Durham Bulls. On Friday the Bulls got shut out by the Louisville Bats 5-0. Brian Stokes got knocked out in the 4th and the only good thing we can say about this game was that B. J. Upton did not commit an error. On Saturday, they dropped the series opener to Charlotte 7-3. Sean Burroughs went 2-3 and is hitting .273 since be sent down to Durham. He has one home run. Upton went 1-4 but unfortunately he committed two throwing errors. Darnell McDonald went 0-5. The biggest news in this game was the rough outing by Edwin Jackson. Jackson had his worst outing of the year going 1.1 innings and giving up 7 hits, 3 walks and 7 runs (6 earned). Durham rebounded on Sunday, but they needed 10 innings to finally put away Charlotte 1-0, behind a strong outing by Jamie Shields. With the team showing that they are not afraid to let their pitchers throw, Shields went 9 innings, giving up only 5 hits and no walks. He needed only 92 pitches, which is amazing considering he struck out 10. Kevin Witt won the game with a solo home run in the 10th.
Montgomery Biscuits. Earlier this season we mentioned the peculiar mascot for Montgomery. Well, we are not alone, the Biscuits were recently recognized as having one of the “wimpiest” nicknames in all of sports. Way to go Montgomery! Well, apparently the mascot was intimidating enough as they took 4 of 5 from the Birmingham Barons (yes, they play 5 game series in AA…cuts down on travel expenses). On Friday, Montgomery lost 5-1 with Jim Magrane giving up 4 runs in 6 innings. C. Ryan Christiansen drove in the only run with a solo home run in the 9th, his 10th of the year. He then promptly hit his 11th in Saturday night’s 5-2 victory. Juan Salas picked up his 11th save and still hasn’t allowed an earned run in 16 appearances. He has also struck out 33 while only allowing 4 hits and 9 walks in 21.2 innings. On Sunday the Biscuits won 5-0 behind the pitching of Mike Prochaska who went 6 innings.
Visalia Oaks. The Oaks pounded out 20 hits in a 14-8 victory over Bakersfield.
Every player had a hit and seven of them had more than one. Reid Brignac went 3-4 hitting his 8th home run and driving in 4. On Saturday, the Oaks mimicked their major league counterparts by blowing a 7-4 lead before losing 8-7. Shaun Cumberland went 3-5 and hit his league leading 10th home run. On Sunday, Visalia had another big offensive outburst as they beat the Blaze 13-2. Brignac went 1-5 and committed another error. He is now hitting .341 and has committed 341 errors.
Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. The Rays took 2 of 3 over the weekend. On Friday they rode the strong pitching performance of Mike Wlodarczyk (from now on he will be referred to as Vloda). Vloda pitched 7 shutout innings giving up only 3 hits and 1 walk. He is now 5-1 with a 0.82 ERA on the season. Jake McGee won his 4th game on Saturday as the Rays won 5-3. McGee (4-5), struck out 10 in 5.1 innings. He took a no-hitter into the 6th but was pulled after giving up 6 walks. On Sunday, SW Michigan were shutout 3-0. Wade Davis lost his first game of the year. In his longest outing of the season, Davis worked into the 7th, giving up 4 hits 2 walks and 1 unearned run. He struck out 9.