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Link Report Thur 8/31 - Sounds and Stars Magic #'s are 1

Mass Haas

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Thursday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: LHP Zach Jackson at Albuquerque (Marlins), 7:20 PM pre-game; 7:35 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Manny Parra at Birmingham (White Sox), 6:50 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: TBD at Daytona (Cubs), 6:05 PM


Audio link (opponent's) --



West Virginia: LHP Dave Welch at home vs. Greensboro (Marlins), 5:55 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


Audio link:



Helena: Idle


Arizona: Season completed

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Follow Thursday'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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This link will be included in each daily report when the Nashville Sounds and/or Huntsville Stars are scheduled to play. Normally it is updated an hour or two prior to gametime:


Nashville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):




Following Nashville's lead, Huntsville now makes its media notes available as well, nice:



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Standings through Wednesday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [b]Nashville 75 64 .540 - 41-27 34-37 W1[/b] Iowa 72 67 .518 3.0 43-28 29-39 W1 Memphis 56 83 .403 19.0 34-39 22-44 W1 Omaha 52 87 .374 23.0 31-37 21-50 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [b]Huntsville 38 25 .603 - 21-12 17-13 W7[/b] Chattanooga 35 30 .538 4.0 20-15 15-15 L1 Tennessee 35 30 .538 4.0 18-12 17-18 L1 West Tenn 29 36 .446 10.0 19-11 10-25 L8 Carolina 27 38 .415 12.0 19-11 8-27 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 34 27 .557 - 18-11 16-16 L1 Daytona 35 28 .556 - 24-13 11-15 L1 St. Lucie 35 30 .538 1.0 18-15 17-15 W1 [b]Brevard County 26 33 .441 7.0 13-13 13-20 W3[/b] Vero Beach 23 36 .390 10.0 14-16 9-20 W2 Jupiter 22 40 .355 12.5 12-20 10-20 L2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lakewood 44 21 .677 - 24-7 20-14 L2 [b]West Virginia 34 30 .531 9.5 21-12 13-18 L1[/b] Greensboro 32 31 .508 11.0 16-18 16-13 W1 Lake County 32 31 .508 11.0 17-16 15-15 L4 Hickory 32 33 .492 12.0 15-19 17-14 L1 Delmarva 27 37 .422 16.5 17-15 10-22 W2 Lexington 27 38 .415 17.0 17-14 10-24 W1 Hagerstown 26 39 .400 18.0 14-18 12-21 W3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pioneer League (R+) - North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Billings 22 9 .710 - 12-2 10-7 W3 Missoula 19 12 .613 3.0 12-5 7-7 W2 [b]Helena 18 13 .581 4.0 11-6 7-7 W5[/b] Great Falls 8 23 .258 14.0 6-8 2-15 L2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona League (R) - Arizona League Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AZL Angels 19 8 .704 - 6-3 13-5 W1 AZL Royals 19 9 .679 0.5 9-6 10-3 W2 AZL Padres 18 9 .667 1.0 11-4 7-5 L1 AZL Giants 16 11 .593 3.0 8-6 8-5 L1 AZL Athletics 14 13 .519 5.0 10-4 4-9 W3 AZL Cubs 11 16 .407 8.0 4-9 7-7 L2 AZL Mariners 11 16 .407 8.0 8-6 3-10 L3 AZL Rangers 8 20 .286 11.5 6-9 2-11 L4 [b]AZL Brewers 7 21 .250 12.5 5-9 2-12 W2[/b]

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Expect heat in Birmingham

Stars games against Barons frequently emotional affairs


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, markcolumn@aol.com


When we last left the Huntsville Stars and Birmingham Barons, the game ended in a testosterone explosion. Tempers rose, benches emptied and naughty words were exchanged. No damage done.


Stars relief ace Joe Valentine, a former Baron, was wrapping up the save for Huntsville. Birmingham players were jawing in the dugout; veterans Corey Smith and Corwin Malone, who didn't make it past the fifth inning as the Barons' starter that night, were reportedly the prime culprits. As the Stars congratulated each other on the field on their fifth straight win, things grew more heated.


Now, the Barons will likely have to sit and watch the Stars celebrate clinching the Southern League North second-half championship on Birmingham territory in the near future.


The Stars (38-25) open a six-game series with the Barons tonight at the Hoover Met and can assure themselves a playoff spot with a win tonight, coupled with losses by Tennessee and Chattanooga (both 35-30). Huntsville needs only two wins in Birmingham to clinch, no matter what its two pursuers do.


As for the feud between Valentine and his ex-teammates, "It's over," Valentine said. "(Malone) had a little blurb about it; he said it was nothing personal. I think it was unprofessional.


