-5 W3 West Virginia 15 13 .536 2.0 7-4 8-9 L2 Lexington 14 14 .500 3.0 8-6 6-8 W4 Delmarva 12 15 .444 4.5 5-10 7-5 L3 Greensboro 9 19 .321 8.0 5-6 4-13 W1 Hagerstown 8 19 .296 8.5 4-11 4-8 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pioneer League (R+) - PIO North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great Falls 20 9 .690 - 14-3 6-6 L1 Helena 19 10 .655 1.0 6-6 13-4 W5 Billings 14 15 .483 6.0 10-6 4-9 L1 Missoula 13 16 .448 7.0 5-8 8-8 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona League (R) - Arizona League Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AZL Mariners 16 7 .696 - 9-2 7-5 L1 AZL Angels 15 7 .682 0.5 13-3 2-4 W1 AZL Padres 15 7 .682 0.5 8-2 7-5 W3 AZL Giants 12 11 .522 4.0 7-4 5-7 L1 AZL Cubs 11 12 .478 5.0 6-5 5-7 L4 AZL Royals 10 13 .435 6.0 4-6 6-7 W1 AZL Rangers 9 14 .391 7.0 4-7 5-7 L1 AZL Athletics 8 15 .348 8.0 5-6 3-9 W1 AZL Brewers 6 16 .273 9.5 2-9 4-7 W1

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That AZL team is just a horror show. Wowsa. Usually something good comes out of that league, but the box score gets worse just about every day. The Brewers may need to reevaluate how they are using the league/how they are bringing players into initial competition.


As Jim has mentioned a number of times, it's not just that the team sucks, because player development always comes before W/L records. However, it seems like this is just a pit for crappy players. Apparently other teams in the league can fill their rosters with players able to perform at the level the league is in, so why can't the Brewers? Is this just a result have no longer having a DSL/VSL team? Should the Brewers think about bringing that back?

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Final: Arizona Royals 15, Arizona Brewers 3


Arizona Box Score:

12 more K's for Brewer batters; RHP Joel Morales pitched five innings without allowing an earned run last time out, but that was hardly the case today, as you'll see; the no-fans in attendance, brutal heat camp environment just can't be much fun, and certainly isn't glamorous as perhaps some of these youngsters envisioned, especially when you're losing consistently...




Arizona Game Log:

Brewers left the bases loaded in the top of the 2nd -- disaster struck in the bottom of the inning...



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Final: Lakewood (Phillies) 5, West Virginia 2


West Virginia Site Game Summary:




Carlos Monasterios pitched a complete game on Friday night at First Energy Park as the Lakewood BlueClaws erased a 2-0 deficit and defeated the West Virginia Power 5-2 in the final game of the series.


Andrew Lefave hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning to put West Virginia?s only two runs on the board. The home run was his tenth of the season. The BlueClaws answered in the bottom of the second on a two-run shot from Welinson Baez to tie the game.


Lakewood took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Charlie Yarbrough scored on a sacrifice fly from Tuffy Gosewisch. Lakewood added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Gus Milner ripped a two-out single on the eighth pitch of his at-bat.


Monasterios (6-0) allowed two runs on three hits, struck out five and went the distance to get the victory while Mike Ramlow (4-5) was tagged with the loss after surrendering three runs on three hits over six innings. Monasterios becomes the second pitcher to toss all nine innings against the Power. Graham Taylor pitched a complete game shutout against the Power in May.


The Power fell to 63-34 overall and 15-14 in the second half, while the BlueClaws improved to 50-42 overall and 17-10 in the second half with the win. West Virginia finished their road trip with a record of 3-4. Their three game losing streak matches their season high.


The Power will begin a four game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds at Appalachian Power Park on Saturday night. The Power will start right hander Chris Toneguzzi (4-1, 5.90) and the Shorebirds will counter with right hander Pedro Beato (5-4, 3.44). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).


West Virginia Box Score:

Taylor Green with a double...




West Virginia Game Log:

Brent Brewer's 36th error meant the two 8th inning insurance runs were unearned...



