It’s Mediacom Cancer Awareness Day here at Alliant Energy Field…your LumberKings will lose the black and green for just one day and don the powder-blue unis for a good cause. You can get your hands on these via online auction at LumberKings.com in the near future (Steve Moss in the top photo, Travis Howell in the bottom photo). Proceeds go to the Ed Randall Bat for the Cure fund for prostate cancer research.
On to other things…as my friend Jim Misudek of the Cincinnati Reds pointed out (via an early-morning phone call), John Mayberry, Jr’s home run came in his SECOND at-bat against the Yankees. I apologize for the misinformation, although it’s not nearly as big a blunder as Fox having the wrong John Mayberry, Sr. on TV. There’s more on Jr. Mayberry listed below in the Game Notes section.
Thanks to all the LumberKings and Mariners’ fans for making the LumberBlog the #48 ranked blog amongst ProBlogs on the MLBlogs Network! I’m still surprised anyone wants to read what I have to say, but I certainly appreciate it. Comments are always welcome!
On to the notes/highlights from last night’s 12-6 win over the Great Lakes Loons:
Kings Overpower Loons: A three-run first-inning homer by Steve Moss opened the floodgates as the LumberKings scored eight runs off starter Ethan Martin of Great Lakes in a 12-6 romp over the Loons last night. Moss drove home Jake Shaffer and Terry Serrano with his first blast of the year, clearing the fence in left-center. The Kings then hung six runs on Martin (L, 3-2) in the second, scoring two on a single by Scott Savastano, another run on a single by Kris Sanchez and two more on a double by Mario Martinez. Starter Walter Suriel couldn’t keep the Loons off the scoreboard early, yielding a home run to Kyle Russell and RBI singles to Anthony Hatch and Tony Delmonico before exiting after 4.2 innings. Lefty Jose Jimenez came on with a 9-5 lead and shut down the Loons over 2.1 innings…Jimenez (W, 2-1) did not allow a baserunner while striking out five. Meanwhile, the Kings kept scoring against the Great Lakes bullpen…Blake Ochoa added a flare single to score Moss in the fifth, then lifted off for his first homer in the seventh. Ochoa’s solo shot to the berm in left made it a 12-5 game. Andres Esquibel walked home a run with the bases loaded, but was then able to retire Delmonico on a game-ending fielder’s choice.
Listen to Moss’s Homer:
Moss 3R HR 5.23 vs. Great Lakes.mp3
Listen to Savastano’s 2-Run Single:
Savastano 2-R single 5.23 vs. Great Lakes.mp3
Watching the West: Clinton has won two-straight games for the first time since 5/14-5/15 against Beloit, moving them back into a two-way tie for third place in the MWL West…Cedar Rapids also won last night to stay in third (also 22-20). Both clubs trail second-place Peoria and Quad Cities (both 21-19) by a half game for the first-half Wild Card spot. The Kings held that second-place spot or higher for 15-straight games from 5/3 to 5/17.
The Boys in Blue: The LumberKings have set aside their normal black-and-green jerseys for a good cause this afternoon. Clinton will don powder-blue and white jerseys for Mediacom Cancer Awareness Day today, with the blue the chosen color for prostate cancer awareness. Select jerseys will be auctioned off at Alliant Energy Field during today’s game, while others will be available via online auction this upcoming week through LumberKings.com.
You Gotta Have Power: The home runs by Steve Moss and Blake Ochoa (each their firsts with the Kings) were the 32nd and 33rd for the LumberKings this season. A team expected to be built on speed, Clinton is now tied for third in the Midwest League in team HR (Fort Wayne also has 33) behind Kane County (34) and Peoria (36). Denny Almonte leads the team with nine HR after snapping a seven-game, 37 at-bat homer drought on Thursday with a solo shot off Lansing’s Josh Wells…he is also first in the MWL in extra-base hits (24) and sixth in slugging (.553).
Super Mario: Mario Martinez extended his hitting streak to a season-high six games last night, going 1-for-4 with a two-run double in the second inning…however, his multi-hit streak ended at four. The torrid span has raised his average from .190 on 5/17 at Wisconsin to .233, his highest average since hitting .286 after 4/10 at Burlington. The #7 prospect in the Seattle system as rated by Baseball America, Martinez has a hit in 14 of his last 16 games, batting .313 (21-for-67) with five doubles, a triple, a home run, six runs scored and eight RBI. He’s hitting .264 in May.
Burstin’ Howell: The two-run opposite-field homer for Travis Howell Friday night was his sixth this season, second-most on the club behind Denny Almonte’s nine. Howell has now lifted off for home runs twice since coming off the disabled list on 5/18, including a towering shot off the left-field light tower at Time Warner Cable Field in a 14-7 loss at Wisconsin. The 18th round pick by the Mariners out of Cal State Long Beach in 2008, Howell’s six homers are also tied for fourth-most in the league…he’s hitting .368 with four HR and 13 RBI at home this year.
Mayberry Makes Debut: Another former LumberKing made his Major League debut yesterday…outfielder John Mayberry, Jr. (2006) suited up for the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium yesterday, and went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI. He cracked the three-run homer to left in his second at-bat, taking Andy Pettitte deep…his father, John Mayberry, Sr. (longtime Kansas City Royal) was on hand to see it. Mayberry was the first-round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2005 and suited up in 126 games for the 2006 LumberKings…he hit .268 with 21 home runs and 77 RBI that season, and is tied with several others for second in club history in single-season home runs, trailing Dick Kenworthy’s 22 in 1961.
Holland Makes First MLB Start: Former Kings’ lefty Derek Holland (2008) made his first career Major League start with the Texas Rangers last night as they faced the Houston Astros in interleague play Friday night. Holland did not disappoint, working 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits (all three on a homer by Lance Berkman) …he did not walk a batter and struck out four in a no-decision (Texas won, 6-5 in 10 innings). Holland went 7-0 with a 2.40 ERA in 17 starts with the Kings in 2008 and was a MWL All-Star before being promoted to high-A Bakersfield and double-A Frisco…he was the #2 prospect in the Texas system.