Southern League Notebook For Week Of June 12

Includes Final Standings For First Half

Monday, June 19, 2006 - by Tim Evearitt
Dewayne Wise had the Performance of the Week for Chattanooga.

<i>Click to enlarge photo.</i>
Dewayne Wise had the Performance of the Week for Chattanooga. Click to enlarge photo.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Final Standings First-Half North Division

Chattanooga 44 26 .629 ---
West Tenn -- 43 27 .614 1.0
Carolina ---- 32 38 .457 12.0
Tennessee - 32 38 .457 12.0
Huntsville -- 24 45 .348 19.5

Chattanooga Lookouts (Cincinnati Reds)


The Lookouts concluded a 4-1 week with a victory on Sunday that clinched the Northern Division title. A loss would have left Chattanooga and West Tenn tied with 43-27 records and necessitated a playoff game on July 4.


RHP Travis Chick runs hot and cold. He's 4-3 and has given up three earned runs or fewer in nine of 13 starts. In four others, however, he has been clubbed around for five or more earned runs. In a loss at Tennessee on Saturday, he surrendered six earned runs. And in his previous start, a win, he yielded eight.


1B Joey Votto finished play on Saturday with a seven-game hitting streak, one that included 14 hits in 32 at-bats, nine RBIs, six runs scored, five doubles and a pair of homers. In an 8-0 win at Tennessee on Friday, he drove in four runs, three with a homer.


LF Dewayne Wise, a former Smokie, slammed three of his team's five doubles in a 5-1 victory on Wednesday. In his first four games at Smokies Park this week, the well-traveled veteran went 10-for-17 with five runs scored, four doubles, two homers and a pair of RBIs. Wise has joined the Louisville Bats.

West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (Chicago Cubs)


West Tenn had a 4-1 week in Huntsville to finish the first half at 43-27. The Diamond Jaxx were 5-1 if one includes Wednesday's 4-1 win in a game that was postponed on June 1. West Tenn's bid for a one-game playoff to decide the North Division first-half title went by the boards when Chattanooga defeated Tennessee on Sunday.


CF Miguel Negron is no friend of the Stars. In 10 games against them this year, he's 11-for-32 with five doubles, a home run and 12 RBIs. His sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning on Tuesday produced the only run in a 1-0 victory at Huntsville.


Sean Gallagher made his Double-A debut a successful one. On Tuesday, he was promoted from Class A Advanced Daytona and, three days later, pitched five innings of five-hit ball and gave up two earned runs to get the victory in a 7-3 win over Huntsville. The 20-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was 4-0 and ranked fourth in the Florida State League with a 2.30 ERA. He was third with 80 strikeouts and tied for second with 78 1/3 innings pitched.


LHP Chris Shaver on Wednesday pitched a complete-game five-hitter to improve his Double-A mark to 4-4 with a 2.57 ERA. On Saturday, Scott Moore slammed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give West Tenn a 6-4 win -- its first victory in 22 tries when trailing after eight innings.

Carolina Mudcats (Florida Marlins)


For the first time since becoming an affiliate of the Florida Marlins in 2003, Carolina has failed to finish a half with a winning record. A 2-3 week left the Mudcats at 32-28, 11 1/2 games back in the North Division.


Anibal Sanchez, who went 6-1 in the Class A Advanced Carolina League a year ago, is having a tough time winning, despite pitching pretty well for the Mudcats. Now 2-6, he hasn't won in nine starts after taking two of his first five. In a no-decision on Tuesday at Birmingham, he pitched six shutout innings. He has struck out 86 in 76 2/3 innings with a 3.52 ERA.


LHP Matt Yourkin earned a tough save Thursday, when Carolina ended an eight-game losing streak against Birmingham with a 5-3 win. The Barons had the bases loaded with one out, but Yourkin benefited from a diving catch in center for out No. 2, then got a strikeout to end the game. In seven games this month, he has earned two saves and given up one earned run over eight innings in seven appearances.


Light-hitting CF J.C. Muniz singled in the go-head run during a rally in which the Mudcats scored three times in the ninth inning to beat the Barons, 5-3, on Friday. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles in a tough 3-2 loss on Saturday.

Tennessee Smokies (Arizona Diamondbacks)


The Smokies didn't play their first game of the week until Wednesday, it was a dismal week until Saturday. Tennessee dropped its first three games to Chattanooga before knocking off the Lookouts on Saturday to prevent a division-clinching win. The Smokies, 4-10 against Chattanooga, squandered a chance to force the Lookouts into a one-game playoff against West Tenn when it lost on Sunday, 8-7.


2B Danny Richar was one Smokie who continued to hit. He went 10-for-23 over his last six games to finish the first half atop the SL with a .338 average.


While the Smokies lost a valuable asset when Micah Owings was promoted to Triple-A Tucson on Wednesday, they may have replaced him with a real jewel in 22-year-old LHP Greg Smith. A top prospect, Smith was 9-0 with a tidy 1.63 ERA with Class A Advanced Lancaster in the High-A Lancaster in the high A California League. But he was greeted rudely by the Smokies in his Double-A debut on Friday and was a loser after giving up three runs on seven hits over five innings. Drafted out of LSU in 2005, Smith led the Pioneer league with eight wins and was named Pitcher of the Year after leading the circuit in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts.


IF Agustin Murillo had just 16 RBIs in 56 games when he exploded for a career-high five in Saturday's 6-3 triumph over Chattanooga. The big blow was a three-run homer in the third inning.

Huntsville Stars (Milwaukee Brewers)


There was a brief pause to cheer on Wednesday, when the Stars ended a 13-game home losing streak and a nine-game slide overall with a 12-0 victory over West Tenn in which they exploded for a season-high 17 hits. But that was about it for the laughs because Huntsville failed to score the next day, dropping the completion of a suspended game and the regularly scheduled contest. In all, the Stars suffered through a 1-4 week and finished the first half with a 24-45 record that included losses in 17 of their last 18 home games and 24 of 29 overall.


RF Jeff Nelson became the first Huntsville player to collect three extra-base-hits in a game this season when he hit a pair of doubles, homered and drove in three runs on Wednesday. However, the Stars have been barely lukewarm. They were shut out at home twice this week to bring to eight home blankings.


Tom Dillard, Matt Smith and Gerrit Simpson combined to pitch a two-hit shutout against West Tenn to end that franchise-record 13-game home losing streak.
Adapted from the Minor League Baseball website.

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