Saturday, May 10, 2008

Liriano, Wings snap skid

Minnesota Twins

Buffalo 2 at Rochester 3

W: R. Barrett (2-2, 2.53); L: B. Buzachero (1-2, 4.91); SV: D. Graves (1)
HR: ROC: R. Ruiz (2).

The Rochester Red wins finally snapped their losing skid, rallying past the Buffalo Bisons to win 3-2 in front of a home town crowd at Frontier Field.

The Wings got on the board first, in the bottom of the second inning, courtesy of Randy Ruiz's second home run of the season.

Buffalo would get to Francisco Liriano in the fifth when former Twins farm hand Jason Tyner singled on a bunt, then advanced to 2nd when Liriano thew the ball into the first base dugout. Wyatt Toregas doubled out to left to score Tyner. Following a Josh Barfield fly out, Danny Sandoval would drive Toregas in with a ground ball to center. Sandoval would make things interesting by stealing 2nd and progressing to 3rd on a wild pitch by Liriano, but Michael Aubrey ground out to end the inning before further damage could be done.

Liriano would give up the 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 over six innings for a quality start. I don't think he's ready for Minny quite yet, but he's getting closer.

Darnell McDonald drew a walk in the bottom of the sixth, then moved to 3rd on Brian Buscher's line drive single to Bronson Sardinha in right. Ruiz would then sacrifice McDonald in to tie up the game.

With Bubbie Buzachero on the hill for the Cleveland farm in the bottom of the 7th, Jose Morales singled his way onto the bags. Howie Clark then tripled him in. Clark would try to go home on the play, but was take out at the plate. Still it was a good piece of work for the game winning run. Despite a Denard Span double one out later, the Wings couldn't find the insurance marker, but the Rochester bull pen did the trick.

Ricky Barnett picked up his 2nd win of the season, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 1 over 2 innings. Newly promoted closer Danny Graves picked up his first save at the Triple-A level, blanking the Bisons over the ninth inning.

Morales was 2-for-3 with a run, Buscher was 2-for-4 with a double.

The teams rematch on Sunday at 1:35 for a Mother's Day Special including a post game "Catch with Mom" in the outfield. The first 1,000 kids 14 & under also score a free baseball from Basch & Nicerson.

The Wings will be wearing pink jerseys to raise awareness for Breast Canter with the proceeds of a silent auction for the game worn apparel going to benefit the Pluta Cancer Center.

Red Wings
R News

Before the game, former Miracle infielder Alexi Casilla was told that he was called up to the Minnesota Twins and pulled from the lineup. Chris Basak replaced him.

Fort Myers native Tommy Watkins came up slowly in his second inning at-bat after he legged out an infield hit and dove for first. He stayed in the field but was replaced by Howie Clark for his next at-bat in the fifth inning because he jammed his left thumb and couldn't hold a bat.

Fort Myers Miracle,Minnesota Twins

Boston 5 at Minnesota 2

Speaking of Minny, former Miracle Glen Perkins allowed 3 runs (earned) on 9 hits while striking out 3 over six inning, but still suffered the loss as the Twins fell, 5-2 to the Red Sox.

Carlos Gomez drew a walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 2nd that forced in a run. Justin Morneau would single into center in the bottom of the fifth to plate Matt Tolbert.

Inspired by Kevin Slowey's performance earlier in the week, Perkins would allow back-to-back home runs to Cocoa Crisp and Jed Lowrie in the top of the 7th inning before being replaced by Dennys Reyes. Perkins allowed a solo shot home run in the bottom of the 2nd to Kevin Youkillis as well.


Rock Cats rally falls short

Fort Myers Miracle

New Britain 3 at New Hampshire 5

W: J. Pinto (2-0, 6.00); L: Y. Pino (1-2, 3.25); SV: Z. Dials (3)
HR: NBR: D. Winfree (8). NHM: T. Snider (3).

Still without the services of Luke Hughes, the New Britain Rock Cats lost their 3rd straight, falling 5-3 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Josh Kreuzer would be hit by a Yohan Pino pitch. He then stole second and moved to 3rd on Anthony Hatch's ground out. A double by Ryan Klosterman brought him over the plate, while second double, this one to Scott Campbell plated Klosterman for a an early 2 run New Hampshire lead.

David Winfree went yard in the top of the 4th to cut the lead in half. Back-to-back singles to Hatch and Klosterman paid dividends 2 outs later when Travis Snider put a fly ball over the right field wall to give the Fisher Cats 3 more runs.

With one out on the board in the top of the 9th, Toby Gardenhire singled to start the Rock Cats rally. Felix Molina followed him onto base with a grounder and Drew Butera's single to right loaded the bags. Steve Tolleson singled to drive in Gardenhire, and Molina scored on a Dustin Martin force out. But Brock Peterson would strike out swinging, cutting the comeback short.

Gardenhire was 2-for-4 with a run, while Molina was 2-for-3, also with a run.

Pino was charged with all five runs (earned) on six hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 5.0 innings to pick up his second loss of the season.

The two teams rematch tomorrow at 1:05 PM at A.J. Wideman takes to the mound for the home team for a Mother's Day matinée. The Rock Cats will counter with southpaw Ryan Mullins (2-2, 3.05).

Rock Cats
Fisher Cats

Miracle rally past Mets

Fort Myers Miracle

Fort Myers 7 at St. Lucie 3

W: E. Simonitsch (1-0, 0.00); L: S. Clyne (0-2, 17.28)
HR: FTM: D. Berg (2).

The Fort Myers Miracle rallied past the St. Lucie Mets in the 9th inning to pick up game two of the four-game series, 7 to 4.

Whit Robbins lead off the late inning charge with a walk then moved to second on Danny Santiesteban's sac-bunt. Danny Valencia then doubled, and Brian Dinkelman was intentionally walked to load the bags. Rene Tosoni then tripled to bring in three. A Juan Portes single to left brought in Tosoni. Despite a double by Woodard and a walk by Danny Berg, the Miracle could not capitalize again and Wilson Ramos struck out and Whit Robbins popped out with the bases loaded to end the inning/

The Miracle got on the board first when Berg sent a ball over the left field wall for his second home run of the season.

Ramos would reach on a throwing error by J. Voyles in the top of the fifth inning and Robbins followed him onto the bags with a walk. A wild pitch by Mets' starter Nicholas Carr moved the pair. After a strike out to Santieseban, Yancarlos Ortiz singled to drive in Ramos, to give Fort Myers a 2 run lead.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Miracle starter Alex Burnett would allow back-to-back singles to D.J. Wabick and Lucas Duda. A walk to Jason Jacobs loaded the bases. Josh Thole would double to drive in 3. Fort Myers field manger Jeff Smith lifted Barnett at that point, bringing in reliever Danny Vais.

The Miracle would tie the game in the 8th inning when Woodard singled, moved to second on Berg's ground out and came home on a Wilson Ramos single to center, setting the stage for the 9th inning heroics.

Errol Simonitsch, who was added to the roster on Thursday out of extended spring training picked up the win in relief.

Berg was 2-for-4 on the night with 1 run, and 1 RBI courtesy of the home run, Woodard as 2-for-5 with 1 run. Valencia was 2-for-2 with a run in relief of Ortiz, and got to play a bit of shortstop in the game as well.

Tyler Robertson (0-2, 3.86) will step on to the mound tomorrow for Fort Myers as the series continues at Tradition Field. The Mets will sent Eric Niesen (0-3, 5.33) to the hill for a 6:00 pm first pitch.

News Press

Two former Miracle players were sent to Fort Myers from New Britain to rehab at the Lee County Sportsplex. Both were added to the extended spring training roster. Brandon Roberts, who played for the Miracle in 2006 will continue to rehab a left injury he sustained last month. David Shinskie, a reliever from last season, has been sent to to the sunshine state to work on some shoulder stiffness.

The Twins Extended Spring Training Squad will play at home on Saturday with a 12:30 PM start at the Lee County Sportsplex. They play Boston on Tuesday for a noon start. They will take Wednesday off then start a 3-game homestand, facing Cinci on Thursday, Pittsburgh on Friday and Baltimore on Saturday. Visit for additional information.

Beloit 3 at Burlington 0

W: D. Berlind (3-2, 3.54); L: E. Cegarra (1-3, 1.93); SV: S. Steedley (2)
HR: None.

Danny Berlind limited Burling to only 2 hits and 2 walks over seven innings while striking out 5, Friday night at the Beloit Snappers blanked the Burlington Bees, 3-0.

Chris Cates single in the 8th broke the eggs for the Snappers. Garrett Olson would single the speedster home for the 1st run of the game.

Steve Singleton's line drive in the top of the 9th got things starter. Joe Benson would draw a walk and Greg Yersich would hit a grounder to right to bring in Singleton. Ben Petsch's line drive would score Yersich, to give Beloit their 3rd run of the game.

