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Link Report for Sun. 4/29 -- Hammond Complete Game Shutout

Mass Haas

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Sunday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Chris Oxspring at Omaha (Royals), 1:20 PM pre-game; 1:35 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Steve Hammond at Birmingham (White Sox), 1:50 PM pre-game; 2:05 gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: TBD at Vero Beach (Devil Rays), 11:50 AM pre-game, 12:00 PM gametime -- we believe it'll be RHP Will Inman, just waiting on confirmation


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



West Virginia: Idle

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Follow Sunday'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:



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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 Saturday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nashville 13 9 .591 - 7-4 6-5 L3 Memphis 12 11 .522 1.5 11-4 1-7 W2 Iowa 10 12 .455 3.0 6-2 4-10 L2 Omaha 10 13 .435 3.5 8-3 2-10 W3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tennessee 10 11 .476 - 4-7 6-4 L1 Chattanooga 10 13 .435 1.0 6-7 4-6 L1 Huntsville 9 12 .429 1.0 4-6 5-6 L3 Carolina 9 14 .391 2.0 5-5 4-9 W1 West Tenn 9 14 .391 2.0 4-6 5-8 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 14 8 .636 - 7-4 7-4 W7 Palm Beach 12 9 .571 1.5 5-5 7-4 W1 Daytona 12 10 .545 2.0 7-4 5-6 W2 St. Lucie 10 12 .455 4.0 4-7 6-5 L4 Jupiter 9 13 .409 5.0 4-7 5-6 L2 Vero Beach 8 13 .381 5.5 6-5 2-8 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- West Virginia 16 4 .800 - 11-3 5-1 L1 Greensboro 13 9 .591 4.0 11-4 2-5 L2 Lakewood 10 9 .526 5.5 4-5 6-4 W1 Lake County 10 11 .476 6.5 5-3 5-8 L1 Hickory 9 11 .450 7.0 3-3 6-8 W2 Lexington 10 13 .435 7.5 7-8 3-5 W1 Delmarva 8 13 .381 8.5 3-5 5-8 L4 Hagerstown 8 14 .364 9.0 4-5 4-9 W2

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Final: Huntsville 8, Birmingham (White Sox) 0

Now this is where the real Steve Hammond has been hiding -- complete game shutout!


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Hammond Sparkles in Stars' Shutout Win


Steve Hammond tossed a complete game shutout and Lou Palmisano slugged a home run and drove in five runs to power Huntsville to an 8-0 win over Birmingham Sunday afternoon at Regions Park. The Stars stopped a three-game slide and won for the first time in the series to improve to 10-12, while the Barons slipped to 14-10 overall and lost for just a fourth time in 14 home games. The Stars recorded their second shutout on the 10-game road trip and received their first complete game of the season.


Barons? starter Wes Whisler walked Steve Sollmann and Guilder Rodriguez to start the game before botching a sacrifice bunt attempt by Mike Carlin. The left-hander let a pop up land on the grass, instead of catching it, and tried to turn a double play but his throw to second base hit off the glove of Robert Valido and landed in shallow center field, allowing Sollmann to move to third base, Rodriguez to second and Carlin to reach safely at first base. Palmisano then scorched a line-drive double to right-center field to plate all three runners and give the Stars their biggest scoring inning of the series.


Whisler went seven innings in his longest outing of the year and blanked the visitors over his final six innings of work but suffered his third loss of the year despite striking out a season-high seven. Tim Bittner took over in the eighth inning and gave up a run-scoring double to Carlin, who broke up an 18 at-bat hitless drought, and a two-run homer to Palmisano, his second in as many days. A Max St. Pierre sacrifice fly and run-scoring ground out by Yohannis Perez in the ninth completed the Stars? scoring. Huntsville had been limited to five runs in the first three games of the series and had produced only two runs in 19 innings against the Barons? first three starting pitchers.


Hammond, who had allowed eight runs on nine hits, including three long balls, in his last turn Tuesday at Montgomery, allowed only Donny Lucy to advance as far as third base and blanked the Barons on six hits to earn his second win of the season. He struck out six, walked one and tossed his second nine-inning complete game shutout with the Stars, dating back to a complete-game, two-hit effort over the Mississippi Braves July 12 of last season at Joe Davis Stadium. He tossed six scoreless innings and was followed by Brett Evert and Matt Yeatman in an 8-0 shutout win over the Barons last July 5 in this ballpark.


The series in Birmingham wraps up Monday morning with right-hander Mike Jones making the start for the Stars against Barons? left-hander Ryan Wing. Coverage of the game begins at 10:50 AM central time and can be heard through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Box Score:

Steve Sollmann's OBP is at .527 after 65 AB's, that's insane; speaking of which, way to go, Lou...




