Saturday, September 8, 2007

Clearwater knocks out Sara-Reds

Alex Smit

Clearwater 4 at Sarasota 3

W: J. Trujillo (1-0, 0.00); L: S. Watson (0-1, 6.00); SV: R. Swindle (1)
HR: None.

For a while, it looked like the Sarasota Reds really wanted to travel over to see the Brevard County Manatees tonight. For a while.

Sarasota jumped out to an early lead as Cody Strait scored off a failed force attmept on Tonys Gutierrez. A fielding error by Clearwater's Brad Harman led to the run with 2 men on base, both walked by Antonio Bastardo.

Clearwater finally got to former Miracle pitcher Alexander Smit in the 4th when Brad Harmon singled and Jeremy Slayden drew a walk. Jake Blalock doubled in the pair on a fly out to center.

The Reds took their lead back though in the bottom of the inning with Eric Eymann doubling in Gutierrez, then passing the plate when Clearwater's Jason Donald threw the ball away.

Sean Watson would replace Smith in the top of the 5th. He'd work 2 innings before the Threshers rallied in 7th.

Clay Harris singled his way onto base. With 2 outs, Brian Burgamy plated him to tie up the game, then stole 2nd base. Brad Harman would draw a walk, Jason Donald would be hit by a pitch and then Jeremy Slayden would walk to force in a run. That prompted the Reds to put Dan Denham onto the mound to get the last out.

The Reds could get nothing off Bear Hill or Rob Swindle and it will be the Clearwater team, not the Sarasota team, taking the bus over to Spacecoast Stadium for a pair of games this weekend.

Smit surrendered two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 4 2/3 frames for Sarasota.


In the Midwest League, Clinton defeated Cedar Rapids 5-4. The Rangers affiliate will host the Snappers for the first game in the next round of the Midwest League Playoffs. The Southbend Silver Hawks used a 4-run first inning and 3-run 3rd inning to down the Dayton Dragons, 7-5. This was more bad news for the Reds organization who will now watch the Diamondbacks' farm team move into the next round against Detroit affiliated West Michigan White Caps.

In the Eastern League, the Trenton Thunder downed the Portland Sea Dogs 3-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 series. Cody Ehlers was 2-for-3 for the Yankees affiliate with 1 run and 1 RBI. Regee Corona and Gabrial Lopez had the other 2 runs for Trenton. Daniel McCutchen tossed six strong innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 strike outs. Trenton can close out the series with a win in Game 4 on Saturday behind starter Jeff Marquez. Portland, which pulled out a 13-inning victory in Game 2 on Thursday, will send Chris Smith to the mound.

The Akron Aeros roughed up Eries' Andrew Kown picking up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Randor Bierd gave up 3 runs on 3 hits for the Detroit affilate which falls to 2-1 in the series. Stephen Head belted a two-run homer, his second of the series, in the 6th while Jordan Brown capped a 3-run seventh with a two-run shot, his first of the postseason for Akron. Jeremy Sowers pitched 7 1/3 solid innings for the Indian affiliated Aeros allowing 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7.

The Devil Rays affiliated Durham Bulls ousted the defending Governor's Cup Champion Toledo Mud Hens from the playoffs, taking a 5-2 victory Friday to sweep the best-of-5 series. The Wild Card winning Richmond Braves took a 2-1 series advantage in over the Sranton/WB Yankees, posting a 6-4 win on Friday.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Clearwater, Brevard, Beloit post wins

The Wright Stuff

St. Lucie 2 at Brevard County 13

W: B. Wright (1-0, 2.35); L: E. Brown (0-1, 15.43)
HR: BRE: C. Gillespie (1).

First Half East Division Champion Brevard County progressed to the Florida State League finals, puting a 13-2 huring on the St. Lucie Mets.

Cole Gillespie hit a home run in the first inning to put the Manatees on the board. Nestor Corredor reached on a fielding error in the 3rd and Lorenzo Cain walked. A Mat Gamel single scored the first runner, Cain was taken out on home on a fielder's choice that put Gillespie on base. Singles by Mike Bell and Yohannis Perez, mixed in with a Chris Errecart triple put the Manatees on top 6-0.

An Errecart double and a Perez single in the 7th extended the Manatees lead.

