Saturday, July 5, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, July 4, 2014

Corpus with the...



Oklahoma City 4, Iowa 3

W- Jason Stoffel (2-2)
L- Marcus Hatley (2-2)
S- Kevin Chapman (3)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks fended off homers from the Cubs' biggest guns in Javier Baez and Kris Bryant as they got themselves off the canvas and into the lead with a 4-run bottom of the 8th. They had been shackled by Iowa starter Eric Jokisch, who held them to just 2 hits and struck out 7 of them over 7 shutout innings.

Austin Wates kicked off the winning rally with a single. Preston Tucker then walked, and a Matt Duffy single loaded the bases. Carlos Perez was the first casualty of the 8th, but Joe Sclafani put OKC on the board with an RBI single. Ronald Torreyes then grounded into a force out that scored Duffy, and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch. As a result, Robbie Grossman got an express pass to 1st to re-load the bases, and Jonathan Villar made Iowa rue that decision as he hit the go-ahead 2-run single.

Asher Wojciechowski pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (2 solo homers), walked 2, and struck out 3. The bullpen posted 4 shutout innings in relief of Wojo. Pat Urckfitz allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless, Jason Stoffel allowed just 1 hit and struck out 4 in 1.2, and Kevin Chapman got the final out of the evening.

After they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in game 1, Paul Clemens will get the start tonight. He'll face Carlos Pimentel at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 8, Springfield 0

W- Kyle Smith (3-2)
L- Kurt Heyer (3-5)

CC home runs: None.

In front of the largest crowd in Whataburger Field history, the Hooks swept the Cardinals out of Corpus Christi as they put up 3 in the 6th and the 7th to bust open a 2-0 game, and 3 pitchers combined on a 4-hitter.

Kyle Smith started it off with 6 shutout innings and allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Mitch Lambson struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings, and Travis Ballew worked around a walk to finish it off, striking out 1.

Jonathan Meyer opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 3rd. Tony Kemp finished 2-5 with a double, an RBI single in the 4th, and scored twice. In the 6th, Delino DeShields hit an RBI single. Then, after Andrew Aplin drew a walk, Meyer reached on an error that loaded the bases and allowed Kemp to score. Leo Heras then took Delino's place on the bases when he walked him home.

After stretch time, DeShields added a 2-run single to his ledger, and Meyer capped off the scoring with a 2nd RBI single. Kemp, DeShields, and Meyer all had 2-hit nights, while Tyler Heineman went 3-4 with a double and a run scored.

The Tulsa Drillers come into town for a 3-game set. In the opener, Tommy Shirley will take on Ryan Kulik. First pitch is at 7:10.

Rancho Cucamonga 4, Lancaster 2

W- Lindsey Caughel (5-3)
L- Mark Appel (1-4)

Lancaster home runs: None.

It was a frustrating night for the JetHawks, who saw Rodney Linares get tossed in the 4th and left 13 runners on base. They fall to 5-10 in the 2nd half.

Mark Appel went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits (4 singles and a 2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Brian Holmes gave up just 1 hit and struck out 3 over 4 scoreless frames.

Danry Vásquez got Lancaster on the board in the 2nd with a sac fly. The other Lancaster run came in the 8th, when Teoscar Hernandez stole 3rd (24) and scored when Rancho C Kyle Farmer threw the ball away. Jack Mayfield (2B, R), Conrad Gregor (2 BB), and Roberto Peña had 2 hits apiece.

In game 2 of this series, Kyle Westwood will take on Fabio Martinez at 8:00.

Wisconsin 5, Quad Cities 3

W- Tyler Spurlin (3-0)
L- Frederick Tiburcio (1-2)

QC home runs: Jose Fernandez (2, 2-run in 4th)

The River Bandits were snakebit in the 9th as they saw Wisconsin rattle off 5 in the top of the inning.

Jose Fernandez opened up the scoring with a 2-run homer in the 4th. The Banditos got one back in the 9th with an RBI single from Brian Holberton. James Ramsay (21) and Brett Phillips (16) stole bases.

Adrian Houser could only watch as his outstanding outing fell by the wayside. He threw 6 shutout innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 8. Tyler Brunnemann struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings. Frederick Tiburcio just didn't have it. He only got 1 out in the 9th and allowed 4 runs (3 inherited runners charged to him), a hit, and walked 3. Andrew Walter got the River Bandits out of the inning, but not before he allowed a run of his own on 2 hits.

After the Timber Rattlers snatched a victory right out of their hands, the River Bandits will look to rebound. Chris Lee will take Anthony Banda at 6:00.

Tri-City 7, Lowell 4

W- Austin Chrismon (2-2)
L- Willie Ethington (2-1)

TC home runs: Terrell Joyce (2, 2-run in 5th)

The ValleyCats' 3 crooked-numbered frames topped Lowell's 4 1-run innings.

J.D. Davis finished 3-4 with a double, 3 RBI, a stolen base (1), and a run scored. He kicked off the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. He added an RBI ground-rule double in the 3rd. One batter after that, A.J. Reed hit an RBI groundout. Joyce's blast came with 1 out in the 6th. Davis had a second RBI single in the 7th, and Nick Tanielu added an RBI groundout to finish the scoring for TC. Ryan Bottger scored 3 runs, while Reed and Alfredo Gonzalez had 2 hits apiece.

Brandon McNitt went 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Kevin Ferguson got the final out of the 4th. Austin Chrismon allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 3 in 3 innings, and Chris Munnelly allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 4 in 2 innings.

In the middle game of this series, Blaine Sims will face Heri Quevedo at 6:00.

Greeneville 14, Kingsport 1

W- Jose Montero (1-1)
L- Yoan Gonzalez (1-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros heralded Jayne's arrival in their beautiful little town by absolutely demolishing the Mets. They dominated Kingsport in virutally every facet of the game in taking the first of 2.

Jason Martin led off the 1st with a triple, and Juan Santana opened the floodgates by bringing him home with a single. Jake Nottingham added a 2-run double and then came home on a single from Luis Reynoso, who wound up scoring on a wild pitch. Ramon Laureano scored the final run of the inning on a passed ball. Yonathan Mejia had an RBI groundout in the 2nd, and Martin added an RBI single in the 3rd. Sean McMullen hit a sac fly in the 5th, and the assault continued in the 7th.

Santana hit a sac fly, and then Trent Woodward hit an RBI single. McMullen, who doubled in the inning, scored on a wild pitch. Nottingham added an RBI groundout to his ledger, and Reynoso capped off the scoring with his 2nd RBI single of the night. Martin finished 2-3 with 3 walks and 2 runs scored. McMullen, Woodward, Laureano, and Antonio Nuñez also scored 2 runs. Laureano and Nuñez drew 2 walks, as well. Martin, Santana, McMullen, and Reynoso had 2 hits apiece.

Jose Montero got it started by allowing 2 hits, walking 3, and striking out 4 over 5 shutout innings. Josh James allowed just 1 hit, walked 1, and struck out 7 in 3 scoreless frames, and Kingsport spoiled the shutout when they got a run off of Jorge Perez in the 9th. Perez allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the inning.

The Appy Astros will look to make it 4 straight over Kingsport as Austin Nicely will get the start. He'll face Yoryi Nuez at 5:00.

GCL Astros 13, GCL Blue Jays 4

W- Alejandro Solarte (2-0)
L- Patrick Murphy (0-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros got the fireworks started early as they finished the game by burying the Blue Jays with a 9-1 run from the 5th-9th innings.

They jumped out of the gate with a 4-0 lead after the 1st. Dex McCall got it started with an RBI single after a double steal with Kristian Trompiz (4) and Alex Melendez, who had 2 steals on the day (4). Will Dupont went 3-5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. He got in on the inning with an RBI single. McCall then scored on a wild pitch, and then Marlon Avea added an RBI single of his own.

Randy Cesar hit an RBI single in the 5th. In the 6th, Avea, who finished 4-4 with a run scored, hit his 2nd RBI single of the morning, and Luis Payano added a sac fly. Arturo Michelena hit a sac fly in the 8th, and then the GCLstros put up a 5-spot in the 9th for the final nails in the coffin.

Dupont added another RBI single in the 9th. One batter and one wild pitch later, Avea added a 2-run single to his ledger. 2 more wild pitches later, Avea scored. Michelena walked, Payano reached on an error, and Trompiz walked to load the bases. Melendez was then plunked to bring in Michelena for the final run of the day.

Junior Garcia went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Alejandro Solarte pitched 2 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 2. J.D. Osborne worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1. Aaron Vaughn walked 1 and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless.

Both of these teams are in Kissimmee. The Astros are currently leading 1-0 in the 6th.

DSL Dodgers 4, DSL Astros Blue 3

W- Adriel Almonte (2-0)
L- Luis Arias (0-1)
S- Dennis Santana (1)

Blue home runs: Jonathan Matute (2, 2-run in 3rd)

The Dodgers nipped the Blue team for 3 unanswered after the Blue team went ahead 3-1 in the 6th.

Jonathan Matute finished 2-5 and got the scoring started with a 2-run homer in the 3rd. The other Blue run came in the 6th, when Andy Piñeda grounded into a force out that scored Oliver Toribio. Wander Franco and Nestor Tejada also had 2-hit days.

Albert Abreu went 4 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Miguel Severino threw a scoreless 5th, but he ended up having 2 inherited runners charged to him in the 6th. He walked 4 and struck out 1. Luis Arias allowed a run on 4 hits and walked 1 in 1.2 innings. Josue Uribe retired all 4 Dodgers he faced, striking out 3.

The Blue team is currently in a game at the Indians complex.

