Friday, May 29, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, May 27, and Thursday, May 28, 2015

I apologize (again) for my absence yesterday... I just wanted to mourn the Rockets' elimination in the Western Conference Finals. Now that basketball season is finished (for me), the Astros should have the full and undivided attention of the city.

Of course, I am acknowledging the fact that attracting attention will likely be a struggle, considering how this decade began in terms of on-field performance. Then, couple that with the CSN quagmire, which obviously cut every non-Comcast subscriber off from the Astros and the Rockets. But, the Astros have alleviated those concerns by playing winning baseball. And, now that the vast majority of the city can watch the Astros and Rockets again, surely you are aware of the incredible start that the Astros are on through the first 50 games of the season. It's time you got out to witness this winning firsthand at Minute Maid Park. The Astros are putting out a winning product.... shouldn't you be out there supporting them, too?

Well, the intro is usually a one-liner, but with the Astros now the only game in town, I decided to put out a little monologue. And so, without further ado... your Minor League recaps.

Wednesday: Memphis 6, Fresno 1

W- Tim Cooney (4-2)
L- Brett Oberholtzer (1-2)

Fresno home runs: Max Stassi (5, solo in 8th)

Max Stassi's homer represented the only Fresno run as the Grizzlies were doomed by 4 errors. Nolan Fontana had 1 double in 3 at-bats.

Brett Oberholtzer was back in Fresno for another rehab start; he went 4.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits (solo and 2-run homers) and struck out 5. Luis Cruz tagged in for 4.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 2.

Thursday: Fresno 5, Memphis 4 in 11 innings

W- Richard Rodriguez (5-0)
L- Dean Kiekhefer (0-1)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizz earned the split in the 2nd matinee of the series and finished their homestand 5-3 against the PCL's Tennessee teams.

Fresno scored in the first 3 innings. L.J. Hoes opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st, Tyler Heineman scored on an error in the 2nd, and he ripped a 2-run double in the 3rd. The Redbirds scored 2 in the top of the 6th to tie the game at 4, and that's how it stood as the game went into extra innings.

Memphis stranded the go-ahead run at 3rd to end the top of the 10th, and Fresno went down in order in the bottom of the 10th. The Redbirds went down in order in their half of the 11th, and so, it was the Grizzlies' turn. Alex Presley hit a 1-out single, advanced tto 2nd on a Heineman single, and Joe Sclafani delivered the winning hit. Heineman and Sclafani had 3-hit days, while Presley (2 R) and Hoes both went 2-5. Heineman is currently on a 12-game hitting streak spanning two levels.

Brady Rodgers allowed 4 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 1. Mitch Lambson technically threw 1.1 scoreless innings, striking out 1, but he allowed both of the runners he inherited from Rodgers to score. Tyson Perez pitched 1.1 scoreless and allowed a hit and walked 1. Kevin Chapman worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1. Richard Rodriguez threw 2 scoreless for the win; he allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The current Astros AAA team will be spending the weekend and Monday with the former Astros AAA team, which has been rebranded as the Dodgers. In game 1, Tommy Shirley will take on Zach Lee. First pitch is at 7:05.

Wednesday: Corpus Christi 9, Northwest Arkansas 3

W- Kyle Westwood (2-2)
L- Miguel Almonte (4-2)
S- Aaron West (1)

CC home runs: Brandon Meredith (4, 3-run in 1st), Conrad Gregor (1, 2-run in 4th)

The Hooks stormed out of the gate and overwhelmed the Naturals, putting up 5 in the 1st to prop up Kyle Westwood. The heart of the Corpus lineup delivered in a big way as Tyler White, Conrad Gregor, and Brandon Meredith drove in 8 of their 9 runs.

Northwest Arkansas did get 2 of those runs back off of Westwood in the bottom of the 1st, and then he walked the first man he faced in the 2nd, but he turned it all around by retiring the final 12 batters he faced. Westwood allowed those 2 runs on 4 hits, and all of those came in the 1st inning. He walked 2 and struck out 4 over 5 innings. Aaron West pitched the final 4 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 2.

Jio Mier opened up the scoring with an RBI single. He then stole 3rd (4) and eventually scored on an error that allowed Conrad Gregor to reach, and also allowed Andrew Aplin to advance to 3rd. After Gregor reached, Brandon Meredith delivered the haymaker with a 3-run homer. Tyler White smacked an RBI double in the 2nd. He finished 2-5 and added an RBI single in the 3rd. One batter later, Gregor hit his first home run of the season. Danry Vásquez, in his AA debut, went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. He reached on a force out in the 3rd and stole his first base in the Texas League, giving him 7 on the season. Andrew Aplin finished 2-4 with a double, a walk, scored 3 runs, and stole a base (8, 14 season).

Thursday: Northwest Arkansas 3, Corpus Christi 2

W- J.C. Sulbaran (4-3)
L- Mark Appel (3-1)
S- Benino Pruneda (1)

CC home runs: Conrad Gregor (2, solo in 6th)

The Hooks were foiled in their bid to sweep the series as the Naturals got 2 in the bottom of the 6th off of Mark Appel to re-take the lead, after Conrad Gregor put the Hooks in front in the top of the inning.

