Lineups, notes and breaking news …
First, the breaking news. Lyle Overbay has a new job – backing up Paul Goldschmidt. The two most popular first baseman in Osprey history are now on the same team, after Overbay (1999) signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks today. Overbay will back up Goldchmidt (2009) at first, after Xavier Nady broke his hand last night and was lost for the season. More on this coming soon …
Now, for tonight’s starting lineups:
Helena (4-9, 22-29) starting lineup: John Dishon (CF) Yadiel Rivera (SS) Parker Berberet (1B) Ben McMahan (LF) Max Walla (RF) Kyle Dhanani (3B) Tyler Roberts (C) Kenny Allison (DH) Gant Elmore (2B) Tommy Toledo (RHP) Missoula (7-6, 32-19) starting lineup: Fidel Pena (2B) Tom Belza (1B) Eric Groff (3B) Jon Griffin (DH) Stephen Cardullo (SS) Jeremia Gomez (RF) Roidany Aguila (C) Ty Linton (LF) Justin Bianco (CF) Keith Hessler (LHP)
The Osprey, winners of the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title, look to bounce back and split the first series of their longest homestand of the season when they take on the Helena Brewers tonight. The Osprey hold a slim 7-6 edge in the season series.
Last Time Out: For the second time in three games, the usually-stout Missoula Osprey defense hit a bump in the road, as they committed three errors in a 6-4 loss to the Helena Brewers on Friday here at Ogren Park Allegiance Field in front of 2,103 fans. Those three errors turned into four unearned runs allowed by Seth Simmons (1-2), who struck out four batters in two innings, but could not totally escape from trouble in the top of the sixth, when the Brewers struck for three runs to take the lead for good in the game. The Osprey – who committed four errors in a 9-4 loss to Helena on Wednesday – took a 3-1 lead after a three-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning – two runs scoring on a Ty Linton triple, and Linton would touch the dish on a RBI single by Bryan Henry. However, Chad Pierce (2-4) would quiet the Missoula bats enough in his five innings of work to pick up the win. After that three-run rally put Helena in front, 5-3, Jon Griffin would get the Osprey closer in the home half of the sixth, hitting a solo home run, his 12th of the season, over the left-center field wall to lead off the inning. Brewers reliever Seth Harvey then retired the next nine batters he faced to get to closer Sean Albury, who pitched around a two-out single to convert his fifth save in five tries. Missoula starter Robby Rowland pitched a tough five innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out seven batters. Osprey pitching finished with 13 strikeouts on the night. Linton led the Osprey at the plate with two hits and two RBIs. Eric Groff, Roidany Aguila and Stephen Cardullo added base hits for Missoula, who had just seven hits in the contest.
Another Streak On the Line Tonight: The 2011 season has become a historic one for the Osprey, and while it does not look like they will close in on the 52-win team in 2001, they have managed to achieve something that they, nor any other team in Osprey history, has been able to do. The last time the Osprey lost back-to-back games was June 27-28, when they fell to 3-6 on the season. Since then, they have compiled a 29-13 record, and they also have not lost back-to-back games in over six weeks. Only two teams come close to this – the 1999 squad went a month (June 18-19 to July 18-19) without losing back-to-back games, while the 2001 squad – that team that posted a 52-24 mark – had three two-week stretches where they did not lose back-to-back games. Oddly enough, when the 2001 squad went on a club-record 13-game win streak, it ended with a two-game losing streak – with the most recent back-to-back losses occurring 22 days prior.
On the Mound Today: Missoula will send out left-hander Keith Hessler to the mound as he will make a spot start for the Osprey tonight. Hessler (3-0, 2.39) is taking the place of right-hander Enrique Burgos, who will not be able to make his usual start tonight. Hessler, who did some starting in college, has not pitched more than three innings in any outing for the Osprey this season, so it’s likely that the bullpen will be used tonight. The Brewers will counter tonight with right-hander Tommy Toledo, who will be making his first start against the Osprey this season. Toledo (0-2, 3.14) has fanned 21 batters in 14 1/3 innings pitched for the Brewers.
Tuesday, August 16
Wednesday, August 17
Thursday, August 18
The Legend Grows:
Former Osprey first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (2009) came in off the bench on Friday night for the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 1-for-2 in the 4-3 win over the NY Mets at Chase Field in Phoenix.
By The Numbers:
Osprey Alumni Update/Minor League Report:
The rookie DSL D-backs (22-40) lost to the DSL White Sox on Friday, 6-2. Alan Santiago (2009) went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks at the plate in the setback, and is now hitting .252 on the season. Next: vs. DSL Orioles, DH.
Short-Season A Yakima (7-10, 20-35) won its third straight game on Friday, beating Vancouver, 5-4. Former Osprey reliever Justin Albert (2010) picked up the win in relief. Albert went 2 1/3 innings, allowing just a hit while striking out five batters. Westey Moss (2011) picked up a pair of hits, while Henry Zabala (2009) and Jae Yun Kim (2009-10) each added a base hit to the Bears’ 12-hit attack. Next: vs. Vancouver.
Class A South Bend (21-26, 55-61) lost to Lansing on Friday, 6-2. David Narodowski (2009)was 2-for-4 with a run scored at the plate, improving his batting average to .385 with the Silver Hawks, while Ender Inciarte (2009) added a base hit and a run scored, while both Raywilly Gomez (2009) and Matt Helm (2009-10) each added a base hit and a RBI. Kable Hogben (2009), Keith Cantwell (2009) and Randy Hamrick (2010) combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Next: at Bowling Green, with Bradin Hagens (2009) getting the start for the Silver Hawks.
Class A Advanced Visalia (23-24, 54-63) won its sixth straight game, this time in walk-off fashion, with a 4-3 win over Inland Empire on Friday in 12 innings. Rossmel Perez (2008) went 2-for-4, with a three-run home run, for the Rawhide, while Mike Belfiore (2009) struck out the side in the top of the 12th to pick up the win in relief. By the way, it was Alfredo Marte who hit the first pitch of the bottom of the 12th out for a home run to end the game. Next: vs. Inland Empire, with Derek Eitel (2010) expected to get the start for the Rawhide.
Double-A Mobile (32-15, 70-47) picked up an 8-1 win over Mississippi on Friday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and three RBIs, Jake Elmore (2008) added two hits and a run scored, while Taylor Harbin (2007) chipped in with a base hit, run scored and two RBIs. Next: vs. Mississippi, with Bryan Henry (2007) getting the start for the BayBears.
Triple-A Reno (66-53) has lost five in a row, after falling at New Orleans on Friday, 5-3. Next: at New Orleans.