Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cats double up Dogs in early game

Fort Myers Miracle

Portland 4 at New Britain 8

W: R. Mullins (4-2, 3.04); L: C. Vasquez (0-1, 27.00)
HR: POR: Z. Daeges (1). NBR: D. Winfree (10).

Ryan Mullins picked up his 4th win of the 2008 season in part one of a split-game double header on Saturday afternoon at New Britain Stadium. Mullins allowed 4 runs - only one earned - on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 over six innings.

Brock Peterson's fielding error in the first allowed Jeff Corsaletti to reach from the lead off position in the first inning. A Iggy Suarez ground ball moved Corsaletti to 2nd. Zach Daeges then doubled in Corsaletti with Suarez ending up on 3rd. Mark Wagner would get taken out on strikes and Aaron Bates would pop out before a John Ottness ground ball to left allowd the pair of runners to come in, giving Portland an early three run lead.

David Winfree would homer in the bottom of the 2nd - this 10th of the season - to take back one run. After Matt Moses was taken out on strikes, Trevor Plouffe tripled, then came home on a Dustin Martin ground ball to cut the Dogs' lead to only one.

In the bottom of the 4th, Plouffe would take a walk, and Martin would be hit by a pitch to put two runners on base. Then pair then worked a double steal. Jeff Christy's sac-fly brought in Plouffe. Martin would then steal 3rd, just in time for Steve Tolleson's line drive to bring him in to put the Cats up by one.

Daeges homered in the top of the 6th to make tie the game up again, but New Britain would take advantage of Carlos Vasquez in the bottom of the stanza.

With one out on the board, Plouffe and Martin hit back-to-back singles. Christy would reach on a fieldign error by Andrew Pinckney which also allowed Plouffe to score. Tolleson's grounder to center field allowed Martin and Christy to score. Tolleson would advance to 2nd on the throw, which worked out well as Erik Lis doubled to bring him in. Giving the Rock Cats a four run lead.

Zack Ward finished up the game, allowing on 1 hit in the final inning. Luke Hughes saw his 17-game hitting streak snapped, as he went 0-for-4 at the plate, with one strike out.

Tolleson was 4-for-4 with 1 run and 3 RBIs in the lead off slot. Plouffe and Martin were both 2-for-2, Plouffe with a walk and 3 runs and Martin with 2 runs and 1 RBI for the Rock Cats.

The two teams play an evening game, starting at 6:35 PM Eastern Time.

Rock Cats
Sea Dogs

Fort Myers Miracle

Portland 6 at New Britain 2

W: T. Hottovy (1-0, 3.60); L: J. Miller (1-1, 3.94)
HR: POR: A. Bates (2). NBR: B. Peterson (4).

The Portland Sea Dogs rocked the New Britain Rock Cats 6-2, in Saturday's night cap. Portland would get to New Britain starter Jason Miller in the top of the second when Zach Daeges walked. He would be caught stealing however, so when Andrew Pinckney doubled, there was no one on base for him to drive in. No problems there, Ryan Khoury singled Pinckney in for the first run of the contest.

In the top of the 4th with two outs on the board, John Otness would be hit by a pitch. He then advanced to second on a called balk. Pindkney would take a walk, and Khoury would double hin the pair. That finished it for J-Mill, who turned the mound over to Jay Sawatski. Mickey Hall's grounder to right brought in Khoury giving the Dogs 3 more.

An Erik Lis single followed by a Brock Peterson home run provided the offense for the Cats in the bottom of the stanza.

The Boston farm club however wasted no time taking it back as Jeff Corsaletti singled out to center, then stole 2nd base. Aaron Bates would then put one over the fence to give the Dogs their bone.

Lis and Peterson both finish up 2-for-3 with a run, Peterson with 2 RBIs. Dustin Martin was 2-for-3 as well, but did not factor into the scoring.

Rock Cats
Sea Dogs
NB Herald
Around the EL
Portland Herald-Press

A win, a loss, a rain out

Rochester Red Wings

Columbus 5 at Rochester 4

W: C. Schroder (3-1, 1.72); L: R. Barrett (2-3, 2.96); SV: C. Manning (6)
HR: COL: A. Escobar (2). ROC: B. Buscher (6).

The Rochester Red Wings have been less than the stellar this season. I tend to feel more sympathy for the Red Wings however, because I never have read Jim Madnelaro's blog to hear about how they can't wait for reinforcements from down below. At least they need hitting, and the Rock Cats will certainly be able to provide that once Jim Rantz decides to make some organizational changes.

Phil Humber took the start for the Wings, allowing a solo-shot home run to Alex Escobar in the top of the 2nd inning. The Wings would answer, but it wouldn't be until the bottom of the 4th.

Howie Clark singled his way onto base, and Brian Buscher put one over the right-center field fence, his sixth of the season, to give the Wings 2 and a 1 run lead.

It was a short lived lead however, as Nationals farm hand Tommy Murphy took a walk. Pete Orr then doubled him in, while a throwing error by shortstop Sergio Santos, who skipped the ball into the stands, let Orr get all the way home.

With two outs on the board, Brian Buscher doubled out to Ryan Langerhans to get on base. A Rany Ruiz single served to score him, and again, the game was tied up.

Humber would exit the game in the sixth with 2 outs on the board, having reached his pitch count. Ricky Barrett would come in to get Orr to fly out to retire the side.

He was not so effective in the top of the 8th, allowing a walk to Langerhans who then stole 2nd. Escobar's fly out put Langerhans at 3rd. Larry Broadway would reach on a fielder's choice as Barrett thew to the plate to take out Langerhans at home. The bullet was dodged, but just for a moment.

Casey Daigle replace Barrett at that point and unleashed a wild one that send Broadway to 2nd. Yurendell de Caster then took a walk. With former Miracle Garrett Guzman at the plate, another wild pitch moved the pair of runners. Guzman would single to score the pair, to give the Nationals the lead again.

The Wings took one back in the bottom of the inning, when Denard Span singled out to right then stole 2nd. Following a ground out to Pridie that put the speedy Span on 3rd, Charlie Manning would replace Chris Schroder on the mound for the Nationals. Howie Clark would ground out, but it allowed Span to score. That would be, however, all the Wings would get in the contest.

Clark, Buscher and Morales were all 2-for-4 at the plate, Buscher with 2 runs and 2 RBIs, Clark with one run and 1 RBI. Ruiz was 3-for-4 with 1 RBI.

The Red Wings are now 4-12 in the month of May. Rochester is on pace to finish the month of May with an 8-22 record, which would be the worst record in a month since 1980 when month to month records begin. Rochester hasn’t had a 20-loss month since August of 2002 (11-20 record).

Clark was called up to the Twins after the game ended because Miracle alumni Matt Tolbert was placed on the DL due to an injury to his left thumb.

Denard Span landed at No. 11 on the Baseball America Propect Hot Sheet posted on Friday. Former Sarasota Reds slugger Jay Bruce, now with Triple-A Louisville, was in the top spot.

Red Wings/OSC

Portland at New Britain

Postponed - Rain

Friday's game against the Portland Sea Dogs was postponed due to inclement weather. A make-up date for the canceled game will be announced at a later time.

The Rock Cats and Sea Dogs will try to square off Saturday, May 17, in a previously scheduled day-night doubleheader. The first game will begin at 1:05 P.M. The two teams will battle again in a 6:35 P.M. contest. There is a separate admission for the two games.

Lots of Rain through-out the Eastern League Friday with three other games - Erie at Binghamton, Akron at Reading, and Altoona at Harrisburg - also having to be re-scheduled.

Beloit Snappers

Peoria 3 at Beloit 6

W: C. Nolte (1-1, 2.76); L: A. Santana (0-3, 5.71); SV: B. Tippett (1)
HR: PEO: D. Johnston (5). BEL: J. Fernandez (1).

Brian Kirwan would give up 2 runs, earned, on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out two, but would pick up a no decision in Friday's game as he got zero support from the team.

It wasn't until the bottom of the 7th that the Snappers decided to break out their bats.

