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International League News & Notes

July 30, 2009 - International League (IL)

BUFFALO BISONS (www.Bisons.com)

NOT A TRIVIAL ACQUISITION: On Tuesday, the Mets signed LHP Adam Pettyjohn to a minor league contract and assigned him to Buffalo. The southpaw made a fantastic first impression on Wednesday, earning a victory with three shutout innings of relief in the Bisons 3-0 shutout of Pawtucket. Wins are nothing new for Pettyjohn, who led the International League with 15 victories in 2008. Pettyjohn made 28 starts for Louisville and was 15-6 with a 4.59 ERA. His 15 wins matched a Louisville franchise record.

OH NELLY, HE'S GOOD: RHP Nelson Figueroa keeps rolling along. The veteran collected his seventh victory on Tuesday night, allowing just an unearned run in eight innings against Pawtucket. Figueroa has been a model of consistency this year. In 17 starts, he's allowed more than two runs just three times and more than three runs only once. He has 14 quality starts, including 10 consecutive dating back to June 2. He now sports a 2.25 ERA, the 2nd lowest in the International League. He also ranks 6th in the League with his 94 strikeouts.

HIT MAKER: A scary thought for IL pitchers - OF Jesus Feliciano is getting better each and every month. The veteran has seen his average increase steadily in each month this year (.283, .302, .317). In July, Feliciano has averaged .333 (33-99) with hits in all but three of the Bisons 25 games. He currently ranks 5th in the IL in average (.312) and 4th in total hits (108). He is on pace to collect 154 hits on the season, which would be the highest for a Bisons player since Jhonny Peralta (181) and Brandon Phillips (158) led the high-powered 2004 Buffalo team.

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (www.CharlotteKnights.com)

FIELDS BACK WITH CHARLOTTE: The Chicago White Sox optioned infielder Josh Fields to the Knights this week. Fields, 26, is batting .220 (49-223) with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games this season with the White Sox. The corner infielder is no stranger to Knights Stadium, having played for Charlotte from 2006-09. Fields is 8th on the Knights career hits list with 267 and while playing for Charlotte in 2006 was named the IL Rookie of the Year. He was a part of baseball history last week as he played first base and went 1-3 with a grand slam home run and 4 RBI in Mark Buerhle's perfect game vs. Tampa Bay.

WALK OFF HOME STAND: The Knights won four games on their eight-game home stand in walk-off fashion. The Knights beat Lehigh Valley 1-0 on 7/20 with a Michael Restovich game winning RBI single in the bottom of the 9th. They defeated Rochester 2-1 in 10 innings on 7/24 with an RBI single from Josh Kroeger that scored the winning run. On 7/25 the Knights got a game winning bases loaded walk from Daryle Ward in the bottom of the 9th to give them a 7-6 win. Last night Cole Armstrong's solo home run to lead off the 9th inning gave the Knights a 3-2 win. Armstrong's home run was the first Knights walk-off home run since Brad Eldred hit a two-run homer to defeat Norfolk 3-1 on 4/29/08.

9-MAN ROTATION: The Knights just went through a stretch where they started nine different pitchers in ten games. It included a spot start from RHP Derek Rodriguez on 7/20, a pair of Triple-A debuts from RHP Matt Zaleski and LHP Aaron Poreda, and a start from RHP Lucas Harrell, LHP Wes Whisler and RHP Jack Egbert. It also featured RHP Jeff Marquez' last start before being placed on the disabled list and a major league rehab start from RHP Bartolo Colon.

COLUMBUS CLIPPERS (www.ClippersBaseball.com)

MARTE GETS THE CALL: Andy Marte had his contract purchased by the Indians after they traded Ryan Garko to San Francisco. At the time of his promotion, Marte had been leading the IL in average (.385, 30-78), HR (9) and RBI (24) in July and sat 3rd, 2nd and 2nd, respectively in those same categories overall this year (.327, 18, 66). Marte owns seven of the Columbus' 13 HR since the break and with back to back months of 20+ RBI (June and July) became the first Clipper to accomplish the feat since Mitch Jones in 2006 (July and August). Marte is still 63 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the batting title at season's end.