A Nick Evans double and a Dan Murphy single put St. Lucie on the board in top of the 8th, but the game was already out of reach. The Manatees tacked on another 5 runs in the bottom of the inning.

Brae Wright allowed only 2 hits on 8 hits and 1 walk in 7.2 innings while striking out 3. Patrick Ryan finish up on the mound for Brevard County. The Mets farm team threw 7 different pitchers at the Manatees, with Eric Brown suffering the loss for St. Lucie.

Florida Today

Clearwater 3 at Sarasota 2

W: A. Carpenter (1-0, 3.00); L: D. Thompson (0-1, 3.60); SV: W. Savage (1)
HR: None.

Andrew Carpenter did not throw another perfect game, but the Threshers ace was effective Thursday night against Sarasota as the Threshers tied up the West Divsion Championship series at one game each.

A Tony Gutierrez walk and a Jeramiah Piepkorn single put the Reds on the board in the bottom of the second. A Lou Marson double helped the Threshers put 2 runners over the plate in the 4th to give the Phillies farm team the lead.

Marson's double in 6th scored Jeremy Slayden for an insurance run, which would be needed as a Cody Strait single, a stolen base and Gutierrez ground ball would give the Reds another run.

Carpenter picked up the win allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 6 innings. Darryl Thompson took the loss the for the Reds, allowing 2 runs, 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4 through 5.

The final game of the series is Friday night at Ed Smith Stadium, with the win progressing to face the Manatees.


Quad City 4 at Beloit 5

W: A. Craig (1-0, 0.00); L: K. Maiques (0-1, 9.00)
HR: QC: T. Henley (1), S. Hill (1). BEL: J. Benson (1).

A late rally by the Swing lead to a blown save for Anthony Slama, but Steve Singleton doubled to plate Danny Berg in the 11th inning to give the Snappers a first round sweep of the Swing in the Midwest League playoffs.

A Joe Benson single and stolen base, followed a Rene Tosoni sac fly put Beloit on the board in the bottom of the first. A fielding error by Daniel Descalso in the 2nd lead to Greg Yersich crossing the plate in the 2nd for the Snappers, increasing their lead.

Southpaw Tyler Robertson blanked the St. Louis farm team for 5.2 innings, striking out 11 and allowing 5 hits and 3 walks during that time. The Swing did not get on the board until Steve Hill put one over the left field wall off Danny Vias.

The 19-year-old starter from California has been extremely effective for the Twins farm since joining them half-way through the season. The 6-foot-5 lefty struck out 123 in 102 1/3 regular season innings while compiling a 2.29 ERA. Robertson will be making to look the jump to the Miracle for 2008.

A Joe Benson home single home run in the 5th added to Snappers lead. Rene Tosoni walked and Chris Parmelee doubled him in to make it 4-0.

Joe Lugo allowed a single in the 8th and a fielding error by Chris Cates put aonther runner on base. Slama was brought in to get the Snappers out of the jam, but Tyler Henley hit a home run to tie the game.

The Twins affiliated Snappers now await the winner of the Cedar Rapids/Clinton game which it tied at one game each after the Ranger affiliated Lumber Kings defeated the Angel affiliated Kernels 8-2 at home.


In other Midwest Playoff news, West Michigan Whitecaps swept their series with the Lansing Lugnuts 6-3. This may prove good news for the Lakeland Flying Tigers after their poor showing this season, as they look forward to getting some of Detroit's top prospects from the White Caps. The Whitecaps will also wait for an opponant as South Bend evened their series with the Dayton Dragons with a 8-4 win.

Burke Badehop picked up the win as the Erie Sea Wolves evened their series with the Akron Aeros with a 9-6 win. Danny Worth as 3-for-5 in the series with a run while Jeffrey Larish drove in 5 runs for the Detroit farm team. Porland, who sneaked into the playoffs despite the Rock Cats best efforts to stop them, squeeked by the Trenton Thunder, 3-2 in 13 innings to even that series at one game each.

In the International League, the Scranton/WB Yankees tied up their series with the Richmond Braves. The Toledo Mud Hens saw an exit early as the Devil Ray affiliated Durham Bulls picked up a 9-5 win for a sweep of their series with the defending Governors' Cup chamions.