DSL Pirates 13, DSL Astros Orange 7

W- Jherson Esqueda (1-0)
L- Adonis Peña (2-1)

Orange home runs: Marcos Almonte (1, grand slam in 5th), Vicente Sanchez (5, solo in 7th)

Almonte and Sanchez were the Orange offense in this one. They both finished with 2 hits; Almonte scored 3 runs and walked twice, while Sanchez had 3 RBI.

Sanchez opened the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st. The Orange team would have to wait until the 5th to score again, when Almonte unleashed a grand slam. Sanchez's homer was a solo shot that came with 2 outs in the 7th, and in the 9th, he added an RBI single. Orlando Marquez, who was playing his first game, went 1-3 with a run scored as the DH. He's listed as a catcher.

Carlos Pizzolato pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Adonis Peña allowed 3 unearned runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2 in 2.2 innings. Bryan Abreu went 2 and allowed 5 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Jose Ramos got the final out of the 9th and walked 1.

The Orange team is currently hosting the Marlins.

Happy Birthday 7/5

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Jesse Crain (33)
Originally drafted by the Twins in the second round in 2002, Crain signed with Houston as a free agent on December 31, 2013 in order to bolster the Astros bullpen. Alas, he is recovering from biceps surgery and remains stranded on Weiland Island.

Manager Marquis Donnell "Bo" Porter (41)
Porter was announced as the 21st Manager in Astros franchise history on September 27, 2012. He inherited a rebuilding team that had lost 213 games in the prior two seasons. His current record as manager is 87-163. As my friend Beth would say, "Bless his heart."

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

OF/1B Curt Blefary (died January 28, 2001 at 57)
Obtained in a trade with Baltimore on December 4, 1968 and traded away to the Yankees exactly one year later, Blefary played in 155 games for Houston in 1969, hitting .253/.347/.393. Blefary was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1965 while playing for Baltimore. He also sported a rather spectacular unibrow.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, July 4, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, July 3, 2014

Colorado Springs 6, Oklahoma City 2

W- Brett Tomko (6-3)
L- Jake Buchanan (6-5)

OKC home runs: None.

After taking the first game of the series, the RedHawks dropped the final 3.

OKC's 2 runs came courtesy of Team Optioned in the 3rd, as Jonathan Villar hit an RBI single and Marc Krauss had and RBI groundout. Villar and Austin Wates both had 2-hit nights in this one.

Jake Buchanan went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, walked 4, and struck out 1. Bobby Doran pitched the final 2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 2.

The RedHawks are at home for this 4th of July as they welcome the Iowa Cubs to Bricktown for the weekend. In the opener, Asher Wojciechowski will take on Eric Jokisch. First pitch is at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 4, Springfield 2

W- Jordan Jankowski (2-3)
L- Jon Cornelius (7-6)
S- Travis Ballew (4)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks countered Springfield's 2-run top of the 5th, which gave them a 2-1 lead, with 3 in the bottom half of the inning to re-take the lead. Mike Hauschild and Travis Ballew handled it from there.

Jordan Jankowski pitched 5 innings and the only blemish on his line was a 2-run homer to Starlin Rodriguez in the 5th. He allowed 3 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Mike Hauschild walked 3 and struck out 2 over 3 scoreless, and Travis Ballew finished it with a 1-2-3 9th.

Jonathan Meyer opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 4th inning. Jio Mier led off the 5th with a ground-rule double, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored on a single from Telvin Nash. Later in the inning, Andrew Aplin gave Corpus the lead with an RBI single, and Meyer added an RBI groundout.

The Hooks will look for the sweep as Kyle Smith will face Kurt Heyer at 6:30.

Stockton 5, Lancaster 1

W- Seth Streich (9-4)
L- Josh Hader (7-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks dropped the series as Josh Hader had a rare off night.

Hader only lasted 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Zach Morton was the first man out; he allowed a run on 4 hits and walked 1 over 2.2 innings, and Juan Minaya walked 2 and struck out 1 in 1.1 scoreless.

Jordan Scott's RBI single in the 7th was the lone Lancaster run. He, Rio Ruiz, and Danry Vásquez all had 2-hit nights. Danry scored the lone Lancaster run, and Chan-Jong Moon opened his Lancaster stolen base account, giving him 26 on the season.

The JetHawks will begin a 4-game series with Rancho Cucamonga starting tonight at 8:30. In the opener, Mark Appel will take on Julio Urias.

Quad Cities 6, Beloit 3

W- Kevin Comer (1-1)
L- Lou Trivino (4-7)
S- Andrew Walter (7)

QC home runs: Ronnie Mitchell 2 (12, solo in 5th, 2-run in 6th)

The Banditos finished off their roadtrip with by sweeping the Snappers. They trailed 2-0 entering the 5th, but they finished the game on a 6-1 run.

The offense was spurred by Ronnie Mitchell, who had his first career multi-homer game. His first homer led off the 5th inning. Later in the frame, Brett Booth hit an RBI groundout. Marc Wik doubled in the 6th and scored on an RBI single from Chase McDonald. Mitchell gave the River Bandits the lead with his 2nd blast of the night. Fernandez scored an insurance run in the 9th on an error from Beloit RF Tyler Marincov. Mitchell and McDonald finished 2-4, as did Dayne Parker, who spent all of 1 game in Tri-City before getting promoted for a 2nd time. Fernandez also added 2 stolen bases, giving him 4 on the year.

Kevin Comer went 5 and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Edison Frias tagged in and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. And finally, Andrew Walter struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th to seal the deal.

Tonight, the River Bandits return to the comfort of Modern Woodmen Park as they host Wisconsin for the 4th of July weekend. Adrian Houser will get the start in the opener; he'll face Preston Gainey at 7:00.

Tri-City was off

The ValleyCats will spend the 4th of July weekend by hosting Lowell for 3 games starting tonight at 5:30. Austin Chrismon will take on Karsten Whitson in the opener.

Greeneville 12, Kingsport 6 in 10 innings

W- Aaron Greenwood (2-0)
L- Ramon Estevez (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: Juan Santana (1, solo in 7th)

The Appy Astros got the sweep in the 2-game set with an off day sandwiched between it. They squandered a 6-3 lead, and then shattered the 6-6 tie with another half-dozen in the first extra frame.

Greeneville was held to 4 hits in regulation. 3 of them went to Juan Santana, and the other belonged to Jason Martin. Jake Nottingham opened up the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st. The Appy Astros got a pair in the 3rd on a Sean McMullen groundout and a Yonathan Mejia fielder's choice. McMullen hit a sac fly in the 5th, and an error allowed Santana to score a 2nd run. It was a mammoth night for Santana, who finished 4-6 with a double, a solo homer (1) in the 7th, 2 steals (2), and 5 runs scored. Talk about filling up the stat sheet right there.

In the 10th, the Appy Astros put up 6 without an extra-base hit. Santana led it off with a single and advanced to 3rd on McMullen's single. He would score the go-ahead run on a 3rd straight single from Mejia. McMullen and Mejia would advance a base on Nottingham's sac bunt. Luis Reynoso got a free pass to 1st to load it up, and Connor Goedert made Kingsport rue that decision with an RBI single that re-loaded the bases. Bryan Muniz got in on the act with an RBI single, and then Ydarqui Marte added a sac fly. Martin, who finished 2-5 with a steal (4) and 2 runs scored, capped off the night with an RBI single.

Devonte German got the start and went 3.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, walking 3, and striking out 5. Eric Peterson was the first man out; he allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 1.1 scoreless. Agapito Barrios went 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Aaron Greenwood allowed the game-tying homer to Ivan Wilson in the 9th, but all was forgiven when the offense went off in the 10th. Greenwood allowed 2 other hits and struck out 1 in 2 innings.

These two teams will go at it again. The only differences here are (1) a change of venue and (2) there won't be a day off in between. In the opener, Josh James will take on Yoan Gonzalez. First pitch is at 6:00. Jayne will be in attendance, so feel free to stop by and say hi!

(oops)

GCL Yankees1 8, GCL Astros 2

W- Gean Batista (4-0)
L- KYLE WEILAND (1-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros were buried by a 4-run 8th.

Kristian Trompiz grounded into a force out that scored Edwin Medina in the 3rd. Trompiz added a sac fly in the 6th for the other GCLstros run. Derek Fisher, in his professional debut, went 2-3 with a double. Only 1 game, yes, but I'll definitely like this Derek Fisher a lot more than the NBA Derek Fisher, who's probably the one athlete that I truly loathe.

KYLE WEILAND (putting his name in all caps is an unofficial edict handed down by our good friends at Astros County) went 2 innings and allowed a run on a groundout, a double, walked 1, and struck out 1. Joselo Pinales pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Christian Perdomo worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 7th, striking out 2. Kyle Gehrs only got 1 out in the 8th; he allowed 4 runs (2 earned, 3 inherited runners charged to him) on 2 hits and walked 1. Cristhopher Santamaria, in his U.S. debut, pitched 1.2 innings and allowed the 3 runners he inherited from Gehrs to score. He allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The Kissimmee Stros are currently in Dunedin, where they're currently up 4-0 heading into the 4th against the Blue Jays.

DSL Astros Blue 11, DSL Dodgers 3

W- Salvador Montaño (4-1)
L- Miguel Urena (2-3)

Blue home runs: Jonathan Matute (1, solo in 5th), Wander Franco (3, solo in 6th)

The Blue team blasted the Dodgers by scoring the game's first 11 runs.

