Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cats split first two games of homestand

Danny Valencia

Monday: Reading 3 at New Britan 1

W: T. Brummett (2-3, 4.05); L: J. Manship (1-5, 4.50); SV: J. Pope (4)
HR: None.

Jeff Manship gave up 2 runs, only 1 earned, in six innings worth of work, while fanning 4, but got little help from the New Britain Rock Cats' lazy offense, which only managed three hits as they fell, 3-1 to the Reading Phillies in game one of the four-game homestand.

Luke Appert singled and Jason Donald reached on a Felix Molina fielding error. Appert would advance to 3rd on a missed catch by Rock Cats' 3rd baseman Danny Valencia. Greg Golson would then sacrifice him in for an unearned Phillies run to start off the contest.

Neil Sellers singed in the top of the 2nd but Manship got Brad Harman and Mike Eylward to ground out. Sellers would move to 2nd and Kevin Nelson would knock a line drive to center to plate him, before Manship could get Appart to ground out as well to retire the Phillies.

Drew Butera and Dustin Martin took back-to-back walks off Phillies starter Tyson Brummett in the bottom of the 3rd. After Matt Moses popped out, Valencia would single to plate Butera. Erik Lis would go down on strikes however, and David Winfree would ground into a force out to strand the Cats' runners.

Zack Ward would take over for Manship in the top of the 7th, and walk Harman. The Aussie second baseman then stole 2nd. Mike Eylward would ground out and Kevin Nelson and Appert both draw walks which moved Harman to 3rd. Donald's sac-fly would bring him in for Reading's 3rd run of the game.

Aside from Valencia, Dustin Martin (1-for-3) would add a single and walk twice, and Winfree would double to lead off in the bottom of the 8th.

Rob Delaney worked the mound for the eighth and Ben Julianel struck out one during a scoreless ninth.

Rock Cats/OSC
NB Herald

Tuesday: Reading 6 at New Britain 7

W: A. Gabino (5-4, 3.07); L: P. Overholt (3-6, 5.09); SV: B. Julianel (21)
HR: REA: J. Blalock (2). NBR: D. Butera (6), F. Molina (2).

The pitching was slightly suspect as Jay Rainville lasted only 3-2 innings, surrendering 4 runs on six hits and 3 walks while striking out 3, but the New Britain Rock Cats used some steady batting to down the Reading Phillies, 7-6 in game two of the four-game series at New Britain Stadium.

Drew Butera opened up the game in the bottom of the 3rd by taking his sixth home run of the season of Reading starter Edgar Garcia.

Rainville allowed 3 straight walks in the top of the 3rd, but got Jeremy Slaydon to strike out to strand the runners in the bases loaded situation. He would not fair quite so well in the 4th.

After getting Neil Sellers to pop out, he allowed back-to-back singles to Brad Harman and Clay Harris. Jake Blalock then put his 2nd home run of the season over the left field wall to make it 3-1 Phillies. After Luke Appert flew out, Jason Donald and Greg Golson took back-to-back doubles off Rainville, resulting in another run, before Armando Gabino was brought in to replace the Rock Cats struggling starter.

The Cats took one back in the bottom of the 4th, with Danny Valencia singling then moving to 3nd on a wild pitch by Garica. Erik Lis would strike out swinging and David Winfree would line out before a Brock Peterson single plated the Cats' third baseman.

Slayden singled and Sellars doubled in the top of the fifth, while Harman took a walk to load the bags. Clay Harris ground into a double play that scored Slayden, making it 5-2 Phillies.

Valencia walked in the bottom of the sixth and moved to 2nd on a Lis single. A wild pitch by Garcia moved the pair, and Winfree would sacrifice in Valencia. Peterson then doubled to scored Lis and also to prompt a pitching change, with Pat Overholt coming in to relieve Garcia. Toby Gardenhire singled to plate Peterson and the Phillies found themselves with a tied up ballgame.

Matt Moses singled in the bottom of the 7th and stole 2nd. After Dustin Martin when down on strikes, Felix Molina put his 2nd home run of the season over the right field wall to give the Rock Cats two more runs. Brett Harker would come in to replace Overholt and after walking Winfree and Peterson, got Gardenhire to strike out to end the inning.

With Ben Julianel on the mound in the top of the 9th, Golson would walk with one out on the board. Lou Marson and Jeremy Slayden hit back-to-back singles to plate Golson, but Sellers would fly into a double play to end the game.

Valencia was 2-for-1 at the plate with a pair of walks and pair of runs. Peterson was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and a pair of RBIs. Lis was 2-for-4 with a run. Gardenhire, Molina and Moses were both 1-for-4, Gardy with a RBI, Molina with a run and 2 RBIs, and Moses with a run. Butera was 1-for-3 with a walk a run and run scored.

Gabino picked up his fifth win of the season in 3.1 innings worth of work. Frank Mata worked a scoreless eighth, while Julianel's one-run ninth gave him his 21st save of the season.

Rock Cats/OSC
Taylor's Twins Talk Blog

While it's probably not surprising to find the New Britain Rock Cats down near the bottom of the league in team pitching, it is surprising to note that both New Hampshire, who recently took three straight from New Britain, and Reading, both trail the Rock Cats in that category. Notably though, the Cats have give up a team total of 102 home runs, six more than Reading and 54 more than inner-state rival Connecticut.

Connecticut however trails the league in team batting average with .251. Erie, Bowie and Altoona also trail the cats, who are hitting .264 as a team in 2008.

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