Morales gets the call: The Minnesota Twins planned to bring up former Miracle catcher Jose Morales from Triple-A Rochester before Friday night's game at the Chicago White Sox. The Twins made the announcement on Thursday, two days after backup catcher Mike Redmond strained a ligament in the middle finger of his left hand while swinging at a pitch. Joe Mauer has been out since Aug. 25 with a strained left hamstring. He jogged lightly on Wednesday, but was still sore and did not appear close to returning. Chris Heintz is the other catcher on the roster.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Manatees bouce back, Snappers blank Swing

Cole Gillespie

St. Lucie 6 at Brevard County 7

W: K. Roberts (1-0, 0.00); L: J. Hietpas (0-1, 7.71)
HR: BRE: C. Errecart (1).

Brevard County rallied back at Spacecoast Stadium to tie the Eastern Divsion finals at one game each with the St. Lucie Mets. Lorenzo Cain was hit by a pitch to force in a run, tying the game. Mat Gamel then singled in Fredy Parejo to put the Manatees on top.

St. Lucie let through most of the game. An Ender Chavez line drive brought in Dan Murphy to put the Mets on the board in the second. Brevard tied it up in the bottom of the fourth when Gamel reached on a fielding error by Nick Evans, stole second and was plated by Chris Errecart's fly out.

A pair of doubles by Evans and Sean McCraw led to 5 Mets runs that chased Manatees starter Mike McClendon from the mound. The Manatees got back into the game though when Errecart's homer scored 3.

Kevin Roberts picked up the win, allowing 1 hit and walking 2 while striking out 5 in 2.2 innings worth of work. Joe Hietpas suffered the loss and a blown save for St. Lucie.

The final game of the series will be played Thursday night at Spacecoast Stadium.

Florida Today

Wednesday's game FSL West Division Finals game between the Clearwater Threshers and the Sarasota Reds at Ed Smith Stadium was postponed due to rain. It will played Thursday, September 6 at 7:00 PM. The Reds lead the best-of-three series, 1-0.

Beloit 3 at Quad Cities 0

W: A. Burnett (1-0, 0.00); L: T. Herron (0-1, 8.10); SV: A. Slama (1)
HR: None.

Doubles by Steve Singleton, Rene Tosoni and Greg Yersich blew open a scoreless game between the Snappers and the Swing in the fourth inning of the first round of the MWL playoffs.

Beloit starter Alex Burnett worked through 5 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. The Snappers 3 run fourth saw the Swings' Tyler Herron exiting the mound after only 3.1 innings, with the runs comeing on 5 hits and 1 walk while he struck out 4.

Dan Leatherman worked 3 scoreless innings for the Snappers, while Anthony Slama went 3-up-3-dow, 2 on strike outs, in the ninth inning to pick up the save.

The series now shifts to Pohlman Field in Beloit for game two of the best-of-3 series. Southpaw Tyler Robertson, the Twins 3 round draft pick in 2006, is expected to step onto the mound for Beloit. The Swing will counter with righthander Brandon Dickson.

QC Times
QC Notebook

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sarasota, St. Lucie take early FSL playoff leads

Eric EymannDerrik Lutz

Sarasota 2 at Clearwater 0

W: B. Jukich (1-0, 0.00); L: A. Cruse (0-1, 3.00); SV: D. Lutz (1)

HR: SAR: C. Strait (1).

Sarasota ace Ben Jukich blanked the Clearwater Threshers for 7 innings at Bright House Networks Field and Cody Strait put a home run ball over the left field fence to lead the Reds to victory in game one of the West Division finals.

Jukich walked 2 and stuck out 5 before giving way to Sean Watson and Derrik Lutz who finished out the game. Clearwater only managed 2 hits agains the Reds staff.

Andrew Cruse took the loss for the Threshers, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4 in 6 innings worth of work.

Strait's yarder came at the top of 4th inning for the Reds. Chris Valaika also scored a run in the top of the 5th off Eric Eymann's sac-fly.

Ron "Bear" Hill finished off the game for the Threshers, allowing 1 hit and striking out 3 in 3 innings. Jason Donald and Matt Thayer were the only Threshers to record hits.

The series now travels to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota for games 2 on Wednesday. Zac Stott will take the start for Clearwater. The Reds will counter with Daryl Thompson.

