Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Scorpions sting Dogs, 1-0

Nick Blackburn
Nick Blackburn

Scottsdale 1 at Phoenix 0

W: E. Meek (1-0, 1.04); L: D. Davidson (0-1, 1.17); SV: B. Anderson (3)
HR: None.

Scottsdale pitching stung the PHoenix offense to sleep Tuesday as the Scorpions shut out the Dogs, 1-0.

Both teams were held to 7 hits each.

Nick Blackburn (Minnesota) started for the Desert Dogs and held the Scorpions to 4 hits, while striking out 3 over 4 innings. He dropped his ERA to 1.59 in the process.

However his performance was matched by Scorpion starter Adam Bostick (NY Mets), how allowed 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 over 5 innings.

The game would stay scoreless until the 8th inning with neither team seemingly able to get past 2nd base. Phoenix catcher Donny Lucy (Chicago White Sox) made it to 3rd in the 5th inning after doubling off Bostick, but Cliff Pennington (Oakland) hit into a double play to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the 8th, Wilkin Castillo (Arizona) doubled off Pittsburgh's David Davidson. Manny Burriss (San Francisco) hit a soft fly ball to center that allowed Castillo enough time to get over the plate to give the Scorpions their sole run.

Lucy would end up stranded on 2nd in the bottom of the inning while Brian Anderson (San Francisco) allowed a single to Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh) in the 9th, but took out Jason Delaney (Pittsburgh), Jeff Baisley (Oakland) and Matt Macri (Minnesota) all on fly balls to end the contest.

Macri would go 0-for-4 in the contest. McCutchen was 3-for-4 and Lucy 2-for-3 with Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) and Nyjer Morgan (Pittsburgh) getting the other 2 Dog hits.

The two teams rematch Wednesday at 7:05 PM in Scottsdale.

In other AFL action, the Surprise Rafters took a 5-2 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox. Michael Aubrey (Cleveland) was 3-for-4 with 1 run and 1 RBI for Surprise, and Elvis Andrus (Texas) and Sean Rodriguez (LA Angels) had 2 hits each in the game. Former Sarasoa Red Ben Jukich (Cincinnati) worked 4 innings for the Rafters, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1.


Blackburn named AFL Pitcher of the Week: Former Miracle Nick Blackburn made just one start during the week of Oct. 29 to Nov. 3, but it was a beauty. On Tuesday, the 25-year-old Minnesota Twins farmhand faced off against the Surprise Rafters and allowed just one hit over four shutout innings while striking out five. He earned the win in the contest, his third victory in as many appearances.

Blackburn's magnificent effort against Surprise was, in fact, no surprise, as the Oklahoma native has tossed 11 scoreless innings over his past three outings. Overall, he is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched, and opponents are hitting a paltry .163 against him. Blackburn split the 2007 campaign between Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester, and made his Major League debut with the Twins on Sept. 3.

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