Petsch had the only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 at the plate with 1 RBI. Benson was the only player without a hit, going 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk.

The two teams rematch on Saturday with the first pitch slated for 6:30 PM central time.


New Britain 11 at New Hampshire 12

W: J. Vermilyea (2-0, 3.45); L: A. Gabino (3-2, 2.61); SV: M. Gallo (2)
HR: NBR: D. Winfree 2 (7), D. Martin (2). NHM: R. Patterson (3).

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats out-slugged the New Britain Rock Cats 12 to 11 to pick up a home win in the first game of the three game series. Both teams pounded out 15 hits each.

The Fisher Cats shelled former Miracle Oswaldo Sosa for 5 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks while striking out 2 in just 4.0 innings. New Hampshire's Ricky Romero lasted a bit longer, going 6.1 innings but gave up 7 runs on 10 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4.

David Winfree was 2-for-5 at the plate with 2 runs and 4 RBIs. Both of his hits went yard, the first with 2 on in the 1st inning, the second in the 6th inning. Dustin Martin was 2-for-3 at the plate with 2 walks, 2 runs and 4 RBIs. He'd also find the fence, this time in the 8th inning.

Steve Tolleson was 2-for-4 with a walk, 2 runs, and 2 RBIs; Brock Peterson was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run. Trevor Plouffe was 2-for-5 with a run, but he also struck out twice. Erik Lis and Toby Gardenhire each recorded singles, Gardenhire with a walk and a run as well, and catcher Drew Butera when 2-for-4 at the bottom of the order with 2 runs and 1 RBI.

Only former first rounder Matt Moses went hitless, striking out twice during 5 at bats.

Former Miracle Kyle Phillips, currently a Toronto farm hand, went 4-for-4 with three runs scored for the Fisher Cats.

Fisher Cats

Buffalo 4 at Rochester 3

W: R. Rundles (3-1, 4.80); L: T. Lahey (1-2, 5.06); SV: R. Bauer (7)
HR: None.

The light-hitting Rochester Red Wings managed to tie the game up in the 8th to the delight of the home town crowd at Frontier Field, but the Bisons found the game winning runs in extra innings.

Brad Snider doubled off Tim Lahey to drive in Jason Tyner for the game winning run.

Former Miracle Alexi Casilla got the rally started in the 8th with a single. Dennard Span would be called out on strikes, but Jason Pridie managed to reach on a force attempt when Buffalo 1st baseman Ryan Mulhern botched his throw. Darnell McDonald's single brought home Casilla and put runners at the corner. Brian Buscher would draw walk before Randy Ruiz would bring in Pridie with a line drive to right. Garrett Jones tied up the contest when he sacrificed in McDonald.

McDonald and Ruiz were both 2-for-5 in the contest, McDonald with a run and a RBI, Ruiz with just an RBI.

Former Miracle Brian Duensing allowed 2 Bison runs on 7 hits and 1 error while striking out 3 over six innings.

Red Wings

RHP Danny Graves will be promoted to Rochester from Double-A New Britain on Saturday. Graves is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in seven games for the Rock Cats. Graves will take the roster spot of LHP Glen Perkins who will be promoted to the Minnesota on Saturday and start for the Twins vs. Boston. It will be Perkins' first Major League start. The Miracle will likely loose a reliever to New Britain to replace Graves. Closer Rob Delaney (0-2, 0.54, 8 Svs) is most likely going to get the promotion to Double A.

Homestand Happenings

Fort Myers Miracle

Wednesday, May 14: “Islands Night” brings residents together to promote the history and lifestyle that is seen daily on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The festivities, presented by Bailey’s General Store, include a pre-game parade at 6:15 p.m. followed by the Miracle hosting the Sarasota Reds at 7:05 p.m.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Revere stays hot as Snappers down Bees

GCL Twins

Beloit 8 at Burlington 6

Record 15 - 18

W: B. Tippett (2-1, 3.86); L: H. Arias (2-2, 4.66); SV: M. Williams (3)
HR: BEL: G. Yersich (3).

Beloit blew a 5 run lead, but rallied back to tied the game at 6 in the 8th inning, and passing the Bees in the 9th for the win.

Jair Fernandez had singled his way onto base in the top of the 2nd. With two outs, Joe Benson doubled him in. Greg Yersch then went yard over the left field fence to give the Snappers a 3-0 lead.

Revere singled, then stole 2nd in the 3rd. A Mark Dolenc grounder to center sent the speedy outfielder home. Garett Olson drew a walk, but Chris Parmelee flew into a double play. Fernandez would single out to center to bring in Dolenc, making it 5-0 Snappers.

The bottom of the inning brought trouble to starter Mike Tarsi however, as he allowed back to back singled to Alwin Perez and Antonio Jimenez. He then walked Nicholas Doscher to load the bags. Adrian Ortiz's line drive plated Perez. A second line drive, also out to Dolenc in center field, brought in Jimenez. Mike Moustakas struck out swinging, and Jason Taylor reached on a force attempt when a missed catch by 2nd baseman Steve Singleton allowed Doscher to score. Jamal Walton used the ever popular line drive to center to plate Ortiz before Wilson Tucker popped out and Perez would be called out on strikes to end the inning.

Beloit's marginal lead vanished in the bottom of the 5th when Moustakas doubled to center. A second fielding error by Singleton allowed Taylor to reach. Slippery finger syndrome must be contageous as shortstop Ramon Santana got it next, allowing Walton to reach and Moustakas to score. Loek Van Mil would be brought in to replace Torsi at the point, and got Tuker and Perez out on strikes. A single by Jimenez allowed Taylor to cross the plate, giving the Bees the lead.

With Yensi Lopez on the hill for Burlington, Parmelee took a walk and moved to 3rd on Fernandez's double to right. Chris Cates came into pinch run for Parmelee, but Singleton hit a grounder to center that would have plated either Chris. As it was Cates crossed the plate to tie up the game.

In the top of the 9th with one out, Revere drew a walk. Dolenc then singled, which moved Revere to 3rd. Olson's singled to center to drive in Revere for the game winning run. Cates, serving as designated hitter, singled out to right to score Dolenc for the insurance run.

Revere finished up 2-for-4 with 2 runs. Fernandez, the Snappers catcher, was 3-for-4 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Dolenc was 2-for-5 with 2 runs and 1 RBI.

Game two of the four game series begins Friday at 6:30 PM central time with Danny Berlind (2-2, 4.71) going to mound against Burlington's Edward Cegarra (1-2, 2.12).

Hawk Eye

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Miracle take game one from Mets

Fort Myers Miracle

Fort Myers 7 at St. Lucie 2

W: D. Guerra (3-1, 4.32); L: D. Gee (2-3, 4.54); SV: M. Fox (1)
HR: FTM: W. Ramos (2), W. Robbins (2).

Deolis Guerra held his former teammates to only 5 hits over 6 innings, giving up 2 runs and striking out 1, while Wilson Ramos and Whit Robbins both hit their second home runs of the season as the Miracle overcame the Mets 7-2.

St. Lucie got on the board first, when Luis Rivera doubled, then was brought home on Lucas Duda's double. A Joshua Petersen single served to score Duda, giving the Mets an early 2 runs lead.

But it was short lived though. With 2 outs on the board in the top of the 2nd, Ramos singled his way onto the bags. Robbins double moved him to 3rd, and Juan Portes fly ball to center brought the pair home to tie up the game.

Met's starter Dillon Gee would surrender two more runs in the fifth, although only one was earned. Back-to-back-to back singles by Portes, Yancarlos Ortiz, and Brian Dinkelman loaded the bags. Rene Tosoni would reach on a fielding error by Rivera, scoring Portes. After Danny Valencia was called out on strikes, Johnny Woodard sacrificed in Ortiz to make it 4-2 Miracle.

St. Lucie's Brandon Nall ran into to trouble in the top of the 8th. Edgar Alfonzo would hit Woodard with a pitch before he was lifted from the game in replace of Nall. Ramos and Robbins then hit back-to-back home runs one out later, to score 3 more runs.

Jose Lugo and Matt Fox would finish off the game for the Miracle, combining to allow only 1 run over the final 3 innings. Fox struck out 5, giving a very good accounting of himself despite a wild pitch in the 8th.

Portes would finish up 3-for-4 at the plate with 1 run and 2 RBIs, Ramos and Robbins were both 2-for-4 with 2 runs, Ramos with 2 RBIs, Robbins with 1. Dinkelman would go 3-for-5 at the top of the order.

The series continues tomorrow at Tradition Field with Alex Burnett (2-1, 2.28) getting the start against St Lucie's Nicholas Carr (0-3, 5.34). First pitch is set for 7:00 PM.

