Archive for August, 2012

BlueClaws, Phillies Extend Player Development Contract

Friday, August 24th, 2012

This was the video that played when we announced the extension of the Player Development contract between the BlueClaws and Phillies at last week’s game.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro and BlueClaws GM Geoff Brown signed the papers after the video played.
“The Phillies couldn’t be happier to extend their relationship with both the BlueClaws and the city of Lakewood,” said Benny Looper, Phillies Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel. “It’s been a wonderful 12 years and we look forward to many more.”

The BlueClaws have been Phillies affiliates since their 2001 inception.

46 former BlueClaws have gone on to reach the Major Leagues, with 28 of of those having debuted with the Phillies. Ryan Howard was the first to debut (on September 1, 2004) with Gavin Floyd, his 2002 BlueClaws teammate, debuting two days later.

Among the other players that have gone “From the Shore to the Show” include Carlos Ruiz (2001), Michael Bourn (2004), Vance Worley (2008), Michael Stutes (2008), Jake Diekman (2008-10) and BJ Rosenberg (2009).

“The BlueClaws are excited to renew our player development contract with the Phillies,” said BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown. “It’s been a magnificent relationship over the last 12 years and we’ve been graced with some great players who have come through Lakewood.”

The BlueClaws have won three championships in their 12-year history, in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Two years ago, they became the first team since 1993-94 (Savannah) to win back-to-back South Atlantic League titles.

Greetings From Greensboro

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Welcome to NewBridge Bank Park on a Chamber of Commerce evening in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tonight the BlueClaws open a four-game series and finish up their seven-game road trip on which they started 0-3 after being swept in Augusta, the four

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th time they have been swept in a series this year.

Click here for today’s game notes.

State of the Claws…After being swept in Augusta, the fourth time they’ve been swept in a series this year, the BlueClaws are three games out of first place behind division-leading Hagerstown and in a tie for fourth place with Greensboro…Lakewood was last tied for first place entering August 3rd’s game at West Virginia…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games.

Needing a Win…The BlueClaws have lost three straight games…They have five losing streaks of at least four games this year, all of which were in the first half…A loss bythe BlueClaws tonight and a win by Hagerstown at Delmarva would put Lakewood four games out of first place, equaling their largest deficit of the half.

RISP Issues…The BlueClaws are 1-28 with runners in scoring position on the current road trip…That includes going 0-13 with 11 left on base on Monday night in Augusta.

.500…The BlueClaws are 26-26, at .500…They have not been under .500 in the second half since they were 3-4 after their game on June 27th against West Virginia.

August Hitting…Alejandro Villalobos is 14-44 in August (.318) with five multi-hit games…Villalobos missed two weeks with a groin strain and returned to the BlueClaws lineup on July 25th in Hagerstown…Villalobos hit .285 with the GCL Phillies last year and turns 21 on August 20th.

Lineup…Villalobos 4, Stassi 7, Dugan DH, Franco 5, Pointer 9, Ford 3, Lino 2, Malcolm 6, Gonzalez 8, Kleven RHP

2013 Schedule Released

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Always a cool day, though usually it occurs later in

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the year. This year, the league moved the date up that teams can unveil their next-year schedules, so we were able to announce the schedule early, as in today.

Click here to download a pdf version of the schedule.

The BlueClaws will open the season at home, on April 4th against Kannapolis and finish the season at home, on September 2nd against Greensboro.

There are 11 Friday night games, which will all have post-game fireworks, thanks to Toyota/Scion World of Lakewood, plus 10 66MVP Thirsty Thursdays, with dollar beer and soda, one of which is Opening Day. The 2013 schedule also includes 20 ShopRite Kids Eat Free games, 11 Sundays and 9 Mondays.

With the BlueClaws hosting the All-Star Game, June is a light month, with just nine regular season home games. On the flip side, there are 19 home games in May and 17 in July.

BlueClaws Look to Avoid Sweep Tonight in Augusta

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Important game tonight for the BlueClaws, who have fallen to 2.5 games back of Hagerstown in the SAL Northern Division with 19 games to play. After dropping the first two games of the series, the BlueClaws send RHP Gabriel Arias to the mound toni

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ght.

Click here for today’s game notes.

