Saturday, October 27, 2007

China has Dogs seeing Red

Adam Russell

Team China 2 at Phoenix 1

W: Y. Zhang (1-0, 0.00); L: D. Day (0-1, 2.25); SV: L. Zhang (1)
HR: None.

In what would be the first of the international games for the Desert Dogs, Phoenix saw Team China rally back for a 2-1 victory at Phoenix Municiple Stadium.

Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak would start the game for the Dogs, pitching 3 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 3. Meanwhile Phoenix jumped on Team China's starter Tao Bu (F/A) in the first inning.

Nyjer Morgan (Pittsburgh) singled his way onto first, then stole 2nd base. With Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) at the plate, Bu would pick off Morgan at 2nd base. Getz then hit a line drive out to left, and was followed onto the bags by Ryan Sweeney (Chicago White Sox). Jason Delaney's (Pittsburgh) ground ball saw Getz of the plate but Bu would strike out Matt Macri (Minnesota) and Nolan Reimold (Baltimore) to end the inning.

Phoenix put Adam Russell (Chicago White Sox) on the mound to start the 3rd. After he got Fei Feng (F/A) to strike out, Yufeng Zhang (F/A) doubled out left. Wei Sun (F/A) would strike out as well, but Hongbo Zhang's (F/A) single brought Zhang across the plate to tie the game.

Russell would work 2 innings in the end, getting 4 strike outs. Fernando Herndandez (Chicago White Sox) and Justin Dowdy (Oakland) each worked an inning a piece for the Dogs, each getting a strike out and allowing no hits.

Bu would go 4 innings for Team China, allowing 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. He'd be replaced by Zheng Xu (F/A) who allowed 1 walk in 2 innings while striking out 1. Yunfeng Zhang (F/A) would pick up the win for Team China in the 7th, with Weilang Li (F/A) allowing 2 hits and a balk in the 8th that the Dogs could not capitalize on.

Dewon Day (Chicago White Sox) came on for the Dogs in the 8th. Lingfeng Sun (F/A) singled his way onto the bags, moved to second on Fenglian Hou's (F/A) ground out, then to 3rd on a wild pitch by Day. Wei Wang's (F/A) sac-fly would bring him in for the game winning run.

Sweeney and Delaney would both draw walks in the 9th, and would be moved into scoring position on Macri's sac bunt, but Reimold would strike out and Raul Padron (Oakland) would pop out to end the game.

The Dogs face Team USA on Saturday at 12:35 PM MST.


Tigres blanked by Bravos

Yohan Pino

Margarita 1 at Aragua 0

W: J. Silva (2-1, 0.92); L: Y. Pino (1-2, 3.68); SV: A. Serrano (3)
HR: None.

Former Miracle Yohan Pino suffered his second loss of the Venezuelan Winter League season, when he surrended run on 2 hits and a walk, while striking out 1 in 1.1 innings worth of work.

Aragua could find little offense against los Bravos de Margarita, managing on 6 hits in the 1-0 blanking Friday.

Twins 3rd base prospect Brian Buscher as 1-for-3 in the designated hitter spot, while former Miracle Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) was 0-for-4 and Fort Myers alumni Alex Romero (Arizona) was 0-for-3.

Florida's Jesus Silva pitched 6-1 innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 2. Lefty Ricky Barrett (Minnesota) followed him up for .1 inning, and 4 other pitchers combined to shut down the Tigres.

Julio Cordido (San Francisco) batted in Rene Reyes (F/A) for Margarita.

Jose Mijares pitched .2 innings in relief of Pino.

Houston's Kyle Middleton made the start for Aragua, allowing 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4 over 6 innings.

Aragua takes on the Leones del Caracas on Saturday at 4:30 pm AST.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Blackburn puts Desert Dogs back in win column

Trevor Plouffe
Trevor Plouffe with his surfer dude hair, circa 2005

Peo Saguaros 2 at Phoenix 8

W: N. Blackburn (2-0, 3.00); L: R. Nolasco (0-1, 5.40)
HR: None.

The Phoenix Desert Dogs got back into the win column on Thursday. Former Miracle Nick Blackburn (Minnesota) allowed only 1 hit and walked 1 in 4 innings in route to the win.

Phoenix was feeling muscular early with Andrew MucCutchen (Pittsburgh) singling his way onto base in the 2nd inning, then coming home on Nolan Reimold's (Baltimore) double. Trevor Plouffe (Minnesota) then traded places with Reimold, doubling out to center. Donny Lucy's (Chicago White Sox) fly ball single saw Plouffe across the plate, to give the Dogs an early 3 run lead.

