|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
PCL shuts down IL, ends All-Star hex07/12/2012 12:24 AM ET
By Guy Curtright / Special to MLB.com
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Pacific Coast League won the Buffalo chicken wing-eating contest at the Triple-A All-Star Gala. And that proved to be an omen.
The PCL kept munching 24 hours later and took a bite out of the International League's recent domination of the Triple-A All-Star Game, claiming a 3-0 victory Wednesday night before a capacity crowd of 18,025 at Coca-Cola Field.
"There wasn't a lot of emotional speeches," said Las Vegas' Marty Brown, the PCL manager.
After the PCL had lost three straight and seven of the previous nine showdowns with the IL, maybe the players didn't need one.
Eleven pitchers held the International League to five hits, and the two runs the PCL scored in the top of the first inning proved more than the host team could overcome in the 25th edition of the Midsummer Classic.
The PCL has the reputation as a haven for offense with little pitching, thanks to hitter-friendly ballparks.
"That's not necessarily the case," Brown said. "It is a lot different this year."
The PCL also happens to boast one of the Minor Leagues' top hitting prospects, and he proved to be a key to Wednesday's victory.
Wil Myers of the Omaha Storm Chasers went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored to claim MLB.com's Star of Stars honor for the winning team.
"Nothing rattles him. He's going to be a good one," Brown said.
The Royals' outfield prospect delivered an RBI single in the first inning and scored the PCL's final run after a leadoff double in the fourth.
"It was great to win the MVP award, or whatever you call it," said Myers, who collected two hits and three RBIs on Sunday in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.
Myers also was on the winning side in that game as Team USA rolled to a 17-5 rout of the World team.
Wednesday's game was anything but a slugfest. The PCL totaled eight hits and each team struck out 11 times.
Buffalo Bisons right-hander Matt Harvey was named the IL's Star of Stars. He was the only pitcher to work two innings and he did not allow a hit.
"He made some pretty good hitters look ordinary," said IL manager Mike Sarbaugh of the Columbus Clippers. "He has plus stuff."
The crowd was the third-largest in the history of the Triple-A All-Star Game. The record remains 20,725 in 1991 at Louisville's old Cardinal Stadium. A crowd of 19,500 attended the inaugural game in Buffalo in 1988, when the stadium capacity was larger because of bleachers in right field.
Buffalo was the fourth city to host the game twice. Next year's event will take place in Reno, Nev.
"This is a magical place for baseball," said Brown, who played in the inaugural Triple-A All-Star Game and went on to manage the Bisons for three seasons.
The PCL scored twice in the opening inning against Lehigh Valley's Tyler Cloyd, who is 8-1 with an IL-best 2.01 ERA. Oklahoma City's Mike Hessman followed singles by Reno teammates Adam Eaton and Jake Elmore with a sacrifice fly and Myers singled up the middle after Tacoma's Luis Jimenez walked.
The PCL added a run against former National League All-Star Zach Duke of Syracuse in the fourth. Myers came around on a two-out double by Tim Federowicz of Albuquerque.
Harvey, the Mets' No. 2 prospect, followed Cloyd and pitched two hitless innings. He struck out two, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.
At 23, Harvey was the youngest pitcher in the game. He is No. 31 on MLB.com's list of the Top 100 Prospects after being selected seventh overall in the 2010 Draft.
"The crowd was electric," said Harvey, who is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA for the hometown Bisons. "I'm glad I got out of it scoreless. I had a good curveball, but I was a little wild."
The IL threatened in the second against Fresno's Eric Hacker but came up empty. Ryan Lavarnway of Pawtucket singled with one out and Buffalo's Valentino Pascucci, who won Monday's Home Run Derby, doubled off the left-field wall. But Lavarnway was trapped off third on a grounder by Columbus' Cord Phelps, and Rochester's Pedro Florimon struck out.
The IL got two runners on with none out in the seventh, but Albuquerque's Josh Wall retired Lehigh Valley's Kevin Frandsen on a fly ball to left field, struck out Syracuse's Corey Brown and got Indianapolis' Starling Marte to bounce into a forceout.
PCL starter Graham Godfrey got the victory, working around a first-inning infield hit by Leslie Anderson of Durham. Anderson was the only IL player to get two hits, although Pascucci walked three times.
Reno's Jonathan Albaladejo came in to get the last two outs with a runner on to record the save.
"They got off to a good start and we couldn't put anything together," Sarbaugh said.