Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
SEPTEMBER 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 From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages.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 SEPTEMBER 2011 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
SEPTEMBER
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.

  29 SEPT 2011 - OELTJEN BATS IN FREAKISH LOSS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Trent Oeltjen

Australia's 27th major league player TRENT OELTJEN pinch hit for the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday with 0-1 (.200) during their oh-so narrow 6-7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Trent was called in to hit for the pitcher with one on and two out in the top of the ninth in what was, remarkably, a 1-1 ballgame at the time. After battling six pitches for a full count Oeltjen was ultimately called out on strikes by Arizona closer J.J Putz to end the inning. In a stunning finish the Dodgers went on to score five runs in the top of the tenth but they were overrun in the home half of the tenth when the 'Snakes' scored six! To emphasise the unpredictability of baseball the Dodgers had tucked away the first two outs in tenth before an innocent looking infield single ignited an unlikely rally that ended with a walkoff GRAND SLAM home run by Ryan Roberts. Underrated former ABL import GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-2 (.224) as the starting third baseman for the Diamondbacks.

  28 SEPT 2011 - HUGHES HITS; THOMPSON HURLS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Trent Oeltjen

Rich Thompson

At least Australia's LUKE HUGHES can say that he produced one of the Minnesota Twins six hits for the game during their 3-7 defeat at the hands and the bats of the visiting Kansas City Royals yesterday.
Hughes batted 1-4 (.225) as the starting second baseman and #8 hole hitter for the 'Twin Cities'.
His base knock came from his first plate appearance of the game when he clipped a leadoff single into shallow left field to lead off the bottom of the third against Royals' starter Felipe Paulino. Next he was up with two runners on and two out in the fourth but this time Paulino had him struck out swinging to end the inning. With Paulino still on the bump in the sixth Luke was again the third out in a 1-2-3 frame when he flied out to left field. To finish his day Hughes was the second out in the bottom of the last when reliever Aaron Crow had him called out on strikes after the minimum three pitches.

Once again Aussie outfielder TRENT OELTJEN was afforded just a cameo role as a defensive replacement at left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers late in their 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday. Trent took over at left field to begin the bottom of the eighth and he eventually ended a long inning in the field with the inning ending catch. It was to be his only part of the action as he didn't get to swing the timber on this occasion.
In this game journey man infielder GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) pinch it for the 'D-Backs' with 0-0 (.213) yet his bases loaded, four pitch walk produced a run batted in as a handy contribution.

Australian RICH THOMPSON pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 1k (3.00ERA) to close out a 3-4 loss for his Los Angeles Angels against the visiting Texas Rangers yesterday. Thompson kept his team squarely in the contest with a scoreless top of the ninth which started with Nelson Cruz flying out to right field ahead of a David Murphy infield single to the short stop. He grabbed the second out with Yorvit Torrealba called out on strikes but, when Murphy stole second base during the following at bat, he chose to "pitch around" Ian Kinsler who walked to fill the open base at first. The strategy proved sound when Richard got Elvis Andrus to ground into a fielder's choice to the short stop to end the inning. Unfortunately for him and the 'Halos' one run in the bottom of the ninth was just one too few. His team mate VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) couldn't provide any offensive help with 0-4 (.218) for the game.

  26 SEPT 2011 - GRANT BALFOUR LOSES, WINS & HOLDS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Peter Moylan


Liam Hendriks


Trent Oeltjen


Josh Spence


Vernon Wells


Kevin Millwood



Luke Hughes








Grant Balfour


Rich Thompson

To start with some really deflating news, we hear that Australia's "hard luck hero" PETER MOYLAN is again facing the crossroads of his career following the latest diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder... perhaps better known as the AC joint in Australian language. If, as it seems, he requires surgery it will almost certainly spell the end of his 2012 season before it even started. Not to mention that it will rule out any chance of him playing for the Melbourne Aces in the upcoming ABL season.
Although we have no doubt that Pete will do everything possible to return once again, age and his injury history are making this an even tougher proposition.
Moylan appears to have paid a heavy price for pitching so gallantly and so often for the Atlanta Braves in recent campaigns. 'Flintoff & Dunn' can only wish him our very best!

