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International League News & Notes

June 3, 2010 - International League (IL) News Release

BUFFALO BISONS www.Bisons.com

GOSH GOLLY GEE: Bisons RHP Dillon Gee has won each of his last three appearances. In the three-game stretch, the righty has posted a 2.89 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 18.2 innings of work. In his last outing, May 28 against Toledo, Gee struck out a Bisons' season-high nine batters in only six innings of work. For the year, Gee is 6-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 10 starts. He's given the Bisons six quality starts and the team is 9-1 when he starts.

THE DISH ON MISCH: Bisons LHP Pat Misch has been equally tough of late. The southpaw has five victories in his last seven starts. He's allowed just four total runs in his last four starts and 29.0 innings of work. He tossed a complete game four-hit shutout on May 15 against Norfolk and allowed just one run in seven innings to Charlotte on May 20 and to Syracuse on June 1. Overall on the season, Misch is 5-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 10 starts for Buffalo.

PAR FOR THE COURSE: Bisons' RHP Bobby Parnell has been lights out of late. The reliever has tossed 6.1 scoreless innings over his last four appearances. He has seven strikeouts and two saves in his last three appearances and has used a 99 mph fast ball to record multiple strikeouts in eight of his last nine outings. Parnell leads the Bisons' bullpen in strikeouts (34), innings pitched (30.1), appearances (18) and holds (4).

CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS www.CharlotteKnights.com

K CORNER: The Knights have two of the top strikeout pitchers in the International League in their starting rotation.  RHP Carlos Torres leads the League in strikeouts with 69 and tonight's starting pitcher Daniel Hudson is 5th with 62.  Each have recorded 10 or more strikeouts in two starts this season.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: The Knights are currently in a stretch in which they play 28 consecutive games against opponents in the IL North Division.  The Knights will have four game road series in Pawtucket, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Syracuse and home series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Syracuse and Buffalo.  Charlotte enters tonight's contest in Pawtucket with a 7-12 record vs. IL North opponents.

ROSTER SHAKEUP: The Knights roster was changed a bit over the last week.  INF Brent Lillibridge was recalled to Chicago.  Lillibridge has been amongst the IL stolen base leaders this season and was tied for the League lead at the time of his promotion.  INF C.J. Retherford was transferred to Double-A Birmingham and INF Brent Morel was promoted to Charlotte from Birmingham.  Morel made his Triple-A debut last night going 0-3 vs. Pawtucket.  Morel was sixth in the Southern League in hitting at the time of his promotion (.324, 59-182) and was fourth in hits.  The Knights also received RHP Jhonny Nunez from Birmingham. Nunez was converted to a starting pitcher after working as a reliever last season for Birmingham, Charlotte and Chicago.  RHP Scott Elarton was released.

COLUMBUS CLIPPERS www.ClippersBaseball.com

PINCH ME: After the Clippers got their first pinch hit of the season, in six tries, with Brian Buscher's walk-off single in the 11th on 5/30 (scoring pinch runner Jose Constanza), Jordan Brown gave them their second in a row with a pinch-hit, walk-off double Tuesday night.  The win was Columbus' fourth walk-off win of the season (two each against Louisville and Lehigh Valley) and third on the recent home stand (5/27 & 5/30 vs. Lehigh Valley).

HASTA LA VISTA, BABY: In picking up the win on 6/1, the "Herrmannator", Frank Herrmann, threw 2.0 perfect innings.  That pushed his shutout streak to 27.1 innings on the season.  Herrmann has not allowed a run since his first outing of the season (4/8 vs. Indianapolis). 

WALK THIS WAY: Carlos Santana had a season high streak of five consecutive games with a walk snapped yesterday.  He has drawn a walk in nine of the last 11 games (13 total walks) and currently leads the IL with 42 bases on balls this season (led the EL with 90 last year), contributing to an IL-best .450 OBP.

SERIES-OUSLY: Yesterday's win gave the Clippers their 9th winning series of the season (eight all of last year) and fifth winning home series (five in 2009).  It was also the third straight winning series against Louisville, as the Clippers have gone 8-2 against the Bats in 10 games (18-40 opposing Louisville from 2007-09).  Despite the 8-2 record, Columbus has been outscored by the Bats this season, 45-40.

