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Link Report for Wed. 7/18 - Huntsville Lone Bright Spot

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Once again this week, wanted to give everyone a chance to listen for some "Jack-Jackety-Jack" calls this morning, so I'm sure to place this here, while the rest of the Menu is presented this afternoon:


West Virginia: LHP Brae Wright at Lakewood (Phillies), 9:55 AM pre-game, 10:05 gametime


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



West Virginia Box Score / Game Log:



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Standings through Tuesday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nashville 59 37 .615 - 32-14 27-23 W1 Iowa 53 44 .546 6.5 30-20 23-24 L1 Omaha 46 51 .474 13.5 30-17 16-34 W1 Memphis 41 56 .423 18.5 22-28 19-28 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 15 11 .577 - 6-5 9-6 W8 Chattanooga 13 13 .500 2.0 6-9 7-4 W1 Tennessee 13 13 .500 2.0 10-5 3-8 L1 Carolina 12 14 .462 3.0 5-6 7-8 L1 West Tenn 9 17 .346 6.0 6-9 3-8 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 15 11 .577 - 7-4 8-7 W2 Palm Beach 13 12 .520 1.5 7-9 6-3 W1 Jupiter 11 14 .440 3.5 5-4 6-10 L2 Daytona 11 15 .423 4.0 6-8 5-7 L1 St. Lucie 10 15 .400 4.5 4-9 6-6 L1 Vero Beach 6 19 .240 8.5 3-9 3-10 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 14 10 .583 - 7-6 7-4 W2 Lakewood 14 10 .583 - 7-5 7-5 L3 West Virginia 15 11 .577 - 7-4 8-7 W2 Hickory 14 12 .538 1.0 9-7 5-5 W1 Delmarva 12 13 .480 2.5 5-8 7-5 L1 Lexington 12 14 .462 3.0 8-6 4-8 W2 Hagerstown 8 17 .320 6.5 4-9 4-8 L2 Greensboro 8 18 .308 7.0 5-6 3-12 L2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pioneer League (R+) - PIO North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great Falls 20 8 .714 - 14-3 6-5 W9 Helena 18 10 .643 2.0 5-6 13-4 W4 Billings 14 14 .500 6.0 10-6 4-8 W5 Missoula 13 15 .464 7.0 5-7 8-8 W3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona League (R) - Arizona League Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AZL Mariners 15 6 .714 - 9-2 6-4 W2 AZL Angels 14 7 .667 1.0 12-3 2-4 L1 AZL Padres 14 7 .667 1.0 7-2 7-5 W2 AZL Cubs 11 10 .524 4.0 6-4 5-6 L2 AZL Giants 11 10 .524 4.0 6-4 5-6 W2 AZL Royals 9 12 .429 6.0 4-5 5-7 L1 AZL Rangers 8 13 .381 7.0 4-6 4-7 L2 AZL Athletics 7 14 .333 8.0 4-6 3-8 W1 AZL Brewers 5 15 .250 9.5 2-8 3-7 W1

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Very complimetary article from New Orleans:


Link while active, text follows --




Success story: Sound efforts fueling Brewers

By Bob Fortus, New Orleans Times Picayune Staff writer


In the 2005 season, when the Nashville Sounds won the Pacific Coast League title, they brought major-leaguers-to-be Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart to Zephyr Field.


Last season, when the Sounds finished first in the American Northern Division, Hart, Carlos Villanueva and Tony Gwynn Jr. were honing their skills on the way to the Milwaukee Brewers.


On the Sounds' first trip to New Orleans this season, Ryan Braun hit three home runs in one game, in which winning pitcher Yovani Gallardo shut out the Zephyrs on three hits for six innings and struck out 12. The next night, Braun homered in his first at-bat.


Braun, now the starting third baseman for Milwaukee, hit .347 with 14 homers in his first 43 games for the Brewers.


Gallardo, now a starting pitcher for the Brewers, was 1-1 with a 2.83 earned run average in his first six games.


Though the roster keeps changing, Nashville keeps winning. The Sounds, seeking their third consecutive division title, have the best record in the PCL. More importantly, the Brewers are in first place in the National League Central, with many former Sounds playing significant roles.