Australia's LIAM HENDRIKS took another no-decision today with a sturdy 6.0ip 7h 4er 3bb 5k (6.17ERA) but this time he put his Minnesota Twins on the path to a hard earned 6-4 win over the Cleveland Indians. Liam went toe-to-toe with 'Tribe' starter Fausto Carmona and the score was locked at 4-4 when both departed. Once again Hendriks had to stabilise after a rough first inning which finally saw Lonnie Chisenhall slap a two RBI single into right centre and his pitch count was already dangerously high. In the bottom of the second he used an inning ending ground ball double play to overcome a one out single to Kosuke Fukudome. Hendriks was again on the ropes in the third when a leadoff walk to Travis Hafner was deposited for a two run homer by next batter Shelley Duncan before he tidied up the rest of the inning. Similar to his other big league starts Liam settled into the game to post 1-2-3 innings in both the fourth and the fifth innings, including three strike outs. He also finished strong again with another inning ending double play keeping a clean sixth after Jason Donald had hit a one out single. His 101 pitch effort was the cornerstone of a welcome win for the Twins.

Australians TRENT OELTJEN and JOSH SPENCE were in opposing camps today as Oeltjen's Los Angeles Dodgers beat Spence's San Diego Padres 6-2. Trent batted 0-1 (.213) after coming into the game to take over at left field while Josh pitched 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (2.73ERA) in relief for the Padres.
Oeltjen came into the game for the bottom of the seventh as a defensive replacement at left and his only plate appearance saw him struck out swinging by Andrew Carpenter for the third out in the top of the ninth.
Josh Spence took the ball for the top of the eighth and he did what was asked of him by getting Aaron Miles to ground out to the second baseman and James Loney to line out to the first baseman.
Yesterday OELTJEN also pinch hit with 0-1 in a game where his Dodgers were shut out 0-3 by the Padres. In this game he was asked to lead off the top of the eighth as a pinch hitter but he was struck out swinging after five pitchers from Aaron Harang.
On Saturday OELTJEN got a start at left field and he batted in the #5 hole in the Dodgers 2-0 win over San Diego. His first at bat in the top of the second produced a well executed sacrifice bunt off Wade LeBlanc that advanced his team mate who later scored the opening run of the game. Leading off the top of the fifth LeBlanc had him called out on strikes with just three pitches. He suffered the same fate in the seventh when LeBlanc had him called out on strikes for the second out of the frame. It left him with 0-2 for the day but, as mentioned, he did make an offensive contribution when it counted early in the game.

Power hitter VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) cracked his 25th home run of the season to highlight his 1-4 (.220) game for the Los Angeles Angels who were edged 5-6 by the Oakland Athletics today.

Although he also received a pile of run support, former ABL import KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) was very tough today with a high quality start of 7.0ip 3h 1er 1bb 6k for the Colorado Rockies who pounded the Houston Astros 19-3. It boosted his season record to 4-3, 3.98ERA.

Journeyman utility player GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-4 (.213) with a RBI for the Arizona Diamondbacks who beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 today. Yesterday Blum batted 1-1 with a walk and a RBI as the 'Snakes' eliminated the World Champion Giants in a 15-2 "laugher".

DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted a solid 2-3 (.263) for the slumping Atlanta Braves who fell again 0-3 to the Washington Nationals.

... and from other weekend games:

Australia's LUKE HUGHES batted 0-4 as the starting second baseman and #7 batter for the Minnesota Twins in their 2-8 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. Facing Cleveland starter David Huff in the top of the second Hughes made the second out with a fly ball to the left fielder. He was at the plate again in the fourth when a wild pitch from Huff allowed a run to score but he could do no further damage when he grounded out to the third baseman. Luke was then the last batter to face Huff in the game when he was again the second out in the top of the sixth after lining out to the left fielder. Lastly, he was the third out in the eighth with a ground out to the short stop while facing Frank Herrmann.
In the late game of the double header HUGHES came into the game as a pinch hitter with 0-1 (.224) and he took over at second base as his Twins were squeaked again 6-7 by the Indians. Hughes came into the game as a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth and he battled hard for a full count before Tony Sipp had him struck out swinging for the third out of the frame.
The day prior LUKE HUGHES made a decent offensive contribution with 1-3 (.228) plus a walk as the starting third baseman and No.5 hitter for the Twins in another narrow 5-6 loss to Cleveland. Batting in the top of the first, Hughes was "plunked" by the first pitch he faced from Justin Masterson with one out. Up again in the third Masterson had him struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. In the top of the fifth Hughes milked a four pitch leadoff walk from Masterson to set the table but he was ultimately thrown out at home plate as the rally stalled. Luke next ripped a leadoff double from Rafael Perez to lead off the seventh and this time it bore fruit when he later scored the tying run at 5-5. Unfortunately the day didn't end in ideal fashion when Chris Perez had him pop out to the short stop as the leadoff batter in the top of the ninth as the Twins could not find a go-ahead run.

