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Link Report Wed 5/30 - 'Tees Audio Tonight After A Busy Day

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Wednesday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Tim Dillard at home vs. Las Vegas (Dodgers), 11:45 AM pre-game; 12:00 PM gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Adam Pettyjohn at home vs. Montgomery (Devil Rays), 11:50 AM pre-game; 12:05 PM gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: TBD at home vs. Daytona (Cubs), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:00 gametime; it'll probably be LHP Rafael Lluberes, it's his turn


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



West Virginia: RHP Roque Mercedes at Kannapolis (White Sox), 8:55 AM pre-game, 9:05 gametime


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


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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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Standings through Tuesday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa 29 22 .569 - 17-7 12-15 L1 Nashville 27 25 .519 2.5 15-9 12-16 L2 Omaha 26 26 .500 3.5 22-10 4-16 L1 Memphis 25 28 .472 5.0 15-10 10-18 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tennessee 27 23 .540 - 11-12 16-11 L1 Huntsville 26 24 .520 1.0 14-13 12-11 L1 West Tenn 24 28 .462 4.0 15-12 9-16 W1 Chattanooga 23 29 .442 5.0 14-13 9-16 W3 Carolina 20 32 .385 8.0 11-14 9-18 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 31 20 .608 - 18-7 13-13 L2 Palm Beach 28 23 .549 3.0 13-13 15-10 L1 Daytona 24 26 .480 6.5 14-8 10-18 W2 Vero Beach 23 28 .451 8.0 17-12 6-16 L2 Jupiter 22 29 .431 9.0 9-16 13-13 W2 St. Lucie 22 29 .431 9.0 11-15 11-14 W4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- West Virginia 34 15 .694 - 18-10 16-5 W4 Greensboro 30 22 .577 5.5 18-8 12-14 L1 Lakewood 25 23 .521 8.5 12-14 13-9 L1 Lake County 24 27 .471 11.0 14-13 10-14 W2 Hagerstown 23 29 .442 12.5 13-12 10-17 L2 Lexington 23 29 .442 12.5 13-16 10-13 L1 Delmarva 21 28 .429 13.0 11-12 10-16 W1 Hickory 21 28 .429 13.0 9-12 12-16 W1

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Final: West Virginia 9, Kannapolis (White Sox) 8

Brewer farm teams have had a few amazing half-seasons since Brewerfan's inception in 2001 (Huntsville's 2nd half last season comes to mind), but this Power first-half is the most exciting I can recollect, and it certainly could not have been anticipated on Opening Day...


West Virginia Site Game Summary:




Taylor Green went 4-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI on Wednesday morning as the West Virginia Power won their fifth game in a row, defeating the Kannapolis Intimidators 9-8 at FieldCrest Cannon Stadium.


Chuckie Caufield?s sacrifice fly brought in Darren Ford to give the Power a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Green?s first of three doubles brought in two runs in the top of the third, giving the Power a 3-0 edge.


Kannapolis tied the game with a three-run third inning. Archie Gilbert hit a solo home run, and Rob Hudson doubled in a run and scored on Stefan Gartrell?s base hit. Kannpolis took the lead in the fourth inning. John Shelby tripled in Mike Grace and scored on Jimmy Mojica?s errant throw.


Darren Ford?s RBI single in the fifth inning brought the Power within a run, and then they scored twice in the sixth inning to take the lead on run-scoring doubles from Steve Chapman and Green. Chuckie Caufield hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning, his second of the year, to put the Power ahead by two.


In the bottom of the inning, Mike Grace hit a ground ball to Jimmy Mojica with the bases loaded. Mojica flipped to second to get the out and Kenny Holmberg?s relay throw to first ended up in the crowd to plate the tying runs for Kannapolis. The Intimidators took the lead later in the inning when Grace scored on a wild pitch. Holmberg redeemed himself in the top of the ninth inning with a go-ahead two-run single.


Omar Aguilar (4-1) allowed an unearned run over two innings to get the win, while Clevelan Santeliz (0-3) was tagged with the loss.


