Saturday, July 11, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, July 10, 2015

Let's play 2 in Williamsport!

The A clubs laid waste to their opponents.

Fresno 8, Sacramento 5

W- Luis Cruz (5-4)
L- Nik Turley (3-4)
S- Kevin Chapman (7)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies looked like they'd be cruising to an 8-1 win, but suddenly, the RiverCats arose with 4 in the 8th and had the bases loaded in the 9th. However, the bullpen pulled itself together and was able to secure the win.

Robbie Grossman put Fresno on the board with a sac fly in the 2nd that tied the game at 1. L.J. Hoes added an RBI single in the 3rd inning, and in the 4th, Grossman added an RBI single to his ledger.

Tyler Heineman started off the 7th inning with a single. This turned out to be a 5-run inning as Jonathan Villar brought him home with a single. Hoes followed with a 2-run single, and then Matt Duffy hit a sac fly. Grossman finished the inning with an RBI single. Grossman (3 RBI), Hoes (3 RBI), Villar (RBI, R, SB [8]), and Heineman (R) had 2 hits apiece.

Luis Cruz had a solid outing as he allowed an unearned run on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in 6 innings of work. Jake Buchanan allowed 4 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

James Hoyt got 1 out in the 9th via strikeout, but not before Sacramento loaded the bases on him by way of a hit batter, a single, and an error. Kevin Chapman was summoned to extract the Grizz from a pickle, which he did by getting Ryan Lollis to line out to Matt Duffy, and Adam Duvall grounded into a force out for the final out of the game. Whew.

Brady Rodgers will get the start in game 4 of this series. He'll take on Jack Snodgrass at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 3, Tulsa 2

W- Scott Feldman (1-0)
L- Jose De Leon (2-4)
S- Chris Devenski (2)

CC home runs: Brett Booth (3, 4 season; 2-run in 5th), Colin Moran (1, solo in 6th)

The Hooks took the series as Scott Feldman had a solid rehab start. They were also held to 5 hits, but they won the column that matters.

Feldman allowed a run on 6 hits (5 singles and a double), walked 2, and struck out 4 over 5 innings. Chris Devenski finished it off, and the only complication he encountered was a solo shot from Peter Lavin in the 9th. Devo allowed 3 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 4 innings.

All 3 of the Hooks' runs came on homers. Tulsa took the lead with 1 in the top of the 5th, but Corpus quickly took the lead as Brett Booth hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the inning. One inning later, Colin Moran hit his first home run of the season.

Tonight, the Hooks will play the first in a 3-game series with Springfield. Michael Feliz will face Corey Baker at 7:05.

Lancaster 10, Rancho Cucamonga 0

W- Bryan Radziewski (2-2, 3-2 season)
L- Jeff Brigham (4-5)
S- Keegan Yuhl (3, 4 season)

Lancaster home runs: D.J. Fisher (7, 13 season; solo in 3rd), J.D. Davis (12, solo in 3rd), Jake Nottingham 2 (3, 13 season; 2-run in 3rd, solo in 9th), A.J. Reed (23, 3-run in 6th)

The JetHawks took the series as they dominated the Quakes in all facets of the game.

Bryan Radziewski walked 2 and struck out 3 over 5 shutout frames, and Keegan Yuhl completed the shutout as he allowed 2 hits and whiffed 5 over the final 4 innings.

Ronnie Mitchell opened up the scoring with the only RBI that did not come on a home run. He hit an RBI single in the 2nd. D.J. Fisher and J.D. Davis hit back-to-back solo shots in the 3rd. After Chase McDonald reached on an error later in the inning, Jake Nottingham went deep.

A.J. Reed bid adieu to the California League with a bang as he whacked a 3-run home run in the 6th, his 23rd of the season. Nottingham topped it off with his 2nd homer of the evening, a solo shot in the 9th. The Sheriff now has 13 homers between both A stops. He (2 HR, 3 RBI), Reed (3-R HR), and Mott Hyde had 2 hits apiece.

The JetHawks are back home, and tonight, they will begin a 3-game series with High Desert. Edison Frias will take on Trey Lambert at 6:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities 9, Burlington 1

W- Christian Powell (2-0)
L- Jake Jewell (4-5)

QC home runs: None.

Burlington got on the board first in the 1st inning, but it was all Quad Cities afterward.

By the way, that run that Burlington got off of Christian Powell in the 1st was unearned. Powell went 6 innings and allowed 5 hits while striking out 3.

Nick Tanielu ripped a 2-run double in the bottom of the 1st to put the Banditos in the lead... for good. Jamie Ritchie added an RBI single in the 5th, and the floodgates opened up in the 6th.

Trent Woodward led off the inning with a single and scored on a wild pitch. Ryan Bottger was the only player in the Quad Cities lineup to not have a hit, but he did have a sac fly in that 6-run 6th. Alex Bregman delivered the big hit of the game when he cleared the bases with a double. He'd score on a single from Ramon Laureano.

In game 2 of this series, Brandon McNitt will face Austin Robichaux. First pitch is at 6:00.

Game 1: Williamsport 1, Tri-City 0

W- Skylar Hunter (2-0)
L- Ralph Garza Jr. (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

The Crosscutters broke a scoreless tie by walking off with the win.

Bobby Wernes went 2-2 with a double and a walk. The other Tri-City hit belonged to Dex McCall.

Elieser Hernandez allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 5 shutout innings. Ralph Garza Jr. allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 1.2 innings.

Game 2: Williamsport 3, Tri-City 2

W- Jose Tavera (2-1)
L- Zach Davis (0-1)
S- Robert Tasin (4)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats were condemned to a sweep in the twinbill.

Bryan Muñiz went 3-3 and scored on an RBI single from Keach Ballard in the 4th. The other Tri-City run in the inning came when Anthony Hermelyn scored on a wild pitch.

Rogelio Armenteros went 2.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Zach Davis allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 1.2 scoreless, but got the loss for some reason. Kevin McCanna pitched 2 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3.

In the second leg of their tour of Pennsylvania, the ValleyCats are in State College. Trent Thornton will start game 1. He'll face Juan Perez at 7:05 Eastern.

Greeneville 10, Johnson City 4

W- Devonte German (1-1)
L- Ramon Santos (0-2)

Greeneville home runs: Hector Roa (3, 3-run in 3rd)

The Appy Astros scored a touchdown in the 3rd inning as they took the series.

Osvaldo Duarte opened up the scoring with an RBI single in that big 3rd inning. One batter later, Aaron Mizell ripped a 2-run double. Connor Goedert followed with an RBI single, and Hector Roa delivered the big blow with his 2nd 3-run home run in as many nights. In the 9th, Mizell hit an RBI single, Goedert ripped an RBI double, and Roa finished it off with an RBI infield single. Roa (HR, 4 RBI, R), Mizell (2B, 3 RBI, 2 R), and Duarte (RBI, R) had 2 hits apiece, while Goedert finished 4-5.

Chris Murphy allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 over 3 shutout innings. Devonte German went 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 4. Makay Nelson allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 1.2 innings. Cris Santamaria got the final out of the 8th with a strikeout, and in his pro debut, Jose Hernandez worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

Greeneville is back home tonight as they begin a series with Pulaski, now a Yankees affiliate. Yhoan Acosta will be on the mound for the Appy Astros in game 1, which will begin at 6:00 Eastern.

GCL Yankees2 7, GCL Astros 2

W- Leonardo Garcia (1-0)
L- Luis Ramirez (0-3)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros' 2 runs both came in the 7th. Connor MacDonald hit a double that advanced Kyle Tucker to 3rd. Tucker scored on a passed ball, and MacDonald wound up scoring on a wild pitch.

Luis Ramirez got the start and allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 4 in 4 innings.

DSL Royals 7, DSL Astros Blue 3

W- Randy Acevedo (3-2)
L- Michel Martinez (2-1)
S- Jose Tapia (2)

Blue home runs: None.

Cristopher Luciano went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 7th. Oscar Campos also finished 2-4. Ozziel Sanchez-Galan smacked an RBI double in the 2nd and also drew 2 walks.

Michel Martinez allowed 5 runs in 4 innings, but all of them were unearned. He allowed 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Yoanys Quiala allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 4 scoreless innings.

DSL Astros Orange 14, DSL Rangers1 11 in 11 innings


W- Josue Uribe (1-1)
L- Emmanuel Betances (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

Marcos Almonte (RBI, 2 R) and Angel Tejeda (3B, RBI, R) had 3 hits apiece. Randy Vasquez (3 R), Nicolas Miranda (2 R), Felix Lucas (3 RBI, R) and Miguelangel Sierra (3 R) had 2 hits apiece, and they all hit 2-run doubles. Lucas' 2-run double was the go-ahead hit in the 11th inning.