Aussie relievers GRANT BALFOUR and RICH THOMPSON were in opposing bullpens when Balfour reaped his 26th hold of the season as his Oakland Athletics held off Thompson's Los Angeles Angels 3-1.
Balfour pitched 0.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (2.47) after coming into a tricky situation with two on and one out in the bottom of the eighth. He quickly secured the second out with Maicer Izturis grounding out to the second baseman but the bags were "juiced' when he issued a four pitch walk to Peter Bourjos. Balfour was able to preserve the tenuous one run lead by getting Howie Kendrick to foul out to right field.
Thompson came into the game in the top of the ninth immediately after a David Dejesus home run had stretched Oakland's lead to 3-1. Richard kept it that way by getting Cliff Pennington to fly out to centre field and Brandon Allen to fly out to right.
The previous day BALFOUR responded to a frustrating loss by grasping his fifth win of the season with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k as his A's hung on to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3. Grant took care of the vital top of the eighth with Michael Young Flying out to right field, Adrian Beltre grounding out to short and David Murphy flying out to left.
In the televised game last Thursday BALFOUR was saddled with his second loss when the Rangers overturned a one run deficit as Grant served up long balls to Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton in the top of the eighth. Baseball is certainly a game of ups and downs!

  21 SEPT 2011 - HENDRIKS OK IN NO-DECISION!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks



Luke Hughes


Rich Thompson


Vernon Wells


Trent Oeltjen

Australia's 31st and latest major leaguer LIAM HENDRIKS made his third big league start yesterday and, although he was hit fairly hard at times, he once again stood up well as a 22yo rookie facing big league batters. His line of 5.1ip 10h 4er 0bb 5k (6.23ERA) saw him take a no-decision for the Minnesota Twins in what was to be a 4-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners. The last batter he faced snatched a possible win from his grasp with a game tying two run homer just as Hendriks' pitch count was hitting the mid nineties.

In the same game his WA comrade LUKE HUGHES batted 0-4 (.227) as the starting second baseman and #6 batter. It looked like it may have been a really dirty day for Hendriks when his first three pitches saw a leadoff triple from Ichiro Suzuki and a RBI double from Kyle Seager in the top of the first. He got Dustin Ackley to fly out to centre field but Mike Carp lashed another RBI double to deep centre to have Liam well and truly pinned to the ropes. In the circumstances he did quite well to keep the damage to just two runs when he got Wily Mo Pena to ground out to third and Adam Kennedy was called out on strikes. After the Twins tied the game in the bottom of the first Liam kept it that way in the second with Miguel Olivo grounding out to second, Alex Liddi struck out swinging and Trayvon Robinson also fanned.

In the third frame he got Ichiro to ground out to second and Seager to fly out to left, but back to back singles to Ackley and Carp posed a threat until Pena flied out to right to end the inning. In the top of the fourth Hendriks had Kennedy fly out to centre field ahead of Olivo's double to deep centre that placed him in scoring position. Again he kept the score even at 2-2 with Liddi popping out to second and Robinson struck out swinging to end the inning. Minnesota put Liam in line for the win in the bottom of the fourth and he responded by getting both Ichiro and Seager to ground out to the first baseman for a pair of outs. The lead suddenly became tenuous when Ackley singled up the middle and Carp doubled into centre field, but the young Aussie again held firm by striking out Pena on a full count.

A 4-2 lead seemed promising when Hendriks took the mound again in the sixth but with his pitch count rising he just couldn't quite clinch the deal. He got Kennedy to fly out to right for the first out but, after Olivo doubled to left, a hanging slider to Liddi saw him crush the game tying homer over left field. It was an unfortunate end to what had been another quality start for Liam Hendriks.

Luke Hughes made the third out in the bottom of the first when he struck out swinging with a runner in scoring position while facing Mariners' starter Jason Vargas. He again made the third out in the third inning when Vargas had him pop out to the third baseman. In the bottom of the fifth Hughes left a runner perched on third when Vargas again popped him up, this time to the second baseman. Finally, as the leadoff batter in the bottom of the eighth, he was struck out swinging by reliever Tom Wilhelmsen. Sadly for both Aussies they could not prevent the Twins from falling again in a disappointing loss.

