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Gyorko, hurlers give Cal another win06/22/2011 2:34 AM ET
By Chris Martinez / Special to MLB.com
MODESTO, Calif. -- Backed by strong pitching and timely hitting, the California League defeated the Carolina League, 6-1, to win for the third straight time in their annual All-Star showcase in Modesto on Tuesday night.
Four of the eight Cal pitchers posted scoreless innings. Starter Tyler Skaggs (Arizona) set the tone with a flawless first frame. The Visalia left-hander struck out the final two batters he faced.
Lancaster's Jake Buchanan (Houston) was the pitcher of record for the Cal League, as he tossed a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout in the third. His offense scored four runs in the bottom of the inning, including Top Star Jedd Gyorko's RBI single.
"It's fun to come out here and play with the guys who have done well all year and play with the best," Buchanan said. "I had great defense behind me."
Buchanan hasn't won since June 1, when the right-hander allowed three runs -- two earned -- over seven innings to down Modesto.
Lake Elsinore's Gyorko (Padres), who missed out on the finals of the Home Run Derby earlier in the day, was honored to be named the Cal League's MVP. He also had an RBI single in the fifth. He deferred credit to the hitters ahead of him in the lineup, outfielders San Jose's Gary Brown (Giants) and Visalia's Adam Eaton (D-backs), who each scored a run. Brown also plated one.
Gyorko also praised the Cal League pitchers for their efforts. "They only gave up one run," he said. "If you give up one run, you're going to win."
Winston-Salem designated hitter Ian Gac (White Sox) got the first hit of the game, a solid base hit to left field. It would be two more innings before the Carolina All-Stars got another hit. Wilmington's Rey Navarro (Royals) drove in Lynchburg's Joey Terdoslavich (Braves) with a single to right field.
California added another run in the fifth after Eaton smashed a ball into center field. He went into third base standing and scored on Gyorko's base hit. The Cal League struck again in the sixth when Jake Lemmerman (Dodgers) doubled home Oaks catcher Rossmel Perez, who drew a walk with two outs.
Third baseman Gyorko earned Top Player honors not just for his bat, but also for his work with the glove. He ended the Carolina scoring threat in the fifth inning with a quick grab at the bag, recording the forceout then throwing across the diamond for the final out of the inning.
Two Modesto pitchers nailed down the game for the winners. Chad Bettis (Rockies) retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the ninth with a strikeout and a ground out. Then Coty Woods got the Dash's Andy Wilkins to ground out to second base on one pitch to end the contest.
Navarro was named the Top Star for the Carolina League.