Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
JUNE 2011

It is intended that this page will maintain a historical record of previous news published on this site. From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages. It may interest some people to read the developments in chronological order right here.

ARCHIVED NEWS FROM JUNE 2011 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
JUNE
2011

To make things easier for our loyal subscribers we will adopt a new format of
providing news involving
AUSTRALIAN Players in yellow text, while 
news about former AMLB IMPORT Players will be in white text.

  30 JUN 2011 - HUGHES MATCHES OELTJEN WITH HOMER!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Trent Oeltjen
Aussie duo LUKE HUGHES and TRENT OELTJEN were again in opposing camps yesterday with Hughes starting at first base and batting No.6 for the Minnesota Twins who prevailed 6-4 over Oeltjen's Los Angeles Dodgers. To turn the tables on the previous encounter Luke had more impact with 1-4 (.241) and two RBIs for the winning team, while Trent didn't have much opportunity, even though he batted 0-0 (.350) with a walk as a pinch hitter in a losing cause. Facing wily lefty Ted Lilly, Luke made the third out in the bottom of the first when he popped up to the short stop from the first pitch he saw. He suffered a similar fate in the third inning when Lilly had him fly out to centre field to end the frame. In the bottom of the fifth Hughes emulated Oeltjen's feat from the previous day when he spanked a 352ft two run homer over left field to hunt Lilly from the hill. He finished his day by leading off the bottom of the eighth with a ground out to the first baseman off the pitching of Mike McDougal. Trent got a belated opportunity when he was asked to pinch hit with one out in the top of the ninth and he did just about all he could by working a full count walk from Minnesota closer Matt Capps... he was to get no further than second base.

After an uncharacteristically slow start to the 2011 season former All-Star slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999)  has really come alive lately with the bat. He was red hot again yesterday with 4-5 (.219) and two RBIs for the Los Angeles Angels in their 11-5 victory over the Washington Nationals. In the process Wells pounded his tenth long ball to continue a torrid June for him.
  29 JUN 2011 - OELTJEN 4-4 v HUGHES & TWINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Trent Oeltjen


Luke Hughes
We know that Australia has produced many more professional pitchers than position players, so we're not sure if we can ever remember two Aussie position players in opposition major league starting lineups like TRENT OELTJEN and LUKE HUGHES were yesterday. As it panned out Oeltjen had by far the more enjoyable day when he batted a brilliant 4-4 (.350) for the Los Angeles Dodgers who towelled the Minnesota Twins in a runaway 15-0 shutout. Hughes batted at #8 for the Twins as the starting first baseman with 0-3 (.241) while Oeltjen batted at #7 as the starting right fielder for the Dodgers.
Trent's stellar day started with a five pitch walk off Nick Blackburn with one out in the top of the second inning. Hughes was next to the plate when he flied out to right field while facing LA starter Chad Billingsley to lead off the bottom of the third. Oeltjen then led off the top of the fourth with a booming 382ft home run off Blackburn to stretch the Dodgers lead to 4-0 at the time. Trent was once again swinging early in the count against Blackburn with a first pitch single into left field with one on and one out in the fifth... he scored later in the inning. Hughes then made the third out in the home half of the fifth when Billingsley had him fly out to centre field. In the top of the sixth Oeltjen stretched the LA lead into double-digits when he delivered a sacrifice fly from a full count off Anthony Swarzak. Not even a third pitcher could stop Trent Oeltjen on this day when he lashed a one out triple off Jose Mijares in the top of the eighth, to ultimately score again. Luke Hughes had his final at bat in the bottom of the eighth when Hong-Chih Kuo had him called out on strikes after four pitches. Oeltjen then handled his fourth pitcher by taking a first pitch single into right field off Matt Capps in the top of the ninth. It was a big day for Trent Oeltjen and not so memorable for compatriot Luke Hughes!



VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-5 (.205) as a small contributor to the Los Angeles Angels' 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals yesterday.
  28 JUN 2011 - SPENCE STILL "PERFECT" IN THE BIGS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Josh Spence


Trent Oeltjen

Australia's freshest new major league face JOSH SPENCE maintained his "perfect" pitching record in the big leagues yesterday with another strong 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (0.00ERA) for the San Diego Padres, helping them to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves. This time Josh was the first reliever summoned from the Padres' bullpen when he took over for the top of the sixth inning. Facing some recently familiar foes, he got Jordan Shafer struck out looking, Jason Heyward grounding out to the second baseman and Chipper Jones flying out to centre field. Spence then returned for one more out in the seventh when he fanned Freddie Freeman before handing the ball over. He has still not allowed a hit, a walk or a run over three major league outings!