Huntsville Game Log:



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Final: Omaha (Royals) 5, Nashville 4, 10 innings


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Ozzie Chavez photo, text follows --




Royals Complete Sweep Of Sounds With 5-4 Win


OMAHA ? Justin Huber gave the Omaha Royals a 5-4 victory and four-game sweep over the Nashville Sounds with a one-out solo home run off Dennis Sarfate in the bottom of the tenth inning on Sunday afternoon at Rosenblatt Stadium.


Omaha trailed late in the game before tying the contest against Sarfate in the bottom of the ninth and rallying for the win an inning later.


The season-high four consecutive Sounds losses immediately follow a string of seven straight wins for the club, which remains in first place in the PCL American Conference Northern Division.


Nashville (13-10) was swept in a series for the first time since June 2005 and in a road series for the first time since August 2004.


The loss was the Sounds? first last at-bat defeat of the season and came in the team?s second extra-inning affair (1-1).


Both teams exchanged three runs in the fourth inning. Nashville got the scoring started with a two-out rally against former Sound Ben Hendrickson in the top of the frame. Andy Abad doubled and scored on Vinny Rottino?s two-out RBI two-bagger. Shortstop Ozzie Chavez followed with his first home run in 152 at-bats, a two-run shot to right that extended the lead to 3-0.


AUDIO: Ozzie Chavez Two-Run HR --




Omaha came back to tie the score in the bottom of the fourth against Nashville starter Chris Oxspring on a Fernando Cortez RBI double, a run-scoring Paul Phillips single, and a Joey Gathright infield groundout that plated Cortez to make it 3-3.


Abad (2-for-5) pushed the Sounds back in front by a 4-3 count in the fifth with a two-out RBI single off Royals reliever Billy Buckner that scored J.D. Closser, who had proceeded him with a double.


Neither team scored again until the bottom of the ninth when Sarfate suffered his first blown save in four opportunities. Gathright opened the frame with a single and was sacrificed to second by Richard Lewis. Shane Costa followed with a deep fly ball to center, which was caught by a running Callix Crabbe. The speedy Gathright hustled home from second and was safe on a close play as he collided with Rottino, the Sounds? catcher.


Omaha reliever Jason Standridge (1-0) was the beneficiary of Huber?s tenth-inning heroics as he was awarded the victory after working one scoreless inning.


Sarfate (1-1) took the loss after allowing the game-tying and game-winning runs in his 1 1/3 frames of work.


Steve Bray and Luther Hackman provided solid relief work for the Sounds behind Oxspring, combining for four scoreless innings and only one hit allowed between them.


Nashville third baseman Ryan Braun (0-for-3) became the first Sound ejected from a game in 2007 when he was tossed by the home plate umpire after being called out on strikes in the fifth inning.


The Sounds travel to Des Moines following today?s game and will conclude their road trip with a four-game series against the division-rival Iowa Cubs beginning tomorrow. Nashville swept Iowa in the teams? first series of the year earlier this week.


Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 2.35) will start Monday?s 7:05 p.m. series opener and face Iowa right-hander Carlos Marmol (2-1, 2.91).


Nashville Expanded Box Score:




Nashville Game Log:

Man on 2nd with no out in the Nashville 10th, but opportunity wasted...



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Final: Vero Beach (Devil Rays) 4, Brevard County 0


MiLB.com Game Notes:


Davis, Rays top Manatees


Wade Davis allowed two hits over seven innings as Vero Beach blanked visiting Brevard County, 4-0, on Sunday.

Davis (1-0), a 21-year-old right-hander, surrendered just two singles -- both to Mat Gamel -- while striking out nine and walking two in notching the win for the Devil Rays (9-13). He retired the first 13 hitters he faced before Gamel grounded a one-out single to right in the fifth.


Aaron Walker came on and hurled two perfect innings, fanning four and walking one, to record his first save of the season.


The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Manatees (14-9).


Christopher Cunningham sparked the Devil Rays' offense, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, while Rhyne Hughes belted his first home run of the year, a solo shot in the sixth that made the score 2-0.


Will Inman (1-2) pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits while fanning five and walking one in taking the loss. -- Alan Friedman/MLB.com


More details from the Vero Beach site:


Rays blank first place Manatees


The Vero Beach Devil Rays got seven sterling innings from starting pitcher Wade Davis, propelling the Rays to a 4-0 win over the first place Brevard County Manatees.


Facing the league's ERA leader for the second time in three nights, Vero Beach was able to notch a pair of hits off Will Inman in the first, but were unable to plate any runners as the game went scoreless into the fifth. Zeroes were all that Brevard County saw through the first four innings as Davis retired the first 13 Manatees in order before a Mat Gamel single with one out in the fifth.


The fifth inning proved to be Brevard County's best chance in the game as the Gamel single and one of Davis' only two walks of the game loaded the bases with two outs. However, the right-hander was able to settle down and get Nestor Corredor to fly out to center to end the inning.


