H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Friday, July 14, 2006

Astros Minor League Roundup

AAA: The Express returned to action with an 8-4 win at New Orleans. Cody Ransom continued his recent power surge with a pair of homers, giving him eleven on the season. Ransom is a 30 year-old infielder who had several tastes of the bigs in San Francisco and spent last season in AAA for the Cubs and Rangers. Jason Lane went 0-3 with a pair of sac flies in his return to Round Rock. Phillip Barzilla earned the win with five innings of one-hit relief.

The Statesman's William Wilkerson has a nice column about Express ace Jason Hirsh, focusing several paragraphs to Hirsh's relationship with his younger brother Matt, who was released earlier this season by the Astros' rookie league affiliate.

AA: The Hooks split a doubleheader with Springfield on Wednesday and lost to the Cardinals again last night on the road. In the 6-5 win on Wednesday afternoon, JR House was the hero with two hits and three RBI, and Josh Anderson reached base three times and scored twice. Matt Albers was roughed up in four-plus innings of work. In the second game, Chad Reineke had a decent Double-A debut, allowing only an unearned run in three-plus innings, but also walking four, giving up five hits and making an error. Hunter Pence went 3-4 in the nightcap, and Jorge Cortes and Jonny Ash had two hits. The Hooks left seven men in scoring position in the second game.

Last night was a second consecutive 2-1 loss for the Hooks. Chance Douglass gave up a pair of runs and allowed ten baserunners in 5.2 innings pitched. Again, the Hooks piled up hits and baserunners (two hits apiece for Cortes, Anderson, Pence and Young) but left seven more men in scoring position. Wade Robinson, who was called up from High-A Salem, replaced Ben Zobrist at shortstop on Thursday night, and Osvaldo Fernando substituted in as well. Fernando is 14 hits in 88 at-bats this season (.159/.213/.170). Ronnie Martinez will take Mitch Talbot's spot in the Hooks' rotation after posting a 2.31 ERA in 58+ innings at Lexington and Salem.

Friend of H-Town Sports Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times has a nice piece on the Hooks' perspective on Wednesday's trade for Aubrey Huff. Both Talbot and Zobrist knew that moves were coming, but they also both were suprised and disappointed to be personally involved. Greg also provides his take on the trade on his Hooks blog.

High-A: The Avalanche lost back-to-back games to Kinston. Wednesday's 7-6 loss was extraordinarily painful, as the Indians rallied for three runs in the ninth to take the lead, only for Salem to tie it in the bottom of the ninth. Kinston then won it in the tenth. Ryan Thompson blew the save for the 'Lanche, while Drew Sutton, Nathan Sellers and Beau Torbert each had a pair of hits. Paulino del Guidice was wild but effective in five innings.

Kinston took last night's game 8-3 as Salem starter Tip Fairchild cruised through six innings before getting lit up for five runs in the seventh, no thanks to Rodrigo Escobar allowing a two-out, three-run home run.

Low-A: Lexington routed Delmarva 13-0 on Wednesday night, as Eli Iorg went 3-4 with a homer and five RBI and Mitch Einerston hit a two-run homer. Mark Ori also had three hits and scored three runs. Brad James followed up on his recent one-hitter with six shutout innings to earn the win.

The Legends made it six wins in eight games with a 3-1 victory over Delmarva last night. Josh Flores and Eli Iorg each had two hits to pace the offense, and Raymar Diaz had another great start to earn his eighth win on the season.

In another side effect to the trade of Zobrist, Legends' SS Wladimir Sutil was promoted to Salem to replace Wade Robinson.

Short Season A: The Valley Cats split the first two games in a series at State College, losing 8-1 on Wednesday and winning 5-1 on Thursday. Jordan Parraz, the Astros' third-round pick in 2004, had three hits on Wednesday. Parraz has struggled in his first two pro seasons at Greenville and Tri-City, but is off to a .347/.443/.480 start in 75 AB's this season. Christopher Salamida was the hero last night, allowing only one hit over five shutout innings to run his record to 2-1 and to drop his ERA to 0.81. Salamida was a 13th round draft pick out of Onenota State University this season.

Rookie: Greenville beat Burlington 6-4 on Wednesday night but fell 6-3 last night. Ralph Henriquez and Steve Brown each had three hits Wednesday night. SS Ronnie Ramirez had two more hits on Thursday to send him to .387/.433/.645 after 65 AB's this season. Anthony Bello pitched four scoreless innings, allowing one hit. Bello was the Astros' 20th round pick in 2006 out of Nova Southeast University.


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