The Miracle return home Wednesday, May 14th when the Sarasota Reds will be in town for Island Night at Hammond Stadium.

News PRess
TC Palm

Left handed pitcher Errol Simonitsch was added to the Miracle Roster Thursday from Extended Spring Training replacing Zach Day who was released on Tuesday. When I talked to him at Extended last weekend, he said it was not the same injury as the one he suffered last season that had him on the DL. He has pitched well in several outings during extended. The move is not unexpected, and although Simo did indicate he was quite sick of Florida already, he did allow that pitching for the Miracle would be nicer than throwing in Extended Spring Training as he continues his rehab. (NDN)

Minnesota Twins

Minnesota 2 at Chi White Sox 6

WP: J. Danks (3-3), LP: K. Slowey (0-2)
HR: CHI: J. Dye (6), J. Uribe (3)

Kevin Slowey returned to the Minnesota mound, giving up 3 runs including 2 home runs on 4 hits while striking out 4 over 5 innings.

The Twins picked up a pair of runs in the second when former Miracle Matt Tolbert singled in Brendan Harris and Joe Mauer, another Fort Myers Alumni, singled in Adam Everett.

That would be all the Twins would get. Slowey kept them in the game, but the bull pen gave up three runs late to make the score 6-3 and prevent a Minnesota rally.

Mauer was 2-for-3 in the game, while Delmon Young was 2-for-4.

The Twins begin a four game series against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, with Boof Bonsor (2-4, 4.29) going to the mound against Jon Lester (2-2, 3.94).


Former Miracle Pat Neshek left the game in the 9th inning with a postential serious right elbow strain. The injury occurred after Neshek had allowed a single to Jermaine Dye and struck out Nick Swisher to start the inning. But it was on a slider he threw to the third batter he faced, Joe Crede, that Neshek appeared to hurt his elbow. Neshek immediately grabbed his arm after making the pitch. He will see team physician Dr. Dan Buss on Friday and be re=evaluated at that point. (Twins)

Wings limp home on 6 game losing streak

Minnesota Twins

The Red Wings continued their struggles Thursday, dropping both games of Businessman's special double header against the Columbus Clippers.

Rochester 1 at Columbus 5

W: C. Balester (3-2, 3.41); L: K. Mulvey (2-4, 4.03)
HR: COL: R. Olmedo (2).

Kevin Mulvey would take the start in game one, allowing 5 Clippers runs - 3 earned - on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2 over 5 innings.

Columbus Ray Olmedo singled in the bottom of the 3rd, then moved to second on Tommy Murphy's sac bunt, but a throwing error by Mulvey allowed Murphy to make it to first. Pete Orr then took a walk to load the bags. Mulvey would issue another walk, this time to Elijah Dukes to force in a run. Ryan Langerhans' ground out severed to plate Murphy, and one out later, with Larry Broadway at the plate, a wild pitch by Mulvey allowed Orr to score to give the Clippers a big 3 run lead.

Brian Buscher singled in the top of the 4th, But Howie Clark would ground into a force out. Following a fly out to Garrett Jones, Chris Basak singled out left, and combined with a pair of errors on the same play by Dukes, scored Clark. That would be it for the Wings though.

Seven different Rochester players put a hit each on the board, but Clark's lone run would stand.

Olmedo hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th for the Nationals farm team. In the 5th, Dukes singled out to left, stole 2nd then came home on an Alex Escobar single to make it 5-1 Clippers.


Rochester 4 at Columbus 6

W: T. Clippard (2-3, 4.34); L: H. Totten (0-1, 4.12); SV: C. Manning (4)
HR: ROC: J. Morales (2). COL: J. Dubois 2 (3).

The Wings got more offense going in game two, but starter Heath Totten set Rochester in a big hole which proved too much for them to overcome.

With one out on the board in the bottom of the first, Pete Orr doubled. Elihah Dukes took a walk and a Ryan Langerhans single brought in Orr. Jason Dubois then hit his second home run of the season to bring in 3 more.

The Wings would not try to make a come back until the top of the 3rd inning when Denard Span doubled with 2 outs on the board. Jason Pridie then hit his 4th double of the season, driving in Span, but Darnell McDonald ground out to end the inning.

Garrett Jones took a walk in the fifth, then came home on a Randy Ruiz double out to left. Jose Morales singled, but Chris Basak hit into a double play to end the inning.

Carmen Cali replaced Totten in the bottom of the fourth and allowed a single to Yurendell de Caster. A sac-bunt by Ray Olmedo moved de Caster to 2nd, and a Javi Herrera double served to plate him, giving the Clippers another run. Jason Dubois his his 2nd home run of the game, his third of the season, in the bottom of the 5th to mke it Clippers 6, Wings 2.

Ruiz hit a ground-rule double to start out the top of the 7th, and Morales, a former Miracle, went yard to bring in two, but despite a single to Span, the Wings could find no more runs. Pridie's ground out gave the Clippers a sweep of the series.

Span was 2-for-4 in the game with a run, and Morales and Ruiz were both 2-for-3 with a run each, Morales with 2 RBIs and Ruiz with one.

The Wings return home to Frontier Field with a six game losing streak. They begin an eight game homestand on Friday night against the Buffalo Bisons. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

Red Wings

Rally fails, Rock Cats win streak haulted

Fort Myers Miracle

Bowie 9 at New Britain 7

Record 19 - 13

W: J. Berken (3-2, 3.26); L: J. Rainville (2-4, 10.01); SV: J. Manon (10)
HR: BOW: J. Nettles (6), L. Montanez (5), R. Finan (4).
NBR: E. Lis (3), M. Moses (2).

Despite home runs by Matt Moses and Erik Lis, the New Britain Rock Cats failed in their come from behind attempt Thursday afternoon, falling 9-7 to the Bowie Baysox.

Rock Cats starter Jay Rainville struggled in his start, allowing 7 earned runs on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.

The Baysox drew first blood in the second inning when Noland Reimold drew a walk. Ryan Finan then went yard over the right field wall to bring in two.

The Cats would not stay down long however. Lis opened the bottom of the 2nd with a fly ball single and David Winfree doubled out to left to drive him in. Trevor Plouffe would single to bring in Winfree after Molina's ground out moved the Rock Cats' right fielder to 3rd. A Toby Gardenhire ground out saw Plouffe to 2nd and a wild pitch by Bowie starter Jason Breken got him to 3rd. Jeff Christy drew a walk and Steve Tolleson doubled to drive in the pair.

Following a ground out to Blake Davis to start the top of the 3rd, Mike Rodriguez and Carlos Rojas got back-to-back singles off Rainville. Luis Montanez and Jeff Nettles then hit back to back homers off the Rock Cats' starter to give them a 2 run lead.

Mike Pierce took a talk in the top of the 4th and Davis' single moved him to 2nd. A force out by Rodriguez found Pierce at 3rd and a sac-fly by Rojas brought him over the plate to add to the Baysox lead. Montanez would single before Sarasota native Jason Miller was brought in to throw in relief.

Miracle pitcher Jeff Manship had said that he thought that Rainville's struggles was due to a lack of confidence, and certainly this game did nothing to help the matter. His ERA, which had fallen after his last start, is back up to 10.01 and with Manship performing well for Fort Myers and big lefty Errol Simonitsch ready to come off the DL, you have to wonder how long Rainville will have to find a place in New Britain.

Finan drew a walk off Miller with one out in the 5th, then zipped over to 3rd base on Kennard Jones' grounder to right. Pierce would sacrafice him in for add to the Bowie lead, making it 8-4 Baysox.

Lis would double in the bottom of the sixth, move to 3rd on Winfree's ground ball single to ceter and score on a Felix Molina sac-fly to start the Rock Cats rally.

The 7th saw the come back kids add two more on Moses and Lis' yarders to give the Cats 7. That's all they'd get though as Bowie reliever Julio Manon used 4 strike outs over 2 innings to close down the game.

Back-to-back singles to Nettles and Reimold earned them an insurance run off former Miracle lefty Kyle Aselton when Jones singled out to right to drive in Nettles.

Aselton, who has pitched well out of the Cats' pen so far this season, allowed 3 hits and struck out no one over 2 innings worth of work.

While the Cats were without the services of reining Eastern League Player of the Month Luke Hughes, they were not without offense as Lis went 3-for-4 with 3 runs and 1 RBI. Winfree was also 3-for-4, but with 1 run and 1 RBI. Plouffe was 2-for-4 with 1 run. Tolleson was 1-for-5 at the plate but picked up 2 RBIs.

Brock Peterson was held hitless, striking out 3 of his 5 at bats, while Moses struck out twice but did have the 1 hit, run, and RBI by virtue of his second home run of the season.