The Power improved to 35-15 with the win and the Intimidators fell to 24-29 with the loss. All nine Power players in the starting lineup reached base via a base hit except for Jimmy Mojica, who had a sacrifice. Four players had multi-hit games, and three players drove in multiple runs.


The Power will continue the four game series against Kannapolis Thursday night. The Power will start left hander Brae Wright (3-3, 7.07) and the Intimidators will counter with right hander Jake Rasner (2-5, 5.89). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).



Additional details here in the summary from the Intimidators' site:


The West Virginia Power scored two ninth-inning runs on a Kenny Holmberg single to win 9-8 against the Kannapolis Intimidators Wednesday morning at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium. With four lead changes in the game, West Virginia (35-15) took a two-games-to-none lead on Kannapolis (24-29) in the series.


Neither starting pitcher fared well with a 10:05 am start. Kannapolis starter Justin Edwards could not build off six shutout innings in his last start. The lefty allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and six walks in 4.2 innings. For West Virginia, starter Roque Mercedes gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits in four innings.


With both bullpens being taxed, it was West Virginia?s relievers that imploded the least. Luis Ramirez came in and delivered three shutout innings off the bat, but struggled in his fourth inning. That is when Omar Aguilar came in and allowed both inherited runners to score and another unearned run to score in a three-run eighth for Kannapolis.


Out of the Intimidators bullpen, Steve Spurgeon threw 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Spurgeon handed off an 8-7 lead to Clevelan Santeliz in the ninth after Kannapolis scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The go-ahead run came in on a wild pitch with Mike Grace on third base.


Santeliz allowed the two-run single to Holmberg, making it the sixth straight appearance Santeliz has allowed two or more runs, totaling 15 runs in 11 innings. His ERA, in that span, went from 4.74 to 6.90 after he blew his first save Wednesday. Santeliz took the loss, dropping to 0-3 on the year.


Kannapolis has now lost seven of its last eight games, while West Virginia has won five in a row.


West Virginia Box Score:

1.038 OPS for Taylor Green in an ever-increasing sample size (110 AB's); seven of 15 Power base hits for extra bases...




West Virginia Game Log:

Fans got their money's worth, even if the home team lost...



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Verified Member
Given the success of Green and Braddock, it sure looks like the Brewers are going to miss the DFE process next year. I would be surprised to see if there are any other teams that have benefited as much as the Brewers have from the draft and follow process.
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Final: Nashville 6, Las Vegas (Dodgers) 4

Tim Dillard six solid innings...


Final: Huntsville 19, Montgomery (Devil Rays) 4

Yes, you read that right; Drew Anderson 18-for-34 since his demotion -- yikes; Adam Heether, like Anderson today, with four hits -- he's raised his average over 100 points in the last couple of weeks -- double yikes...


Full details on both games later this afternoon...

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Start developing those man crushes for Mike Brantley, Darren Ford, and Taylor Green. They've all been raking this year. If it wasn't for Ford's high strike out rate (though he's been walking quite a bit), they all seem to have great plate discipline.
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Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Tim Dillard photo, text follows --




Sounds Square Series With 6-4 Win Over 51s


NASHVILLE ? Tim Dillard worked another quality start as the Nashville Sounds evened their series with the visiting Las Vegas 51s on Wednesday afternoon at Greer Stadium, scoring a 6-4 victory.


Nashville struck first, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning for a 2-0 lead. Joe Dillon spotted the Sounds a 1-0 lead with a leadoff solo homer to left off Las Vegas starter Spike Lundberg. The blast was the veteran?s fifth of the year; he has hit all five in his last 14 games dating back to May 17.


AUDIO: Dillon HR Opens The Scoring --




Andy Abad followed Dillon?s roundtripper with a ground-rule double to right-center to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest by a Nashville player this season. The knock came in the ninth pitch of the at-bat after Abad fouled off four pitches. Jose Macias later plated Abad with an RBI single for the frame?s second run.


The Sounds pulled ahead, 6-0, in the third with a four-run inning against Lundberg. After Callix Crabbe opened the frame with a double and Chris Barnwell struck out, Nashville put together five consecutive singles to chase the right-hander. Laynce Nix, Abad, Vinny Rottino, and Macias, who paced the Sounds with a 3-for-3 afternoon, all contributed RBIs in the inning.