Clearly, the Milwaukee organization can recognize prospects and prepare them for the majors.


"For clubs like ours, when you don't have unlimited resources, scouting and player development is really the cornerstone for success," Brewers Assistant General Manager Gord Ash said.


On Monday, the Sounds lost another player to the Brewers, who promoted pitcher Manny Parra. He was scheduled to start against the Zephyrs but went to Milwaukee instead.


Parra, a 24-year-old left-hander with a history of shoulder problems, went 7-3 in Double-A this season, then went 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four starts for Nashville. He pitched a perfect game against Round Rock.


"Manny Parra is a good example of a guy we had to have some patience with," Ash said.


Other players, such as Braun and Fielder, "get to the big leagues in a hurry," Ash said.


Ash said that in the past three seasons, the Sounds have been in first place for 80 percent of their games.


Frank Kremblas, who has managed the Sounds since 2005, said 11 of his former players are with the Brewers.


"The first two years, there were quite a lot of younger players they had drafted and moved up through the organization, plus a mix of veterans they tried that can help," Kremblas said.


Ash said the Brewers view Triple-A as "less about development and more about performance."


The organization looks for "the right kind of veterans," he said. "If they've done well, they're getting an opportunity to come to the big leagues."


He mentioned reliever Grant Balfour as an example. Balfour, 29, who had big-league time with the Minnesota Twins but missed most of the past two seasons because of arm injuries, compiled a 1.69 ERA in 24 games this season for Nashville. Milwaukee purchased his contract Tuesday.


"Our Triple-A and Double-A managers run the club like a major-league club," Ash said.


That means the emphasis is on performance, Kremblas said.


"If you're not doing your job, you're going to lose your spot," he said. "Drew Anderson started the year here, wasn't hitting and got sent down. Now he's back. We've done it with pitchers, too."


Anderson, who was hitting .197 after 36 games with Nashville, has raised his average to .260 since returning from Double-A Huntsville in early June.


Ash, who is in his fifth year with Milwaukee, was an assistant general manager with Toronto when the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992 and 1993. He later had a stint as the Blue Jays' general manager. He said that in player development and scouting, the Brewers are "very similar" to the Blue Jays of the late 1980s.


"Once you get to that stage, then you start filling the holes with free agents," Ash said.

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This article is actually about Tuesday's game, but at this point of the day, we realize many of our readers have put Tuesday's Link Report "to bed", so for viewership, we'll place it here --


Link while active, text follows:




Power jolt Claws, cut into 2nd-half lead



LAKEWOOD ? The Lakewood BlueClaws lead in the second-half championship race has dwindled to a half-game. And if Tuesday's outcome against the West Virginia Power is any indication of what is to come, the lead will soon be gone.


The Power, who easily won the first-half championship, surged past the slumping Claws 9-4 to improve to 15-11. Lakewood is now 15-10.


The Claws never had a chance. That was because Power starting pitcher Jeremy Jeffress, a first-round draft pick in 2006, was more than the Lakewood batters could handle.


He blew his 99 mph fastball past Claws hitters and left them looking at his breaking ball and changeup for the first five innings before tiring in the sixth.


"Good? That is an understatement," said BlueClaws manager Steve Roadcap after Lakewood lost its third straight home game.


Meanwhile, West Virginia was showing its power, banging out 10 hits in less than five innings against Darren Byrd, who fell to 5-6.


"You can see why they are hitting .290 (.292) as a team for the season," Roadcap said.


Still, Byrd was a pitch away from keeping things together in the first inning. West Virginia had a run in with the bases loaded, but Steve Chapman was behind 0-2. Byrd could never get the third strike. Instead, he walked him to send in a second run. Andy Bouchie followed with a two-run single to give the Power a 4-0 lead before Lakewood got to see a pitch from Jeffress, now 6-3.


"He picked around," said Roadcap of Byrd. "You'd like to see him go after the guy."


The Power kept coming, and they built the lead to 7-1 when Lakewood seemed to get a wakeup call as West Virginia's Brad Miller tried to steal in the fifth inning.


Byrd's next throw plunked Brent Brewer in the ribs.