Herald Tribune

Brevard County 0 at St. Lucie 8

W: J. Niese (1-0, 0.00); L: D. Welch (0-1, 3.38)
HR: None.

In the East Division finals, the St. Lucie Mets pounded out 8 runs on 12 hits, pasting the Brevard County Manatees.

Jonathan Niese allowed only 1 hit and walked 2 through six innings while striking out 9. Cole Gillespie tripled in the top of the 4th with 2 outs for the Tees, but Chris Errecart struck out swinging to preserve Neise's no hitter.

Victor Mendez scored in the bottom of the 3rd off a Hector Pellot single give the Mets the only run they would need, but there would be plenty of insurace, as the Mets scored consistantly in through the next four innings.

Mendez was 2-for-3 with 1 run and 2 RBIs while Nick Evans was 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI to lead the Mets. Catcher Sean McCraw and right fielder Ambiorix Conception were also 2-for-4 for the Mets, Conception with a run and an rbi in the contest. Pillot was 2-for-5 with 1 run and 1 RBI in the friendly confines of Tradition Field.

Gillespie was 2-for-3 for Brevard County; Darren Ford and Yohannis Perez had the other 2 hits for the Manatees.

David Welch suffered the loss, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 in 5.1 innings.

The two teams meet tonight in Melbourne for game 2, with Mike McClendon taking to the Spacecoast Stadium mound for the home team, while St Lucie will send right hander Eric Brown.

Florida Today

Snappers honor pitching duo: Starting pitchers Alex Burnett and Cole Devries shared the Beloit Snappers' Brophie Trophy Player of the Year award.

Alex Burnett went 9-8 with a 3.02 ERA in 27 starts this season. Burnett was second on the team in strikeouts with 117 and opponents batted a measly .239 against the right hander.

Burnett was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2005 draft. Alex is a graduate of Ocean View High School in California. In 2006 he led the Elizabethton Twins with 71 strikeouts and was second on the team with 71.1 innings pitched.

Cole Devries went 9-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 25 starts this year. Devries was second on team with 148 innings pitched and third on the team with 108 strikeouts.

Devries graduated from the University of Minnesota and signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent on August 22, 2006. As a junior with Minnesota, Cole was named Second-Team All-Big 10 while leading the team in both strikeouts (72) and ERA (2.42). Devries was also tied for the team lead in wins with seven.

Both are expected to be mainstays in the Miracle pitching staff for the 2008 season.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Affiliates finish off regular season

Tim Lahey
JAY CAPERS staff photographer
Red Wings pitcher Tim Lahey can't hang on to the ball at first base as Buffalo's Trent Durrington slides in safely in the ninth inning of Sunday's game. Sunday's win means the Wings finished their season with 77 victories.

Buffalo 5 at Rochester 8

Record 77 - 67 (2nd in the North Divsion)

W: D. Gassner (6-12, 4.95); L: B. Buzachero (4-7, 5.24); SV: T. Lahey (1)
HR: BUF: J. Cooper (10), S. Choo (3), T. Durrington (1). ROC: D. McDonald (7), M. Macri 2 (3).

E: Lahey (1, missed catch).

From Matt Macri hit two home runs and Glenn Williams had three hits to power the Red Wings to an 8-5 victory over Buffalo at Frontier Field Monday afternoon in the final game of the season. The win moved the Wings ahead of the Bisons for a second place division finish - the fourth straight season Rochester has finsihed with a winning record and the runner-up spot in the division.

Starting pitcher Dave Gassner gave up back to back home runs in the first to Trent Durrington and Shin-Soo Choo to give the Buffalo Bisons an early lead. Jason Cooper lifted a pitch near the warning track in right field almost making it three home runs in a row, but Doug Deeds reeled in the fly ball. The Wings could not respond in the second due to a rare 7-3 double play after a fly ball by Matt Tolbert was caught with Trent Oeltjen running on the pitch.

Gassner did not fare much better in the next two innings either. Three hits, including a double by leadoff hitter Joe Inglett plated another run, making the score 3-0 in the second. Two strikeouts limited any further damage and Gassner stranded two runners in scoring position. In the third, Cooper was able to square up a Gassner pitch, sending it into the bullpen in right for the third home run by the Bisons in the game.

