The Scrappers beat the Muckdogs, but Juan Valdes was
suspended for 50 games.
By STEVE RUMAN
NILES — The news was both good and bad Friday from Eastwood Field.
On the baseball diamond, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers snapped their two-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Batavia in front of 3,249 fans.
In the process, the Scrappers (32-28) ended the Muckdogs’ (25-35) five-game winning streak.
Off the field, the news wasn’t so good.
Earlier Friday, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Juan Valdes had been suspended for 50 games, effective immediately, for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
A Scrappers outfielder at the start of the season, Valdes hadn’t played since July 27 when he suffered a sprained ligament in his left thumb while making a diving catch in a game at Williamsport.
Valdes was recently placed on the 60-day disabled list.
A Puerto Rican native, Valdes was batting .319 with four home runs and 26 RBI at the time of his injury.
Valdez was drafted in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2003 June First Year Player Draft.
Three pitchers deliver
As for the action on the field, the Scrappers received a stellar performance from pitchers Heath Taylor, James Brettl and Kyle Landis, who combined to retire the last 19 Batavia batters.
Batavia got its only run of the night in the third inning when Domnit Boliver reached base with a two-out single, then scored on a Will Groff double.
The two hits were the only surrendered by Taylor, who recorded six strikeouts in six innings.
“Taylor helped us tremendously tonight,” said Scrappers manager Tim Laker.
“Our bullpen was used quite a bit this week, so for him to come in and give us six solid innings was a great boost.”
The Scrappers tied the game in the fourth with a leadoff home run by Justin Jenkins.
For Jenkins, it was his second home run in as many nights.
Martin hurt, sidelined
The Scrappers currently are without Chris Martin, who leads the team in home runs, RBI and batting average. Martin earlier this week sprained his knee.
“We just talked today about the importance of having guys step up and fill the void,” Laker said. “We’re by no means out of the playoff race, but we need guys like Justin to give us a spark.”
The Scrappers took the lead in the sixth when Adam White led off the inning with a double, then scored on a Chris Nash RBI.
They added an insurance run in the eighth on a Nash double that plated Matt Thompson.
“We’ve had times where we have struggled offensively, but we have a bunch of guys who can get hot at any moment,” Jenkins said.
“I’m glad I’ve been able to contribute as of late. We owe it to our pitching staff to step it up at the plate, because the guys on the mound have been pretty strong all year long.”
The Scrappers return to action tonight when they host Jamestown for the start of a three-game series.
Bolivar ss4110White cf4110
Groff 2b4011Thompson ss2100
Carpenter c4000Infante 3b4020
A. Brown 1b3000Nash 1b4022
Pelt dh3000M. Brown rf3000
Pham c2000Jenkins lf4121
Oeder 3b3000Flores dh3000
Fanning lf3000Hehr 2b3000
LOB—Batavia 2, Scrappers 6. 2B—Groff (5), White (8), Nash (1). HR—Jenkins (3). CS—Infante (3).
Long L, 0-5332232
Taylor W, 3-2621106
Landis S, 6100002
WP—Taylor. HBP—by Taylor (Pham). Umpires—Home, Greg Brown; Bases, Joey Amaral. T—2:10. A—3,249.
HOW THEY SCORED
Batavia 3rd — Ross Oeder popped out to second. Collin Fanning grounded out to second. Domnit Bolivar singled to center. Will Groff Hit a bloop double down the right field line, Bolivar scored. David Carpenter flew out to right. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Scrappers 5th — Justin Jenkins homered to center. Mike Valadez grounded out to shortstop. Osiel Flores struck out looking. Jeff Hehr struck out swinging. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Scrappers 6th — Adam White doubled to the corner in right. Mark Thompson walked. Jansy Infante reached on an infield single, White advanced to third, Thompson advanced to second. Chris Nash reached on a fielders choice, Infante was forced out at second 6-4, White scored, Thompson advanced to third. Matt Brown Jenkins popped out to shortstop. Jenkins lined out to left. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 2 LOB.
Scrappers 8th — White struck out swinging. Thompson walked. Infante popped out to first. Nash doubled to the gap in right-center, Thompson scored. Brown was intentionally walked. Jenkins flew out to right. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.