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Lincecum shelled in bid for 100th win; Aardsma returns to mound in Memphis

Tim Lincecum, with Harwich in 2005 / SportsPix

       HIGH & INSIDE –Two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (Harwich, 2005) failed Saturday in his bid to become the fifth Giants pitcher to win 100 games since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco in 1958. Lincecum (10-9) was knocked out of the game after just 2 2/3 innings as the Giants lost in Washington 6-2. It was a freakish day for Lincecum, who is 0-6 in his last seven starts against the Nationals. Lincecum was bashed for six runs – four earned – and holds a 9.49 ERA over his last five outings. After the game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he would not commit to Lincecum making his next start. Since his rookie season in 2007, Lincecum has won 99 games and lost 78 with a career ERA of 3.56. He was voted the 2008 and 2009 NL Cy Young Award winner … A bases-loaded triple by another 2005 Cape Leaguer, Chris Coghlan (Chatham), helped the Chicago Cubs beat Baltimore 7-2 Saturday. Coghlan was 0-for-15 with six strikeouts against Orioles starter Bud Norris before hitting his fifth triple of the season in a four-run second inning. Justin Grimm (Cotuit, 2009) pitched 3 1/3 hitless innings as the last-place Cubs won their second straight against the O’s, leaders in the AL East … A three-run homer by Dustin Ackley (Harwich, 2008) highlighted a seven-run fourth inning Saturday as Seattle handed Boston its seventh straight loss 7-3 at Fenway Park. It was the ninth home run of the season for the Mariners' left fielder. Kyle Seager (Chatham, 2007-08) went 2-for-4 and scored a run for Seattle, which is battling for an AL wild card spot … Jedd Gyorko (Brewster, 2009) was out of the San Diego Padres' starting lineup Saturday, resting a sore left hamstring he tweaked on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gyorko was expected to return for Sunday’s series finale vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks ... Chase Headley (Cotuit, 2004) has proved to be a nice fit with the New York Yankees. The 2012 NL Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner at third base has played both corner infield positions for the Pinstripes since being acquired from San Diego on July 22. He has committed just one error in 109 chances while making some outstanding defensive plays. He’s hitting .250/.345/.354 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 27 games for New York after compiling a .229 BA in 77 games for the Padres … Former Cape Leaguers are catching on throughout Major League Baseball. A check of the 30 teams’ 40-man rosters and disabled lists turned up 25 former CCBL catchers. Five clubs – Boston, Detroit, Tampa Bay, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco – list two receivers who played on the Cape, and American League East leader Baltimore has three. Since the Orioles lost CCBL Hall of Famer Matt Wieters (Orleans, 2006; Class of 2013) to Tommy John surgery, they have relied on Rick Hundley (Y-D, 2003) and Caleb Joseph (Cotuit, 2007) to share the catching duties. Hundley is one of seven Yarmouth-Dennis catchers earning big league paychecks … Forty-four players are eligible for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, including nine Cape Cod Baseball League graduates: Craig Biggio (Yarmouth-Dennis, 1986); Jeff Bagwell (Chatham, 1987-88); Jeff Kent (Cotuit, 1988); Nomar Garciaparra (Orleans, 1993); Darin Erstad (Falmouth, 1993-94); Mark Loretta (Falmouth, 1991-92); Rich Aurilia (Hyannis, 1991); Braden Looper (Cotuit, 1994); and Ron Villone (Bourne, 1992). Biggio, who missed election in 2014 by just two votes, is expected to make it this time around, with Bagwell, on his fifth try, given an outside shot. Both Garciaparra (Class of 2002) and Erstad (Class of 2001) are members of the Cape League Hall of Fame.

David Aardsma / Memphis Redbirds photo by Allison Rhoades
     LOW & OUTSIDE – Another CCBL Hall of Famer, right-handed reliever David Aardsma (Falmouth, 2002; Class of 2010), is pitching again for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds after undergoing surgery last month to repair a torn adductor muscle. Before going on the disabled list, Aardsma had fashioned a 2-0 record with a 0.91 ERA and saved 11 games in 28 Pacific Coast League appearances. St. Louis had signed him to a minor league contract toward the end of spring training and assigned him to Memphis to start the season. Following the hip surgery, Aardsma rehabbed at the Cardinals’ complex in Jupiter, Fla., then pitched a total of two innings in two games with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals. On Wednesday (Aug. 20), he faced Sacramento in his first appearance for Memphis since June 16. The former Seattle closer pitched a scoreless seventh inning in which he allowed a hit and a walk while striking out two, and lowered his ERA to 0.88. Still hoping for a September call-up to St. Louis, Aardsma says the surgery was a complete success and he feels better than ever. “I want to be able to put myself in a position at least to show my health because I think I can be better than I was,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I can have more behind the ball, more from my legs. I can show I’m in a better place to throw than before (the injury).” … Aardsma’s Memphis teammate, outfielder Stephen Piscotty (Y-D, 2011), also should be joining the Cardinals after Sept. 1 when MLB rosters expand. The 2011 Cape League batting champion (.349) has played in a team-high 128 games for Memphis, leading the Redbirds in hits (135) and doubles (30) while slashing .288/.350/.403. The former Stanford star was rated the Cape League’s 12th best prospect in 2011 by Baseball America ... Chicago Cubs mega-prospect Kris Bryant (Chatham, 2011) continues to lead the minor leagues in home runs. Bryant hit No. 41 on Wednesday, a two-run shot over the center field wall in Reno, to retake the lead from Texas Rangers youngster Joey Gallo. It was the 50th homer in 163 minor league games for Bryant, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, who had nine in 36 games over three levels of Class A ball last summer. In 127 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in this, his first full season as a pro, Bryant has hit a combined .336/.444/.684 with 34 doubles, 41 home runs, 105 RBIs, 78 walks, 15 stolen bases and 308 total bases for a 1.128 OPS. In addition to homers, he leads the minor leagues in extra base hits (75) and total bases (309) ... The Chicago White Sox have decided to shut down speedy Triple-A second baseman Micah Johnson (Cotuit, 2011) for the remainder of the season after the 23-year-old aggravated a lingering hamstring strain. “He’s been fighting through it … he wanted to continue to fight through it,” ChiSox GM Rick Hahn said. “He did not want to be shut down and felt he could play through it, but we just thought it would be more prudent to allow the thing a chance to heal and put it completely behind him so he can return to being that type of primarily speed-based player when he gets back.” This past preseason, Baseball America ranked Johnson as the White Sox’s No. 6 prospect after the former Indiana University star stole 84 bases to lead the minors in 2013 and slashed .312/.373.451 combined at two Single-A levels and Double-A Birmingham. In 65 games at Triple-A Charlotte this summer, he batted .275/.314/.370 with 12 steals in 18 attempts. “We expect he should be 100 percent and go into next season without restriction,” Hahn said … Pitcher Buck Farmer (Chatham, 2011) was full of optimism when he was called up by the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 13. But the 23-year-old right-hander gave up four earned runs in five innings in his MLB debut against Pittsburgh and was shelled for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader vs. Minnesota. On Sunday, he was sent back to Triple-A Toledo and it’s doubtful he’ll get another chance with the Tigers this season.