AJ Ellis Smacks 2-Run Double in All-Star Game

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A.J. Ellis hit a two-run double to cap a
ninth-inning rally by the Pacific Coast League and it held off the
International League 6-5 in the Triple-A All-Star game Wednesday
night.
For most of the night the PCL hitters hardly seemed inspired
playing a few blocks away from the home of the Louisville Slugger.
The PCL managed three hits and appeared off balance through eight
innings.
The IL wasn't much better as the teams combined for an All-Star
record 23 strikeouts.
Still, the IL seemed to have things in control after plating two
runs in the bottom of the seventh behind Eric McCutchen RBI infield
single and a fielder's choice RBI by Mike Hessman.
The IL sent Blaine Neal to close it out. Neal, one of six
players in the game who will play for Team USA in the Summer
Olympics next month, has converted 23 of 25 save opportunities this
year for the Toledo Mud Hens.
He didn't come close against the PCL's top hitters. Nick
Stavinoha led off with a hit, then scored three batters later on a
single by Jamie D'Antona. A single by Matt Brown tied the game, and
Matt Saccomanno gave the PCL the lead on a single up the middle.
By the time Ellis, a catcher for the Las Vegas 51s playing an
hour from his hometown of Lexington, Ky., hit his double to center,
it appeared to be more than enough for the PCL.
Yet the IL rallied for three in the bottom of the ninth,
including a two-run homer by Chris Carter. But Luis Pena, who
earned the win, got Jonathan Van Every to fly out to right to end
it.
Neal gave up six runs, five earned, four hits, a walk and a
strikeout while recording just one out and taking the loss. The
appearance marked the first time all year Neal gave up more than
two hits in a game all season.
McCutchen, named the IL player of the game, finished with two
hits and Joe Thurston added three for the IL.
Brown, the PCL player of the game, had two hits and an RBI.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak by the PCL to its rival
league to the east.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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