The D-Rays broke through in the bottom of the inning as Neil Walton led off with a double. A Jackson Brennan single moved Walton to third. Two batters later, Erold Andrus grounded a ball to first baseman Carlos Corporan. Trying to start a double play, Corporan sailed his throw to second into leftfield, bringing in Walton and giving the Devil Rays a 1-0 lead.


The next inning saw Vero Beach extend the lead as Rhyne Hughes took the first pitch of the inning over the leftfield fence for an opposite field homer, his first of the season and a 2-0 Rays edge. The next batter, Chris Cunningham, reached on an infield single. Cunningham then moved to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Jackson Brennan lined a single into center to plate Cunningham and give Vero Beach a 3-0 lead. An insurance run on a wild pitch gave the Rays the final margin of victory.


The four runs of support were more than enough for Davis (1-0) who went seven allowing just two hits and no runs, striking out nine. Aaron Walker fanned four over the final two innings to pick up his first save of the season. Offensively, Cunningham went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.


Game two of the series is tomorrow with Mike Wlodarczyk (2-0, 2.61) going for VB against Steve Garrison (1-1, 2.66) for Brevard County. The first 500 fans through the gates will receive a Devil Rays t-shirt. Game time is 7:00 PM (6:00 Central).


Brevard County Box Score:




Brevard County Game Log:



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Tony Diggs is Assistant Director - Player Development/Training Center, for the Brewers. He was in the booth during Saturday's Manatee doubleheader. Click on the first link from April 28th and go to the 3 hour, 5 minute mark:




I believe Tony Diggs' comments will be part of the Manatee Insanatee Show at 8:00 AM Central Monday morning, WMEL in Melbourne will carry show. You can listen at this link:



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Chavez putting up some respectable numbers, especially compared to what some of the older guys are hitting. I guess he finally got all of those splinters pulled out of his behind from spring training.


Rottino continues to rake.


Is Sollman trying to make sure he never has to repeat a level again? OBP over .500!?

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David Weiser's





Steve Hammond had to do something. His 8.53 ERA was telling him that........ He had given up seven first-inning runs in his four previous starts, and three home runs in his last start....... Working with pitching coach Rich Sauveur, he changed his delivery and met with success Sunday afternoon at Regions Park........ The result was the first complete game shutout of the Southern League season.


This was the Stars' 2nd shutout of the year and this series........ The starting rotation appears to be reversing the alarming trend they had set at the beginning of the year when opponents were hitting .429 against them in the 1st inning from April 5-20........ Since April 21, opponents have hit .333 in the 1st inning and scored eight runs, certainly better than the 11 scored against them in the 1st inning in the first five games and the .556 average that came with it.


Hammond pitched the Stars' first complete game shutout since his own two-hitter over Mississippi last year on July 12., and for once, it was Huntsville's turn to score first, something they had done only five previous times this month....... So far, each time the Stars have scored first, they have won. To show you how important that really is, I could take you back to last year. The Stars were 26-49 when they let the other side get the jump.


Hammond looked like the pitcher he was when he first came up and made his debut with a three-hitter over six scoreless innings against the Braves last June. In June and July, he was 3-3 with a 1.67 ERA....... Sometimes you lose your way, and it looks like Steve did, but a change did him good.


Hammond, from the start, showed the improvement, striking out three of the four batters to face him in the 1st inning, getting Jeremy West and Thomas Collaro to look at strike three. Both batters were hitting a combined .364 in this series........ The Barons didn't get their first hit until Robert Valido singled on a soft fly ball to Steve Moss with one out in the 3rd. They got their first runner in scoring position in the 5th inning when Donny Lucy doubled. He went to 3rd on a fielders choice and was stranded when Valido flied out to Moss. They never got another runner in scoring position after that.


Barons' starter Wes Whisler was a 2nd round pick by the White Sox in 2004, a hitting prospect the Cubs were interested in before he regressed and changed his direction....... He emerged as a better pitching prospect, although Baseball America ranks him only 29th among the White Sox' top 30 minor league prospects....... A left-hander, he's held righties to a .275 average this season, and manager Don Money loaded his lineup with them, although it would have been interesting to see what a couple of lefties could have done. Lefties have hit .412 against Whisler....... After a pair of walks to Steve Sollmann and Guilder Rodriguez, batting in the 2-hole for the first time this year and for only the 3rd time as a Huntsville Star, Huntsville got on the scoreboard........ Mike Carlin, the next hitter, tried to bunt his way on and popped it to Whisler. To get a double play, he let it fall in front of him, but his throw to 2nd baseman Chris Getz was wild, tipping off Getz's glove. That loaded the bases for Lou Palmisano, the Stars' hottest hitter.