In the second, a leadoff hit by Deeds turned into a run as Williams doubled him in with a hit down the right field line. Darnell McDonald cashed in on an opportunity in the third to close the lead to within one. With leadoff man Oeltjen on base, McDonald sent a mammoth shot to left clear over the Buffalo bullen and into the picnic area for a two-run home run, his seventh of the year bringing the score to 4-3.

The Wings tied the score at 4-4 in the fourth, when Chris Basak knocked in Williams with a single. Bubbie Buzachero replaced Stanford in the fifth inning, and the Wings went ahead against the new pitcher. Deeds drilled a two-out double ans scored the go-ahead run on Williams' triple. Matthew LeCroy clubbed a double off the top of the left field wall to bring in Williams and make it 6-4 Rochester.

Gassner (6-12) worked five innings, replaced in the sixth by Jay Sawatski. Matt Macri increased the Rochester lead with another mammoth homer, a solo shot that landed on Plymouth Avenue beyond the left field fence. In his next at bat in the eigth, Macri clubbed another home run over the scoreboard for his second solo blast of the game.

Tim Lahey pitched the final two innings, picking up his first Triple-A save.

NOTES: Jose Morales was 0-for-1 in Monday's game, finishing the year with a .311 batting average... McDonald did not have a steal and finished the season with 33 steals, tied for second in the league enting play... Bobby Korecky led the International League with 35 saves in addition to setting a Red Wings record...

R News

Garrett Guzman
The Rock Cats celebrate on the field after sweeping Portland.

Portland 7 at New Britain 11

Record: 69 - 72 (Fourth in the Northern Division)

W: R. Mullins (4-3, 3.99); L: C. Smith (6-9, 4.41)
HR: POR: A. Bates (4). NBR: G. Guzman (14).

E: Winfree (17, fielding), Eldridge (2, fielding), Molina, F (24, fielding), Moses (5, fielding).

From Garrett Guzman was a perfect 5-for-5 with six RBI and three runs scored to lead the Rock Cats to an 11-7 victory over Portland to complete a five-game sweep.

The final game of the regular season proved to be one of importance, as the Sea Dogs entered the contest tied with New Hampshire for the second and final playoff spot in the Northern Division. The Rock Cats pounded out 16 hits in the regular season finale to finish the season with seven-straight wins. The ‘Cats fell just one half game shy of making the playoffs.

Guzman led the attack with five hits and fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle. Brock Peterson and David Winfree each added four hits for the Rock Cats. Winfree had four RBI.

The Sea Dogs took the lead in the first inning when Bryan Pritz hit a two-out double and Aaron Bates delivered a two-run homer. The lead was short-lived, as the Rock Cats matched the feat in the bottom of the inning. Rashad Eldridge singled before Guzman slammed a two-run shot over the right field wall to tie the game, 2-2.

Guzman struck again in the second with the bases loaded. He cleared the bases with a three-run double to right field.

Portland crept to within 5-4 in the top of the fourth, but their chances of taking the lead slipped away when the Rock Cats broke out for five runs in the bottom of the inning. Guzman and Peterson delivered back-to-back RBI singles before Winfree broke open the game with a three-run double.

Portland’s Chris Smith (6-9) had an unmemorable finish to his season, as he allowed 13 hits and 10 runs (9 ER) in 5 1/3 innings.

Ryan Mullins tossed six solid innings in his 2007 season finale. Mullins (4-3) allowed four runs (3 ER) on five hits. He struck out five.

Rock Cats
Sea Dogs
Press Herald

Quad Cities 2 at Beloit 6

2nd Half Record: 35 - 35 (5th in the Western Division)
Overall Record: 79-61 (1st in the Western Division)

W: M. Fox (7-2, 3.50); L: C. Mortensen (0-2, 3.12); SV: J. Lugo (2)
HR: None.

E: Yersich (7, throw), Betsill 2 (10, fielding, throw).

From Matthew Fox and the Snappers swept away the Swing of the Quad Cities on Monday, 6-2, to close the regular season on a winning note. Beloit’s win gives them a 35-35 second half record and momentum heading into the playoffs.

After the Swing scored in the top of the first inning the Snappers answered right back with two in the bottom half. RBIs from Deibinson Romero and Greg Yersich put Beloit on top 2-1.

The Snappers scored again in the bottom of the second on a Joe Benson RBI triple to left-center. Benson’s triple plated Chris Cates from first.