DURHAM BULLS www.DurhamBulls.com

RUN LIKE THE BULLS: Durham added another stolen base yesterday in a 4-0 win at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and now has 70, 14 ahead of everyone else.  Durham has been successful 83 percent of the time (just 14 CS), a success rate which also leads the IL.  Elliot Johnson and Fernando Perez lead the Bulls and are third in the IL with 16 each.  Four Bulls, Johnson (16), Perez (16), Desmond Jennings (12) and Justin Ruggiano (11) are in double digits.  Ruggiano was 4-for-4 in a 4-3 defeat on Tuesday.

REHAB REPORT: Kelly Shoppach went 2-for-4 yesterday in his third game on MLB rehab with the Bulls.  He caught the first seven innings.  Shoppach, who's coming back from a knee injury, is 4-for-11 with 2 RBI at the plate in three games.  The Bulls have allowed just one run in the 12 innings where he's been behind the plate.

SEVENTH HEAVEN: The current series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre marks the first time since joining the Bulls where top prospect Desmond Jennings hit somewhere other than first or second in the lineup.  Jennings moved down to seventh and is 5-for-11 with a double, walk, and three runs scored in three games since the move.  He had been in a 4-for-40 stretch at the plate.

TOUGH ROAD: Durham (30-23) is in the midst an eight-game road trip against the top two teams in the North Division (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Syracuse).  The Bulls, who are 14-13 on the road this year, are playing 18 of 24 games away from home (currently 2-1).  Durham started this stretch with a 5.5 game lead over Gwinnett in the South Division, a lead the Bulls currently maintain.

GWINNETT BRAVES www.GwinnettBraves.com

REDMOND THROWS NO-HITTER: On May 28, G-Braves RHP Todd Redmond threw the first no-hitter of his career as the squad downed the Bats 4-0. It was the first no-hitter in Gwinnett's young history, and the first no-hitter for a Braves Triple-A franchise since Pete Smith did the deed for the Richmond Braves against Rochester in a 1-0 win in a seven-inning game on 5/3/92. The last Braves Triple-A no-hitter accomplished in a nine-inning game was a combined effort, as Charlie Puelo and Steve Ziem joined forces to shut down Oklahoma City 3-0 on 6/27/89. The last time a Braves Triple-A squad got a no-hit achievement in a nine-inning game from a single pitcher was Mickey Mahler, who stopped Toledo 7-0 on 6/1/77. Gwinnett has now been no-hit and threw a no-hitter in the same season. The last time a team was no-hit and then hung the big no-no on another team in the same season was the Richmond Braves. The old franchise saw Mahler throw a no-hitter for the R-Braves on 6/1/77 in a 7-0 victory against Toledo, only to see Columbus' Rod Scurry drop a no-hitter on the R-Braves one month later in a 2-0 win on 7/25/77.

100 CLUB: On May 29, G-Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer clubbed the 100th double of his Minor League career in the team's 7-1 win over Louisville. Schafer is the second Gwinnett Brave to hit the 100 career doubles mark this season, as outfielder Matt Young also did the deed in a 5-4 loss to Durham on 4/23. First baseman/ designated hitter Barbaro Canizares is on the cusp of being the third G-Brave to notch his 100th career double this season, as he needs just one more two-bagger to hit the century mark.

DELAYED CREDIT: During the G-Braves/Indians Memorial Day showdown, two Gwinnett players accomplished feats that could not be recognized until the completion of the game on Tuesday. Barbaro Canizares became the third G-Brave this season to homer in consecutive games. The last time he accomplished that feat was 5/13/09 and 5/15/09 on the road against Buffalo. Newest G-Brave Alex Romero hit his first home run for Gwinnett in his first at-bat ever at Coolray Field in Monday's doubleheader. The last HR Romero hit at the Triple-A level was on 5/9/09 as a member of the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League. Both players also notched hits in the second game of the doubleheader, only two of five Braves to do so in the 6-0 loss. The game was suspended on Monday night because of rain in the area.