The Cats will try to get back in the win column as they travel to New Hampshire to face the Fisher Cats with the game starting at 6:35 PM on Friday. Oswaldo Sosa (1-2, 6.39) is expected to start against Toronto farm hand Ricardo Romero (1-2, 5.51) in a pitching rematch from earlier this week.


New Britain scratches Bowie late

Fort Myers Miracle

Bowie 6 at New Britain 7

Record 19 - 12 (2nd Place, Northern Division)

W: A. Gabino (3-1, 0.93); L: G. Casadiego (0-3, 4.95)
HR: BOW: F. Bynum (1). NBR: S. Tolleson (3).

There was very little action around the Twins Minor League system Wednesday, as Beloit and Fort Myers had off days, and Rochester's game was postponed by rain.

The Wings will play two games on Thursday, starting at 11:00 AM

Former Miracle Steve Tolleson hit a home run in the 8th inning that tied up the game between New Britain and Bowie, sending it into extra innings.

Tolleson would then single his way onto base in the 10th inning, move to 2nd on Dustin Martin's sac bunt, then steal 3rd. Brock Peterson's fly ball to right then drive in Tolleson for the game winner.

Bowie would get on the board first, with Breddie Bynum going yard off Anthony Swarzak in the first inning. New Britain took it back however as Luke Hughes extended his hitting streak to 16-games with a line drive single. Martin then singled as well. Hughes would move to 3rd on a wild pitch by Bowie starter David Hernandez. Peterson then doubled the pair in, to make it 2-1 Rock Cats.

Ryan Finan would single for Bowie in the top of the 4th, then come home on a Brian Peterson double, to tie up the game.

Carlos Rojas doubled to start the 5th, then moved to 3rd on a Mike Rodriguez sac-bunt. Luis Montanez singled him home. Following a pop out to Jeff Nettles, Nolan Reimold singled and Finan doubled to drive in 2, giving the Baysox a 3-run lead.

New Britain's Peterson would single in the bottom of the fifth, then move to 3rd on an Erik Lis double. Trevor Plouffe's ground out drove in Peterson, a fly-ball single to right off the bat of Felix Molina brought Lis across the plate.

With Danny Graves on the mound in the top of the 7th, Montanez singled with one out on the board, then stole 2nd. Reimold's double to left brought him in to give the Baltimore farm team a 2-run lead.

New Britain began their rally in the bottom of the 7th, when Lis singled, moved to 2nd on Trevor Plouffe's sac-bunt, 3rd on a Molina ground out, and passed the plate on Toby Gardenhires' fly ball single to right.

Hughes was 1-for-2 in the game, with 1 run before being replaced by Tolleson, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and 2 runs (including the home run) and 1 RBI. The reigning Eastern League Player of the Month fouled a ball off his foot in the 3rd inning, and left the game thereafter.

Lis was 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk and 2 runs, Martin was 2-for-4 with a run.

Peterson, a former Miracle 1stbaseman, provided much of the offense, going 4-for-6 with 1 run and 3 RBIs.

Swarzak was less than sharp on the mound, allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3 over 4.2 innings. Armando Gabino picked up the win in relief, allowing only 2 hits over 2 innings.

Having won their last 9, the Rock Cats play early tomorrow to finish off the series against Bowie with a 10:35 AM educational day game before heading out on the road.

Rock Cats

Minnesota 13 at Chicago White Sox 1

WP: L. Hernandez (5-1) LP: M. Buehrle (1-4)
HR: MIN C. Gomez (2), CWS J. Dye (5)

One day after Gavin Floyd nearly no-hit the Twins, Livan Hernandez would nearly shut out the Chi Sox, allowing a home run in the 9th to Jermaine Dye to spoil his bid.

Carlos Gomez looked good at the plate for the Twins, going 4-for-6 with 2 runs and 3 RBIs and hitting for the cycle. The Twins pounded out 16 hits, with Craig Monroe, Justin Morneau and Mike Cuddyer all 2-for-5 through the heart of the order as was Nick Punto hitting last. Monroe had 2 runs, Morneau, Cuddyer and Punto a run each while Cuddyer drove in 1 and Punto drove in 5 (yes! five!)

Mike Redmond was 2-for-4 with a run and 3 RBIs.

Gomez, who appeared in 58 games for the Mets last season, homered in the first, tripled in the fifth, doubled in the sixth and singled in the 9th to complete the cyle - backwards it would seem.

The two teams rematch tomorrow with former Miracle Kevin Slowey (0-1, 8.10) making the start for Minnesota.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hughes rocks Eastern League

Fort Myers Miracle

Who is Luke Hughes? A few months ago, only the most die hard of the prospect watchers could probably have answered that question. Now - suddenly - the 23 year old infielder is the hottest minor league player in the Twins organization.

Hughes, who played on the Fort Myers Miracle in 2005 and 2006, got off to an outstanding start for the AA New Britain Rock Cats, batting .354 (35-for-99) with six doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 20 runs scored, 18 RBI, 14 walks and three stolen bases in 24 games during the month of April.

Hughes had a hit in all but four of the games that he played in during the month, including 11 multiple hit games and one multiple home run game on April 23rd.

Now, Hughes has gone from being the talk of New Britain to being the talk of the Eastern league, edging out Bowie pitcher Chris Waters to be named the Eastern League Player of the Month for April, 208.

A native of Perth, Australia, Hughes joined the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2003. He played that season for the Gulf Coast League and batted .308, being named to the post-season All-star team. After that though, Hughes fell under the radar, hitting .284 in Rookie Elizabethton in 2004. In 2005, his performance in Beloit - in which he batted .257 with 7 home runs, 42 runs and 42 RBIs earned him a mid-season performance to the High-A Fort Myers Miracle.

But he only hit .203 for the Fort Myers club while splitting time between first and second base. As a result, he stayed in Fort Myers for the following season, hitting .231 with 32 runs and 37 RBIs including 4 home runs. He was promoted to Double A in 2007, but did little to light the town on fire.

For those that paid attention to Baseball's World Cup in November, Hughes current ball pound performance should be no surprise, as the 6'0", 190 lb slugger turned in an impressive perforance for Team Australia, boosting the squad into the Quarterfinals.

He hit .289 in the Claxton Shield during the Australian summer and turned up for spring training, ready to tear the cover off the ball - and that's exactly what he's been doing.

Hughes currently leads the Easter League in virtually every offensive category, including batting average (.385), home runs (9), hits (47), on-base percentage (.449), extra-base hits (18) and runs scored (29) and he is also ranked second among all of the players in Minor League Baseball in total bases this season, with 85.

This is not the first award the Aussie has taken home this season, as he was also named the Bank of America Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending April 27th.

As impressive as his performance was in April, Hughes has been even better so far during the month of May, hitting .522 with one double, one triple, one home run and nine runs scored in five games. He currently has a 14-game hitting streak, which is tied for the longest streak in the Eastern League this season. Eight of the 14 games have been multiple hit games and Hughes is hitting .431 with seven homers, 20 runs scored and 15 RBI during the streak.

Hughes batted .263 with 18 doubles, nine home runs, 56 runs scored and 43 RBI in his Double-A debut for the Rock Cats last season.

How long Hughes remains in New Britain remains to be seen, especially with the AAA Rochester Red Wings off to a struggling start this season. Unless Hughes cools down substantially, the should be a shoe in for the Eastern League All-star showcase, assuming he lasts in the Eastern League that long. Hughes is the first New Britain player to be honored as POTM since another former Miracle was honored the same way: Jason Kubel in 2004. Kubel, currently with the major league Twins is one of several former Miracle players on MLB's All-Star Ballot.

In other news, reported Tuesday night that the Twins will place RHP Scott Baker on the disabled list Wednesday, and call up former Miracle lefty Glen Perkins to pitch on Saturday. Baker's DL move will allow Kevin Slowey to be activated for his start on Thursday; Minnesota will need to make a move to open up a spot for Perkins by Saturday.

Cole & Alex

Cole Devries was the player assigned to concourse autograph duty along with Johnny Woodard - who decided not to show up. Despite a fairly descent crowd on a Tuesday night, no one was lining up to get autographs. Anyway, I complimented him on his performance on Monday, his last two starts have been really good actually. (Pictures from Wednesday night's game)

I'd been sitting with Cole & Manny on Sunday when Tyler was on the mound to watch the speed gun, and I gather that he enjoyed the company because he says "Hey can you come and sit...oh wait. I'm in the dugout tonight. Well maybe you can come and...oh wait, we're off tomorrow."

"I'll come sit with you next home game, okay."

"That would be cool!"

Cole's a sweetheart. I really get a kick out of him. Tyler of course says "You don't need Cole to invite you, you know. You can come and sit with us ANY TIME you want."

I know that. I had originally intended to sit with Alex Burnett and Tyler Robertson last night and watch the gun, but Jim Rantz was in the row behind them, so I decided to wait for another evening. I did however take Alex the pictures I'd take of him Saturday night.