On Arias… RHP Gabriel Arias (4-6, 3.76) makes his 34th appearance and 5th start for Lakewood…In his last three starts, Arias has allowed just one earned run (three total) over 15.2 innings pitched…He threw a season-long six innings on Thursday against Kannapolis, allowing one run…Since June 1st, he has walked just 10 and struck out 52 in 49.1 innings pitched…He went 1-2, 2.97 with Williamsport in 2011.

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws continue a three-game series in Augusta and a seven-game road trip that will also take them to Greensboro for four games…The BlueClaws are in fourth place, 2.5 games out of first place behind Hagerstown, 2 back of West Virginia, 1 back of Hickory, and tied with Greensboro for fourth place…Lakewood was last tied for first place entering August 3rd’s game at West Virginia…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games.

Needing a Win…The BlueClaws have lost two straight games to start the current series with Augusta and need a win to avoid being swept in a series for the 4th time this year (last was 5/31 – 6/3 at Kannapolis) and first in the second half…A loss would also mark their 9th losing streak of at least three games, fourth in the second half.

Going Up…Kelly Dugan entered July hitting .246 but since July 1st, he is 54-155 (.348) raising his average to .291…He peaked at .294 through games on July 22nd…The last BlueClaw to hit .300 with a minimum of 300 at bats was Quintin Berry in 2007 (.312)…The last to hit .290 with a minimum of 300 at bats was Jonathan Singleton, who hit .290 in 2010.

On Point…Brian Pointer had a two-run triple on Tuesday night and is hitting .284 since rejoining the BlueClaws from Williamsport on July 25th, with 12 RBIs…Pointer hit .222 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs with the BlueClaws in the first half and then went to Williamsport, where he hit .245 with three home runs…Pointer was a 28th round pick in 2010 from Reno.

Cooper: Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

BlueClaws RHP Zach Cooper becomes the first from the 2012 draft class to win a Phillie

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s player of the week award as he’s named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week for last week. The full review from Larry Shenk (read his blog here).

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: RHR Zach Cooper, Lakewood. Relieved 3 times and posted 3 saves, 4 scoreless innings, 3 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts. Selected by the Phillies in the 15th round this summer out of Central Michigan University and signed by David Seifert. Began pro career at Williamsport, 1-0, 1.69 ERA, 2 saves in 6 games. Promoted to Lakewood on July 13. At Lakewood, 0-1, 0.69 ERA, 5 saves 10 games; hasn’t allowed a run since July 23 (9 innings). One of 5 2012 draftees on the BlueClaws’ roster.

**Player: 1B Darin Ruf, Reading. Hit .385 in 6 games, with organization-high 10 hits, including 3 homers, 2 doubles. Scored 6 times and drove in 5. Has 7 homers, 9 RBI this month. Also had 7 homers in May with 27 RBI. Batting .395 in last 10 games. Leads league in homers (25), total bases and slugging percentage and among the top 5 in average, runs, hits and doubles. In 3 previous seasons, he totaled 29 home runs in 319 games while hitting .300. Won player of the week honors for April 16-22 this season. Selected in the 20th round in 2009 out of Creighton University and signed by David Seifert.

Team by team reports:

Lehigh Valley IronPigs, International League North Division

2-4, 3rd place, 3.5 games out; ended the week scoreless over 20 innings, being shut out Saturday and Sunday . . . OF Steve Susdorf, .412; led club with 7 hits and 3 doubles; hitting .371 in last 10 games . . . 2B Cesar Hernandez has hit in 13 of his last 15 AA-AAA games . . . C Sebastian Valle has 3 hits since joining AAA, 2 being homers, 1 in each of Pettibone’s last 2 starts . . . RHS Tyler Cloyd had no decision on Wednesday, 4 runs in 6.2 innings, the most runs he’s allowed since May 20 when he gave up a season-high 5 . . . RHS Jonathan Pettibone (2-0) won on Friday, 7 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts; recorded 15 ground ball outs; 11-7 this season (AA-AAA) . . . RHR J. C. Ramirez (3-1) was winner in Wednesday’s 12-inning win, 3 strikeouts in 2 scoreless innings . . . LHR Joe Savery hasn’t allowed a run in last 8 games, 9 total innings, 9 strikeouts . . . LHR Jake Diekman, 0 runs in 10 of last 11 AAA outings.