NEWBIES: Yesterday's blockbuster that sent Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Philadelphia Phillies will result in a bunch of new faces for the Clippers. The Indians announced that three of the four prospects acquired from the Phillies will report to Columbus in the coming days. Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson and Jason Donald (Philadelphia's #2, #3, and #4 ranked prospects, respectively) will all be switching sides from Lehigh Valley to the Clippers, as Columbus is currently visiting Allentown. The fourth piece of the deal, Jason Knapp is expected to join Single-A Lake County.

CROWE MAKING CASE FOR VACANT SPOT: With the departure of Francisco, Cleveland now has an opening in the outfield. Since Trevor Crowe was optioned to Columbus on 6/24, following his second stint in Cleveland this year, he has hit .342 (38-111) in 28 games with Columbus, collecting hits in 24 of them (including an 18-game hitting streak from 5/25-7/16, 2nd longest in the I.L. this season). He has raised his batting average 67 points to .297.

DURHAM BULLS (www.DurhamBulls.com)

THAT'S A SWITCH: On Tuesday, Durham won the opener of a four-game series, 4-2 over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Elliot Johnson made Triple-A history for Durham, becoming the first Bulls player at that level to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game. He went deep in his second at-bat against righty Josh Towers in the third inning, and then did so in the eighth against lefty Damaso Marte for a 3-2 lead. It's the first time it's happened for the Bulls in Triple-A, but the second time Johnson has accomplished the feat. He did it on June 4, 2005 for Visalia against San Jose in the California League.

GOING DEEP: Durham homered three times on Tuesday, giving the team eight in the club's last six games. Durham now has a League-best 107 homers, 61 on the road. Chris Richard leads the way with 18. Elliot Johnson now has three homers in the team's last two games.

THAT'S EFFICIENT: Jason Childers earned his fourth save in five days on Tuesday. All four have taken 10 pitches or less. Childers has needed 31 pitches total in the four saves, and now has four this year, and 73 in his career.

CLOSE CALL: If it's a Bulls game, it's probably a close one. Durham has now played a one or two-run game in 13 of 14 contests since the All-Star Break. Durham is 8-6 in that stretch, 8-5 in the close games. The Bulls are 32-23 (.582) this year in games decided by one or two runs. Of Durham's last 16 losses, 14 have been one or two-run margins, including the last eight before game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Since June 6, 33-of-49 Bulls games have been one or two run games (the Bulls are 17-16 in the close games).

GWINNETT BRAVES (www.GwinnettBraves.com)

10-4: The Gwinnett Braves have gone 10-4, including a season-long seven-game winning streak from July 18-24, in the 14 games since the Triple-A All-Star break. The G-Braves have averaged 4.1 runs per game while holding their opponents to 2.2 runs a game. Gwinnett has moved from third place in the International League South Division, 3.5 games behind Norfolk, up a spot to second place, where they are currently 1.5 games behind Durham. The G-Braves also took sole possession of the Wild Card lead on July 27 and now hold a 1.5 game lead over Norfolk. Gwinnett has the second best record this month at 15-10 - only Louisville, who is 18-8, has a better record in July.

EVEN ON THE ROAD: Gwinnett finished July with a 6-6 record on the road. It was the first month this season that the G-Braves didn't have a winning record away from Gwinnett Stadium. Gwinnett was 7-4 in April, 8-6 in May and 8-5 in June in road games. Gwinnett has the second-best road record in the IL this season at 29-21, second only to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre who has a 30-21 record on the road. Following the completion of the Rochester series on Friday, Gwinnett hits the road for an eight-game road trip with four-game series at Columbus and Toledo.

SLUMP BUSTER: Barbaro Canizares tied a season-long slump with three consecutive hitless games from July 26-28. He was 0-12 during that span, but was 3-4 with two doubles and three RBI on July 29 to break out of it. It was his eighth multi-hit game this month and the second time this season that he has recorded three RBI. His season-high for RBI in a single game is six, second only to Kelly Johnson's seven RBI on July 20. Canizares leads the International League with 113 hits. His .306 batting average is good for ninth in the League and third in the South Division. His 54 RBI are tops among G-Braves and just two shy of a tie for fourth place in the IL.