Australia's next most recent major league debutant LUKE HUGHES started again at first base for the slumping Minnesota Twins and he batted at No.5 during their 2-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Facing Brewers' starter Chris Narveson in the top of the second, Hughes was struck out swinging. Next Narveson had Luke fly out to right field to end a 1-2-3 frame. He did his job in the top of the seventh when he battled seven pitches before working the same pitcher for a leadoff walk and he scored later in the inning. In the top of the eighth he made the third out when reliever Kameron Loe had him ground out to the third baseman.

Yesterday Aussie TRENT OELTJEN was utilised as a pinch runner by the Los Angeles Dodgers during their tight 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. In fact Trent had the joy of crossing the plate for the winning run in the bottom of the ninth when he replaced slow footed catcher Dioner Navarro on second base, just before Tony Gwynn Jnr. slapped the game winning RBI single into right field.
In this game Angels slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999)  went yard for the ninth time this season for 1-4 (.205) with the solo RBI.
  27 JUN 2011 - SPENCE, OELTJEN & HUGHES PLAY!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Josh Spence


Trent Oeltjen


Luke Hughes
 
After making his major league debut earlier this weekend, Australia's 29th big league player JOSH SPENCE added another most effective scoreless inning amid the mayhem of his San Diego Padres' heavy 1-10 thrashing at the hands of the Atlanta Braves. In fact, Spence was the Padres' best pitcher with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (0.00ERA) in a game where his bullpen mates were generally hit hard. Josh took over with one on after a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh and his first duty was handle pinch hitter Brooks Conrad who he struck out swinging. He then had Jordan Schafer called out on strikes for his second punch out before getting Jason Heyward to fly out to left field to end the inning.

Former ABL import slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) clocked his eighth home run of the year while batting 1-4 (.204) with the three RBIs helping his Los Angeles Angels to beat the neighbouring Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 yesterday. In this game Aussie TRENT OELTJEN made another start for the Dodgers at right field while batting in the #7 slot with 0-3 (.188). His first chance to hit came when he led off the bottom of the third, only to be called out on strikes on four pitches from Tyler Chatwood. Facing Chatwood again in the fifth inning, Trent loaded the bases when he miked a full count walk with one out. In the bottom of the seventh Oeltjen made the second out when Chatwood had him fly out to left field. Finally, Trent was to be the last out of the game when reliever Trevor Bell induced him to ground out to the second baseman with one runner in scoring position.

Established Aussie big leaguer LUKE HUGHES batted 1-2 (.252) after taking over at first base during the Minnesota Twins 1-11 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Hughes came into the game in the bottom of the fifth to take play first base after Michael Cuddyer was shifted to right field. He profited from his first at bat in the sixth facing Yovani Gallardo when he reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second with one out. He then made the second out in the top of the eighth when reliever Tim Dillard got him to ground into a fielder's choice to the first baseman.

The previous day HUGHES batted 0-3 after starting at first base and batting No.7 for the 'Twinkies' in their narrow 3-4 loss to the 'Brew Crew'. Facing crafty Randy Wolf in the top of the second Luke saw seven pitches before earning a one out walk. In the fourth Wolf had him ground out to the short stop, then in the sixth he had him ground out back to the mound on an attempted first pitch bunt play. Brewers' closer John Axford battled Luke for a full count in the ninth before getting our man to ground out to the third baseman.
  25 JUN 2011 - JOSH SPENCE IS 29th MAJOR LEAGUE AUSSIE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Josh Spence

No.29
'Flintoff & Dunn' CONGRATULATES AUSTRALIA'S No.29 player to reach the US major leagues on 25 June 2011 (US time), 23yo Victorian LH Pitcher JOSH SPENCE.

