Minor League Player of the Day: Matt Klinker (Carolina) 6IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts; No-Decision

AA

Carolina 8 – Tennessee 3; final 10

I’m leading off today’s DOTF with the Double-A game because Chad and I had the luxury of attending the game and watching Redleg Nation Spotlight Player Matt Klinker start.  We were blessed with less than ideal weather but watched Matt pitch a great game. 

The game started when Kris Negron hit the 2nd pitch of the game over the left field wall for a solo homerun.  The Mudcats quickly followed that up with back to back singles, only to have one of those erased on a pick off throw and another erased when the baserunner thought there were 2-outs instead of one, and was doubled off first on a fly out to centerfield.  From the top of the first to the 7th inning, we watched a pitcher’s duel.

Through 3 innings, Matt had allowed only 1 walk and no hits.  In the bottom of the 4th, a ground ball found its way through the middle of the infield for a base hit.  After allowing his first hit in the 4th, Matt responded by retiring the next 8 batters he faced, 5 of which were charged with a strikeout!  Through 6 innings, Matt had allowed 1 hit, 1 walk, and struck out 7.

In the bottom of the 7th, Matt was dealt an ill fate to his game.  The first batter of the inning hit a chopper to Jake Kahaulelio at third which was promptly tossed into the dugout behind first base for a two-base throwing error.  The next batter blooped one into centerfield where Dave Sappelt’s diving attempt failed.  Sappelt’s throw into in the infield missed the cutoff man, allowing a run to score and the base runner to advance to second base.  The next batter hit a hard ground ball to thirdbase which was misplayed again, rolling into leftfield.  The official scorer gave this a hit, and I disagree.  The ball was hit hard, but it went right under Kahaulelio’s glove and I felt he could have made the play.  With this hit, Matt was taken out of the game.  The next batter proceeded to hit a sac-fly to right field, plating another run and ending Matt’s night.

All in all, I was extremely pleased with the performance by Klinker last night.  My only disappointment was that he pitched well enough to get the win, but was on the hook for the loss. Luckily for him and the Mudcats, the club rebounded and wound up winning in extra innings thanks to a 5-run explosion in the 10th.

Other Notable Stat Lines from the game:

Dave Sappelt: 2-5, 2 runs, HR, 3rbis

Chris Denove: 2-4, 1 run, HR, 2rbis

Kris Negron: 3-4, 1 run, HR, 1rbi

Jake Kahaulelio: 3-5, 1 run, 1 Error

AAA

Louisville 7 – Buffalo 6 

Luis Terrero went 1-4 with a homerun and 3 rbis.  The homerun was Luis’ first of the season for Louisville.  Chris Valaika was 2-3 at the plate while Justin Lehr helped his own cause offensively by driving in 2 rbis.

Lehr performed better with the bat than he did on the mound.  Lehr allowed 5 runs on 12 hits and 0 walks in 5.1 innings pitched for a no-decision.  He struck out 3.  Enerio Del Rosario pitched a scoreless inning in relief to lower his ERA to 1.93 in 18.2 innings pitched this season.

UPDATE: According to the Louisville Courier Journal:

Juan Francisco, who was a late scratch due to an appendectomy.

Bats manager Rick Sweet said the slugger would be out about “a minimum of four weeks.”

“He felt it this late morning,” Sweet said. “He told (trainer) Tomas (Vera), and all of a sudden he was done and started throwing up. He was in pretty bad shape.”

High A

Wilmington 6 – Lynchburg 5; final 10

Devin Mesoraco was a homerun shy of the cycle in this game, going 4-5 with 2 singles, a double, a triple, and scoring 2 runs.  Devin is now batting .333/.427/.613 on the season.  Cody Puckett, Neftali Soto, and Byron Wiley had 2 hits each in the loss.  Puckett and Soto each had a double and Puckett drove in 2 rbis. 

A

Dayton 4 – Fort Wayne 3

Five different Dragons players had 2 hits in the win.  Leading the way was Shane Carlson who was 2-4 with a triple, rbi, and 3 runs scored.  Didi Gregorius, Kevin Coddington, Frank Pfister, and Efrain Contreras were the other Dragons with 2 hits.

Doug Salinas picked up the win in relief by pitching 3 scoreless innings, allowing 0 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 4.