In the next inning, Lakewood scored three runs.


"I don't know if it was intentional or not," said Lakewood's Adrian Cardenas, who had a two-run triple in the sixth. "But they shouldn't have been running with a 7-1 lead. I think it got us up a little."


Zach Sterner came on in relief for Lakewood and was nearly flawless for 3 1/3 innings.


"Sterner restored order for us and gave us a chance," Roadcap said. "We kept battling. I like that. But we've got to be more consistent."


The BlueClaws will get a chance today when Andrew Cruse tries to shut off the Power who are now 62-31 overall. Lefty Brae Wright gets the ball for West Virginia.

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Wednesday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: LHP Zach Jackson at New Orleans (Mets), 6:45 PM pre-game; 7:00 gametime


Audio link:



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


Audio link:



Brevard County: LHP Rafael Lluberes at home vs. Dunedin (Blue Jays), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:00 gametime


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



West Virginia: LHP Brae Wright at Lakewood (Phillies), 9:55 AM pre-game, 10:05 gametime


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



Helena: Idle


Arizona: Just-turned 19-year-old Dominican RHP Pedro Lambertus at home in Maryvale vs. the mini-Mariners, 10:30 AM local time in Arizona, 12:30 Central; never any audio for Arizona Rookie League games

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Follow Wednesday'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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Final: Lakewood (Phillies) 7, West Virginia 3

Just ended, details from the Power site later on...


West Virginia Box Score:

RHP D.J. Lidyard a nice middle relief effort to keep things close for a while; catcher Martin Maldonado and DH Andrew Lefave each ejected, Lefave for arguing balls and strikes...




West Virginia Game Log:



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Final: Arizona Mariners 6, Arizona Brewers 0

"Mixed" Positives -- nine base hits (but all singles), no earned runs allowed (three unearned) by Pedro Lambertus in five innings...


Arizona Box Score:

Negatives -- 13 K's by Brewer batters; 0-for-3 in SB attempts...




Arizona Game Log:

New Brewer pitcher, RHP Patrick Lawlor out of Grand Canyon University, with a clean one-inning debut...



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Final: New Orleans (Mets) 4, Nashville 1


Nashville site game summary:


Sounds Fall To Zephyrs, 4-1


METAIRIE, La. ? The Nashville Sounds dropped a 4-1 decision to the New Orleans Zephyrs on Wednesday evening at Zephyr Field.


Nashville (59-38) was held to four hits on the evening as it dropped its second contest in the last three games against the Z?s. Cleanup hitter Joe Dillon recorded three of the Sounds? four hits in the contest.


New Orleans starter Jason Vargas (7-5) held the Sounds in check all evening in earning the victory. The left-hander allowed two hits while striking out seven batters over his seven innings of work.


The Zephyrs struck first against Sounds starter Zach Jackson, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Jesus Feliciano opened the frame with a walk and scored two batters later on Marlon Anderson?s two-out RBI double to center.


New Orleans scored single runs in each of the next three innings to increase the lead to 4-0. Andy Tracy belted his team-leading 20th home run of the year to lead off the fourth before a pair of Jackson wild pitches in the fifth and sixth allowed two additional runs to score.


The Sounds broke up the shutout bid in the eighth inning against the New Orleans bullpen when Chris Barnwell led off with a double and later scored on a Drew Anderson groundout.


Anderson went 0-for-4 to snap his season-best hitting streak at 10 games.


Jackson (9-5) took the loss for the Sounds after allowing four runs on six hits in six innings. The southpaw fanned a season-best nine batters in the losing effort.


Ivan Maldonado worked a scoreless ninth for New Orleans to notch his seventh save.


Reliever Marino Salas made his career Triple-A debut for the Sounds with a scoreless inning that included one hit allowed.


The Sounds will look to earn a series split when the teams wrap up the series with a 7 p.m. finale on Thursday evening. It will be a battle of southpaws as Nashville left-hander Adam Pettyjohn (5-2, 3.86) is scheduled to face New Orleans lefty Adam Bostick (3-5, 6.71).