"NO"NEZ: Gwinnett Braves right-handed reliever Vladimir Nunez has not allowed an earned run in his last three outings (5.0 IP). He has allowed just two earned runs in his last 10 outings (19.0 IP), pitching to a 0.95 ERA in that span. Nunez earned his third save of the season by tossing two scoreless innings on July 29 vs. Rochester, a 4-1 Gwinnett win. He is 3-for-3 in save opportunities this year. Among G-Braves relievers with at least 60 innings pitched this season, Nunez's 2.02 ERA (62.1 IP, 14 ER) is the lowest on the staff.

INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS (www.IndyIndians.com)

STEAMROLLING STARTERS: Since the All-Star break the Indians have received dominant work out of their starting rotation. In their 14 contests since the break the Tribe starters have allowed more than two earned runs in just one outing and have combined to give up just 20 earned runs in 86.0 innings for a 2.09 ERA during that span. The starting pitchers have also collected five wins, while recording at least six strikeouts in eight of the 14 contests for a total of 65 combined punch outs over their 86.0 combined innings. They have also held opposing lineups to just a .254 batting average, while handing out only 20 bases-on-balls. LHP Tom Gorzelanny has led the way for the Tribe staff as over his last nine starts he as he has posted a 3-2 record, 1.21 ERA (7 ER in 52.0 IP), and 53 strikeouts. During the month of July the 27-year old has posted a 1-2 record in five starts with a staggering 1.11 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 32.1 innings of work. Fellow starter Daniel McCutchen has been a decision machine for the Tribe this season as he has recorded a decision in each of his last 10 outings, including a streak of five consecutive victories from June 22 to July 20 that was the longest of his professional career and the longest for any Indians' hurler this season. The month of July has also seen turn around performances from starters Eric Hacker and Brad Lincoln. Hacker has posted a 1-1 record and allowed just three earned runs over his last 20.0 innings for a 1.35 ERA over those three starts, while Lincoln has found his control, not having surrendered a walk in any of his last three contests, while having allowed just four earned runs over his last 13 innings for a 2.77 ERA.

CLOSE CALLS: The Indians' 6-5 loss on Wednesday to Norfolk was their fourth straight one-run contest and the 11th time over their last 12 games that the final outcome of their match-up has been decided by two runs or less. The Indians' past 12 games have now been decided by just a combined 16 runs, while 13 out of their 27 games in the month of July have been decided by only one score and 17 have been decided by two runs or less. The Tribe's 37 single-run games are tied with Pawtucket for most in the International League, while their current opponent Norfolk is ranked last with 21 total one-score contests. The Indians also lead the International League and all of Triple-A baseball with 60 of their contests having been decided by two runs or less. With their extra-inning victory over Durham last Thursday, Indianapolis has also seen eight of their 37 one-run games go into extra-innings where the Indians have the best winning percentage (.875) in all of Triple-A Baseball with a 7-1 record.

BIXLER BLASTS THE COMPETITION: INF/OF Brian Bixler went 2-5 with a run and an RBI triple against Norfolk on Wednesday night. The multi-dimensional utility man has now collected five multi-hit performances over his last eight games and continues to thrive in clutch situations for the Tribe as he is batting a team best .369 (24-65) with a team high 25 RBI when runners are in scoring position and is batting .440 (11-25) in the ninth inning and beyond. Bixler has also definitely seemed to enjoy the move to the leadoff spot as he has batted .290 and belted all six of his home runs from the lead-off spot this season.