The Dogs added to their lead in the 4th with McCutchen drawing a walk, then stealing his way to 2nd. Plouffe then singled him in, and was awarded 2nd on Xavier Paul's (LA Dodgers) throw. Lucy hit a pop up single to the middle infield that plated Plouffe.

Cliff Pennington (Oakland) singled his way onto the bags in the 5th, then came home on Jason Delaney's (Oakland) triple. Jeff Baisley (Oakland) sac-fly brought Delany into give the Dogs a 7-0 lead.

Peoria finally found some offense in the 8th against Oakland's Brad Kilby. Jeff Larish (Detroit) reached on fielding error by Pennington. With 2 outs, Larish moved to 2nd on Tuffy Gosewisch's (Philadelphia) single, then came home of Paul's line drive out to center.

The Dogs took it back in the bottom of the inning, with Baisly walking, and moving to 2nd on Matt Macri's (Minnesota) line drive. McCutchen's ground out moved him to 3rd and he'd cross the plate when Reimold ground out to short.

Florida's Chris Coghlan started off the Saguaros short lived rally in the top of the 9th, finding his way onto the bags with a ground ball, then moving to 2nd on Jeff Gray's (Oakland) wild pitch. He took on 3rd on Will Venable's (San Diego) ground out, and cross the plate while Mike Costanzo (Philadelphia) was also grounding out to first. Brett Hayes (Florida) would double and Larish would walk, but Greg Golson's (Philadelphia) fly out ended the contest.

Macri would finish up 1-for-4, Plouffe would be 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Eddie Morlan (Minnesota) pitched the 6th and 7th inning, striking out 2 of the 7 batters he faced.

Phoenix faces Team China tomorrow at 12:00 PM MST. The Rising Stars game starts at 7:05 PM. Phoenix plays Team USA on Saturday.

Team USa fell to the Javelina's Thursday, 8-6. Brian Duensing, the Twins lone representative on Team USA, did not pitch in the contest.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Caribes beat up on Tigres

Frank Mata
Frank Mata

Caribes 10 at Aragua 1

W: M. Smith (1-0, 2.25); L: C. Bailey (1-1, 3.46)
HR: None.

The Tigres de Aragua faired badly in their first game against the Caribes De Oriente Wednesday, putting up only 1 run desipite getting 11 hits. Three errors, all by shortstop Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) were part of the Tigres' problems.

The Caribes got on the board early, with Andres Torres (Detroit) getting onto the bags on a ground ball, then moving to second on Jonathan Herrera's (Colorado) sac-bunt. Eliezer Alfonzo (San Francisco) reached on a Cedeno's throwing error and then Jody Gerult's (F/A) ground ball brought Torres in. Omar Infante (Detroit) reached on a force attempt that would prove to be Cedeno's second error of the game. Rico Washington (St. Louis) then doubled to clear the bases, giving the Caribes 4.

Herrera reached on a fource out that got Torres out at second in the 2nd inning and Alfonzo's double moved him over to 3rd. He'd be plated by Gerut's single to add to the Caribe's lead.

Los Tigres finally found some offense in the 4th, with Cedeno singling his way onto base, moving to 2nd on Mike Avile's (Kansas City) single and then coming home on Brian Buscher's (Minnesota) grounder out to center.

Infante doubled in Alfonzo and Gerut in the fifth, then came hom on Luis Landaeta's (F/A) single to make it 8-1 Caribes.

Torres' double in the 6th lead to a run, and Gerut's double in the 9th was enough to get him home when Washington hit into a double play off former Miracle Frank Mata (Minnesota).

Buscher was 1-for-4 in the game with 1 RBI. Former Miracle Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) was 3-for-4, but could not get past the plate. Jose Mijares (Minnesota) pitched a scoreless 7thing inning for the Tiger's allowing only 1 hit, while Mata finished up the final two frames, allowing 1 run on 2 hits.

Aragua takes Thursday off, then face los Navegantes del Magallanes on Friday at 7:30 PM AST. Former Miracle Jesus Merchan (Philadelphia) homered for Magallanes Thursday in their 6-2 win over Caracas.


Javelina's down Desert Dogs, 9-5

Reggie Corona

Phoenix 5 at Peo Javelinas 9

W: M. Nix (3-0, 3.52); L: D. Haehnel (1-1, 9.53)
HR: None.