Carlos Canelon hit a 1-out double in the 2nd, and two passed balls later, scored the first run of the game. Jose Benjamin hit a sac fly, and Andy Piñeda added an RBI single in the 4th. Matute's blast led off the 5th, an inning in which the Blue team put up 6 runs. Connor MacDonald reached 1st on a force out, and two wild pitches later, found himself on 3rd. Joan Mauricio walked, and Benjamia was plunked to load the bases. Nestor Tejada then walked MacDonald home. Piñeda hit another RBI single, and Rodrigo Ayarza reached on an error that scored Benjamin. Franco's blast led off the 6th. Tejada doubled to lead off the 7th, and he ended up scoring on a single from Matute. Matute finished a triple short of the cycle in 5 at-bats. Franco, MacDonald, and Piñeda finished 2-4. Canelon went 2-5.

Salvador Montaño started with 5 shutout innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 7. Yan De La Cruz allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless. Dariel Aquino got 2 outs in the 8th, but not before allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and walking 2. Lachlan Madden got the final 4 outs of the game.

These two teams are currently in a game at the Dodgers complex.

DSL Pirates 6, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Richard Mitchell (3-2)
L- Edwin Villarroel (1-2)
S- Eumir Sepulveda (1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Pirates scored the game's first 6 runs. 5 errors did not help the Orange team's cause.

The lone Orange run came in the 7th when Vicente Sanchez drew a bases-loaded walk. Sanchez finished 2-3. Wilson Amador (14), Frankeny Fernandez (16), and Marcos Almonte (8) had steals. Fernandez is still perfect on the season in stolen base attempts.

Edwin Villarroel went 4.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and struck out 2. Juan Hernandez pitched the final 3.2 innings and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3.

These two teams are currently in a game at the Astros complex in Boca Chica.

Happy Birthday - 7/4

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Kevin Ferguson (23)
Signed by Houston in 2013 as a non-drafted free agent out of Northeastern, Ferguson just recently started his season pitching for Tri-City. In five games (5.2 innings), he has a 1.59 ERA and a 1.412 WHIP.

A few former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

3B/SS Vinny Castilla (47)
A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Castilla got his start playing in the Mexican League. After playing a couple of seasons for Atlanta, he was picked up by the Rockies in the expansion draft where he earned two All-Star appearances and three Silver Slugger awards. After being released by Tampa Bay in May of 2001, Castilla signed as a free agent with Houston and played in 122 games for the Astros that season, hitting .270/.320/.492 with 28 doubles and 23 home runs.

RHP Dan Larson (60)
A first round pick by the Cardinals in 1972, Larson was traded to Houston in October of 1974 and made his major league debut as an Astro in July of 1976. In 45 games for the Astros in 1976 and 1977, he was 6-15 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.379 WHIP. He was traded to Philadelphia in September of 1978.

MGR Hal Lanier (72)
Lanier managed the Astros from 1986 to 1988 and compiled a 254-232 record (.523 win percentage). In 1986, he was named the NL Manager of the Year for leading the Astros to a 96-66 record and a first place finish in the NL West.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

Once again (surprise, surprise), I'm behind on reporting Astros minor league roster moves. Everyone is probably aware that SS Jonathan Villar and LHP Kevin Chapman were both optioned to Oklahoma City after Tuesday's Astros game, but here are a few other moves that you may or may not know about.

OKLAHOMA CITY
7/1 - 1B Erik Castro released

RHP Nick Tropeano, SS Gregorio Petit and C Max Stassi were named to the AAA All-Star team. The game will take place July 16th in Durham, North Carolina. MiLB has the story here.

Also, this tweet came out today, but I haven't seen verification of any trade yet.

CORPUS CHRISTI
7/1 - 1B Brandon Meredith assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

LANCASTER
7/2 - OF Jordan Scott assigned from Corpus Christi to Lancaster
7/1 - RHP Lance McCullers activated from the DL

QUAD CITIES
7/1 - IF Dayne Parker assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities

GCL
7/2 - OF Derek Fisher (2014 37th overall draft pick) assigned to the GCL
7/2 - LHP Cristhopher Santamaria assigned from the DSL to the GCL (Santamaria was one of my Pitcher of the Month nominees for June.)

Finally, Dustin is keeping track of the international signings here.


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Colorado Springs 7, Oklahoma City 5

W- Leuris Gomez (1-1)
L- Alex White (1-1)
S- Boone Logan (1)

OKC home runs: Marc Krauss (4, 8 season; 3-run in 6th)

The RedHawks rallied from a 3-0 deficit and were able to take a 5-3 lead at stretch time, but that lead was short-lived as the Sky Sox put up 4 in the bottom of the 7th.

The 3-run homer from Krauss tied the game in the 6th, and then Jonathan Villar gave OKC the lead with a 2-run single in the 7th. Robbie Grossman went 3-3 with 2 runs scored, 2 walks, and 3 stolen bases (8).

Mike Foltynewicz pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Alex White got the loss as the 7th as the wheels fell off for the RedHawks bullpen. White got a double play (which resulted in a run scoring), but 2 singles knocked him out of the game. He allowed 4 hits. Pat Urckfitz came on and walked the only batter he faced. The box score says that Jorge De Leon threw 1.1 scoreless, allowing a hit and striking out 2, but that 1 hit was a bases-clearing double that gave Colorado Springs the lead. 2 runs were charged to White and 1 was charged to Urckfitz.

In the series finale, Jake Buchanan will take on Pedro Hernandez at 8:05.

Corpus Christi 3, Springfield 2

W- David Rollins (2-2)
L- Mike Mayers (1-2)
S- Tyson Perez (3)

CC home runs: None.

A 3-run 1st from Corpus turned out to be enough, as David Rollins and the bullpen had a very solid night.

Rollins went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 8. Alex Sogard and Tyson Perez did not allow a hit over the final 3 innings. Sogard walked 1 in 1.2 innings, while Perez struck out 1 as he retired all 4 Cardinals he faced.

Delino DeShields scored the first run of the game when he stole home (31) as part of a double steal in the 1st. Andrew Aplin, who reached via single, took 2nd (12). He scored the 2nd run of the evening on a double from Jonathan Meyer. Meyer would advance to 3rd on a Leo Heras bunt single and scored on a sac fly from Brandon Meredith. Tony Kemp went 2-3 with a double at the top of the lineup.

In the middle game of this series, Jordan Jankowski will face Jon Cornelius. First pitch is at 7:10.

Lancaster 10, Stockton 0

W- Chris Devenski (5-5)
L- Yeiper Castillo (0-2)

Lancaster home runs: Austin "Catfish" Elkins (1, 2-run in 7th)

The JetHawks finally cracked the Ports' stranglehold on this series by simply dominating them in all facets of this game.

Chris Devenski was excellent in his 7 shutout innings; he allowed just 2 hits and struck out 8. Pat Christensen finished it off, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2 over 2 scoreless.

All good things must come to an end: Conrad Gregor was 0-3 with a sac fly in the 3rd and a run scored. That line snapped his 18-game hitting streak, and it's just the 4th game in which he's failed to record a hit as a JetHawk. It was one heck of a streak, Conrad. This 0-fer simply means that it's time to start a new one.

5 guys had 2 hits apiece. Jobduan Morales opened the scoring with a 2-run double in the 1st. Jack Mayfield scored on a wild pitch in the 3rd and hit an RBI single in the 4th. Jordan Scott doubled, walked, stole a base (7), and scored 3 runs. Rio Ruiz doubled, scored twice, and walked twice. Elkins' 2-run blast brought home the last 2 runs of the night. Dan Gulbransen and Danry Vásquez didn't record a hit, but they did record an RBI. Gulbransen's came on a sac fly in the 5th, and Vásquez drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning.

Josh Hader will take on Seth Streich in the rubber game of the series. First pitch is at 9:05.

Quad Cities 8, Beloit 1 in 5 innings

W- Evan Grills (3-3)
L- Hunter Adkins (0-2)

QC home runs: Marc Wik (1, 3 season; 2-run in 1st), Ronnie Mitchell (10, solo in 4th), Jose Fernandez (1, grand slam in 5th)

The rain interrupted this Quad Cities butt-kicking in the 5th and eventually made the result official.

Evan Grills pitched all 5 innings an allowed a run on 5 hits and struck out 2.

Wik's homer opened up the scoring. Mitchell went deep with 1 out in the 4th. Later in the inning, Jake Rodriguez had the only RBI that didn't come on a homer when he hit an RBI single to score Fernandez, who tripled right after Mitchell homered. 2 walks (1 intentional) and an error loaded the bases for Fernandez, who promptly cleared them with his 1st career slam. He and Wik had 2 hits apiece. The other 2 hits belonged to Mitchell and Rodriguez. Mitchell, Fernandez, and Wik all scored twice.

The Banditos will look for the sweep, weather permitting, tonight at 7:00. Kevin Comer will face Lou Trivino.

Vermont 7, Tri-City 6

W- Daniel Gossett (1-0)
L- Francis Ramirez (1-2)
S- Fernand Cruzado (2)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats were down 3-0 early, but rallied for 4 in the 3rd to take the lead. That lead would be short-lived, and the Lake Monsters were able to hold them off. TC couldn't complete the sweep.

Jamie Ritchie scored the ValleyCats' first run of the evening when Vermont 3B Max Kuhn threw the ball away. Bobby Boyd was credited with a bunt single on the play. One batter later, Ryan Bottger hit an RBI single. After Boyd made his way around the bases (to 2nd on Bottger's single and to 3rd on a wild pitch), he scored on an A.J. Reed groundout. Nick Tanielu followed that up with an RBI single. Ritchie had an RBI single in the 7th, and he hit another one in the 9th that made it a 1-run game. However, he and J.D. Davis were stranded on the corners to end the game. Boyd, Bottger, Tanielu, and Mott Hyde had 2-hit nights, while Ritchie finished 3-5.