Javier Navas, the first reliever for the Orange team, allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 3.2 scoreless innings.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, July 10, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, July 8, 2015 and Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mark Appel on the mound!

Wednesday: Fresno 4, Sacramento 1

W- Mark Appel (1-1, 6-2 season)
L- Chris Stratton (0-2)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizz got a fine outing from Mark Appel, who took a shutout inning into the 7th.

Mr. Appel allowed 6 hits (all singles), walked 2, and struck out 4 over 6.2 innings. He left 2 runners on for Jason Stoffel, who got the final out of the 7th (via strikeout) without incident. Stoffel also pitched a scoreless 8th as he worked around 2 walks. He struck out 3 in all. Sacramento spoiled the shutout when they got a run off of Jordan Jankowski with a single in the 9th. Jankowski also walked 1 in the inning.

Nolan Fontana opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. Later, Andrew Aplin added an RBI groundout. Matt Duffy hit a 2-out double in the 3rd and came around to score on a Domingo Santana RBI double. One batter later, Tyler White ripped an RBI single that brought Domingo home. They (Duffy, Domingo, and White) were the middle third of the Grizzlies lineup, and they all went 2-4. Andrew Aplin also went 2-4 from the bottom of the order.

Thursday: Sacramento 5, Fresno 4 in 13 innings

W- Brett Bochy (3-0)
L- Jake Buchanan (3-3)

Fresno home runs: Tyler White (1, 8 season; 2-run in 2nd)

The Grizz left the go-ahead run on 3rd to end the 11th and the 13th. Sigh.

Tyler White put Fresno on the board with a 2-run shot in the 2nd, his 1st homer in the Pacific Coast League. In the 7th, L.J. Hoes tied the game at 3 with an RBI single, and Domingo Santana was plunked with the bases loaded to put the Grizzlies in the lead. White, Hoes, and Andrew Aplin had 2-hit nights.

Asher Wojciechowski threw a bare minimum quality start. Well, all 3 of those runs came on one swing of the bat in the 1st. Wojo allowed 4 other hits and struck out 7. James Hoyt and Kevin Chapman threw an inning apiece. Hoyt allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in the 7th, while Chapman allowed a hit and struck out 1 in the 8th. Tyson Perez and Jose Veras both threw 2 perfect innings; Perez struck out 1, while Veras fanned 3. Jake Buchanan got 2 outs in the 13th via strikeout, but the RiverCats got the winning run off of him. Buchanan allowed 2 hits and walked 1.

In game 3 of this series, Luis Cruz will face Nik Turley. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Wednesday: Tulsa 9, Corpus Christi 3

W- Jharel Cotton (3-0)
L- Brian Holmes (3-3, 5-4 season)

CC home runs: Jack Mayfield (1, 8 season; solo in 2nd)

The Hooks were behind 7-1 after 3 innings and were never really in this one.

Jack Mayfield hit his first homer in the Texas League in the 2nd inning, a solo shot that put Corpus on the board. Brett Phillips ripped an RBI triple in the 5th and scored himself as an error occurred.

Brian Holmes allowed 6 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits (solo and 2-run homers), walked 1, and struck out 1 over 2 innings. Reymin Guduan went 2 innings and allowed a run on a sac fly, a single, and walked 1. Aaron West pitched 4.1 innings and had an inherited runner charged to him in the 9th inning. He allowed 6 hits and struck out 2. Travis Ballew got the final 2 outs of the 9th and allowed a run of his own on 3 hits and struck out 1.

Thursday: Corpus Christi 8, Tulsa 7

W- Chris Cotton (2-0, 3-2 season)
L- Jeremy Horst (0-2)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks staved off 4 homers from the Drillers and walked off with a win by scoring 3 in the bottom of the 9th.

Jack Mayfield put Corpus on the board with an RBI double in the 1st, and in the 3rd, Conrad Gregor cleared the bases with a double. The Hooks wouldn't score again until the 8th, when Brandon Meredith hit an RBI single. That hit made it a 6-5 game in favor of Tulsa. The Drillers got a homer in the 9th to make it a 2-run game.

Chan-Jong Moon got the rally started with an infield single. He'd advance to 3rd on an error following an Alfredo Gonzalez sac bunt and would score on a Brett Phillips groundout. Teoscar Hernandez tied the game with an RBI double and advanced to 3rd on a Gregor groundout. Meredith was the hero as he deposited the winning hit into left field to bring Teoscar home. He, Gregor, and Phillips finished with 2 hits apiece.

Chad Qualls only got 2 outs in his 2nd rehab appearance; he allowed a double and a solo homer. Adrian Houser went 5.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits (solo and 3-run homers), walked 3, and struck out 2. Juan Minaya allowed a run, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 7th. Chris "58%" Cotton allowed a solo homer in the 9th, which was the only hit he allowed in 2 innings. He struck out 1.

In the series finale, Chris Devenski will face Jose De Leon. First pitch is at 7:05.

Wednesday: Rancho Cucamonga 6, Lancaster 5 in 10 innings

W- Caleb Dirks (1-0)
L- Andrew Walter (2-2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the first extra frame, but they saw it go by the wayside. The Quakes, however, didn't miss on their first opportunity...

Ronnie Mitchell opened up the scoring with an RBI double in the 4th inning. Mott Hyde followed with an RBI single, and Brian Holberton hit a sac fly that scored Mitchell. Hyde added a 2-run double to his ledger in the 8th. He (2B, 3 RBI), Marc Wik (2B), James Ramsay, and Jake Nottingham (2 R) had 2 hits apiece, while A.J. Reed was 3-4 with a double and 2 runs scored.

Dan Mengden had a bare minimum quality start; allowing 6 hits, walking 1, and striking out 5. Albert Minnis allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (solo homer) and struck out 2 in 1.1 innings. Andrew Walter allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 2 in 2 innings. The winning run scored with 1 out in the 10th.

Thursday: Lancaster 7, Rancho Cucamonga 5

W- Akeem Bostick (1-2, 4-3 season)
L- John Richy (7-3)

Lancaster home runs: Marc Wik (6, solo in 1st), Chase McDonald (13, 2-run in 8th)

The JetHawks took the lead in this series as they had a show of power in Rancho.

Akeem Bostick went 6.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 4, and struck out 4. Tyler Brunnemann allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 2 in 1.1 innings, and Aaron Greenwood allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in the 9th, but he was able to stop the bleeding before things got even more interesting.

A.J. Reed finished a homer shy of the cycle and scored 3 runs. Both of Chase McDonald's hits drove in runs; he ripped an RBI double in the 1st and whacked a 2-run homer in the 8th. Reed, Jake Nottingham, and Ronnie Mitchell all scored on errors in the 5th.

Bryan Radziewski will start the series finale. He'll face Luis De Paula at 7:05 Pacific.

Wednesday: Clinton 3, Quad Cities 2 in 11 innings

W- Ronald Dominguez (1-1)
L- Eric Peterson (4-4)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits also had an opportunity in extras go by the wayside, and they ended up walking off with an L.

Ramon Laureano opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 4th. Clinton took the lead with 2 in the 8th, but Jason Martin tied the game in the 9th when he scored on a fielder's choice hit by Alex Hernandez. Martin went 2-4 and was the only Bandito in the lineup with more than one hit.

Josh James was excellent as he allowed 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 6 shutout innings. Jorge Perez allowed 2 runs (both in the 8th) on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1 in 2.1 innings. Eric Peterson allowed the winning run on 3 hits and struck out 3 in 2 innings; Clinton won with 1 out in the 11th.

Thursday: Quad Cities 6, Clinton 2

W- Francis Martes (3-2)
L- Lukas Schiraldi (4-6)
S- Angel Heredia (3)

QC home runs: Sean McMullen (4, 3-run in 9th)

The Banditos earned a split in the series thanks to a solid performance on the mound from Francis Martes.

Martes allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits and struck out 5 in 6.1 innings. Angel Heredia allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 over the final 2.2 innings to get the save.

The Bandits got 2 in the 1st on RBI singles from Jamie Ritchie and Jason Martin. Nick Tanielu scored on a wild pitch in the 3rd, and with a 1-run lead, Sean McMullen provided some much-needed insurance with a 3-run homer. Tanielu finished 2-5 with 2 runs scored.

Christian Powell will start the first game of a 4-game set with Burlington that begins tonight at 7:00.

Wednesday: Tri-City 10, Williamsport 6

W- Zac Person (1-1)
L- Denton Keys (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

This game wasn't exactly a textbook on how to pitch, as both teams' staffs combined to walk 20. Yep, one of those games. The ValleyCats put the Crosscutters away with 5 runs over the final 3 innings to push their lead to 10-5.

