It was a momentous occasion last night at Dodger Stadium.
Most of the crowd was pumped up for Manny Ramirez’s triumphant return to Dodger Stadium, to give the first-place Dodgers another second-half surge toward the playoffs. But for me, it was my first chance to see the Astros live this season.
It was my first chance to see our much-beloved Wandy Rodriguez pitch in person. It was my first chance to see Randy Wolf pitch against the Astros since leaving. And, of course, it was my first chance to see Humberto Quintero hit a home run this season.
That last one isn’t unique to me, as Q saw a first-pitch fastball middle away from Wolf and punched it over the wall in the fifth inning for his first home run of the season.
Rodriguez failed to disappoint, as well, pitching six scoreless innings to extend his consecutive-innings streak without a run scored to 17 as the Astros took the Dodgers in the first of four games, 3-0. He recorded six strikeouts, two of them against the aforementioned Dodgers slugger.
Even our good friend, Mark Loretta, made an appearance in the game to complete the feel of the reunion.
Sadly, no camera last night, but I will have it on hand for tonight’s game.
Wha’ Happened Was…
Round Rock Express (AAA) – The Oklahoma City Redhawks (TEX) put up two runs in the top of the fourteenth inning to go ahead, 7-5, in their matchup with the Express. Jeremy Johnson earned the hard-luck loss after four innings of relief, first with a home run to Kevin Richardson, and then when should-have-been-an-Astro Justin Smoak doubled in former-Astros-farmhand Yordany Ramirez. Offensively, DH/OF John Gall went 3-for-6 with a double and a walk to pace the Express.
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) – Down 2-0 entering the bottom of the eighth, things looked bleak for the Hooks. But two runs in the bottom of the frame, followed by a run in the ninth, secured the win over the Frisco Roughriders (TEX). OF Mitch Einertson scored OF Collin DeLome in walk-off fashion, capping his 2-for-4 night, but the story of the night was OF Andrew Locke, who was 1-for-2 with 2 walks and an RBI. The 26-year-old is now .313/.364/.470 in the Texas League this season.
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) – Lancaster put 3 runs on the board before the High Desert Mavericks (SEA) had even had a chance to hit, and it served them well as they completed a 9-4 thumping. One of my favorite farmhands, Leandro Cespedes, struck out five in as many innings to earn his fifth win of the season. DH/C Koby Clemens continued to refuse to let the Houston organization ignore him, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, 3 RBI, and a walk. He’s now .312/.390/.553 in California League action this season. OF Jonathan Gaston was a double away from the cycle: 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, a triple, and a home run.
Lexington Legends (A) – Robert Bono ran out of gas in the sixth inning, giving up four runs to earn the loss against the Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL), 5-2. OF Jay Austin did his best to keep Lexington in the game, going 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored from the leadoff spot, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Tri-City ValleyCats (A-) – My first WHW featuring your New York-Penn League affiliates, the Tri-City ValleyCats, and they didn’t disappoint. They continued their hot start to the season, winning the their third of three games, 6-5 against the State College Spikers (PIT). It took six pitchers and ten innings before Brenden Stines recorded his first win of the season, striking out two in his single inning of work. 3B Erik Castro was 2-for-4 with a home run, 2 RBI, and a run scored.
Greeneville Astros (R) – The Astros put up a run in the top of the ninth to lead the Johnson City Cardinals (STL) 7-6, but the elation was short-lived as Nathan Pettus gave up two runs in the bottom of the frame, giving the Cardinals a walk-off win. Cardinals starter Justin Smith made short work of the Astros’ hitters, striking out seven in 4.1 innings of work, but also gave up two runs on just a single hit and two walks. SS Oscar Figueroa went 2-for-3 with a 2-run home run, a walk, and 3 runs scored.