The ValleyCats will have today off, and then Lowell will come to the Capital Region for 3 this weekend.

Greeneville was off

The Appy Astros will conclude their series with Kingsport at 6:00. Devonte German will face Gaby Almonte.

GCL Yankees1 8, GCL Astros 0

W- Austin DeCarr (1-0)
L- Elieser Hernandez (1-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros were held to 4 singles. Edwin Medina, who had one of them, also stole a base (3).

Elieser Hernandez went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits (2 solo homers), walked 1, and struck out 4. J.D. Osborne allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and walked 3 in the 6th. Albert Minnis threw 2 scoreless and allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1.

Both of these teams are in Kissimmee for a game that is just getting underway.

DSL Athletics 5, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Emerson Nelo (1-2)
L- Moreno Polanco (0-1)
S- Ivan Andueza (1)

The Blue team had 9 hits, but a 5-run 3rd spelled doom for them.

Rodrigo Ayarza and Joan Mauricio had 2 hits apiece. Mauricio is on an 8-game hitting streak and has 2 hits in 4 straight.

Moreno Polanco saw the wheels fall off for him in the 3rd. He went 2.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Gabriel Valdez pitched 3.1 scoreless, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Ezequiel Madera walked 1 and struck out 4 over 3 scoreless.

The Blue team is currently at their complex with a game against the Dodgers.

DSL Cubs 14, DSL Astros Orange 3

W- Pedro Silverio (1-1)
L- Antonio Almonte (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

Two touchdowns topped the field goal.

Jesus Bermejo got the Orange team on the board first in the 2nd with an RBI double. They'd have to wait until the 9th to score again, while the Cubs buried them with 14 unanswered. Cristopher Luciano scored on an error, and Wilson Amador hit an RBI infield single. Luciano scored 2 of the Orange team's 3 runs, while Amador had a steal (13).

Antonio Almonte went 2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits (3-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 1. Carlos Sanabria went 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Tomas Lopez allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 3 innings.

The Orange team is currently at the Pirates complex for a game that's in progress.

An Interview with Quad Cities Catcher Brian Holberton

One of the things I always ask players when I interview them is, "Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear." The answer to that question for Quad Cities Catcher Brian Holberton may very well surprise the casual fan. When Holberton was drafted by the Astros in the 9th round in 2013 out of the University of North Carolina, he wasn't a catcher. He was an outfielder. But when the Astros called and asked if he could catch, he said yes.

Holberton is in his second season now, but is still learning the nuances of playing the position. According to Quad Cities Manager Omar Lopez, "He's still working and trying to make some progress behind the plate. Compared to Spring Training and Instructional League last year, he's been doing much, much, much, much better. He has some issues with his throwing arm mechanics, but he's been doing great. He's not there yet. He needs more time. He needs to play more, but he's been working very hard."

Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski also weighed in on Holberton's progress, "He's come a long ways. Very, very raw in Spring Training. Very raw at the beginning of the season, but he's worked hard. He's gotten a thousand times better at blocking the ball and receiving and stuff like that. He's still got work to do on the throwing, on the mechanical part of it, maybe calling a game here and there, but he's made huge strides in what he's doing back there."

But one thing keeps Holberton in the line-up as he often fills the designated hitter role when he isn't catching -- his hitting. As Lopez puts it, "The kid is going to be able to hit and that's what he's been doing for the most part so far in the season." In 48 games, he is hitting .304/.366/.506 with 14 doubles, one triple and six home runs.

Brian Holberton - June 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I had a chance to talk with Holberton recently and the first thing I asked was what he felt like he'd accomplished so far this season and what he was working on. He responded, "I think overall just becoming a better catcher. First full year, just getting into the routine of playing every day, coming to the field and knowing what your body can do and what it can't do. Come out here and play enough and have fun.

"[My catching is] a work in progress. Seeing as I really didn't catch in college, getting thrown right in there as a professional catching. Feel pretty good. It's fun. Has its ups and downs and just get better one step at a time. Every day get better at something."

We also talked about his game on May 18th when he went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle. "That was pretty cool. I've never done that before. Probably won't ever do it again. And it's just funny, the hardest one for me would be the triple and that was the last one. And going up to bat, you don't try to hit a triple. It just happened to go in the gap and they were shaded the other way, and Omar knew it. Omar waived the guy in front of me home and gave me a chance and I got in there safe so that's probably one of the coolest things I've done personally and I'll never forget it."

Other than the fact that he wasn't a catcher in college, I found out some other sibling-related trivia about Brian. "I have a twin brother. He just graduated from Clemson and he's going to med school. He's a smart kid. He's going to follow my sisters and go to med school. [I have] two sisters that are both married. My sister had her first child the day I was drafted. So I was drafted in the hospital."

When asked what he would do if he couldn't play baseball, Holberton said, "I was in the business school. I'd probably go back and get my business degree and see. I had a couple of internships but I think I would try to stick in baseball and try to be a general manager or something. I think that would be really fun to just stick around the game [combining sports and business]."

Who does he really enjoy catching? "Obviously, Brunnemann was an All-Star. He's a lot of fun to catch. He competes every day and goes out there and has an idea. He's working. He knows what he wants to throw a couple pitches before and he goes out there. He's a fun guy to catch. I'd say, Kent Emanual when he was here, just because I've known him and just being able to continue playing with him. That was fun to catch him too." [Holberton and Emanual were teammates at UNC.]

Are there any pitchers that are a bit more challenging to catch? "I don't want to say any names, but we do have a couple kids in the organization that, it's not a bad thing at all, but they throw really hard and so, when they're on, it's awesome catching them and watching what they can do, but sometimes you've got to keep them under control, and they throw so hard, it gets challenging sometimes. It's still fun to catch those guys." Suspecting that Holberton was talking about one of the flamethrowers on the team, I followed up by asking whether or not catching a 100-mph fastball is painful. He told me, "If you catch it right, it doesn't. You can see sometimes catchers break their thumbs. Definitely sometimes you can get hurt blocking balls, stuff like that."

Which Astros pitcher would he least like to face? "I'd say Josh Hader just because he throws hard. He's kind of a side arm lefty and he looks really tough. I've caught him and he can pitch. So he's one guy I'd stay away from. And, also, I shouldn't say this, but Kent owns me ... school and Spring Training. I can't get a hit off him."

Who on the team makes him laugh? "I'd say my roommate Jake Rodriguez always has something funny to say. And actually we hang out probably the most and just being around him, everything he says I think is funny."

How is he enjoying Quad Cities? "It's a great place. The stadium's awesome. They take care of us here. It's a fun league. The guys we play - I know a bunch of guys on the other teams so it's fun. I like this place."

According to Lopez, Holberton is making strides behind the plate in catching, framing, receiving, calling the game, blocking and he shows flashes with the arm as well. But Lopez acknowledges that it is Holberton's bat that is going to carry him until the rest of his game catches up.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Thank you for your time, Brian, and the best of luck as the season progresses.

Astros Minor League Snapshot

We are now 13 weeks in to the minor league season. Let's take a look at where things stand. (Due to travel constraints, the weekly snapshot will be somewhat abbreviated this week.)

OKLAHOMA CITY

2nd    45-42    .517    3.0GB    L2

The RedHawks have made little movement in the standings over the past week, going 3-4 for the week, but the fortunes of Omaha and Iowa have flip flopped. Omaha, in first place last week, dropped five straight and now resides in third place, trailing Oklahoma City by a half game while Iowa has won five straight and now leads the way. The RedHawks will try to salvage a split on the road against Colorado Springs tonight and will then host Iowa for three games starting Friday, followed by four against New Orleans, also at home.

CORPUS CHRISTI

For the season:
4th    39-44    .470    8.0GB    W1

For the second half:
4th     5-8     .385     4.0GB     W1

After going 2-4 in the past week, the Hooks remain in fourth place for both the season and for the second half. In the South Division second half standings, the Hooks trail the second place Rough Riders by one and a half games and the third place RockHounds by only a half a game. The RockHounds went from first to third during the week, losing six straight and the Missions surged into the lead on a 4-game win streak. The Hooks have won the first of three against Springfield at home which will be followed by a three-game set against Tulsa before an off day Tuesday. They will then hit the road for four games with Frisco. The Hooks are 22-19 at home and 17-25 on the road so far this season.

LANCASTER

For the season:
1st    49-34    .590    -.-GB    W1

For the second half:
4th     5-8     .385     7.0GB     W1

The JetHawks maintain a one-game lead in the standings for the season, but have slipped even further in the second half standings after a week that saw them go 3-3 while first place Rancho Cucamonga surged ahead with a seven game win streak. Second place Lake Elsinore has won four in a row and leads Lancaster by three games. The 'Hawks trail third place High Desert by two. Lancaster will try to win the rubber game tonight on the road in Stockton before heading home to host four against the first place Quakes and three against the beleaguered Inland 66ers who are the division cellar dwellars with their 1-12 record in the second half.

QUAD CITIES

For the season:
5th    42-40    .512    12.0GB    W2

For the second half:
T4th     7-6     .538     2.5GB     W2

The River Bandits are roughly in the same place in the standings as they were last week after a week of .500 ball. Quad Cities will go for a 3-game sweep on the road against the last place Beloit team before heading home for three against Wisconsin with whom Quad Cities is currently tied in the second half standings. After a day off on Monday, they will host Kane County. Kane County is in first place in the Division for both the season and for the second half.

TRI-CITY

1st     12-8     .600     -.-GB     L1

The ValleyCats went 4-3 for the week to retain their first place standing. They have today off and will host the second place Lowell team for three starting Friday. Lowell trails the 'Cats by one and a half games. They will then play third place Connecticut (trailing by 2-1/2 games) on Monday and Tuesday. Next Wednesday, the Tri-City team will head to Jamestown for their first look at a team outside their Division.