And of course I took the layouts I wanted signed over as well.

"For me?" I says, when I hand them the envelope and then he saw what I was holding and said "I want THAT!"

Fort Myers Miracle

"I'll get you one," I tell him.

"You can do that?" I'd hope so. I made it.

He's the first one to actually ask. I'm sure this will open up the floodgates though.

Miracle rally past Cubs, split series 2 games each

Fort Myers Miracle

Daytona 2 at Fort Myers 4

Record: 19 - 13

W: A. Slama (2-0, 0.50); L: C. Lambert (0-1, 4.11); SV: R. Delaney (8)
HR: None.

Prior to the start of the game, reliever Zach Day was released. I understand he is finished with professional baseball.

If you like good pitching, this was your game. Jeff Manship gave up 2 runs, earned, on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8 over 6 inning. But his performance was overshadowed by that of Daytona's Jose Ceda, who allowed only 2 hits and 2 walks to Fort Myers over 6 innings, while striking out five.

Even so, it was the Miracle who got on the board first, with Brian Dinkelman and Rene Tosoni hitting back-to-back singles. Danny Valencia walked to load the bases. Following a line out to Whit Robbins, Eddie Ovalle hit a sac-fly to bring in Dinkelman. Wilson Ramos would be hit by a pitch, but Juan Portes ground out to end the inning and Miracle scoring threat.

Daytona however did not let the Miracle hold their lead long. Darwin Barney drew a walk in the top of the 5th with one out, and Jonathan Wyatt doubled to move him to 3rd. A sac-fly by Tony Thomas scored Barney to tie up the game. James Adduci then got a double off Manship to bring in Wyatt. Yusef Carter would single, but Miracle shortstop Yancarlos Ortiz fired the ball back to Allan de San Miguel at the plate to get Adduci out at home and safe the run.

The score would stay at 2-1 Cubs throught the next 3 innings until the bottom of the 8th. With the fans calling for a rally, Ortiz would reach on a throwing error to first by pitcher Billy Petrick who missed his first baseman and tossed the ball into the outfield. Ortiz found himself on second, and Petrick found himself being replaced by Casey Lambert. The Miracle seemed to like Lambert however, as Brian Dinkelman's line drive to left brought in Ortiz to tie up the game. Rene Tosoni then hit a ground rule double over the right field wall. Lambert would intentionally walk Valencia to get at Whit Robbins, a move that originally worked, as Robbins popped out, but Edward Ovalle hit one into the gap out to left to bring in 2 and suddenly the Miracle had a nice lead.

Jeff Smith would then call in The Sandman, Rob Delaney, to put the Cubbies to sleep in the 9th. Mark Reed gave him some trouble, fouling several balls out to keep the Cubs alive with 2 outs, but he'd finally connect for a soft grounder that Delaney caught easily and tossed over to Robbins to end the game.

The Cubs have very much been a travel team, with a 10-8 record on the road verses a 6-8 record at home.

With the win, the Miracle hang on to first place in the West Divison, tied with the Tampa Yankees who have won their last six. The Yankees might be in for some trouble though, as their ace, Eric Hacker, has been reportedly placed on the Disabled List.

Fort Myers takes the night off, then travels to Port St. Lucie on Thursday to start a four game series agaist the Mets, who are 8-24 on the season, but are 6-4 in their last 10. Five of their 8 wins have come on home turf.

Deolis Guerra (2-1, 4.61) will get the start for the Miracle. He will likely face Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.55) on the Tradition field mound.

News Press

Prior to the game, the trivia question posed by Gary Sharpe was "What was Jake Mauer's number with the Miracle? Did he ever wear #4?" The answer is that Jake wore #12 while he was with the Miracle. He did wear number 4, but it was with Quad Cities, and never in Fort Myers.

I had questioned Tyler Robertson's speed during his start on Sunday, but Tyler says that what he is throwing is normal for him at this time of the year. "I'm a slow starter," he explained, and went on to say that he didn't start hitting 92 MPH until he got up to Beloit for the second half of the season. He suggested I check my notes from last season, but the problem is...I don't know where I put them?

He also states that he likes the white uniforms better become they look more professional, despite the fact that traditionally, the Miracle tend to lose when they wear them. I guess he's not superstitious, as he doesn't believe in the day game curse either.

Around the system: the Snappers finished off the Lugnuts, the Rock cats defeat the Baysox, and the Wings and the Twins both drop their games.

A couple of people had asked about the layouts I'm having signed. They are stashed on Photobucket and while I do not sell them (as they are not licensed for commercial distribution), nothing would stop you from getting prints via Photobuckets' Qoop service for your personal use. Note that they are formated to 8 x 10 size and will likely print out cropped if ordered at a smaller size.

I've also been adding pictures from the 2008 season games, be sure to stop by the Photo gallery and check them out. No videos yet - I'm working on that.

Rock Cats stay hot, Twins, Red Wings fall

Fort Myers Miracle

Bowie 3 at New Britain 5

Record: 18 - 12 (Second place, Northern Division)

W: Z. Ward (2-0, 0.46); L: K. Mickolio (0-1, 3.50); SV: B. Julianel (6)
HR: None.

New Britain rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Baltimore farm team 5-3 in New Britain.

Matt Moses as 2-for-3 at the plate with 1 run and 2 RBIs to lead the offense. Luke Hughes was 5-for-2, extending his hit streat to 15 games, with a walk. He struck out twice.

Drew Butera drew three walks during the game, and finished with a run and an RBI despite going 0-for-0 at the plate. Former Miracle Steve Tolleson was 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk.

Ryan Williams allowed 3 runs - all earned - on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6 over 6 innings. Zach Ward picked up the win in relief, his second of the season.

Moses doubled in the bottom of the 7th to drive in Brock Peterson for the game winning run. Moses would come hom on a wild pitch for the insurance marker.

Rock Cats
NB Herald

Rochester 1 at Columbus 3

Record 14 - 19 (5th place, North Division)

W: G. Mock (2-1, 3.77); L: R. Barrett (1-2, 2.79); SV: C. Schroder (3)
HR: COL: R. Olmedo (1).

The wing were clipped by the Clippers again, 3-1 after taking an early lead in the 3rd.

Chris Basak doubled, stole 2nd base and then scored on a Denard Span single to center for the load Red Wings run.

Span would go 3-for-4 at the plate with 1 RBI, former Miracle catcher Jose Morales was also 3-for-4 at the plate. Basak was 2-for-3 with a walk and 1 RBI.

Ricky Barrett suffered the lose, his 2nd of the season in relief of Phil Humber who lasted only 4 innings.


Minnesota 1 at Chicago White Sox 7

Record 16 - 15 (1st place, Central Division)

WP: G. Floyd (3-1) LP: N. Blackburn (2-2)
HR: CWS: J Dye (4)

Two former Fort Myers Miracle figured into the scoring in Tuesday's loss as Jason Kubel drove in Joe Mauer for Minnesota's lone run.

Another Fort Myers alumni, pitcher Nick Blackburn, gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on six hits and 3 walks while striking out 1 over 6. It was not a great outing for the former Miracle All-star, who has otherwise been pretty solid for the Twins.

To make matters worse, Gavin Floyd held the Twins to only 1 hit and 3 walks in the game.

The Twins will need to make a showing tonight if they want to hang on to first place. The Chi-Sox trail them by only 1 game after last night's loss.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Snappers finish off Lansing late

David Bromberg
David Bromberg

Beloit 6 at Lansing 2

Record: 14 - 18

W: S. Hirschfeld (3-0, 0.95); L: B. Cuthbertson (0-1, 0.00)
HR: BEL: M. Dolenc (1).

A pitchers duel and a big 5-run 9th inning gave the Snappers the win in Lansing Tuesday afternoon, as they took the series 2 games to one.

Ben Revere would open with a double for the Snappers off Lansing starter Marc Rzepczynski. Chris Cates sac bunt would move him to 3rd, and he'd come home on Garrett Olson's ground out, putting Beloit on the board.

It was a short lived lead though, as Raul Barron singled out left to get on base. Following a strike out to Wesley Stone, Barron would be caught trying to steal second with a pick off by Beloit starter David Bromberg. Justin Jackson would take a walk and then be doubled in by Matthew Liuzza to tie up the score.

Bromberg would work six inning, striking out 9. He'd only give up 3 hits and allow 3 walks in that time frame, plus the one earned run. Steve Hirschfeld would take over for the next three.

Rzepczynski worked 4.2 innings allowing 2 hits and striking out 4. Tim Collins would come in for the final out in the fifth, and then hand the pitching chores over to Jay's prospect Alan Farina. Farina struck around for 2 inning, allowing 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3. Brad Cuthbertson took over at that point which brings us to the 9th inning.