BULLPEN BLITZKRIEG: Indians' relievers Mike Koplove and Chris Bootcheck have combined for a 4-0 record and six saves over the Tribe's last 12 games. In that stretch the duo has also combined to strikeout five and walk just one over their 13.2 total innings. Koplove has seen the most work out of the Tribe bullpen over the last 12 games as he has tossed nine innings and allowed only one run in his five appearances. The 32-year old also continues to thrive in pressure situations as he has allowed only eight hits and struck out eight in 41 at-bats to hold opponents to a team best .195 average when the opposing team has runners in scoring position. Bootcheck has been a decision machine in his last five outings for Indianapolis as the Tribe closer has collected two wins and three saves over his last five outings with four scoreless one inning appearances to begin this streak. The right-handed reliever also continues to lead all International League hurlers (with at least 30 strikeouts) in strikeout to walk ratio with a 7.3 to 1 ratio (51 SO vs 7 BB) over 37 appearances. Bootcheck also collected his 17th save of the season on July 28 to move into a tie for second in the IL.

LEHIGH VALLEY IRONPIGS (www.IronPigsBaseball.com)

THREE TOP PROSPECTS SWITCH DUGOUTS: While Philadelphia and Cleveland worked out a trade for 2008 A.L. Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, their affiliates (Lehigh Valley and Columbus) were in Game Two of a four-game series vs. Columbus. For the final two games of the series, the Clippers are expected to have RHP Carlos Carrasco (No. 2 Prospect according to Baseball America), C Lou Marson (No. 3 according to BA) and INF Jason Donald (No. 4 according to BA) active for duty against their former mates. Carrasco had won six of his last nine decisions; Marson had hit in 19 of his last 23 G (.373-0-9) and Donald went 2-4 in his return to the lineup Tuesday after having missed 43 games following surgery to repair a torn left meniscus.

HOME-COOKING!: With two wins to start the Columbus series, Lehigh Valley has now won a franchise-record seven straight home games. Upon their return home following a 2-6 South Division road trip, the 'Pigs are batting .303 (20-66) in the last 2 G -- and allowed just 4 ER in 18 IP (2.00 ERA). During the road trip, LHV batted .255 (71-278) -- and just .169 (13-77) w/ RISP. The Pigs had just 2 HR and averaged just 2.9 R/G (23 R). The pitching staff had a 5.61 ERA in the 8 G (67.1 IP, 42 ER).

LEAN, MEAN FIGHTING CHACIN!: LHP Gustavo Chacin has gone 4-0, 3.41 ERA (31.2 IP, 12 ER, 4 QS) in his last five starts from - and has tied a franchise-record set by RHP Carlos Carrasco by winning four straight starts (6/15/09-7/2/09). During the streak, the 'Pigs are 4-0 in Chacin's starts - and just 6-8 in the other games during the span. BACK IN CERVICE: Following an 11-game span with out a multi-hit game (the longest of his IronPigs career), INF/OF Mike Cervenak has had a multi-hit game in 10 of his last 17 G - batting .375-1-13 (27-72) in the span. In addition, Cervenak has a nine-game hitting streak (15-38, .395-0-9) - tying his longest of 2009. The University of Michigan product had a franchise-record 18-game hitting streak in 2008 (5/16-6/3).

LOUISVILLE BATS (www.BatsBaseball.com)

BARKIN' UP THE WRONG TREE: On 6/14, 1B Kevin Barker was in the midst of a 4-26 slump and his average reached a season-low .227. Since that point, he has gone hitless in only nine games. Since 7/6, he has played in 18 G and has 8 multi-hit games. Barker's batting .400 (28-70) during that stretch and has raised his average to .279, which is the third-highest it has been all season. He reached .286 on 4/26, after a 3-4 performance at Toledo, where he hit two home runs. In his last 18 G he has 13 runs, 7 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, and 19 RBI. His 19 HR on the year are good for 2nd in the IL and his .544 slugging % ranks 3rd.

A GRANNY RECORD: Monday night, 1B Kevin Barker hit the first grand slam of the season for the Bats and now holds the franchise record for most granny's in a career with five; he'd been tied at four with Brandon Larson. Barker is also just two home runs shy of his completing his 7th 20-HR season and his 4th in a Louisville uniform (1998 - 23, 1999 - 23, 2008 - 21). On the season, Barker is batting .429 (3-7, 1 HR, 8 RBI) with the bases loaded.

