Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Around the System - April 28

Triple-A: Charlotte 6, Scranton 3

Greg Golson: 2-for-5, RBI
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-4, BB
Chris Dickerson: 1-for-4, BB, SB
Kevin Russo: 2-for-4, 2B, R
Ramiro Pena: 1-for-2, HR, BB
Doug Bernier: 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Kevin Millwood: 2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, BB, 4 SO
D.J. Mitchell: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

Double-A: Richmond 7, Trenton 2

Austin Krum: 1-for-5, R, SB
Corban Joseph: 1-for-5
Jack Rye: 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB
Jose Pirela: 1-for-4
Dan Brewer: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, SB
Steve Garrison: 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, BB, SO
Pat Venditte: 3 IP, H, R, ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

High-A: Daytona 9, Tampa 5

Abraham Almonte: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB, SB
Walter Ibarra: 2-for-5, 2 R, SB
Rob Lyerly: 2-for-5, 2B, RBI
Luke Murton: 1-for-4
Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
Deangelo Mack: 1-for-3, RBI
Sean Black: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO

Low-A: Lakewood 6, Charleston 5, 12 innings

Slade Heathcott: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 R, BB
Anderson Feliz: 1-for-5, R
Ramon Flores: 2-for-4, RBI, 2 BB
Gary Sanchez: 2-for-6, RBI
Kyle Roller: 2-for-6
Jose Mojica: 2-for-5, R
Shane Greene: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO
Dan Burawa: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

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Pitching matchups for the New Hampshire series

Tonight - RHP B.J. LaMura (1-0, 1.20) vs. RHP Dellin Betances (0-1, 1.93) - 7:05
Saturday -RHP Joel Carreno (0-2, 7.02) vs. LHP Manny Banuelos (0-0, 1.42) - 7:05
Sunday - RHP Zach Stewart (1-1, 2.92) vs. LHP Shaeffer Hall (2-1, 2.92) - 1:05

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Around the System - April 27

Triple-A: Scranton 8, Charlotte 5

Justin Maxwell: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Francisco Cervelli: 1-for-4, RBI, R
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI
P.J. Pilittere: 2-for-3
Kevin Russo: 1-for-4, R
Hector Noesi: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO

Double-A: Richmond 1, Trenton 0 - 11 innings

Austin Krum: 3-for-5, SB
Austin Romine: 2-for-4
Corban Joseph: 2-for-4
Ray Kruml: 2-for-4, SB, outfield assist
Craig Heyer: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 4 SO
Kei Igawa: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO

High-A: Tampa 8, Daytona 6

Abraham Almonte: 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB
Rob Lyerly: 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI, BB, SB
Zoilo Almonte: 1-for-6, 2B, R, RBI, SB
Taylor Grote: 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, BB
Kyle Higashioka: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, BB
Brett Marshall: 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO
Ryan Pope: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO
Preston Claiborne: 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, SO

Low-A: Charleston 6, Lakewood 2

Slade Heathcott: 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, outfield assist
J.R. Murphy: 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Gary Sanchez: 1-for-5
Ramon Flores: 1-for-4, R
Jose Mojica: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Zach Nuding: 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, R, ER, BB, 2 SO
Tommy Kahnle: 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 2 BB, SO

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gary Sanchez hits an opposite-field double against the BlueClaws

Stoneburner to the DL

TRENTON -- The Thunder received a bad break yesterday when it was announced that starting pitcher Graham Stoneburner was placed on the 7-day disabled list.

According to reports, Stoneburner has a stiff neck. There is no word as to the severity of the injury.

In three starts so far this season, the right-hander was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA and seven strikeouts against four walks.

The move is retroactive to April 22.

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Around the System : April 25

Triple-A: Scranton 2, Syracuse 1

Chris Dickerson: 2-for-6
Jose Gil: 2-for-4, 2B
Kevin Russo: 1-for-5, RBI
Justin Maxwell: 1-for-4, HR, 2 BB -- walkoff bomb in the 13th
Brandon Laird: 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Ramiro Pena: 1-for-5, 2B, R
David Phelps: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
George Kontos: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

Double-A: Richmond 9, Trenton 5

Austin Romine: 1-for-5, 2B
Melky Mesa: 1-for-3, 2 R, BB
Corban Joseph: 2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Addison Maruszak: 2-for-4, RBI
Ray Kruml: 3-for-4, 3 RBI
Manny Banuelos: 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Pat Venditte: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO

High-A: PPD

Low-A: Lakewood 4, Charleston 3

Slade Heathcott: 2-for-4, 2B
Anderson Feliz: 1-for-4
J.R. Murphy: 1-for-4, 2B
Ramon Flores: 2-for-4, R
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
Kelvin De Leon: 1-for-4, R
Mikey O'Brien: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, ER, BB, 7 SO
Wilton Rodriguez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
Dan Burawa: 1 2/3 IP, H, R, ER, 0 BB, 0 SO

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Video of Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez and Dan Burawa

Thunder lose fourth in a row; Dan Brewer coming back

(Richmond, VA) - The Trenton Thunder (7-10) dropped game one of a four-game set against the Richmond Flying Squirrels Monday night by a score of 9-5. Ray Kruml led the Thunder offensively, going 3-4 with 3 RBI, but his big night was not enough as the Thunder could not overcome a six-run sixth inning by the Flying Squirrels.

The Thunder struck first in the ballgame, when they brought in a run in the top of the second inning. Squirrel starter Thomas Vessella walked Melky Mesa and Corban Joseph, and, with two outs, Ray Kruml pulled a ball through the hole at second base to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead.

After Richmond scored twice in the bottom of the third, the Thunder would answer with two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 5-2 lead. Addison Maruszak knocked a run-scoring single in the fourth, and Corban Joseph doubled home a run in the fifth. Kruml, who picked-up his first multi-RBI game of 2011, would add RBI-singles in both the fifth and sixth innings.

That would be it for the Thunder offense, though, as Ricmond would bounce-back to score six runs in the bottom of the sixth off of Thunder pitchers Cory Arbiso and Naoya Okamoto. Squirrel relief pitcher David Quinowski retired the final thirteen Thunder batters he faced in the game.

Trenton resumes their four-game series with the Flying Squirrels Tuesday night from The Diamond in Richmond, VA, at 6:35 PM. LHP Shaeffer Hall (1-1, 3.12) will pitch for the Thunder and will oppose RHP Daryl Maday (0-1, 3.31) for the Flying Squirrels. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst begins at 6:20 PM on the Trenton Thunder Radio Network.


According to Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune, outfielder Dan Brewer is coming down to the Thunder. With Justin Maxwell, Greg Golson, Jordan Parraz and Chris Dickerson already with Scranton, this move makes sense.

With Brewer, Trenton has six (!) outfielders on the active roster, not to mention the "disabled" Damon Sublett. My guess is Jack Rye will be hitting the, ahem, disabled list, as well.

With Scranton, Brewer .438 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and three stolen bases in as many chances.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Around the System + BONUS BANUELOS VIDEO

Triple-A: Scranton 3, Syracuse 2
Jesus Montero: 0-for-1, left after a taking a sharp foul ball to the groin
Jose Gil: 1-for-2, R
Jorge Vazquez: 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI
Justin Maxwell: 0-for-2, R
Brandon Laird: 1-for-3, RBI
Andrew Brackman: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO

Now, as a bonus, here are the final two innings of Manny Banuelos' start against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on April 19. Why now? Because I'm cleaning out the video player in advance of the five-game RiverDogs series in Lakewood that starts tomorrow.

The end of the second video also includes Banuelos' post-game chat with reporter types. Enjoy.