STARTING THE SEASON STRONG: 3B Pedro Alvarez, who as of June 2 ranks tied for third in the International League with 45 RBI on the season, drove in the most runs in the IL in the month of May, plating 30 Indians' base runners in 29 games. Alvarez's RBI total ranked him only one behind current Colorado Springs Sky Sox and former Indians' slugger Brad Eldred for the most runs driven in in all of Triple-A baseball during the month of May. The left-handed slugger also put together a career best nine-game hitting streak from May 19 to May 29 during which time he batted .387 (12-for-31) with eight runs, two home runs and eight RBI. The Pirates No. 1 prospect (according to Baseball America) also set a new standard for offensive excellence during the Indians current affiliation with Pittsburgh (since 2005) as his 45 RBI were far and away the most over the first two months of the season and his 11 home runs tied current Pirates' catcher Ryan Doumit for the most by a Tribe player over April and May.

MAY MASTERPIECE: RHP Brad Lincoln posted a 3-1 record and an impressive 2.38 ERA (9 ER in 34.0 IP) in five starts for the Indians during the month of May. While limiting opposing batters to a .174 batting average against (21-for-121) in the season's second month, the Texas native flirted with perfection on several occasions, retiring the first 13 Rochester Red Wings' batters he faced on May 12 and the first 16 Toledo Mud Hens' hitters on May 17. All told, Lincoln tossed 20 perfect innings during May, accounting for 59% of his total innings pitched in the month.

SPRINGING TO LIFE: Tribe C Erik Kratz hit an impressive .383 (23-for-60) with eight runs scored, eight doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI in 16 contests during the month of May. The right-handed slugger also posted a ridiculous .700 slugging percentage during the season's second month. At the conclusion of the month of April, Kratz was hitting .200 (7-for-35) and was in the midst of a 2-for-14 slide, before the Pennsylvania native kicked off the month of May with at least one hit in each of the first seven games in which he played. The catcher recorded a hit in 14 of his 16 May starts and collected multiple hits in six contests during that span to see his batting average jump to .316 (30-for-95) on the season. Kratz closed out the month of May on a seven-game hitting streak, during which time he hit .346 (9-for-26) with one double, two home runs and five RBI.

RELIEVER REVIVAL: After turning in a 5.72 ERA in the month of April, the Tribe bullpen was nothing short of spectacular in the month of May. In the season's second month, Indians' relievers logged a 2.71 ERA (27 ER in 89.2 IP) and converted 11 of 14 save opportunities while also recording 71 strikeouts over 89.2 innings pitched. RHP Vinnie Chulk (12.2 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 14 SO) and LHP Justin Thomas (15.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 12 SO) paced the Tribe 'pen in May as Chulk posted a 0.71 ERA and 14 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio in 10 games and Thomas went 2-0 with two saves, a 0.60 ERA and 12 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio over 12 appearances.

LEHIGH VALLEY IRONPIGS www.IronPigsBaseball.com

HE'S BACK!: After missing 10 games with a strained right shoulder Andy Tracy is now 10-20 (.500) with 3 HR (one a Grand Slam), 10 RBI, 6 R and 10 BB in 7 G since coming off the DL. On Friday, he had a franchise-record 6 RBI and tied his own record with 2 HR in a game (he's done it 5 of the 7x in LHV history). On Sunday, he tied the franchise record with 4 BB (Joey Hammond, 7/27/08). Traditionally a slow starter, the Bowling Green alum has hit in 12 of his last 17 G (19-56, .339-4-13, 3 2B, 13BB), raising his average from .198 (5/4) to .254.

THAT'S HOW WE DREW IT UP: RHP Drew Carpenter is 4-2, 2.40 ERA in his last 7 GS (45.0 IP, 12 ER) and is the 'Pigs all-time career wins leader (16), two ahead of Brian Mazone (14). He started 1-2, 7.15 in his first 3 GS.