SWEET 16: With last night's 7-3 win over Toledo, Louisville is 16 G over .500 for the first time this season. The 2008 squad that set a franchise record with 88 wins first reached 16-over on 7/20 (59-43) and were 17 over on July 23 (61-44).

ONE-RUN GAMES: Louisville won their 18th one-run game of the season (18-15) & their ninth this month in Tuesday's amazing come-from-behind victory in the 11th inning over the Mud Hens. Amazingly, the Bats have already played in 15 one-run games (9-6) in the month of July. Louisville's 18 one-run wins is T-3rd most in the IL (Pawtucket, 22-15; Durham, 20-16; Gwinnett, 18-14). Tuesday night was also the Bats' 5th walk-off win and 11th extra-innings game (5-6).

NORFOLK TIDES (www.NorfolkTides.com)

JUST WIN, BABY: Today's starter Andy Mitchell has won each of his last five starts and enters play today 9-2 with a 3.82 ERA. Mitchell's nine wins are tied for second in the IL and are tied for second among all Orioles minor leaguers, and he has now compiled a career record of 29-18 in three seasons with the Tides. Those 29 wins are tied with Rick Anderson (‘80-'86) and Terry Leach (‘81-'86) for the 9th-most in franchise history, one win shy of the 30 career wins amassed by Eric Hillman (‘91-'94). Roy Lee Jackson (‘77-'80) holds the franchise mark with 39 victories.

KAM CAN: Reliever Kam Mickolio has pitched fantastically as of late, as he hasn't allowed a run in 20 of his last 23 outings with the Tides. Over that stretch, Mickolio has posted a 0.95 ERA (3 ER, 28.1 IP) while striking out 36 and allowing just 17 hits. That stretch does not include three outings he made with Baltimore, in which he yielded just one hit while striking out three in 3.2 innings of work.

GOING STREAKING: With a game-tying pinch-hit RBI single in yesterday's contest, Brandon Snyder has now hit safely in each of his last seven games. Over that stretch, Snyder has hit .407 (11-27) with five runs scored and six RBI while upping his average from .200 to .241. For the season, the 22-year-old leads all Orioles minor leaguers with 69 runs batted in. Justin Turner has also had a hot stretch at the plate recently, as he's hit safely in 22 of his last 26 games (including each of his last six), hitting .364 (36-99) with a home run, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored over that 26-game stretch. Turner enters play today ranked 7th in the IL with a .309 average.

PAWTUCKET RED SOX (www.PawSox.com)

BLANKETY BLANK: Last night the Pawtucket Red Sox - losers of 18 of their last 23 games since July 3 and now 7-games under .500 (47-54) for the first time since the end of the 2007 - were shutout in Buffalo, 3-0. It marked the 13th time this season the PawSox were blanked as they fell to 9-13 in shutout games on the year. Nearly 22% of PawSox games this season have ended in shutouts (22 of 101). Pawtucket was 9-5 in shutout games after a 2-0 win in Louisville on May 27. Since that point, however, the Sox have not had a shutout to their credit but instead have been shutout themselves 8 times. Pawtucket still has a ways to go before they near the franchise-record for most times shutout in a season which was 21 during the 1989 season.

A CARDINAL ARRIVES: The PawSox on July 24 released OF Paul McAnulty and added OF Chris Duncan who was acquired by the Boston Red Sox from St. Louis in exchange for INF Julio Lugo. Duncan was hitting .227 with 5 HR & 32 RBI in 87 games for the Cardinals this season and owns a .257 average with 55 HR & 175 RBI in 389 big league games - all with the Cardinals. He homered in his third game with the PawSox this past Sunday but was 3-20 in his first 6 games with Pawtucket.