Chris Parmelee reached on a fielding error and was replaced by Joe Benson as a pinch runner. Ramon Santana's bunt moved Benson to 3rd, putting runners at the corners. Steve Singleton's line drive scored Benson. Dan Lehmann would hit a sac bunt to move the runners and a wild pitch by Cutherbertson brought Santana in. Jair Fernandez, standing in as a pinch hitter for Ben Petsch, doubled out to left to drive in Singleton. Mark Dolenc then went yard, to drive in the final 2 Snappers runs.

With one out on the board, Justin Jackson drew a walk off Hirschfield. John Tolisano tripled to drive him in, but Hirshfield would get Manuel Rodriguez to strike out and Johermyn Chavez to pop out to end the game.

Revere would go 3-for-5 in the contest with 1 run, Santana was 2-for-4 with run.

The Snappers take Wednesday off, then begin a four game series against the Bees in Burlington. The are in 5th place in the Western division, 9 games back from Clinton, but it's only early May and there's still a lot of baseball to be played. Beloit is 8-8 on the road this year and won 7 of their last 10, a vast improvement over the slow start they suffered.


Miracle drop to Daytona again

Fort Myers Miracle

Daytona 9 at Fort Myers 1

Record: 18 - 13 (tied with Tampa for 1st in the West Division)

W: E. Caridad (3-2, 5.17); L: C. Devries (2-4, 4.58)
HR: None.

Prior to Sunday's game at Hammond Stadium, the Daytona Cubs had lost six straight. Now suddenly, they look like FSL Championship contenders.

Cole Devries had been in the zone last Wednesday and pitched a great game against Clearwater. He was in the zone again last night, turning in a quality start and working 7 innings. Sadly, the he gave up two runs, and the Miracle offense was very limited.

Back-to-back singles to start the top of the 3rd put Russ Canzier and Josh Lansford on base. Jonathan Mota moved them with a sac bunt which allowed Devries the room to walk Jonathan Wyatt. Following a pop out to Tony Thomas Jr., James Adduci would single to drive in Canzier. Devries would then get Ty Wright to ground out to end the inning.

Edward Ovalle tripled in the bottom of the inning, and came home on Yancarlos Ortiz sac fly to tie the game up.

In the top of the fourth, Blake Lalli singled, and moved to 2nd on Wellington Castillo's ground out. Canzier then tripled him in, but a ground out to Lansford and a fly out to Mota left Canzier stranded at 3rd.

The Miracle barely threatened however over the rest of the game, despite the substiution of Danny Berg for Wilson Ramos and Rocky Palacios for Ortiz in the batting order.

Devries gave up the 2 runs - both earned - on 7 hits and 1 walks. He would not record a strike out, but that's okay. Esmailin Caridad would give up 1 run on six hits while striking out 1 over 6.2 innings. But that was okay too, the top of the 8th the Miracle were still in the game.

Zack Day got on the mound, and sent them back to the chalk board. Day will now work on his arm strength by writing "I will not give up four runs on six hits in one inning" 101 times on that chalk board.

Thomas tripled to start out the inning. Following a pop out to Adduci, Wright singled to bring in Thomas. Lolli would be taken out on strikes, the only strike out for the Miracle during the contest. Castillo and Yusef Carter picked up back-to-back singles, which also brought in Wright, followed by a double to Lansford that scored the pair. Suddenly, the Miracle were down six to one.

Thanks Day, great job.

Brian Dinkelman would be hit by a Jeremy Papelborn pitch and Rene Tosoni would draw a walk, but Palacios flew out, Juan Portes struck out and Danny Valencia ground out, stranding the runners.

Danny Hernandez replaced Day on the mound and when Mr. Day finishes with the chalk board, it will be Mr. Hernandez's turn to write "I will not give up 3 runs on 1 hit and 3 walks in one inning" 101 times.

Hello, Scooby Do, where are you? Danny needs a clue from you now...

But the strike zone remained a mystery to the Miracle's young reliever, as he walked Jonathan Wyatt and Thomas to start the inning. Adduci would ground into a force out. A wild pitch brought brought Wyatt home before Wright also drew a walk. Lolli then doubled to drive in Adduci and Castillo brought in Wright on a sac-fly.

A pitching change to Grant Johnson did not spark the Miracle offense either, as the team quietly went three up, three down to retire to the clubhouse and lick their wounds.

I had been trying to recruit a new bullpen Saturday at Extended Spring Training, but Jim Shellenback said all he had was a bunch of babies. I might take him up on that offer, they couldn't be any worse than the babies that are in the Miracle bullpen.

Ovalle was 2-for-3 on the game with a triple and 1 run. Danny Valencia was 2-for-4 but did not factor into the scoring. Tosoni, Ramos and Whit Robbins each picked up single hits in the contest.

The series finishes up on a two-for-Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium, with Jeff Manship (4-0, 3.27) hoping to get the team turned around. He will face Jose Ceda (2-1, 5.48) for the Cubs.

News Press
News Journal

Beloit 4 at Lansing 2

W: S. Arias (1-0, 1.64); L: L. Perez (0-4, 7.89); SV: M. Williams (2)
HR: None.

Things looked brighter in Lansing, Michigan, where Santos Arias picked up his second win of the season against the Lugnuts. The Blue Jays farm would take 2 runs off him in the bottom of the 1st inning on three singles, but they would find little else as Arias only gave up 4 hits over five innings while striking out 5.

Ben Revere singled out to left then moved to second on a fielder's choice that took out Joe Benson at 3rd. Garrett Olson would bring the speedster home on a fly ball single to right.

In the top of the Sixth, Chris Parmelee and Ramon Santana would draw back-to-back walks and Steve Singleton then loaded the bases with a ground ball to center. Catcher Jair Fernandez drew a walk to force in a run, tying the game, and Santana would come home when Greg Yersich ground into a double play for the game winning run.

Revere would triple in the 7th, and let Olson single him home for the insurance marker. The Snappers were able to find a couple of guys - Charles Nolte and Spencer Steedley - who would each work an inning or two without giving up seven runs, and Matt Williams closed out the game for his second save of the season.

Revere was 2-for-4 with a walk and 2 runs and Olson was 2-for-5. The Snappers would draw nine walks during the game with Parmelee picking up 3 and Santana 2. Parmelee's other two at bats were both strike outs.

The two teams will play the rubber match on Tuesday with David Bromberg (1-2, 5.70) making the start for the Twins farm team.

Lansing Journal

Bowie 4 at New Britain 5

W: A. Gabino (2-1, 1.04); L: J. Burch (0-1, 6.00); SV: B. Julianel (5)
HR: BOW: B. Davis (1), J. Tucker (1). NBR: M. Moses (1).

The Rocks Cats rallied past Bowie in the 8th inning to pick up another win at home, Armando Gabino getting his second victory of the season for New Britain.

Luke Hughes continued his hot streak at the plate, going 2-for-3 with walk and a run to extended his hitting streak to 14 games. His .385 batting average leads the Eastern League. Erik Lis was also 2-for-3 in the designed hitter roll with a double a walk and a RBI. Brock Peterson as 2-for-4 with a run and 2 RBIs.

Matt Moses hit a home run in the sixth that drove in two to put the Cats a head in the sixth, but Blake Davis went wall in the top of the seventh for the Baltimore affiliate off former Miracle Kyle Aselton to again tie up the contest.

Moses would draw a walk in the 8th, and David Winfree would be hit by a pitch, moving Matty Mo to 2nd. Lis would then double to score the game winning run.

Yohan Pino would give up 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 walks while striking out 3 over six innings, but left with a no decision for the Cats.

Rock Cats
NB Herald
Feature on Ozzie Sosa

Rochester 6 at Columbus 7

W: M. Bacsik (3-1, 3.63); L: T. Lahey (1-1, 5.87); SV: C. Manning (3)
HR: ROC: D. McDonald (4), C. Basak (2). COL: L. Broadway (2).

Evidently the Miracle are not the only Twins team with bullpen woes as Columbus clipped the Red Wings late, on a six run 8th inning.

Mariano Gomez and Tim Lahey share the blame for that blow up with Gomez surrendering 2 runs on 3 hits and Lahey allowing 4 runs on 4 hits.

Kevin Slowey was pulled before the game as he is to start for the Twins on Thursday. Instead Francisco Liriano worked five innings allowing only 1 run on 2 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4.

Darnell McDonald was 2-for-3 with 2 runs and 4 RBIs, Denard Span was 2-for-4 with a walk and 2 runs and the "spare pieces" (per the BYTO minors board) of Howie Clark and and Chris Basak were 2-for-4 with 1 RBI and 1-for-3 with 1 run and 1 RBI respectively.