WHO (ELSE) IS HOT: INF Neil Sellers has hit safely in 9 of his last 11 G (17-37, .459-1-8, 5 2B) and in 13 of 16 (21-60, .350-1-8, 6 2B)...... In his last 11 G, INF Melvin Dorta has hit .370-1-5 (10-27, 2 2B, 3B)...... In his IL career (7/7/09-pres.), RHP Nate Bump is 11-4, 2.72 in 20 GS (129 IP, 39 ER)...... RHP Ryan Vogelsong has allowed just 2 R in 6 G since moving to pen (0-1, 1.59, 11.1 IP, 2 ER; IN-3, ST-3)...... RHP Alex Concepcion has not been scored upon in 5 of 6 G since coming off DL (7.0 IP, 7 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 6 SO)...... LHP Mike Zagurski has not allowed an ER in his last 12 G (0-2, 2 H, 0.00, 14.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 7 BB, 19 SO). "Z" leads IL relievers in SO/9 at 13.5 (36 SO in 24.0 IP).

NOT POPPING IN THE CLUTCH (Until yesterday): Once batting .312 w/ RISP as a team through 5/2 (23 G), the Pigs were just 42-216 (.194) in the last 28 G before yesterday's game in Toledo - dropping to .253 for the season. On Wednesday, the 'Pigs went 6-9 with RISP after going 6-40 (.150) in those situations over the first six games of the road trip.

LOUISVILLE BATS www.BatsBaseball.com

SUTTON SURGING:  INF Drew Sutton went 1-for-5 yesterday in a 10-7 loss at Columbus, extending his on-base streak to 21 straight games.  The 21 game streak is the longest this season for the Bats and is currently the fourth longest streak in the IL this year.  If Sutton reaches base in his next game, he will tie for the League's longest with 22.  On Tuesday night, Sutton saw a season long nine-game hitting streak come to an end with an 0-3 performance.  The nine-game streak was also the longest this season for the Bats. During Sutton's nine-game streak he hit .469 (15-32) with three doubles, two home runs and ten RBI. On 5/9, his batting average with LOU reached a season-low .193. Since that point, he has hit successfully in 16 of 19 games and raised his average to .279.  He is batting .404 (23-57) during the 19-game stretch.

HEARTBREAK CITY: On Tuesday night, the Louisville Bats once again saw a late lead slip away and ultimately fell by a run in the ninth, 4-3 at Columbus.  The loss dropped the Bats to 3-12 on the season in one-run games and marked the fifth time Louisville has lost in the opponent's last at-bat.  Earlier this season, Louisville had a streak of six straight one-run losses (4/25-5/1) which was the start of a season long nine-game losing streak.  In 2009, the Bats finished the season 19-18 in one-run games on their way to an 84-58 record and their second straight IL West Championship.

16 IN 7.0, A FRANCHISE-BEST: On Monday, the Bats played a double dip, dropping the first game, 1-0, and then winning the second game, 16-2. The 16 runs in a single game is a new franchise record for a 7.0 inning contest as part of a doubleheader. The previous record was set on July 8, 1994 vs. Iowa when the Redbirds downed the Cubs 14-7 in Game 1. The 16 combined runs in a doubleheader falls one run short of a franchise record. On May 23, 1994 the Redbirds won the first game 11-9 and then lost the second game 10-6 at Omaha, scoring a combined 17 runs.

A GOOD MONTH OF MAY (17-13): With a record of 17-13, the month of May was very good to the Louisville Bats. Since their nine-game losing streak (4/23-5/1) they have compiled a record of 17-12 and in their last 27 games they are 16-11.  In April, the Bats went 7-15 and so far have started the month of June 0-2.

NORFOLK TIDES www.NorfolkTides.com

STRONG STARTS: Today's starter Brandon Erbe will look to continue an impressive run by Tides starting pitchers, as Norfolk's starters have posted a 1.57 ERA (11-ER, 63.0-IP) with 46 hits allowed and 46 strikeouts over their last nine starts. Tides starters have turned in a Quality Start in seven of those nine outings, and Norfolk has gone

5-4 over that stretch.