A FOREIGN VISIT: The PawSox on Tuesday added Japanese RHP Junichi Tazawa who was promoted from Double-A Portland. Tazawa, who turned 23 on June 6, was signed by the Red Sox to a 3-year major league contract last December after a four-year amateur career with the Nippon Oil ENEOS of the Japan Industrial League where he went 14-3 with 11 SV and a 1.99 ERA in 53 games (13 starts). This season he had been with Portland all year going 9-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 18 starts for the Sea Dogs. His 9 wins were tied for 2nd in the Eastern League, his ERA was 2nd, and he was tied for 3rd in strikeouts with 88 (in his 98 IP). Tazawa got the starting nod for the PawSox Tuesday night in Buffalo and pitched well in a 2-1 loss (6 IP, 2 R, 1 ER). Special thanks to Buffalo's crack PR man Brad Bisbing who adroitly handled a large Japanese media contingent from Boston that descended on Coca-Cola Field to cover Tazawa's PawSox debut. With Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka currently rehabbing in Fort Myers, FL, the baseball-starved Japanese media who usually follow Dice-K made the trip to Buffalo and were very appreciative with the treatment they received from Brad and the Bisons.

ANOTHER BIG LEAGUER IN THE FOLD: The PawSox on Wednesday added OF Brian Anderson who was acquired from the White Sox (Charlotte) this Tuesday in exchange for Red Sox OF Mark Kotsay. The PawSox released OF Freddy Guzman to make room for Anderson. Anderson, 27, hit .238 with 2 HR & 13 RBI in 65 games for the White Sox this season before being optioned to Charlotte on July 20. In 11 games for the Knights he hit .279 with 2 HR & 5 RBI. An excellent defensive outfielder, he was a former 1st round pick of the White Sox in the 2003 draft. His career major league batting average is .225 in 334 big league games. Anderson went 0-3 playing CF as the PawSox lead-off batter last night in Buffalo.

ROCHESTER RED WINGS (www.RedWingsBaseball.com)

REST UP: Wednesday will be the Red Wings last scheduled off day of the 2009 season. Starting next Thursday Rochester will play 36 games in 33 days. This is the longest stretch to end a season since 1998 when the Wings played 41 straight days without a scheduled off day. The 1998 team actually played 44 games during that 41 day stretch (23-21 record).

OOOOO....PICK ME, PICK ME: Rochester has yet to have a player selected as Pitcher or Batter of the Week in the International League this season. Since 1985, when it's believed the weekly awards were started, Rochester has never gone a complete season without having at least one winner.

HOT & COLD: The Red Wings offense hasn't found any consistency during the first six games of this eight-game road trip (2-4 record so far). In the two wins Rochester is batting .372 (32-86) and outscoring their opponents 20-11. In the four losses Rochester is batting just .194 (25-129) and has been outscored 16-11.

DIVISION RIVALS: When the Red Wings return home from their eight-game road trip to Charlotte and Gwinnett on Friday they will finish the season playing 32 of their final 40 games vs. North division rivals. The only exceptions will be a four-game series vs. Louisville August 6-9 and a four-game series vs. Norfolk August 22-25, both at Frontier Field.

SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE YANKEES (www.SWBYankees.com)

EVERYONE WANTS IT, NO ONE'S DONE MUCH ABOUT IT: Since May 8, the Yankees have posted a 33-39 record in the 69 games since running their mark to 23-5. SWB had a 5.0 game lead on May 9 and despite the recent struggles the lead has only dropped 2.0 games to its current 3.0 over second place Syracuse. In the days since May 8 no team has jumped to the top of the pack in the IL North, leaving the Yankees as the first place team in the division. In the same stretch of games that has seen the Yankees play at six games under .500, Syracuse is the only team in the IL North with a winning record at 40-36. Lehigh Valley has gone 39-39, Rochester 36-40, Buffalo 33-41 and Pawtucket has had the worse stretch going 30-43.

de CASTER de STROYING PICTHING: Yurendell de Caster extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games with an RBI double in the series opening game vs. Durham. The native of Curacao is hitting .341 (14-41) with 5 R, 6 2B, HR, 4 RBI and three multi hit games in his last 11 games for the Yankees and has raised his average over the stretch from .256 to .300.