On Monday McDonald was named the International League Batter-of-the-Week for the week of April 28-May 4. McDonald batted .448 (13-for-29) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBI in seven games this week. He's the first Red Wings player honored by the IL this season, and first Rochester player to win Batter-of-the-Week since former Miracle catcher Jose Morales did it on April 23-30, 2007. McDonald was also named the International League Player of the Week. (Press Release)

Prior to Monday's blown lead, the Wings bullpen had been tremendous through the last 24 games, going 7-2 with eight saves and a 1.98 ERA. In 86.1 innings of work, the relievers had allowed just 19 earned runs on 65 hits while striking out 76.

Red Wings

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day game curse gets to Miracle

Fort Myers Miracle

Daytona 6 at Fort Myers 4

W: B. Petrick (1-0, 0.00); L: T. Robertson (0-2, 3.86); SV: D. Garcia (3)
HR: DAY: T. Wright (1).

Danny Valencia comes up to me before the start of the game, quite serious, and says "I want you to know that my mother reads your blog every day, and she is very, very, very upset by all the terrible things you write about me."

This might have worked, except I know Danny and know he's one of the biggest practical jokers on the team.

"Oh?" I reply. "But I never write anything bad about you, Danny. Only about Woody (Johnny Woodard). Like what was he trying to do yesterday, running while you were on second base."

Danny laughs. "He thought he saw a ham sandwich in my pocket and was coming to get it."

"I swear I'm gonna kill him before this season is out," Woodard said, when informed of this later.

It does amaze me that the homicide rate in baseball is as low as it is.

In any case, the Miracle had two strikes against them to start with. It was day game. And they were wearing their white uniforms.

I had been commending the pitching staff for keeping the home runs down. The Miracle had given up only 9 coming into today's game. Only Jupiter has allowed less with five.

Tyler Robertson would give up number 10 on the season in the first inning, when Ty Wright put one over the left field fence to give Daytona first blood rights.

The Miracle took it back though in the bottom of the inning. Brian Dinkelman would single his way onto base. He'd be taken out at second when Rene Tosoni hit to 2nd, but the attempt at a double play failed when Cubbies short stop Darwin Barney threw the ball into the first base dugout. Tosoni progressed to 2nd on the throwing error. Danny Valencia - he who I write such terrible things about - doubled in Tosoni to make the Cubbies unhappy. (Or is that the problem Danny? Is your Mummy a Cubbies fan?)

Robertson however seemed to be struggling again, and allowed a single to Russ Canzier and a double to Tony Thomas Jr. Barney would make up for his error by doubling the pair in, making it 3-1 Cubs.

"I thought he was throwing harder than that," I said to Jeff Manship who had control of the speed gun. Robertson was tossing in the high 80's and I was certain that he'd been up around 92 earlier in the season.

"He was," Manny replied. "I don't know what his problem is." Cole Devries added that Robertson had been throwing harder last year in Beloit as well.

We have a brief discussion about pitching speeds. "I throw 98," Manship says helpfully. I know Manny, that's what I love about you. Well, it's one of the things, anyway.

With one out in the top of the 5th, Jonathan Wyatt, Canzier and Thomas all single to load the bags. A failed force attemp allowed Barney to reach, and Wyatt and Canzier to score when Juan Portes overthew Brian Dinkelman, who was playing at short. Jonathan Mota then singled to bring in Thomas, making it 6-1 Cubbies.

The Miracle would find some offense in the bottom of the inning, with Portes doubling, then coming home on a Danny Berg single. Allan de San Miguel -FINALLY- got a single. Danny Santiesteban would strike out, but Dinkleman took a walk to load the bags. A Tosoni single would bring in Berg, cutting the Cubbies lead in half.

But Fort Myers would only find one more, when Berg singled and de San Miguel walked to get on base. Dinkelman would ground into a force out, but Berg would score on the play.

Robertson would give up 6 runs, 5 earned on 14(!) hits and one walk while striking out only 2. Danny Vais worked two innings in relief, and Danny Hernandez mopped up in the 9th.

Alessandro Maestri pitched a very good game as the score board read 1 run, 2 hits, and 3 errors for the Miracle going into the fifth inning.

Portes was 2-for-3 at the plate with 1 run, and Berg was 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI. Woodard was hitless in the game and picked up his 4th error to boot. I was considering offering him a ham sandwich if he'd put one over the fence for us.

The two teams rematch tomorrow with Devries (2-3, 5.08) headed to the mound for the Miracle against Cubs righty Esmailin Caridad (2-2, 6.20). I suppose I should dig out my Cinco de Mauer visor and wear it to the game, despite the fact that I am not Mexican and can think of no reason to celebrate the victory of Mexican forces over French forces in 1862.

News Press
News Journal

Beloit 1 at Lansing 4

W: E. Estanga (3-0, 0.44); L: B. Tippett (1-1, 4.50)
HR: None.

The Snappers dropped game one against Lansing, 4-1 after a late ining rally. Ben Revere singled in the top of the 4th, then moved to 2nd on Garrett Olson's ground out. A Chris Parmelee fly out to center saw him to 3rd base, and he'd come home ona fielding error by Lugnuts 3rd baseman Kevin Ahrens.

It was the only run that the Snapper would see off Lansing starter Randy Boone however, who allowed only six hits in 7 inning while striking out 4.

Two of those hits belong to Revere, who would go 2-for-4 at the plate with the lone run. Venice, Florida, native Chris Cates was 2-for-3 at the plate. Steve Singleton and Danny Lehmann had the other two Snappers hits.

Brian Kirwan would work through six innings, allowing 1 run in the sixth inning on a pair of back-to-back doubles that allowed the Lugnuts to tie up the game. He allowed a total of 4 hits and struck out 2, making this his best start of the season.

Brad Tippett worked through the seventh inning but then got into trouble in the 8th. Justin Jackson would triple in the game winning run for Lansing, and Matthew Liuzza doubled in a pair of insurance markers.


New Hampshire 5 at New Britain 6

W: D. Graves (2-0, 3.38); L: Z. Dials (0-1, 1.93)
HR: NHM: A. Hatch (3). NBR: T. Plouffe (2).

Dustin Martin's line drive single in the bottom of the ninth brought Trevor Plouffe home for the game winning run as the Rock Cats rallied past the Fisher Cats to win 6-5.

Luke Hughes and Martin lead off in the bottom of the 1st with back-to-back singles. Brock Peterson's ground ball to center would bring in Hughes, and Martin would score on David Winfree's ground out. Matt Moses singled before Trevor Plouffe would double in Peterson to give the Rock Cats an early 3 run lead.

They would lose it in the 3rd with Anthony Hutch homering off Rock Cats starter Oswaldo Sosa. Back-to-back singled combined with a wild pitch would hurt when Jacob Butler doubled to bring in a pair, tying the game.

Scott Campbell would triple in two more runs the following inning to give the Fisher Cats the lead. Plouffe would homer in the 7th to put the Cats within one. Matt Moses would double in the 9th and cross the plate on a fielder's choice in the 9th to tie the game.

Plouffe was 3-for-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs; Martin and Moses were both 2-for-4 with 1 run each, Martin also had a walk and a RBI.

Rock Cats
NB Herald

Rochester 4 at Toledo 8

W: E. Bonine (6-0, 3.43); L: B. Duensing (2-4, 3.67); SV: B. Neal (11)
HR: ROC: G. Jones (3), R. Jorgensen (1).

Despite home runs by former Miracle Garrett Jones in the fifth inning and new catcher Ryan Jorensen in the sixth inning, the Red wings could not over come an early deficit and fell to Toledo, 8-4.

Brian Duensing got off to a rough start for Rochester walking Mike Hollimon and Mike Hessman and then hitting Jeff Larish with a pitch to load the bases. Brett Clevlan's double drove in all three. Clevlen would score on a Erick Almonte single. After visit to the mound by Rochester's pitching coach, Duensing walked Jackson Melian. Nick Trzesniak then singled in the pair, giving the Mud Hens a 6 run lead.

Duensing would settle down after that though, going 5.2 innings and allowing 5 hits, 4 walks and striking out three. Unfortunately the Wing bats could not get him out of the hole he'd dug.

Former Miracle Alexi Casilla was 3-for-4 in the contest with 1 runs, and Darnell McDonald was 2-for-4 with a double and 1 RBI.

Francisco Liriano will follow Kevin Slowey on the mound Monday night for the Red Wings. It should be the final rehab start for Slowey, who has been named as the Twins probable starter for Thursday in place of Scott Baker (strained groin). Baker will have an MRI Monday to determine the severity of the injury. If Baker is not placed on the DL, Minnesota will need to make a player move before activating Slowey for Thursday.


Detroit 6 at Minnesota 7

WP: M. Guerrier (2-1) LP: Z. Miner (1-2) S: J. Nathan (11)
HR: DET: C. Graderson (5)

Minnesota used a 4 run seventh inning to overcome the Tigers at the Metrodome, 7-6. Former Miracle Justin Morneau was the only Twin with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a run and 2 RBIs.