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Around the System - April 23

Triple-A: Scranton 4, Syracuse 2; Syracuse 2, Scranton 0

Game 1
Greg Golson: 3-for-3, HR, 3 R, RBI
Jesus Montero: 2-for-3
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-3, 2 RBI
Justin Maxwell: 0-for-2, BB, R, SB
Brandon Laird: 1-for-3, RBI
Kevin Millwood: 7 IP (CG), 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 SO

Game 2
Jorge Vazquez: 1-for-3
Jordan Parraz: 1-for-3, 2B
Dan Brewer: 1-for-3, 2B
Doug Bernier: 1-for-2
D.J. Mitchell: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO

Double-A: Harrisburg 8, Trenton 2

Austin Krum: 1-for-4, R
Austin Romine: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Brad Suttle: 2-for-4
Corban Joseph: 1-for-3
Jack Rye: 1-for-3
Ray Kruml: 1-for-3
Steve Garrison: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

High-A: Clearwater 7, Tampa 1

Francisco Cervelli: 1-for-3
Rob Lyerly: 1-for-4
Luke Murton: 1-for-4
Zoilo Almonte: 1-for-4, RBI
DeAngelo Mack: 1-for-4
Sean Black: 6 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, BB, 3 SO
Ryan Pope: IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, SO
Preston Claiborne: 2 IP, H, R, ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Low-A: Greenville 9, Charleston 8

Slade Heathcott: 3-for-5, 3 R, BB
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-5, R, BB
Ramon Flores: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Gary Sanchez: 1-for-4, 2 RBIs
J.R. Murphy: 3-for-5, RBI
Kelvin De Leon: 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI
Jose Toussen: 3-for-5, R, 3 SB
Nik Turley: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 SO

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Austin Krum fueling Thunder early

TRENTON — It’s only been two weeks, but already an early star has has emerged for the Thunder — and it’s not who you might have expected.

Your Trenton star through 14 games is leadoff man Austin Krum, who has done a fabulous job setting the table for the team’s big boppers.

Krum is hitting a scorching .314/.444/.333 with 11 runs scored, which stands as 21.5 percent of the team’s total.

His early breakout comes as a bit of surprise because, toward the end of last season, Krum was having a tremendously rough go of it. He hit .150 through August and September last year, although he got moderately better in the playoffs.

He credits this season’s turnaround to a renewed approach to shorten his swing more befitting of someone in the leadoff hitter’s role.

“I tried to cut down my swing this offseason, worked hard at it. I was trying to stay within myself and stay within my game and not get out of that,” he said after Trenton’s win over Richmond on Wednesday, during which he collected three hits, including a beautiful bunt single that helped catalyze a two-run rally in the second inning.

“I think that, if you can consistently keep a good approach, that you’re going to put yourself in a better position to succeed,” Krum finished.

One of the men Krum sets the table for, catcher Austin Romine, has also taken notice of his teammate’s early production. And why shouldn’t he? Of Romine’s 12 RBIs, five have scored Krum.

“We don’t expect anything less or anything more, Romine said. “He’s going to go out there and do what he does every day. A lot of the younger hitters that haven’t been in Double-A before, they can see how to go about their work and how you prepare for a game. It just speaks volumes if you keep your head down and keep playing hard, that the hits are going to start falling.”

Besides simply getting on base at a generous clip, he also has the speed to create havoc once he gets there. His 16 stolen bases last year and three so far this season have made that abundantly clear.

What’s different this season is the burner he has hitting in front of him, Ray Kruml, who bats ninth.

Kruml, who plays right field while Krum patrols left, has a system-leading six swipes in as many chances. Together, Krum realizes the pair will be able to torment pitchers throughout the Eastern League.

“It’s awesome. As you guys can see from this first handful of games, Ray’s got some speed. He’s basically a second leadoff guy down there,” Krum said. “Whenever he gets on, he wreaks havoc on the bases. It’s great hitting behind him, because he can do his thing and that allows me to do my thing at the top of the lineup. I can try to move him over and get him in scoring position for these big bangers.

“Whenever we’re on base, it’s probably not very fun for the pitcher, especially because they’ve got to focus on getting the two, three and four (hitters) out after that.”


The Thunder fell in the first game of their road swing on Thursday, 4-3, in 10 innings against the Harrisburg Senators.

Tim Pahuta, a Somerset native and Seton Hall alumnus, connected against closer Fernando Hernandez for a walk-off longball in the tenth inning.

The loss spoiled five stellar innings from starter Graham Stoneburner, who limited the Senators to just two hits and struck out four.

All of the Thunder’s runs came on one swing from Romine, who swatted a three-run double in the third against Harrisburg starter Ryan Tatusko.


Kevin Millwood was officially removed from the Thunder’s roster yesterday, and was quickly replaced by Kei Igawa, who made a spot start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Millwood was scheduled to start for Scranton yesterday.


Former Thunder starter Hector Noesi, who had been with the Yankees, was demoted to Triple-A yesterday to make room for reliever Buddy Carlyle. Noesi did not pitch during his stint with the big club.

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Around the System - April 23

Triple-A: PPD

Double-A: Harrisburg 3, Trenton 2

Austin Krum: 1-for-4
Corban Joseph: 1-for-4, R
Brad Suttle: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Jack Rye: 1-for-4
Addison Maruszak: 1-for-3
Craig Heyer: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Naoya Okamoto: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 SO

High-A: Dunedin 11, Tampa 4

Francisco Cervelli: 0-for-4, RBI
Rob Lyerly: 1-for-4, 3B, R
Luke Murton: 0-for-2, BB, RBI, R
Walter Ibarra: 2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Emerson Landoni: 1-for-3, BB
Brett Marshall: 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, BB, 0 SO
Chase Whitley: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
Ryan Flannery: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

Low-A: Charleston 6, Greenville 5

Eduardo Sosa: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, SB
Anderson Feliz: 1-for-2, BB, R
J.R. Murphy: 1-for-4, R
Rob Segedin: 1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Jose Mojica: 1-for-3, R, RBI
Shane Greene: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO
Tommy Kahnle: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 SO

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Pitching matchups for next week's Charleston series in Lakewood

Monday-LHP Ervis Manzanillo (0-1, 7.88) vs. RHP Mikey O’Brien (0-1, 2.16)
Tuesday-LHP Mario Hollands (2-1, 1.10) vs. LHP Kramer Sneed (1-1, 3.77)
Wednesday-RHP David Buchanan (2-1, 2.40) vs. RHP Zach Nuding (2-0, 4.61)
Thursday- LHP Jesse Biddle (0-2, 5.59) vs. RHP Shane Greene (1-2, 5.40)
Friday- RHP Colby Shreve (2-1, 2.40) vs. RHP Nik Turley (1-1, 5.65)

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Around the System: April 21

Triple-A: Scranton 3, Lehigh Valley 0

Greg Golson: 1-for-4, 3B, R
Kevin Russo: 2-for-5, 3B, R
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-4
Chris Dickerson: 1-for-3, BB, 2B, R, SB
Jesus Montero: 0-for-3, RBI
Jordan Parraz: 3-for-3, RBI
Kei Igawa: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
George Kontos: 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 4 SO

Today's starter: Kevin Millwood

Double-A: Harrisburg 4, Trenton 3

Austin Krum: 0-for-3, R, 2 BB
Jose Pirela: 2-for-4, R
Austin Romine: 1-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI
Brad Suttle: 2-for-5
Melky Mesa: 1-for-5, 3B
Corban Joseph: 1-for-4
Addison Maruszak: 0-for-2, 2 BB, R
Graham Stoneburner: 5 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