Reading Phillies, Eastern League Eastern Division

3-3, 3rd place, 6 games out . . . 3B Cody Asche, .333, with organization-high 6 doubles among his 9 hits; drove in 5; 6 doubles came in final 4 games; ended week on an 8-game hitting streak, raising his average from .229 to .249 . . . OF D’Arby Myers, leads the club with a .361 average in August . . . OF Tyson Gillies, 4-13, in 3 games since returning to Reading; has hit in 11 straight AA games in which he has appeared . . . RHS Ethan Martin (2-0) won on Tuesday, 2 runs, 1 earned, 6.1 innings . . . LHS Adam Morgan (1-0) won his AA debut the next night, 1 hit (lead-off single in the 2nd), 7 innings, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts . . . RHS Trevor May (9-10) ended a personal 2-game losing streak on Sunday, 2 runs, 6 innings, 8 strikeouts . . . RHR Justin Friend (18) and RHR Michael Cisco (2) posted saves.

Clearwater Threshers, Florida State League North Division

2-4, 5th place, 3.5 games out; won last 2, ending a 7-game losing streak . . . RF Anthony Hewitt, .368, 7 hits including 2 doubles, 13th home run; went into the season with 16 career homers in 329 minor league games over 4 seasons . . . 1B Jim Murphy, leads club with 107 hits, 36 doubles, 14 homers, 73 RBI; hitting .308 vs. LHP, 7 homers, 22 RBI . . . OF Peter Lavin, 4-13, over last 3 games . . . C Cameron Rupp, 5 games, 5 hits, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts . . . RHS Perci Garner (5-8) won on Saturday . . . LHS Jesse Biddle (8-5) was Sunday’s winner, 2 runs, 6 innings . . . RHR Kenny Giles posted his first Clearwater save in that game . . . Tim Kennelly, being converted to a pitcher, 2 games, 2 innings, 2 strikeouts; including Reading, 5 games, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts.

Lakewood BlueClaws, South Atlantic League North Division

4-1, 4th place, 1 game out; ended 3-game losing streak and began 3-game winning streak on Monday . . . RF Kelly Dugan, .381, 8 hits in 5 games; ended week on a 7-game hitting streak . . . 3B Maikel Franco, .353, 6 hits, 5 runs; has played every day since June 1; during second half, .315, 6 homers, 39 RBI; first half, .207, 6 homers, 27 RBI . . . 2B Alejandro Villalobos, 5 hits, including 3 doubles, in last 4 games . . . C Gabriel Lino, hit his first homer at Lakewood on Saturday; after a 10-70 start in 21 games following the trade, he’s 5-13 in last 4 games. At 19 years of age, he’s the youngest player on the club . . . 1B Brock Stassi had a pair of 3-hit games and won Monday’s game with a 3-run double . . . LHS Lino Martinez (6-5) was Monday’s winner . . . LHS Hoby Milner (4-2) won the next night, 0 runs, 6.1 innings stretching his scoreless streak to 18.2 innings . . . RH Gabriel Arias (4-6) picked up Wednesday’s win, 1 run, 6 innings, 7 strikeouts; in 4 starts, 3 earned runs in 18.1 innings . . . Saturday’s win went to RHR Luis Paulino (5-2).

Williamsport Crosscutters, New York-Penn League Pinckney Division

4-2, 6th place . . . SS Roman Quinn, .389, 7 hits, 4 games; hitting 341 in last 10 games . . . 1B-DH Cameron Perkins, .360, 9 hits, 4 RBI . . . CF Kyle Hoppy, .346, 9 hits, 3 RBI; ended week on an 8-game hitting streak . . . 1B Chris Serritella, 6 hits, including 3 doubles; leads league with 20 doubles; leads club with 33 RBI . . . C Chace Numata, .313, led club with 6 runs scored on 5 hits which included 2 homers; drove in 3 . . . Wins went to RHS Kevin Brady (1-1), 0 earned runs, 5.2 innings, 7 strikeouts; RHS Ulises Joaquin (1-1), 0 runs, 5 innings; RHR Jonathan Musser (1-4), 0 runs, 3 innings and RHR Greg Broussard (2-0), 0 runs 2 innings.

Gulf Coast League Phillies, North Division

1-5, losing last 4; 4th place . . . 3B Zach Green, .300, 2 doubles among 6 hits; leads club with 12 doubles; hitting .342 in last 10 . . . RF Dylan Cozens, club-high 3rd homer on Saturday; had walk-off single in 10th inning on Tuesday . . . Cozens, Zach Green and 1B William Carmona, now at Lakewood, share the club RBI high with 20 each . . . OF Jiandido Tomp, his first 4-hit game that day . . . RHR Keivy Rojas (3-1) won on Tuesday . . . RH Shane Watson, relieved twice, 2 innings, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts.