Las Vegas got single runs back with two-out tallies in the fourth and fifth frames to make it a 6-2 contest. Catcher Octavio Martinez drove in the 51s? first run with his first Triple-A hit in the fourth and Delwyn Young, who led the visitors with a three-RBI afternoon, drove in the second run with a double in the fifth.


Neither team scored again until the ninth when Las Vegas made things interesting against the Nashville bullpen.


Sounds reliever Greg Aquino took the hill and walked pinch-hitter Sergio Garcia on four pitches. The right-hander proceeded to walk the bases loaded around a pair of outs before Young delivered a two-run single down the first-base line to make it a 6-4 game and put the potential tying run on base.


Nashville skipper Frank Kremblas summoned closer Luther Hackman from the bullpen and the veteran hurler induced a game-ending fielder?s choice grounder from Choo Freeman to escape the jam and secure his team-leading ninth save of the year.


Dillard (3-3) worked his fourth quality start in his last five outings to secure the victory for the Sounds. The right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out four batters in six innings, throwing 105 pitches.


Lundberg (2-4) took the loss after being touched for six runs on nine hits in only 2 1/3 frames of work.


Barnwell went 0-for-5 for Nashville to snap his season-best six-game hitting streak.


The teams continue the series with a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday evening at Greer. Nashville right-hander Chris Oxspring (3-3, 3.28 ) will man the bump to face Las Vegas right-hander William Juarez (1-1, 5.79).


Nashville Box Score:

Andy Abad's OPS up to .945 -- that's almost Fielder-like http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif ; Brad Nelson's starting about 2/3 of the time, similar to several players on this versatile squad; we saw similar Greg Aquino outings in Milwaukee...




Nashville Game Log:



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Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Stars Batter Biscuits In Record Setting Performance


Drew Anderson and Adam Heether each wound up with four hits and a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, as Huntsville matched a franchise record with 21 hits in a 19-4 drubbing of Montgomery Wednesday afternoon at Joe Davis Stadium. The Stars banged out a season-high four home runs and seven doubles one night after being blanked on seven singles to improve to 27-24 and move to within a half game of North Division leading Tennessee, which plays later Wednesday night. The Biscuits dropped to 28-25 and yielded 19 runs and 21 hits in a game for the second time in franchise history. Huntsville also improved to 13-4 in day games after winning for an eighth time in the last 10 home games.


Montgomery starter James Houser, who had allowed one earned run on six hits over his last three starts covering 17 1/3 innings, retired the first four hitters he faced before Carlos Corporan doubled and scored on an Anderson double. Heether followed with a base hit to deliver Anderson and then scored when Brendan Katin launched his eighth home run of the season to cap off a four-run rally. Ruben Mateo and Anderson slugged solo home runs in the third inning to mark the first time the Stars had homered twice in the same frame, to push the lead to 6-0. Houser suffered his first loss after giving up six runs on nine hits, both season-highs, and striking out four over three innings of work.


Jeremy Flanagan took over in the fourth and yielded five runs on four hits and a walk and retired only one batter. Steve Sollmann doubled home two runs, Mateo drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Corporan doubled home a run to chase the right-hander, who was replaced by Brett Wayne. The onslaught continued with Anderson singling home Corporan and then scoring on a long ball by Heether, who belted his second of the series. Huntsville then plated a pair of runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to produce their highest scoring game of the season.


Anderson also became the first batter to score four times in a game this season, as seven of the nine hitters, save for Mateo and Yohannis Perez, scored at least twice. Steve Moss and Perez had one hit apiece and were the only position players not to collect at least two safeties, as the Stars matched the 21 hits totaled by the 1986 team (A's organization) against Chattanooga on May 14, 1986 at the Joe.


Stars? starter Adam Pettyjohn lasted six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits to record his fourth win of the season and first at home. He struck out a season-high nine, walked one and allowed home runs to Jason Pridie and Evan Longoria that produced all of the visitors? offense. Mark DiFelice retired all six hitters he faced and Marino Salas worked a scoreless ninth inning in a rare non-save situation.