Today's starter: Craig Heyer

High-A: Dunedin 5, Tampa 1

David Adams: 2-for-4
Francisco Cervelli: 2-for-3
Luke Murton: 1-for-4
Abraham Almonte: 0-for-3, BB
Mike Solbach: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 4 SO

Today's starter: Brett Marshall

Low-A: Charleston 5, Greenville 3

Slade Heathcott: 1-for-3, H, R, RBI, BB
Anderson Feliz: 1-for-4, SB
Gary Sanchez: 1-for-4, RBI
J.R. Murphy: 1-for-4, R
Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI
Kelvin De Leon: 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB
Kelvin Castro: 2-for-4, RBI, SB
Zach Nuding: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, BB, 8 SO
Dan Burawa: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO

Today's starter: Shane Greene

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pitching matchups for Harrisburg and Richmond

RHP Graham Stoneburner (1-1 1.64) vs. RHP Ryan Tatusko (0-2, 10.57)
RHP Craig Heyer (1-1, 1.54) vs. RHP Brad Peacock (1-1, 2.79)
LHP Steve Garrison (0-1, 4.38) vs. RHP Brad Meyers (2-1, 3.07)
LHP Manny Banuelos (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Daryl Maday (0-1, 3.31)
LHP Shaeffer Hall (1-1, 3.12) vs. LHP Eric Surkamp (0-2, 3.38)
RHP Graham Stoneburner (1-1 1.64) vs. RHP Justin Fitzgerald (2-0, 0.90)
RHP Craig Heyer (1-1, 1.54) vs. LHP Clayton Tanner (0-2, 7.00)***

***This is just based on counting forward. The spot could conceivably be filled by Dellin Betances, if his blister is healed well enough to come back off of the DL.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Romine's huge night leads Trenton to sweep of Squirrels

TRENTON – Catcher Austin Romine continued a torrid stretch at home and starter Shaeffer Hall went seven tremendous innings in the 6-3 Thunder win that completed a sweep against the Richmond Flying Squirrels and finished off a 5-2 opening homestand before the team heads on the road to Harrisburg.

Romine slugged two long home runs, one to left field and one to dead center, which put the finishing touches on a 9-for-19 stretch with nine RBIs over the last seven games.

“I’m staying with my plan that I have from the beginning,” Romine said afterward. “I’m not going away from it, and it seems to be working well.”

Romine’s home runs accounted for three of the team’s six runs, and he also drew a walk with the bases loaded in the third inning. He’s drawn six walks in his last 10 games, nearly one sixth of season total for last season (37).

The increased patience at the plate, his manager says, is one of the key reasons that he’s starting to bust out as the season’s first month winds down.

“He is really swinging really well right now. His swings are very compact. Even his misses are (good). He’s putting some good swings on it,” Tony Franklin said. “More than that, he’s had some very good at-bats. I don’t know how many walks he’s gotten in this series, but it’s probably more than he’s had in a while.

Aside from Romine’s power show, the offense early on was handled by the speedsters who bookend Trenton’s starting nine.

Ninth hitter Ray Kruml started the second with a four-pitch walk against Squirrels starter Eric Surkamp, then swiped second easily. Leadoff man Austin Krum followed with a push bunt that moved Kruml to third, and appeared to rattle Surkamp, whose control had already looked spotty.

Jose Pirela and Romine followed with walks, pushing across the first run. The next man, Brad Suttle, then bounced into a 5-3 twin killing that doubled the advantage.

On the season so far, Krum leads the team with a .302 average, a stellar .434 on-base percentage and has walked eight times against nine strikeouts. He’s also a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base tries.

While his offense scratched across support for him, Hall silenced the Squirrels with near effortless efficiency. Over seven shutout innings, the southpaw scattered five hits, walked none and fanned three. Of his 77 pitches, an astounding 55 went for strikes.

“My goal is to just build off every performance, and that’s what I’ve told myself.” Hall said. “In the first game, I got hit around a little bit. My second outing was a little better, and I was fortunate to have the type of success I had tonight, going seven and helping out the bullpen a little bit.

After allowing singles to the first two hitters he faced, Hall set down 21 of the next 24 Squirrels, including a stretch of seven in a row between the third and fifth innings.

Brad Suttle’s ringing double in the seventh inning tacked on the fourth run. The double also came a few pitches after he’d lost control of his bat and sent it flying into the first-base stands.

NOTES: Cody Johnson was on the bench Wednesday in favor of Myron Leslie. Entering the afternoon, Johnson had whiffed in 21 of his last 38 at-bats, including 10 of his most recent 14. He also coached first base on Wednesday. … Melky Mesa’s first-inning marked the third time he’d walked in his last three games. He accomplished that feat just twice last season with Tampa. … Reliever Tim Norton has struck out 11 men in his last 5 2/3 innings.

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Despite short tenure, Millwood leaves a lasting impression in Trenton

TRENTON – Even though Kevin Millwood’s time in Trenton was limited to just one outing, the impact he left during his brief stay may have been much larger.

The right-hander was bumped up Wednesday to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and will make his second minor league start on Friday against the Syracuse Skychiefs. He’ll take the spot of Mark Prior

He made one start with the Thunder, a seven-inning one-hitter in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Harrisburg Senators. Using a well-placed fastball that topped at around 87 miles per hour, the veteran showed the younger pitchers that you can succeed without top-shelf velocity.

One such pitcher is Craig Heyer, a 25-year-old righty who, like Millwood, uses a combination of low-velocity with good sink and command to record his outs. As it happened, Heyer started the second game of the doubleheader, and Millwood watched closely.

“Right after I came out of the game (Sunday), he was in the clubhouse. I was trying to pick his brain on how he was pitching those guys,” Heyer said. “He kind of gave us some advice after the game, so it was kind of neat to have a guy like that around.”

Millwood even went so far as to act as a sort of second pitching coach during Heyer’s start. As Heyer struggled to keep his ball down, Millwood was watching from the dugout, ready to advise his newfound pupil.

“I was getting in trouble when my ball was up, and he noticed that from the side,” Heyer continued. “He’s noticing that I’m pulling off my front shoulder, and said ‘just stay on it.’”

Heyer will start again on Friday against Harrisburg, and will likely stay in the rotation until the blister on Dellin Betances’ right pointer finger has recovered sufficiently.

Tony Franklin, Millwood’s skipper for the week, was duly impressed with the way the 159-game winner handled himself around his younger, less experienced teammates.

“It was good to see him go out there and pitch well, and interact with the guys and talk to the guys about their pitching and things of that nature,” he said. “That kind of stuff is just invaluable. I wish I could keep him all year, to be honest with you.

NOTES: Kei Igawa was also promoted to Scranton after Tuesday’s contest. He, however, is expected to be back after making one start on April 21 against the Syracuse Skychiefs. … Charleston catcher Gary Sanchez, the system’s No. 2 prospect as ranked by Baseball America, was reinstated yesterday from the 7-Day Disabled List, where he spent the minimum time while recovering from an oblique injury. … The Yankees signed 22-year-old outfielder Jason Place off waivers from the Red Sox. Place was Boston’s first-round pick in the 2006 draft.