23yo Victorian lefty pitcher JOSH SPENCE today (25 June 2011 AUS time) became the 29th Australian to reach the US major league. After being called up to the San Diego Padres big league team last week, Josh did not get to make his major league debut in Boston's fabled Fenway Park, but it may have been even better for him to debut at the Padres home Petco Park in front of just over 27,000 Californian fans. He would have also enjoyed a relatively "stress free" outing by closing out San Diego's runaway 11-2 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves. In fact Josh was most efficient in his debut with a dominant 1-2-3 inning against the meat of the Atlanta Braves lineup. He started by striking out young star Jason Heyward on five pitches before getting future first ballot Hall-of-Famer Chipper Jones to pop out to the second baseman. He then secured the last out of the game with All-Star MVP catcher Brian McCann grounding out to the second baseman. Like all major league debuts, this will be a moment in his life that he will never forget!
His pitching line after his first appearance is an impressive 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA).

I'm not sure if this qualifies under the definition of "six degrees of separation" but your writer has followed Josh Spence's career since his early days when his Geelong team were great rivals of my son's Waverley teams in the Victorian State League Junior competition. In fact, I was line umpiring in an U14 game at Geelong when big Josh, who was already a young star, drilled my diminutive (at the time) son in the middle of the back with an accidental pitch! I thought that my little lefty batter may have been dead at the time and I think that young Josh Spence was a bit concerned too? We're just really delighted that he made it from those memorable early days all the way to the pinnacle of world baseball.

  24 JUN 2011 - LUKE HUGHES WALKS TWICE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes
Australian infielder LUKE HUGHES continues to earn regular playing time with the Minnesota Twins with his latest start at first base while batting at No.7 during their 1-5 defeat by the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Hughes batted 0-2, but he did walk twice to try to keep the wheels turning for the Twins. His first plate appearance came when he led off the third inning by flying out to right field after battling a full count with Ryan Vogelsong. He then battled Voglesong for eight pitches in the fifth inning before he milked a two out walk. Voglesong then made Hughes the second out in the top of the seventh when he had him called out on strikes. Luke kept some faint hopes flickering for the Twins in the top of the ninth when he earned a four pitch walk from Giants' closer Brian Wilson with one on and one out.
  21 JUN 2011 - HUGHES CONTRIBUTES TO TWINS WIN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Trent Oeltjen
Australian infield utility LUKE HUGHES batted 0-3 after starting at first base and batting at No.6 for the Minnesota Twins in their 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres. His first at bat saw him fly out to centre field with one out while facing starter Dustin Moseley in the bottom of the second. Moseley then had Luke fly out to right field when he led off the fifth inning for the Twins. Facing Moseley again with one on and one out in the seventh Hughes reached via a throwing error by the third baseman on a tough play, but he was not credited with the hit. Although he did not record a hit for the game, Luke played a key role with his well executed sacrifice bunt to advance a runner in the bottom of the ninth... this runner ultimately scored the winning run for Minnesota.

Aussie TRENT OELTJEN came off the pine as a pinch hitter yesterday with 0-1 (.167) for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their narrow 1-0 win over the Houston Astros. Trent was summoned to hit for the pitcher with one out in the bottom of the eighth, just after Dioner Navarro had scored the only run of the game with his home run ball. On this occasion Oeltjen saw just two pitches from Wilton Lopez before grounding out to the first baseman.

Veteran slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) had another big day with the stick yesterday with 3-4 (.202) and three RBIs, one of those from his seventh home run of the season. Wells was a major contributor for the Los Angeles Angels who topped the New York Mets 7-3.
  20 JUN 2011 - GRANT BALFOUR HOLDS 12th & 13th!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour




Luke Hughes








Trent Oeltjen
The power arm of Aussie GRANT BALFOUR chimed in for his 13th hold of the season with 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (2.59ERA) to help his Oakland Athletics to see out a 4-2 victory over the World Champion San Francisco Giants yesterday. Balfour was the fifth pitcher called upon by the A's when he took over for the top of the eighth inning. He started by getting Nate Schierholtz to fly out to right field, ahead of Aaron Rowand's one out single into right field. He then killed off the inning with Brandon Crawford grounding into a fielder's choice to the second baseman and Eli Whiteside struck out swinging.

BALFOUR's 13th hold came just a day after his 12th when he threw a tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k to help the Athletics to lock down a 5-2 win over the Giants. As often he was the key eighth inning setup man and he did the job most efficiently with a conclusive three up and three down frame. He had Andres Torres called out on strikes before Bill Hall grounded back to the hill and Pablo Sandoval flied out to left field.