Australia's RICH THOMPSON pitched a moderate 1.0ip 1h 1er 1bb 1k (3.10ERA) in a low-pressure situation for the Los Angeles Angels who were already in control of a 10-6 win over Toronto Blue Jays. In fairness to him Rich inherited two base runners at the corners with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh when he relieved 'Halos' starter Joel Pineiro with his team leading 10-2. He first pitched carefully to home run leader Jose Bautista before loading the bags with a full count walk. His next pitch saw Edwin Encarnacion lift a sacrifice fly to left field and another run followed when Kelly Johnson singled into right field. The second out of the inning came at the expense of another run when Brett Lawrie grounded into a fielder's choice to the third baseman. Further damage was avoided when Colby Rasmus struck out swinging on three pitches.
In the same game Thompson's team mate VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) blasted his 23rd home run of the season as part of his 2-5 (.225) plus the two RBIs.

Aussie TRENT OELTJEN did not get to bat when he came into yesterday's game as a defensive replacement at left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants

  20 SEPT 2011 - HUGHES HITS AT YANKEE STADIUM!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Peter Moylan


Rich Thompson


Josh Spence


Trent Oeltjen

Australia's LUKE HUGHES batted 1-4 (.230) with a RBI as the starting third baseman and #7 batter for the Minnesota Twins in their 4-6 loss to the New York Yankees at New Yankee Stadium today. His hit came early from his first plate appearance in the top of the second when he reached on an infield single with two out from the second pitch he saw from A.J Burnett... he then stole second base where he remained when the inning ended. In the top of the fourth he battled Burnett to a full count before flying out to left field for the first out of the inning with two team mates aboard. Hughes next came to the plate with bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth not long after Burnett had been replaced by Cory Wade and he managed to deliver a RBI with his infield ground out to the short stop. In the seventh inning he was to be the third out when Rafael Soriano had him struck out swinging.

LUKE HUGHES also had a productive game yesterday after again starting at third base and batting at No.5 for the Twins in their tight 5-6 defeat by the Cleveland Indians. His day started well with a single up the middle to lead off the bottom of the second against tough Cleveland starter Justin Masterson. He was aboard again as the leadoff hitter in the fourth when his infield hit was fielded by pitcher Masterson who could not complete the out. Up again in the sixth Masterson got Luke to ground into a fielder's choice to the third baseman but he was able to advance to second base via a throwing error on the same play. In this inning he reached third base on a passed ball and subsequently scored his second run of the game. Hughes failed to convert a RBI opportunity in the eighth with a runner on second base and none out when he was struck out swinging by Tony Sipp. He got a fifth at bat in the bottom of the ninth when Chris Perez had him ground into a fielder's choice to the short stop for the second out of the inning. Luke's 2-5 game saw him cross the plate for three of Minnesota's five runs.

Experienced Aussie relief ace PETER MOYLAN pitched a cameo 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (3.24ERA) today but he was unable to help his Atlanta Braves who were beaten late 5-6 by the Florida Marlins. Our Pete was asked to get the third out in the bottom of the sixth with a runner threatening in scoring position on second base. With three successive strikes Pete obliged by getting Matt Dominguez to ground out to the short stop. That was his job done for the day.

Former ABL import KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) had a torrid time pitching today after some recent strong performances with a hard-hit 3.1ip 9h 6er 1bb 2k as the starter for the Colorado Rockies in their 2-8 defeat by the San Diego Padres. The loss saw Millwood's improving season record slide to 3-3, 4.56ERA.

Aussie right hander RICH THOMPSON closed the final inning for the Los Angeles Angels to conclude their 11-2 blowout win over the Baltimore Orioles yesterday with a tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.98ERA). Thompson required only eleven pitches to get Josh Bell struck out looking, Ryan Adams to ground out to the short stop and Nolan Reimold to ground out to the third baseman. Three up and three down!

Australia's lefty reliever JOSH SPENCE didn't enjoy his brief 0.0ip 0h 1er 1bb 0k (2.79ERA) outing for the San Diego Padres during their 1-5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday. Spence came into the game to commence the top of the seventh but he could only manage to walk leadoff hitter Gerardo Parra on a full count before he was relieved. Parra later scored in the inning to saddle Josh with the unwanted earned run against his account.

Aussie outfielder TRENT OELTJEN took over at centre field to hit 0-2 (.219) for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 15-1 hammering of the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday. Trent came into the game as a defensive replacement at centre field before the top of the sixth inning and he got to face 'Buccos' pitcher Daniel McCutchen with two on and nobody out in the home half of the inning. He grounded out to the first baseman while allowing the runners to advance. Oeltjen's next opportunity came in the bottom of the seventh when Tony Watson had him called out on strikes with two aboard for the second out.