The series continues Thursday night with southpaw Steve Hammond taking the mound against Biscuits? left-hander Jon Barratt. Coverage of the game begins at 6:50 p.m. central time and can be heard locally on Sports Radio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Box Score:





Huntsville Game Log:

Give Adam Pettyjohn credit for sitting through some long half-innings...



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From Buck Rogers, Manatees GM:


The Manatees own a three-game lead over second place Palm Beach. There are 19 games remaining in the first half of the season and only the top team in each division earns a post-season playoff berth. When the first half comes to an end after the games on June 20th, everybody's records will be reset to 0-0 and we'll begin the second half. Two teams will have their September planned out; everybody else will be in a dogfight to Labor Day Weekend.


What's that mean for the Manatees?


The team controls its own destiny. It's been a six-year drought to the playoffs in Brevard County, and even the last run ended in a tie with the Tampa Yankees after the September 11th terrorist strikes. The race to June 20th is going to be a wild one for the Manatees and here's why every game played, both home and away, will be like a playoff game:


a.. Besides the Daytona Cubs games here tonight and tomorrow night, the Manatees must travel north to Daytona Beach for a Friday night game.


b.. Saturday the 'tees head west to Tampa for a four game set against the Yankees. Tampa has come from deep in the hole in the Western Division and is now only 5.5 games out.


c.. The Manatees then face the Lakeland Flying Tigers. That's not a typo, the Tigers changed their name during the off-season to represent the flying unit of World War II, and although Lakeland is in 5th place in the Western Division, they somehow, someway find a way to come here and take three of four games from us the past two seasons.


d.. Then there's a three game stretch at Jupiter against the 2nd place Palm Beach Cardinals. That slim three-game lead could be wiped out during that stretch, or we could seal the deal and mathematically eliminate the Cardinals.


e.. Then the Daytona Cubs, who always hang around like a hair in a grilled cheese sandwich and are just as wanted, come back to Space Coast Stadium for two games just before the All-Star Break.


f.. We'll stop play for three days to have the League's All-Star festivities in Daytona Beach, and then head right back to Space Coast Stadium for a final three-game set against the dangerous Vero Beach Dodgers. For those that take them lightly, all you have to do is think about the five-run lead we had, then didn't have in Vero Beach. We needed six runs in the top of the 9th to ice 'em. The saving grace is the fact that we're 3-0 at home against the Devil Rays and all three games to end the first half are right here at Miller Lite Park.


Hang on for the ride because it's going to be a wild one!


Behind the scenes of baseball there are many things that happen. You can battle all you want on the field, you want your team to win, collect a trophy, etc., but in the end the staffs of the FSL teams and many of the players and coaches are friends. This is really a tight knit family and many of you fans know what I'm talking about because you're friends with those fans in other ballparks. That's really a testament about how great it is to work in this league.


With that in mind, I want to thank our new Booster Club for the work they do behind the scenes. The Booster Club assembled household items for players and coaches, conduct fundraisers for feeding the team, and this past Sunday they assisted the Sarasota Reds Coaching Staff acquire a rental car to transport them back to Sarasota. On Sunday the Reds Manager Joe Ayrault became seriously ill and an ambulance was called to transport him to the hospital. Our staff was coordinating with the Reds Coaches on getting their team home on the bus, getting coaches to the hospital and arranging transportation to get them home. Members of the Booster Club volunteered to make it happen and drove the Reds Trainer to the Melbourne Airport, helped score a rental car and drove back to the hospital in Rockledge with him. Big thanks to Kevin and Susan Kimball for their assistance. Fans, if you want to join the Booster Club, or maybe just learn more, email BoosterClub@spacecoaststadium.com for more information. The next Booster Club meeting is scheduled for June 4th.