Jair Fernandez hit his first home run of the season over the center field wall. Steve Singleton would get plunked by a pitch and Joe Benson then tripled him in. Ozzie Lewis would strike out swining, the first out of the inning before Ramon Stantana singled to bring in Benson. Ben Revere singled out to left to move Sanatana over to third, but Peoria decided the Snappers were having too much fun, bringing Craig Muschio in to rplace Audy Santana on the mound. Beloit's Sanatana would score on Chris Cates' ground out, and Garrett Olson doubled to drive in Revere to give the home team five runs.

They'd pick up an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th when Ozzie Lewis scored Singleton, but wouldn't really need it.

A walk to Jovan Rosa would hurt Kirwan in the top of the 2nd when Luis Bautista singled out to center to move the runner to second. Dylan Johnson then brought him home with a line drive out to right.

Peoria's second run would come in the 5th with Johnston singling his way onto base, and moving to second on Elvis Lara's ground ball to left. Jeff Rea would move the pair with a sac-bunt, which set Nate Samson in line to sacrifice in Johnston. Brandon Guyer would ground out to end the inning.

The Chief's would attempt a brief rally with closer Brad Tippett on the mound for the Snappers, but a Johnston home run, his 5th of the season, was ill placed at the start of the inning and Tippy sent the other three batters down in order to preserve lead.

Charles Nolte would get his firs win of the season, allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk while stiking out 1 over 1 inning. The game would also be Tippett's first save of the 2008 season.

Revere was 2-for-5 with a run, while Benson was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Game 2 of the 3 game series begins at 6:30 PM central time, and the series concluding on Sunday.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Miracle fall in extra innings

Tampa Yankees

Tampa 3 at Fort Myers 2

W: J. Selenes (1-1, 2.84); L: D. Hernandez (0-1, 10.80); SV: P. Bartleski (1)
HR: TAM: S. Fortenberry (2).

For the second straight day, the game between the Fort Myers Miracle and the Tampa Yankees would go into extra innings. But this time, the rally monkeys failed and the Miracle could not pull it out.

The announcement that Tampa ace Eric Hacker would be pitching immediately put this contest into the light of a pitcher's duel, and there was some concern as to whether the Miracle's Cole DeVries could handle it. Never fear! Devries was in the zone again and in the end, out-pitched the highly touted Hacker, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walks while striking out 6 over seven innings.

Hacker, making his first start after a week on the DL, allowed one run on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1 over 6. Both pitchers were throwing in the high 80s and low 90's with Hacker hitting 91.

Both gave up runs in the fourth inning. Devries would be victimized first, allowing a walk to Damon Sublett. James Cooper then hit a ground rule double that put a pair of runners in scoring position. Mitch Hillgoss would sacrifice in Sublett put the Yankees on the board. Devries then got Andrew Perez to ground out and Seth Fortenberry to strike out to retire the side without further damage.

Oh - yes - and I want to add that Mr. Devries made a beauty catch, leaping to grab a Hillgoss' ball in the first inning to get an out.

Hacker would be victimized more by his fielding staff than by Fort Myers bats. Rene Tosoni would reach on a fielding error by Sublett. Juan Portes then doubled in Tosoni to give the Miracle a run in the bottom of the fourth, and it was a whole new ballgame again.

It would stay scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. Devries had turned the mound over to Matt Fox who got through the 8th inning fine. He is throwing in the low 80 and touches on 90 from time to time, but he no longer posses the fireball that made him a first round pick some years ago. In the ninth, Fortenberry would greet him with a home run over the right field wall to put the Yankees back on top. Fox would walk Kyle Anson, but got Josue Calzado out on strikes. Catcher Rocky Palacious then caught pinch runner Tim Battle trying to steal 2nd. Kevin Smith would ground out to end the inning.

The Miracle rallied back. With Josue Selenes on the mound, Johnny Woodard drew a walk. A wild pitch by Selenes moved Woodard to 2nd. Danny Berg's ground out moved Woodard to 3rd before Whit Robbins doubled the Miracle's designated hitter in to tie up the score.

Danny Hernandez would pitch the 10th. Hernandez is just 10-months off surgery and evidently I'm not the only one who feels that Mr. Hernandez is out of his league with the Miracle as Jeff Manship echoed my sentiments without any prompting from me.

He got through the 10th, allowing walks to Sublett and Cooper, but getting Hillgoss to hit into a double to play to strand the runners. The 11th would prove different, as Fortenberry tripled off of him. Jeff Smith would bring in Frank Mata to close the game, but a pitched bounced off the side of Palacios' glove and went wild, allowing Fortenberry to score.

Berg would walk in the bottom of the 11th with one out, and after a strike out to Robbins, Wilson Ramos - pinch hitting for Palacios - followed him onto the bags. Unfortunately Danny Santiesteban would strike out swinging to end the game, give the Yankees the win.

The Miracle were without Danny Valencia, who reportedly injured his hand in Thursday night's contest. He was not placed on the DL, but is being rested and is day-to-day.

Brian Dinkelman went 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk, while Santiesteban was 2-for-5 but with a pair of strike outs.

"You realize, Mr. Manship, that Mr. Robertson and Mr. Devries have raised the bar quite high for you. I do expect you to live up to it."

Manship, 4-1 with a 4.19 ERA, allowed that he was not pleased with his last outing and will be looking to make a statement Saturday night on the mound. He will be facing Tampa righty Christian Garcia (0-0. 0.00). Garcia is pitching for the first time this season, coming off the Disabled List. In Charleston of the Sally League, he went 2-3, with a 3.46 ERA in seven games last season. The Miami, Florida, native entered the 2007 season ranked as the Yankees' sixth-best prospect by Baseball America. First pitch is due for 7:05 PM.

Note that if you want Eric Hacker's autograph, you will need to get it Saturday night, as rumor has it that he will be promoted to Trenton within the next week.

News Press
Pending Pinstripes

The word at today's extended spring training game was that Danny Valencia had a broken finger. I noted that he was at Friday's game, in uniform and he didn't have anything on his hand. He could sign autographs and as far as I know, he golfed last night. Manny (Jeff Manship) said Friday at the game that all Danny said was that he'd hurt his hand, not how it was hurt.

Rene Tosoni broke his foot during his at bat in the 6th inning yesterday and is likely done for the season. Yangervis Solarte (Solie) was called up from Extended Spring Training. He'll be swapped back out for Eli Tintor when ol' Niphead gets done with his suspension (10 games).

Fort Myers Miracle

The Miracle's current homestand at Hammond Stadium concludes Saturday with Scout Night and the "Great All-Nighter."

Fort Myers blows lead, wins late

Fort Myers Miracle

Tampa 5 at Fort Myers 6 (10 innings)

W: F. Mata (1-0, 0.00); L: J. Valdez (5-2, 2.14)
HR: TAM: T. Battle (5).

Southpaw Tyler Robertson made a quality start, working through seven - yes count 'em! seven! - innings and allowing three runs on six hits while striking out 9 and looking like the top prospect that he is. It was by far Robertson's best start of the season, and with the Miracle leading into the top of the 9th and ace closer Rob Delaney on the mound, the game looked to be a win for the Sacrament, California native.

Whit Robbins threw off the 1st base bag past Danny Berg to allowed Andres Perez to get on board with a bunt single. Seth Fortenberry then hit a line drive out to center. Delaney got the next two batters out, but a wild pitch by Delaney moved the runners. Luis Nunez hit a fly ball to right that dropped, bringing in the pair to tie up the game and put the Yankees on top.

Juan Portes, Yancarlos Ortiz and Brian Dinkelman all found singles in the 9th, but even as Rene Tosoni ground into a double play, Portes scored to tie up the game and send the contest into extra innings.

Frant Mata would work the top of the 10th, going 3-up, 3-down. Danny Berg singled his way onto base and was plated by Johnny Woodard with a follow-up triple, good for a Chicken Ranch with Cheese and Bacon AND a Ham sandwich.

The teams would remain scoreless until the bottom of the 3rd inning when Brian Dinkelman walked with 2-outs on the board. He then stole second, scoring on a Rene Tosoni grounder to left. Tosoni would move to 2nd base as Tim Battle threw the ball to plate trying to save the run, and would come home on his own run when Valencia singled out to right.

Danny Valencia was taken out of the line up at the top of the fifth - I assume so they could get Danny Berg some playing time and perhaps rest Valencia. There was no evidence of any injury.