  19 SEPT 2011 - BALFOUR STRONG WITH 25TH HOLD!
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

Aussie fireman GRANT BALFOUR took hold No.25 yesterday with a conclusive 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (2.28ERA) for the Oakland Athletics who upended the division clinching Detroit Tigers 5-3. Grant nailed down the top of the eighth inning with Magglio Ordonez grounding out to the short stop, Ryan Raburn struck out swinging and Miguel Cabrera grounding out to the second baseman.

In his previous outing BALFOUR enjoyed the identical line of 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k when he helped the A's to roll over the Tigers 6-1. Also facing the same heart of the potent Detroit lineup in the bottom of the eighth he had Ordonez struck out swinging, Delmon Young fly out to centre field and Cabrera grounded out to the second baseman.

Australia's Mr. Versatile LUKE HUGHES was back starting at the third base "hot corner" while batting at #5 for the Minnesota Twins in their 4-10 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Indians yesterday. Luke batted 0-4 to see his major league average for the season drift to .227. Facing 'Tribe' starter Jeanmar Gomez in the bottom of the second Luke grounded into a fielder's choice to the third baseman to erase the lead runner for the first out of the inning. He then suffered exactly the same fate against the same pitcher in the third inning when he made the third out via a fielder's choice ground ball to the third baseman. His struggles against Gomez continued in the fifth when another ground ball to the third baseman resulted into an inning ending double play. Hughes then completed a barren day with the bat by lining out to the short stop for the first out in the bottom of the eighth facing reliever Josh Judy.

The previous day HUGHES again started at third base while batting in the #6 hole for the Twins in their 6-7 loss to the Indians. Facing former Rockies starter Ubaldo Jiminez Luke started his day at the plate with a ground out to the short stop as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the second. He next made the second out in the fourth when Jiminez had him pop out to the second baseman. Hughes was to be the second out again in the sixth when Jiminez induced him to fly out to right field. Facing reliever Vinnie Pestano in the bottom of the eighth Luke battled hard before being struck out swinging for the third out of the inning. Unfortunately it was another 0-4 game for the Aussie.

On Friday Australian outfielder TRENT OELTJEN pinch hit for the Los Angeles Dodgers with 0-1 (.226) during their 2-6 defeat by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Trent didn't have much fun facing experienced Jason Grilli when he led off the bottom of the eighth by striking out on the minimum three pitches.
For the trivia minded Jason Grilli has previously been a thorn in Australia's side as the starting pitcher for Italy in our first game of the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic when a "contrived" Italian team trounced our AROOS in a Mercy Rule killing!

Former ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.217) with a RBI for the Los Angeles Angels who fell 2-6 to the in-form Baltimore Orioles.

  16 SEPT 2011 - HENDRIKS HARD LUCK IN LOSS v ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks














Trent Oeltjen


Kevin Millwood

On face value the pitching line of 5.0ip 8h 5er 0bb 2k recorded yesterday by Australia's most recent new major leaguer, LIAM HENDRIKS, does not look like a brilliant outing. Having watched the recorded game last night I can inform anyone who didn't that his start certainly wasn't brilliant, but it was by no means poor and deserving of much better than he got in a 3-7 loss for his Minnesota Twins versus the Kansas City Royals. 'Flintoff & Dunn' has never been an apologist for Australian baseball and we don't "sugar coat" the efforts of Australian players; however, this truly was a case of "what could go wrong did".

First and foremost the respected "FOXTRAX" technology showed that, on many occasions, the plate umpire did not give Hendriks legitimate strikes, especially in the lower part of the strike zone and this eventually forced him to throw more pitches up that he would prefer. Next was the fact that only one of the hits he allowed was really hit hard and most just managed to find their way over or into the shallow outfield, not off the fat part of the bats. Finally, the infield defence behind him was dreadful and how one routine double-play in the fourth inning that failed to get an out was not ruled an error is beyond belief!