The Game between the Phoenix Desert Dogs and the Peoria Javelinas quickly turned into a slugfest, which saw the Javelinas take 9 runs on 11 hits to come out on top.

The Javelinas got on the board in the 3rd inning when Corey Wimberly (Colorado) singled, then stole 2nd. Brett Gardner's (NY Yankees) bunt moved Wimberly to 3rd and Gardner stole 2nd. Dexter Fowler (Colorado) doubled the pair in a fly ball to center.

Phoenix answered back in the top of the 4th with Blake Davis (Baltimore) and Trevor Plouffe (Minnesota) walking. Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) sac-bunt moved the pair into scoirng position. Oakland's Jason Delaney singled them in with a line drive. The Javelinas then took Garrett Mock (Washington) off the mound, replacing him with Rich Orta (Seattle). The change did little go as Matt Macri (Minnesota) doubled to score Delaney and put the Desert Dogs on top.

They pulled away in the 5th when Minnesota's Drew Butera singled, but was taken out on Davis' force out. Davis then stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd then Javelina catcher Jeff Clement (Seattle) overthrew the base. Plouffe singled Davis in.

But the Javelinas tied the game up in the sixth, with J.C. Holt (Atlanta) taking a single off Jess Chavez (Pittsburgh) followed by a Reegie Corona (NY Yankees) ground ball single which pushed Holt to 3rd. He came home on Yung Chi Chen (Seattle) sac-fly. Corona then stole second and scored on Gardner's line drive to left.

A wild pitch by Michael Nix (Atlanta) saw Davis, who'd been walked move over to 2nd then 3rd on Getz' fly out. Delaney would double in him to put the Dogs up by one again.

It did not stay that way long however, as Clement took a double off Baltimore's David Haehnel, who then walked Kory Castro (Washington). With 2 outs, Corona took a walk to load the bases. Chen singled a pair in. A pair of walks to Gardner and Fowler forced Corona over the plate. Fernando Hernandez (Chicago White Sox) came in to get the last out.

Sunk Ki Jung (Atlanta) and Eric Wordekemper (NY Yankees) combined to shut the Dogs offense down during the next two innings, giving Peoria the win. Meanwhile the Javelinas tacked on 2 more runs in the 8th to rub salt into the Dog's wounds.

Haehnel came away with both a blown save and a loss in the game. while Nix picked up his 3rd win of the Arizona Fall League season.

Plouffe was 1-for-3 at the plate with a run, 2 walks and an RBI. Macri was 1-for-4 with a double, and Butera was 1-for-3. Plouffe walked in the 1st, but was caught stealing with Delaney at the plate to end the side.

Pheonix plays at home against Peoria Saguaros Thursday at 12:35 PM MST.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dogs surprised in Phoenix, 2-1

Ryan Mullins

Surprise 2 at Phoenix 1

W: N. Hoelscher (1-0, 1.80); L: B. McCrory (1-1, 1.59); SV: D. O'Day (2)
HR: None.

The Phoenix Desert Dogs saw their win streak snapped by the Surprise Rafters after a pitchers duel started off Tuesday's contest.

Cleveland's Adam Miller held the Dogs to 1 hit through three innings while striking out 2, but former Miracle Ryan Mullins (Minnesota) matched him pitch for pitch, allowing only 2 hits while striking out 5.

The Dogs would faulter in the fifth inning, when Sean Rodriguez (LA Angeles) singled a fly ball off Adam Russell (Chicago White Sox) into left field. He moved to second base on Trevor Crowe's (Cleveland) ground out, and came in on Chris Dickerson's (Cincinnati) grounder to right.

David Huff (Cleveland) would blank the Dogs for two innings. They would not see another hit until the sixth, When Raul Padron (Oakland) singled off Tyler Pelland (Cincinnati). Padron however, got no further than 3rd before he was left stranded.

It would not be until the bottom of the 8th until the Dogs could tie up the game. Nolan Reimold (Baltimore) singled off Nate Hoelscher (Kansas City), but Pardon bunted into a force out. Blake Davis (Baltimore) would come into run for Padron. Hoelscher would take Cliff Pennington (Oakland) out on strikes before Nyjer Morgan (Pittsburgh) singled out to left. A Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) line drive saw Davis across the plate before Jason Delaney (Pittsburgh) flew out to end the inning.