Kyle Anson doubled to lead off in the left. A Luis Nunez line drive to right scored Anson. Tim Battle then went yard over the left center wall to bring in Nunez. Despite that, Robertson struck out Chris Kunda and got the next two players to ground out, showing a good deal of poise on the mound.

He would also take the next three batters he faced in the sixth out as well, right through the heart of the order.

Berg would single and Woodard would double. with two men on, Edward Ovalle would fly out and Wilson Ramos would strike out. A pitcher change brought Winklins Arias to the mound for the Yankees, and Whit Robbins single to center brought in the pair and restore the Miracle lead. Robbins would move to 2nd on a wild pitch before Portes would be taken out on strikes to end the inning.

Jose Lugo would work one inning of relief, strike out all three batters he faced, before Delaney came in, which lead us to the wild ending to what was, in the end a very long game.

Berg would finish up 2-for-3 with 2 runs, while Woodard was 2-for-4 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Robbins was also 2-for-4, scoring 2 runs as well.

By contrast, the Ovalle/Ramos pairing, which was so lethal just a few games ago, went 0-for-4 with a pair of strike outs each at the plate.

The two teams rematch for a morning game with Cole Devries (2-4, 5.13) throwing out the first pitch at 10:35 AM. Hoards of Southwest Florida school children will get to see Tampa ace Eric Hacker (2-1, .086) on the mound for the Yankees.

News Press
NP - Dog Daze
Breeze Photo Gallery
Pending Pinstripes

Clinton 4 at Beloit 2

W: D. Holland (3-0, 2.61); L: D. Berlind (3-3, 3.62); SV: D. Sattler (3)
HR: None.

Ben Revere doubled to lead off the bottom of the first inning, moved to 3rd on a Ramon Santana sac-bunt, then came home when Garrett Olson reached on a fielding error by Clinton's Renny Osuna.

In the 2nd, Joe Benson doubled, then came home on a Ben Petsch single.

Beloit seemed to be off to a really good start. Unfortunately a 3-run 5th by Danny Berlind gave Clinton the lead and they'd never relinquish it.

Berlind lasted only 4.1 innings, with 2 of the 3 runs being earned on 5 hits and 1 walks. He was unable to record a strike out.

Petsch was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI; Revere was 2-for-5 with 1 run.

The Snappers drop to 19-20 on the year. Next up, they face the Peoria Chiefs for a 3-game series starting at 6:30 PM central time at Pohlman Field.


New Britain 6 at Binghamton 7 (Extra Innings)

W: E. Camacho (2-2, 2.05); L: B. Julianel (0-2, 3.05)
HR: NBR: L. Hughes (10). BIN: S. Paniagua (1).

Read my game recap and commentary on Rookie Whites

Luke Hughes returned to the New Britain line up and extended his Eastern League-best hitting streak to 17 games with a lead-off home run in the first.

Rock Cats
Press Connect

Columbus 3 at Rochester 1

W: S. Shell (2-1, 2.75); L: F. Liriano (0-2, 4.28); SV: C. Booker (4)
HR: None.

Francisco Liriano gave up 3 runs, earned, on 7 hits and one walk while striking out 4 over 8 innings for a quality start. Sadly, he also suffered the loss as the Red Wings could not solve Nationals farm hand Steven Shell.

After Denard Span was caught stealing, Jason Pridie took a walk in th first inning, then stole 2nd. A Brian Buscher single brought him home.

Span would finish up 2-for-3 on the night, boosting his average to .369; Pridie was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks. Buscher, Rany Ruiz, and former Miracle catcher Jose Morales had the other hits for Rochester who only had a total of six on the evening.

Darnell McDonald was placed on the DL Thursday with a strained hamstring. The Wings activated INF Matt Macri before the game.

Red Wings/OSC

Fort Myers Miracle

Putter about with the Miracle tonight at Castle Golf!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cats fall in extra innings

Fort Myers Miracle

New Britain 6 at Binghamton 7

W: E. Camacho (2-2, 2.05); L: B. Julianel (0-2, 3.05)
HR: NBR: L. Hughes (10). BIN: S. Paniagua (1).

It appears the the Twins were unhappy with Yohan Pino's last performance and according to New Britain Herald writer Ken Lipshez in his blog Lip Service, he was skipped Thursday in favor of Errol Simonitsch, fresh off the disabled list after a very brief (one game) stint in Fort Myers.

The strategy didn't work to well for the road kill Rock Cats who, despite the change in pitchers and despite return of Luke Hughes to the line up, still lost to Binghamton, 6-7.

Simonitsch would surrender 5 runs, 4 earned on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2 over 5 innings.

Hughes opened up the game with a home run in the first inning. Steve Tolleson followed that up with a single then stole 2 and 3rd with David Winfree at the plate. Winfree would ground out, but Tolleson came home on the play. Following a fly out to Brock Peterson, Trevor Plouffe drew a walk then stole second. Erik Lis would hit a double to plate Plouffe. Toby Gardenhire followed that up with a single, but the runners would be stranded when Felix Molina ground out.

Still a 3-run first seemed like a pretty good way to start the game. A fielding error by Gardenhire at 3rd let Jose Coronado reach for the Mets. Simo would walk Jonathan Malo and a bunt single by Dan Murphy would load the bases. Nick Evans would fly out, while Coronado would score on a Caleb Stewart ground out. Ambiorix Conception ground out to end the inning, with the Cats still maintaining their lead.

Drew Butera doubled to open up the top of the 2nd and Hughes would reach on a fielding error by Murphy. Tolleson ground into a force out that scored Butera, but that was all the New Britain squad would find in that inning, with a pair of fly outs to Winfree and Peterson retiring the side.

Salomon Manriquez doubled off Simonitsch, who then walked Emmanual Garcia. Salvador Paniagua went yard over the left field fence to tie up the game. Two outs later, Murphy singled then stole 2nd. Evans would triple him in to give the B-Mets the lead.

The Cats took it back in the 3rd though with Plouffe singling and Lis doubling. Gardenhire's bunt single scored Plouffe and Molina sacrificed in Lis.

Simo would get through the next three innings well enough despite allowing a triple to Malo in the bottom of the 4th. Kyle Aselton would come on in the bottom of the sixth and allow a triple to Garcia. Still, following a strike out to Paniagua, Gardenhire would make the play at home to Butera to take the runner out, allowing Corando to reach on a fielder's choice, preserving the Rock Cats' lead.

It was short lived. A single to Evans and a double to Stewart in the bottom of the seventh lead to the tying run when Concepcion hit a grounder to short. Armando Gabino would be brought in to replace Aselton to get the final two outs in the inning.

Despite a push in the ninth to get the winning run over the plate, the Cats came up empty and the game headed to extra innings.

In the bottom of the 11th, Murphy would double. Evans follow-up single would plate him for the game winning run.

The Cats lick their wounds and return back to New Britain Stadium, where they will take on the Portland Sea Dogs in a four game series, including a split-game double header on Saturday.


Miracle hold off Sarasota, ready for Yankees

Fort Myers Miracle

Sarasota 3 at Fort Myers 5

W: A. Burnett (3-1, 2.97); L: L. Ondrusek (0-1, 4.01); SV: R. Delaney (9)
HR: SAR: D. Stubbs (2). FTM: D. Valencia (5).

Despite giving up 10 hits to a good Sarasota team, the Fort Myers Miracle managed to keep the Reds off the run board for the most part, picking up a 2 run lead in the first, and hanging on to it to win, 5-3.

Rene Tosoni would draw a walk in the first with one out on the board. Danny Valencia then put his 5th home run of the season over the left field fence to further his case for a trip to Brevard County in June for the Florida State League All-star game.

Alex Burnett worked two quick innings for the Miracle, but found a bit of a problem in the third. With one out, Eddy Rodriguez would single a fly ball to Portes. Michael DeJesus did the same thing, but this time Portes was not really paying attention and missed it, allowing a double to DeJesus and a run to Rodriguez. Jose Castro hit a single, then stole 2nd base, but Burnett would get the next two batters to fly out to end the inning.

The Miracle took the run back though in the bottom of the inning, when Tosoni tripled, then scored on Valencia's ground out.

Consistently throwing between 88 and 92, Burnett allowed some hits, but it was hard to string them together for the runs. Justin Tondi singled in the top of the fifth, but a 72-MPH change up got Michael DeJesus to ground into a force out. Jose Castro would double out to center to bring in DeJesus, but Burnett got Todd Frazier to ground out to end the inning.