GREENEVILLE

4th     5-8     .385     3.5GB     W1

Greeneville dropped from a first place tie to fourth place in the standings after a tough week in which they went 1-5. Tonight, they will try to sweep third place Kingsport in a very brief two-game road series. That is followed by two at home vs. Kingsport, one at home vs. fifth place Bristol, two on the road against Bristol and then back home on Wednesday for a three-game series with first place Johnson City. (I seriously believe that whoever made this schedule has got to be smoking crack or something.)

GCL ASTROS

T2nd     5-6     .455     1.0GB     L1

DSL ASTROS ORANGE

T6th     11-17     .393     12.0GB     L1

DSL ASTROS BLUE

T4th     13-15     .464     4.0GB     L1

Happy Birthday - 7/3

No future Astros with birthdays today, but several former Astros celebrate the day ~

OF Moises Alou (48)
Originally drafted by the Pirates as the second overall pick in 1986, Alou came to Houston in a November 1997 trade with the Marlins. In 421 games for the Astros in 1998, 2000 and 2001, he hit .331/.403/.585 with 93 doubles, eight triples and 95 home runs. Alou was a six-time All-Star including his 2001 season with Houston. He also won the Silver Slugger award (for the second time) for Houston in 1998.

OF/1B Danny Heep (56)
A second round pick by the Astros in 1978, Heep played in 165 games for Houston from 1979 to 1982, hitting .246/.314/.344 before being traded to the Mets for Mike Scott. Heep was used mostly as a bench player and pinch hitter throughout his career which netted him World Series rings with the 1986 Mets and the 1988 Dodgers.

RHP Matt Keough (59)
Originally drafted by Oakland in the seventh round in 1973, Keough came to Houston at the end of his career, signing as a free agent in June 1986. In 10 games for Houston (5 starts), he was 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.143 WHIP. Keough was a one-time All-Star for Oakland in 1978.

LF/1B Jack Daugherty (54)
Daugherty came to Houston as a free agent in January of 1993 and was traded to the Reds in July of that year. He only played in four games for Houston, getting three at-bats and one hit for a .333 batting average. His best season was his 1990 season with the Rangers when he hit .300/.347/.435 in 125 games.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2014 International Free Agent Signing Period

Today marks the beginning of the International Free Agent signing period. The 30 teams of Major League Baseball scour the globe year-round in search of that next superstar. But, July 2 is the first day that are allowed to sign teenage players from outside the United States and Canada. There will be a few Australians, a couple of Koreans maybe, a Taiwanese kid here and there, and maybe a European as well. But, the vast majority of players signed in this period come from Latin America. Many of these kids are from the Dominican Republic, with Venezuela close behind. A few call Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, or the Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao) home.

On this first day of the new International Free Agent signing period, the Houston Astros have signed 3 Venezuelans: RHP Franklin Perez, SS Miguel Angel Sierra, and C Brandon Benavente. Perez and Sierra both received a $1 million signing bonus, while Benavente signed for $250,000.

This post will be updated as known signings are announced. There will also be many, many more players signed by the Astros for a significantly lower amount than what these three are getting. Almost all of these signings are unannounced, and the only proof of their existence is most likely in the hands of Oz Ocampo (and company) and the rosters of the Dominican Summer League. Many of them may never make it out of the Dominican Summer League. At the same time, one of them may emerge as a top prospect, and we'll be eagerly anticipating his arrival, much like we've done with George Springer and Jon Singleton. And who knows? Maybe that top prospect will become the MVP, or a Cy Young Award winner, or a perennial All-Star, or even a Hall of Famer.

I would like to wish Oz Ocampo and his staff the best of luck in their continual and tireless pursuit of bringing in quality talent into the Houston Astros pipeline.

¡Bienvenidos a los Astros! 

2014 Houston Astros International Free Agent Class

RHP Franklin Perez, Venezuela ($1,000,000)
SS Miguel Angel Sierra, Venezuela ($1,000,000)
C Brandon Benavente, Venezuela ($250,000)
SS Juan Piñeda, Panama
SS Ozziel Sanchez, Panama
OF Ronny Rafael, Dominican Republic ($1,500,000)
OF Hector Martinez, Dominican Republic
RHP Cristofer Melendez, Dominican Republic
LHP Javier Navas, Venezuela

Astros Players and Pitchers of the Month for June

Narrowing down the list for Pitchers and Players of the Month is always a difficult prospect and it doesn't get any easier now that the short season teams are in full swing!

First up let's look at the nominees for Player of the Month. In order to level out the playing field with some of the short season teams playing fewer games than the full season teams last month, I went with a minimum of 20 games played in order to be nominated. Here are my nominees in no particular order.

1B Marc Krauss (Oklahoma City)
23G .341/.440/.553
17R 9-2B 3HR 21RBI 15BB 21SO

OF Domingo Santana (Oklahoma City)
27G .324/.420/.510
20R 7-2B 4HR 16RBI 3SB 0CS 17BB 30SO

IF/OF Kiké Hernandez (Oklahoma City)
28G .383/.415/.608
24R 8-2B 2-3B 5HR 15RBI 2SB 2CS 8BB 15SO

SS Gregorio Petit (Oklahoma City)
24G .370/.389/.609
11R 5-2B 3B 5HR 18RBI 2BB 10SO

OF Teoscar Hernandez (Lancaster)
23G .293/.377/.576
19R 10-2B 6HR 20RBI 8SB 3CS 12BB 29SO

1B Jon Kemmer (Quad Cities)
21G .362/.450/.478
9R 6-2B 3B 7RBI 1SB 1CS 8BB 12SO

3B Tyler White (Quad Cities)
22G .324/.447/.632
13R 4-2B 3B 5HR 14RBI 10BB 12SO

1B/3B Christopher Luciano (DSL)
24G .301/.425/.462
16R 7-2B 3B 2HR 24RBI 1SB 2CS 17BB 27SO

1B Connor MacDonald (DSL)
24G .311/.426/.456
19R 8-2B 3B HR 17RBI 1SB 2CS 14BB 24SO

IF/OF Rodrigo Ayarza (DSL)
22G .325/.449/.416
17R 3-2B 2-3B 20RBI 7SB 0CS 19BB 10SO

All excellent performances, but my winner was not only operating on a different level, I think he may have been on a different planet altogether! He hit safely in 22 of 24 games in June and is currently on an 18-game hitting streak.

1B Conrad Gregor (Lancaster)
24G .396/.464/.719
28R 11-2B 3B 6HR 25RBI 1SB 0CS 12BB 8SO

JUNE PLAYER OF THE MONTH: 1B CONRAD GREGOR


Conrad Gregor - July 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As a reminder, Players of the Week for June were:
Dan Gulbransen
Matt Duffy
Kiké Hernandez
Conrad Gregor

>>>>>>><<<<<<< 

Next up, we look at Starting (Tandem) Pitchers who had good great starts this month. Some of these performances were so dominating that I literally considered simply flipping a coin. Here are my nominees. I think you can see why the choice was darn near impossible! (Again, I established a cut off line based on innings pitched. There have been some tremendous outings on the short season clubs, but I went with those pitchers who had pitched a minimum of 19 innings.)

RHP Edison Frias (Quad Cities)
4 Games/3 Starts 19IP 3-0 record
1.89 ERA/1.000 WHIP 3BB:15SO .191 BA

LHP Evan Grills (Quad Cities)
4 Games/2 Starts 19IP 0-2 record with 1 save
0.95 ERA/1.000 WHIP 2BB:17SO .254 BA

RHP Erasmo Pinales (DSL)
6 Games/6 Starts 29IP 1-0 record
2.79 ERA/1.069 WHIP 6BB:14SO .216 BA

LHP Cristhopher Santamaria (DSL)
6 Games/5 Starts 28.2IP 1-1 record
2.20 ERA/0.942 WHIP 5BB:25SO .208 BA

LHP Tommy Shirley (Corpus Christi)
5 Games/4 Starts 28IP 1-1 record
2.25 ERA/0.786 WHIP 3BB:23SO .186 BA

LHP Josh Hader (Lancaster)
4 Games/3 Starts 21IP 2-0 record
1.71 ERA/0.952 WHIP 5BB:13SO .197 BA

LHP David Rollins (Corpus Christi)
5 Games/4 Starts 23IP 1-1 record with 1 save
2.35 ERA/0.870 WHIP 2BB:21SO .212 BA

LHP Luis Cruz (Corpus Christi)
4 Games/4 Starts 21IP 1-0 record
1.29 ERA/0.857 WHIP 4BB:21SO .184 BA

I think you can see my dilemma. How does one chose a winner out of that group? Well, ultimately I went with the pitcher who pitched the most innings. In only one of his five starts did he not go at least seven innings.

RHP Nick Tropeano (Oklahoma City)
5 Games/5 Starts 35.2IP 4-0 record
2.02 ERA/0.869 WHIP 7BB:34SO .195 BA

JUNE STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHER OF THE MONTH: RHP NICK TROPEANO

Nick Tropeano - March 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As a reminder, the Starting Pitchers of the Week for June were:
Jordan Jankowski
Austin Chrismon
Troy Scribner
Elieser Hernandez

>>>>>>><<<<<<< 

Now for our Relief Pitchers. Again, the nominees are in no particular order. (The cut-off for this one was a minimum of 10 innings pitched. There are a ridiculous number of pitchers with 0.00 ERAs for the month, but on limited innings.)

