Break up AZ in a big way …

OK Osprey fans – we’re just 23 days away from the home opener, 21 days before the 2011 season opens, and a week away from the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft … where probably at least half of the 2011 Osprey will begin their professional baseball journeys.

– It’s Monday, and the Memorial Day weekend is just about a done deal … we’re two days away from the Grand Opening of the MSO Hub.

– Off the top – South Bend is playing two again today, and Jeff Shields (2010) flirted with a no-hitter. Shields, in fact, did not allow a hit in his five innings of work, and struck out three in his best start of the season. Daniel Taylor pitched the seventh inning and picked up his second save of the season in the 4-1 Silver Hawks win over Dayton.

– Break up the Arizona Diamondbacks!! The D-backs have won 14 of 16 games, and are moving up the NL West standings, all the way to the top. Following their 4-2 win at Houston on Sunday, the D-backs jumped ahead of the San Francisco Giants atop the NL West Standings. Former Osprey outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006) had a pair of hits during the sweep in Houston, including a three-run homer in Saturday’s win, and has his average at .262, while catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03) has hit .342 in his last 10 games, and that has raised his batting average to .277 for the season.

– Good piece on the second-chance story of former Osprey infielder Sergio Santos (2002), who has eight saves in nine tries this season as the unofficial Chicago White Sox closer.

Goldy Watch (yes, it’s back on a permanent basis): Over the weekend, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had a walk-off single, and his 17th home run of the season on Saturday, and 1-for-4 on Sunday in the 3-2 loss to Jackson. Numbers: .331 batting average, 17 home runs (2nd in the minors) and 46 RBIs.

– The Osprey, or should we say Ollie Osprey, just broke the single game attendance record number with Ollie’s friend total. The all-time record for fans at an Osprey home game is 4.076. Jeena Hanley Christopherson is the lucky friend of Ollie’s (#4,077) and wins an Osprey prize package including four tickets to the second game of the season on June 23, free popcorn and soda at the game and four Osprey caps.

Quick version of the Minor League Update (More can be found here):
– Taylor Harbin had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run for the Double-A Mobile BayBears, but 2007 Osprey teammate Bryan Henry lost the game in relief, as Jackson wins, 3-2.

– Triple-A Reno split a pair, losing Game 1 to Sacramento, 5-2, but winning the nightcap, 11-3. Tom Layne (2007) pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in the nightcap to get the win.

– Visalia lost a large lead and dropped an 8-7 decision at Bakersfield. Adam Eaton (2010) had two hits and a RBI to pace the offense, while Bobby Borchering (2009) added a home run. Manager Jason Hardtke was ejected in the bottom of the 9th inning, following the ejection of a Rawhide pitcher who wasn’t even in the game.

– A pair of pitchers with the 2010 Osprey – David Holmberg and Blake Cooper – combined to shut out Dayton in a 3-0 win that was Game 1 of a scheduled doubleheader. But, as has been the case too frequently this month, the threat of tornadoes – including the warning sirens going off again – postponed Game 2.

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