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Around the System - 4/20

Triple-A: Scranton 6, Lehigh Valley 0

Adam Warren: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 3 SO
Greg Golson: 2-for-5, R
Kevin Russo: 2-for-5, 2 R
Jesus Montero: 3-for-5, 2B
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI
Chris Dickerson: 2-for-3, R, RBI
Justin Maxwell: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI
Brandon Laird: 2-for-4, 2B

Double-A: Trenton 6, Richmond 3

Austin Krum: 3-for-5, 2 R
Austin Romine: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R,
Brad Suttle: 1-for-5, 2B, RBI
Myron Leslie: 2-for-4
Corban Joseph: 2-for-4
Shaeffer Hall: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 77 pitches/55 strikes

High-A: Dunedin 6, Tampa 3

Walter Ibarra: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Rob Lyerly: 3-for-5, 2B, R
Luke Murton: 2-for-5,
Zoilo Almonte: 1-for-4, R
Kyle Higashioka: 2-for-4, R
Emerson Landoni: 1-for-4, 3B
Jose Ramirez: 6 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, BB, 6 SO
Preston Claiborne: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO

Charleston 4, Greenville 2

Slade Heathcott: 1-for4, R
Ramon Flores: 1-for-4, 2B, SB
Gary Sanchez: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 R, BB
Rob Segedin: 1-for-2, 2 BB
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-3, R
Kramer Sneed: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO

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Around the System - April 19

Triple-A: Scranton 5, Lehigh Valley 2

Chris Dickerson: 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI
Justin Maxwell: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Jesus Montero: 0-for-5, SO
Dan Brewer: 2-for-3, R
Ramiro Pena: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI
Brandon Laird: 1-for-4, 2B
David Phelps: 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 SO

Tomorrow's starter: Adam Warren (0-0, 5.06)

Double-A: Trenton 2, Richmond 1

Austin Krum: 2-for-4, RBI, R
Jose Pirela: 1-for-5
Austin Romine: 3-for-4, RBI
Melky Mesa: 1-for-3, 3B, R
Corban Joseph: 1-for-4
Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 2 H (both infield singles), 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO
Tim Norton: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO
Naoya Okamoto: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO
Brian Anderson: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

Tomorrow's starter: Shaeffer Hall (0-1, 5.23)

High-A: Brevard County 7, Tampa 0

Walter Ibarra: 1-for-4
Luke Murton: 1-for-4, SB
Kevin Mahoney: 1-for-4
Mitch Abeita: 1-for-4
Josh Romanski: 6 IP, 9 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Tomorrow's starter: Jose Ramirez (0-1, 4.50)

Low-A: Greenville 2, Charleston 1

Slade Heathcott: 0-for-3, BB, R, SB
Ramon Flores: 2-for-4, RBI
Gary Sanchez: 0-for-3
Rob Segedin: 1-for-3, BB
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-3, 3B
Mikey O'Brien: 6 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
Tommy Kahnle: 3 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

Tomorrow's starter: Kramer Sneed (0-1, 4.15)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Austin Romine and Manny Banuelos postgame interviews

All four Manny Banuelos strikeouts

Around the System: April 18

Triple-A: Scranton 6, Lehigh Valley 4; Lehigh Valley 5, Scranton 3

Game 1
Greg Golson: 1-for-4, R, outfield assist
Jesus Montero: 3-for-4, R
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Chris Dickerson: 2-for-4, R
Jordan Parraz: 1-for-3, 3B, R, RBI
Justin Maxwell: 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Andrew Brackman: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 4 SO

Game 2
Kevin Russo: 2-for-4, R
Dan Brewer: 2-for-3, 2B
Chris Dickerson: 1-for-3, 3B, R
Doug Bernier: 2-for-3
Mark Prior: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

Double-A: Trenton 4, Richmond 2
Austin Krum: 2-for-4
Jose Pirela: 1-for-4
Brad Suttle: 3-for-4, 2 R
Cody Johnson: 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI
Melky Mesa: 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI
Corban Joseph: 1-for-3, RBI, BB
Steve Garrison: 5 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 5 SO
Brian Anderson: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

High-A: Tampa 12, Brevard County 2

Walter Ibarra: 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R
Rob Lyerly: 1-for-6, R
Luke Murton: 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Taylor Grote: 3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Zoilo Almonte: 1-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI
Kyle Higashioka: 1-for-4, BB, 2 R
DeAngelo Mack: 3-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Sean Black: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, SO
Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Low-A: Charleston 8, Rome 2

Slade Heathcott: 0-for-3, R, BB, SB
Anderson Feliz: 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB
Ramon Flores: 1-for-4, R, BB
J.R. Murphy: 2-for-4, RBI, R
Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI
Kelvin De Leon: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-4, 2B

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Videos of Steve Garrison

Kevin Millwood flings one-hitter at Harrisburg

TRENTON — On April 27, 2003, Kevin Millwood pitched a no-hitter as a member of the Phillies. For a while in the Thunder’s 8-0 win over the Senators in Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader, it appeared he might do it again, albeit under much less dramatic circumstances.

Primarily using a cutting fastball that topped out at 87 miles per hour, Millwood held the Senators hitless for 5 2/3 innings before Tyler Moore’s sharp single through the middle broke up the bid.

Millwood went the distance, allowing just the single to Moore, with three strikeouts and four walks mixed in. Of his other outs, 10 were on the ground and five came through the air.

Even though he admitted his curveball wasn’t as sharp as he’d like it to be, Millwood was satisfied with yesterday’s results.

“I feel like I’m getting closer to where I need to be,” he said. “Aside from the walks, I felt like I threw the ball well.”

Manager Tony Franklin was pretty impressed with Millwood’s outing as well, especially the way it showcased how an aging pitcher adapts to his declining stuff.

“I was pretty impressed with the way he went in and out and when he got ahead and exploited the hitters’ weaknesses,” Franklin said. “I think he’d be the first to tell you he’s no longer a flamethrower.”

Along with Mark Prior, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and most recently Carlos Silva, Millwood was one of many darts Yankees general manager Brian Cashman threw at the wall this offseason after Cliff Lee, the winter’s biggest prize, shocked everyone by signing with the Phillies.

So far, Garcia and Colon have helped seal an at-times leaky pitching staff, Prior was moved up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s bullpen, and Silva is in extended spring training down in Tampa, Fla.

As for Millwood, he’s got an out clause in his contract that allows him to opt out and become a free agent again. That’s nearly two weeks away, though, plenty of time to get him another minor league start or two.

His number would come up again on Friday, when the Thunder play the Senators again, this time at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg. If the Yankees don’t want to send aging righty on the road, they could promote him to Scranton, who play at home that day against Syracuse.

In the nighttcap, after spot starter Craig Heyer tossed five innings of three-run (one earned) baseball, Pat Venditte and Fernando Hernandez allowed five runs over the next two innings.

On the other side, Brad Peacock stifled the Thunder, holding them to two runs (one earned) on just two hits. He struck out nine.

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Anderson new path brings him to Trenton

TRENTON — Over the last four seasons, Trenton has seen its share of outfielders who, after failing to hack it with the lumber, have tried their hand on the hill.

Mike Dunn, now a set-up man with the Marlins, pitched with the Thunder in 2008 and 2009. Wilkin De La Rosa, currently in the Dodgers system, did the same over the last two Eastern League campaigns, and had enough fans in the organization that he was part of New York’s 40-man roster until late 2010.

This season Trenton welcomes a new convert, Brian Anderson, who, unlike Dunn and De La Rosa, had a considerable amount of success in the batter’s box.

So, if he’d made it to the big leagues in his original incarnation, why make the switch?

“It just boiled down to me just being unhappy,” he explained. “The bottom line is: If you’re showing up at your job unhappy, you should get a different job. I knew I loved the game of baseball, and I knew I loved to pitch, so I thought, why not give it a shot? You only live once.”

Unhappy as he may have been, Anderson still managed to carve out a five-season big league career for himself, with a .227/.290/.370 batting line and 22 career longballs.

