Monday, April 23, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Salt Lake Bees (12-6)
The Bees walloped (yes, I said walloped) the Tucson Padres 16-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 2,025 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, AZ. First baseman Efren Navarro and designated hitter Paul McAnulty both had big days as the pair combined to go 6-for-11 with 7 RBI’s. The offense didn’t just come from the bats of Navarro and McAnulty though; Alexi Amarista, Ryan Langerhans, Jorge Cantu and Kole Calhoun all had two RBI’s a piece. Mike Trout, who was 1-for-1 with a triple, was pulled from the game in the 4th inning as a precautionary measure after being hit by a pitch on his wrist. According to Bees manager Keith Johnson “everything is good” with Trout and he will not miss a lot, if any playing time. Trout is batting .400 through 18 games so far this season. The Bees got some very timely hits in the game as 10 of their runs came in situations with 2 outs; the offense as whole was 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Brad Mills had another solid outing going 6.0 innings, allowing only 1 run off of 6 hits. Mills walked only 1 batter and struck out 3, after his latest outing his ERA this season stands at a sparkling to 1.42. After Mills left the game, relievers Loek Van Mil and Francisco Rodriguez combined for 3.0 shutout innings giving up only 2 hits.

Next up: Eric Hurley takes the mound Monday night for the Bees opposite Padres pitcher Jorge Reyes in game 3 of the 4 game series.

Arkansas Travelers (8-8)
The red hot Travelers won their 5th game in a row Sunday afternoon as they beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 8-4 at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in front of 5,350 in Little Rock Arkansas. AJ Schugel pitched 5.0 shaky innings giving up 3 earned runs off of 5 hits and a walk. Dakota Robinson, Steven Geltz and Daniel Tillman would go the final 4.0 innings for the Travs’, giving up only 1 earned run while securing the victory. Designated hitter Casey Haerther gave the Travs’ the lead in the 4th inning when he hit a 2-run home run off of Naturals’ starter Chris Dwyer. Jean Segura continued his recent hot hitting by going 2-for-3 with a walk, 3 runs, and an RBI. Segura has a 7-game hitting streak and is 4-for-7 his last two games. The Travs’ batted .333 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and left only 4 men on base.

Next up: Travs’ pitcher John Hellweg will face off against Tulsa hurler Edwar Cabrera if the first of a 4 game series.

Inland Empire 66ers (9-8)Despite a solid pitching effort by starter Nick Maronde, the 66’ers lost a close one to the High Desert Mavericks 4-3 in front of 1,776 at Stater Bros. Stadium in Adelanto, CA on Sunday. Maronde pitched 7.0 innings giving up 3 earned runs off of 6 hits while striking out 6. Maronde gave up the runs early in the game but settled down and pitched nicely, at one point retiring 15 of 18 batters. It was the second consecutive quality start for Maronde who lowered his ERA to 4.09. The 66’ers had a scary moment early in the game when outfielder Travis Witherspoon collapsed to the ground after hitting the outfield wall hard while he was giving chase to a fly ball; he would exit the game the following inning. There hasn’t been any word yet on the extent of his injury and if he will miss any playing time. Designated hitter C.J. Cron hit his 3rd home run of the season, a solo shot in the 2nd inning. Cron also had another RBI in the game bringing his season total to 15. Inland Empire will start an eight game, seven day, home-stand Monday with a 7:05 p.m. contest against the Lake Elsinore Storm at San Manuel Stadium.

Next up: 66’ers pitcher Trevor Reckling will face off against Storm pitcher Burch Smith in game 1 of a 4 game series.

Cedar Rapids Kernels (9-8)
The Cedar Rapids Kernels beat the Dayton Dragons 2-0 in front of 8,710 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton Ohio on Sunday. Kernels pitcher Eswarlin Jimenez pitched a dominating 4.0 innings striking out 6 while walking none. Joe Melioris came into the game in the 5th inning and picked right up where Jimenez had left off; Melioris pitched 5.0 shutout innings in which he scattered 2 hits, struck out 2, and walked none. In 10.2 innings this season Melioris’ ERA is 1.69, he has allowed only 2 earned runs off of 7 hits. Third baseman Kaleb Cowart and right fielder Andy Workman each had an RBI in the game; it would prove to be more than enough offense for the Kernels due to their exquisite pitching.

Next up: Ryan Crowley will take the mound tonight for the Kernels opposite Dragons’ pitcher Daniel Tuttle in game 2 of the 3 game series. Top 10 Prospects1. Mike Trout (CF) (AAA) ..... 1-1, 2 Runs. Hitting .400.
2. Garrett Richards (RHP) (AAA) ..... 3-0, 1.67 ERA – 27 K’s in 27 IP. 0.96 WHIP
3. Jean Segura (SS) (AA) ..... 2-3, 3 Runs. Hitting .283
4. John Hellweg (RHP) (AA) ..... 0-1, 3.71 ERA. Pitches tonight.
5. C. J. Cron (1B) (A+) ..... 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Hitting .254
6. Taylor Lindsey (2B) (A+) ..... 1-4. Hitting .283
7. Matt Shoemaker (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2-0, 4.01 ERA.
8. Luis Jimenez (3B) (AAA) ..... Did not play.
9. Kole Calhoun (OF) (AAA) ..... 2-6, 2 Runs, 2 RBI’s. Hitting .316.
10. Kaleb Cowart (3B) (A) ..... 1-4, 1 RBI. Hitting .277.
Love to hear what you think!

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