Starting Lineups and News & Notes
First, today’s starting lineups:
Overall Record: 8-9
Manager: Joe Ayrault
Overall Record: 9-8
Manager: Hector De La Cruz
OK, now for … the rest of the story:
The Skinny: The Osprey are coming off of a 4-1 road trip, and will carry a four-game win streak into the final two games of the first half against the Helena Brewers. The teams have each won three of the first six games, with only last night’s 5-2 Osprey win being decided by more than one run.
As the Belza Tolls: Tom Belza has hit his way into the regular starting lineup for the Osprey. Currently toting a six-game, multi-hit streak, Belza – who is currently three plate appearances shy of qualifying to be among the Pioneer League leaders in hitting – has a .415 batting average, with six doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBIs. Had it not been for a pinch-hit appearance, in which he was retired, the streak would actually be at eight games.
Big Time Road Run: The Osprey have been pretty good as of late on the road. Missoula has won six of their last eight games away from home, and improved their road mark to 6-4 with their recent 4-1 road trip. At home, the Osprey are 3-4, but have won their last two games at Ogren Park Allegiance Field.
On the Mound tonight: Missoula will send out right-hander Jesse Darrah in search of his first win of the season. Darrah (0-0, 6.75) has allowed six hits and three earned runs in each start, but the innings have been stretched each time. Darrah pitched effectively in his last outing at Billings, allowing six hits and three runs in five innings pitched, while striking out a season-high seven batters in what turned into a walk-off win for the Mustangs. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Chad Pierce, who allowed four runs on two hits and two walks in a 1/3 inning stint in Missoula on June 22. Pierce will be making his second start of the season, in the first, he surrendered two runs on a hit and two walks in two innings pitched to Great Falls.
The K Story: The Osprey have been much more proficient at home in striking out the opposition than on the road. Here are the numbers through the July 6 game at Helena:
Home: 67 IP, 91 Ks, 12.22 Ks per 9 IP
Road: 91 IP, 92 Ks, 9.10 Ks per 9 IP
Osprey Alumni Update/Minor League Report:
The AZL D-backs (5-6) lost a 5-3 decision to the AZL Angels on Wednesday. Blake Perry (2010) allowed five runs in five innings of work to drop his second straight decision. Victor Acosta (2010) pitched two innings of shutout relief, while Domingo Soriano (2010) had a 1-for-4 night with a run scored.
The DSL D-backs (10-21) lost to the DSL Reds, 6-0. Alan Santiago (2009) was 1-for-2 off the bench in Wednesday’s loss.
Yakima (6-14) lost a tough 3-2, 12-inning decision at Boise on Wednesday. Jae Yun Kim (2009-10) hit a game-tying home run in the top of the eighth inning – his second home run of the season – and had two hits, while Randy Hamrick (2010) allowed just an unearned run in his six innings of work.
South Bend (5-8, 39-43) lost to Great Lakes, 3-1, on Wednesday. Despite taking the loss, JR Bradley (2010) pitched a solid seven innings, allowing just one earned run on seven hits and a walk. Ramon Castillo (2009) had a hit and a RBI, while Roberto Rodriguez (2010), Matt Helm (2009-10) and Raywilly Gomez (2009) each added a base hit.
Visalia (7-7, 38-45) beat Inland Empire on Wednesday, 3-1. Trevor Harden (2008) picked up the win, while Yonata Ortega (2007) earned his ninth save of the season. In between Harden and Ortega, providing the bridge to the win on the mound were 2009 Osprey teammates Adam Worthington and Mike Belfiore. Chris Owings, also a 2009 alum, added two hits at the plate.
Mobile (10-4, 48-36) now holds the best record in the Southern League’s Southern Division, after beating Birmingham, 2-0, for their fifth straight win. Taylor Harbin (2007) broke a scoreless tie with a seventh-inning RBI single. By the way – since Adam Eaton (2010) received the promotion to Double-A, the BayBears are 5-0.
Reno (50-35) lost to Tucson on Wednesday, 6-3.
AAA Reno at Tucson
AA Mobile at Birmingham – Jarrod Parker (2007) gets the call for the BayBears tonight.
A Adv. Visalia at Lake Elsinore
A South Bend vs. Great Lakes
SS-A Yakima at Eugene
AZL D-backs vs. AZL Athletics
DSL D-backs vs. DSL Twins