Bryan Muñiz opened the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st. TC got 3 in the 4th on RBI singles from Bobby Wernes and Johnny Sewald and an RBI double from Keach Ballard. In the 5th, Garrett Stubbs added an RBI single. Wernes hit another RBI single in the 7th, and Anthony Hermelyn got in on the RBI single party in the 8th. Brooks Marlow drove in 2 with a single in the 9th, and Hermelyn struck again with his 2nd RBI single in as many innings.

Sewald (3 SB [12]) and Wernes (2 RBI, 2 R) had 3 hits apiece, while Hermelyn finished 2-4 and stole a base (2).

Harold Arauz went 3.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Zac Person was the first man out; he got the final out of the 4th and 2 outs in the 5th. He allowed a hit, walked 3 and struck out 1. Juan Carlos Santos got Person out of a bases-loaded jam to end the 5th. In his 2 innings, he had an inherited runner charged to him and allowed 2 hits while striking out 3. Steve Naemark allowed a hit and struck out 1 in 1.1 innings. Yeyfry Del Rosario allowed 2 runs, a hit, walked 3, and struck out 1 in the 9th inning.

Thursday: Tri-City and Williamsport was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for 4:05 Eastern. Ralph Garza Jr. will take on Alejandro Arteaga in game 1, and Elieser Hernandez will match up against Jose Taveras in game 2.

Wednesday: Johnson City 6, Greeneville 4

W- Ronnie Williams (1-0)
L- Alex Winkelman (2-1)
S- Steven De La Cruz (3)

Greeneville home runs: Luis Payano (1, solo in 9th), Connor Goedert (3, solo in 9th)

The Appy Astros finished this game on a 4-0 run, but that wasn't enough to erase a 6-0 deficit.

Hector Roa drove in Greeneville's first run of the evening with an RBI double in the 6th. Brauly Mejia added an RBI double in the 8th, and they got 2 solo shots from Luis Payano and Connor Goedert in the 9th. Payano's led off the inning, while Goedert's homer came with 2 outs. Roa finished 3-4 with 2 doubles, while Goedert, Mejia, and Justin Garcia had 2 hits apiece.

Alex Winkelman went 3.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Joselo Pinales got the final 2 outs of the 4th, but not before allowing a 3-run homer to Ryan McCarvel. 2 of those runs were charged to Winkelman. Joselo Pinales allowed one other hit and struck out 1. Jose Montero got 1 out in the 4th. Erasmo Pinales allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 over 3.2 scoreless.

Thursday: Greeneville 9, Johnson City 2

W- Junior Garcia (1-0)
L- Julio Mateo (0-2)

Greeneville home runs: Hector Roa (2, 3-run in 6th)

Hector Roa's 3-run shot was the big hit in a 5-run 6th for the Appy Astros as they got even in their series with the Cardinals.

Ryan Deemes allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 over 4 shutout innings. Junior Garcia tagged in for 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Jacob Dorris worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

Aaron Mizell went 2-5 with an RBI single in the 1st. Justin Garcia went 3 (all doubles)-5. His 2nd double of the game drove in 1 in the 6th, and his 3rd drove in a run in the 8th. Connor Goedert and Myles Straw had 2 hits and scored 2 runs apiece. Everyone who appeared at the plate for Greeneville got a hit. Luis Payano entered as a defensive replacement in the 9th.

In the final game of the series, Chris Murphy will face Ramon Santos. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros

The Kissimmee Stros swept the Tigers, winning 2-0 on Wednesday and 4-3 on Thursday.

DSL Astros Blue

The Blue team lost 1-0 to the Indians on Wednesday and 7-6 to the Royals on Thursday.

DSL Astros Orange

The Orange team defeated the Angels 4-2 on Wednesday and lost 5-2 in 10 innings to the Rangers 1 on Thursday.

Happy Birthday - 7/10

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

C Ruben Castro (19)
Castro was born July 10, 1996 in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and was drafted by Houston in the 19th round in 2014 out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. After filling in for two games in Lancaster, Castro was re-assigned to the Gulf Coast League team.

Ruben Castro - June 2014
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Happy Birthday - 7/9

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Edgardo Sandoval (19)
Sandoval was born July 9, 1996 in Chitre, Panama, and was signed by the Astros in 2014. He is currently playing for the Rookie League Gulf Coast League Astros.

Edgardo Sandoval - June 2015
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Let's play 2 in the Quad Cities!

Tacoma 8, Fresno 7

W- Logan Kensing (1-0)
L- Mike Hauschild (2-2, 7-3 season)
S- Tom Wilhelmsen (1)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies had to settle for a split as they couldn't quite erase an early 5-run deficit. They left the tying run on 3rd to end the game.

Jonathan Villar got Fresno on the board with an RBI single in the 3rd inning. In the 4th, the Grizz put up 3 runs as Domingo Santana smacked a 2-run double and scored on a Tyler White groundout. Domingo reached on an error in the 6th that allowed Matt Duffy to score, and he made it to 3rd. White saw his 6-game hitting streak come to a close, but he drove in Santana with his 2nd groundout of the evening. Duffy, who finished 3-4, hit an RBI single in the 8th inning. He, Domingo, and L.J. Hoes scored 2 runs apiece. The other run was scored by Tyler Heineman, who finished 2-4 with a double.

Mike Hauschild went 4.2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 11 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jose Veras allowed a run, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 1.1 innings. Jordan Jankowski, Kevin Chapman, and Tyson Perez each worked an inning: Jankowski allowed a hit and struck out 1 in a scoreless 7th, Chapman allowed a run on a triple, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 8th, and Perez threw a 1-2-3 9th.

In their final series before the AAA All-Star break, the Grizzlies will be in Sacramento for 5 games. Mark Appel will make his 3rd start for Fresno as he takes on Chris Stratton at 7:05 Pacific.

Springfield 1, Corpus Christi 0

W- Andrew Morales (4-4)
L- R.J. Alaniz (1-1)
S- Kyle Barraclough (6)

CC home runs: None.

Unfortunately, the Hooks suffered the sweep as they could scratch across a run.

Jon Kemmer went 2-4 with a double and Jack Mayfield finished 4-4 in his Texas League debut.

Chad Qualls pitched a 1-2-3 1st in his first rehab appearance, getting 2 groundouts and a flyout on 9 pitches. R.J. Alaniz finished it off as he allowed a run on 9 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 7 innings of work.

The Hooks have returned home and are set to begin a 3-game series with Tulsa. In game 1, Brian Holmes will take on Ross Stripling in a matchup that occurred 6 days ago. First pitch is at 7:05.

Lancaster 4, Rancho Cucamonga 0

W- Austin Chrismon (3-1, 7-2 season)
L- Zack Bird (4-5)

Lancaster home runs: A.J. Reed (22, 2-run in 1st)

Austin Chrismon was excellent as the JetHawks took the first of 4 from the Quakes by blanking them.

Mr. Chrismon allowed 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 7 shutout innings. Jordan Mills completed the shutout; he allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 in the final 2 frames.

For the second consecutive night, A.J. Reed opened up the scoring with a 2-run homer (22) in the 1st inning. Chase McDonald added an RBI single in the 4th, and Mott Hyde scored on a double play in the 5th.

Game 1: Quad Cities 1, Clinton 0

W- David Paulino (1-1, 2-1 season)
L- Tyler Herb (4-5)
S- Ryan Thompson (3)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos took the first game of the twinbill as David Paulino was magnificent.

Paulino allowed 5 hits and struck out 8 over 6 shutout innings, and Ryan Thompson closed it out with a 1-2-3 7th.

The only run of the game came in the 3rd, as Bobby Boyd hit an RBI single that scored Trent Woodward. Boyd also stole his 18th base of the season.

Game 2: Clinton 6, Quad Cities 1

W- Kody Kerski (2-2)
L- Justin Ferrell (1-2)

QC home runs: None.

Well, the 2nd game of the doubleheader wasn't as kind to the River Bandits as they trailed 6-0 after the 4th and were held to just 1 hit.

That 1 hit belonged to Nick Tanielu, who singled in the 1st inning. Trent Woodward scored both runs on the day for the Bandits. He walked to lead off the 5th, advanced to 3rd on an error, and scored on an Alex Hernandez groundout.

Justin Ferrell allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits and walked 3 in 3 innings. Michael Freeman allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 3 innings, and Riley Ferrell struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 7th.

The series now shifts to Clinton for 2 games. Josh James will take on Pat Peterson tonight at 6:30.

Tri-City was off

The ValleyCats are on the road and they are set to begin a 3-game series with Williamsport tonight at 7:00 Eastern.