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Like Quasimodo, this one was ugly, but there was beauty in it because the Stars were on the right side of a record 19-4 smashing of the Biscuits, who if I may refresh your memory, beat us pretty bad in last year's Southern League Championship Series, winning the last three games by a combined 30-8 total....... The Stars set Milwaukee-era records for runs scored and hits (21). It was the highest hit total since August 18, 2000 when the Stars poured 19 at Mobile in a 17-4 win for Al Hawkins...... The last time the Stars put together 20 hits in a ballgame was during the Oakland era, when they destroyed Chattanooga in a record-setting 22-3 ballgame, July 18, 1997. They put together a franchise-record 23 hits in that game. (The information on the Stars official web site is wrong, but that's my fault since I supply the records to them every year, and I found the mistake after their media guide went to print.)....... Among the 21 hits were 8 doubles, another Milwaukee-era record, the most since August 12, 2000 vs. Jacksonville, and one shy of the club record set also against Jacksonville in 1991, and 4 home runs, the most since June 24, 2005 vs. Mobile........ The Stars also finished with 41 total bases. I don't know if that's a record (probably not), but it's going to be one of my future projects.

The Stars have been hitting the bejeesus out of the ball since their record 13-run 8th inning against Carolina, May 12...... Since that date, they've scored 119 runs in 18 games, an average of 6.61 runs per game, while hitting .304. For the entire month of May, one day short of it being over, they've hit .285 -- their best month since June of 2005, when they hit .288 (led by Vinny Rottino's .346). But the 268 hits they've had this month is the most since May of 1998, when they had 273 (the last month they hit over .300)....... After two abysmal years when they were a combined 16-43 for the month of May. the Stars are 16-12 this month, their best May since 2001. They haven't won 17 games in this month since 1998, but they will get that chance tomorrow when Steve Hammond (3-6, 7.01) faces Jon Barratt (0-3, 2.84) in what should be an interesting, perhaps emotionally charged game.

Tensions overflowed a little bit in the 8th inning when Ruben Mateo was hit by a Brett Wayne pitch that came very far inside. Mateo thought it was a "purpose" pitch, in retaliation for the brutal, frustrating shellacking the Biscuits took on this hazy 82° afternoon....... Mateo had to be restrained after stepping towards the mound, then the Montgomery dugout on the way to first, motioning over and pointing fingers....... In the top of the 9th, Marino Salas hit catcher Matt Spring, once more raising the spectre of a brawl. This time, home plate ump Ria Cortesio came toward the mound to warn Salas and there was no further display of anger after that. But after an embarrassing 19-4 loss and a 12-3 loss on Monday, there's no telling what the Stars may have in store for them, Thursday night, especially considering Hammond's been struggling (1-3, 8.39 ERA this month).

The Stars were retired in order only once in this game -- in the 1st inning. They were held hitless in one other inning -- the 5th, with a walk to Steve Moss and a force play sandwiched in between....... In the 2nd, the Stars batted around as Carlos Corporan and Drew Anderson hit back-to-back one out doubles, followed by a one-hop liner to center by Adam Heether to make it 2-0, and a home run blast to left by Brendan Katin to make it 4-0.

After Jason Pridie put the Biscuits on the board in the 3rd with a blast to the right of the "star" in left, the Stars began their long day's journey into the record books with a pair of solo HRs by Ruben Mateo and Drew Anderson, who delivered one deep to right about 430'....... Anderson had his second 4-hit day of the season as he continues an awesome hitting string of 9 games in which he's hit .581 (18 hits in 31 at-bats), raising his average since he's been back to .514...... Some of you may remember Bucky Jacobsen's return to Huntsville in mid-may, 2001. He had a similar display, going 12-for-20 to finish the month, then hit an extraordinary .460 in June, driving in 21 runs in 63 at-bats.

Adam Heether's single to right followed Anderson's home run, but an umpiring blunder by Ria Cortesio took them out of a further threat....... Houser was ahead on Brendan Katin, 1-and-2, when Houser threw a ball low and outside. Katin held up in time. That should have been ball two, but the scoreboard never reflected the change in the count. Cortesio, perhaps questioning whether she changed her ball-strike counter upon seeing the scoreboard, thought the count was now 2-2 when the next pitch came. But that should have been 3-and-2....... Katin fouled off two pitches, then came ball four, but to Cortesio, it was ball three, and did not call for Katin to take his base. Heether advance toward 2nd and Katin to 1st, but Matt Spring, taking the ump's count, threw down to second base, and confusion reigned as Heether was trapped in a 2-4-3-6 rundown........ Katin, with the bases empty, struck out swinging to end the inning....... I never had any idea what happened until I talked to scorer Don Rizzardi in the press box, but it was agreed that Cortesio lost track of the count.