Brian Dinkelman singled in the bottom of the 5th and Tosoni drew another walk, but the potential was wasted when Valencia ground out and Johnny Woodard and Edward Ovalle were both taken out on strikes by Sarasota starter Daniel Guerrero.

Drew Stubbs would go yard over the left field fence to give the Reds their third run of the game.

Logan Ondrusek replaced Guerrero on the mound for the Reds in the sixth, allowing a single to Portes and a double to Robbins that brought in the speedy Bostonian. Allan de San Miguel and Yancarlos Ortiz would both be taken out on strikes before Brian Dinkelman took a walk. Tosoni smacked a single out to left that brought in Robbins, but Dinkelman decided to try to two bases on the play and got caught in between 2nd and 3rd, getting tagged out before he could get back to second. It's the probably the first time I've seen a judgment error on the basepaths from Dinkelman. However, the Miracle had their two run lead again.

Jose Lugo would replace Burnett for the seventh, and into the 8th, but with a runner on base in the 8th, field manager Jeff Smith turned to ace closer Rob Delaney to put the game to bed. Delaney got Heisey to pop out to end the inning, then got the bottom of the Reds order out on strikes in the ninth to close out the proceedings.

Tosoni played a good game, going 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of walks, two runs and 1 RBI. Robbins was 2-for-4 with a run and one RBI. Ovalle would also go 2-for-4 but did not get in on the scoring, hitting a single in the first that struck Guerrero, causing a momentary break in play while the visitor's hurler was checked. He also singled in the bottom of the third, but the effort was wasted when Portes ground into a force out.

Woodard and de San Miguel were both 1-for-4 with a pair of strike outs. Ortiz also had a pair of strike outs in the contest.

A bunch of dogs move into the park tomorrow, and I'm not talking about your four footed friend. The Yankees show up for the first of a three game series against the Miracle with a 7:05 start time.

Southpaw Tyler Robertson (1-2, 3.47) will begin the game on the mound for the Miracle, while Ivan Nova (2-5, 4.31) will throw for Tampa.

The Yankees are without pitcher Mark Melancon (1-0, 2.84), who was promoted to Double-A Trenton. In turn, they received Kevin Whelan down from the Thunder. There is no updated on Yankees ace Eric Hacker, who was placed on the DL a week ago with a blister.

News Press
NP - Denton

* Breeze photographer Vandy Major was at the game last night, so be sure to check out the print edition of the Breeze for some of her wonderful pictures!

Clinton 3 at Beloit 11

W: M. Tarsi (1-6, 6.85); L: J. Quintero (2-1, 7.23)
HR: BEL: C. Parmelee (7).

Chris Parmelee may have belted his 7th home run of the season, but it was Jair Fernandez and Steve Singleton who were the big story in this game. The pair were 4-for-5 in the middle of the line up, Fernandez with 3 runs and 2 RBIs, while Singleton had only 1 run and 2 RBIs.

Ben Revere continued to be impressive - going 3-for-5 with 1 run and 1 RBI, while Parmelee finished up 2-for-4 with a walk, 3 runs and 2 RBIs.

Clinton's Jorge Quintero was victimized for 11 Snappers runs on 13 hits and 2 walks in 3.1 innings. His only strike out was to Mark Dolenc in the second. Mike Tarsi went six innings for Beloit, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7, for his first win of the season.


New Britain 2 to Binghamton 5

W: S. Aguilar (3-0, 3.58); L: O. Sosa (1-3, 7.20); SV: E. Kunz (8)
HR: NBR: D. Winfree (9). BIN: D. Murphy (5).

Former Miracle Erik Lis was 2-for-4 with a run and David Winfree cracked his 9th ball out of the park, but the Rock Cats could not over come the B-Mets.

Lis opened up the top of the second by doubling his way onto base. Winfree followed that up by putting one over the left field fence. That would be all the Cats would see off B-Mets starter Salvador Aguilar.

Oswaldo Sosa gave up 5 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks while striking out 3 for his third loss of the season.

The Cats should be happy to see the Sea Dogs at home on Friday as they have struggled on the road this season. They have one more game against the B-Mets however, Thursday at 10:35 AM, before returning to the New Britain Stadium for a weekend series.

Rock Cats
Press Connect

Rochester played an early game on Wednesday, defeating the Columbus Clippers 10-7. Click HERE to read the game recap.

Fort Myers Miracle

Tonight! Bark at the Park with the Miracle!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wings offense tops Clippers

Minnesota Twins,Spring Training
Denard Span during a Twins Spring Training Game

Columbus 7 at Rochester 10

W: C. Cali (3-0, 4.00); L: T. Clippard (2-4, 4.79); SV: T. Lahey (5)
HR: COL: D. Wallace (1). ROC: D. Span (3).

Suddenly, the Rochester Red Wings have a bite! Naples native Carmen Cali picked up his 3rd win of the season as the Rochester bats came alive, pounding out 13 hits for 10 runs to top the Columbus Clippers 10-7.

Denard Span opened up with line drive single to right field, then stole 2nd base. Jason Pridie hit a sac-bunt that moved Span to 3rd, and Howie Clark would double him him.

The Twins kept things going when Garrett Jones doubled. A throwing error by Clippers pitcher Tyler Clippard put Jones and 3rd and Chris Basak, who'd been going for a sac-bunt, on first. After Tommy Watkins was called out on strikes, Ryan Jorgensen ground out to score Jones. Span then hit his 3rd home run of the season to add two more runs to the total, making it 4-0, Wings.

The Wing continued their offense ways in the bottom of the 3rd with Howie Clark doubling. Following a pop out to Brian Buscher, Randy Ruiz would single to drive in Clark, giving Rochester a five run lead.

They'd need that lead. Former Miracle Brian Duensing took the start and would work four innings limiting the Clippers to 4 hits and a walk, but striking out only 1. In the top of the fifth though, he ran out of steam, allowing a single to Ed Rogers and then David Wallace went yard to give the National farm team 2 runs. A missed catch by Randy Ruiz allowed Tommy Murphy to reach, followed by a bunt single by Ray Olmedo that moved Murphy to 3rd. Stu Cliburn would take a walk out to the mound to try to get Duensing calmed down, but the southpaw then walked Yurendell de Caster to load the bags. A line drive by Alex Escobar brought in Murphy. Duensing would get Pet Orr to ground into a double play, but Olmedo scored in the deal. Then Jason Dubois hit a double out to center to bring in de Caster, tying up the game.

It was at that point that Stan Cliburn came out and lifted Duensing, bringing in Cali to get the final out.

The wings made up for it though in the 5th, with Clark singling and Buscher walking. Both would be brought home when Jones followed up a Ruiz strike out by doubling in the pair.

With one out on the board in the top of the 6th, Wallace would double then come home on a Murphy line drive.

Rochester would take the run back though when Span doubled, then came home on a Pridie follow-up single.

Julio De Paula would take over for the 7th inning, going 3 up and three down, and the Wings went the same way with Jim Ed Warden on the mound for Columbus.

Larry Broadway would double off De Paula in the top of the 8th. Rogers ground out moved him to 3rd and a wild pitch saw him across the plate. Wallace then walked, which prompted Cliburn to bring in Tim Lahey to replace DePaula. Former Miracle Garrett Guzman would come in as a pinch runner for Wallace and would steal 2nd, but Olmedo's ground out retired the side.

Watkins hit line drive to right to get on the bags and moved to second on a Ryan Jorgensen sac bunt. Span would then be intentionally walked before Mike Bacsik would be brought in from the bullpen to replace Warden. Pridie's line drive brought in Watkins, while Span would come home on a Clark sac-fly. Despite a double by Buscher and an intentionally walk to Ruiz, the Wings would sit down after Jones ground out, stranding the runners.

Lahey struck out 2 and got Escobar to ground out to finish off the top of the 9th, giving the victory to the Wings.

Span and Clark were both 3-for-4, Span with 4 runs and 2 RBIs and Clark with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Jones would go 2-for-4 with 1 run and 2 RBIs.