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Final: Brevard County 4, Daytona (Cubs) 2, 11 innings


Brevard County Box Score:

RBI machine Mike Bell drives in the two 11th inning runs -- coming into the game, Bell's numbers with men on base (.253) and with men in scoring position (.255) were ordinary, yet he now has 54 RBI; four Manatees combined for all nine Brevard base hits, each with mult-hit games -- Angel Salome singled three times...




Brevard County Game Log:

Chris Errecart in the lineup after leaving the last contest early...



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Final: Nashville 5, Iowa (Cubs) 3


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Brad Nelson photo, text follows --




Five-Run Eighth Propels Sounds Past Iowa


DES MOINES ? The Nashville Sounds erupted for five runs in the top of the eighth inning to record a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the Iowa Cubs on Friday evening at Principal Park in the opener of a four-game series.


Nashville (61-38) increased its division lead over the I-Cubs to 6 ½ games and improved to a season-best 23 games above .500 with the victory. The come-from-behind win was the Sounds? eighth this season in games the club trailed in the seventh inning or later.


Brad Nelson (2-for-4) was the hero for Nashville for the second consecutive evening as the club rode a three-run home run by the Algona, Iowa native to victory.


Iowa rightfielder Matt Murton spotted the home team a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a one-out solo homer to left-center off Nashville starter Mark DiFelice.


Felix Pie increased the Cubs? advantage to 3-0 in the sixth when he golfed a DiFelice breaking ball over the right field fence for a two-run homer, his eighth roundtripper of the season. Eric Patterson, who preceded Pie with a double, also scored on the blast.


The Sounds broke through to grab a 5-3 lead in the eighth with a five-run rally against Cubs reliever Juan Mateo. Nashville pulled within a run at 3-2 on Mike Rivera?s two-out, two-run double off the left-center wall. Nelson followed with a three-run homer to right, his 14th longball of the year and second in the last two nights. The blast gave Nashville its first lead of the evening.


AUDIO: Nelson's Go-Ahead Three-Run HR --




All five Sounds runs crossed the plate in unearned fashion in the top of the eighth due to a throwing error by Patterson, the second baseman, earlier in the frame.


Jose Macias broke out of a Sounds season-worst 0-for-32 skid with a pinch-hit infield single in the top of the ninth inning.


Reliever Joe Thatcher (2-1) was the beneficiary of Nelson?s late heroics and picked up the win after working 1 1/3 scoreless innings.


Luther Hackman worked a scoreless ninth for the Sounds to earn his team-leading 14th save of the year.


DiFelice, who left in line for the loss prior to the late Nashville comeback, took a no-decision after allowing three runs on six hits while striking out four over six innings. He did not walk a batter to extend his streak to 53 consecutive innings without a base on balls issued.


Wade Miller made a rehab start for Iowa and allowed one hit and struck out five batters over three scoreless innings before exiting due to a pitch count limit.


Mateo (1-1), the originally-scheduled Cubs starter, followed Miller on the hill and took the loss after allowing five runs, all unearned, on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings of work. He struck out a season-high six batters in his outing.


The teams continue the series with a 6:05 p.m. CT doubleheader on Saturday evening that will make up a May 3rd rainout. Both games will be seven-inning contests.


Right-hander R.A. Dickey (7-5, 4.24) is scheduled to start the opener for the Sounds and face Iowa right-hander Randy Wells (5-4, 4.50). Both teams will have bullpen starters in the nightcap.


Nashville Box Score:

Wow, those were clutch two-out RBI extra-base knocks in the 8th by Mike Rivera and hometwon Iowa boy Brad Nelson...




Nashville Game Log:

Laynce Nix hitless in four games, down to .252...



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Final: Huntsville 4, Tennessee (Cubs) 1


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Hammond Helps Stars Make History


Steve Hammond tossed seven scoreless innings and Hernan Iribarren delivered a late two-run triple in Huntsville?s 4-1 victory over Tennessee Friday night in the fourth of of a five-game series at Joe Davis Stadium. The Stars won their eleventh straight game to establish their longest win streak since becoming affiliated with Milwaukee in 1999, while the Smokies dropped to 13-16 in the second half and four games behind the North Division front-runners. The Stars also won a season-best sixth consecutive home game, all over the Smokies, dating back to July 6.