The Stars have now won for the 8th time at home in 10 games and are 13-4 in day games....... Montgomery's bullpen ERA went from 3.87 to 4.40 in one afternoon, 2nd worst in the league....... Going back to his last four games of last season, Drew Anderson is 27-for-52 -- a .519 average, and that includes three 4-hit games...... Adam Heether's 4-hit day makes him 21-for-50 on his 13-game hitting streak (best this season). That's a .420 average and it's boosted his season mark to .263. I'm happy to see that, for back on May 9, he was hitting just .135....... Another Star who has remained hot is Brendan Katin, who hit .210 in April, and is now up to .267 (22 hits in his last 57 at-bats for a .385 average)...... Ruben Mateo has hit safely in four straight, boosting his average from .161 to .234, and Mr. Consistency, Steve Sollmann, has managed to keep his average in the .320 range for the past 13 games. He has not once this season gone hitless in two straight games........ The Stars have committed 21 errors this month, which should be a record May. In May 2004, they committed 24 errors, to establish the old record.

The Milwaukee Brewers' #1 draft pick from last year, Jeremy Jeffress, made his debut with the West Virginia Power, Tuesday night, going 5 innings and striking out 3. He got the win in a 6-4 victory over the White Sox' Sally League affiliate, the Kannapolis Intimidators. He gave up two solo HRs before getting out of the 1st inning........ Baseball America's annual 2007 draft preview is out and each year they project each team's draft top draft pick. They're fingering high school 3rd baseman-catcher Mike Moustakas, ranked by the magazine as the best prep power hitter in America....... It's an inexact science. Last year, BA tabbed Travis Snider to be the Brewers' No. 1 pick. The 5'11", 245 lb. outfielder is playing this year with the Class A-Lansing Lugnuts, where he's hitting .347, 3rd best in the Midwest League. Snider was taken in the 1st round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Jeffress? Baseball America projected him to go to the Washington Nationals........ The Brewers get the 7th pick in the draft, which will be televised by ESPN from 2-6 pm, eastern time I presume, on June 7.

Huntsville Stars Box Score
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Final: Daytona (Cubs) 7, Brevard County 1


MiLB.com Game Notes:


Culpepper powers Cubs


Jeffrey Culpepper went 3-for-5 with three RBIs as Daytona topped host Brevard County, 7-1, on Wednesday.


Culpepper, who scored once, had an RBI groundout during a two-run second inning that snapped a scoreless tie. The 25-year-old designated hitter also cracked a two-RBI single to key a four-run seventh that gave the Cubs (25-26) a 7-0 lead.


Nate Spears, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Jake Muyco drove in a run apiece during the rally.


Jesus Valdez belted his first home run, a solo shot, in the third for Daytona.


Cubs starter Mitchell Atkins (4-3) scattered five hits while walking one and striking out two over six shutout frames to pick up the win. Rocky Roquet gave up a run on three hits with three strikeouts in two innings and Tim Layden tossed a perfect ninth.


Manatees starter Rafael Lluberes (4-3) allowed three runs -- one earned -- on three hits while walking two and fanning three over three innings. Jeremy Lewis yielded four runs -- three earned -- on four hits with a strikeout in 1 1/3 innings.


Chris Errecart ripped an RBI double in the seventh for Brevard County (31-21). -- Alan Friedman/MLB.com


Daytona Site:


Mitch Atkins cruised, the Daytona offense capitalized on Brevard County mistakes and the Cubs drilled the Manatees, 8-1, Wednesday at Space Coast Stadium. Atkins delivered six shutout innings, extending his scoreless streak to 17 innings.


Atkins (4-3) won his second straight start. The right-hander went six innings, gave up five hits, a walk and struck out two. Meanwhile, the Cubs pounded out 11 hits and jumped on five Brevard County errors. Jeff Culpepper was one of the offensive stars in his first game this year as a Cub; Culpepper came through with a 3-for-5 performance, knocking in three runs.