Coincidentally, two of his home runs came against former Thunder pitchers. One was Jeff Karstens. The other was Ron Mahay, whose career path after he put down the bat should be one Anderson tries to emulate.

Mahay, a 14-season major league veteran, started his Thunder career, in 1995, as a hitter, and ended it two years later as a hurler. He made his big league debut with the Red Sox that same season, and put together a 3-0 record with 2.52 ERA in 27 games out of Boston’s bullpen.

After pitching in the Royals’ system last year, Anderson began this year in extended spring training with the Yankees before making his 2011 debut on Thursday night.

Sporting a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a respectable breaking pitch, Anderson threw one inning and retired the side in order.

Even with the circuitous and winding road he has taken to Waterfront Park, pitching coach Tommy Phelps says Anderson comes with no special instructions on his days to pitch.

“Just go out and let him get some innings,” Phelps explained. “He’ll probably only pitch one to two innings at a time, and some back-to-back days, but he doesn’t have a lot of innings under his belt.”

Anderson realizes that, unlike Dunn, De La Rosa and Mahay, his transition has come at a very late point in his career, and the chance for success is both slim and fleeting.

Still, he pitched in high school and with the University of Arizona, and the fire to compete is still there. So, until he proves he can’t do it anymore, he’ll try to claw his way back to the top.

“No time is the perfect time to make that choice that late in your career,” he admitted. “I just turned 29. I hope I can bang this out as long as I can, hopefully six or seven more years.

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Around the System - April 17

Triple-A: Rochester 6, Scranton 3

Jorge Vazquez: 1-for-4, HR
Jordan Parraz: 1-for-4, 3B, R, outfield assist
Justin Maxwell: 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI
D.J. Mitchell: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO
Josh Schmidt: IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Today's starter: Brackman (0-0, 5.40)

Double-A: Trenton 8, Harrisburg 0; Harrisburg 8, Trenton 2

Game 1
Austin Krum: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Jose Pirela: 3-for-4, 2 R, SB
Austin Romine: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB
Brad Suttle: 1-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI
Corban Joseph: 2-for-3, R
Ray Kruml: 3-for-3, 2 2B, R
Kevin Millwood: 7 IP, H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 SO

Game 2
Cody Johnson: 1-for-3
Jack Rye: 1-for-3
Addison Maruszak: 1-for-3, 2B, R
Craig Heyer: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Today's starter: Garrison (0-1, 6.14)

High-A: Tampa 11, Brevard County 3

Abraham Almonte: 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, BB
Walter Ibarra: 1-for-1, R, RBI, 2 Sac
Rob Lyerly: 2-for-5, 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI
Luke Murton: 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Kyle Higashioka: 1-for-5, RBI
Brett Marshall: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
Mike Solbach: 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 SO

Today's Starter: Black (0-0, 2.38)

Low-A: Rome 6, Charleston 1

Slade Heathcott: 1-for-3, R, BB
Anderson Feliz: 1-for-4
Ramon Flores: 1-for-3, RBI, BB
Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, 2 2B
Shane Greene: 6 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO

Today's Starter: Turley (1-1, 7.27)

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Game 9: Thunder vs. Harrisburg


1. Josh Johnson - SS
2. Steve Lombardozzi - 2B
3. Buck Coats - DH
4. Tyler Moore - 1B
5. Jesus Valdez - LF
6. Bill Rhinehart - RF
7. Devin Ivany - C
8. Tim Pahuta - 3B
9. Jonathan Tucker - CF
10. Luis Atilano - RHP

1. Austin Krum - LF
2. Jose Pirela - SS
3. Austin Romine - C
4. Brad Suttle - 3B
5. Cody Johnson - DH
6. Melky Mesa - CF
7. Corban Joseph - 2B
8. Myron Leslie - 1B
9. Ray Kruml - RF
10. Kevin Millwood - RHP

Pregame Notes: This is Game 1 of doubleheader to make up for yesterday's washout. Each game is seven innings, and Craig Heyer (1-0, 1.35) will start Game 2 for Trenton. He'll be opposed by Brad Peacock. ... To make room for Millwood on the roster, the Thunder have placed outfielder Damon Sublett on the DL. His stint is retroactive to Friday.

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Around the System - April 16

Triple-A: PPD

Sunday's Starter: D.J. Mitchell (0-0, 0.00) vs. Rochester

Double-A: PPD

Sunday's Starters: Craig Heyer (1-0, 1.35) vs. Harrisburg - Game 1
Kevin Millwood (NR) vs. Harrisburg - Game 2

High-A: Dunedin 9, Tampa 7

Abraham Almonte: 2-for-5, RBI
Carmen Angelini: 2-for-4
Luke Murton: 0-for-3, R, 2 BB
Taylor Grote: 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI
Kyle Higashioka: 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Deangelo Mack: 3-for-3, R, BB
Emerson Landoni: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Jairo Heredia: IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, SO, HR
Preston Claiborne: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, SO, HR
Ryan Flannery: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, SO

Sunday's Starter: Brett Marshall (0-2, 9.00) vs. Dunedin

Charleston 6, Rome 3

Slade Heathcott: 0-for-3, BB, R
Kelvin Castro: 3-for-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI
Ramon Flores: 0-1, R, 3 BB
J.R. Murphy: 2-for-4, 3 RBI, PB
Zach Nuding: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Mike Gipson: 2 IP, H, R, ER, 0 BB, SO
Tommy Kahnle: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 SO

Sunday's Starter: Shane Greene (1-1, 7.00) vs. Rome


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pitching Matchups for Richmond

Monday - Richmond LHP Thomas Vessella (1-0, 3.00) vs. LHP Steve Garrison (0-1, 6.14)
Tuesday - Richmond RHP Daryl Maday (0-1, 5.06) vs. LHP Manny Banuelos (0-0, 0.00)
Wednesday - Richmond LHP Eric Surkamp (0-1, 2.00) vs. LHP Shaeffer Hall (0-1, 5.23)

All games can be heard on WTSR 91.3 FM

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Today's Thunder Game Postponed (PR)

(Trenton, NJ)- Saturday night's game between the Trenton Thunder and the Harrisburg Senators was postponed due to rain. The game will be played as part of a doubleheader on Sunday, April 17 starting at 1:05pm. Both games will be seven innings and there will be a half hour between games.

Fans with tickets to the April 16 game may exchange them for tickets of equal or lesser value to another 2011 Thunder regular season home game except August 25, subject to availability. Ticket stubs may be presented in person at the Thunder Ticket Office at Waterfront Park this evening until 5:00pm or starting at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning.

The Brandon Laird mini bat giveaway scheduled for today will occur at a date TBD in 2011.

Most Improved Students will be contacted by Thunder staff regarding participation in a future Most Improved Student Night.

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Stoneburner shuts down Harrisburg

For The Trentonian

TRENTON — Coming into last night’s clash with the Senator’s, the Thunder had not been playing crisp baseball. Lack of offensive production, miscues on the defensive side and multiple injuries resulted in a 2-5 start for Trenton, but the Thunder bats came to life early as Trenton put together a complete effort to earn an 8-1 win over visiting Harrisburg.

“I thought the guys played really relaxed tonight,” said Trenton manager Tony Franklin. “It’s very early in the season. Young players have a tendency to start pressing. I just made it a point to walk around during batting practice and tell them to just relax, play your normal game and things will fall into place.”

On a chilly evening at Waterfront Park, the Thunder offense heated up. Thanks to a crooked number in the second inning from the Trenton bats and Graham Stoneburner’s solid start, the Thunder cruised to its first victory at home this season, taking game two of a four-game set.