With Baltimore's Bob McCrory on the mound, Chris Davis (Texas) would reach on a fielding error by Getz. Chris Pettit (LA Angels) would be called into run for Davis. Craig Tatum (Cincinnati) and Chris Lubanski (Kansas City) would both ground out before Sean Rodriguez (LA Angels) doubled in Pettit for the game winning run.

Matt Macri (Minnesota) would be 0-for-4 at the plate with a dropped pop foul error. Drew Butera (Minnsota) replaced Padron as catcher but did not hit in the game.

Phoenix takes on the Peoria Javelinas on Wednesday at 12:35 MST at the Peoria Sports Complex.


Miracle Manager Announced: The Minnesota Twins announded that Jeff Smith would become the manager of the Fort Myers Miracle for the 2008 season on Tuesday. Former manager Kevin Boles resigned following the 2007 season. Smith has managed in the Twins system for the last three years, taking the Beloit Snappers to game 5 of the MWL finals last season before they fell to the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Prior to his managerial career, Smith, a Naples, Florida, native, played in the Twins system as a catcher from 1996 to 2002 and in the Boston and Texas systems thereafter until his retirement in 2005. He served as an batting coach for the GCL Twins in 2005 before taking over as field manager for the Snappers in 2006 and 2007.

Read the complete Twins press release HERE.

Tigres blank Tiburones

Louis Maza

La Guaira 0 at Aragua 4

W: B. Bass (1-0, 0.68); L: R. Palma (1-1, 4.00)
HR: None.

Brian Bass (Minnesota) limited los Tiburones de La Guaira to only 3 hits over five innings while striking out 2 to pick up the win in Tuesday's game at Aragua.

The Tigres got on the board in the 4th when Ruben Salazar (F/A) singled out to right field, moved to second on willie Romero's (F/A) grounder to center and came home on Martin Prado's (Atlanda) ground ball to right.

Former Miracle Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) got on base on a fielding error in the fifth, but Jesus Feliciano (NY Mets) hit into a ground out that took him out at 2nd. Feliciano then stole 2nd base. A Mike Aviles (Kansas City) ground ball to center plated Feliciano with 2 outs. Salazar then doubled to bring in Aviles, while a throwing error by La Guaria's Chris Carter (Boston) and a Romero single combined to bring in Salazar.

Brian Buscher (Minnesota) was 1-for-3 in the designated hitter role. Victor Moreno (Baltimore) pitched 2.1 innings allowing only 1 hit and striking out 4.

The Tigres face the the Caribes de oriente for the first time this season on Wednesday at 7:30 PM AST.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jeff Smith named Miracle Field Manager for 2008 season

The Minnesota Twins announed their coaching staff assignments for the upcoming 2008 season today. As expect, Naples resident Jeff Smith was named the manager of the Florida State League Fort Myers Miracle.

Smith, 33, spent the past two seasons as manager of the Beloit Snappers, the Twins' Single-A affiliate (Midwest League). He has a 153-125 (.550) record during his two years of Minor League managerial experience. Smith played professional baseball as a catcher in the Twins organization for many years before picking up becoming a coach. He holds a baseball camp each winter in Naples for youth that are serious about developing their potential as baseball players.

Joining Smith will be pitching coach Eric Rasmussen and hitting coach Jim Dwyer. Rasmussen will begin his 10th season as pitching coach and Dwyer will begin his third year as a coach at Ft. Myers, after spending the previous nine as minor league hitting coordinator. Larry Bennese returns for his ninth season as trainer for the Miracle.

Former Miracle shortstop Jake Mauer takes up the coaching reins for the Rookie League Gulf Coast League Twins. Mauer has served as an assistant coach for the GCL Twins for the last two seasons. He will also run the Twins Extended Spring Training Program.

Stan Cliburn will begin his third year as manager of the Twins' Triple-A affiliate Rochester Red Wings (International League). Cliburn, 48, spent the five seasons managing the Twins' Class AA New Britain Rock Cats (2001-05). He has a 850-837 (.504) record during his 14 years of Minor League managerial experience, 587-543 (.519) with the Twins. Stuart Cliburn will return for his third year as pitching coach and Riccardo Ingram will begin his first Triple-A season as coach, after spending the last two seasons as the manager of Double-A New Britain. Rich Miller, who spent the last four seasons as Rochester's hitting coach, will begin his first season as a Roving Instructor between Rochester and New Britain, specializing in outfield play, bunting and baserunning. Tony Leo will return for his fourth season as trainer for the Red Wings.