DOUBLE THREAT: Tides infielder Josh Bell has six multi-hit games over his last 12 contests. The 23-year-old has hit .356 (16-for-45) with eight doubles, eight runs scored and two RBI over that span, which has seen him raise his average from .237 to .264. Bell, who was rated as the #2 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America prior to the season, has a team-high 16 doubles, a total that is tied for the 4th-most in the International League.

WHAT A RELIEF: With a scoreless inning in Tuesday night's win, Dennis Sarfate registered his fourth save of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.15. Sarfate has held opposing batters to a .113 average thus far (6-for-53) while walking nine and striking out 19 in 15.2 innings. The 29-year-old has not allowed an earned run in 10 of his 12 outings this season.

SERIES BUSINESS: With a win today, Norfolk would wrap up a win of their four-game series with Rochester, which would be just the second road series win this season. Of the six road series the Tides have played prior to the current set, Norfolk has won one (April 23-26 at Charlotte) and lost five, including each of its last four. A win today would also be Norfolk's first victory in a road series finale, as the Tides have lost the final game of each of their previous six road series.


K-CARD: The Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday added OF Ryan Kalish to their roster as the 22-year-old was transferred from Portland (Double-A). Kalish (pronounced K-lish) was hitting .293 in 41 games for the Sea Dogs and was leading Portland in runs scored (35), HR (8), and SB (13). He was also 4th in the Eastern League in both BB (28) and on-base pct. (.404) as well as 5th in the league in SB. The left-handed hitter had been hot lately going 9-for-13 with 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 7 runs scored in three games over the past holiday weekend at home vs. New Britain. Included in that was a 5-for-5 performance last Saturday afternoon. He finished the month of May batting .345 in 23 games. Kalish, who is the youngest player on the current PawSox roster, is rated as the #5 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America. He combined to hit .279 with 18 HR & 77 RBI along with 21 SB between Salem (Class-A) and Portland last season to earn Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year honors. The New Jersey native was Boston's 9th round pick in the 2006 draft.

TIME FLIES: The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Charlotte Knights met again on Tuesday night on the 10th Anniversary of former Pawtucket RHP Tomo Ohka's perfect game at McCoy Stadium. On that date ten years ago (June 1, 2000), Ohka threw, at the time, just the third, 9-inning perfect game in the history of the International League when he needed only 77 pitches (59 for strikes) to set down all 27 Charlotte batters in a 2-0 PawSox victory over the Knights. Ohka had 8 SO in his masterpiece that took just 2 hours & 2 minutes to complete and ended when Charlotte's Jeff Liefer grounded out to PawSox 2B David Eckstein. Not surprisingly, there are no current members of the PawSox or the Knights who were on those respective rosters ten years ago.

MAKING HAY IN MAY: The PawSox - fresh off a 15-14 month of May - have begun what will be a busy June. Pawtucket went 15-13 last June which represented their last winning month until Monday's victory in the decisive May game pushed the Sox to 15-14 last month. This June the Sox will play 29 games in 30 days (their only scheduled off-day this month is June 16) as they are actually in the midst of a stretch of 45 games in 46 days from May 27 - July 11 (leading up to the All-Star break). Some May standouts for the Sox were: OF Bubba Bell (.313 in 25 games), 3B Jorge Jimenez (.307 in 25 games), and starters LHP Kris Johnson (2-2, 2.88 in 6 GS), and

RHP Adam Mills (1-1, 2.79 in 5 GS).

ROCHESTER RED WINGS www.RedWingsBaseball.com

YOU THE MAN!: Reliever Tim Lahey has been outstanding his last six appearances, going 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA.  In 11.1 innings of work, Lahey has allowed just one run on four hits while walking eight and striking out seven.  Rochester has a 6-11 record in their last 17 games and Lahey has four of those wins.  In these six appearances Lahey has lowered his ERA from 8.28 to 5.94.

STILL A "SERIES" PROBLEM: Through the first 14 series this season Rochester is without a series win (0-5-9 record).  Rochester has split nine of the 14 series they've played and been swept twice (two-game series in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre April 12 & 13 and four-game series vs. Syracuse May 18-21).  Rochester hasn't won in their last 18 series with their last series win coming August 28-30, 2009 when they took two of three from Buffalo at Frontier Field.