"But in the heat of battle, sometimes you don't know what you're saying."


Malone had told The Birmingham News the next day, "I was just ragging the guy. I didn't say anything personal. I'd never do that.


"We're friends."


Throughout history, the Stars and Barons haven't been very friendly.


The rivalry became especially testy in 2002 and 2003, when Wally Backman managed the Barons.


"Wally was a firecracker," Valentine said. "And Frank Kremblas, who was here, was a firecracker. I don't think it was anything personal. It was two good teams. They played us well.


"It was one of those things that just coincides."


In 2001, Huntsville knocked off the Barons in Birmingham in game five en route to sharing the league title with Jacksonville.


In 2002, the Barons knocked off Huntsville in the final game to spoil the Stars' playoff hopes.


Another coincidence: In 2003, the last Huntsville post-season appearance, the Stars clinched the first-half title during a visit to Birmingham, then wrapped up the division series in a game five at the Hoover Met.


"It's special wherever you clinch," Valentine said. "I've still got a lot of fans (in Birmingham) that pull for me.


"It can be special doing it there in front of them."

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Tonight's West Virginia game vs. Greensboro has been cancelled. According to the Power's site, fans can exchange their ticket for tonight's game for two tickets to any game next year. That's a very generous and smart move on their part.


Mass, just was curious who won the 1st half title in the SAL, to see if W. Va has any chance.


Mass has talked about this a few times in the past week, but due to Lexington's great first half and Lakewood's great second half, the Power will be unable to win either half and their overall record, despite being pretty good, won't matter when it comes to the playoffs.


Mike Jones is your starter for Brevard County tonight, as the Manatees are actually playing for a change.

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Final: Brevard County 3, Daytona (Cubs) 0

These guys are playing tough to the end, no moping, nice to see...


Brevard County Box Score and Game Log:

Mike Jones (only two innings?), Brandon Harmsen, Luis Pena (four innings for the win), and Josh Alliston combine on a four-hitter; Manatees only made three fly ball outs, but managed to get the win; Hernan Iribarren and Carlos Corporan two hits apiece; the Hurricane picked off second base with one out in the 2nd; left fielder and birthday boy (23) Ryan Crew with another outfield assist, nailing a runner at the plate to end the Cub 2nd...



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Brevard County Site Game Summary:


Manatees manage Cubs


Four pitchers combined on a four-hitter and Carlos Corporan drove in two runs as Brevard County blanked host Daytona, 2-0, on Thursday.


Starter Mike Jones allowed two hits and two walks while striking out one over two innings. After Brandon Harmsen fanned three in two perfect frames, Luis Pena (4-6) yielded two hits and struck out two over four innings for the win. Josh Alliston retired the side in the ninth to earn his ninth save.


Corporan smacked an RBI double in the seventh and a run-scoring single in the ninth for the Manatees (27-33). Hernan Iribarren went 2-for-4 with a run scored.


Nathan Price collected two hits for the Cubs (35-29), who fell one game behind first-place Palm Beach in the Florida State League's East Division. Daytona leads third-place St. Lucie by a half-game.


Cubs starter Ryan Bicondoa (1-3) took the hard-luck loss after giving up two runs -- one earned -- on six hits over 8 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one. -- Max Lance/MLB.com

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Final: Huntsville 1, Birmingham (White Sox) 0

By the way, no Stars made the Southern League post-season All-Star team...


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Division Title Within Reach


Manny Parra and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout, as Huntsville clinched at least a tie for the second half North Division title with a 1-0 win over Birmingham Thursday night at the Hoover Met. The Stars won their eighth straight game to improve to 39-25 in the second half and finished the month of August with a franchise-record 22 wins. The Stars can clinch the division title with one more win or one more Chattanooga loss over the next four days.


Ozzie Chavez led off the sixth inning with a single off the glove of a leaping second baseman Chris Getz, moved to third base on a ground ball out by Steve Moss and scored on a fly ball to center field off the bat of Callix Crabbe, who finished August with 39 hits in 108 at-bats. Barons? starter Adam Russell gave up five hits, walked one and fanned three but suffered the loss to drop to 3-3.


Parra walked the first two batters he faced but recovered to strike out Pedro Lopez and induce Mark Quinn to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Parra gave up a leadoff single to Lopez in the fourth and walked Quinn before striking out Corey Smith and Gustavo Molina and getting Micah Schnurstein to tap back to the mound to end the threat.


The Stars? southpaw allowed three singles, walked three and struck out a season-high seven over six innings in his longest outing of the year. Luther Hackman retired the side in order in the seventh inning and stranded Donny Lucy at third base with one out in the eighth inning by striking out Getz and getting Michael Myers to line out to right field. Lucy had started the inning with a double to right field and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Amador.