Kingsport 6, Greeneville 4

W- Darwin Ramos (1-0)
L- Salvador Montaño (0-1)
S- Taylor Henry (2)

Greeneville home runs: Brauly Mejia (1, solo in 6th)

The Appy Astros were swept as they were buried by a Kingsport barrage in the early going. They made it close late, but... no cigar.

Aaron Mizell opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. He finished 3-4 and added a 2-run double to his ledger in the 5th inning. Brauly Mejia brought Greeneville even closer with his 1st homer of the year, but that was as close as they got to the K-Mets.

Salvador Montaño went 1.2 innings and had 2 inherited runners charged to him. He allowed a hit, walked 4, and struck out 3. Brandon Culbreth got the final out of the 2nd, but faced 5 batters in the 3rd and failed to retire any of them. He allowed 4 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 4 hits and walked 2. Juan Delis couldn't extract Culbreth from a predicament in the 3rd. He allowed a hit and struck out 2 in 2 innings. Albert Abreu pitched the final 4 innings and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3.

Greeneville is in Johnson City for the second leg of their roadtrip. In game 1, Erasmo Pinales will face Ronnie Williams at 7:00 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue 6, DSL Indians 5

W- Luidin Toribio (3-0)
L- Dalbert Siri (0-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Astros beat the Indians yesterday. In the Dominican Summer League.

Wilson Amador finished 2-5 and hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 9th. Cristopher Luciano doubled and scored 2 runs.

Luidin Toribio got the win as he walked 2 and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless.

DSL Angels 2, DSL Astros Orange 1


W- Jesus Castro (3-1)
L- Juan Cuevas (0-4)

Orange home runs: None.

Miguelangel Sierra scored on a wild pitch in the 9th for the Orange team's only run. He finished 2-4 with a double. Anthony Rodriguez and Oliver Toribio also hit doubles.

Juan Robles allowed a hit and struck out 5 over 5 shutout innings as he continues to shine. Juan Cuevas allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 2 in 3 innings.

Getting to Know Astros/Tri-City LHP Steve Naemark

As each Astros draft pick was announced this past month, I promptly did a search to find the player on twitter. Not finding a twitter account for 40th round pick Steve Naemark, I googled him and found this story. Soon the word spread of Naemark's story and he rapidly became that guy who everybody roots for just a little bit harder.

Steve Naemark - July 2015
Photo Courtesy of Rob Witt

I spoke with Naemark last week by phone after his quick promotion from Greeneville to Tri-City.

Naemark was kind enough to bear with me and re-tell his story, "I wasn't really a pro prospect out of high school. I signed a letter of intent to Central Arizona College and the head coach that I signed with and the pitching coach ended up getting new jobs at a 4-year school. So they took the new jobs about two weeks before I was supposed to report. And the new head coach who had been hired called me and let me know that he wasn't interested in me. I felt like it was going to be a waste of time if I wasn't going to be playing."

Walking on for another team was a consideration at this point, but Naemark was loathe to take out loans or place any financial hardship on his family. So he went to work, taking a series of dead end jobs in fast food and at a call center while taking a few classes. But it was difficult to juggle classes with a full time work schedule and he eventually dropped out. That's when things got bleak for Naemark, a college dropout working at McDonald's with no way to break out of the rut.

Did he regret not handling things differently? Naemark said, "I look back and part of you tells you that everything happens for a reason and it makes me appreciate being where I am a whole lot more because of everything I went through. When I was in college, I knew that I was one of the oldest people and I was told that it was going to affect my draftability. There's a lot of regrets about not just sticking with it, pursuing it and maybe taking out those loans regardless and just taking a chance. But on the other hand, it was nice to be able to work and make it a little easier on my family."

Naemark continued, "When I'd be sitting there working my full shifts at McDonald's, the eight hour shifts, five days a week, I was actually stuck in a rut. I wanted to get back to school and I couldn't afford it. I didn't have any help and I looked back at baseball and I said, 'Man, that was my ticket and I blew it.' So there was definitely a sense of regret, especially when I wasn't playing at all."

But while working at McDonald's, a chance encounter gave Naemark the spark he needed. "An old high school friend came through the drive-through. (We) played on the high school team together and he actually got his chance to play professionally with the Pirates. When he came through the drive-through, it just lit a fire again. I (thought), 'I really want to play. I miss the game a lot.'"

Naemark then decided to pull together a little money and join a summer league just for fun. Naemark explained, "I didn't really do anything for enjoyment at that time of my life. I was still trying to figure out what would make me happy. But I knew that baseball was always something that made me happy."

Naemark joined a summer league in Tucson. Of that time he said, "I got lucky to have a good coach who actually let me pitch. I was just out there having fun and pitching again. It was about four games before the season ended and the head coach at Cochise College saw me and offered me a full ride to go to school again. It was all in one night that everything changed."

Of his college experience, Naemark said, "It was just really nice being around people of that caliber again, people with goals, people who were driven (and) had a really good work ethic. It was kind of refreshing is the best way that I could describe it."

Naemark continued, "I didn't really go into it expecting to do as well as I did. I knew I was going to give it 100% and really dedicate myself to it this time. I wasn't going to let myself have the same regrets when I left the game again this time."

But Naemark did extremely well, helping to lead Cochise to the JUCO World Series in each of his two seasons there prior to moving to Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He continued to thrive at ASU, accumulating a long list of honors. In his season there, he was 11-1 with two saves, a 1.37 ERA, and a 0.928 WHIP. He walked 23 while striking out 135 in 125 innings of work.

It wasn't until his junior year that Naemark became aware that he was drawing draft interest from a few teams. "I got my first questionnaire from the Mets and after that, they just started pouring in. I probably got interest from a total of seven teams or so. A lot of them didn't really pursue me," said Naemark. And, although he had filled out a questionnaire for the Astros, he didn't hear from them again until he received an invitation to a pre-draft workout. That's when he knew that pursuing a professional career in baseball could turn out to be a reality for him.

Naemark was, however, getting a little nervous by the time his name was finally called in the 40th round. The Astros called him around the 32nd round to gauge his interest, but they didn't tell him what round they were looking at. "I sat there with my fingers crossed and as the 39th round was passing, I was just kind of staring at my phone hoping that it would ring and really just praying that I'd get my shot. And then the 40th round comes along and I saw that (the Astros) pick was coming up. I saw my name pop up on the screen and then they called me after and asked me if that was alright. I said, 'Yep. I'd love to sign and it's just been rolling from there.'"

Since signing with the Astros, it has been a whirlwind ride for Naemark. After only two outings with the Rookie League Greeneville Astros, Naemark found himself on a plane headed to join the Short Season A Tri-City ValleyCats. He's off to a good start with a 1.12 ERA and a 0.750 WHIP in his five outings. The biggest surprise to him so far has been the quality of the ballparks he's played in. "The ballparks are amazing. I've never played at ballparks this beautiful or anything like that. The skill level is top notch," said Naemark.

Naemark, a southpaw, throws a fastball, cut fastball, changeup and a curveball with a 3/4 over the top delivery. His fastball normally clocks in at around 88 to 91, but his velocity is down a little as he makes the adjustment from starter to reliever. His curveball has good movement, but he relies more on speed changes than movement to throw hitters off balance.

Naemark considers himself to be a mental pitcher. "I don't go out there and just try to overpower people with my stuff so much as I try to throw what they're not expecting or throw to their weaknesses. I really like getting to watch a couple outings from other pitchers and see what a team is good and not good at hitting and work off of that. I think my biggest strength is that I can throw all four pitches for strikes in any part of the zone. You've got to pitch to your strengths and that's what I plan to continue doing ... lots of offspeed and fastballs when the hitter's not expecting it."

He continued, "I think a big part of my development lies in the weight room and getting physically stronger and increasing my base velocity that way." His goal is to increase the velocity of every pitch while still maintaining good speed changes.

Naturally, I wanted to find out a little more about Naemark off the field as well. It turns out that he has a hidden skill that most people might not know about. He told me, "I love to play the drums and I'm actually pretty darn good at it. That was one of the few things I did when I was working all those jobs. I bought a drum set out of high school and I played it until I had to go to Angelo State. I sold it off because I knew I couldn't bring it to Texas. I plan on buying another one as soon as possible, though."

Naemark was a business management major in college and once his baseball career is over, he will likely finish his degree and pursue a job in human resources. "I got a bit of an interest in human resources management. I think that's a good universal skill to have across a lot of businesses. I took a class in that and it actually sparked my interest which I didn't expect to happen," said Naemark. His final words on the subject resonated, particularly considering his past. "That would be my first choice, but I've learned not to really make hard set plans because whatever life has in store for you will happen. It tends to surprise you."