Lou Palmisano?s leadoff home run in the second inning gave the Stars a 1-0 lead and marked the fourth straight game in which they had scored first. Tennessee starter Mark Holliman walked Mel Stocker and Alcides Escobar with one out in the seventh before he struck out Ryan Crew for the second out of the inning. Iribarren then roped a line drive into the right field corner to knock in both runners to make it 3-0 and knock Holliman out of the game. Michael Brantley greeted Mike Nannini with a single to plate Iribarren to finish the scoring for the home side, which produced only five hits. Holliman dropped to 7-8 on the season and lost his second straight start against the Stars after throwing a no-hitter against them on June 21.


Hammond stranded Chris Robinson at third base with one out in the third inning by retiring Chris Walker and Jemel Spearman and stranded Matt Craig at third with two outs in the sixth by getting Casey McGehee to fly out. He retired the side in order in the seventh and departed after allowing five hits and striking out three. Hammond has not yielded an earned run over 14 innings in two starts since returning to the rotation and has won each of his two turns after not winning as a starter since May 10.


Vince Perkins gave up an infield single to Joe Simokaitis and put Walker on board with a free pass to open the eighth before Spearman bounced into a double play. The right-hander walked Craig and then fanned Tyler Colvin to end the inning. McGehee reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Adam Heether to open the ninth and scored when Issmael Salas followed with a double to end a 25-inning scoring drought stretching back to Craig?s leadoff home run in the second inning on Wednesday night. The run also ended the Stars? bullpen?s consecutive scoreless inning streak at 21. David Johnson came on to record the last two outs in the ninth to earn his second save since joining the team.


The series wraps up Saturday night with Stars? left-hander Sam Narron taking the hill against Smokies? southpaw Ryan O?Malley. Coverage of the game begins at 6:50 p.m. central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Box Score:

Six walks for Stars' batters...




Huntsville Game Log:



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Thursday's Helena KCAP Audio Pre-Game Interview with RHP Nick Tyson:

Be sure you're on the July 19th archive, then go to the 9:00 minute mark --




Tyson with some heartfelt comments about his family, he lost a brother in a car crash; Nick a well-spoken young man -- as always, a suggested listen, and I'm hopeful that folks are taking advantage of the audio chats we link to.

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Helena Site Game Summary / MiLB.com:


Helena Pitching Stifles Idaho Falls' Rallies, Extend Win Streak


HELENA--Idaho Falls out-hit Helena, but the Brewers repeatedly stymied scoring threats behind clutch pitching to prevail 5-1 Friday night. The Chukars left nine total runners on base while the Brewers took advantage of their own opportunities and won their sixth game in a row.


Brewer pitchers have now allowed just one run over the last two games, but Helena hitters continued to provide their teammates with plenty of support. It took just two batters for Helena to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After a Lee Haydel triple Eric Farris followed with a sacrifice fly. Idaho Falls tied the game with its own sacrifice fly, however, in the top of the second inning.


The Chukars continued to threaten throughout the rest of the game, but the Brewers converted on scoring opportunities while Idaho Falls failed. Idaho Falls left multiple runners on in three different innings, including the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Mike Goetz knocked in the eventual winning run on a RBI single in the bottom of the second inning for a 2-1 advantage.


Caleb Gindl continued to show he has recovered from his hamstring injury by driving in Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the fourth inning on a RBI single. Steffan Wilson scored as well in the same inning when an errant throw home allowed him to score safely from third base. Wilson singled to right to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.


Goetz drove home the final run of the game in sixth inning on a sacrifice fly to give Helena a 5-1 lead.


Converted Helena reliever Nick Tyson (2-0) earned the win in just his second start of the season. Tyson (2-0) allowed an unearned run on six hits and a walk, lowering his ERA to 1.71. Casey Baron got a hold for his one inning of work, while Curtis Pasma secured a save by throwing the final three innings of the game. Pasma struck out three and allowed one hit to capture his second save of the year.