It's really nice to see Palmy get off to a good start. He's at a critical juncture in his career. Drafted 3rd by the Brewers behind Rickie Weeks and Tony Gwynn, Jr. in 2003, he was projected to be the Brewers' best hope of being their future catcher for as many seasons as they could afford him........ He was the Pioneer League's MVP in his first season, hitting .391 in 47 games (it's a short-season league that starts in June), but in subsequent seasons, the promise of a solid bat in the lineup was fading, although he developed as a sterling defensive player with a rifle arm, and a leader, as promised......... After steady declines in his batting mark, he reached a new low last year, hitting .241....... He never had a month in which he hit better than .269 and he never had a month in which he had double digits in RBIs......... This year, he's driven in 14 already and hit .383.


Palmy was Sunday's scoring machine....... With the bases loaded, he belted a line-drive double to the alley in right-center, clearing the bases, giving the Stars a quick 3-0 lead.


Hammond kept that lead until the Stars added on in the 8th inning........ After Tim Bittner replaced Whisler on the mound, Sollmann lofted a one-out bloop-double down the right field line. G. Rod's grounder to third, holding Sollmann, left the inning up to Carlin, riding an 0-for-18 slump, but he broke the spell with a double off the right field wall, making it 4-0........ Sweet Lou then parked a two-run home run over the three-tier signage in left field to make it 6-0, his 2nd homer in as many games. He had four all of last year......... Although the Barons have this series in the bag, Palmisano made an imprint, going 6-for-11 with eight RBIs......... In his last eight games, Palmisano is hitting .433 with 13 RBIs...... A sacrifice fly by Max St. Pierre in the 9th put the icing on the cake.


The Stars will try for another, Monday, in a morning start that will be heard only on the internet (www.730ump.com)........ Ryan Wing will face Mike Jones, who hurled six scoreless innings in his last start....... Wing, a reliever in four of the five games he's appeared in this season, is not on the White Sox' list of top prospects, but he has a WHIP of 0.73 and is equally as sinful against lefties (.083) as he is against righties (.107).


Palmisano has 59 plate appearances this year, the bare minimum to qualify for the league's top ten in batting. With a .383 average, he should rank 2nd behind Tennessee's Josh Kroeger..... After Steve Sollmann's 3-for-4 day, he should climb, too. He started the day 6th among SL batting leaders at .344. His average is now up to .369........ Huntsville hitters have now struck out over 200 times this season. Only Carolina has more. The league leaders, Brendan Katin and Thomas Collaro, each struck out once in this game, giving them 31, but Katin has the higher rate (.397).


The Brewers minor league system is 52-33, best in baseball. Only the Stars have a losing record among their affiliates........ Barons' 1st baseman Jeremy Frost is a former Brewer farmhand. He got as high as High Desert. The White Sox acquired him last October from the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association...... Anyone waiting for Brad Nelson to come back to the Stars should know he's hitting .271 for the Sounds, but he's 2-for-17 in his last five games........ With all the RH batters the Stars predominantly lefty rotation is facing, they're handling them lefties and righties to the same .261 average.

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Link while active, text follows:




Stars' Hammond outduels Whisler


Birmingham News staff writer


UCLA product Wes Whisler gave the Birmingham Barons another solid pitching start Sunday.


It didn't matter.


His Huntsville counterpart, Steve Hammond, ruled the day, tossing a six-hit complete game in the Stars' 8-0 victory at Regions Park.


Before a sun-splashed crowd of 2,607, the left-handed Hammond reversed his season against a Birmingham offense that owned the first three games of the series.


"It's just about making pitches," said Hammond, a former Long Beach State star. "I've been trying to hit my spots, and I did today. But I've been struggling all year."


Hammond's 2006 season ended prematurely - he was shut down before the postseason as a safety precaution because it was his first full season as a pro. Before that, he was effective (5-6, 2.98).


But when he showed up to spring training, everything about him seemed different.


"This year he came back with a different arm slot," said Huntsville manager Don Money. "It's hard to figure why a guy would be messing with success."


Besides the arm angle, Hammond toyed with his delivery, going to a higher, looser windup. But Sunday, his delivery was much tighter.


And his control was sharp.


"Coming in, he's 1-3 with an 8-plus ERA," Money said. "He was getting the ball up and they were hitting it. But today he was around the plate. And when you're around the plate, you get guys to chase a few more pitches."


Hammond (2-3) didn't need much offensive support. The Stars jumped on Whisler (0-3) immediately, opening the game with a pair of walks. When Mike Carlin tried to move the runners up a base with a bunt, Whisler fumbled the play to leave the bases loaded.


Enter cleanup man Lou Palmisano, who cleared his path with a three-run double.


From there, Whisler took command, stranding Palmisano and allowing but two hits the next six innings.


Reliever Tim Bittner absorbed the biggest ERA inflation, giving up five Huntsville runs in the final two innings.

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