Steve Naemark was 25 years, three months and one day old when he appeared in his first professional game on June 24th. He didn't have a twitter account when he was first drafted, but he soon remedied that. Appropriately enough, the pitcher who was over 4 years older than his average counterpart at Greeneville and is three and a half years older than his average Tri-City teammate went with the twitter handle @GrandpaSteve1.

Thank you for your time, Steve, and the best of luck as the season continues. You will have a lot of fans rooting for you.

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

You can find more on virtually every player in the Astros minor league system in the UPDATED 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook (now at a new low price!) available on Amazon for download to your kindle, iPad, laptop, desktop or smart phone.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, July 6, 2015

Let's play 2 in.... the Dominican Republic, apparently.

Daz Cameron began his road to Houston.

Fresno 8, Tacoma 2

W- Brady Rodgers (7-4)
L- Forrest Snow (7-5)

Fresno home runs: Max Stassi (9, grand slam in 7th)

Max Stassi's slam in the 7th was the final nail in the Rainiers' coffin.

Tony Kemp led off the bottom of the 1st with a single, stole 2nd (7, 22 season), and scored the game's first run on a Robbie Grossman single. Grossman also stole 2nd (5) and came around to score on a Matt Duffy double. Duffy, who advanced to 3rd on a Jonathan Villar groundout, came home as Tyler White ripped a double of his own. Villar tripled to lead off the 6th and White brought him home with a single. Kemp, Grossman, Duffy, and White all finished with 2 hits. White has had at least 2 hits in all 5 of his games since being called up and is in the midst of a 6-game hitting streak.

Max Stassi's struggled this season, but he's built some positive momentum over the last couple of games. He whacked a grand slam (9) to put away Tacoma in the 7th. It's his 2nd consecutive game with a homer.

Brady Rodgers went 7 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits and struck out 3. James Hoyt threw 2 perfect innings to finish it, striking out 1.

In the final game of this series, Mike Hauschild will be on the mound for the Grizz. He'll take on Roenis Elias at 7:05 Pacific.

Springfield 5, Corpus Christi 4 in 11 innings


W- Chris Thomas (2-3)
L- Travis Ballew (3-3)

CC home runs: Brett Booth (2, 3 season; solo in 7th)

Well... the Hooks were condemned to another walk-off loss in the Ozarks as they dropped the series.

Brett Phillips hit a double with 1 out in the 4th, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored the first run of the night on a sac fly from Jio Mier. The Cardinals scored 3 in the bottom of the 4th to take the lead, but Corpus answered with 2 in the top of the 6th, which came in the form of a 2-run single from Colin Moran. Springfield retook the lead in the bottom of the 6th, but that lead was short-lived as Brett Booth went deep in the 7th. Moran finished 3-5 with a double to go along with his 2-run single, while Phillips went 2-5 with a double and 2 runs scored.

Kyle Westwood allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and struck out 2 over 6 innings. Jandel Gustave and Chris Cotton both pitched 2 scoreless innings; Gustave allowed 3 hits and struck out 2, while Cotton allowed a hit, walked 2 (1 intentional), and fanned 2. Travis Ballew allowed the winning run on a double with 1 out in the 11th. He hit the batter who scored.

The Hooks will look to avoid the sweep as R.J. Alaniz takes on Andrew Morales at 7:10.

Lancaster 7, Lake Elsinore 3

W- Aaron Greenwood (1-0)
L- Bryan Verbitsky (0-1)

Lancaster home runs: A.J. Reed (21, 2-run in 1st)

The JetHawks took the series as they broke a 3-3 tie with 4 in the top of the 8th inning.

A.J. Reed opened things up with a bang as he clubbed a 2-run homer in the 1st, his 21st of the season. Marc Wik added an RBI double in the 7th. In that big 8th inning, Reed, who finished 3-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored, put the JetHawks back on top with an RBI single. Ronnie Mitchell provided some insurance with a 2-run triple, and he scored the final run of the evening on a Jose Fernandez single. J.D. Davis went 0-2, but he drew 2 walks and scored 2 runs. Mitchell (3B, 3 RBI, 2 R) and Fernandez (RBI single) both finished 2-4.

Edison Frias, Kevin Comer, and Aaron Greenwood threw 3 innings apiece. Frias allowed a hit and struck out 2. Comer allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1, and Greenwood got the win as he allowed just 1 hit and whiffed 1.

The JetHawks' roadtrip continues in Rancho Cucamonga. In the first of 4 games, Austin Chrismon will face Brock Stewart. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities and Clinton was postponed

Due to rain. Doubleheader begins at 6. David Paulino will face Tyler Herb in game 1, and Justin Herb will take on Jarrett Brown in game 2.

Tri-City 7, Lowell 4

W- Dean Deetz (2-1)
L- Danny Rosenbaum (0-1)

TC home runs: Drew Ferguson (3, 3-run in 5th)

The ValleyCats earned a big series win as they took 2 of 3 from the Stedler Division-leading Spinners.

Tri-City got 3 in the 4th on an RBI single from Dex McCall and a 2-run single from Kolbey Carpenter. Anthony Hermelyn added an RBI single in the 5th, but the big hit of the night belonged to Drew Ferguson, who smacked a 3-run homer to put the ValleyCats up a touchdown. Ferguson finished a triple short of the cycle (the Astros County special, but we're keeping it PG here) in 4 at-bats. Carpenter went 2-4, and Bobby Wernes reached base in all of his plate appearances, going 2-2 with 2 BBs.

Dean Deetz pitched 5 shutout innings, allowing a hit, walking 4, and striking out 3. He threw more balls than strikes and uncorked 3 wild pitches, but the Spinners failed to get anything off of him. Zac Grotz was the first man out; he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and walked 1 over 2 innings. Zach Davis struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Adam Whitt allowed a solo homer to Tucker Tubbs in the 9th. That was the only hit he allowed in the inning, and he struck out 2.

After a day off, the ValleyCats will embark on a tour of Pennsylvania. First up is 3 with Williamsport beginning on Wednesday.

Kingsport 5, Greeneville 4

W- Witt Haggard (1-0)
L- Samil De Los Santos (1-1)

Greeneville home runs: Hector Roa (1, solo in 4th)

Again... the K-Mets scored 5 unanswered runs.

Connor Goedert and Hector Roa drove in 2 runs apiece. Goedert opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 1st, and Roa followed by drawing a bases-loaded walk. Roa hit his first homer of the year in the 4th inning, and Goedert had an RBI groundout in the 5th. Roa went 2-3 and was the only player on either side to get at least 1 hit in the game.

Yhoan Acosta allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 over 4 shutout innings. In his pro debut, Andrew Thome worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th. Thome is a non-drafted free agent from the University of North Dakots. Alejandro Solarte got 2 outs in the 6th, 1 via strikeout, but he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits. Jacob Dorris walked 1 and fanned 1 in 1.1 innings. Cris Santamaria allowed a game-tying solo homer to Dash Winningham in the 8th inning. That was the only hit he allowed; he struck out 1. Samil De Los Santos got 2 outs in the 9th, but Kingsport got the winning run off of him on an error. Ugh.

The Appy Astros will look to avoid the sweep as Salvador Montaño takes on Darwin Ramos. This game is just underway.

GCL Astros 6, GCL Braves 4

W- Lachlan Madden (1-0)
L- Alan Rangel (0-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros got 4 in the 8th to shock the Braves.

Daz Cameron, in his first game as a pro, went 2-4 with an RBI groundout in the 8th and stole 2 bases. Connor MacDonald went 2-3 with a sac fly in the 4th. Kyle Tucker and Wander Franco scored 2 runs apiece. Franco grounded into a force out in the 8th that scored Tucker. Bryan De La Cruz hit a 2-run single in the 8th that broke a 4-4 tie.

Carlos Sanabria allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 4 shutout innings. Lachlan Madden, the 4th GCL Astros pitcher to appear, struck out 3 over 1.2 perfect innings to get the win.

Game 1: DSL Astros Blue 6, DSL Athletics 5 in 8 innings

W- Cristofer Melendez (2-2)
L- Reinaldo Hoyos (1-2)

Blue home runs: None.

Angel De Leon went 2-2 with a triple, an RBI, and 2 walks. Andy Piñeda went 1-3 with 2 walks, a steal (19), and a run scored. Cristopher Luciano and Ozziel Sanchez-Galan both scored 2 runs.

Cristofer Melendez got the win as he allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in 2.1 innings.

Game 2: DSL Astros Blue 4, DSL Athletics 3 in 8 innings

W- Framber Valdez (2-0)
L- Enmanuel Sulllivan (0-1)

Blue home runs: None.