Bobby Cuellar will begin his first year as manager of the Twins' Double-A affiliate New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League), after spending the past two seasons as the Pittsburgh Pirates' bullpen coach. Cuellar was the Twins' Triple-A pitching coach from 2002-05. Cuellar, 55, has a 130-149 (.466) record during his two years of managerial experience with Wausau (1986-87). Steve Mintz will begin his first year as pitching coach, after serving in the same capacity for Single-A Beloit last season and for the GCL Twins from 2002-05. Floyd Rayford returns for his fourth season as a coach at the Double-A level, his ninth season in the Twins' system. Chad Jackson will return for his fourth season as trainer for the Rock Cats.

Nelson Prada will begin his first year as manager of the Twins' Single-A affiliate Beloit Snappers (Midwest League). Prada, 31, spent the previous four seasons as manager of the GCL Twins. He has a 91-72 (.558) record during his three years of Minor League managerial experience. Gary Lucas will begin his second stint (2005) as pitching coach after spending the past two seasons as pitching coach for Double-A New Britain. Rudy Hernandez will begin his fourth season as a coach with Beloit. Alan Rail will return for his fourth season as trainer with the Snappers.

Ray Smith returns as manager for the rookie level Elizabethton Twins (Appalachian League). Smith, 52, who will be in his 22nd season on staff for Elizabethton, has a career managerial record of 579-365 (.613), with eight first place finishes in 14 seasons guiding the Twins. Jim Shellenback will begin his 13th season as pitching coach, his 31st year in the Twins' system, and Jeff Reed will return for his seventh season as a coach. Ryan Hedwall returns for his third season as trainer for Elizabethton.

In addition to these staff assignments, Joel Lepel, returns for his third year as the Twins' minor league field coordinator. Rick Knapp returns for his 12th year as pitching coordinator and Bill Springman returns for his third season as hitting coordinator. John Kertis returns for his second season as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and Lanning Tucker returns for his 10th season as the club's head minor league trainer and rehab coordinator. Jose Marzan returns for his third season as the Twins' Latin America coordinator, overseeing Latin America scouting and international field coordinating. Also, former Twins' great Tony Oliva will continue in his role as hitting coach, as well as various duties involving community relations, former Manager Tom Kelly will continue in his role as Special Assistant the the General Manager, and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor will continue in his role as Minor League Infield/Baserunning Coordinator.

Solar Sox, Desert Dogs fit to be tied

Jack Egbert

Mesa 3 at Phoenix 3 (Tied - 11 innings)

The Mesa Solar Sox and the Phoenix Desert Dogs played to a 3-3 tie at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Monday night. The game was halted after 11 innings as per the Arizona Fall League rules.

The Desert Dogs shot down Mitch Boggs (St. Louis) runless streak, when they took an early 2-run lead in the first inning.

Nyjer Morgan (Pittsburgh) and Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) both singled and were moved around on a wild pitch by Boggs. A Ryan Sweeney (Chicago White Sox) sac-fly plated Morgan. Getz then stole 3rd base and came home on a Jeff Baisley (Oakland) sac-fly. Jason Delaney (Pittsburgh) would walk before Jeff Fiorentino (Baltimore) popped out to end the inning.

Mesa took it back in the top of the 3rd. With 1 out, Sam Fuld (Chicgo Cubs) doubled and then Jack Egbert (Chicao White Sox) issued walks to Jed Lowrie (Boston), Matt LaPorta (Milwaukee) and Jon Still (Boston), forcing in a run. That promped Dogs field Manager Rafael Santana (Chicago White Sox) to change pitchers with Jim Johnson (Baltimore) replacing Egbert on the mound. A Lou Palmisano (Milwaukee) sacc-fly brought in Lowrie, before Adam Heether (Milwaukee) would be called out on strikes.

The Solar Sox would take the lead when a throwing error by cather Donny Lucie (Chicago White Sox) saw Fuld, who'd singled his away onto base off James Simmons (Oakland), safely to 3rd. Lucy was trying to take Fuld down stealing 2nd, but overthrew the base. A sac-fly by Lowrie served to bring him home.

Nolan Reimold (Baltimore) doubled in the 7th for Phoenix. Lucy would reach on Lowrie's fielding error which also let Reimold score.

The game remained that way into extra innings. Former Miracle Eddie Morlan pitched the 8th inning, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 1.

