Madfriars' Farm Report: April 20

Liriano connected for his first homer in 2012

As the big league club continues to founder, the guys who were supposed to provide upward pressure continue to struggle to rise to the occasion in the upper minors. Although things have been just as ugly in Single-A to open the year, a pair of victories might help those clubs right the ship.

Colorado Springs 6, T-Padres 2

Key Statistics: LF Robertson 2-3, BB, RBI, SB; 2B Contreras 2-2, 2 2B, R, RBI; RHP Hines 4IP, 8H, 5R, 1ER, 2K, 3BB

After being shut out on just four hits – a total that matched their error count – through seven innings, the Padres flashed at least small signs of life, but still came up well short in falling to 4-12 on the year.
Colt Hynes, who entered the year with zero career starts, was forced to take the ball for a second consecutive turn through the rotation. The 26-year-old lefty made it through the first three frames giving up just one run, but his defense abandoned him in a three-run fourth innings. Hynes had picked off D. J. LeMahieu from first base, but Matt Clark missed the throw for the first error of the inning. Infielders Everth Cabrera and James Darnell then booted consecutive ground balls, wrapped around a throwing error by catcher Brad Davis on a stolen base attempt. After finally escaping from the mess, Hynes was done for the night.
Blake Tekotte, who never got serious consideration for the big league club this spring, picked up an eighth-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

Midland 6, San Antonio 5

Key Statistics: 2B Gyorko 2-4, 2B, R; LF C Decker 1-4, HR, 3RBI; RF J Decker 1-2, HR, 2R, 2BB

For the second time in a week, Eric Hamren was unable to hold a lead late in the game as Midland put up a pair of runs in the eighth inning to send the Missions to their second straight loss to Midland and sixth in seven contests.
After the RockHounds had chased starter Hayden Beard with three runs in the top of the fourth, Jaff Decker drew the Missions back within two runs with his second homer of the year. The lefty has just five hits over his last 10 contests, though three have gone for extra bases.
The Missions briefly held the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Cody Decker blasted a three-run homer to left. The UCLA product now has five round-trippers on the year, tied with Nathan Freiman for the league lead.

Lake Elsinore 2 Lancaster 1

Key Statistics: RF Rymer Liriano 1-2, HR, 2RBI; SS Bisson 2-3, SB; RHP Andriese 6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 3K, 0BB

The Storm rode a two-run homer by Rymer Liriano and a strong pitching performance by Matt Andriese, Ryan Quigley and Kevin Quackenbush to a 2-1 win over the JetHawks in a game that took just over two hours.
Andriese, the 22-year-old righty taken out of UC Riverside in the third round of last year's draft, worked six innings, giving up just one unearned run on three hits. Andriese did uncork a pair of wild pitches, but never allowed two runners to reach safely in an inning. His sinker was working, racking up 10 groundouts in the contest.
Liriano's blast was a 427 shot to center field, perhaps a sign that the notoriously slow-starting outfielder might be getting going. After managing just one extra-base hit in his first 45 plate appearances, the 20-year-old Dominican has a double and homer over his last five plate appearances. It appears his departure in the seventh inning was an in-game decision, but we'll work on getting clarification.
Quackenbush struck out the side in the ninth, earning his third save in as many chances. The 2011 eighth-rounder now has 80 strikeouts in 46 professional innings.

TinCaps 12 Kane County 1

Key Statistics: DH Miller 3-5, 3B, 3R CS; RF Gaedele 3-5, 2B, 3B, 2R 3RBI; 1B Whittemore 4-5, 3R, 3RBI; RHP Hebner 5IP, 5H 1ER, 4K, 2BB

The Tincaps turned in their strongest performance of the year, clubbing a season-high 16 hits for and turning in an error-free game on the way to their largest margin of victory yet on the young season.
Four of the first five Cougar hitters collected singles against Cody Hebner , but a putout at the plate from right fielder Corey Adamson cut down a would-be second run, and Hebner then rebounded to get out of the inning having put the club in only a one-run hole. The righty from Washington state then gathered himself and gave up only one more single in his five innings of work. Over three starts, the 2011 fourth-rounder has posted a 1.80 ERA with 16 strikeouts against just three walks in 15 innings.
The Tincaps offense was led by first baseman Travis Whittemore, who collected the club's first four-hit game of the year. The University of Pittsburgh product was one of four hitters with multiple hits on the night, pushing his season average up to .377 to go with an OPS of 1.020. The 21-year-old left-handed hitter drove in three and scored three more runs out of the cleanup hole. Seven of his 14 starts on the year have come at first base, but he's also seen time at second, third and DH.
After being held hitless in the series opener on Thursday, Donavan Tate was held out of the lineup on Friday. In his absence, right fielder Kyle Gaedele turned in another strong line, coming up just a homer shy of the cycle. Playing just 30 miles from his hometown of Arlington Heights, the big righty collected his first three-hit game of the year.

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