RUSSO'S RAKING: Kevin Russo's current hit streak is five straight games, during which he is eight for his last 19, sporting a .421 average including a three-double effort against Toledo on Monday afternoon, tying the SWB season high with three two baggers in a game. Since his average dropped to a recent low of .284 (season low was after 1-5 on opening night .200) following a 0-3 game at Columbus on July 20, the Yanks' leadoff man has hit safely in eight of 10, going 15-33 (.455) with a four-hit and two three-hit games. He has scored seven runs, drawn two walks and has four doubles over the 10-game stretch.

FOUR PLAY: Four has been the magic number for the Yankees in 2009. In games decided by four runs or more, the Yankees have the IL's best record at 29-7. The almost unbeatable aspect of the number four comes when the Yankees score four or more runs in a game. When SWB gets four or more on the scoreboard in 2009, they have posted a 45-8 record, for a winning percentage of .849. When the Yankees have scored three runs or less in a game they are 10-36 (.217). The Yankees are 7-1 in July when scoring four or more in a game with the only loss coming in the first game of last Friday's DH at Toledo in an 8-7 extra inning loss to the Mud Hens.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS (www.SyracuseChiefs.com)

PATTERSON TAKES OUT: Chiefs outfielder Corey Patterson exercised an "out" in his contract and left the team on Wednesday. Patterson, 29 is an nine-year major league veteran who was batting .270 with 7 HR and 40 RBI this season for the Chiefs. He did spend one week with the Nationals in June when he replaced the injured Elijah Dukes.

VENTO BACK ON THE FIELD: The Chiefs added outfielder Mike Vento from the disabled list on Thursday to replace Corey Patterson. Vento was batting .275 with 4 HR and 14 RBI in 36 games for the Chiefs when he was lost on July 4.

SOSA DOES IT: Since moving from the starting rotation on June 15 to the Chiefs bullpen, righty Jorge Sosa has been dominant out of the pen. In 14 relief appearances he has allowed only 8 hits in 20 innings pitched and recorded a 0.90 ERA, 3 saves, and 26 strikeouts. He also took over the Chiefs closer role when Logan Kensing was promoted to Washington.

TOLEDO MUD HENS (www.MudHens.com)

OFFENSIVE SURGE: In the month of July, Toledo bats have been on fire. As a team, the Mud Hens are hitting .293 for the month, second in the IL behind only Columbus (.299). In the last ten games they have connected for 17 HR, three of them from OF Brent Clevlen in an 18-1 win over Syracuse on July 23. Mike Hessman, Jack Hannahan and Dane Sardinha are the only other players to hit three homers in a game at Fifth Third Field. In that game, the Mud Hens tied or broke five Fifth Third Field records: most runs/inning (10), most extra-base hits/game (11), most HR/game (6-tie), most hits/game (both clubs: 32-tie), and most HR/game (individual: 3-tie). Not to be forgotten, Will Rhymes, Clevlen and Max St-Pierre hit three consecutive HR in the third inning, making it the first time the team had done it since April 25, 2007 -- Chris Shelton, Mike Hessman and Ryan Raburn. On the most recent 10-game homestand, the Mud Hens averaged 5.3 runs/game and batted .313 as a team.

HIT MAN: OF Jeff Frazier has been seriously on-fire for more than a week. Even after earning the IL's Batter of the Week Award for the period of July 20-26, Frazier has still been rolling. Since July 20, he has raised his average from .262 to .295, hitting .533 (24-45) during that stretch with five homers and 13 RBI. It had taken Frazier 58 games (July 20) to hit his third HR this season, after that he hit five bombs in nine games. Frazier is the third Toledo player to be honored as Player of the Week, joining Don Kelly (May 25-31) and Luke French (June 15-21).

MILESTONE: 3B Mike Hessman has three HR in his last four games, and his bomb on July 28 at Louisville was a milestone shot: it was his 300th career minor league home run. He is now nine HR shy of another milestone, his 200th Triple-A home run. Hessman had struggled all season, but may be turning it around and is currently hitting .273 with three HR and nine RBI in July.

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International League Stories from July 30, 2009


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.