Javelinas get easy ride from Rafters

Rusty Tucker saw action

For the second time in two days, Michael Johnson contributed to an easy win for the Peoria Javelinas over their Arizona Fall League rivals the Grand Canyon Rafters. Once again however, George Kottaras's only contribution was serving as a bullpen catcher.

The Peoria Javelinas cruised to a victory over the Grand Canyon Rafters for the second day in a row on Wednesday, winning 13-4. Starter Adam Loewen, an Oriole prospect, pitched three innings of one-hit ball, striking out four and walking only one to set the tone for the Javelina pitching staff.

While Loewen cruised, the Rafters' pitchers faltered. Starter Steven White (L, 0-1) surrendered a two-run homer to Ian Stewart to put his team behind in the second inning, and then Mets property Logan Kensing was touched for six runs on five hits in the third to make it an early laugher.

The Padres' Michael Johnson had a single in the third-inning uprising and added a double in the seventh. As in the season opener, he scored two and also drove in a run on the day.

Rusty Tucker, who spent the season in Mobile, gave up the Rafters' first two runs (one earned) in his AFL debut. He surrendered a double to Lastings Milledge to open the sixth inning and Drew Mayer followed with an RBI single. Tucker then came back to strike out lefties Bronson Sardinha and Garrett Jones before a Kevin Mahar single plated the second run and chased him from the game.

Originally slated to go 20 pitches, Tucker left having thrown 15 strikes and 12 balls. His fastball was at 92 and 93 for the appearance.

With the gap narrowed, the Javelinas kept up their offensive attack with four more runs on four hits and a pair of walks against the Yankees' Matt Smith in the seventh. Johnson doubled to open the inning and Brandon Fahey's two-RBI single closed out the barrage.

Oriole reliever Cory Morris (1-0) pitched two shutout innings to pick up the win for the Javelinas. The Peoria offense was led by Stewart, who finished 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, three runs scored and three RBI. Dan Uggla also homered - his second in two days - on his way to a 2-for-4 with three runs scored.

Notes:

Corey Smith, the one Padre farmhand in the AFL not on the Javelinas' roster, had an impressive debut for the Surprise Scorpions Tuesday. The slugging third baseman who spent the year in Double-A Mobile had a single, double and homerun in five at bats and scored a pair of runs.

After going 2-for-3 against left-handed pitchers Tuesday, Michael Johnson doubled in his one at bat against Smith in Surprise.

Travel squad catcher Ryan Hubele got the start behind the plate and the Mariners' Jeff Clement came on to replace him in the sixth. Padres' prospect George Kottaras is the only of the four catchers on the roster not to get game action yet.

With the arrival of Craig Breslow today, the only players on the Javelina roster not yet in the Valley of the Sun are the Brewers' Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Alicedes Escobar. All are expected to be in uniform for Friday's game against the Solar Sox.

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