Nashville Box Score:


As much as i think Joe Dillon deserves a hot, his season really in't that much different from the one Kevin Orie had a couple of years ago...or the one Brad Nelson will probably have when he's 31. Joe should come up if another bat gets hurt, but he's not very different from a lot of guys that destroy AAA with regularity. It's not all bad though, this season will help Joe get a good deal next year, and since he's on the 40 man, he's being paid like a king in AAA. I hope the Brewers give him some swings in September...




Nashville Game Log:




Edit: accidental emoticon

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Final: Huntsville 5, Tennessee (Cubs) 1


A nice spot on a rough evening...


Huntsville site game summary:


Heether Hammers Homer in Stars' Win


Adam Heether and Steve Moss hit home runs in support of Derek Miller?s strong seven inning effort on the hill in Huntsville?s 5-1 victory over Tennessee Wednesday night in the second of a five-game set at Joe Davis Stadium. The Stars won their ninth straight game to improve to 16-11 in the second half and 53-42 overall, while the Smokies dropped to 13-14 in the second half and three games behind the North Division front-runners. The Stars have taken five of the last six meetings between the teams after dropping four out of six at Smokies? Park to open the second half.


Heether?s sacrifice fly in the first inning gave Huntsville the early lead before Matt Craig led off the second inning with a home run, his ninth of the season and third against the Stars, to get the game tied. Miller allowed only a Joe Simokaitis double in the fifth and a Craig single in the seventh over the rest of his outing to pick up his first win at the double-A level. He struck out seven, walked one, threw 64 of his 86 pitches for strikes and belted a double in the third inning for his first professional hit.


Heether belted a two-run home run off of Smokies? starter Paul Schappert in the third to put the home team in front to stay and a two-run blast by Moss in the sixth finished the scoring and finished the night for the Tennessee southpaw. Schappert dropped to 3-6 after giving up six hits, walking four and recording only one strikeout.


David Johnson worked a perfect eighth inning and Luis Pena pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the win and extend the bullpen?s shutout streak to 18 straight innings since the ninth inning last Wednesday night at Chattanooga.


The series continues Thursday night with Stars? left-hander Lindsay Gulin taking the hill against Smokies? southpaw Donnie Veal. 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:




Huntsville game Log:



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Florida Today:


Gamel's Errors costly in Manatees loss


Brevard County's Rafael Lluberes allowed just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings but was the losing pitcher in Wednesday's 4-2 defeat to Dunedin at Space Coast Stadium.


Mat Gamel went 2-for-4 -- including his fourth home run -- but committed both of Brevard County's errors. The Manatees outhit the Blue Jays 11-4.


Angel Salome finished 3-for-4, while Mike Bell and Freddy Parejo had two hits apiece for the Manatees (15-12).


Dunedin (17-10) had just four singles in the game.




Blue Jays slip past Manatees


Anthony Hatch, Luke Hetherington and Jacob Butler drove in a run apiece as visiting Dunedin defeated Brevard County, 4-2, on Wednesday.


Hatch and Butler had RBI forceouts in the seventh and eighth, respectively, and Hetherington lifted a sacrifice fly in seventh for the Blue Jays (17-10).


Dunedin starter Orlando Trias (6-6) surrendered two runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings. Connor Falkenbach retired all four batters he faced for his 20th save.


Manatees starter Rafael Lluberes (5-6) gave up three runs -- one earned -- on three hits, walking five and tying a season high with eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames.


Third baseman Mat Gamel went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, his fourth, in the fifth for Brevard County (15-12). He also committed two errors, raising his Minor League-leading total to 45. -- Michael Echan/MLB.com

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West Virginia Site Game Summary:




One night after being beaten 9-4, the Lakewood BlueClaws defeated the West Virginia Power 7-3 on Wednesday afternoon at First Energy Park, scoring the final five runs of the game to even the series.


Lakewood took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Quintin Berry scored on Adrian Cardenas?s groundout. The Power tied it up in the top of the second on Taylor Green?s solo home run. It was his 12th of the year and his third of the road trip. Lakewood took the lead again in the second inning on the first of two RBI singles from Herman Demmink. The Power took their only lead of the game in the third inning. Andrew Lefave tied the game with an RBI groundout, and Chuckie Caufield?s base hit scored Charlie Fermaint to put the Power on top 3-2.