JUNE IS OUR MONTH: The Red Wings have had a winning month of June six of the seven years they've been a Minnesota Twins affiliate.  During the Twins affiliation Rochester holds a 110-97 record in the month of June.  Since 1980, when month-to-month records started being kept, Rochester has had only five 20-win months but two of those have happened in June (1991 20-11 record and 1986 20-11 record).


HOME SWEET HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has not lost back-to-back games at home since May 10th and 12th (G1), the first two games of a series vs. Columbus. Despite losing three of four to Buffalo on the opening home stand of the season in early April, the Yankees have not lost a home stand in 2010. SWB went 4-4 vs. BUF and SYR (4/8-4/16), went 6-1 vs. LHV and LOU (4/23-4/30), went 6-2 vs. COL and CHA (5/10-5/17) and 2-1 vs. SYR (5/27-5/28). At 19-9 the Yankees are tied with Buffalo for the second most home wins in the IL in 2010.


WINNING CLOSE LOSING BIG: Despite being outscored by a 231 to 212 count this season, the Yankees continue to find ways to win games and at 31-22 sit just one half game out of first place. The Yanks are an amazing 16-4 in one run games, far and away the best in the League. In games decided by three or fewer runs, SWB is 24-10. In games settled by four or more runs the Yanks are 7-12. In those 12 losses the Yankees have been outscored by 66 runs. 

CLOSING IN ON FRANCHISE HISTORY: Jonathan Albaladejo is tied for first in the IL with 17 saves and leads the IL with 23 games finished. The Yankees right-hander has now converted on 21 consecutive save chances and 25 of 26 dating back to 2009. Albaladejo has moved up the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise list for saves as well. He now has 28 in his career and trails only Jay Baller (39) and Chuck Ricci (31) for saves in a career. The right-hander is also within eight of tying the single season mark of 25 set by Ricci during the 1995 season.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS www.SyracuseChiefs.com

BOOM BOOM: Chiefs newcomer Boomer Whiting posted four RBI in this third Triple-A game including a three-run game-winning triple to left field. Whiting has five RBI in his first three games with Syracuse. In his 20 games at Advanced-A Potomac to open the season, Whiting notched just two RBI. He now has 91 RBI in his three-plus pro seasons.

INTO THE STRATOSPHERE: Entering his final Minor League start--as announced by the Nationals--Stephen Strasburg holds the third-best batting average against in Minor League Baseball at .157. Scott Schneider of Single-A Quad Cities has allowed a batting average against of .143. Austin Bibens-Dirkx of the Double-A Tennessee Smokies has an average against of .146.

PUT ME IN COACH: Boomer Whiting and Leonard Davis played left and right field respectively for the Chiefs. It was their first appearance at each spot. Eight different players have now opened a game in the corner outfield spots.

TOLEDO MUD HENS www.MudHens.com

A PERFECT PROMOTION: Armando Galarraga, recalled by Detroit from Toledo less than three weeks ago, came as close to throwing a perfect game as can possibly be done without getting credit for the achievement. Galarraga retired the first 26 Indians he faced on Wednesday night, and the 27th was called safe at first base after hustling on a ground ball; replays clearly showed that the batter was out. Galarraga got the next man and was credited with a one-hitter.

SIZZLING SIZEMORE: Scott Sizemore hit first IL homer of the year in style - a walk-off shot that gave the Mud Hens a win in their series opener with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Sizemore is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak, a span that has seen him raise his average to .362. Perhaps most impressive is that during the streak, Sizemore has had seven multi-hit games.

HOME SWEET HOME: Before their road trip to upstate New York, the Mud Hens won six in a row to close out their homestand with Indianapolis and Durham. After going 4-4 in Syracuse and Buffalo, the Hens returned to Toledo and won their first two games with Lehigh Valley, marking eight straight home victories, a Fifth Third Field record. The previous record of seven occurred during the park's inaugural season in 2002.

HAPPY DAYS: The Hens were rained out on Monday but won both games of their doubleheader the following day. Toledo is now 9-0 on Tuesdays.

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International League Stories from June 3, 2010

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