RHP Jorge de Leon (Oklahoma City)
9 Games 14IP 1-0 record
2.57 ERA/1.214 WHIP 6BB:10SO .212 BA
4 inherited runners/0 scored

LHP Kevin Chapman (Oklahoma City)
10 Games 11.2IP 1-1 record
0.77 ERA/1.029 WHIP 5BB:14SO .171 BA
5 inherited runners/1 scored

LHP Pat Urckfitz (Corpus Christi/Oklahoma City)
9 Games 11.2IP 0-0 record with 1 save
1.54 ERA/1.029 WHIP 2BB:5SO .270 BA
8 inherited runners/2 scored

RHP Tyson Perez (Corpus Christi)
8 Games 13.2IP 2-0 record with 2 saves
0.66 ERA/1.463 WHIP 9BB:9SO .239 BA
3 inherited runners/0 scored

RHP Tyler Brunnemann (Quad Cities)
5 Games 11.2IP 0-1 record with 1 save
0.77 ERA/0.943 WHIP 3BB:9SO .195 BA
2 inherited runners/2 scored

RHP Abdiel Saldana (DSL)
6 Games 16.2IP 2-0 record
1.62 ERA/1.080 WHIP 6BB:17SO .190 BA
2 inherited runners/2 scored

The key to my heart (and probably to a the hearts of a few pitching coaches) when it comes to relief pitching is the ability to get out of jams, in particular jams that aren't of his making. In other words, the ability to strand runners makes this blogger very happy. Our winner stood out in that regard. In six of his eight games, he inherited multiple runners and he managed to keep most of them from scoring. This 19-year old is now officially on my radar.

RHP Josue Uribe (DSL)
8 Games 11.2IP 1-1 record with 2 saves
2.31 ERA/1.029 WHIP 6BB:5SO .143 BA
13 inherited runners/3 scored

JUNE RELIEF PITCHER OF THE MONTH: RHP JOSUE URIBE

As a reminder, the Relief Pitchers of the Week for June were:
Patrick Urckfitz
Frederick Tiburcio
Tyson Perez
Jordan Mills

>>>>>>><<<<<<< 

If you remember, I decided to create separate categories for catchers since they generally play in fewer games and are judged as much if not more by their defensive contributions as they are by their offense.

My Defensive Catcher of the month has gotten off to a fantastic start for the Greeneville Astros. In his first eight games catching for the team he has a 1.000 fielding percentage, an 8.75 range factor, zero passed balls and sports a 56% caught stealing percentage (5 of 9). Jacob Nottingham, come on down!

JUNE DEFENSIVE CATCHER OF THE MONTH: JACOB NOTTINGHAM

Jacob Nottingham
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

I didn't have to look far to find a catcher who can hit. There were several outstanding performances at the plate, but the DSL's Gabriel Bracamonte managed to put on a nice show in the month of June. In 14 games, he hit .357/.460/.452 with two doubles, a triple, six walks to nine strikeouts, four RBI, nine runs scored and he stole a base too!

JUNE OFFENSIVE CATCHER OF THE MONTH: GABRIEL BRACAMONTE

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Short-season sweep!

Colorado Springs 9, Oklahoma City 7

W- Juan Nicasio (2-1)
L- David Martinez (5-6)
S- Brooks Brown (6)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks very nearly erased an 8-2 deficit, but no cigar. The offense was held in check for much of this game, but they erupted late, going on a 5-1 run to close it out. Unfortunately, that 1 for the Sky Sox gave them just enough separation.

Matt Duffy opened up ths scoring with an RBI triple in the 1st. Preston Tucker led off the 4th with a double and eventually scored on a Carlos Perez single. OKC got 3 singles to load the bases in the 7th, and then Robbie Grossman was plunked, and Austin Wates and Tucker followed that up with walks to bring in 3 runs. In the 8th, Joe Sclafani reached on an error that scored Max Stassi, and Grossman lined an RBI single to make it an 8-7 game. The catchers had nice nights at the plate; Stassi, as the DH, finished 3-5 with a couple of runs scored, while Perez was 4-5 with the RBI single in the 4th and 2 runs scored.

David Martinez was rocked in his 4 innings, as he allowed 8 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 11 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Andrew Robinson allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless (for him); 2 of the 3 runners he inherited from Martinez scored. Pat Urckfitz struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 7th, and Jason Stoffel allowed a run on 2 hits in the 8th.

In game 3 of this series, Mike Foltynewicz will take on Brett Anderson. First pitch is at 8:05.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks will begin a 3-game series with Springfield tonight at 7:10. David Rollins will face Mike Mayers.

Stockton 7, Lancaster 5

W- Michael Ynoa (3-2)
L- Matt Heidenreich (2-2, 3-2 season)
S- Austin House (11)

Lancaster home runs: Dan Gulbransen (4, solo in 6th)

The JetHawks couldn't hold a 5-4 lead as the Ports erased that margin with 3 in the 7th. Stockton has taken all 4 meetings so far this season.

Lance McCullers, in his return from the DL, worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 1st, striking out 1. Kent Emanuel pitched 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (all on homers) on 5 hits (2 solo and a 2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 5. Matt Heidenreich allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3.

Conrad Gregor extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a double in the 1st. He'd score the game's first run on an error that allowed Rio Ruiz to reach. Teoscar Hernandez went 3-4 and hit a sac fly in the 3rd. Rio added a sac fly of his own in the 5th. Dan Gulbransen finished 2-4 and his blast led off the 6th. Rio added an RBI single to his line in the 7th.

In game 2 of this series, Chris Devenski will take on Yeiper Castillo at 9:05.

Quad Cities 3, Beloit 1

W- Michael Feliz (4-2)
L- Junior Mendez (2-4)
S- Frederick Tiburcio (5)

QC home runs: Brian Holberton (6, solo in 5th), Brett Phillips (5, solo in 9th)

The River Bandits took the opener thanks to a fine start from Michael Feliz and a couple of timely homers.

Feliz was embroiled in a duel with Beloit starter Junior Mendez; both of them threw 4 scoreless innings, until Brian Holberton posted the first run of the evening with a 2-out solo shot in the 5th. James Ramsay led off the 6th with a single, then proceeded to make his way around the bases thanks to a couple of groundouts. He wound up scoring the 2nd QC run of the night on a passed ball. Phillips, who was the only River Bandit with a multi-hit game (2-4), led off the 9th with his 5th homer of the season.

Feliz ended up going 7 innings, and he allowed an unearned run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Frederick Tiburcio finished it off by striking out 3 over 2 perfect innings.

In the middle game of this series, Evan Grills will take on Hunter Adkins. First pitch is at 7:00.

Tri-City 12, Vermont 4

W- Troy Scribner (2-1)
L- Jose Torres (0-3)

TC home runs: Ariel Ovando (1, 2-run in 6th), Nick Tanielu (1, 3-run in 8th)

The ValleyCats had a 5-3 lead after 6 innings, and then they proceeded to bury the Lake Monsters with a 7-1 run over the final third of the game.

Troy Scribner was solid in his 5 innings as he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits (solo homer) and struck out 5. Jay Gause went 2 innings and the only ding on his line was a solo homer from Joe Bennie in the 6th. He walked 2 and struck out 2. Vince Wheeland allowed a run on 3 hits and issued a walk in 2 innings.

It was a big night for Nick Tanielu, who finished 4-5 with 2 doubles, a 3-run homer, a 2-run single, and scored 3 runs. The 2-run single opened the scoring in the 1st inning. He doubled to lead off the 4th and came around to score on a single from Ariel Ovando, who added a 2-run shot in the 6th. Terrell Joyce hit a 2-run single in the 7th and eventually scored on an error that allowed Jamie Ritchie to reach. Tanielu smashed a 3-run homer in the 8th that basically turned the game into a laugher, and Jose Solano capped it off with an RBI double in the 9th. Joyce (2-R single, 2 runs scored), Ovando (3 RBI), J.D. Davis (3 runs scored), and Bobby Boyd had 2 hits apiece. A.J. Reed went 0-3 with a couple of runs scored.

In the series finale, Sebastian Kessay will take on Cristhian Perez at 6:05.

Greeneville 4, Kingsport 3

W- Dean Deetz (1-1)
L- Christian Montgomery (0-1)
S- Zach Davis (1)

Greeneville home runs: Jake Nottingham (1, solo in 4th)

The Appy Astros scored the game's first 4 runs, then they had to navigate through some rough waters. However, they emerged with the victory, which snapped a 5-game losing streak.

Jason Martin walked to lead off the game, advanced to 3rd on a Juan Santana double, and scored the first run of the evening on a wild pitch. Santana scored on a double play in the 3rd. Jake Nottingham led off the 4th with his 1st homer of the season, and Antonio Nuñez ripped an RBI double in the 6th. Santana went 3-5 with 2 doubles and a run scored, while Sean McMullen and Luis Reynoso (2B, run) both went 2-4.

Keegan Yuhl started it off with 3 scoreless, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3. Dean Deetz was the first man out; he allowed a hit, walked 3, and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless. Brock Dykxhoorn pitched 2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Aaron Greenwood threw a 1-2-3 8th, striking out 1. Zach Davis closed it out with a 1-2-3 9th.

Greeneville will have today off. The series concludes tomorrow, as Devonte German will take on Gaby Almonte. First pitch is at 6:00.

GCL Astros 2, GCL Phillies 1

W- Kyle Weiland (1-0)
L- Sam McWilliams (0-1)
S- Justin Ferrell (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros outdueled the Phillies, holding them to just 3 hits.

Colton Cain went 3 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Kyle Weiland struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 4th and ended up getting the victory. Harold Arauz allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless, and Justin Ferrell struck out 3 over 2 perfect innings.