Milner Puts Streak On Line in Augusta

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

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After a tough 7-4 loss last night dropped them to two games out of first place, the BlueClaws take on Augusta tonight in game two of their three-game series here and of their seven-game road trip.

Click here for today’s game notes.

On the Mound…LHP Hoby Milner takes the mound for the BlueClaws tonight, riding a streak of 18.2 consecutive scoreless innings covering his last three starts…Josh Outman threw 24 consecutive scoreless innings in 2006 and 34 straight without allowing an earned run…BJ Rosneberg threw 26.1 straight scoreless innings in 2009, and 27.1 straight innings without allowing an earned run.

On Milner: LHP Hoby Milner (4-2, 2.68) makes his 9th start with the BlueClaws after allowing one run in 5.2 innings with Williamsport…Milner has not allowed an earned run in his last three starts, all wins, covering 18.2 innings pitched…In those 18.2 innings, Milner has allowed 10 hits, four walks, and struck out 16…His longest outing was seven innings on August 2nd at Delmarva…He has lowered his ERA from 5.25 down to 2.68…Milner was a 7th round pick this year from Texas…His father Brian spent five years in the Blue Jays organization.

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws continue a three-game series in Augusta and a seven-game road trip that will also take them to Greensboro for four games…The BlueClaws are in fourth place, two games out of first place behind West Virginia, with Hagerstown ½ game out and Hickory 1 game out…Lakewood was last tied for first place entering August 3rd’s game at West Virginia…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games.

Going Up…3B Maikel Franco hit .207 with six home runs 27 RBIs in the first half and is now hitting .319 with six home runs and 39 RBIs in the second half…He had three hits in the game on Wednesday night and has 17 multi-hit games in the second half after having just 14 in the entire first half…Franco is Lakewood’s youngest regular and will not turn 20 until August 26th.

Going Up (2)…Kelly Dugan entered July hitting .246 but since July 1st, he is 52-151 (.344) raising his average to .288…He peaked at .294 through games on July 22nd…The last BlueClaw to hit .300 with a minimum of 300 at bats was Quintin Berry in 2007 (.312)…The last to hit .290 with a minimum of 300 at bats was Jonathan Singleton, who hit .290 in 2010.

August Hitting…Alejandro Villalobos is 13-40 in August (.325) with five multi-hit games…Villalobos missed two weeks with a groin strain and returned to the BlueClaws lineup on July 25th in Hagerstown…Villalobos hit .285 with the GCL Phillies last year and turns 21 on August 20th.

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Cloyd Wins 15th

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

2009 BlueClaws pitcher Tyler Cloyd won his 15th game of the year last night for Lehigh Valley – three with Reading and 12 with the IronPigs, the 12 setting a new Lehigh Valley franchise record.

The last two years, between Clearwater, Reading,

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and now Lehigh Valley, Cloyd is a combined 24-5 with a 2.4 ERA.

His teammate with the BlueClaws, OF Anthony Gose, became the 46th player to go From the Shore to the Show when he debuted a few weeks back. Who’s to say Cloyd won’t be #47? Whether he’s next or not, I think we’d all be shocked if he’s not on the list by the end of the season.

From Jeff Schuler of the Morning Call:

“Looking back at Cloyd’s wins for us, there’s been numerous times when he’s stopped losing streaks,” [IronPigs Manager Ryne] Sandberg said. “Not his best stuff tonight but quality enough to allow us to have a chance to win.”

“Sometimes when guys are having good years, things just happen, and we just seem to be playing better when he pitches,” Orr said.

The win was Cloyd’s 15th between Reading and Allentown this summer. Only Joe Savery (16 in 2009) and Ryan Madson (16 in 2002), Rich Hunter (19 in 1995) and Jay Davisson (16 in 1983) have had more among Phillies minor league pitchers in the last 32 years.

Do You Believe in…Jinxes?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

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I guess we’re going to put out a little “test of jinxes.” Let’s see how it goes: BlueClaws playoff tickets are now on sale. Hopefully: no jinx.

The BlueClaws have won four of their last five games but currently sit one game out of first place, alone in fourth, with 21 games remaining.

The BlueClaws, should they get in, are 15-4 in the playoffs and have won a league title in all three seasons that they’ve qualified: 2006, 2009, and 2010.