For the second straight game, Daytona jumped on the Mantatees early by pouncing on mistakes. In the second inning, Jesus Valdez started the frame with a leadoff walk. The next batter, Brian Dopirak, sent a grounder toward third base, but the ball got past third baseman Mat Gamel and down the left field line. Valdez went all the way to third base on the play and Dopirak went to second. Jeff Culpepper followed with an RBI groundout, plating Valdez to give Daytona a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Nate Spears stepped up with a two-out bloop RBI single to right, staking the Cubs to a 2-0 advantage.


Daytona added a run with two out in the top of the third. Jesus Valdez rode a Rafael Lluberes pitch over the wall in right field for an opposite-field solo home run, his first of the season. The Cubs threatened again later in the inning, putting runners at the corners, but Lluberes got out of the jam to limit the Cubs' lead to 3-0. That was all for Lluberes, however, as he was lifted from the game after just three innings pitched.


The Cubs capitalized on more Manatee miscues in the seventh. Tyler Colvin smoked a double down the right field line off reliever Jeremy Lewis to start the inning. Two batters later, Dopirak swung and missed for a third strike, but reached when the pitch got away from catcher Angel Salome for a wild pitch. Alberto Garcia pinch ran for Dopirak and promptly stole second. With two runners in scoring position, Culpepper responded with a two-run single to put Daytona up, 5-0. Next, Robinson Chirinos singled to left field and Culpepper steamed into third on the play, putting runners at the corners. Nate Spears followed by bouncing a ball toward the left side which was cut off on a diving stop by shortstop Alcides Escobar. His throw to first was errant, and the play was scored an RBI infield single to give the Cubs a six-run advantage. With runners at the corners and one out, Jake Muyco lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. Chirinos dashed home to cap a four-run inning and the Cubs led, 7-0.


Brevard County got on the board in the home half of the seventh off reliever Rocky Roquet. Gamel stroked a leadoff single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Chris Errecart to cut the Cubs' advantage to 7-1.


Dopirak had an interesting night at the plate for Daytona; the first baseman went 0-for-4, but reached on errors three times and reached on a wild pitch after a strikeout.


Lluberes (4-3) took the loss for Brevard County. The Manatees dropped to 31-21 with the loss. Daytona upped its record to 25-26 with its third straight win.


The Cubs and Manatees go at it again Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium. Jeff Samardzija gets the starting nod on the mound for Daytona in a 7:00 p.m. start (6:00 Central).


Brevard County Box Score:

Why was Rafael Lluberes lifted so quickly? It'll be interesting to see if he makes his next start...




Brevard County Game Log:

A strikeout and three groundouts for Charlie Fermaint, whose lost season continues (OPS .438)...



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Different strokes for Stars

Anderson continues hot hitting; team rebounds from shutout to whip Biscuits 19-4


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, markcolumn@aol.com


Bumping along in a bus, in a famous scene from the movie "Bull Durham," the actor Kevin Costner offers the long, memorable "ballparks are cathedrals..." soliloquy about the major leagues.


Sitting in the Huntsville Stars dugout after Wednesday's record-tying 19-4 slaughter of the Montgomery Biscuits, Drew Anderson has a version that is more economical, but no less eloquent:


"I tell pretty much everyone who asks me, one day in the big leagues is worth every day playing in 108 degrees in the Florida State League, 40 degrees at Beloit. To walk out there and be a major leaguer, they can't ever take that away."


It was "the pinnacle of everything, everything you've worked for," said Anderson, who began '06 with the Stars and finished it as a late-season call-up to the Milwaukee Brewers.


Anderson whiffed in his first at-bat, "jacked up and trying to hit anything" (his words) against a steady delivery of unhittable Sal Torres sinkers last 9/11. Eventually he tagged his first hit, off the Giants' Matt Morris. It was a line drive that dropped in at the feet of some dude named Bonds.


His career has taken a U-turn. Back to Triple-A Nashville to begin this season - not unexpected - but then a very unexpected .197 batting average. Particularly vexing, Anderson couldn't hit left-handers. It left him in a part-time position, which did nothing for consistency or confidence.


In Wednesday's assault, Anderson had four hits in five at-bats, with a homer and three RBIs. Two of his hits were off a lefty.