“We were in a little bit of a spell,” Franklin said. “You start to wonder how long is this going to last. We just keep after it and things are going to turn around.”

Unlike recent games, the Thunder offense delivered big numbers. Trenton hit for a four-run second inning, and Stoneburner became more effective with the lead.

Designated hitter Cody Johnson shot a single up the middle to jump start the inning, Corban Joseph walked and eight-hitter, Addison Maruszak capitalized. The first basemen laced a double to left field, plating two runs, but that wasn’t all from Trenton. Following a bunt single from Ray Kruml, leadoff man Austin Krum brought home two more with a single up the middle, giving Stoneburner a quick 4-0 cushion.

Stoneburner, the 17th ranked prospect in the Yankees farm system, squandered leadoff doubles in both the first and second innings, but after receiving the lead, he was sharp, picking up his first win of 2011, and surprisingly, the Thunder’s first victory from a starting pitcher this year.

“He’s done a great job his two starts for us,” Franklin said. “He pitches to contact. He gets guys to put the ball in play and we made plays for him tonight.”

The 6-foot-1 product out of Clemson retired six straight after the four-run outburst, mixing in a pair of punch outs and four groundballs to sit down the Senators.

The Thunder tacked on to Thunder advantage with a soft two-RBI double from catcher Austin Romine that barely reached the outfield grass down the right field line. An RBI single from Johnson stretched Trenton’s lead to 7-0 in the fourth inning, exiting Harrisburg starter Ryan Tatusko.

The Thunder’s struggling offense that sported a .177 average entering last night, worst in the Eastern League, notched season highs in hits (11), runs in an inning (4) and runs scored (8), despite leaving the bases loaded twice.

The lone blemish in Stoneburner’s outing was a rocky top fifth in which the Senator’s loaded the bases with one out, and the righty allowed only one run on a sac fly.

Stoneburner surrendered one run in his first start, but took the loss because of little offensive support. Tonight was a different story. Stoneburner threw six impressive innings and his friends posted eight runs on the scoreboard.

Southpaw Kei Igawa worked three scoreless innings in relief for the save, putting on the finishing touches of an all-around performance from the Thunder.

“Tonight it was a clean game,” Franklin said. “Hopefully we can continue to build on our performance.”

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Around the System - April 15

Triple-A: Scranton 5, Buffalo 3

Jesus Montero: 3-for-5, RBI
Dan Brewer: 1-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Justin Maxwell: 2-for-3, 2 2B, R
Adam Warren: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Andy Sisco: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 0 SO

Double-A: Trenton 8, Harrisburg 1

Austin Krum: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 R
Austin Romine: 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Brad Suttle: 2-for-5
Cody Johnson: 2-for-5, RBI, R
Addison Maruszak: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, R
Ray Kruml: 2-for-4, 2 R, SB
Graham Stoneburner: 6 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 2 SO
Kei Igawa: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO

High-A: Tampa 6, Dunedin 4

Carmen Angelini: 1-for-4, R
Rob Lyerly: 1-for-4, HR
Luke Murton: 1-for-4, HR
Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Deangelo Mack: 0-1, 3 BB
Jose Ramirez: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
Mark Prior: IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, SO

Low-A: Charleston 9, Greenville 8

Slade Heathcott: 2-for-4, 3 R
Anderson Feliz: 2-for-4, R, 2 BB
J.R. Murphy: 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB
Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, walk-off hit by pitch
Kelvin De Leon: 1-for-4, R
Eduardo Sosa: 2-for-3, 2B, R
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-5, 2 RBI
Jose Mojica: 1-for-4, 3B, R, BB
Kramer Sneed: 5 1/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Phil Hughes going on DL, Lance Pendleton coming up

Per the New York Post's Brian Costello, Phil Hughes is being placed on the disabled list and Lance Pendleton, last year's Thunder ace in the second half, is being called to New York to take his place.

Pendleton was a Rule 5 pick of the Houston Astros this offseason, and was returned to the Yankees during the last week of spring training. The 27-year-old right-hander from Rice University is 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA in two appearances out the Scranton bullpen this season.

With the Thunder last year, Pendleton was 10-4 with a 3.43 ERA over 23 appearances (22 starts.)

This comes after Hughes had been shellacked for three straight starts, including last night's effort against the Orioles in which he allowed five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Overall this season, Hughes has given up four home runs in just 10 1/3 frames.

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Around the System - April 14

Triple-A: Scranton 6, Buffalo 2

Jordan Parraz:
2-for-4, R, RBI
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Justin Maxwell: 2-for-4, SB
Dan Brewer: 1-for-3, R
Doug Bernier: 2-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Dan Brewer: 1-for-3, R, SB
Amauri Sanit: 3 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Josh Schmidt: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

Double-A: Harrisburg 4, Trenton 2

Jose Pirela: 1-for-3, BB, E
Brad Suttle: 1-for-4, 2B
Cody Johnson: 2-for-4, HR
Melky Mesa: 2-for-4, 2B, bunt single
Corban Joseph: 1-for-4, R
Ray Kruml: 1-for-4, RBI
Shaeffer Hall: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 4 SO
Brian Anderson: IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Naoya Okamoto: 2/3 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, SO

High-A: Tampa 1, Dunedin 0

Abraham Almonte: 1-for-5
Carmen Angelini: 1-for-4, 2B
Luke Murton: 2-for-3, 2B, R, BB
Kevin Mahoney: 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Zoilo Almonte: 1-for-3, 2B
Josh Romanski: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 SO

Low-A: Greenville 3, Charleston 0

Ramon Flores:
1-for-2, 2 BB
Kelvin De Leon: 1-for-3
Eduardo Sosa: 1-for-4
Mikey O'Brien: 4 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, ER, 2 BB, 7 SO
Dan Burawa: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

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Quotes from Dellin Betances, Naoya Okamoto and video of Brian Anderson

The news broke this morning about Dellin Betances hitting the DL with a blister on his right pointer finger. Mark Newman, the Yankees head of player development, didn't seem terribly concerned, saying he expected the pitcher to miss "a start."

He was unavailable before the game -- in the training room, where no media are allowed -- but I caught up to him afterward and got the lowdown on what happened and how he feels.

For what it's worth, his blister looks markedly different than the one on Manny Banuelos' left thumb. Whereas Banuelos' looks like a yellow, pus-y mess, Betances' looks like he simply Sharpied over part of his finger.

On whether he was surprised the team placed him on the DL: "It was their decision. I'm just going with whatever they tell me and the doctors tell me. Whenever they tell me to start throwing, I'll be ready."

On whether he thinks a particular pitch caused the blister: "I was throwing spike curveballs, that's what usually (puts stress on that area). It was just something on Monday that happened. I'll just play it out how it is."

On whether cold weather in New Hampshire had anything to do with it: "No, no. I'm from New York, so I'm used to it."

On whether he'd had a history of problems with blisters in the past: "No. I've never had a problem. I've never had a problem. It's just one of those things. It's unfortunate that it came this early, but it's just a little bump in the road."

On how they treated the blister when it first arose: "We've just been doing a lot of iodine. We're trying to not do too much the last couple of days, just to see how it plays, but I'm sure I'll be throwing here soon."

As for pitchers who are still active, there's Naoya Okamoto, who, along with Kei Igawa, is part of Trenton's tandem of left-handed Japanese relievers. Aside from the first two hitters he faced, Okamoto didn't have a particularly good day on Thursday.

He walked four hitters in an inning, and gave up the final two runs in the Thunder's 4-2 loss to Harrisburg. Here's what he had to say afterward.