The bottom of the third inning allowed the Snappers to put the game out of reach. Beloit scored two runs off of two hits, including a Joe Benson single to third. The two runs gave the Snappers a 5-1 advantage.

Beloit and Quad Cities exchanged runs in the eighth inning to make it 6-2, a score the Snappers would eventually win by.

Jose Lugo pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season and sweep away the Swing.

Matthew Fox picked up his seventh win of the season going six innings while yielding only one run off five hits.

With the series sweep the Snappers will now face off against the Swing of the Quad Cities in the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs. Game one is at Quad Cities on Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Beloit’s Alex Burnett will face Tyler Herron.


I guess being a Swinger isn't all it's cracked up be....

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

sleeping beast
Finally. Rest for the weary!

Former Miracle receives AA Honor: The New Britain Rock Cats and Bernie’s, a Connecticut-based retailer who specializes in Appliances, Televisions, and Bedding jointly announced today that 21-year-old Trevor Plouffe---a highly promising Shortstop from Northridge, CA---has been named the Rock Cats’ 2007 Player of the Year. As such, the former 1st round pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2004 Draft, was presented with the 2007 Bernie’s Brings It Home Award this afternoon at New Britain Stadium, just prior to the Eastern League club’s final home game of 2007.

Despite being just 20-years-of-age, the talented Plouffe got off to an impressive start in his first year at the Double-A classification, batting .295 with 18 Hits, 5 Doubles and 3 Home Runs in just 15 games in April. His start-of-season accomplishments earned him Bernie’s first monthly performance award of 2007. Other 2007 Rock Cats to earn the monthly Bernie’s Bring It Home Award were 3B Brian Buscher (May), INF Luke Hughes (June), RHP Tim Lahey (July), and OF Garrett Guzman (August).

Trevor Plouffe, a 6’2”/180-pound 2004 graduate of Crespi Carmelite High School (CA), maintained his steady, all-around performance throughout the entire 2007 Season, appearing in 126 of the Rock Cats 141 total games. An accessible fan-favorite, Plouffe finished the 2007 Season with a .274 Batting Average and was among the Eastern League leaders in Doubles (37). His total of 136 Hits was second-best on the New Britain team this year.

The fleet–footed Californian covered a good deal of ground while patrolling Shortstop for the Rock Cats and, on the offensive end, scored a team-leading 75 Runs, while posting 12 Stolen Bases. Well- regarded by his peers in the clubhouse, Plouffe slugged 9 Home Runs, 2 Triples and had 50 RBI for the 2007 Rock Cats. Rock Cats

Current affiliate to play former affiliate in MWL playoffs: As a result of the Snappers sweeping the four game series with the Swing of the Quad Cities on Monday the two teams will now face one another in the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs. Game one will be at Quad Cities starting at 6:30 pm. Games two and three (if necessary) will be here at beautiful Pohlman Field. Both home games, brought to you by Klement?s Sausage, will be at 6:30 pm. Thursday, September 6th will have fireworks after the game courtesy of Merkts. Contact a Snappers? representative at 608-362-2272 or for more information.

So far this season against the Swing, the Snappers are 9-4, including the most recent four-game series sweep from September 1st to September 3rd. Game one starter Alex Burnett is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA against Quad Cities.

In ten games played against Quad Cities, Chris Parmelee is batting .424 with three home runs and 12 RBIs. He is sporting a .537 on-base percentage along with a .848 slugging percentage versus the Swing.

This will be the third consecutive season the Snappers have made the post-season, coincidentally the same amount of years they have been affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. Snappers

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Jays lose pitching duel, playoff bid

Adrian Martin
Adrian Martin

Fort Myers 1 at Dunedin 0

Record 38 - 30

W: J. Manship (8-5, 3.15); L: A. Martin (5-3, 2.56); SV: J. Martinez (1)
HR: FTM: E. Lis (17).

E: Gardenhire (12, throw).

Pitching duels are not as much fun to listen to as they are to watch, but Saturday's game turned out to be a classic. Jeff Manship rebounded from a tough outing in his last start blank the Blue Jays through 5.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3.

The closest Dunedin got was in the bottom of the 4th, when 2 singles and a force out found Kyle Phillips at 3rd base with only 1 out, but Manship got Brian Jeroloman to strike out and Chris Gutierrez to fly out to get out of the jam.