Edgar Lorenzo went 2-3. Luciano and Sanchez-Galan drove in a run apiece.

The bullpen got 4 scoreless innings. Gabriel Pirela allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5 over 3 innings, and Framber Valdez struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th inning.

DSL Nationals 6, DSL Astros Orange 5 in 12 innings

W- Yordani Garcia (3-2)
L- Edwin Villarroel (0-2)

Orange home runs: None.

How about that. While the Blue team got 2 walk-off wins, the Orange team walked off with a loss.

Miguelangel Sierra, Randy Vasquez, and Ronny Rafael (2 2B, RBI) all had 3 hits. Marcos Almonte finished 2-6 with an RBI and a run scored.

Jose Ramos allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 over 5 shutout innings.

Americas Baseball Festival (from Cary, North Carolina): United States 9, Canada 3

The Americas Baseball Festival is a tuneup for the United States as they prep for the Pan American Games, which will begin on Friday in Toronto.

Josh Hader was the third pitcher for Team USA; he allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 2 over 2 innings of work.

The Americans will play Cuba tonight at 7:00 Eastern.

Before They Were Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel

[The first in a series by WTHB Contributor Jeremy Schmidt ( @Jeremy_IP_TTM )]

Dallas Keuchel is an All-Star for the first time; it would not be a surprise if he started the game. This would have been a statement that would get weird looks sent in the direction of anyone who said it a mere 15 months ago. Coming into the 2014 season Dallas Keuchel won the 5th spot in the starting rotation after a rather pedestrian 2013 season spent as starter and reliever. He established himself as a very good major league starter during a three game stretch in May of 2014 when he pitched 26.2 innings against AL West opponents where he allowed only two earned runs while striking out 21.

Before the Beard - March 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

The momentum built during that stretch was sustained by Keuchel en route to a 200-inning season, Houston’s first since Brett Myers in 2011. Keuchel entered 2015 as the Astros’ clear number one starter. He, thus far, has lived up to and exceeded all expectations coming into the season. The Astros’ 7th round pick in 2009 has succeeded without the hype and overpowering stuff of guys like Matt Harvey or Jose Hernandez, but by overcoming failure in what has become a trend for Keuchel.

As you would imagine future major league players usually dominate in high school; Dallas Keuchel was no exception. Keuchel as a sophomore pitched a two-hit shutout to win the class 5A championship in 2004. The following season he again pitched in the championship game. This time his Bishop Kelley Comets fell 0-1 on a final inning run. In his senior season Keuchel led his team back to the Oklahoma state championship game for the 3rd straight season, this time going the distance and striking out eight in a 3-1 victory. Also his school’s starting quarterback, Keuchel was not drafted out of high school.

Keuchel, after his stellar high school career, matriculated at the University of Arkansas where he pitched on scholarship. According to www.hognation.net Keuchel featured a mid 80’s fastball, curveball, and a screwball. As a freshman Keuchel pitched in 24 games, starting 9. He struggled for most of the season as Arkansas could not find a compliment to pair with staff ace Nick Schmidt. Most notably Keuchel took the loss, giving up 4 runs in a 1-inning start against Vanderbilt in the SEC Championship game. The Razorback season ended in disappointing fashion as they failed to make it out of the regionals.

In 2008 Dallas Keuchel entered his sophomore season at Arkansas following a good previous summer in the Cape Cod League. Keuchel struggled early in the season until April 11th when manager Dave Van Horn, in an attempt to shake up a struggling team, inserted Dallas as the Friday night starter. Keuchel pitched the Razorbacks to a 2-1 victory over the Top 25 Florida Gators, and continued to pitch well as the Friday night starter the remainder of the season. Although Keuchel pitched well down the stretch, the Razorbacks season ended in disappointment again as Keuchel took the loss to Stanford in the regionals to end the season.

Keuchel entered his junior season at Arkansas poised for a big year. After his sophomore year Keuchel returned to the wood bat Cape Cod League and pitched to an improved 2.63 ERA. Keuchel opened the season as the Friday night starter and pitched to a 9-3 record with a (pre BBCOR bat) 3.92 ERA. He teamed with Drew Smyly to lead the Razorbacks to the final 8 of the College World Series; Keuchel was the winning pitcher of both games won by Arkansas in the World Series. Following an exit to the hands of the eventual champion LSU Tigers, Keuchel went on to begin his professional career after being drafted 221st overall by Houston.

Keuchel began his professional career with the Tri-City Valley Cats of the New York-Penn League. He pitched very well and earned himself a promotion to the Lancaster Jethawks to begin the next season. Keuchel again pitched well earning a midseason promotion this time to AA Corpus Christi where he struggled to finish the season, his first full season in pro ball. Keuchel returned to Corpus Christi to begin the 2011 season. He went 9-7 with a 3.17 ERA over 20 starts earning an All-Star selection to the Texas League South team. Once again Keuchel earned a midseason promotion. In AAA Keuchel struggled to finish the season as he did at the end of the 2010 season. He ended 2011 with a 7.50 ERA at Oklahoma City.

After starting the 2012 season at AAA Oklahoma City, Dallas Keuchel made his Major League debut on June 17, 2012. He would continue to have ups and downs as he did on his journey to the Majors. Keuchel spent time on the shuttle between AAA and majors until May of 2013 when he became a full time Major Leaguer. The legend of Kid Kuechy will continue next week in Cincinnati.

Happy Birthday - 7/7

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Diosward Gonzalez (20)
Gonzalez was born July 7, 1995 in Venezuela and only recently signed with the Astros. He is currently assigned to the Astros Orange team in the Dominican Summer League.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, July 6, 2015

Astros Minor League Snapshot: Dominican Summer League Astros

The Astros have two teams in the Dominican Summer League, the Blue team and the Orange team. The Blue team is doing exceptionally well since their season started on the last day of May. The Orange team, not so much.

Reiny Beltre - Promoted to the GCL in late June
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green


Here is how the two teams stack up against other teams in the league in various categories ...

ASTROS BLUE TEAM

The Blue team is currently in first place in the 6-team Boca Chica Northwest Division, leading the second place Phillies by 5 games. Their 22-8 record is in a 3-way tie for second best record in the League, with the Rangers North Division team leading the way with a 25-6 record.

BLUE TEAM OFFENSE
.245 BA - 24th of 38 teams
.358 OBP - 10th
.353 SLG - 16th
52 2B - 9th
12 3B - T14th
11 HR - T9th
147 BB - 6th
205 SO - 27th
52 SB - T10th

Since there are so many players and so many teams, I'm going to include any player with stats in the top 30 in a given category as a "league leader"

3B Reiny Beltre (promoted to the GCL 6/24)
.329 BA - T30th in the league
.526 SLG - 15th
3 HR - T11th
19RBI - T30th

1B Cristopher Luciano
.436 OBP - 17th in the league
10 2B - T9th
23 BB  T5th

OF Andy Pineda
.418 OBP - 26th in the league
22 Runs Scored - T23rd
21 BB - T11th
18 SB - 2nd

OF Angel de Leon
37 Hits - 12th in the league
3 HR - T11th
35 SO - T12th

C Orlando Marquez
17 BB - T30th

BLUE TEAM PITCHING
3.13 ERA - 6th out of 38 teams
1.234 WHIP - 7th
102 BB - T27th
246 SO - 8th

RHP Hector Perez
1.04 ERA - 9th in the league
0.769 WHIP - 2nd
27 SO - T28th

RHP Michel Martinez
1.13 - T11th in the league

RHP Diogenes Almengo did not have enough innings to qualify, but his 0.51 ERA and 1.075 WHIP over 17.2 innings earned him a promotion to the GCL.

ASTROS ORANGE TEAM

The Orange team is at the other end of the spectrum, in sixth place in the 6-team Boca Chica North Division, 17 games behind the Rangers. Their 8-23 record is the worst in the league. As you can see below, although they don't have the strongest offense, the pitching is more the culprit when it comes to the Orange team's lackluster results.

ORANGE TEAM OFFENSE
.233 BA - 28th of 38 teams
.325 OBP - 28th
.322 SLG - 28th
53 2B - 8th
5 3B - T36th
10 HR - T11th
109 BB - T21st
250 SO - T6th
44 SB - T17th

IF Marcos Almonte
11 2B - T4th in the league

SS Miguelangel Sierra
10 2B - T9th in the league
32 SO - T18th

OF Ronny Rafael
41 SO - T2nd

1B/DH Felix Lucas
32 SO - T18th

OF Juan Fuente
13SB - T7th

ORANGE TEAM PITCHING
4.57 ERA - 32nd out of 38 teams
1.491 WHIP - 28th
133 BB - T13th
222 SO - 22nd

RHP Juan Robles
0.70 ERA - T4th in the league
1.013 WHIP - 27th

RHP Cesar Rosado did not have enough innings to qualify, but his 0.919 WHIP ranks highly in the league.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5, 2015

The 4th of July weekend that was in the Astros minor leagues.