The Helena Brewers will look to extend their longest winning streak of the season when they play host again to Idaho Falls at 7:05 PM Saturday night (8:05 Central).

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Brewers beat up Chukars

By TOM STUBER, Helena Independent Record Sports Writer


Do the little things. Do them a lot. Put them all together and you?re in a pennant race.


The Helena Brewers are doing just that and they sit a game behind North Division-leading Great Falls.


Helena (20-10) used some good situational pitching and mixed in a pair of sacrifice flies to drop South Division-leading Idaho Falls 5-1 Friday night at Kindrick Legion Field.


?No question,? Helena manager Jeff Isom said when asked about his team?s ability to do the little things. ?We got in scoring position and executed. We have a very good approach at the plate and we played good defense.?


Second baseman Eric Farris was right in the middle of the fundamentally sound theme.


?Right now we?re just clicking really well,? Farris said. ?We preach situational hitting.?


Farris knocked in the game?s first run with a sacrifice fly in the first after Lee Haydel started the inning with a single.


Farris then made another heady play to all but end the game when he let a soft line drive bounce in front of him instead of catching it on the fly to start a second-to-short-to-first double play.


?It just happened that way,? he said. ?I thought I could let it fall and still get the lead runner. It worked out.?


Idaho Falls tied the game in the top of the second with a sacrifice fly of its own from Alvi Morel, but Helena added a run in its half of the inning to take the lead for good.


The Brewers got three straight singles from Jonathan Lucroy, Steffan Wilson and Curt Rindal to break ahead 2-1.


The fourth yielded two runs on an error and then a RBI single by Rindal. Mike Goetz knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to cap off the scoring.


The Brewers lead the league in one of the most overlooked categories in baseball ? fewest walks allowed ? with 62.


?Our pitchers feel comfortable up there with the defense they have behind them,? Isom said. ?They?re very relaxed and think they can make perfect pitches.?


Helena still has three games remaining against Great Falls with just eight to play in the first half of the season.


Nick Tyson put in a quality start for Helena with five innings that allowed just seven baserunners for the Chukars.

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Algona's Nelson puts away I-Cubs




A close play at first base created a homecoming opportunity for Brad Nelson.


The outfielder from Algona took advantage with a three-run homer in the eighth inning, propelling the Nashville Sounds to a 5-3 victory over the Iowa Cubs on Friday night at Principal Park.


"It almost looked like we were going to be done before the sun was going down," Nelson said.


The Cubs led 3-0 when the Sounds began a rally that resulted in five unearned runs.


With two outs, Joe Dillon hit a grounder to Iowa second baseman Eric Patterson, who threw behind first baseman Josh Kroeger. Kroeger was pulled off the bag, but appeared to reach back and touch it before Dillon arrived.


Dillon, however, was ruled safe, extending the inning.


"I tried to reach and tag him with anything I could," Kroeger said. "I guess I missed."


The Sounds went on to load the bases for Mike Rivera, who hit a two-run double. Nelson followed and drove the third pitch from Juan Mateo over the right-field fence.


"The first two weren't even close," Nelson said. "Then he threw one right down the middle and I'm like, 'Holy cow, they're coming right back after me.' "


Attendance: Friday's crowd of 12,990 was the ninth-largest in Iowa Cubs history, and the fourth-largest this season.


Also, $4,585 was raised for MDA as part of the Iowa Cubs' "shirt off our back" promotion, in which fans can get a jersey from a Cubs player.


Shattering: One of the visitors to Friday's game was Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut. The Democratic presidential candidate was signing baseballs in the press box when a foul ball cracked the glass of a nearby window. Dodd did not flinch, and kept signing.

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Daytona Site:


Cubs Squander Chances, Fall to Manatees in Extras

Daytona Leaves 13 on Base in 4-2 Loss

By: Dan Watson


[DAYTONA BEACH, FL] The Daytona Cubs missed opportunities all night, stranding 13 runners on base, on their way to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Brevard County Manatees. Mike Bell's two-out, two-run single in the top of the eleventh provided the winning margin for the Manatees.