Australia's freshest major league face LUKE HUGHES continues to contribute to one of the hottest teams in baseball this month with another 2-3 (.265) for the Minnesota Twins in their 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Luke started at first base in this game while making a mockery of hitting in the lowly #9 hole. Facing Padres' starter Tim Stauffer in the bottom of the third Luke was the second man aboard with none out when he reached on an infield single to the third baseman. In the 1-2-3 fifth he made the second out by grounding a Stauffer pitch to the short stop. His final at bat came when he led off the eighth by taking Stauffer back up the middle for a single into centre field. Throughout all this he did nothing wrong with the glove during what was a skin tight game.

The previous day HUGHES started as the designated hitter and #8 slot batter for the Twins who nipped the Padres 6-5 in interleague play. As it transpired Luke made his opening plate appearance in the first inning and he made the final out of a five-run dig when he was struck out by Clayton Richard. Up again in the bottom of the fourth he made the second out when Richard had him ground out to the short stop. He was then to be the last batter faced by Richard when he milked a seven pitch walk with a runner aboard and nobody out in the sixth. Lastly, in the bottom of the eighth he popped out to the short stop on the seventh pitch from reliever Ernesto Frieri.

On Saturday Australian TRENT OELTJEN made a start at left field and he batted at No.9 with 0-3 (.182) for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 3-7 defeat by the Houston Astros. Having his first plate appearance in the bottom of the second Trent saw two pitches from B
rett Myers before grounding out to the short stop for the second out of the inning. He again made the second out in the fifth when Myers struck him out swinging on three consecutive strikes. To give him the hat-trick, Myers had Trent struck out again for the second out in the bottom of the eighth. It was not a great offensive day for Oeltjen or the Dodgers' team that was four-hit by the 'Stros.
  17 JUN 2011 - BALFOUR CLOSES OUT KANSAS CITY!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

Aussie reliever GRANT BALFOUR pitched a tidy last inning for the Oakland Athletics with 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 2k (2.76ERA) in their 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals today. Balfour began by causing himself some pressure with a runner in scoring position after Mitch Maier led off the inning with a double to right field. He soon had the situation under solid control when the had Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francouer both called out on strikes. He polished of the game convincingly when he had Billy Butler ground out to the second baseman. Over and out!

West Aussie LUKE HUGHES made another start at first base for the Minnesota Twins today and he batted in the #6 slot with 0-3 (.262) during their pitching dominated 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. Facing the tough and seasoned Mark Buehrle in the bottom of the second, Luke grounded out to the third baseman for the second out. He again made the second out in the fourth when Buehrle struck him out swinging. Facing the same pitcher to lead off the seventh Hughes grounded out to the short stop. He wasn't the only hitter to find the pitching difficult to hit in this game.
  16 JUN 2011 - FOUR AUSSIES IN MLB ACTION!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Rich Thompson


Grant Balfour


Trent Oeltjen
Aussie LUKE HUGHES batted 1-4 (.269) as his contribution to the Minnesota Twins' 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers today. It was a "feast or famine" day for Hughes after starting at first base and batting at #5 because, aside from his safe hit, he also struck out three times. The first of those came in the bottom of the second inning when Gavin Floyd fanned him to lead off the frame. Up again in the third he did his job perfectly to keep a Minnesota rally alive with a canny bunt single down the third base line to place a runner in scoring position with one out. Floyd struck him out again to lead off the sixth and then for the third time with one out in the eighth. Baseball, as we often say, is a truly great leveller.

Australia's RICH THOMPSON was also in action today with 0.2ip 1h 1er 1bb 1k (3.07ERA) for the Los Angeles Angels who fell 1-3 to the Seattle Mariners. Thompson came into the game in the seventh inning with a runner on third base and two out, immediately after the Mariners had scored the first two runs of the game. He held the fort in that inning by ending the dig with Miguel Olivo flying out to right field. Back for the bottom of the eighth after the Angels had narrowed the deficit to 1-2, Rich allowed the final run of the contest when Greg Halman hammered a lead off home run over centre field. He got Franklin Gutierrez to fly out to right field but he was given the hook when he walked the speedy Chone Figgins after battling him for an eight pitch full count.