Span became the first Red Wings player to hit a home run in three consecutive games since Justin Morneau June 14-16, 2004. (Morneau also hit a home run in three straight 4/30-5/2, 2004 as did Chris Heintz 4/29-5/1, 2004.) If Span could hit a home run in four consecutive games he would become the first Red Wings player to do so since Sam Horn June 23-25, 1990. Horn hit six home runs during that four-game stretch.

The two teams rematch on Thursday and Friday with both games starting at 7:05 at Frontier Field.


Miracle get back in Win Column

Fort Myers Miracle

Fort Myers 10 at Sarasota 6

W: D. Guerra (4-1, 4.93); L: R. Gonzalez (2-2, 6.35)
HR: FTM: D. Valencia (4), E. Ovalle (3), R. Tosoni (1). SAR: J. Francisco 2 (7).

The Fort Myers Miracle out slugged the Sarasota Reds during a slug fest at Ed Smith Stadium Tuesday night. The teams had 22 combined hits.

With two outs on the board in the first inning, Danny Valencia drew a walk. Johnny Woodard then hit a line drive double to drive in Valencia, earning himself a ham sandwich in the process.

The Miracle would add three more runs in the third inning, when Brian Dinkelman and Rene Tosoni walked and Valencia tripled them in. After a Woodard strike out, Eddie Ovalle's sac fly brought in Valencia. Sadly Wilson Ramos beautiful double was wasted as Whit Robbins flew out to end the inning.

Ortiz would single in the top of the 4th and, with two outs on the board Rene Tosoni and Valencia would hit back-to-back homers, using the wind to take the ball over the center field wall. Valencia is making a strong case to find himself in the FSL All-Star game this June.

The Reds finally got to Deolis Guerra in the bottom of the 4th inning. Todd Frazier drew a walk and Juan Francisco hit his first home run of the game, his sixth of the season over the center field fence. Following a pop out to Heisey, Danny Dorn doubled out to Right, then came home on a Chris Denove single. Tosoni would try to relay the ball the first, but found the Red's dugout instead of Whit Robbins, allowing Denove to move to 2nd base. That would make the score 7-3 Miracle, but the Reds were not done.

Misael DeJesus replaced Rafael Gonzalez on the Reds mound for the top of the 5th. He would keep the Miracle largely quiet in that inning, allowing a walk to Robbins, hitting Danny Berg with a pitch, and then walking Yancarlos Ortiz to load the bags. Dinkelman would strike out though, leaving the ducks stranded.

Todd Frazier doubled in the bottom of the 5th and Francisco - who looks like he will be joining Mr. Valencia at the All-star game - hit his second home run of the game, his 7th of the season, over the right field fence. That made the score 7-5 and the Reds were again very much in the contest.

Tosoni would single in the top of the sixth, but would get caught stealing second. Woodard took a walk and Edward Ovalle homered over the left field wall, his 3rd yarder of the year, to make it 9-5 Miracle.

The top of the 7th would do it for the Miracle. With Ruben Medina on the mound, Robbins would get plunked by a pitch. Danny Berg ground into a force out that took down Whit, while Yancarlos Ortiz followed that up with a single, moving Berg to second. Dinkelman's line drive out to left scored Berg to make it 10-5.

Danny Vais replaced Guerra on the mound in the bottom of the sixth and allowed a pair of walks before retiring the side. He'd stay there for the seventh, getting Justin Turner to fly out and striking out Frazier and Drew Stubbs.

Slama came on it the 8th inning, allowing only a walk to Chris Denove to placate the Reds. A throwing error by Whit Robbins in the 9th allowed Michael DeJesus to reach, and progress to second. Slama would allow a single to Frazier that would plate DeJesus to give the Reds six, but he'd strike out Francisco and Stubbs to end the game.

Valencia, Tosoni, Ovalle and Ortiz were all 2-for-4 on the night; Valencia with 3 runs and 3 RBIs, Tonsoni with 2 runs and 2 runs scored, Ovalle with 1 run and 3 RBIs, and Ortiz with 1 run. Catcher Wilson Ramos was 2-for-5 at the plate.

The Miracle return home on the victory bus to Hammond Stadium to conclude the series. It's also Sanibel and Captiva Island Night at the ballpark with the Island Night parade starting at 6:00.

Normally we'd make the Reds walk over to Fort Myers, but because they won game one of the series, we'll let them ride on a bus too. But just for this one game.

Alex Burnett (2-1, 2.70) will be on the mound for a 7:05 first pitch, taking on Sarasota's Daniel Guerro (2-2, 5:68).

News Press

Special Note: Dan Covey, the Director of Group Sales for the Brevard County Manatee lost his home recently to a wild fire. 71 home in total were destroyed by the fire in the Palm Bay area. The Manatees are asking for donations of furniture and other household items, but as it is a bit far to get those items to Melbourne from Fort Myers, you might want to help out with a cash donation. Contact Kyle Smith at the Manatees by calling 321-633-9200 for additional information.

Anything not used by Covey and his family will be donated to the other 70 families who lost their homes in the fire.

Clinton 5 at Beloit 7

W: S. Steedley (2-1, 1.54); L: H. Nelo (0-1, 3.86)
HR: CLI: M. Moreland (2).

The Snappers claimed game two of their four-game series with the LumberKings by a final of 7-5 with the help of Clinton reliever Adalberto Flores and his back-to-back balks in the bottom of the eighth inning. Flores and his LumberKings pitching staff allowed six of their seven runs in the last two innings to fall to the Snappers.

Ben Revere and Garrett Olson were both 2-for-4, Revere with 3 RBIs, Olson with a run. Joe Benson was 1-for-3 with 2 runs and a walk; Chris Parmelee was 0-for-2 with 2 strike outs, but with a pair of walks as well.

David Bromberg allowed 3 runs - earned - on seven hits and 2 walks while striking out 9 over 6 innings. Brad Tippett gave up 2 more runs on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1 in 1.1 inning of relief.

Spencer Steedley picked up his 2nd win of the season, working 1.2 innings in relief, and striking out 2 to close the game.

Parmalee would draw a walk in the bottom of the 8th and be replaced by pinch runner Mark Dolenc. Danny Lehmann singled to bring in Garrett Olson who had doubled his way onto base, to tie up the game. A wild pitch by Flores put Dolenc on 3rd. After Steve Singleton lined into a double play, Joe Benson walked his way onto base. A balk by Flores allowed Dolenc to score to give Beloit the winning run. A wild pitch followed by another Flores balk saw Benson cross the plate for the insurance marker.

Game three of the series is Wednesday, starting at 6:30 PM Central Time.

From Monday:

New Britain 2 at Binghamton 4

W: R. Parnell (3-2, 5.27); L: J. Rainville (2-5, 9.00); SV: E. Kunz (7)
HR: BIN: C. Stewart (3).

Jay Rainville allowed 4 runs, 3 earned on 7 runs and 1 walks while striking out 2 over 6.1 innings to suffer his fifth loss of the season.

Back-to-back doubles in the 4th by Steve Tolleson and Dustin Martin put the Rock Cats on the board. In the fifth Felix Molina and Drew Butera hit back-to-back singles. Tolleson' ground out moved the pair and a wild pitch by the B-Met's Robert Parnell allowed Molina to score.

Six different New Britain batters had one hit each, with Brock Peterson, Erik Lis and Trevor Plouffe (who struck out twice) going without.

Rock Cats
Press Connect

Columbus 7 at Rochester 5

W: C. Balester (4-2, 3.79); L: K. Mulvey (2-5, 3.89); SV: C. Manning (5)
HR: ROC: B. Buscher (5), D. Span (2).

Home runs by Brian Buscher and Denard Span did not help much, nor did out-hitting the Columbus Clippers as the Rochester Red Wings still fell, 7-5 at home.

New Britain managed 14 hits to Columbus' eleven, but the game was pretty much won by Columbus in the first inning. A fielding error by Howie Clark, a balk by Kevin Mulvey and doubles by Ryan Langerhans and Javi Herrera helped the Clippers to a 5 run lead. the Wings got 2 back in the bottom of the inning, one of Spans single shot homer. Buscher's fifth of the year gave them another run in the third, and they drew to within one run in the bottom of the 4th, when Howie Clark singled and was driven in by Chris Basak's double.