Adrian Martin was nearly as good, giving up 5 hits and 1 walk with 5 strike out in 7 innings. The sole blemish in his performance came in the top of the fourth when Erik Lis hit is 17th home run of the year, his second in Knology Park, which is slightly (325 feet) smaller than Hammond Stadium.

Danny Powers worked 1.2 innings, striking out 2 and walking 1, while J.P. Martinez finished off the game for the Miracle, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2.

The Jays threatened in the 9th with Jays having runners at first and second with one out. Miracle 3rd baseman Toby Gardenhire snagged a bouncing ball from Anthony Hatch for a force out at 3rd, but Gardenhire's throw to first went into right field, where it was scooped up by Edward Ovalle and fired back to the plate in time for Korey Feiner to nab Carlo Cota at the plate.

Brandon League and Chris Blackwell finished up for the Jays, neither allowing a Miracle hit, althogh issuing 1 walk each.

Dunedin's loss, combined with Clearwater's sweep of a double header in Lakeland last night, gave the 2nd Half West Division Championship to the Threshers, who will take on the Reds in the first round of the FSL playoffs which begin on Tuesday.

Fort Myers AAA and AA affiliates in Rochester and New Britain also saw their playoff hopes end last night. The Red Wings lost to the Buffalo Bisons which leads them by a game in the wild card slot and both teams still trail Richmond.

Despite a win by former Miracle Angel Garcia in New Britain, the Rock Cats were mathmatically eliminated from the playoffs last night. Fort Myers alumni Oswaldo Sosa retired the first nine of ten batters he faced, including the first six-straight, but then got into trouble in the fourth. Sosa exited after the inning, surrendering four runs on three walks and three hits. He struck out five. Garcia (1-0) tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief (2 H, 1 ER, 3 K) to pick up his first Double-A win.

The Miracle and the Blue Jays play their last game of the season at 1:00 Sunday at Knology Park. Kyle Waldrop (6-5, 3.36) will take the start against righty Brandon Magee (9-7, 3.84) for Dunedin.


Early Winter For Perkins: Twins southpaw Glen Perkins, 24, is done for the season after struggling to rehabilitate a shoulder strain with the Rock Cats. He was 0-2 with an 11.05 ERA in 71/3 innings over three outings. He gave up five home runs among 11 hits. Perkins had a 3.80 ERA in 12 relief appearances with the Twins before injuring the shoulder in May.

Morales in batting race: Former Miracle catcher Jose Morales remains in the thick of things for the International League batting title. Morales entered Saturday just two points behind leader Ben Francisco of Buffalo, who was promoted to the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Francisco finishes at .318 in 95 games. Rochester's last batting champion was Miracle alumni Jason Kubel, who hit .343 in 2004.

Slowey on top: Last season's ace pitcher Kevin Slowey has clinched the International League's ERA title with a 1.89 mark. That's the lowest by an IL ERA champion since Tidewater's David West finished at 1.80 in 1988. Slowey still has not been recalled by the Minnesota Twins, though he is expected to start Tuesday against Cleveland. Slowey will likely lose his bid for the MSP Award. Tampa's Ian Kennedy is the current leader with a 1.29 ERA.

Tobyism: Toby Gardenhire has played in every game of the current Miracle four game win streak. Makes you wonder where the team would be if he'd actually been in the line up when the team still had a shot at making the playoffs.

How distracting: Outfielder Eli Tintor, from Hibbing, was sent home recently from Class A Beloit for what Twins director of minor leagues Jim Rantz called "a distraction." He used the same word to describe why Class A Fort Myers third baseman Danny Valencia was benched in recent games. LEN3

Miracle Grand Slam caps off 2007 season

Erik Lis
Erik Lis

Fort Myers 17 at Dunedin 5

Record 40 - 30 Final - 2nd Half

W: K. Waldrop (7-5, 3.40); L: B. Magee (9-8, 3.91)
HR: FTM: E. Lis (18), J. Christy (2).

The Miracle season came in like a lamb - with 8 straight loses, and went out like a lion - with 5 straight wins. Unfortunately Fort Myers never got closer to the playoff then 4th in a six team division, as their season came to a close with 17-5 drubbing of the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Kyle Waldrop ran through six scoreless innings before getting into to trouble in the 7th, his final line being 3 runs (earned) on 9 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3.

