The 66ers got off to a quick start, scoring 13 runs in the first 3 innings en route to a 15-1 blasting of host Lancaster on Friday night. C.J. Cron hit a grand slam (his 19th) and a two-run double, giving him a minor league-leading 101 RBIs this season. he leads the rest of pro baseball by seven.
Drew Heid (4th), Taylor Lindsey (6th) and Randal Grichuk (12th) also homered for the Sixers. Max Russell won for the first time in more than a month, giving up one run in five innings. The Sixers scored at least 10 runs for the 4th time in 5 games. Every Sixer had a hit and scored a run and only Kaleb Cowart failed to drive one in.
Infielder Jean Segura and pitchers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena, all of whom played for the 66ers in 2011, were dealt on Friday to the Milwaukee Brewers for current all-star and 2009 Cy Young pitcher Zack Greinke. Greinke is 9-4 with a 3.44 ERA this season.
Each of the trio had outstanding 2011 seasons for the Sixers.
C.J. Cron’s dramatic grand slam with one out in the bottom of the 11th capped a rally from a 6-3 deficit at the 66ers downed the Quakes 10-6 before 6,376 on Loma Linda Night at San Manuel Stadium.
Andre Ethier completed his 2-game rehab assignment with the Quakes on Thursday, going 0 for 2 with a walk, a double play and an RBI groundout.
He was fine, said he felt good and was ready to return to the Dodgers from the strained oblique muscle.
But the Quakes may have suffered another injury. Starting catcher Chris O’Brien pulled his hamstring while running the bases in the third inning. Backup catcher Steve Domecus came in and doubled and scored later in the game in the Quakes’ 5-4 loss to the 66ers before 4,828 at the Epicenter.
The Quakes were coming off a three-game sweep at San Jose. The Sixers were coming off getting swept in a three-game series at home by Visalia by a combined score of 28-4.
Tuesday’s off-day apparently came at a good time for the Sixers and a bad time for the Quakes.
The Sixers got good pitching and power hitting and routed Andre Ethier and the Quakes 7-0 before 2,684 at the Epicenter on Wednesday.
The excitement of Matt Kemp at San Manuel Stadium didn’t carry over to Saturday’s series-opener against Visalia.
With no promotion for the fans in attendance, only 2,035 showed up for Saturday’s game and the 66ers were routed, 9-2 in a game in which they trailed 9-0 after the seventh inning.
Left fielder Ryan Jones crashed hard into the wall trying to make a sliding catch of a foul ball in the third inning. The wall is padded, but Jones slid low and his knee hit the concrete wall underneath the padding.
“It was a great attempt,” Haselman said.
Jones limped off the field and came out of the game. It appeared to be just a bruise of the knee, the same injury that has catcher Jett Bandy on the disabled list. But Haselman didn’t think the injury would force Jones to the disabled list.
“It doesn’t look as bad as Jett’s,” he said.
Nick Maronde, the Angels’ No. 10 prospect according to Baseball America, was activated by the 66ers off the disabled list after Friday night’s game.
Maronde, 0-1 with a 2.83 ERA in six starts with the Sixers this season, had been sidelined since May 4 with left lat strain.
He had pitched three times in a rehab appearance in the rookie-level Arizona League. He was 0-1 with a 1.13 ERA in eight innings. He will rejoin the Sixers rotation, but it is not known exactly when.
To make room for Maronde, the Sixers released reliever Kevin Nabors. Nabors was just activated from the disabled list on Thursday. In addition, reliever Baudlio Lopez, on the DL with a left quad strain, is going to rookie-level Orem.
With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh inning and the go-ahead run on third with one out, the 66ers chose to intentionally walk Matt Kemp. The move worked out: C.J. Retherford grounded into a double play and the Sixers went on to score 2 in the bottom of the seventh of a 4-2 victory over the Quakes before 4,661 at San Manuel Stadium.
It was a rare sight: an intentional walk to a rehabbing major leaguer. It surprised Kemp and Quakes manager Juan Bustabad. Sixers manager Bill Haselman was surprised they were surprised.
- Intentional walks are rare in the California League, and Bustabad said he would want his pitcher to pitch to the big leaguer. “I would never do it,” he said.
- “Have you ever seen that?” Kemp wondered. “Intentionally walk a rehab guy?”
- Here is Haselman’s defense, if he needs one. They hadn’t pitched around Kemp at all during his time in the Cal League. It was his first walk in the 3-game series against the Sixers. The first two pitches weren’t intentional. But Kemp didn’t chase those and down 2-0 and in that situation, Haselman wasn’t going to let Kemp beat him. “I would expect them to do the same thing,” Haselman said.
By the way, Kemp was 1 for 3 with the walk and two strikeouts and is expected to join Triple-A Albuquerque today.
Class act? Matt Kemp is doing at least 1 thing to prove he’s a class act in his time in the minor leagues.
The Dodgers all-star outfielder, in his third game of a rehabilitation assignment with the Quakes, went 1 for 4 with a single and an RBI groundout as the 66ers downed the Quakes 5-2 at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino on Thursday night.
But Kemp is doing his best to endear himself to the Sixers. Big leaguers, when they rehab in the minors, are expected to buy the postgame spread.
But Kemp not only bought Outback Steakhouse buffet for the clubhouse for his own team, but for the Sixers as well.
I can’t remember anyone doing it in this league, buying for both teams. (Manny Ramirez wouldn’t even do it for his own team). Sixers broadcaster Sam Farber hadn’t seen it anywhere he broadcasted. Quakes broadcaster Mike Lindskog only recalls it in the Texas League with Cardinals pitchers Adam Waindright and Chris Carpenter.
“These guys have to eat too,” Kemp said. “I remember when I was coming up it was a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Top Ramen.”
There are few times during the course of a season when the Quakes could use more seats. Tuesday was one of those times.
Quakes president Brent Miles said he thought they could’ve sold “about 2,000” more tickets. Instead, they had to settle for a sell-out crowd of 6,516 to watch the Quakes defeat High Desert 4-2.
The reason for the extra demand was two words: Matt Kemp. Kemp, the Dodgers’ all-star outfielder and MVP candidate, began a rehab stint with the Quakes as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.