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minor lines, 5/24/09

Highlights: All from San Jose: (a) Angel Villalona, Roger Kieschnick, and Thomas Neal all hit their 6th HR of the season; (b) on the mound Clayton Tanner allows just one hit in 6.0 scoreless IP.  Honorable mention: Billy Sadler and Kyle Nicholson have good starts, but since their starts each included a season high in hits allowed, it does strike me as quite full highlight-worthy.

AAA: Fresno defeated Iowa 3-2

Fresno: LF Andres Torres: 1 for 5, HR
Fresno: RF Brian Horwitz: 0 for 1, 3 BB
Fresno: PH-RF Ben Copeland: 1 for 1
Iowa: 1B Jake Fox: 2 for 4

Fresno: RHP Billy Sadler: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Fresno: RHP Sergio Romo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K
Fresno: LHP Geno Espineli: 1.0 IP

Torres' solo HR in the 5th inning was the Grizzlies' only XBH.  Horwitz was the only Grizzly to reach base more than once, as he drew all three of the Grizzlies' unintentional walks.  Appearing in his third PCL game of the year, Copeland delivered a pinch-hit single in the top of the 9th inning to score the game's decisive run.  By holding Fox to a double, five singles, and a walk in this four-game series, the Grizzlies managed to lower the minors' hottest hitter to an even 1.400 OPS for the season.  Without a HR in his last six games (he has 17 HR this year), his SLG fell below .900.  His OBP remains above .500 through 146 AB.

Sadler had his first start of the year without a walk.  He threw 61 of 94 pitches for strikes.  With 4 K in 6.0 IP, his K/IP ratio slipped just below 1.00.  He has an ERA above 4.75 despite having allowed 2 ER or less in six of his nine starts and 3 ER in two of the other three starts.  Romo made back-to-back appearances for the first time during his rehab assignment, although he was not particularly taxed needing just eleven pitches (seven strikes) in this appearance.  Espineli needed just five pitches (four strikes) in his perfect 9th inning, in which he earned his 4th save.

AA: Connecticut lost to Portland 8-3

Connecticut: RF Eddy Martinez-Esteve: 2 for 3, BB
Connecticut: C Jackson Williams: 1 for 4, HR

Connecticut: LHP Jesse English: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K--1 HR, 1 HB
Connecticut: RHP Waldis Joaquin: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Williams had his 1st HR of the season.  With XBHs in three of his last four games, he has raised his SLG above .300 while his AVG remains below .200.  Reaching base three times, EME improved his season line to .299/.381/.457 through 127 AB.

English faced just a dozen batters in his fifth start of the year.  By allowing 2 ER each, English and Joaquin saw their ERAs rise to 4.44 and 4.91.  When English hit a batter immediately after allowing a HR in the 2nd inning, it was the second of seven hit batters in the game, with five of those coming in the last three innings.  (There were no ejections for either team during the game, though.)

A+: San Jose defeated Modesto 8-1

San Jose: RF Roger Kieschnick: 2 for 4, HR, 2B
San Jose: LF Thomas Neal: 2 for 4, HR
San Jose: 1B Angel Villalona: 1 for 4, HR, SO

San Jose: LHP Clayton Tanner: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K--1 WP

Three Giants hit their 6th HRs of the season--Villalona going deep in the 2nd inning and then Kieschnick and Neal going back-to-back in the 5th inning.

Tanner had perhaps his best start of the year, despite allowing a season-high 4 BB.  He bounced back from his worst start of the year (10 H and 5 ER in 3.0 IP) a week ago with this solid performance, lowering his ERA from 3.71 to 3.03.  He had a 11/4 GO/FO line after entering the day with a 1.11 GO/AO ratio.

A-: Augusta defeated Asheville 5-2
(rallying for four runs in the 6th inning)

Augusta: SS Wladimir Frias: 0 for 5, 3 SO
Augusta: RF James Simmons: 2 for 3, BB
Augusta: LF Dom Duggan: 2 for 3, BB

Augusta: RHP Kyle Nicholson: 8.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K--1 HB, 1 IBB
Augusta: LHP Dan Runzler: 1.0 IP, 1 K
Asheville: LHP Christian Friedrich: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K--1 HB, 1 WP

Batting in the bottom third of the lineup, Simmons and Duggan both reached base three times, improving their OPBs to .338 and .364.  Batting leadoff, Frias suffered the oh-fer with the bat trick.  Since his demotion to the Sally League a few days ago, he is 1 for 19 in four games.

Nicholson continues to be an innings-eater for the GreenJackets.  After four straight starts with 7.0+ IP, he pitched eight full innings for the first time this year, although he did allow a season-high 9 H in the effort.  He improved his ERA to 4.14 after eight starts.  Runzler had just 1 K in a perfect 9th inning for his 7th save.  Friedrich, the Rockies' first round selection a year ago, made his second straight start against the GreenJackets.  He had five shutout innings until giving up four runs in the 6th inning.  The 4 ER and 7 H were both season highs, but he still has an impressive 2.18 ERA and .215 BAA this year.  Before his last couple starts, scouts were questioning why he started the season with Asheville instead of Modesto.