Below, find more information about playoff tickets going on sale.

LAKEWOOD, NJ – BlueClaws 2012 playoff four-packs are now on sale, the team announced Monday. The BlueClaws are currently just one game out of first place and looking for their fourth South Atlantic League title. They can qualify for the playoffs by winning the second-half title.

(more…)

BlueClaws Kick Off Key Road Trip Tonight

Monday, August 13th, 2012

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The BlueClaws are in Augusta, Georgia where tonight they open a seven-game road trip that will take them to Greensboro after three games here in Augusta. Lakewood is just one game out of first place, but they sit in fourth, one game ahead of resurgent Greensboro, who’s won six in a row.

Click here for today’s game notes.

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws open a three-game series in Augusta and a seven-game road trip that will also take them to Greensboro for four games…The BlueClaws are in fourth place but just one game out of first place (Hickory, West Virginia are tied with Hagerstown one-half game back)…Lakewood was last tied for first place entering August 3rd’s game at West Virginia…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games and their largest in the first was 22 games behind eventual champion Greensboro.

On the Road Again…The BlueClaws start a seven-game road trip (three in Augusta and four in Greensboro)…The BlueClaws are finishing a stretch where they will play 23 of 30 games away from FirstEnergy Park (11-12) after playing 17 of the previous 22 games in Lakewood (13-9)…The BlueClaws are 19-39 on the road this year, 11-14 in the second half after going 8-25 on the road in the first half…Lakewood’s team ERA is 5.17 on the road compared to 3.70 at home.

A Tale of Two Halves…3B Maikel Franco hit .207 with six home runs 27 RBIs in the first half and is now hitting..315 with six home runs and 39 RBIs in the second half…He had three hits in the game on Wednesday night and has 16 multi-hit games in the second half after having just 14 in the entire first half…Franco is Lakewood’s youngest regular and will not turn 20 until August 26th.

Flying The Coop…RHP Zach Cooper has allowed just one earned run in 15 innings since joining the BlueClaws on July 13th and has four saves, including one in each of his last three appearances…Cooper has allowed just three earned runs in 25.2 innings between Lakewood and Williamsport…He was a 15th round pick this year from Central Michigan.

Lino Launches One…Gabriel Lino hit his first home run as a BlueClaw on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Park…Lino, who joined the BlueClaws on July 1st after being acquired from the Orioles (with RHP Kyle Simon, now with Reading for Jim Thome), hit four home runs with Delmarva prior to the trade…Lino is the youngest BlueClaw and will not turn 20 until May 17th, 2013…Lino has hit safely in his last four games (5-13) after starting his BlueClaws tenure at 10-70.

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Claws Push Along – Go For Fourth Straight Tonight

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The BlueClaws go for their fourth straight win tonight as they take on Kannapolis at 7:05. So far in this series, Lakewood has won the first two games and allowed a whopping one run.

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/1/BlueClaws_Game_Notes_081012.pdf” target=”_blank”>Click here for today’s game notes.

On Kleven…RHP Colin Kleven (6-8, 4.68) makes his 23rd start for Lakewood on Friday against Kannapolis…Last time out, Kleven gave up six runs in 4.2 innings at West Virginia on Saturday…In his previous outing, he threw a career-long eight shutout innings on two hits with six strikeouts on July 30th at Delmarva…Kleven has a career-high of 11 strikeouts, from his outing on July 3rd vs Hagerstown in Lakewood…He spent last year with Williamsport, going 4-6, 4.84…Originally from Kamloops, BC.

Strong Pitching…The BlueClaws have allowed one run in the last two games…Their shutout on Monday was their 8th thrown this season, and fifth since July 12th…The BlueClaws have held their opponent to three runs or less 14 times since July 11th, a span of 28 games (the BlueClaws are 15-13 in those games).

With a Win…With a win, the BlueClaws would win four games in a row…It would be their fourth four-game winning streak of the season…Their season-long win streak is five – from July 11-15.

Close and Low-Scoring…Thursday’s 2-1 win for the BlueClaws was the shortest game of the season (2:00)…It was the 7th win for Lakewood in which they’ve scored three runs or less and the 10th in which they’ve had fewer hits than an opponent.

