SALT LAKE CITY- The Tucson Padres swept their first series of the season on Thursday, defeating the Salt Lake Bees 3-1 at Spring Mobile Ballpark. The Padres' sweep was the first since August of 2011 when the team won four games at home against the New Orleans Zephyrs.
Daniel Robertson broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with an RBI single scoring Blake Tekotte. Salt Lake evened the score at 1-1 in the sixth on an RBI ground out by Andrew Romine. The Padres regained the lead for good in the seventh when Andy Parrino scored Jonathan Roof with a double to right field.
The Bees had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the seventh, but Robertson made a leaping catch against the center field wall to prevent Cory Aldridge from an extra base hit with two runners on base. Tucson increased their lead to 3-1 in the top of the ninth off another RBI hit by Parrino.
Jason Ray allowed two hits in the bottom of the ninth, but struck out Aldridge to end game. The save was his third with the Padres. Bear Bay won his fourth game for Tucson, pitching seven innings with four strikeouts. Greg Smith suffered the loss for the Bees, surrendering six hits, two walks, and two runs in 6.2 innings of work.
Courtesy of Tim Hagerty, Media Director for the Tucson Padres
Adys Portillo was nearly unhittable as the Missions held onto a 3-2 win. Missions would get on the board early with a two out two RBI double by Jason Hagerty in the second inning.
Unfortunately, Hagerty would give one of those runs right back as a passed ball would allow a leadoff batter that was hit by a pitch to get into scoring position with no out. He would later score to make the game 2-1.
The Missions would add some insurance on an RBI groundout by Edison Rincon. However the story of the game was the 20-year old phenom who earned his second win in AA. The eight strikeouts were his new AA high. Portillo is still having problems with location as he has walked at least three batters in 7 of his 8 starts.
A crushing defeat for the Storm. Lake Elsinore jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to a two out, 2 RBI single by Luis Domoromo. That was the end of the happy times.
San Jose scored 10 runs during the middle innings as Mark Pope came in, and then got shelled.
The Storm find themselves three games back from locking down the #2 seed and the second half champion with four left to play. They also find themselves one game back of the wildcard with four still to play.
The good news is that the current second half leader Lancaster will be on the road facing #1 seed High Desert. The Storm on the other hand will be at home facing off against Inland Empire who is the current wild card holder. Thus, the Storm, despite having an overall losing record, control their own fate.
Fort Wayne TinCaps 10 – Western Michigan WhiteCaps 4
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Following a game in which the Fort Wayne offense produced no runs and three hits, the TinCaps rattled off 14 hits in a 10-4 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps on Thursday night. With a win in Friday's series finale, Fort Wayne would secure a playoff berth for the fourth straight season.
The TinCaps scored at least one run in six of the eight innings in which they came to the plate. Yeison Asencio, Duanel Jones and Tyler Stubblefield each contributed two RBI, and Travis Jankowski extended his hitting streak to a TinCaps season-best 13 games.
West Michigan (34-32, 70-66) scored the first run of the game on a Lance Durham RBI single in the top half of the second inning. Durham's single was one of a career-high 11 hits surrendered by Fort Wayne (36-30, 67-69) starter Matt Wisler. The 19-year-old worked three batters in to the fifth inning before he was removed in favor of James Jones (3-5). Wisler allowed two earned runs, struck out five and did not issue a walk.
The TinCaps began their offensive attack with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Tyler Stubblefield, who entered play with four hits in his previous 25 at-bats, laced a 1-2, two-out pitch into the left field corner to score both Travis Whitmore and Duanel Jones, giving Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead. Jones and Austin Hedges contributed RBI singles in the third inning, knocking Whitecaps starter Tommy Collier (9-8) from the game.
A Jace Peterson sacrifice fly lengthened the TinCaps advantage to 5-1 in the fourth inning. West Michigan reliever Brennan Smith, who followed Collier, worked 4 1/3 innings and gave up four earned runs. The TinCaps plated a single run in the fifth and two more in the sixth, stretching the lead to 8-3. The Whitecaps scored an unearned run against Daniel Cropper in the eighth, but Fort Wayne responded with two more runs, setting the final score at 10-4.
The winner of Friday night's game holds the advantage should there be a three-way tie to finish the season between Fort Wayne, West Michigan and Lake County. The three-way tiebreaker belongs to the team with the best winning percentage in games involving tied teams for the full season. The TinCaps were 6-6 against Lake County, West Michigan was 11-11 against Lake County, and the winner of Friday's game will hold a 10-9 advantage in the season series between Fort Wayne and West Michigan.
If the TinCaps lose Friday, the gap between Fort Wayne and West Michigan in the wild-card race will favor the TinCaps by one game. Thus, in the final three-game series of the regular season, Fort Wayne must maintain at least a one-game advantage over the Whitecaps, who would hold the tiebreaker were the TinCaps and Whitecaps to finish even in the second-half standings.
Courtesy of Mike Couzens, Media Director of the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Spokane Indians 3 – Eugene Ems 4
It looked like it was going to be an easy game. The Ems were up 2-0 after eight innings and were turning the ball over to their all-star closer. But Roman Madrid would give up three runs putting the Ems behind 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth.
But the Ems bounced right back.
Eugene opened the bottom of the ninth with a single, walk and a sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk, three different pinch hitters/ new pitchers would come into play.
In the end though it was a one out, walk-off single by pinch-hitter Ronnie Richardson to end the game.
With one game left in the season the Ems magic number is two. They currently hold a 0.5 game lead over Vancouver, who has two games left, but Vancouver holds the tie breaker after sweeping the Ems in Eugene at the beginning of the month.
Eugene must win tomorrow, and then hope that Vancouver loses one of their next two games.
The season over for the AZL Padres
AZL won their final game yesterday after dropping six in a row and 15 of 16 games.
They finished the season at 16-40, last place and 18 games behind the AZL Rangers.