Ricky Barrett allowed walk to Herrera in top of the 6th. A sac bunt and a single saw him across the plate for what would prove to be the game winning run.

Span was 2-for-3 with 2 runs and 1 RBI in the slugfest, Darnell McDonald was 2-for-4 with a run, Buscher was 4-for-5 with a run and 3 RBIs, Clark was 2-for-4 with 1 run and Chris Basak was 3-for-4 with 1 run scored.

The two teams rematch Wednesday at 11:05 for a businessman's special.

Red Wings

Infielder Sergio Santos has been claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins and sent to Rochester. Santos was batting .183 with four RBI in 26 games for Syracuse. Santos was Arizona's top pick in the 2002 draft, and was traded to Toronto in the Troy Glaus deal 12/27/2005. Santos was an Eastern League All-Star in 2007, hitting 20 homers in 113 games for the Jays' Double-A New Hampshire club. He will be in uniform for the Wednesday morning game.

The Red Wings and Syracuse Chiefs play in the Cooperstown Classic this Sunday May 18; a limited number of tickets remain for the game and the special VIP reception after the game, featuring Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk.

Homestand Happenings

Fort Myers Miracle

The brief home stand concludes on Saturday, May 17 with an event so great you will want to stay late! The “Great All-Nighter” takes place following the 7:05 p.m. contest.

Scouts, families and church groups are encouraged to bring their pop up tents and gear for an overnight camp out on the field. Movies will be shown on the big screen for campers and all pre-registered scout troops of 20 or more will receive a commemorative scout night pin.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tell me why I don't like Mondays

Sarasota Reds

Fort Myers 2 at Sarasota 7

Record 23 - 14

W: A. Smit (3-3, 4.58); L: J. Manship (4-1, 4.19)
HR: None.

In a recent article in the New Britain Herald, Rick Knapp, the Twins director of minor league pitching is quoted as saying “If (Jeff Manship) pitches a full season in Fort Myers, that will be fine with me."

Evidently, it will be fine with Mr. Manship as well, give his performance Monday night against the Sarasota Reds. The Miracle starter gave up six runs, earned, on 10 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8 over 4 innings. It would be Manship's first loss of the season, and also halt the Miracle win streak at five.

Meanwhile, former Miracle pitcher Alexander Smit threw some very stingy shots at the Miracle, allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks over six inning. He also struck out 8 men. But the telling difference his that only 1 runner crossed the plate for the Miracle during his tenure on the mound.

The Reds would get to Manship first, with Michael DeJesus singling his way onto the bags, then moving to first on a wild pitch. Justin Turner would strike out swinging, but a Todd Frazier line drive to left was enough to drive in DeJesus for the first Reds run..

Fort Myers would take it back in the top of the 4th, when Danny Valencia tripled, then - following a line out to Johnny Woodard - came home on an Edward Ovalle sac fly.

But the bottom of the fourth would prove to be the undoing of Manship. Chris Heisey doubled out to left. Danny Dorn ground out, but Heisey moved to 3rd on the play. A Chris Denove single ground in Heisey. Jose Castro then singled to keep things going followed by a DeJesus triple to drive in two. And no, before you ask, Mr. DeJesus did not manage to hit for the cycle. Didn't even come close.

Justin Turner hit a like drive to plate DeJesus, and Todd Frazier would be hit by a pitch before Juan Francisco's line drive brought in Turner for run number five in the inning, making the score 6-1 Reds.

Frank Mata, recently activated off the Disabled List in Extended Spring Training came in for one inning, allowing 1 walk and striking out 1 before Matt Fox came in to conclude the game. Fox would not get off easy though, as Franscisco hit a single off him in the bottom of the sixth, and Drew Stubbs sent a triple out to left to bring him in, making it 7-1 Reds.

Wilson Ramos would reach on a throwing error by Reds 3rd baseman Todd Frazier, who tossed the ball into the dugout, giving Ramos an extra base as well. Rocky Palacios would strike out and Danny Santiesteban's fly out put Ramos on 3rd. Yancarlos Ortiz drew a walk before Brian Dinkleman's double brought in Ramos for a post script.

Ramos, Palacios and Ortiz had the other three hits for Fort Myers, who only managed five on the night.

Deolis Guerra (3-1, 4.32) will handle the pitching chores Tuesday as the two teams meet at Ed Smith Stadium for a rematch. Rafael Gonzalez (2-1, 3.45) will throw for the tough Sarasota squad.

News Press

Lefty Errol Simonitsch was here for only a very short time, being promoted to New Britain to replace Danny Graves on their roster. Graves was promoted to AAA Rochester. Simonitsch is expected to work out of the bullpen in New Britian, at least for a while.

Despite the loss, the Miracle remain in first place in the West Division as Tampa also lost Monday night to the Flying Tigers.

New Britain 4 at New Hampshire 11

W: S. Richmond (3-4, 5.86); L: A. Swarzak (2-1, 3.96); SV: M. Gallo (3)
HR: NHM: T. Snider (4), K. Phillips (1).

The Miracle weren't the only team suffering a power outage. Anthony Swarzak gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 3 over 4 innings to take his first loss of the year for the Rock Cats. Two of the runs were unearned, thanks to shortstop Trevor Plouffe and catcher Drew Butera.

Felix Molina was 3-for-4 at the plate in the game with 1 run and 1 RBI. Dustin Martin and Erik Lis were both 2-for-4, Lis with a run as well, and Martin with a run scored.

Former Miracle Kyle Phillips was 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI, including a solo shot home run, his first of the season, for the home town Fisher Cats.

Fisher Cats
Union Leader

Former Miracle Steve Tolleson was named the Eastern League player of the week. Tolleson batted .391 (9-for-23) with a double, triple, 2 homers, 10 RBIs, two stolen bases and a .783 slugging percentage to win the honor.

Tolleson, 24, had at least one hit in each of the games he played last week and scored in five of the six. He has reached base in New Britain’s last 11 games and in 24 of his 29 games this season. (NB Herald) Neither Tolleson nor Eastern League player of the month Luke Hughes appeared in Monday's contest.

Clinton 6 at Beloit 5

W: K. Gomez (6-0, 2.31); L: S. Arias (1-1, 2.81); SV: D. Sattler (2)
HR: CLI: J. Greene (4). BEL: R. Santana (3).

The Beloit snappers could not overcome an early Clinton lead, following 6-5 in their first game home following a long 3-city, 10-game road trip. The loss was Santos Arias first since his promotion to Beloit.

Arias allowed 3 runs, earned, on 7 hits and 1 walks while striking out 6.

Right fielder Joe Benson was 2-for-4 in the game with a double and a run, but also struck out twice. Ben Revere went 0-for-3 at the plate, but took two walks, coming in for one run during the course of the contest.

Ramon Santana hit a solo-shot home run in the 7th inning off Clinton's Fabio Castillo.

Charles Nolte allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1 in 1.1 innings to the Rangers farm team, while 7'1" reliever Luke Van Mil finished up on the mound allowing only 1 hit and striking out only 1 in 2.2 innings.

Game two of the 4-game series is set for Tuesday at Pohlman Field, first pitch is 6:30 central time.

Lumber Kings

Buffalo 1 at Rochester 5

W: J. DePaula (1-0, 2.70); L: J. Harris (1-1, 4.85); SV: T. Lahey (4)
HR: ROC: C. Basak (3), D. Span (1).

For once it was the Red Wings who offered some offensive relief in the Twins Minor League system, as they overcame Buffalo, 5-1.

Jose Morales was 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple; Denard Span was 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and 2 runs scored. Howie Clark was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run, while Darren McDonald was 2-for-5 with a run and a run scored.

Former Miracle Julio DePaula picked up the win, working 2 innings and striking out 2. Danny Graves made his first start of the season, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2 over four innings.

Tim Lahey recorded his fourth save of the season at the Triple-A level, working 2 innings and allowing only 1 hit while striking out 5.

Rochester remains at home, hosting the Columbus Clippers in a four-game series starting Tuesday night at 7:05 PM.

Red Wings

Homestand Happenings

Fort Myers Miracle

The Miracle take a break from the field, on Friday night and tee it up at Castle Golf for the 3rd annual Mini-Golf Tournament. The unique event includes a Miracle player in each foursome. A post-event “19th Hole” awards ceremony is included in registration fee.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shield stats and injury report

Luke Hughes remained out the New Britain line up after reportedly "tweeking his hamstring" in a game last week. He has not been placed on the DL and is day-to-day.