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws continue a four-game series against Kannapolis (2-0)…The BlueClaws are one game out of first place behind West Virginia, one-half game in back of Hickory, who was rained out last night, and Lakewood is tied for Hagerstown for third place…Lakewood was last tied for first place entering August 3rd’s game at West Virginia…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games and their largest in the first was 22 games behind eventual champion Greensboro.

Close It Down…The BlueClaws have seven saves on their active roster…Zach Cooper has three and Luis Paulino has two, while Yari Sosa and Gabriel Arias each have one…Arias is currently in the starting rotation…Matt Campbell, presently on the disabled list, has three saves…Cooper’s save on August 6th at West Virginia was Lakewood’s first non-Kenny Giles save since Cooper on July 13th vs Hickory and Cooper added another save on August 9th vs Kannapolis…Kenny Giles (5), Colton Murray (4), Mike Nesseth (3), Ryan Duke (3) have all been promoted to Clearwater.

Claws Within One Game, Thursday Night Notes

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

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With Lakewood’s win last night and a loss by West Virginia, the BlueClaws are now just one game out of first place, though they sit in fourth, behind a three-way tie between WV, Hagerstown, and Hickory. RHP Gabriel Arias takes the mound for the BlueClaws tonight in the second game of a series with Kannapolis.

Click here for today’s game notes.

On Arias…RHP Gabriel Arias (3-6, 3.95) makes his 33rd appearance and 4th start for Lakewood…Since moving to the rotation, he has allowed just two ER in 13.2 innings over three starts, and he gave up one unearned run in five innings last time out at WV on Thursday…He has 45 Ks and 8 BBs in his last 43.1 innings pitched…Arias, 22, turns 23 in December…Went 1-2, 2.97 with Williamsport last year.

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws continue a four-game series against Kannapolis (1-0)…The BlueClaws are now one game out of first place behind West Virginia, Hagerstown, and Hickory…Lakewood was last tied for first place entering Friday’s game at West Virginia…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games and their largest in the first was 22 games behind eventual champion Greensboro.

With a Win…With a win, the BlueClaws would win three games in a row for the first time since July 11-15, and the sixth time this year (third in second half).

A Tale of Two Halves…3B Maikel Franco hit .207 with six home runs 27 RBIs in the first half and is now hitting..318 with six home runs and 39 RBIs in the second half…He had three hits in the game on Wednesday night and has 16 multi-hit games in the second half after having just 14 in the entire first half…Franco is Lakewood’s youngest regular and will not turn 20 until August 26th.

On Point…Brian Pointer returned to the BlueClaws from Williamsport on July 25th and since then is 15-46 and has hit safely in his last six games (7-21)…He drove in three runs in Lakewood’s Wednesday win over Kannapolis…Pointer hit .222 with seven home runs with Lakewood in the first half and .245 with three home runs with Williamsport from June 18th through July 24th…Pointer was a 28th round pick in 2010 from Reno, Nevada.

Hook ‘Em…Hoby Milner, a 7th round pick this year from Texas, has thrown 18.2 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts (3-0)…He most recently threw 6.1 shutout innings on Wednesday against Kannapolis…In those three starts, Milner has lowered his ERA from 5.32 to 2.88…Milner’s father, Brian, played five years in the Blue Jays organization.

Home Run Tracker…The BlueClaws have hit 59 home runs this year, 26 at home and 33 on the road…23 of their home runs have come since July 1st and the 20 hit in July were the most in any month…Maikel Franco leads the team with 12 while Kelly Dugan has 11…Dugan tied Franco for the team lead on Sunday in West Virginia, but Franco broke the tie one hitter later (see below)…Brian Pointer has seven with Lakewood (all in the first half) and Aaron Altherr has seven but is currently on the disabled list.

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Two Back, Claws Return Home

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The BlueClaws are back home tonight after a stretch of 16 games out of 19 away from home. They return to Lakewood for a four-game series with Kannapolis just two games out of first place with 25 games left (for what it’s worth, all 25 games are

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against teams that currently have a losing record).

Click here for today’s game notes.

Hook ‘Em...LHP Hoby Milner (3-2, 3.41) makes his 8th start for Lakewood…He has not allowed a run in his last two starts, including throwing seven shutout innings at Delmarva on Thursday, a career-long outing…He was named SAL Pitcher of the Week (first BC so honored this year)…He threw 5.1 scoreless innings vs West Virginia on July 28th…Milner began the year with Williamsport and gave up one run in 5.1 innings pitched…He was a 7th round pick this year out of the University of Texas…His father Brian played in the big leagues with the Blue Jays.