Twins prospect Trevor Plouffe was 0-for-4 at the plate with 1 strike out. He was tagged for a fielding error in the 11th which allowed Joe Simokatis (Chicago Cubs) to reach, but Mesa could not capitalize on the mistake.

Matt Macri hit a double in the bottom of the 10th after he replaced Baisley at 3rd, but he'd be left stranded in the inning.

Surprise travels to Phoenix for a 12:35 PM MST game Tuesday. The Rafters are 9-3 on the season, tops in the AFL West, while the Desert Dogs are 8-3, tops in the AFL East.



Rising Stars Rosters Set: Former Miracle pitcher Ryan Mullins, and shortstop Trevor Plouffe were named to the Arizona Fall League Rising Star showcase, which is to be held Friday, October 26, at Suprise Stadium. Also joining the pair from the Twins organization will be New Britain pitching coach Gary Lucas.

Arizona Fall League Executive Director Steve Cobb says "Our first 'Rising Stars' game last year was so successful, we've decided to make it an annual event. It places as many top prospects as possible on one field at one time. It's a natural way to showcase the tremendoug talent rising in baseball. Fans and scouts can watch top pitchers face top hitters."

Friday's game is scheduled for the World Series travel day to fill a void for baseball fans.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tigres stick to winning ways

Victor Moreno

Agragua 7 at Magallenes 2

W: H. Estrada (1-1, 3.75); L: M. Tejera (0-1, 11.57)
HR: ARA: M. Aviles (3).

Mike Avilles (Kansas City) homered for his second straight game and the Tigres jumped out to an 6 run lead to pick up a win over the Navegantes del Magallenes Sunday.

Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) doubled in Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) and Jesus Feliciano (NY Yankees) to start the scoring for the Tigers. He'd come home on a Ruben Salazar (F/A) single, giving Aragua a 3 run lead in the first.

They added to that in the 3rd when Aviles drove one over the left field fence.

An Aviles double and an intentinal walk to Brian Buscher (Minnesota) followed by a wild pitch and an Alex Romero (Arizona) single led to two more runs for the Tigres. One of the runs would be unearned though for Magallenes pitcher Alvis Ojeda (LA Dodgers) due to a throwing error on the play.

Los Navegantes picked up a run in the seventh off Jose Mijares (Minnesota). Luke Scott (Houston) would double out to left. Mijares was replaced by former Miracle Victor Moreno (Baltimore) after only facing one batter and allowed a walk to Richard Hidalgo (F/A). Mark Saccomanno's (Houston) single would score Scott with the run being charged to Mijares.

Moreno allowed got his own run in the 9th when former Miracle Jesus Merchan (Philadelphia) doubled in Jesus Gamero (F/A). Yohan Pino (Minnesota) would be called in to replace the faultering Moreno.

The Tigers added one more in the 9th, when Jesus Felciano (NY Yankees) walked, stole 2nd base and then came home on a Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) single.

Buscher, who was as serving as designed hitter, was 0-for3 at the plate with a walk and a run. Maza was 1-for-5 with a run, and Alex Romero (Arizona) was 1-for-4. Merchan, who has made it to AAA in the Phillies organization, was 1-for-1 with 1 RBI as a pinch hitter for Magallanes.

Los Tigres de Aragua have Monday off. They face Los Tiburones de La Guaria (I believe those are sharks) at home on Tuesday at 7:30 PM AST.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Desert Dogs slip past Scottsdale

Evan Longoria

Scottsdale 2 at Phoenix 3

W: B. McCrory (1-0, 1.93); L: E. Camacho (0-2, 4.50)
HR: PDD: N. Reimold (3).

Statistically, the Phoenix Desert Dogs do not have the best team batting average in the Arizona Fall League league. Their .247 puts them right above the Peoria Saguaros, fifth in the 6-team league. But you don't really need to get a lot of hits, when your pitching staff isn't giving away many.

Both Scottsdale and Phoenix put up 7 hits a piece Saturday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, but the Desert Dogs made at least one of theirs count more.

Former Miracle pitcher Anthony Swarzak (Minnesota) took the start for the Desert Dogs, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 2 in three innings. Scottsdale would take the early lead in the fourth.