Daytona scored single runs in each of the first and second innings, but was shut down from there. The Cubs left runners in scoring position in seven of the game's eleven innings, as they hit leadoff doubles three times but didn't score in any of those innings. Daytona loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but couldn't cash in.


The Cubs got on the board in the bottom of the first with the help of several Brevard County mistakes. Kyle Reynolds ripped a two-out single to center field and went to second on a balk. Then, Brian Dopirak reached on a strikeout when the ball got away from the catcher. An error on a ground ball allowed Reynolds to come home to score and another error loaded the bases, but the Cubs couldn't capitalize for any more damage.


Daytona struck again in the second with three consecutive singles to start the inning. Jeff Rea's liner up the middle plated Yusuf Carter to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Mark Reed was thrown out trying to take third on Rea's single, but the Cubs still had a runner in scoring position with one out and couldn't cash in.


The Manatees cut the lead in half in the top of the third. Mike Bell tripled to the gap in left-center and scored when Yohannis Perez followed with a sacrifice fly to center.


Brevard tied the score in the fifth inning on a wild sequence. With one out, Anderson Delarosa was hit by a pitch. He stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk to knot the score at 2-2.


The Manatees pushed the go-ahead runs across in the top of the eleventh when Bell bounced a two-run single up the middle to score Lorenzo Cain and Angel Salome.

Cain led off the 11th with a single and Salome stroked a one-out base hit before Cole Gillespie drew a two-out walk. Bell followed with his single as the Manatees (16-12) pulled out their third win in four games.


Mitch Atkins had another strong start for Daytona. The right-hander went six innings, gave up two runs on four hits, walked two and struck out seven. Mike McClendon matched Atkins, pitching six frames, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits, no walks and five strikeouts.


Brevard County's bullpen came through in the clutch time and again during the game. Robert Hinton, Patrick Ryan, Kevin Roberts and E.J. Shanks combined to pitch five shutout innings.


Roberts went to 4-2 with the victory; Shanks picked up his tenth save of the season with a scoreless eleventh inning. Brevard County improved to 16-12 in the second half to strengthen its grip on the lead in the FSL Eastern Division.


Tim Layden, now 1-5 this year, took the loss for Daytona. The Cubs dropped to 11-17 in the second half.


It was Richie Zisk Bobblehead Night at "The Jack." The Daytona hitting coach's jersey number, 22, was retired during a pre-game ceremony. Zisk, a two-time American League All-Star with the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox, never played for the Cubs. He has spent 11 seasons in Daytona, two as the manager. He managed the 2000 Daytona Cubs to an FSL Championship and was the hitting coach for the 2004 Cubs, also a championship team.


Link while active, text follows:




Cubs falter in 11-inning loss


Dayton Beach News-Journal Correspondent


DAYTONA BEACH -- The Daytona Cubs can't buy a run these days.


In a stretch where they've lost five of their last six games the Cubs have managed to score more than two runs in just two of those six games. The latest episode came from the arms of the first place Brevard County Manatees who earned a 4-2 victory in 11 innings in the first of a four-game series at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.


Despite another strong outing from pitcher Mitch Atkins, the Cubs struggled for much of the night to execute with runners on base. Although each starter managed to reach base, it was getting the players around the bases that was the problem. The problem came to a head in the eighth inning with the game tied at two runs apiece.


Loading the bases with nobody out it seemed as if the Cubs were set to take the lead only to have two of the next three hitters strike out, and the other hit an infield fly to the second baseman.


"You send those guys up there to get the job done and they just couldn't get the job done tonight," manager Jody Davis said. "You're hoping somebody can put the ball in play there and you can get a big inning. That's why we play these games and that's what we're here for, player development."


Atkins, the team's most consistent pitcher this season, came out of the gates strong striking out the side in order in the first inning. Atkins escaped a leadoff single in the second inning, but a Mike Bell leadoff triple in the third inning followed by a sacrifice fly by Yohannis Perez ended an eleven inning scoreless streak for the ace.