Joe Valentine, who set a league record with 36 saves pitching for the Barons in 2002, took over in the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Lopez. The veteran right-hander then got Quinn to line out to center field for the first out before Lopez was thrown out trying to steal for out number two. Valentine struck out Smith to end the game and earn his 11th save with the Stars. He has tossed nine consecutive scoreless innings and converted each of his last eight save chances.


The series continues Friday night with Huntsville right-hander Corey Thurman taking the hill against Birmingham left-hander Wes Whisler. Covergae of the game begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on ESPN Radio 1450 AM and via the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Site Box Score and Game Log:




Manny Parra photo from the Stars' site:



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By the way, no Stars made the Southern League post-season All-Star team...


Not entirely surprising, as most of the "stars" (pardon the pun) of that team were either called up to (Yo, Braun, Parra, Katin) or called up from (Villanueva, Anderson, Bray) Huntsville midway through the season. It is a bit suprising that Anderson and Corey Thurman, who had a great season in every department except for wins/losses/run support, were not named to the team.

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Well I'd like to say it's nice to see a certain pitcher regaining some of the form that made us all ecstatic when he was signed as a draft and follow a few years ago, but that would curse him into a season ending injury so I'll just leave it at that.
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Sounds lose, 9-8, but Iowa loses also, so the Sounds magic number is at 1, and they can now clinch at home.


For those of you that saw I posted a Nashville 10-8 division-clinching victory here a short time ago (and even a home page story, since deleted) -- the Sounds' site, which had posted the live box score all night, reverted back to Wednesday's game for a while upon completion of tonight's contest. I was bamboozled -- sorry http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/embarassed.gif .

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Nasvhille Site Game Review


Sounds End Road Trip With 9-8 Loss


ALBUQUERQUE ? The Nashville Sounds had an opportunity to wrap up the division title but fell just short on Thursday evening at Isotopes Park, suffering a 9-8 loss to Albuquerque in the finale of a four-game series.


Nashville (75-65) maintained its three-game lead over Iowa in the American Conference Northern Division; the Cubs lost in Oklahoma, 7-4, earlier in the evening.


The Sounds? magic number to clinch a playoff berth was reduced to just one with four games remaining in the season. Any Nashville win or Iowa loss over the next four days will send the defending PCL champion Sounds to the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.


With the loss, Nashville split its four-game series with the Isotopes and finished its road trip with a 4-5 record.


It was a back-and-forth battle all evening and the longball was a prominent part of the evening?s festivities. The Isotopes touched Sounds pitchers for three homers, matching the most allowed by Nashville in a game all season.


Sounds first baseman Graham Koonce missed the cycle by a triple, matching his season high with three hits on the evening. He also drove in two runs and scored three during his 3-for-3 evening, adding two walks in reaching base in all five of his plate appearances.


Nashville skipper Frank Kremblas had his team on the move on the basepaths as the Sounds recorded a season-high-tying six swipes, including three by team leader Jermaine Clark and two by Tony Gwynn.


Albuquerque took a 3-0 lead against Sounds starter Zach Jackson in the bottom of the first inning on Chris Aguila?s RBI double coupled with a two-out, two-run single off the bat of Jason Stokes.


Nashville third baseman Andrew Beattie who hit Isotopes pitching well all season, pulled the visitors back within a run in the second when he belted an opposite-field two-run homer to left off Albuquerque starter Jeff Fulchino. The blast was the infielder?s ninth of the year.


The Isotopes tacked on a run for a 4-2 lead in the fourth when Matt Cepicky scored from third on a passed ball charged to Sounds catcher Chad Moeller.


Koonce tied the game in the top of the fifth when he slugged his 19th home run of the year, a two-out, two-run shot to left that plated Drew and knotted things at 4-4. The homer was Koonce?s third of the series and increased the slugger?s team-leading RBI total to 24 in the month of August.


Albuquerque responded immediately, reclaiming a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the frame when Cepicky blasted a three-run homer off Jackson. It was his sixth roundtripper.


Nashville clawed right back to within a run in the following frame, plating two in the sixth to make it a 7-6 contest. Clark led off with a single then stole second and third to up his team-leading theft total to 32 on the year. Kennard Bibbs plated Clark with an RBI single to right and advanced to third on the play when Cepicky was unable to hand the ball cleanly. After a pair of strikeouts, Gwynn drove in Bibbs with a run-scoring single to right that chased Fulchino from the ballgame.


Gwynn went 2-for-5 on the evening to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, one shy of his longest this season. The two-hit effort was his team-leading 42nd multiple-hit contest of the year.