On whether anything distracted him out there, leading to the hiccup with his command: “It’s what you saw out there. After two outs, I walked a few batters and that’s about it.”

On whether he lost his mechanics, or the feel for the ball in the cold, or was unnerved by Jose Pirela' error: "No. Not really. I just didn't really feel it today.

Finally, some video of Brian Anderson, the former White Sox first-rounder now pitching with the Thunder

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Millwood to start; Banuelos, Betances on the shelf with blisters

TRENTON – It’s out with the new and in with the old for the Thunder – again. Kevin Millwood, whom the Yankees signed late this offseason, will make his 2011debut on Sunday at Waterfront Park. He’ll take the place of Manny Banuelos, who was placed on the disabled list yesterday with a gnarly blister on his left thumb.

Dellin Betances, the other of the team’s pair of high-echelon starters, was also placed on the shelf yesterday with the same blister problem. In his case, the right pointer finger was the offending digit.

Millwood signed with the Yankees on March 25, less than a week before big league camp broke. He stuck around the minor league complex, along with veteran Mark Prior, and threw bullpen sessions in front of team pitching guru Billy Connors, who will accompany Millwood to Trenton.

No specific rules for Millwood were spelled out yesterday by Thunder manager Tony Franklin or pitching coach Tommy Phelps. It’s a safe bet there will be rules coming, however. Millwood pitched against Phillies minor leaguers earlier in the week.

If he makes it to the major leagues with the Yankees, it will be his sixth major league organization. He’s pitched for Atlanta, Cleveland, Texas, Baltimore and Philadelphia. He pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies on April 27, 2003 against San Francisco.

As for Banuelos and Betances, the blisters don’t seem to be a product of the cold. Banuelos says his troubles began during his last work of the spring, an intrasquad game between the Tampa and Charleston work groups on April 2. Although he was slated for Trenton all along, Banuelos started and pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Tampa group.

Afterward, he says, he noticed the thumb beginning to flare up but he kept it to himself.

“I didn’t tell (anyone) nothing,” he said. “Just after the game, I showed it to the trainer and he was surprised. I didn’t show him before the game. It was hard (to pitch with), especially my fastball.”

He pitched with injury on Monday in the first game of the Thunder’s series with Portland, and made it out of four innings unscathed. His pitch count, not the blister, was the reason for his removal that night, and he didn’t expect to be put on the shelf.

Despite its yellow, exposed appearance, Banuelos says he feels better, and will begin throwing tomorrow, starting with a casual game of catch. If that progresses as planned, he’ll throw a bullpen session on Saturday.

Betances is also expected back next week, possibly as early as Monday, if his rehab measures go as planned.

For his part, Franklin doesn’t seem concerned about losing his two top pitchers before his team has even played its first home game. It is, after all, only April 14.

“How many more games are there this season,” he asked. “There’s no reason to panic being 2-4 right now. I get a little bit concerned over the two pitchers we lost, because they have pretty good futures ahead of them and they need to be pitching. I’m not that concerned about (the start) right now.”

NOTES: Gary Sanchez, the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect according to Baseball America, was placed on the disabled list yesterday in Charleston. The severity of his injury is unknown, but the team called up backstop Nick McCoy from the Charleston roster to take his place. … Brian Anderson, a former outfielder with the White Sox, was called to Trenton to take a spot on the roster. He’ll work out of the bullpen, and operates with a low-to-mid 90s fastball as well as a pair of breaking pitches. ... The rotation after today's game is Graham Stoneburner, Craig Heyer, Kevin Millwood and Steve Garrison.

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Millwood starting Sunday

Just got back from the clubhouse, where it was revealed the Kevin Millwood (with Billy Connors in tow) is going to pitch on Sunday in Trenton. That's a day game, 1:05 start, if anybody is planning on coming out. No specifics on pitch count, etc., but I'm sure we'll get that when the date approaches.

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Banuelos heads to the DL (press release)

(TRENTON, NJ) - The Trenton Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announce that OF Damon Sublett has been activated from the Disabled List and that in a corresponding move, LHP Manny Banuelos has been added to the Disabled List, retroactive to April 12.

Sublett started the 2011 season on the Thunder D.L. Last season with Trenton, Sublett appeared in 35 games, batting .214 with 2 HR and 14 RBI.

Banuelos made one start this season, on April 11 in Portland. He pitched four innings and allowed four hits and no runs. In 10 games with Tampa in 2010 he was 0-3 with a 2.23 ERA. The left-hander pitched in three games for Trenton, going 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA.

The Thunder kick-off their opening home stand of the 2011 season with a match-up against the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) tonight at 7:05 PM. Limited tickets are available for tonight's Opening Night festivities at Waterfornt Park. Secure yours by contacting the Thunder Box Office at 609-394-3300 or by logging on to

All the Thunder action can be heard on the new flagship station for Trenton Thunder baseball, 91.3 WTSR, or online at

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Lineups + injuries to Gary Sanchez and Dellin Betances

Here's today's lineup:

1. Krum - LF
2. Pirela - SS
3. Romine -C
4. Suttle - 3B
5. Johnson - DH
6. Mesa - CF
7. Joseph - 2B
8. Maruszak -1B
9. Kruml -RF
10. Hall - LHSP

Bad injury news: Charleston catcher and Yankees stud prospect is hurt, I have heard. I don't know the severity of the injury yet, but I expect to get details on that later in the evening. He's on the disabled list with the RiverDogs right now.

Additionally, Dellin Betances has been put on the Trenton disabled list with a blister. Mark Newman said he's expected to miss "a start," and he's eligible to come off the shelf on the 18th. I expect him to start that date.

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Betances has blister issue, hits DL

TRENTON -- The Thunder today placed Dellin Betances on the 7-day disabled list with what Yankees VP of Player Development Mark Newman says is a blister. He said he expects Betances to miss "a start."

In his place the Thunder received Brian Anderson from Staten Island. Anderson, a former outfielder with the White Sox, is trying his hand as a pitcher.

Betances, in his lone start of the year, in New Hampshire, allowed one earned run over four innings and took the loss. The disabled list move is retroactive to April 11.

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Pitching matchups vs. Harrisburg

Game 1 - Harrisburg RHP Ryan Tatusko (0-1, 4.50) vs. LHP Shaeffer Hall (0-0, 7.20) - 7:05
Game 2 - Harrisburg RHP Luis Atilano (0-0, 3.60) vs. RHP G. Stoneburner (0-1, 1.80) - 7:05
Game 3 - Harrisburg RHP Erik Davis (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Dellin Betances (0-1, 1.93) - 5:05
Game 4 - Harrisburg RHP Brad Peacock (0-1, 3.86) vs. RHP Manny Banuelos (0-0, 0.00) - 5:05

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Around the System - April 13

Triple-A: Buffalo 4, Scranton 0

Jesus Montero: 1-for-4
Jorge Vazquez: 1-for-4
Ramiro Pena: 1-for-4, 2B
Brandon Laird: 1-for-4, 2B
David Phelps: 5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
George Kontos: 2 1/3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

Double-A: PPD

High-A: Brevard County 11, Tampa 5

Carmen Angelini: 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R
Rob Lyerly: 3-for-5, RBI
Luke Murton: 0-for-3, 2 BB
Zoilo Almonte: 2-for-4, 2B, R
Neil Medchill: 1-for-2, HR, 2 R, 2 BB
Sean Black: 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 SO
Preston Claiborne: 1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO -- allowed back-to-back HRs

Low-A: Charleston 11, Greenville 2

Slade Heathcott: 2-for-6, 2 R, 4 SO
Ramon Flores: 4-for-6, 2B, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI
J.R. Murphy: 3-for-5, 2 RBI, R
Rob Segedin: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Kelvin De Leon: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB
Eduardo Sosa: 2-for-5
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-5, 3B, R
Jose Mojica: 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI
Nik Turley: 5 IP, 5 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
Mike Gipson: 3 IP, H, R, ER, 0 BB, 6 SO

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thunder and Sea Dogs postponed

Per the Eastern League scoreboard, today's game between the Thunder and Portland Sea Dogs has been postponed. Left-hander Shaeffer Hall was the scheduled starter today, and it's likely (though not certain) that he'll just move up to tomorrow's home opener, for which the weather forecast looks good.