The BlueClaws scored twice in the fourth inning to take their third lead of the game, and they never gave it back. Welinson Baez reached on a fielder?s choice to score Tuffy Gosewisch and Baez scored on Demmink?s second RBI single of the game. In the eighth inning Baez ripped a two-run triple and scored on a squeeze play.


Andrew Cruse (4-6) allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out five over seven innings to get the win and Brae Wright (6-5) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs on six hits over three and a third. D.J. Lidyard provided three and two thirds scoreless innings of relief for the Power.


The Power fell to 63-32 overall and 15-12 in the second half, while the BlueClaws improved to 48-42 overall and 15-10 in the second half with the win. Lefave and Martin Maldonado were both ejected. Maldonado was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, and had a few choice words for Cruse before the benches cleared. One pitch later, Maldonado?s hard slide into second base on a groundball hit by Brad Miller, took out Adrian Cardenas and the benches cleared again before he was ejected. Lefave was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth.


The Power will continue the four game series against the Lakewood BlueClaws at First Energy Park on Thursday night. The Power will start right hander Alex Periard (5-1, 3.00) and the BlueClaws will counter with left hander Antonio Bastardo (5-0, 1.64). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).

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Link while active, text follows:




Seeing is believing for Huntsville's Heether

A recent change in contact lenses sparks hitting tear

By BRAD SHEPARD for the Huntsville Times


It's easy to see - literally - why Adam Heether is hitting like never before lately.


After visiting a local eye doctor and being diagnosed with astigmatism several weeks ago, the Stars third baseman changed contact lenses and is seeing much clearer at the plate. Since about that time, he's hitting .500 (28-for-56) in his past 16 games.


Wednesday night, Heether launched a go-ahead, two-run homer in the third inning and drove in three as the Stars cruised to their ninth consecutive win, 5-1 over Tennessee.


"You can see how he's taking pitches," Stars manager Don Money said. "He must be seeing it pretty good. When you're hitting like he is, it's fun to walk to the plate.


"When you can see it, everything falls into place."


Heether's heroics were plenty for Derek Miller as Huntsville won again in front of 1,138 fans at Joe Davis Stadium. Despite being pretty dominant himself, Miller credited the win to timely hitting and defensive plays like the three gems turned in by Heether behind him.


Still, his glove can't outshine his bat these days.


"At night, I wasn't seeing as clearly," Heether said. "Now, it's just really clear.


"I used to put my contacts on, and I was always checking my eyes at the plate. It's really easier to hit the ball when you can see the ball."


As impressive as Heether's streak is, the Stars' is just as impressive.


They already have a playoff spot wrapped up, and they're catching fire again at the same time they did last year.


"I just think everyone's having fun," Heether said. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This team's got a good chemistry. We hang out on and off the field. Everybody gets here early, plays ping-pong. We're all buddies."


One of those pals, center fielder Steve Moss, followed Heether's home run with another two-run homer to dead-center field in the sixth, but it was just scoreboard decorating.


Miller waltzed after struggling somewhat during his first two starts, compiling a 5.73 earned run average. He didn't look like the same pitcher Wednesday against the Smokies (13-14).


The 25-year-old went seven strong innings, allowing one run off just three hits to earn his first Double-A win. He would have pitched longer, but he had a minor eye irritation that forced him out.


"I feel like it's been leading up to this for me," Miller said. "I felt like I was throwing well last game. I made some mechanical adjustments to get my curveball and fastball down."


Miller said he concentrated on staying back on the rubber and also making sure that his arm didn't drag before the pitch. The improvement was marked Wednesday.


As the Stars deal with losing pitchers to promotions, the past couple of nights are encouraging as two of the newer arrivals have pitched well.


Miller followed Will Inman's stellar start on Tuesday with one of his own. "We can only do what we can control," Miller said. "What we can do is when we get the ball out there, throw the best we can."


Along with some timely hitting and stellar defense, Miller's best equaled yet another Huntsville win.


"Right now," Money said, "everybody's picking everybody up."

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