Australia's live arm reliever GRANT BALFOUR was in no position to affect the result yesterday when he was tagged for a run in the ninth inning of the Oakland Athletics' 4-7 defeat by the Kansas City Royals. Grant pitched 1.0ip 2h 1er 1bb 0k (2.86ERA) in a situation where all he could do was to keep the game within reach for his team. His trouble started when Mike Moustakas led off the top of the ninth with a single up the middle which allowed Matt Treanor to move him over with a sacrifice bunt. A five pitch walk to Chris Getz filled the opne first base and a run was cashed in by Alcides Escobar's double to right field. At least Balfour prevented another run scoring
from third base when he got Alex Gordon to line out to the first baseman and Melky Cabrera flied out to left field.

Aussie TRENT OELTJEN was afforded the fleeting opportunity to pinch run for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 2-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Trent came into the game in the bottom of the ninth with one out, to run for James Loney just after he had delivered a RBI single to narrow the game to 2-3. Oeltjen did his job by stealing second base to put himself in scoring position, even though Casey Blake struck out on the play for the second out. He was left aboard with his team just a run short when Rod Barajas popped out to the short stop.

Atlanta Braves' backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted 2-3 (.319) with one of the Braves' three RBIs in their 3-4 loss to the New York Mets.

Not for the first time in his long big league career, former No.1 overall draft pick VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) pulled out the big stick with a pair of home runs to help the Los Angeles Angels to double the Seattle Mariners 6-3. Wells batted 2-4 (.196) with three RBIs to be the difference between the teams.
  14 JUN 2011 - HUGHES & OELTJEN HIT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Trent Oeltjen

West Aussie infielder LUKE HUGHES clinched a share of 'Flintoff & Dunn's Pro Player of the Week Award' with his latest 3-4 (.270) offensive effort yesterday. This time Luke started at third base and batted #5 in the lineup for the Minnesota Twins during their 6-1 victory over the Texas Rangers. Hughes got going immediately when he delivered a RBI single in the bottom of the first off Texas starter Matt Harrison. Next he singled up the middle off Harrison with one out in the fourth. His only slight blemish for the day was in the bottom of the sixth when Harrison had him struck out swinging to make the final out with runners in scoring position. Luke singled into right centre off Mark Lowe in the seventh inning to complete a most productive day with the bat.

Australian TRENT OELTJEN played both corner outfield positions while batting 1-4 (.250) in the #8 hole for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-8 win over the Colorado Rockies. Facing Colorado's hard throwing starter Ubaldo Jiminez, Trent struck out swinging to end the second inning, then he singled up the middle with two out in the third. In the top of the fifth he again made the third out when Jiminez had him ground out to the first baseman. Facing reliever Rex Brothers in the seventh Oeltjen milked a one out walk and he scored later in the frame. To conclude his day Trent led off the top of the ninth by battling Matt Reynolds for eight pitches before flying out to centre field on a full count.


Australian relief ace GRANT BALFOUR endured a tougher than preferable relief outing yesterday with 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (2.63ERA) for the Oakland Athletics who were neaten narrowly 4-5 by the Chicago White Sox. Grant inherited two base runners with just one out in the bottom of the seventh and, unfortunately, he couldn't prevent the 'Chisox' from breaking open a tied game. 'Balf' did his job by getting the dangerous Carlos Quentin to ground into a fielder's choice to the third baseman, only to see the go ahead run scored via a throwing error on the play. Another unearned run scored when Paul Konerko singled into left field. It ended well, if not belatedly, when he induced A.J Pierzynski to ground into an inning ending double play to the second baseman. None of the runs belonged to our man, yet he damage to the result had been done!
  12 JUN 2011 - OELTJEN BACK; BALFOUR WINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Rich Thompson


Trent Oeltjen


Grant Balfour


Luke Hughes
Aussie reliever RICH THOMPSON nailed a couple of outs for the Los Angeles Angels today when he finished the sixth inning of their 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals to suffer his first blown save of the year. He pitched 0.2ip 1h 0er 1bb 1k (2.93ERA). Richard was rudely greeted by a RBI single from Matt Treanor after he inherited a pair of base runners from Angels' starter Joel Pineiro. He then got the second out of the inning when Chris Getz bunted into a fielder's choice that saw the runner out at home. Alcides Escobar then milked a full count walk before Thompson snuffed the inning with Alex Gordon struck out swinging. Thankfully for him the team still prevailed in the end. Helping this to happen was veteran former ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who has returned from injury with a powerful 2-4 (.194) in this latest game.