Saturday: Fresno 10, Tacoma 3

W- Brett Oberholtzer (2-2)
L- Sam Gaviglio (7-7)

Fresno home runs: Tony Kemp (2, 3-run in 6th)

Tony Kemp's 3-run homer was the big hit in a 6-run 6th that put all the momentum in the hands of the Grizzlies on the Fourth of July.

Brett Oberholtzer got roughed up for 3 runs in the 1st, but he righted the ship and threw a bare minimum quality start, allowing 6 hits (2-run homer), walking 2, and striking out 4. Jose Veras, James Hoyt, and Tyson Perez finished it off with a scoreless inning apiece. Veras threw a 1-2-3 7th, Hoyt allowed a hit and struck out the side in the 8th, and Perez worked around a hit and struck out 2 in the 9th.

The Grizz got on the board in the 1st on an RBI single from L.J. Hoes. In the 3rd inning, Matt Duffy grounded into a force out that scored Robbie Grossman.

Fresno's 6 runs in the 6th all came with 2 outs in the inning. Two singles from Jonathan Villar and Tyler White, and a Nolan Fontana walk loaded the bases. One batter later, Tyler Heineman put them in the lead with a 2-run single. Andrew Aplin followed with an RBI single, and Tony Kemp delivered the haymaker with his 3-run shot. Heineman, who went 3-4, hit another RBI single in the 7th, and Villar drove in the final run of the evening with an RBI single in the 8th. White and Hoes both finished 3-5. Everyone in the lineup scored a run, and Kemp scored 2. Fontana was the only player in the lineup to not record a hit, but his contributions in that big 6th inning were valuable.

Sunday: Tacoma 7, Fresno 4

W- Vidal Nuño (4-3)
L- Luis Cruz (4-4)
S- Logan Kensing (1)

Fresno home runs: Max Stassi (8, 2-run in 4th)

The Rainiers buried the Grizzlies with a 4-run 5th inning in response to Max Stassi's 2-run homer that gave Fresno the lead.

The Grizz got a pair of RBI doubles from L.J. Hoes and Tyler White in the 3rd. Stassi went deep for the 8th time in the 4th inning. White (2 2B, RBI) and Stassi (2B, 2-R HR) both went 2-4.

Luis Cruz got knocked around in his 4.2 innings as he allowed 7 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Jake Buchanan allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1 in 2.1 innings, and Jason Stoffel allowed a hit while striking out 1 in 2 scoreless innings.

Game 3 of this series features a matchup of former Pac-12 pitchers as Brady Rodgers (Arizona State) takes on Forrest Snow (Washington). First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Saturday: Corpus Christi 5, Tulsa 1

W- Michael Feliz (2-2, 3-3 season)
L- Jose De Leon (2-3)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks knocked out Jose De Leon with a 3-run 6th and took 2 of 3 in their first post-All Star break series.

Danry Vásquez got things started with an RBI single in the 2nd inning, and Jio Mier added a sac fly in the 3rd. Colin Moran, who scored the first run of the game, smacked a 2-run triple in the 5th and scored on a Conrad Gregor single. He (2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Chan-Jong Moon (SB [10, 15 season]) finished with 2 hits apiece.

Michael Feliz and 2 relievers combined on a 3-hitter. He went 5 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Chris Cotton and Travis Ballew threw 2 scoreless innings apiece. Cotton allowed a hit and struck out 4, and Ballew's 2 frames were perfect.

Sunday: Springfield 7, Corpus Christi 5

W- Ronnie Shaban (2-1)
L- Reymin Guduan (0-1, 3-4 season)

CC home runs: Conrad Gregor (4, grand slam in 1st)

Unfortunately, the Hooks scored all 5 of their runs in the 1st and they were shut out the rest of the way. They ended up walking off with a loss in the 1st of 3 in Missouri.

Corpus Christi loaded the bases in the 1st right off the bat and took advantage of that opportunity as Colin Moran was plunked with the bases loaded to drive in the 1st run of the evening, and then, two batters later, Conrad Gregor hit a grand slam to put the Hooks up 5-0 in an instant. But alas, that was all the scoring they could muster up.

Scott Feldman began his rehab assignment and went 3 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, walking 3, and striking out 3. Chris Devenski pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 3. Reymin Guduan got a rude welcome to the Texas League as the two men he faced reached base. He issued a walk, and then Patrick Wisdom ended the game with a 2-run homer.

Kyle Westwood will start game 2 of this series. He'll face Corey Baker at 7:10.

Saturday: Lake Elsinore 6, Lancaster 5

W- Eric Yardley (2-3)
L- Akeem Bostick (0-2, 3-3 season)

Lancaster home runs: D.J. Fisher (6, 12 season; solo in 4th)

The JetHawks broke a 4-4 tie with 1 in the 9th.... only to see the Storm walk off with the win in the bottom of the inning.

Lancaster was on the board in the 4th as D.J. Fisher ripped a solo homer with 1 out in the 4th. They also got a couple of RBI singles from Jack Mayfield and Jake Nottingham. Mayfield led off the 6th with a walk, advanced to 3rd on a Marc Wik double, and scored on an error that also allowed James Ramsay to reach. Nottingham ripped an RBI double in the 9th that put the JetHawks in the lead at that point. He (2B, 2 RBI), Wik (2B, BB), Mayfield (RBI, 2 BB, 3 R), Fisher (2B, solo HR), and A.J. Reed (BB, R) all finished with 2 hits.

Bryan Radziewski went 4.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits, walked 5, and struck out 4. Akeem Bostick extricated him from a bases-loaded situation to end the 5th. Bostick pitched 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned, both in the 9th) on 3 hits and walked 4. The Storm won the game with 1 out in the 9th.

Sunday: Lancaster 9, Lake Elsinore 3

W- Keegan Yuhl (2-0, 3-0 season)
L- Zech Lemond (4-6)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks got over their walk-off loss on the 4th by getting ahead 8-0 after the 4th inning. Everyone in the lineup had a hit, led by Jake Nottingham, who clubbed 3 doubles as he's really taken to his new surroundings. I think being closer to home could be a major factor.

Jack Mayfield hit a 1-out double in the 2nd and scored the first run of the evening on an error. Mott Hyde later added a 2-run single. The Sheriff's first double of the night came in the 3rd and drove in a run. He'd score on a Brian Holberton double, and Marc Wik hit an RBI single. Nottingham's 2nd double of the night drove in 2 in the 4th, and his 3rd 2-bagger came in the 6th. He came around to score on an RBI single from Mayfield. The bottom 3 of Mayfield, Holberton, and Wik all had 2 hits apiece. One of their 2 hits was a double and they drove in 1 run each. Holberton scored 2 runs, while the other two scored 1 run. Hyde and D.J. Fisher also finished with 2 hits.

Troy Scribner went 4.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 4. Keegan Yuhl threw 4.1 scoreless and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3.

Edison Frias will get the start for Lancaster in the final game of this series. He'll take on Ronald Herrera at 6:00 Pacific.

Saturday: Quad Cities 8, Peoria 5 in 11 innings

W- Angel Heredia (3-1)
L- Robby Rowland (2-3)

QC home runs: Ramon Laureano (3, 3-run in 11th)

The Banditos might have been on the road for the 4th, but they brought some fireworks of their own...

Alex Bregman opened up the proceedings by smacking a 2-run double in the 2nd inning. With the bases loaded and 1 out in the 3rd, Bobby Boyd hit a 2-run double of his own. Jamie Ritchie added a sac fly later in the inning. The Chiefs forced extra innings with 3 unanswered runs to force extras, and after both teams went quietly in the 10th, the Bandits mounted an uprising in the 11th.

Bregman led off the 11th with a walk and advanced to 3rd on a Nick Tanielu single. On the throw to 3rd, Tanielu was able to advance to 2nd. Two batters later, Ramon Laureano put Quad Cities in front with a 3-run home run. Laureano is currently on a 9-game hitting streak, and in 7 of those games, he has recorded 2 hits. Bregman and Tanielu finished with 3 hits apiece. Trent Woodward went 2-5 with 2 runs scored. Boyd drew 3 walks.

Christian Powell, who turned 24 on Friday, went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Jorge Perez was the first man out; he allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 2 in 2.1 innings. Angel Heredia was excellent in his 3.2 innings as he only issued 1 walk and struck out 4.