Once again, the Isotopes had an immediate response as Albuquerque greeted Sounds reliever Steve Bray with back-to-back home runs to lead off the bottom of the frame and re-establish the home team?s three-run lead at 9-6. Eric Reed led off with an inside-the-park home run to right and Tony Schrager slugged a solo shot to left two pitches later. Reed?s blast was his fifth while Schrager touched ?em all for the first time in 2006.


Bray, who saw his ERA increase from 0.44 to 1.27 following the outing, has allowed only three runs in his 21 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this season; all three runs have come via the longball.


The offensive showdown continued in the seventh as the Sounds pulled back within a run once again as Bibbs laced a two-out, two-run double down the right field line on an 0-2 pitch from Nashville native Wes Wilkerson to plate Koonce and Clark and make it a 9-8 game. The Sounds left the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base in the frame when Isotopes reliever J.B. Miadich caught pinch-hitter Zach Sorensen looking for the final out of the inning.


Nashville once again left the potential tying run in scoring position in the top of the eighth as Beattie was fanned by Miadich to end the frame with Anderson standing on second and Koonce at first, both following walks.


Fulchino (6-10) registered the win for Albuquerque despite allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and striking out seven batters over 5 2/3 innings.


Former Sound Brad Clontz came on to work a perfect ninth for Albuquerque to notch his 21st save, tying Blaine Neal?s single-season franchise record established in 2003.


Jackson (4-6) took the loss after surrendering a season-high seven runs on seven hits over five innings of work for the Sounds. The left-hander walked a season-high six batters in his outing, matching the highest single-game total allowed by a Nashville hurler all season.


Nashville hurlers combined to allow nine walks on the evening, the most issued by the team in a game this season.


The Sounds return to Greer Stadium on Friday to take on the Round Rock Express (AAA-Astros) in the 7 p.m. opener of a regular season-ending four-game series, which could serve as a potential playoff preview.


Right-hander Carlos Villanueva (7-1, 2.78) will man the bump for Nashville in Friday?s series opener. Round Rock will counter with right-hander Taylor Buchholz (1-3, 4.97).


Nashville Box Score and Game Log:



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Stars one step closer

From staff reports

Huntsville Times


HOOVER - The magic number is down to one.


The Huntsville Stars, 1-0 winners over Birmingham Thursday night, need only to win in tonight's 7:05 game at the Hoover Met to clinch the Southern League North second-half championship. That would keep alive a string for Huntsville. The Stars have never gone more than two consecutive seasons without reaching the playoffs.


The Stars could also clinch if first-half champ Chattanooga loses at West Tenn. The Lookouts won 3-1 there Thursday. Tennessee, which had led the division as recently as Aug. 22, was eliminated last night when it lost to Mobile, the 10th loss in 13 games for the Smokies.


If the Stars reach the playoffs, they'll begin next Thursday in Chattanooga.


The Stars (39-25 with five games remaining) extended their win streak to eight games. They finished August with a 22-5 record, the most successful month in the club's 22-year history.


Huntsville had a collective pitching masterpiece from starter Manny Parra (six innings, three hits, seven strikeouts), Luther Hackman (2 innings, one hit, one K) and ex-Baron Joe Valentine.


Equally brilliant was Birmingham starter Adam Russell, who allowed only five hits over 7 2/3 innings.


The Stars' run came in the sixth when Ozzie Chavez singled to left and stole second. He took third on a Steve Moss grounder and scored an a Callix Crabbe sacrifice fly to center.

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Power home finale a wash

By Jim Workman

For The Charleston Gazette


The West Virginia Power had hopes of closing out a successful season at Appalachian Power Park in grand style on Thursday night.


But the 2006 home finale, scheduled against Greensboro, was washed out due to rain, sending the last crowd of baseball fans home to think about 2007.


?You cannot go against God?s will,? said Power manager Mike Guerrero in the clubhouse upon the announcement of the cancellation. ?He must have not wanted us to play. The water is needed. We?ll take it and be grateful.?


Power officials were grateful for a franchise-record attendance of 239,721, and a strong finish to the season. August was hot for the Power, winners of 17 games during the month ? the season?s best month of production. May and June saw 16 wins for the club.


The Power is 73-60 overall and 34-30 in the second half ? good enough for second place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division but 9 1/2 games behind first-place Lakewood.


?We had a great group of players that really developed throughout the season,? said Guerrero. ?Our guys have come a long way and progressed. I tip my hat to the players and the coaching staff for their work.?


Guerrero?s impression of Charleston in his first season here was a solid one.


?I really like the city of Charleston and the people,? he said. ?It?s really a nice place once you get to know the area. It?s a lot better than most people realize. I made a lot of good friendships here.?


The Power will travel to Hickory for a four-game series beginning tonight that will close out the season.

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