It was great to see Australia's
TRENT OELTJEN back in the big leagues where he belongs yesterday, starting at left field and batting at No.2 in the lineup for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their tight 5-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies. As most often Trent didn't fail to contribute with 1-4 (.250) in a tough contest. Facing 'Rox' starter Jhoulys Chacin Trent advanced the leadoff runner with a hard ground out to the first baseman from the second at bat in the game. He then led off the fourth with a sharp single into right field off Chacin to set the table before he was finally left at third base. In the top of the sixth Oeltjen worked a six pitch walk off Chacin with one out. Next, in the top of the eighth he battled Chacin for seven pitches before he was struck out swinging to end the inning. Trent finally made the last out of the game when reliever Matt Belisle had him struck out swinging trying his best to deliver some late magic for the Dodgers in the top of the ninth.

Australia's power arm pitcher
GRANT BALFOUR pitched a neat 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k to earn his fourth win of the season yesterday while helping his Oakland Athletics to a dramatic 7-5 win over the Chicago White Sox. Hurling the top of the eighth Balfour had monster Adam Dunn pop out to the second baseman, Gordon Beckham pop out to first and then he had Brent Morel called out on strikes to end the inning. He further improved his record to 4-1, 2.70ERA when the A's rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth to snatch the victory.

Yesterday Aussie
LUKE HUGHES batted 0-3 (.250) after starting at first base and hitting in the #5 slot for the Minnesota Twins during their 3-9 defeat at the hands of the Texas Rangers. Facing starter C.J Wilson in the bottom of the first Hughes flied out to right field for the third out. Wilson then had him fly out to centre field to end the third inning. Luke then made his offensive contribution in the sixth when Wilson plonked him with the first pitch of the frame and he later crossed the plate for a run. For the third time in the game Wilson made him the third out of the inning when he grounded into a fielder's choice to the third baseman in the seventh.

The previous day
HUGHES batted 1-3 for the Twins to help them to sneak past the Rangers 5-4. He started at first base again, but on this occasion he batted in at N0.7 in the lineup. His first at bat saw him struck out by Derek Holland for the second out in the bottom of the second. Holland then struck him out again when he fanned to make the last out in the fourth. In the sixth Holland got the better of Hughes again when he had him fly out to centre field for the second out. Our man finally had better luck facing reliever Mark Lowe when he led off the bottom of the n inth with a ground rule double than bounced over the fence at left field.
  9 JUN 2011 - HUGHES KEEPS ON HITTING!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes










Rich Thompson
Australia's LUKE HUGHES earned another start at third base yesterday and he batted in the #6 slot while recording one of only three hits for the Minnesota Twins in their low scoring 0-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Facing 'Tribe' starter Carlos Carrasco in the top of the second he made the third out when he struck out swinging. Then, with one out in the fifth facing Carrasco again, Luke beat out an infield single to the short stop to place runners on the corners but they still failed to score. With Carrasco still on the hill for the top of the eighth Hughes led off the inning by flying out to centre field. He batted 1-3 (.247). In today's 3-2, ten inning, win for the Minnesota Twins over the Cleveland Indians Australian star LUKE HUGHES was again a key contributor with 2-4 (.258) after starting at first base and batting seventh in the lineup. As he often seems to be, Hughes was at the plate in the top of the seventh when the third out came via a caught stealing. This meant that he was leading off the third against Justin Masterson and he singled into right field from the first offering he saw to set the table for him to score the first run of the game. Luke singled into right field again off Masterson with two out in the fifth. Masterson finally retired Hughes for the first time in the game when he had him line out to the second baseman with a runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh. In the top of the tenth he led off the inning by lining out sharply back to pitcher Chris Perez.

Aussie reliever RICH THOMPSON wasn't at his sharpest yesterday, pitching 0.2ip 3h 1er 0bb 0k (3.00ERA) for the Los Angeles Angels in their 1-4 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays. Thompson began the top of the eighth in relief of started Dan Haren and he started positively by getting Matt Joyce to fly out to right and B.J Upton to fly out to cent
re. It turned nasty for him when Casey Kotchman ripped a double to left field and Dustin Ruggiano followed with a single to left field. John Jaso punched a RBI single up the middle to bring out the hook for our man.