The former Miracle infield gained recognition earlier in April after a career month in which he batted .352 (35-for-99) with six double, a triple and 8 home runs, 20 runs and 18 RBIs.

The hot start was attributed in part to Hughes playing winter ball, appearing with Team Australia in the World Cub series, and then going to to participate in Australia's Claxton Shield.

I admit to overlooking the Claxton Shield in my reporting this year, so I thought I'd give you a big of statistical uselessness from the tournament:

Berg, D. .400 9- 9 40 8 16 1 2 3 7 30 .750 Twins High-A
Atherton T. .357 10- 8 28 7 10 4 1 0 5 16 .571 Twins Extended/GCL
Rutgers, P. .319 12-12 47 15 15 5 0 1 7 23 .489 Released-Low A
Hughes, L. .304 12-12 46 11 14 6 0 0 2 20 .435 Twins AA
de San Miguel, A. .289 11-11 38 5 11 3 0 1 5 17 .447 Twins High-A
Lysaught, M. .256 12-12 39 7 10 4 0 0 0 14 .359 Released-Rookie
Oeltjen, T. .200 6- 6 25 4 5 1 1 0 3 8 .320 Arizona AAA

Oeltjen, down at the bottom of the list, is hitting .301 with 21 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 8 RBIs in AA Tucson. Berg is hitting .321 in 9 games for the High A Miracle, with 8 runs, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, and 6 RBIs. He spent time on the DL this season, which accounts for his low playing time. de San Miguel, who is the Miracle's back up catcher, is hitting .108, 4 hits-37 at bats, 3 runs, 1 double, 3 RBIs.

Australian pitching is somewhat different than what these players face in the minor leagues here in the states, but it usually equates to the player's average going down, (Berg, de San Miguel), not up (Hughes, Oeltjen).

In other news, former Miracle Pat Neshak will likely miss the rest of the season with UCL tear in his elbow. Neshak, who is currently with the Major League Twins, had an MRI exam on Friday revealed an acute partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

As a result of the injury, Neshek will not be allowed to do any throwing for a minimum of three months, meaning that it would be very close to the end of the season by the time he's even close to pitching again.

But while it seemed to be the worst kind of news, Neshek didn't look at it that way. The ulnar collateral ligament is the same one that is replaced in Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. However, Neshek said the doctors believed that his injury could be treated with rest and rehabilitation and not surgery.

"Obviously it's really bad," Neshek said in a Twins press release. "But it's good I can come back and rehab this instead of having to go through surgery and sit out for a good year."

Neshek suffered the injury in the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the White Sox in Chicago. The pitcher said he felt something in the elbow "tweak and roll over" when he threw a slider to Joe Crede, the third batter he faced in the inning. Neshek exited the game immediately following that pitch and was originally diagnosed with a right elbow strain.

Neshek has been given the majority of the eighth-inning spots so far this season for the Twins. He earned the role as the team's primary setup man last season and went 7-2 with a 2.94 ERA, a .183 batting average against and 74 strikeouts over 70 1/3 innings. So far this season, Neshek had posted a 4.73 ERA over his 13 1/3 innings.

In a similar story, Nick Punto remained sidelined with some lingering soreness in his left hamstring. Punto is currently on the 15-Day DL, is expected that he will miss several more games before rejoining the Twins line up.

Andrew Thompson

Twins prospect Andrew Thompson left extended spring training. His back continues to plague him and it is reported he will take another year off to try to heal. Thompson already missed the entire 2007 season, last appearing in a professional game in Beloit in 2006 here he hit .261 through 74 games. He has played on and off on rehab assignments in extended spring training, but has not been able to manage with his injury. Former Miracle pitcher Kyle Waldrop is also expected to miss the season after having surgery on his shoulder. Supposedly there was no damage tot he rotator cuff or labrum, but it's a big setback for Waldrop none the less.

1st base prospect Henry Sanchez also had surgery, on the knee he injured last year. He is likely done for the 2008 season as well.

Mike Allen, Estarlin De Los Santos, Jose Leger and Lee Martin have all participated in extending spring training games on rehab recently, and are on track to play at some point this season.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fort Myers tops St. Lucie late, heads for Sara

Fort Myers Miracle

Fort Myers 7 at St. Lucie 5

W: R. Delaney (1-2, 0.48); L: C. Hoorelbeke (0-1, 7.71); SV: A. Slama (6)
HR: None.

A miraculous late inning comeback saw the Fort Myers Miracle sweep their series against the St. Lucie Mets. The Miracle now travel to Sarasota for a 3-game home-and-home series against the Reds.

The Miracle got on the board early with Juan Portes singling in the second inning, then stealing 2nd. A fielding error by Mets 3rd baseman J.R. Voyles allowed Portes to score and Danny Berg to reach base. Berg would be left stranded but the one run seemed an omen of good things to come.

And indeed, things were humming along quite well until the bottom of the third inning. With two outs on the board, Luis Rivera, Lucas Duda, D.J. Wabick and Josh Peterson all hit singles off Cole Devries to drive in one run. Josh Thole then doubled down the left field line to clear the bases, giving the Mets a three run lead.

Yancarlos Ortiz tripled in the top of the fifth, then came home on a Brian Dinkelman single to cut the lead in half.

Duda would double in the in 5th, then move to 3rd on Peterson's ground out. Following a walk to Thole, Reben Tejada sent a ground ball to left that scored Duda to restore the Mets three run lead.

Cole would get out of the inning but not return, his final line being 5 runs, earned on 10 hits and 3 walks while striking out one. Perhaps he was thinking of his mom's home cooking, as this was not one of his better performances.

Tobi Stoner would work six for the Mets, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits and one walk while striking out 5. Ryan Coultas would head to the mound for the top of the seventh. With 2 outs on the board, Allan de San Miguel surprised everyone with a single. Ortiz followed him onto the bags on a grounder. The Mets would put Edgar Alfonzo on the mound to try for the 3rd out, but Dinkelman send a ground ball to second that scored the Miracle's Aussie catcher, helped in part by Rivera's throwing error on the play.

Jose Lugo would keep the Mets off the board in the six, and Rob Delaney took over for the seventh and 8th innings.

Casey Hoorelbeke replaced Alfonzo in for the top of the 8th, and gave up a single to Danny Valencia. Whit Robbins would hit into a double play though, so it was Juan Portes, with a double, who would come home on Ramos single. St. Lucie's dwindled down to just one run, and they would of course get nothing from the Miracle's Sandman.

Johnny Woodard would strike out for de San Miguel in the 9th - something I'm sure Dirty could have handled on his own - and Eddie Ovalle would fly out for Yancarlos Ortiz before Dinkelman gave the Miracle a glimmer of hope with a single out to center. Rene Tosoni then following him on to base, hitting a grounder out to right. Danny Valencia doubled to tie up the game and bring in the game winning run. A missed catch by Josh Thole at the plate sent Valencia over for the insurance run. Brandon Niall would get Whit Robbins out on strikes to retire the Miracle, but Anthony Slama went three-up, three-down, slamming the door on St. Lucie and sending the Miracle out of town on the victory bus.

Valencia was 4-for-5 with 1 run and 1 RBI and he also sends his love home to his Mom and dedicated his performance today to her. Happy Mother's Day Mrs. Valencia!

Dinkelman was 3-for-5, also with a run and an RBI. Portes was 2-for-4 with 2 runs and Oritz was 2-for-3 with a run.

with the win, the Miracle are now in first place, one game over the Tampa Yankees who come into town on Thursday for a three game set.

The Miracle return home on Wednesday against the Sarasota Reds who are in 3rd place in the division, three games back for "Island Night".

Jeff Manship (4-0, 3.23) will be on the mound tomorrow night at Ed Smith Stadium against former Miracle Alexander Smit (2-3, 5.17) for the 7:00 match up with the Reds.

News Press
TC Palm

Homestand Happenings

Fort Myers Miracle

Wake up early on Friday, May 16 and head to the stadium for a special “Education Day” start time of 10:35 a.m. Thousands of kids from Southwest Florida schools take this one-of-a-kind field trip. Kids learn about math, social studies and language arts and how it relates to baseball.