What this means for MannyWatch 2011: Banuelos, originally on track to start Saturday's game, would be bumped up to Sunday, which is a 1.05 tilt against the Harrisburg Senators. Again, nothing here is concrete.

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Around the System: April 12

Triple-A: Scranton 5, Rochester 3

Chris Dickerson: 1-for-5, R
Jesus Montero: 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R
Jorge Vazquez: 4-for-5, R, 2 RBI
Justin Maxwell: 1-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, outfield assist
Andrew Brackman: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO (80 pitches, 46 strikes)
Lance Pendleton: 3 IP, H, 0 R, o BB, 4 SO (41 pitches, 26 strikes)

Double-A: Portland 7, Trenton 0

Brad Suttle: 2-for-2, SB
Cody Johnson: 0-for-3, BB
Myron Leslie: 0-for-2, BB
Steve Garrison: 3 1/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Pat Venditte: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

High-A: Brevard County 4, Tampa 2

Abraham Almonte: 1-for-5, R
Carmen Angelini: 1-for-4, 3B, R
Rob Lyerly: 2-for-4, RBI
Taylor Grote: 2-for-4
Neil Medchill: 2-for-4, 2B, HR
Brett Marshall: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
Kelvin Perez: 3 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Low-A: Greenville 15, Charleston 0

Eduardo Sosa: 1-for-5
Rob Segedin: 1-for-4
Eduardo Sosa: 1-for-4
Kyle Roller: 2-for-3, 2B, BB
Kelvin Castro: 1-for-4
Jose Toussen: 1-for-2
Shane Greene: 3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
Dan Burawa: 2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, BB, 5 SO

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Hector Noesi called to New York

Well, so much for that all-prospect rotation in Scranton -- at least for now.

With Luis Ayala on the shelf, the Yankees have decided to call up Hector Noesi from Scranton to take his place. A major factor, aside from his talent, Noesi had working for him was his spot on the 40-man roster.

Unlike the other members of the 40-man roster who were available, Noesi had not pitched recently (like Garrison and Betances and Brackman had) and was not on the disabled list (like Jose Ortegano and Ryan Pope are), so, unless the Yankees wanted to make a 40-man move and bring up lefty Andy Sisco, Noesi makes sense.

Noesi was outstanding -- outside of a small skid -- with the Thunder last season. Overall, the right-hander was 8-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) and struck out 86 against 18 walks before being promoted to Scranton toward season's end.

His signature game with the team came against the Binghamton Mets and rehabbing major leaguer John Maine. Noesi twirled a complete game that afternoon, the Thunder's first since Alfredo Aceves did it two seasons prior.

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This time, Thunder pay for meager offense

PORTLAND, Me. — Just like last night, the Thunder didn’t put forth much offense against the Portland Sea Dogs. This time, though, it cost them a game.

Brad Suttle collected the team’s only two hits – both singles in a 7-0 loss at Hadlock Field in the team’s penultimate game before heading home for the inaugural 2011 homestand.

Trenton native Steve Garrison started and, after cruising for a few frames, got roughed up by Portland’s bats in the fourth. Five of the first six Sea Dogs hitters against Garrison in that inning collected hits, including doubles from Oscar Tejeda, Jonathan Hee and Alex Hassan.

As has been the case quite often this season, Trenton’s defense didn’t perform well. Jose Pirela made his fifth error of the season and Yadil Mujica committed one later on, adding to the team’s total of 12 over the first six games. To put that into perspective, the Thunder wound up with 95 miscues in 142 games through all of 2010.

Aside from Suttle’s two knocks, the only other offensive output the Thunder mustered against Red Sox prospect Alex Wilson came via walks from Cody Johnson and Myron Leslie, playing first base in his season debut.

Notably, Addison Maruszak made his professional catching debut in place of Austin Romine, who had caught the previous five games.

The road swing concludes tonight when Shaeffer Hall takes the ball against Brock Huntzinger at 6:00 p.m.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Banuelos debuts as Thunder win in 10

PORTLAND, Me. — More than anything, yesterday’s game with the Portland Sea Dog was about Manny Banuelos, the newest Yankees’ phenom, making his 2011 debut.

Despite tons of noise coming out of spring training calling for the 20-year-old left-hander to make the big club outright, Banuelos was sent back to Trenton.

After a delay to deal with a family matter back in Mexico, Banuelos got his first turn last night. He turned in four scoreless innings in an eventual 3-2 Thunder win in extra innings at Hadlock Field.

Overall, Trenton’s starter threw 64 pitches, allowed four hits, struck out one and walked one before being lifted for long reliever Craig Heyer.

After Heyer and Venditte held the Sea Dogs for four frames, an error from Corban Joseph followed by a single from Tim Federowicz off of closer Fernando Hernandez tied it in the ninth.

The Thunder answered in the tenth when Austin Krum led off with a walk against Sea Dogs reliever Santo Luis. Jose Pirela’s bunt pushed him to second before Austin Romine and Suttle drew back to back walks, with Brad Suttle’s coming intentionally.

Cody Johnson, who didn’t play in Sunday’s loss in New Hampshire, then lofted a sacrifice fly to deep left to score Krum from the third with the winning run.

Naoya Okamoto worked around a two-out hit to pick up to blank the Sea Dogs in the tenth and earn the save. Hernandez got the win.

Melky Mesa got the Thunder on the board in the second inning with his — and the team’s — first home run of the season, a solo shot.

Consecutive doubles from Austin Romine and Suttle gave Trenton its second tally.

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Around the System - April 11

Triple-A: Scranton 11, Rochester 0

Jesus Montero:
3-for-5, 2B, RBI, 2 R
Greg Golson: 3-for-4, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R
Jorge Vazquez: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Jordan Parraz: 3-for-5, 2B, RBI
Ramiro Pena: 1-for-5, 3B, R
D.J. Mitchell: 3 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 SO

Double-A: Trenton 3, Portland 2 - 10 innings

Austin Krum:
2-for-3, BB, R, SB
Austin Romine: 1-for-2, R, 3 BB, SB; 1 SB allowed (no throw)
Brad Suttle: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB, SB
Melky Mesa: 1-for-5, HR
Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB SO, 64 pitches

High-A: Tampa 7, Brevard County 3

Abraham Almonte:
2-for-5, 2 R
Walter Ibarra: 1-for-5, R
Rob Lyerly: 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Luke Murton: 2-for-5, R
Taylor Grote: 2-for-5, 2 2B, R
Jairo Heredia: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO
Chase Whitley: 2 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 5 SO

Low-A: Greenville 12, Charleston 10

Slade Heathcott: 2-for-6, 2B, 3B, RBI, R
Ramon Flores: 3-for-6
J.R. Murphy: 3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Kyle Roller: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Eduardo Sosa: 2-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Kelvin Castro: 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, R
Zach Nuding: 3 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO

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