With two outs on the board Matt Tolbert would double out to left. Nick Punto would find himself safe on a throwing error by Tiger's 3rd baseman Carlos Guillen. Carlos Gomez would single in Tolbert, before Brendan Harris hit a ground rule double to drive in Punto. Joe Mauer's single to center brought in Harris and Gomez for the game winning run.

Boof Bonsor gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 8 hits while striking out 5 over six innings. Matt Guerrier picked up the win, his second of the season in relief, pitching 2 inning and allowing 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 1.


Twins Minor League Player of the Week: Rochester's Darnell McDonald is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week for April 26-May 2. McDonald, 29, went 13-for-30 (.433) with four doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. He scored 10 runs and had a .900 slugging percentage in seven games.

McDonald was acquired in a trade with Washington on June 24, 2007.

Miracle Challenger Camp: The Fort Myers Miracle minor league baseball team is set to offer its third annual Special Needs Kids Baseball Camp. The camp is open to the first 25 individuals with a physical or mental challenge age 17 and under. The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon May 17 at Hammond Stadium.

Miracle players and coaches will teach kids the baseball skills of hitting, throwing, catching and fielding. The camp affords participants the opportunity to experience the feeling of being on a professional baseball field.

The camp is free to all who attend. To register a child for the camp, call 239-768-4210 or e-mail Include your name, the child's name, full address, phone number and any special needs for your child.

Dave Clark, a Cape Coral resident and polio survivor, is helping the Miracle again this year. Clark, currently a professional baseball scout, has put together these camps all over the country.

Kids are asked to bring their own baseball gloves. An adult chaperon is required to be in attendance with each child attending the clinic. Each participant will receive four tickets for that evening’s baseball game against the Tampa Yankees as well as lunch following the camp.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ovalle provides fireworks in Miracle win

Fort Myers Miracle

Daytona 2 at Fort Myers 5

Record: 18 - 11

W: A. Burnett (2-1, 2.28); L: A. Harben (1-4, 6.30); SV: A. Slama (5)
HR: FTM: E. Ovalle (2).

The Fort Myers Miracle took game one of their home series against the Daytona Cubs. Edward Ovalle hit his second home run in as many days to drive in 3 off Adam Harben in the 3rd inning.

A former Twins prospect, Harben struggled with his control, throwing quite a few balls and running up his counts. He'd be charged for all five Miracle runs on six hits and 4 walks while striking out 3. He lasted 4.2 innings.

I made Cole Devries promise me that if he ever found himself as a six year pro pitching in High-A in the Cubs organization that he would resign immediately. It was a very melancholy thing to watch Harben struggle.

Whit Robbins tripled in the end inning, then came home on a Juan Portes sac=fly to put the Miracle on the board first.

In the 3rd Brian Dinkelman, who is evidently just fine after his run with a ball yesterday, hit a double. A wild pitch by Harben sent him to 3rd. Tosoni would draw a walk before Danny Valencia's single saw Dinkelman across the plate. Johnny Woodard flew out before Ovalle put one over the left field fence.

The Miracle actually had the bases loaded in the first inning, when Woodard evidently forgot that Valencia was at 2nd base and tried to steal it. He was caught in between bases. I believe that Rene Tosoni was planning on stealing home, but Valencia was giving no indication whatsoever that he was going for 3rd. Woodard's bat has been hot, his judgement and his on field skills continue to need substantial improvement.

Alex Burnett worked six inning for the Miracle allowing five hits and 1 walks while striking out 3. He got into a bit of a jam in the top of the 4th allowing singles to James Adduci and Blake Lali and walking Russ Canzier, but he'd then get Mark Reed to strike out and Josh Lansford to fly out to end the inning.

Jose Lugo worked one inning of relief but got into trouble in the top of the 8th, walking Jonathan Wyatt and allowing singles to Jonathan Mota and Adduci. With Wyatt across the plate and no outs on the board, the Miracle would turn to Anthony Slama to come in and preserve the lead.

He'd allow a lead off single to Mark Reed in the top of the 9th. Darwin Barney singled one out later and then Jonathan Wyatt doubled to bring Reed in. Barney would be thrown out at home, and Mota would ground out to end the inning.

Dinkelman finished off 2-for-3 in the contest with a double and 1 run, Ovalle was 2-for-4 with 1 run and 3 RBIs off the homer.

The two teams rematch tomorrow for a 1:05 pm contest. Tyler Robertson (0-2, 2.84) will face off against Alex Maestri (2-1, 1.44).

News Press

Beloit 8 at Great Lakes 2

W: D. Berlind (2-2, 4.71); L: B. Morris (0-3, 4.83)
HR: BEL: C. Parmelee (6). GLL: A. Lambo (4).

Chris Parmelee's sixth home run of the season drove in 2 in the fourth inning to put Beloit on the board. Garrett Olson had singled his way onto the bags before Parms launched a ball over the left field wall. Steve Singleton's line drive combined with a Ben Petsch fly ball single and a Ramon Santana ground out brought in what would prove to be game winning run before the Snappers were retired.

Danny Berlind tossed a nice quality start, allowing only 2 runs on four hits and 1 walk while striking out five over 6 innings.

Ben Revere was 3-for-5 in the contest with a double and a RBI, Olson and Singleton were both 2-for-4, Olson with a walk and 2 runs, Singleton with 1 run. Parmelee and Joe Benson were both 2-for-5, Benson with a double, 2 runs and 2 RBIs and Parms with 2 run and 3 RBIs. The problem with the pair was when they weren't hitting, they were striking out - Benson with 3 Ks in the game and Parmelee with 2.

The Snappers will scurry over to Lansing to start a 3-game series against the Lugnuts, with the first game starting at 1:05 on Sunday.


New Hampshire 4 at New Britain 6

W: J. Rainville (2-3, 9.00); L: B. Magee (0-4, 6.47); SV: A. Gabino (2)
HR: NHM: R. Klosterman (3), T. Snider (2).

Luke Hughes continued his hot streak at the plate, hitting 4-for-5 with a double and 2 runs as the Rock Cats topped the Fisher Cats in New Britain.

Catcher Drew Butera was 2-for-4 with 1 run, while former Miracle Dustin Martin was 2-for-5 with a triple, 2 runs and 3 RBIs.

Jay Rainville picked up the win (finally!) allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 over 5 innings. Armando Gabino recorded his 2nd save of the season.

Rock Cats
Press - Graves

Rochester 0 at Toledo 4

W: C. Lambert (4-1, 2.48); L: K. Mulvey (2-3, 3.82)
HR: TOL: J. Larish (8), M. Hollimon (3), D. Sardinha (3).

Toledo's Chris Lambert held the Rochester Red Wings to 4 hits and 1 walks over the 5.2 inningS he worked, and allowed his bull pen to do the rest, as Toledo blanked the Red Wings 4-0.

Kevin Mulvey was not up to a pitcher's duel, allowing 4 runs (earned) on 8 hits and 1 walks while striking out five over 5 innings. Denard Span, Darnell McDonald, Garrett Jones and Alexi Casilla were the 4 lucky wings to come up with hits.

Meanwhile, four Mud Hens had multi-point games.

Catcher Ryan Jorgensen made his Red Wings debut, pinch-hitting for Jose Morales and then coming into the game behind the plate...Francisco Liriano will follow Kevin Slowey on the mound Monday night. It's expected to be the final rehab start for Slowey.....The Wings were shut out for the fifth time...Rochester is now 14-16, their first losing record 30 games into the season since 2002 (14-16).....With Friday's win Rochester has a three-game winning streak vs. lefthanded starters, and an 8-5 record vs. left-handed starters this season. The Red Wings have a 94-109 record vs. left-handed starters since 2003 when they changed affiliations to the Minnesota Twins. Rochester has had only two winning records vs. left-handed starters since 1997 (23-17 in 2005 and 23-9 in 1997).

Mud Hens

Detroit 1 at Minnesota 4

WP: B. Bass (1-0) LP: J. Verlander (1-5) S: J. Nathan (10)
H: DET: C. Granderson (4) MINN: C. Monroe (2)

It was a different story as the parent Minnesota Twins downed the Detroit Tigers, 4-1. Mike Lamb had two runs in the game, including the game winner in the sixth when he was driven in by Mike Cuddyer. Craig Monroe's home run in the seventh gave the Twins a couple of extra runs for insurance.

Scott Baker left the game after only 3 inning with slight discomfort in his groin. Brian Bass worked the next four, allowing only 3 hits. Pat Neshek, Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan handled the mop up duties.

Lamb was 2-for-4 at the plate with 2 runs, former Miracle Joe Mauer was 3-for-4, and Monroe was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. Cuddyer, who was 1-for-4 also had 2 RBIs.