Beloit at Burlington

Sunday’s game between the Beloit Snappers and Burlington Bees was postponed due to rain. The game will now be made up in Beloit at Pohlman Field on Saturday, May 24th as part of a doubleheader beginning at 5:00 PM.

New Britain 7 at New Hampshire 4

W: R. Mullins (3-2, 3.25); L: A. Wideman (1-5, 7.36)
HR: NBR: S. Tolleson (4). NHM: A. Hatch (5).

New Britain took an early three run lead and managed to keep it, downing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 7-4 at Merchants Auto Stadium.

Toby Gardenhire's double led off the New Britain attack in the 3rd. Felix Molina drew a walk to get on base. Both would come home when Steve Tolleson smacked his 4th home run of the season over the left field wall.

Aaron Mathews doubled for the Fisher Cats in the bottom of the same inning and came home on Chris Gutierrez line drive to put New Hampshire on the board. The Cats took it back in the top of the next inning however, when David Winfree doubled, moved to 3rd on an Erik Lis single and scored on a Molina force out.

Ryan Patterson singled in the bottom of the fourth, and Anthony Hatch hit his fifth home run of the season to give the Fisher Cats two more.

Former Miracle lefty Ryan Mullins would work six inning allowing the 3 runs, earned, on six hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. A.J. Wideman would only make it through 5.1 innings, as New Britian turned on the offense again in the sixth inning.

Felix Molina would double before the pitching change that put Sean Stidtole on mound for the Fisher Cats. Jeff Christy then doubled to drive in Molina while Tolleson's line drive out to left brought in Christy. Dustin Martin would strike out swinging, but Brock Peterson reached on a fielding error by shortstop Ryan Klosterman allowing Tolleson to score.

Tolleson was 2-for-5 on the game with 2 runs and 4 RBIs. Winfree was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run.

The two teams rematch tomorrow with a 6:35 start.

Fisher Cats
Rock Cats
NB Herald
Union Leader

Buffalo 4 at Rochester 2

W: M. Ginter (1-4, 6.48); L: P. Humber (1-4, 5.29); SV: R. Bauer (8)
HR: None.

Phillip Humber suffered his fourth loss of the season and the Wings continued to find ways to miss the ball. Garrett Jones was 2-for-4 in the designated hitter role, but the slugger is only .175 on the season. Howie Clark was 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI.

Denard Span took a walk in the bottom of the first, then moved to 3rd on a Darnell McDonald single. Brian Buscher's line drive would bring in Span to give the Wings one, but Buffalo took back 2 in the top of the 2nd.

Doubles by Jones and Clark got them one more in the bottom of the second, but they would get little else off Matt Glinter or the three relievers that followed him.

The last game of the four game series is Monday night at 7:05 at Frontier Field.

The Red Wings wore special pink jerseys as part of Breast cancer Awareness Day. The jerseys were auctioned off and raised over $3,400 for the Pluta Cancer Center. Tommy Watkins' number 8 jersey and Julia DePaula's number 35 each brought in $200, the top money raisers for the day.

Red Wings starting pitchers have just six wins in the first 38 games of the 2008 season (6-17 record).

Red Wings
D&C - Humber

Former Miracle Nick Blackburn starts for the Twins against the Red Sox Sunday night, with the game shown live on ESPN.

Infielder Alexi Casilla, another former Miracle, became the fifth member of the Red Wings' Opening Day roster to be promoted to the Minnesota Twins. Overall, seven different players have played for both Rochester and Minnesota this season.

Class A Beloit outfielder Ben Revere is the Twins' Minor League Player of the Week for the week ending May 9. Revere hit .481 (13-for-27) and five steals in six games.

Miracle crush Mets, 11-3

Fort Myers Miracle

Fort Myers 11 at St. Lucie 3

W: T. Robertson (1-2, 3.47); L: E. Niesen (0-4, 6.28)
HR: FTM: W. Ramos (3), J. Portes (2).

In what I consider a long overdue event, Tyler Robertson picked up his first win of the season for the Fort Myers Miracle, who crushed the St. Lucie Mets 11 - 3.

Robertson limited the Mets to 1 run on six hits and three walks while striking out 7 over six innings, looking more like the pitcher that helped take Beloit deep into the Midwest League playoffs.

He was helped out by a lot of Miracle offense starting in the first inning. Brian Dinkelman would be hit by a pitch and Juan Portes got the fireworks going, homering over the center field wall to two runs. Danny Valencia singled but tried to stretch it for a double, being taken out at second base. Johnny Woodard would get hit next by St. Lucie's Eric Niesen, who lated only 1.2 innings in the start. After Eddie Ovalle was taken out on strikes, Wilson Ramos went yard for his 3rd of the season, giving the Miracle another two runs for a 4-0 lead.

Dinkelman next used a fielding error by third baseman Leivi Ventura to get on the bags with one out in the second inning. Portes would strike out swinging. Dinkelman would steal 2nd, then advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Mets catcher Jason Jacobs. Valencia then hit a fly ball to left to plate Dinkelman. With Woodard at the plate Neison would be charged with a balk which sent Valencia to second. Woodard then singled to bring in Valencia, earning himself a ham sandwich.

That finally prompted a pitching change as the Mets brought in Tim Stronach to replace Niesen, who was evidently having a very bad day on the mound.

D.J. Wabick would single in the bottom of the second, and Ventura doubled to put runners in the corners. Robertson would get the next two batters he faced out, one on strikes, before issuing a walk to Joshua Petersen to load the bags. Ezequiel Carrera then singled which brought in Wabick. Ventura would try to run for the plate, but was taken out at home as Danny Santiesteban fired a ball back from center to Ramos at the plate.

Stronach would work four scoreless innings for St. Lucie. With one out on the board. Valencia and Woodard hit back-to-back singles. St. Lucie would replace the tiring Stronach with John Wesley, who hit Ovalle with a pitch to load the bags. Ramos hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Valencia. Danny Berg then singled out bring in Woodard. A throwing error by 2nd baseman Luis Rivera helped move the pair over. Rocky Palacios singled out to right to bring in two more. A passed ball by Jacobs moved Palacios to second and Santiesteban would then hit a ground rule double to bring in the final runner, giving the Miracle a total of 11.

While it was not impossible for the Mets to rally back from that deep a hole, certainly we've watched the Miracle bullpen give up that kind of a lead before, it would be beyond the St. Lucie's capabilities.

Danny Hernandez has struggled and there is some speculation that because he is still not 100% and only played 7 games last season at the Low A level, that he is playing beyond his current ability in High A. His ERA of 11.81 certainly bears that out, but he would get through two innings Saturday evening, only allowing one walk. That came after he allowed a single to Ruben Tejada. Jomar Hill would take the free pass, and Josh Peterson then singled to load the bags on the Twins young reliever. Ezequiel Carrera would hit a sac-fly out to right to bring in Tejada, and Luis Rivera then sacrificed in Hill, for two more St. Lucie runs.

Danny Vais came in to shut the door, striking out 1 in the final inning.

Valencia was 3-for-5 at the plate with 2 runs and 1 BRI, Woodard was 2-for-3 with a walk, 2 runs and 1 RBI, Berg ws 2-for-4 with 1 run and 1 RBI, and Santiesteban was 2-for-4 with 1 RBI.

The two teams rematch on Sunday with right hander Cole Devries looking to give the Miracle a sweep of the series while Tobi Stoner (1-2, 3.14) will try to prevent that from happening. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM, a change from their normal 5:00 PM start which as made on Wednesday. (Press Release)

News Press
TC Palm

Homestand Happenings

Fort Myers Miracle

The world’s sexiest plumber stops by Hammond Stadium on Thursday, May 15. "Desperate Housewives' actor James Denton will put down his plunger and pick up a bat. Denton will take batting practice with the Miracle, sign autographs and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 7:05 p.m. Thirsty Thursday game against the Tampa Yankees.

If you happen to thing that promotion is as much of a dog as we at do, well, don't worry. It's also Dog Daze I, time to bring your best friend to the park for a bark. A special celebri-cat guest appearance by Reptar, Fort Myers own baseball lovin' cat, is also planned. So come on out with your trusty canine friend because - well - very bitch deserves a night out!