Bell struck again in the eleventh inning lacing the two-RBI double that sealed the victory for the Manatees.


"(Atkins) has pitched well all year and he pitched good for me last year," Davis said. "It's too bad that we didn't get him some more runs there. When you get that one big hit it seems like everybody gets that hit, but we just haven't been able to get one in the right place at the right time."


Jeff Rea had a strong night for Daytona going 2-5 with an RBI while Brian Dopirak and Alberto Garcia also had multiple hit nights. Each of the Cubs' two runs came off of Brevard County starter and former Seminole Community College pitcher Mike McClendon.


Losing a heartbreaking eleven inning game hurt the Cubs who are in need of a victory since struggling after the all-star break.


"We give up two runs heading into the eleventh inning and we think we're going to win that one. We had our chances we just couldn't get them in," Davis said.

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Hammond's hot, and so are Stars

Huntsville claims 11th straight win, one shy of record


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, markcolumn@aol.com


Steve Hammond went from pitcher's mound to the clubhouse to the trainer's room Friday night, hopping aboard a stationary bicycle. It might be a metaphor for much of his season: Going nowhere fast.


Now, though, with his second consecutive exceptional start since a reprieve from the bullpen, Hammond is on a roll. And so are the Stars.


Holding Tennessee to a mere five hits in seven innings, Hammond pitched the Stars past the Smokies in a 4-1 victory Friday in front of an announced crowd of 4,643. Lou Palmisano homered and Hernan Iribarren rapped a two-run triple to lead the offense.


It extended the Stars' win streak to 11, one shy of the team record set April 30-May 12, 1988. It's the longest streak since Huntsville became affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1999.


Huntsville is now 11-5 against the Smokies, whom it edged by one game to win the Southern League North first-half championship. The Stars (18-11 this half) close this homestand with the Smokies (13-16) tonight at 7:05. It's Youth Baseball Jersey Night.


Ryan O'Malley will be making only his second Southern League start for the Smokies against Huntsville lefty Sam Narron, who has pitched impressively in four of his last five starts.


Three of those have come against Tennessee, against whom he has a 1.29 ERA, with a 2-1 record and 14 strikeouts in 21 innings.


Friday delivered a sensational pitcher's duel between Hammond, 6-7 after a 3-7 start and a brief demotion to the bullpen, and the Smokies' Mark Holliman, who beat Huntsville on a seven-inning no-hitter on June 22 at Tennessee. (Hammond, waiting to pitch the second game of that doubleheader, listened to the no-hitter on the radio in the Stars' clubhouse.)


Hammond has allowed only eight hits in his last 14 innings as a starter.


"The kid's got talent and the last two starts he's been outstanding," said pitching coach Rich Sauveur.


Sauveur said Hammond's fastball has improved and his slider is much more biting. Mentally, he's more buoyant after his slow start to the season, Sauveur said.


Hammond had tweaked his delivery in the off-season and the season, he said, has been "a progression. The beginning of the year I was making a lot of mistakes.


"Over the past month and a half I've had a lot better control."


The adjustments were "just a couple of little things, nothing major. But I've been working hard making adjustments, and that's what this game is all about, making adjustments outing to outing," Hammond said.


His Tennessee counterpart, Holliman, yielded a solo homer to Palmisano in the second, but otherwise was again tough on the Stars. However, his control was a tad fickle. He walked a pair of men in the third to bring Palmisano up with the bases loaded, but got the Stars catcher on a benign check-swing bouncer to the mound.


In the seventh, his control wavered one more devastating time.


Holliman walked Mel Stocker and Alcides Escobar with one out, and flung a wild pitch to move them to third and second.


Iribarren followed with a stinging single to right on a 1-0 count, making it 3-0. Michael Brantley greeted newly promoted reliever Mike Nannini to Double-A with an RBI single through the box for a 4-0 cushion.


The Smokies ended the shutout on an Issmael Salas RBI double in the ninth off reliever Vince Perkins, but Dave Johnson entered to get the final two outs and earn his second save - and to make a bit of Huntsville history.

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