Baltimore's David Haehnel struck out Wilkin Castillo (Arizona) to start the inning, but Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay) singled out to 3rd base and then advanced to second when Twins 3rd base prospect Matt Macri threw the ball into the dugout. He then moved over to third to visit with his benefactor, when Haechnel balked. Nate Schierholtz (San Francisco) would be taken out on strikes, but Sergio Santos (Toronto) drew a walk. A Travis Snider (Toronto) single to right field plated Longoria and a second walk to Aaron Cunningham (Arizona) loaded the bags. A Chris Nowak (Tampa) single to left put Santos over the plate, but the Dogs would be able to make the play at the plate when Pittsburgh's Nyjer Morgan threw the ball into Dog's catcher Donny Lucy (Chicago White Sox) to nab Snider as he tried to cross, and end the ining.

Pheonix would tie up the game in the bottom of the fifth, when Nolan Reimold (Baltimore) homered for his secon straight game. Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) then drew a walk, and Jeff Baisley (Oakland) reached on a throwing error by Longoria. Ryan Sweeney's (Chicago White Sox) single to left was enough for Getz to speed around 3rd and make it home, before Macri would ground out to end the inning.

A double by Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh) off former St. Lucie pitcher Eddie Camacho (NY Mets) and a throwing error by Snider put winning run within reach of the home plate, but 2 walks and 2 strike outs made things interesting. It would be Getz's single off Evan Meek (Tampa Bay) that drove in McCutchen to end the game.

Bob McCroy (Baltimore) would benefit from Getz's late inning heroics by picking up the win. Macri would go 2-for-4 at the plate, but would not factor into the Dog's scoring.

Sunday is a day of rest for the Arizona Fall League, Phoenix remains at home on Monday, hosting the Mesa Solar Sox for a 7:05 PM MST game. Mesa trails the Dogs by 1 game in the AFL East Division. Scottsdale, who has only managed one win in the season, trails by 7 games.


Miracle Alumni abound in Aragua's 10-3 win over Lara

Luis Ugueto

Aragua 10 at Lara 3

W: K. Middleton (1-0, 0.93); L: R. Rowland-Smith (0-1, 4.32)
HR: ARA: M. Aviles (2), R. Salazar (2).

A big sixth inning by the Tigers de Arauga put Saturday's Venezuelan League Game way out of recach for the Cardenales de Lara who managed a 3 run 8th, but nothing more.

Mike Aviles (Kansas City) homered in the top of the 2nd to get things rolling for the Tigres. They added on another run in the 5th when former Miracle outfield Alex Rodriguez (Arizona) drew a walk, and moved to 2nd off Raul Chavez's (NY Yankees) sac-bunt. Jesus Feliciano (NY Mets) singled Romero in. Ryan Rowland-Smith (Seattle), an Aussie pitcher the Twins had taken in the Rule V Draft several years ago but did not keep, suffered the loss in that inning.

Ivan Blanco (Seattle) would replace him. He'd find trouble in the 6th when Ruben Salazar (F/A) started off with a yard ball to left. Aviles singled his way onto base and moved to second on Brian Buscher's (Minnesota) ground out. Alex Nunez (F/A) and Romero followed that up with singles of their, scoring Aviles before Javier Nieves (Toronto) was brought into replace Blanco. Chavez would fly out, but Luis Maza (LA Dodgers), another Miracle alumni, would draw a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch saw Nunes across the plate and Feleciano walked them full again. Ronny Cendro's (Chicago Cubs) line drive would score Romero and Maza before Lino Urdaneta (F/A) was brought in to get the final out.

Pinch hitter Edwar Gonzalez (NY Yankees) singled in Carlos Mendoza (NY Yankees), who'd singled his way onto base, for Lara in the 8th. Throwing error by Salazar and Cedno would lead to a run for Wiki Gonzalez (Chicago White Sox) and Luis Ugueto (F/A) would double in Jesus Guzman (Seattle) for Lara. Jose Mijares (Minnesota) would be brought in to get the final out and retire the side.

The Tigres made it back up in the 9th though, with Ailves taking a walk and Buscher singling his way onto the bags. Ramon Castro's (F/A) double brought Aviles in, while Romero's single out to right served to plate Buscher. Chavez would single to bring in Castro, but Yovany D'Amico (Kansas City) would get Maza to line out and Feliciano to ground out to end the inning.

Frank Mata (Minnesota) closed the game in the 9th, allowing 1 hit, but using a pair of ground outs and a fly outs to salt the Cardenales away.

Buscher would finish up 1-for-5 at the plate with 1 run. Ugueto was 1-for-4 with 1 RBI.