But by the seventh inning, three runs hardly mattered.

Back-to-back triples by Brian Dinkelman and Steve Tolleson coupled with an Erik Lis single put 2 runs on the board for the Miracle. Dustin Martin would move Lis to 3rd, but he'd be stranded there and Martin would be taken out at second on a play by Dunedin catcher Kyle Phillips.

Brandon Magee, one of the highly ranked prospects by Baseball America in Toronto's system, lasted only two innings, being replaced by Russ Savickas in the 3rd. The Miracle would let him get settled in for an inning.

In the fourth, Danny Valencia and Jeff Christy both double, with a Toby Gardenhire singled moving Christy to 3rd. Tolleson single would plate him, but an Erik Lis pop out would strand Gardenhire at 2nd.

The Jays put John Zinnicker in to pitch for the 6th inning, with Christy having a season-high day at the plate, hitting yet another double. Gardenhire's line drive got him on base, and Tolleson drew a walk. Dinkelman and Lis would both strike out, but Martin's double brought the trio of runners home. Valencia's strike out would Martin and Juan Portes, but the Miracle were certainly cruising with 7 runs on the board.

Eric Fowler came in for the 7th inning and, after Dwayne White sent a fly ball to center field, Christy hit his 2nd home run of the year out center to give the Miracle yet another point on the board.

Jesus Gonzalez singled to start out the bottom of the seventh and came home on Joel Collins ground out. Jacob Butler would double, and Cory Paterson walk. Luke Hetherinton's single moved the runners and a Chris Gutierrez single would score the first 2. Hetherington would be taken down at 3rd to end the inning on a throw from Portes in left field.

After Tolleson struck out to start the 8th, Lis singled and scored on Dustin Martin's double. Portes would pop out but White singled and Christy reached on a throwing error by Eric Fowler. Gardenhire would drive White in. Dinkelman would get plunked by a pitch to keep the bases loaded before the Jays went to Orlando Trias to get them the 3rd out in the inning. Tolleson would reach on a force attempt that got Christy home and the Lis would hit a grand slam over the right field wall. Martin's ground out ended the inning, with the Miracle holding a 15 run lead.

Dunedin would put two more on the board in the bottom of the inning, but their fate was already sealed.

Martin went 4-for-5 at the plate with a run and 4 RBIs, Gardenhire was 3-for-5 with 2 runs and 1 rbi, Christy and Lis were both batting .500, 3-for-6 with 6 runs and 7 RBIs between the pair.

The Miracle now head home. A select few will return for Instructional League starting on September 18. The roster and schedule is available at

The FSL playoffs start Tuesday with Clearwater facing off against Sarasota for the West Division crown, and St. Lucie against Brevard County for the east division crown.

The Miracle finish the season with a .500 record, 70-70, good for fifth overall in division. Tampa lead the regular season play with an 83-56 record but failed to qualify for a divisional championship in either half.


Second & Short: Former Miracle pitchers Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn have been promoted to Minnesota. Infielder Luis Ugueto was activated from the AAA DL. Oufielder Doug Deeds, who played for the Miracle in 2004, hit 2 home runs in the Red Wings' 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Bisons (Indians.) The AA Rock Cats swept a double header from the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox) Sunday. In the first game, Rock Cats starter Josh Hill lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four walks and four hits. He struck out four. Eduardo Morlan picked up the win – his first in Double-A – with 2 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He struck out four. Armando Gabino notched his fourth save with a scoreless seventh. Gabino has yet to allow an earned run in 16 innings of work with the Rock Cats. In the second game, former Miracle 1st baseman Brock Peterson hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning and the Rock Cats never looked back as the Cats cruised to a 12-3 win over Portland in the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader. Speaking of former Miracle 1st baseman, Matt Betsill hit his 3rd home run of the season in Beloit's 13-0 win over the Swing of Quad Cities. Despite the loss, the Swing still secured a playoff berth. All three teams play again on Monday to conclude their regular seasons. Only Beloit will see post season action opening their first round of Midwest League playoffs Wednesday, September 5 on the road and then will host games two and three (if necessary) on Thursday and Friday.