Osvaldo Duarte hit a double with 2 outs in the 3rd. He proceeded to steal 3rd (6, 13 season), and ended up scoring on a wild pitch. Arturo Michelena hit an RBI double in the 5th. Duarte was the only player on either side to have a multi-hit game, going 2-4.

The GCLstros are in Tampa to take on the Yankees 1. First pitch is coming in about 15 minutes.

DSL Astros Blue 10, DSL Athletics 3

W- Jose Rosario (1-2)
L- Santiago Rodriguez (0-2)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team seized total control of this game with 6 runs in the 8th, and they tacked on the 2-point conversion in the 9th.

Joan Mauricio opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 5th. Later in the inning, Nestor Tejada walked in a 2nd run. Carlos Canelon opened the floodgates in the 8th by scoring on a wild pitch. Jonathan Matute followed that up with a walk. Wander Franco and Connor MacDonald added RBI singles, and then Mauricio drew a bases-loaded walk. Jose Benjamin capped off the scoring in the inning with a 2-run single. The Blue team got 2 more in the 9th as Anardo Peralta scored on a wild pitch and Mauricio hit an RBI single. Franco (3 runs scored, 2 BB) and MacDonald (RBI, BB, R) both went 3-5. Maurici (3 RBI) and Benjamin (2 RBI) both finished 2-5. Carlos Canelon went 2-4.

Carlos Hiraldo started it off with 4 scoreless and allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Jose Rosario allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 3 in 1.2 innings. Juan Cuevas pitched 2.1 innings and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1, and Luis Arias worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 2.

The Blue team and the A's are currently in a game at the Astros complex.

DSL Astros Orange 7, DSL Cubs 4

W- Yhoan Acosta (2-1)
L- Dilson Vasquez (1-1)
S- Bryan Abreu (1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team erased a 4-3 deficit with 4 in the bottom of the 8th.

Vicente Sanchez hit an RBI single in the 5th that put the Orange team on the board. Bryan De La Cruz hit a sac fly in the 7th, and later in the inning, Wilson Amador scored on a wild pitch to make it a 4-3 game.

In the 8th, Frankeny Fernandez led off the inning with a walk. He would make his way around the bases thanks to a wild pitch and an error and scored the tying run on a passed ball. De La Cruz gave the Orange team the lead with an RBI single. Amador was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Sanchez completed the comeback with a sac fly. Sanchez (2 RBI, SB [6]) and Gabriel Bracamonte (3B) had 2-hit days, while De La Cruz went 3-3 with a couple of runs scored.

Edgardo Sandoval went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Yhoan Acosta allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4 in 4 innings, and Bryan Abreu struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th for the save.

The Orange team is currently at the Cubs complex for a game.

A Joyful Loss at Minute Maid Park

Tonight I left Minute Maid Park smiling from ear to ear. Was I happy that the Astros lost 13-2? Certainly not. But I was incredibly happy nonetheless.

Let's back up a bit. Just two months ago, my life took a very unhappy turn when the owner of my company died very unexpectedly. Alan was more than the boss. He was a friend. Alan had a knack of finding a connection with everyone with whom he dealt. Our connection was baseball. Astros baseball.

He stopped by my office every single day and asked me what he would read that day when he looked at my blog. He would quiz me non-stop about players that intrigued him. He took particular interest in Joe Sclafani because they shared a Dartmouth education in common. His very last email to me included detailed information about the draft class with his thoughts about who the Astros should draft 1.1. (By the way, he wasn't a fan of Rodon. He wanted Kolek, but Aiken was his second choice so I think he would be happy with the results.)

As I made my way into the office this morning, all I could think about was how much Alan would have loved to drop into my visitor's chair and riddle me with questions about Kiké and Domingo. Sometimes I would become exasperated with him because I had work to do, and he wanted to talk baseball (ironic, huh?). But I would have given anything to have been able to answer all of his questions today.

I had no plans to go to tonight's game, but once I heard that Kiké and Domingo were being called up, there was no question but that I would go. And as much as I like Domingo Santana, he was not the main reason that I made sure I was in attendance tonight. I had to be there for Kiké.

I believe that Santana was on every top ten Astros prospect list over the off-season. Kiké wasn't on any of them. I don't remember even hearing the front office mention his name despite the tremendous year he was having in Oklahoma City. When he got the call, I was mildly surprised. Not because I didn't think he deserved it, but because I wasn't sure the current regime recognized that.

But knowing he was on the way, I had to be there. Because once I met Kiké two years ago in Lancaster, I fell in love with him. To know Kiké is to love Kiké. He's one of a kind.

I knew that he had been injured and had missed some time, but he was starting to really take off in Lancaster. Lancaster Manager Rodney Linares told me that year, "He's not going to hit 40 home runs, but he's got a chance to hit 40 doubles." He was on my short list to talk with, but when he came out of the clubhouse to talk with me, he noted the confusion on my face when I saw this mane of dark blonde hair. "I'm not your typical Puerto Rican," he said with a huge grin, and he put me completely at ease with that statement.

And that's what Kiké does. He puts people at ease. If you need a court jester, look to Kiké. If you need comic relief, look to Kiké. If you need a goofy smile to brighten your day, definitely look to Kiké. If you need someone to entertain the crowd during a lights-out delay, look to Kiké to dance with Andy Simunic and the Hooks mascot on the field.

And during that interview two years ago, when I asked him to tell me something about himself that most people don't know, this is what he told me, “Only my teammates would know I’m a guy you always see with a smile on his face. I like to see people happy. Whenever someone’s not having a good day, I always try and go and make their day better. I like to see people happy, people around me happy, people I care about. This is my family right here. My teammates are my family when I’m away from home so I just want everybody to feel like they’re home. We get pretty homesick sometimes and miss our families because it’s a long road, six months away from home. We’ve been getting new guys pretty much every week and you just want to make those new guys feel comfortable. That’s pretty much what I’m here for, making everybody feel better.”

So I had to be there for him tonight. I wanted to make him feel comfortable. I wanted to make him feel better. I wanted to make him feel at home in Houston. I got to the ballpark early. As it turns out, I got there before his family and his girlfriend had arrived. And I got there before his adopted family from Corpus had arrived (his host family when he played in Corpus).

When I saw Kiké leaving the field after BP, I quickly walked over to where he was signing autographs. I caught his eye, and my reward was a big hug. We spoke briefly and we hugged again, and he gave me one of his goofy Kiké grins.

I soon found his host family from Corpus, which led me to seeing his beautiful girlfriend again and to meeting his family as they arrived from Puerto Rico.


And then the game started, unfortunately without Kiké in the line-up. It was a tough game. Fast forward to the 7th inning. The Astros were down 13-1. Jose Altuve left the game. Kiké came in to the game. Then this happened.


That was the first major league at-bat and the first hit for one Kiké Hernandez, an RBI double. Of course it was a double. That's what he does. He went on to hit a single in his second appearance.

Which brings me back to Alan. When he first died, I didn't go to a single game for three weeks. I just couldn't. It reminded me too much of what we had shared and of what I had lost. I finally made my way back, but a certain amount of the joy in watching a baseball game was still missing.

Then, at some point during tonight's game, I looked out on the field. And I saw several young men that I knew, young men that I cared about working their hearts out on the field in front of me. And tears started to slowly drip down my face as I thought how baseball gives us so much pleasure, and helps us so much when times are hard.  Baseball is timeless. It is waiting there for you even if you have to leave it for a while.

Watching Kiké achieve his dream tonight, alongside other young men that I've gotten to know just a little bit during this journey of mine, reminded me of that. So, yes, when I left the ballpark tonight I was grinning from ear to ear. A big goofy Kiké grin.

Happy Birthday - 7/2

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Troy Scribner (23)
Scribner signed with the Astros as a non-drafted free agent in 2013 out of Sacred Heart. In four starts for Tri-City this season, he is 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA and a 0.667 WHIP.

RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (20)
Drafted by the Astros in the 6th round in 2014 out of Central Arizona College, Dykxhoorn only recently started his professional career with the Greeneville Astros. In 3 appearances (4.0 innings), he has a 9.00 ERA and a 2.250 WHIP.

Astros Broadcaster Steve Sparks (49) (50)
[UPDATE: Baseball-Reference is WRONG! Sparky is actually 50 today. I'm sensing an impending Miguel Tejada, lying about his age scandal any moment now!]
Steve Sparks never pitched for the Astros, but he has become an honorary Astro as he first provided analysis for the Astros on FSN before becoming a radio announcer  for the team. When he did pitch, he was a knuckleballer ... according to baseball, only one of seven true knuckleballers in the 21st century. His career was temporarily sidetracked when he hurt his shoulder trying to tear a phonebook in half.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, June 30, 2014

Oklahoma City 10, Colorado Springs 6

W- Rudy Owens (4-4)
L- Mike McClendon (1-1)

OKC home runs: Enrique Hernandez (8, 9 season; 2-run in 5th)

The RedHawks took the opener behind a couple of big innings. Down 3-0 entering the 3rd, OKC finished the game on a 10-3 run.

Austin Wates put OKC on the board with a pop-fly RBI single in the 3rd. One batter later, Marc Krauss reached on an error that scored Robbie Grossman, but Krauss himself was thrown out at 2nd. Domingo Santana, in what could possibly (operative word here) be his last AAA game, then hit an RBI single. He'd come around to score on an RBI double from Kiké Hernandez. Grossman added an RBI groundout in the 4th, and Hernandez's blast came in the 5th. Hernandez, who finished 3-5 with a couple of doubles and a couple of runs scored, added another RBI double to his ledger in the 7th. Preston Tucker chipped in with an RBI groundout, and Matt Duffy brought home OKC's final run with an RBI single that scored Kiké. He, Domingo, Wates, and Krauss all had 2-hit nights. Krauss, Santana, and Hernandez scored 2 runs apiece. Kiké and Preston Tucker had 3 hits each.