That would be Montgomery starter James Houser Jr., who had won 12 consecutive decisions and hadn't lost since May 12, 2006. The Stars mugged him for nine of their 21 hits.


The team total tied a 21-year-old club record, set May 14, 1986 against Chattanooga. The hits helped construct the most bizarre baseball sandwich you've ever seen: 12 runs for Huntsville on Monday, a shutout loss Tuesday, then the 19 runs Wednesday afternoon.


Brendan Katin, Ruben Mateo and Adam Heether also homered for Huntsville. Katin drove in four runs, Heether had three singles and three RBIs, Mateo added a double and a sacrifice fly and Steve Sollmann had a double, two singles and four RBIs.


Evan Longoria again homered for Montgomery - saying goodbye to him Friday will be like a farewell to sloppy houseguests who have stayed two weeks - as did Jason Pridie. Longoria is an incurable case if, as Anderson proposed, "hitting is contagious," his explanation for Huntsville's outburst Wednesday.


Anderson is pretty sick, too.


Since a hitless debut - "It couldn't have gotten much worse than that, getting demoted then going 0-for-4 and three strikeouts," he said --Anderson has hit in nine consecutive games and is batting - this isn't a typo - .514 at Huntsville.


"He's been hitting the heck out of the ball," said manager Don Money.


Hitting coach Sandy Guerrero has been working with Anderson to eliminate a slide in his hips as he begins his swing, to keep a strong back leg and simply hit the ball where it's pitched. The presence of Guerrero, who knew Anderson's swing well from a year ago, has helped cushion the demotion.


"The first day I was here, I was pretty mentally beat, kind of deflated," Anderson admitted.


But as he and wife Stacy had discussed while packing for the move and making the drive from Nashville, "Hey, it's another step in life you've got to take. Be positive about it. I could have easily come here and put pressure on myself (thinking), if I don't hit here, what happens? It took it as more of a challenge. I know I can hit.


"It's a fresh start," said Anderson, "a new beginning."


The ending, he hopes, is back atop another pinnacle.

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Sounds finally win a close one


Tennessean Staff Writer


The Sounds had lost their last two games on ninth-inning runs.


Wednesday's game was a welcome exception ? barely.


Nashville came close to giving up the game in the ninth but held on for a 6-4 victory over Las Vegas before 3,221 at Greer Stadium.


With Nashville leading 6-2 with two outs in the ninth, reliever Greg Aquino walked the bases loaded. Las Vegas' Delwyn Young drove in two with a single.


Aquino was replaced by Luther Hackman, who got Choo Freeman to ground out for his ninth save.


It was Nashville's fifth consecutive game decided by two runs or fewer. The Sounds have now won 15 of their past 20 home games.


Nashville third baseman Joe Dillon's leadoff home run in the second inning got things started for the Sounds, who got to Las Vegas starter Spike Lundberg early for nine hits and all six of their runs within the first three innings.


"Guys got some big hits with runners in scoring position, which we've been struggling with lately," Sounds Manager Frank Kremblas said. "That's always nice to see."


Nashville starter Tim Dillard (3-3) turned in his fourth quality start in five outings. He struck out four and gave up eight hits through six innings. Dillard left the game with a 6-2 lead.


"He was OK," Kremblas said. "He throws a lot of pitches like a strikeout pitcher would, but he doesn't strike guys out."


Longest of the season: Sounds first baseman Andy Abad fouled off four straight and waited until the ninth pitch of his first at-bat to extend his hitting streak Wednesday, bringing it to 10 games. It is Nashville's longest hitting streak of the year.


Abad was 2-for-4 Wednesday and has a .529 average and has gone 18-for-34 during his hitting streak.


May power: Dillon has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. During that time, Dillon has a .397 average. All five of his home runs have been hit in the past 14 games.


Long ball: The Sounds are third in the Pacific Coast League with 55 home runs. Albuquerque and Memphis each have 56.


Vegas, baby: A three-day, two-night stay in Las Vegas will be given away to a fan at tonight's game.


What they said: "I've kind of got things going lately, swinging the bat a lot better." ? Dillon on his five home runs in the last 14 games.

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