Sunday: Peoria 7, Quad Cities 1

W- Luis Perdomo (4-7)
L- Brandon McNitt (1-3)

QC home runs: None.

The Chiefs spoiled the sweep as they held the Banditos in check.

Trent Woodward scored the only Quad Cities run on an error in the 9th. They were held to 5 singles. Bobby Boyd, who had one of them, stole his 17th base of the season.

Brandon McNitt went 6 innings and allowed 7 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits (2-run homer), walked 5, and struck out 1. Eric Peterson restored some order to the game as he struck out 3 over 2 perfect frames.

The River Bandits' next series with Clinton will also be a split-city series beginning with 2 in the Quad Cities tonight at 7:00. David Paulino will start for the Banditos; he'll take on Tyler Herb.

Saturday: Lowell 6, Tri-City 5

W- Edwar Garcia (2-0)
L- Rogelio Armenteros (0-1)
S- Bobby Poyner (1)

TC home runs: Pat Porter (1, 2-run in 7th)

Tri-City was behind the 8-ball early as they trailed 6-0 after the 3rd. However, they held the Spinners scoreless the rest of the way. Unfortunately... they couldn't complete the comeback as they left the tying run on 2nd, Drew Ferguson, to end the game.

Pat Porter had a hand in all 5 ValleyCats runs. He doubled to lead off the 4th, advanced to 3rd on a Bobby Wernes groundout, and scored on a wild pitch. In the 5th, he smacked a 2-run double, and pulled the ValleyCats to within 1 with his first pro home run.

Rogelio Armenteros was roughed up in his 4 innings as he allowed 6 runs on 6 hits (2-run and 3-run homers) and struck out 5. Elieser Hernandez was absolutely dominant as he allowed just 1 hit and struck out 10 in 4 innings of relief. In his New York-Penn League debut, Zac Grotz threw a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Hernandez has struck out 28 in 15.2 innings. He's hit 2 batters, but is yet to issue a walk.

Sunday: Tri-City 6, Lowell 5 in 14 innings

W- David Schmidt (1-0)
L- Aneudis Peralta (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats had to shake off 4 Spinners homers as they got even in the series with a 6-5 win of their own.

Tri-City got 2 in the 3rd as Johnny Sewald hit an RBI groundout and Edwin Medina added a sac fly. Pat Porter hit an RBI single in the 4th, and Medina added an RBI double to his ledger in the 5th. At that point, the ValleyCats led 4-1.

But, the Spinners tied the game with 1 run in the 6th, the 7th, and the 8th innings and took the lead with 1 more in the 11th. The ValleyCats stranded the winning run on 3rd to end the 10th, but they needed a run in the 11th to extend the game. Porter led off the 11th with a single, but was erased at 2nd trying to stretch it into a double. Drew Ferguson followed with a double. He advanced to 3rd on a deep flyout from Cesar Carrasco, who was the 2nd out of the inning. Sewald drew a walk to put runners on the corners, and then in a clutch situation, Medina came through and tied the game with an RBI single. However, Tri-City left the winning run on 3rd again. Anthony Hermelyn, who made the final out of the 11th, walked to lead off the 14th. He advanced to 3rd on an error following a sac bunt, and scored the winning run on a Dex McCall single. McCall, Sewald, and Porter finished with 2 hits apiece, while Medina went 3-6 with a stolen base to go along with his 3 RBI.

Trent Thornton went 4 innings and one of the 2 hits he allowed was a solo homer to Alex McKeon in the 3rd. He walked 1 and struck out 5. Scott Weathersby went 2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited) on 2 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 2. Zach Davis allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the 7th inning. He allowed the runner he inherited from Weathersby to score. Juan Carlos Santos was next; he went 2.2 innings and allowed a solo homer to Victor Acosta in the 8th. That was the only hit he allowed; he walked 2 and struck out 3. Yeyfry Del Rosario went 1.1 innings and allowed a solo homer to Hector Lorenzana in the 11th. He walked 2 and struck out 1. Steve Naemark worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 12th, and David Schmidt struck out 3 over 2 perfect innings.

In the series finale, Dean Deetz will face Danny Rosenbaum. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Saturday: Greeneville 10, Elizabethton 3

W- Jose Montero (1-0, 2-0 season)
L- Brandon Easton (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros went up 10-0 after 4 innings, which was a comfortable enough cushion, even as the Twins dented the lead late.

Junior Garcia allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 over 4 shutout innings. Jose Montero, in his first appearance since May 21, threw a 1-2-3 5th inning. Ryan Deemes allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 6 in 3 innings. Brandon Culbreth got 2 outs in the 9th, but Elizabethton got to him for 2 runs on 3 hits. He also walked 2 and struck out 1. Joselo Pinales was able to get the final out of the game before things started snowballing.

Connor Goedert opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Osvaldo Duarte ripped a 2-run triple in the 2nd and scored on a Myles Straw single. Randy Cesar doubled to lead off the bottom of the 3rd, and Brauly Mejia brought him home with a single.

Greeneville doubled their lead in the 5th and busted the game wide open. Goedert and Cesar hit back-to-back RBI singles, Ford Stainback added a 2-run single, and Duarte hit a pop fly RBI double. Duarte (2B, 3B, 3 RBI, R), Cesar (2B, RBI, 2 R), Mejia (RBI), Stainback (2 RBI, 2 BB, R), and Aaron Mizell (BB, R) all had 2 hits in this game.

Sunday: Kingsport 5, Greeneville 2

W- Audry German (3-0)
L- Devonte German (0-1)
S- Joe Shaw (2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros scored the first 2 runs of the game, but the K-Mets finished on a 5-0 run.

Their 2 runs came on a Connor Goedert RBI groundout and an RBI single from Kevin Martir in the 4th. Goedert and Aaron Mizell (3B, R) both finished 2-4. Goedert is hitting an even .500 in the early going.

Makay Nelson allowed a hit and walked 2 over 3 scoreless innings. The only hit that Chris Murphy allowed in his 3 innings was a 2-run homer to Dash Winningham. Murphy walked 1 and struck out 5 in his outing. Devonte German pitched 2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (2-run homer) and struck out 1.

In game 2 of this series, Yhoan Acosta will take on Connor Buchmann. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Saturday: GCL Blue Jays 7, GCL Astros 6

W- Ryan Cook (1-0)
L- Starlyng Sanchez (0-1)
S- Griffin Claude (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros led 6-0 after the 2nd... and saw the Blue Jays erase that.

Kyle Tucker opened the scoring with an RBI triple and scored on a sac fly from Connor MacDonald. Reiny Beltre smashed an RBI triple of his own in the 2nd. He scored on a Nestor Tejada groundout. Vicente Sanchez stole 2nd (3), and on the ensuing error, Joan Mauricio scored. Sanchez himself would score on another error. He finished 2-4.

Enrique Chavez got the start and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 3.1 innings. Diogenes Almengo was the last pitcher to appear for the GCLstros; he walked 1 and struck out 3 in 3 innings.

Saturday: DSL Astros Blue 7, DSL Athletics 1

W- Michel Martinez (3-1)
L- Frederick De La Cruz (0-2)

Blue home runs: None.

Michel Martinez was unstoppable as he struck out 11 over 5 perfect innings. Yoanys Quiala tagged in for 3 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Yonatan Quintin struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Cristopher Luciano got it started with a 2-run single in the 3rd. Wilson Amador later scored on a wild pitch, and Angel De Leon added an RBI single. The Blue team's next outburst came in the 8th as De Leon added a 2-run single to his ledger, and Edgar Lorenzo drove him in with a double. Luciano, De Leon, and Lorenzo had 2 hits apiece; they accounted for 6 of the Blue team's 7 hits.

Saturday: DSL Astros Orange 6, DSL Nationals 4

W- Diosward Gonzalez (1-0)
L- Gilberto Chu (0-1)
S- Josue Uribe (3)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team scored 6 unanswered for the win.

Juan Fuente hit an RBI single in the 5th, Marcos Almonte smashed a 2-run double in the 7th, and in the 8th, Miguelangel Sierra whacked a 2-run triple and scored on a wild pitch. Almonte finished 3-5.

Diosward Gonzalez walked 1 in a scoreless 8th for his first career win in his first career appearance.

Happy Birthday - 7/6

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

OF Hector Martinez (17)
Martinez was born July 6, 1998 in Sabana Perdida, Dominican Republic, and was signed by the Astros in July 2014. He is currently playing on the Orange team for the Dominican Summer League Astros.

Manager Marty Malloy (43)
Malloy is in his second year at the helm of the Gulf Coast League Astros after having previously served as the hitting coach for the team.

Baseball-Reference has Malloy's birthday as April 6th but the GCL roster says July 6th so I'm going with July!

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

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