Wednesday, April 11, 2012

By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter

Salt Lake Bees - The Salt Lake Bees were battling in a pitcher's duel, until scoring twice in the 9th to secure a 2-1 victory. Garrett Richards toed the slab for the Bees, and he threw a beauty. Richards worked into the 7th, going 6.1 innings, conceding just 1 run and punching out 8. The most impressive stat for Richards was the 8-0 ground ball to fly ball ratio. You read that right, he didn't allow one fly ball all night. That is a very important factor in the Pacific Coast League where the ball can really fly. 24 year old closer Ryan Braiser pitched 2 perfect innings, striking out 2. I imagine the Angels will promote Brasier sometime this year if he continues to throw the ball well for Salt Lake. In the 9th inning, a pair of solo home runs by Ryan Langerhans and Jorge Cantu lifted the Bees to victory. Matt Shoemaker is the scheduled pitcher for Wednesday.

Arkansas Travelers - It's tough to find any positives out of the Travelers' game on Tuesday, as they lost 8-1. 25 year old Matt Long and 26 year old Roberto Lopez both went 2-4 with 2 singles. AJ Schugel struck out 7 hitters in 5 innings, but also gave up 4 earned runs and 3 walks. 23 year old Eddie McKiernan relieved Schugel and went 2.1 innings surrendering just 1 run and striking out 3. McKiernan, a Pasadena native, is transitioning back to the bullpen after having a sub-par year in the rotation last year. Tomorrow, Arkansas has a much needed off-day.

Inland Empire 66ers - The 66ers unleashed for 7 runs and 11 hits, thanks in most part to an unbelievable night for first baseman C.J. Cron. Cron, last year's first round pick went a whopping 5-5 with 2 singles, 2 doubles, and a 9th inning line drive home run. That's 10 total bases, which more than doubles his total before this game. Needless to say, that's a night that C.J. will definitely remember! 25 year old outfielder Jeremy Cruz also contributed with a 3 run inside the park home run in the 5th inning. On the bump was Jerome Williams, making his final rehab start for the 66ers. He was very solid - 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts and 0 walks. His next start will be for the Angels in New York on Sunday night in front of a national audience. Buddy Boshers, Dakota Robinson, and Ryan Chaffee all had scoreless innings in relief to ensure Inland Empire's victory. Tomorrow at 7:00 PT, Donn Roach will try to piggy back off of Jerome's start, as the 66ers finish the series against the Lake Elsinore Storm.

Cedar Rapids Kernels - The Kernels won a thrilling ballgame 4-3 with a walk off single in the bottom of the 9th. 21 year old lefty Michael Johnson, a 46th round pick a year ago, tossed 5 innings allowing just 2 runs. Johnson got off to a rough start, but he retired the last 7 batters he faced for a strong finish. Lay Batista (pronounced lie), the 22 year old Dominican righty, was terrific in relief of Johnson. He went 4 frames and gave up just 2 hits, no earned runs flashing a powerful fastball and sharp off speed. First baseman Frazier Hall homered for the 2nd night in a row. With his 2 more hits today, Hall raised his batting average to .368 and OPS to 1.218. Catcher Abel Baker went just 1-4 but his lone hit was the aforementioned walk off single. Perhaps this will boost Abel, as he has begun the season hitting just .133. Tomorrow night, Austin Wood will pitch for Cedar Rapids.

Prospect of the day: C.J. Cron 1B
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