That homer was Gregor's 2nd in as many nights. Jio Mier hit an RBI double in the 5th to put Corpus on the board and tied the game at 1. The Vanderbilt duo of Gregor and Tony Kemp had 2 hits apiece; Kemp also drew 2 walks. Unfortunately, the Hooks were left to rue their missed chances as they finished 0-9 with runners in scoring position. The Naturals, on the other hand, went 5-13 in such situations.

Mark Appel went 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 9 hits (all singles), walked 3, and struck out 4. Travis Ballew allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 1.1 innings, and Juan Minaya struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

The Hooks' tour of Arkansas continues as they spend the weekend with the Travelers in Little Rock. Chris Devenski will start the opener; he will face Alan Busenitz at 7:10.

Wednesday: Stockton 6, Lancaster 5

W- Omar Duran (1-0)
L- Albert Minnis (1-2)
S- Brendan McCurry (5)

Lancaster home runs: James Ramsay 2 (3; 2-run in 6th, 3-run in 8th)

James Ramsay's 2nd homer of the night put the JetHawks in front, but the Ports responded with their 3rd 2-run inning of the game to take the opener.

Ramsay was the entire offense. He had 2 of the 4 Lancaster hits and scored himself on both of his homers. Jose Fernandez also scored twice; the other run was scored by Marc Wik on Ramsay's 3-run shot. Alfredo Gonzalez had a double in 4 trips to the plate.

In his California League debut, Dan Mengden went 5.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits (2 solo homers), walked 3, and struck out 4. Tyler Brunnemann was the first man out; he allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 1.2 scoreless. Albert Minnis got 1 out in the 8th; a throwing error from Jose Fernandez after he fielded a groundball proved costly as the Ports scored 2 runs. Keegan Yuhl got the final 2 outs of the 8th; he allowed a hit and struck out 1.

Thursday: Lancaster 6, Stockton 0

W- Evan Grills (3-4)
L- Lou Trivino (3-3)
S- Bryan Radziewski (1)

Lancaster home runs: A.J. Reed (12, 2-run in 1st)

The JetHawks took flight, left the Ports in the dust, and Evan Grills and Bryan Radziewski combined on a 5-hit shutout.

Grills delivered his best start of the year as he allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 5 shutout innings. Radziewski finished it off, allowing 3 hits and striking out 5 over the final 4 innings.

A.J. Reed kicked things off with his 12th home run of the year. Marc Wik added an RBI single in the 2nd and scored on a passed ball in the 3rd. James Ramsay, who was at the plate, eventually coaxed a walk, J.D. Davis clubbed a 2-run double. Reed and Davis had 2 hits apiece. Ramsay scored twice and walked twice.

In the rubber game of this series, Troy Scribner will take on Dylan Covey. First pitch is at 7:10 Pacific.

Wednesday: Quad Cities 13, Kane County 4

W- Angel Heredia (1-0)
L- Touki Toussaint (0-1)
S- Jorge Perez (1)

QC home runs: Mott Hyde (1, solo in 3rd), Ryan Bottger (3, 2-run in 5th)

The Banditos erased an early deficit and took full advantage of 6 Kane County errors. 4 of those 6 miscues occurred in the 7th, and 3 of the 5 runs the River Bandits scored in the frame came off of those errors. They finished the game on an 12-0 run after trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the 3rd.

Jake Nottingham put Quad Cities on the board with an RBI single in the 1st. Mott Hyde cut into the deficit with his 1st homer of the year, which began the run. In the 4th, Sean McMullen hit an RBI double, Jason Martin scored on a wild pitch/strikeout, and Hyde added an RBI single to his ledger. Bottger cranked a 2-run shot in the 5th, and then the Banditos busted this game open in the 7th.

McMullen hit an RBI single, and he and Jason Martin would score on a 2-error play from the Cougars that also saw Kristian Trompiz advance to 3rd. Bobby Boyd added an RBI single. Boyd advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch and scored on yet another error. The 4th error, which occurred on the same play, allowed Mott Hyde to advance to 2nd. Boyd walked in the final run of the day in the 8th inning. Nick Tanielu went 3-4 with 3 runs scored. Hyde (solo HR, 2 RBI), McMullen (2B, 2 RBI, 2 R), and Nottingham (RBI, R) all finished with 2 hits.

Austin Chrismon went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (all on a solo and a 3-run homer) on 5 hits and struck out 5. Angel Heredia, in his season debut, walked 2 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 5th. Jorge Perez pitched 4 scoreless, allowing 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 2.

Thursday: Kane County 5, Quad Cities 2

W- Ethan Elias (5-1)
L- Brock Dykxhoorn (3-3)
S- Zac Curtis (10)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits couldn't erase this early deficit this time around, and they dropped just their 2nd series of the season.

D.J. Fisher opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Nick Tanielu added an RBI single in the 4th. The two of them finished 2-4. Bobby Boyd went 1-3 with a walk, scored a run, and stole 2 bases (8).

Brock Dykxhoorn went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits (all singles), walked 3, and struck out 3. Eric Peterson allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 3. Jordan Mills struck out 1 over 1.1 perfect innings.

The Banditos will spend this weekend and Monday in scenic Burlington, Iowa. In game 1, Josh James will take on Jeremy Rhoades at 6:30.

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