State of the Claws…After 16 of their previous 19 games on the road, the BlueClaws return home for a four-game series with Kannapolis, who swept them in a four-game set in North Carolina from May 31 – June 3…The BlueClaws are two games out of first place behind West Virginia and also trail Hickory and Hagerstown by one game…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest second-half deficit has been four games and their largest in the first was 22 games behind eventual champion Greensboro.

Welcome Home…The BlueClaws went 8-11 on a stretch of 16 road games out of their previous 19 games and are back home, where they are 12-8 in the second half 30-26 overall this year…Lakewood’s team ERA at home is 3.82 compared to 5.17 on the road.

On Point…Brian Pointer returned to the BlueClaws from Williamsport on July 25th and since then is 14-45 and has hit safely in his last five games (6-19)…Pointer hit .222 with seven home runs with Lakewood in the first half and .245 with three home runs with Williamsport from June 18th through July 24th…Pointer was a 28th round pick in 2010 from Reno, Nevada.

Close It Down…The BlueClaws have six saves on their active roster…Zach Cooper and Luis Paulino each have two, while Yari Sosa and Gabriel Arias each have one…Arias is currently in the starting rotation…Matt Campbell, presently on the disabled list, has three saves…Cooper’s save on August 6th at West Virginia was Lakewood’s first non-Kenny Giles save since Cooper on July 13th vs Hickory…Kenny Giles (5), Colton Murray (4), Mike Nesseth (3), Ryan Duke (3) have all been promoted to Clearwater.

Welcome Back Bill…Bill Rice, a Sewell, NJ native who played at Washington Township High School, is back in town with Kannapolis…Rice, who signed with the Phillies as a non-drafted free agent last year, hit .293 with the BlueClaws last year…He spent time with the Camden RiverSharks before signing with the White Sox in May.

Hoby Milner Named SAL Pitcher of the Week

Monday, August 6th, 2012

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BlueClaws LHP Hoby Milner was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the week for the week of July 31-August 5. Milner threw seven shutout innings in his lone appearance of the week in a win at Delmarva on Thursday.

The seven innings was a career-long outing for Milner, and he struck out seven, gave up just three hits, and did not walk a batter.

Milner has won his last two starts, after throwing 5.2 scoreless innings on July 28th in a win over West Virginia. He is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA in his first seven starts with the BlueClaws.

A native of Fort Worth, Milner went to the University of Texas and was a 7th round pick of the Phillies this year. The left-hander said that one pitcher he especially likes watching is fellow lefty, former BlueClaw, and current Phillie Cole Hamels.

He is the first BlueClaw to win South Atlantic League Player or Pitcher of the Week this year and the first BlueClaw to be named winner of the award since Lisalberto Bonilla won Pitcher of the Week in July of 2011.

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Happy Sunday – Notes in WV

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Good afternoon from an overcast Appalachian Power Park in Charletston, West Virginia where today the BlueClaws try to snap a two-game losing streak. they dropped the series opener 2-0 on Friday and fell 9-1 last night, getting a run in the 9th

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inning to avoid being shutout in back-to-back games for the first time since 2008. First pitch today is at 2:05.

Click here to read today’s game notes.

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws continue their 8-game road trip (3-3)…Last night, Hagerstown lost to Lexington and Hickory beat Greenville…The BlueClaws are now in fourth place, two behind Hagerstown and West Virginia, and one game back of Hickory for third place…The BlueClaws have not yet held sole possession of first place in the second half, but have been tied for first in seven days…Their largest first-half deficit was 22 games behind eventual champion Greensboro.

Need a Win…The BlueClaws need a win today to avoid falling back to .500 in the second half…They have been as many as six games over .500 in the second half and have not been at .500 since June 28th when they were 4-4…They also need a win to avoid what would be their second three-game losing streak of the second half (July 22-24 at HIG and HAG2)…It would be their 8th three-game losing streak this year.

Of The Month…BlueClaws RF Kelly Dugan was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for July…He hit .374 in July with eight multi-hit games…Chris Duffy was Phillies Minor League Player of the Month in June as well as South Atlantic League Topps Player of the Month in June. Clearwater LHP Adam Morgan was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month.

RISPing…The BlueClaws, on the current road trip, are 14-65 (.215) with runners in scoring position and 29-141 (.206) dating to July 22nd.