Rudy Owens wasn't very sharp, but he did enough to get his team the win. He went 5.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 5, and struck out 2. Alex White, facing one of his former organizations, allowed a run of his own, a hit, and walked 1 over 1.2 innings. Jorge De Leon finished it off with 2 scoreless, allowing a hit and fanning 1.

On this first day of July, David Martinez will take on Juan Nicasio at 8:05.

Tulsa 8, Corpus Christi 7

W- Ken Roberts (5-2)
L- Richard Rodriguez (0-2, 1-2 season)

CC home runs: Tony Kemp (1, 5 season; led off game)

After they took the series opener, the Hooks suffered 2 walk-off losses to drop the series. This one came after they scored 4 runs in the 6th to tie the game at 7. Brian Humphries, who had the game-winner on Sunday, did it again last night.

Tony Kemp kicked the game off with his first AA homer. In the 4th, Jio Mier scored on an error, and Jonathan Meyer hit an RBI double in the 5th. Tyler Heineman (1 RBI) and Ruben Sosa (2 RBI) ripped triples in the 6th, and Kemp brought Sosa home with the game-tying sac fly. Kemp, Delino DeShields (run), Meyer (RBI 2B), Leo Heras (2B), and Heineman (RBI 3B, R) all had 2 hits. The other Hooks hit was Sosa's 2-run triple.

Brady Rodgers went 4.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (4 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 4. Mitch Lambson was the first man out; he went 2.2 innings and allowed an unearned run of his own. The 1 hit he allowed was a 2-run homer to Taylor Featherston in the 5th which allowed one of Rodgers' runners to score. The other inherited runner scored when he uncorked a wild pitch. Lambson walked 1 and struck out 1 in this outing. Jordan Jankowski worked around a hit and 2 walks to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 2. Richard Rodriguez got 2 outs in the 9th, 1 via strikeout, but Humprhies' heroics for Tulsa saddled him with the L.

The Hooks will have today off. Tomorrow, they'll kick off a 3-game set at home against the Springfield Cardinals. In the opener, David Rollins will take on Mike Mayers at 7:10.

Lancaster was off

The JetHawks are in Stockton for 3 games against the Ports. In the opener, Kent Emanuel will face TBA at 8:00.

Peoria 8, Quad Cities 2

W- Rob Kaminsky (4-1)
L- Jandel Gustave (5-4)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits dropped 3 of 5 as the Chiefs were all over Jandel Gustave in the early going.

Gustave only lasted 2 innings and allowed 6 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 3, and fanned 4. Chris Cotton and Tyler Brunnemann pitched 3 innings each. Cotton allowed an unearned run of his own, in addition to allowing the 2 runners he inherited from Gustave to score. He allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Brunnemann allowed an unearned run on 3 hits and struck out 3.

QC was held to 4 hits and their 2 runs came in the 9th on an error that allowed Jose Fernandez to reach 3rd. Marc Wik and Brett Phillips scored on the play.

The River Bandits will wrap up their roadtrip with 3 in Beloit. Michael Feliz, who was just named as a replacement for the World team at this year's Futures Game, will get the start. He'll face Junior Mendez at 7:00.

Tri-City 5, Vermont 3

W- Raul Rivera (2-0)
L- Jerad Grundy (0-2)
S- Ryan Thompson (1)

TC home runs: A.J. Reed (1, solo in 8th), Alex Hernandez (1, solo in 9th)

The ValleyCats took the opener as they got a couple of insurance runs late in the form of the home runs you see above.

Nick Tanielu went 2-4 and hit into a fielder's choice in the 4th that scored TC's first run of the evening. He would score himself on an error that also allowed Jose Solano to reach. J.D. Davis added a sac fly in the 5th. A.J. Reed, who did it all for Kentucky this past college season, connected for his first professional home run in the 8th. Alex Hernandez, who was the Astros' final pick last month, went deep for the first time as a pro in the 9th. Bobby Boyd and Ryan Bottger had 2 hits apiece at the top of the order.

Luis Ordosgoitti pitched 4 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Raul Rivera allowed a run on a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 5th. Blaine Sims pitched 1.2 scoreless, allowing 3 hits, walking 3, and striking out 2. Derick Velazquez went 1.1 innings and had an inherited runner charged to him. He allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1. He faced 2 batters in the 9th and both reached. Jordan Mills got 2 outs in the 9th, 1 via strikeout, but he did allow one of the runners that he inherited from Velazquez to score on a double. Mills also issued a walk. Ryan Thompson came on and got Justin Higley to ground out to end the game.

In the middle game of this series, Troy Scribner will take on Lee Sosa at 6:05.

Burlington 9, Greeneville 8

W- Andrew Brockett (2-1)
L- Jorge Perez (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros blew a 7-2 lead as the Royals went on a 7-1 run over the final third of the game, which culminated in Greeneville getting swept out of North Carolina.

Greeneville got 6 in the 4th as the first 6 batters reached base. Jake Nottingham got them on the board with an RBI single, and then a sac bunt from Ramon Laureano that resulted in an error scored Connor Goedert. A Luis Reynoso walk loaded the bases for Jason Martin, who promptly cleared them with a triple. Martin would score on a sac fly from Sean McMullen, who added an RBI single in the 6th. After Trent Woodward hit a 2-out double in the 9th, Yonathan Mejia drove him in with a single that tied the game at 8. Martin, Mejia, and Nottingham had 2 hits apiece.

Reymin Guduan pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 2 runs (both on solo homers) on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 7. Robert Kahana was the first man out, and he allowed an unearned run on a triple and struck out 1 in 2.2 innings of work. Krishawn Holley only got 1 out in the 8th via strikeout, as he bore the brunt of a 5-run inning. He allowed 4 hits (2-run homer), and one of the 5 runs was an inherited runner that was charged to him. Jorge Perez pitched 1.1 innings and allowed an unearned run on 3 hits and walked 1.

Greeneville will begin a 2-game series in Kingsport, with an off day in between the two games. Keegan Yuhl will make his first pro start; he'll take on Christian Montgomery at 6:00.

GCL Phillies 9, GCL Astros 7

W- Aaron Baker (1-0)
L- R.J. Alaniz (1-1)
S- Edubray Ramos (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros fought valiantly as they very nearly erased an 8-0 deficit.

They got on the board in the 4th thanks to a couple of bases-loaded walks from Richard Gonzalez and Alex Melendez and an RBI single from Osvaldo Duarte, who finished 3-5. Randy Cesar hit an RBI groundout in the 5th, and then Jake Bowey hit an RBI triple. He'd score on a Gonzalez single. Bowey, who finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored, ripped an RBI double down the right-field line in the 7th. Hector Roa was 2-5 with a double, a triple, and 2 runs scored. Kristian Trompiz reached in all 5 of his plate appearances, as he was 3-3 with a double, 2 walks, and 3 runs scored.

R.J. Alaniz got shelled in the early going as he allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 11 hits and struck out 1 in just 2.2 innings. Christian Perdomo threw 1.1 perfect innings. J.D. Osborne allowed a run on a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 5th. Randall Fant threw 2 scoreless and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3. Aaron Vaughn threw a 1-2-3 8th.

These two teams will go at it in a few minutes in Kissimmee.

DSL Astros Blue 9, DSL Rays 3

W- Starlyng Sanchez (1-2)
L- Sandy Brito (1-2)
S- Josue Uribe (2)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team ran off on a 9-1 run after the Rays opened with 2 in the 2nd.

Wander Franco put the Blue team on the board with an RBI double in the 3rd. Carlos Canelon added an RBI single in the 4th. In the 6th, Nestor Tejada drew a bases-loaded walk, Jose Benjamin scored on a passed ball, and Franco drew another bases-loaded walk. Nestor Tejada tripled and scored on a sac fly from Andy Piñeda in the 8th. In the 9th, Rodrigo Ayarza had a sac fly, Canelon hit his 2nd RBI single, and Benjamin scored his 3rd run of the game on a wild pitch. Franco, Canelon, Connor MacDonald, and Joan Mauricio had 2-hit days. Benjamin was 3-4 with 2 doubles and 3 runs scored.

Miguel Severino allowed 2 runs, 1 hit, walked 3, and struck out 1 in the 1st. Starlyng Sanchez was excellent as he allowed just 2 hits and struck out 8 over 5 scoreless innings. Gerald Benzant allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and fanned 1 in 1.1 innings, and Josue Uribe struck out 2 over 1.2 perfect innings.

The Blue team is currently in a game at the A's complex.

DSL Astros Orange 9, DSL Mets2 6

W- Abdiel Saldaña (2-0)
L- Aneury Olivo (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team put the Mets away with a 3-run 8th that pushed their 6-4 lead to 9-4.

Marcos Almonte got the Orange team on the board as he grounded into a force out that scored Juan Fuentes in the 3rd. Cristopher Luciano had another big game. He started his day off with an RBI single later in the inning. Frankeny Fernandez kicked off the 5th with a 2-run double, advanced to 3rd on a Luciano single, and scored on a wild pitch. Luciano, who finished 3-4 ended up, scoring on an errant pickoff throw, and his bases-clearing double in the 8th was the decisive blow. Marcos Almonte went 0-3, but scored 3 runs. Vicente Sanchez was 1-2 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored. Fernandez went 2-4 with the 2-run double and 2 runs scored, and Bryan De La Cruz was 2-4 with a double.

Erasmo Pinales pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Abdiel Saldaña went 2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Joel Belboder allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless, and Jose Ramos allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out the side in the 9th.

The Orange team is currently at home and in a game against the Cubs.