Back up catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) was one of very few base runners for the Atlanta Braves yesterday, batting 0-2 with a walk when they prevailed 1-0 over the Florida
Marlins in a pitching dominated game.
  8 JUN 2011 - HUGHES STARS WITH BAT & GLOVE!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Grant Balfour
Australia's latest new major league player LUKE HUGHES is certainly fitting the bill as a "utility infielder" because he has been shuffled around every infield position other than short stop lately. In yesterday's televised game I had the pleasure of watching Luke in action as the starting third baseman and #7 hole hitter. Not only did he make some fine defensive plays at "hot corner" but he emerged with an impressive 2-4 (.244) with the stick as a genuine star for the Minnesota Twins in their important 6-4 victory over the division leading Cleveland Indians. He wasn't too impressive in his first at bat with an unproductive out when he was struck out swinging with runners in scoring position by Josh Tomlin with only one out in the top of the second. Luke then made a big noise with a booming leadoff double off Tomlin in the fifth inning and this led to him scoring the go-ahead run in an inning when the Twins grabbed the momentum in the contest. In the top of the sixth, facing Tomlin again, Hughes advanced a runner with his ground out to the second baseman for the second out. The offensive side of his game finished on a positive note when he narrowly beat out an infield single to the third baseman with his hustle down the line off Chad Durbin.

There was some irony in him reaching first on that infield play to third because just before that he had made a superb unassisted double-play on an infield hit to third only to find that the plate umpire had incorrectly adjudicated that the ball was foul to nullify his effort. All that had started well ended well when Hughes put the icing on his cake with a by initiating a game-ending double play off the bat of pinch hitter Shelley Duncan.

First and foremost 'Flintoff & Dunn' send our congratulations to ace Aussie pitcher GRANT BALFOUR on the recent birth of his daughter. After a short paternity leave that kept him out of the last series in Boston, Grant was immediately back in harness with a neat 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (2.81ERA) for the Oakland Athletics at the end of their 2-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He kept his team well within reach of a comeback with a scoreless bottom of the eighth with Vladimir Guerrero grounding back to the mound, Derrek Lee popping out to the short stop and Matt Wieters grounding out to the first baseman.
  6 JUN 2011 - HUGHES & THOMPSON BOTH GOOD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Rich Thompson


Luke Hughes
Australian right arm reliever RICH THOMPSON did a fine job of keeping the game within reach for the Los Angeles Angels by pitching the last two scoreless innings in what eventuated in a 2-3 defeat by the New York Yankees. Thompson hurled a most effective 2.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (2.73ERA) in the losing cause at the "Big A". In the top of the eighth he got the better of the heart of the Yanks lineup with Mark Teixeira fouling out to the third baseman, Alex Rodriguez called out on strikes and Robinson Cano grounding out to the second baseman. Back for the ninth, Richard fanned both Russell Martin and Nick Swisher before inducing Jorge Posada to ground out to the third baseman. It was definitely not his fault that his team finished on the short end of a one run game.

After a brief reassignment to 'AAA' Aussie LUKE HUGHES was recalled to the big leagues to play with the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. He batted 1-4 while starting at second base and hitting in the #8 slot during their 5-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. Facing Danny Duffy in the top of the second he grounded back to the pitcher on a full count with one on and one out. Luke came up to bat again with two out in the third with a genuine RBI opportunity, but he was deprived of the chance when the runner at third, Danny Valencia, was caught out trying to steal home on a pickoff attempt. After being left in the box to end the third he was back to lead off the fourth and this time Duffy had him fly out to right field. In the top of the sixth Luke reached on an infield single with two out while facing reliever Tim Collins. Hughes had another chance to do more damage with runners aboard and nobody out in the eighth but he was struck out trying to drive in a run or two by Blake Wood.

Back in action today, LUKE HUGHES started at first base and he batted at No.6 for the Twins in their 6-0 shutout victory over the Royals. This time he enjoyed and even more productive day with 2-3 (.231) plus a walk as one of the offensive stars for his team. In the top of the first he was issued a four pitch walk by Royals starter Jeff Francis in the midst of a three run uprising. In the top of the third Hughes made the third out when he grounded out sharply to the third baseman. He got his ball rolling in the sixth when he lashed a one out double into deep left field from Francis and he scored later in the frame. Back to lead off the top of the ninth Luke set the table with a single into left field off Jesse Chavez to score again later. It was a solid weekend from the Aussie that should see him remain with the big league club for a while?

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