After a tidy 1-2-3 first inning Liam opened the second with three successive soft singles to Eric Hosmer, Jeff Francouer and Mike Moustakas for one run and Johnny Giavotella added another with a sacrifice fly. Hendriks then induced an uplifting inning ending double play to limit the damage. In the third he allowed just one single to Alex Gordon in an otherwise neat effort that ended with a punch out of power hitter Billy Butler. The bottom of the fourth saw the "Circus Music" begin after Eric Hosmer chopped a single up the middle just out of Hendriks' reach and Jeff Francouer reached on an infield single to the short stop that should have been ruled an error on a routine double-play. Mike Moustakas followed with a RBI single and Johnny Giavotella added another run on a fielder's choice play that produced another error. A third run scored in the inning on the one and only extra base hit when Salvador Perez doubled to deep right field.
To his credit, Hendriks re-grouped to finish the inning with a pop out and a strike out. Even better, he finished his outing on a most positive note with three up and three down in the bottom of the fifth.

Above all Liam Hendriks proved that he has the mental toughness and composure to take the heat of the major league kitchen and he did not allow adversity to affect his concentration. As we said, he was by no means as bad as his current 0-2, 6.00ERA record may appear.

Australia's TRENT OELTJEN made another cameo appearance as a pinch hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Facing Daniel Hudson in the bottom of the seventh, Trent didn't see a pitch worthy of swinging at as he took a four pitch walk with two out in the inning. Oeltjen moved to second base on a baulk but that was as far as he got.

Evergreen former ABL import KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) continues to roll back the clock with his third win of the season coming after he pitched 6.0ip 4h 2er 2bb 2k to anchor his Colorado Rockies to a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The win took his record to 3-2, 3.68ERA.

  15 SEPT 2011 - PETE MOYLAN GETS WIN v MARLINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Peter Moylan




It may sound all a bit too simple, but all Aussie hurler PETER MOYLAN had to do was to strike out one batter to claim his second win of the season as his Atlanta Braves overran the Florida Marlins 7-1 yesterday. Moylan was called from the bullpen with two out in the top of the sixth and with a runner perched in scoring position at second base. After throwing his first two pitches for strikes Donnie Murphy battled back to a full count before he was finally struck out looking. The win fell in his lap when the Braves overturned a 0-1 deficit with three runs in the home half of the sixth. Pete's line of 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k took his season record to 2-1, 3.38ERA.

Australia's LUKE HUGHES was back starting at second base yesterday while batting in the #7 slot for the Minnesota Twins who were again shut out in an impotent three-hit 0-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Facing Royals' veteran starter Bruce Chen, Hughes made the second out in the top of the second when he was struck out swinging on four pitches. In the fifth he made the first out with the lead runner aboard when Chen had him fly out to right field. Luke battled Chen again as the leadoff hitter in the eighth but this at bat ended with a ground out to the short stop. His 0-3 trimmed his batting average to .234.

  14 SEPT 2011 - FOUR AUSSIES PROVIDE ML RELIEF!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Peter Moylan


Shane Lindsay


Grant Balfour



Seasoned Aussie reliever PETER MOYLAN seems to be getting back into his familiar groove with a neat 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (3.52ERA) but his efforts for the Atlanta Braves were not enough to prevent their tough 4-5 loss to the Florida Marlins in a 12 inning epic. Our Pete kept the game deadlocked after the top of the tenth by getting Matt Dominguez to ground out to the first baseman followed by pinch hitter Mike Cameron and Emilio Bonifacio who both struck out swinging. Suffice to say that Moylan did his job very well.

After one horrendous outing Australia's recent new major leaguer SHANE LINDSAY appears to have re-grouped quite well with a solid 3.0ip 2h 0er 2bb 1k (12.00ERA) to close out the Chicago White Sox 4-14 defeat by the hot hitting Detroit Tigers. With his team already in a deep 2-14 hole Lindsay took over from the top of the seventh in which he got Miguel Cabrera to ground out to second ahead of a four pitch walk to dangerous veteran Victor Martinez. He didn't allow any further damage in that frame by inducing Alex Avila to ground out to the first baseman and Jhonny Peralta to ground out to the short stop. In the top of the eighth Shane erased Ryan Raburn who struck out swinging on a full count, but he then allowed back-to-back one out singles to Brandon Inge and Austin Jackson. Once again he avoided further damage with Ramon Santiago flying out to right field and Don Kelly flying out to centre field with a wild pitch squeezed in between. Polishing off the top of the ninth Lindsay got veteran Carlos Guillen to fly out to centre field and Will Rhymes to ground out to the short stop before halting his progress with a two out walk to Alex Avila. He kept his clean sheet for the day by getting Danny Worth to ground into a fielder's choice to the short stop to conclude the 'Chisox' pitching for the game.

Australian GRANT BALFOUR wasn't quite perfect yesterday with 1.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 3k (2.35ERA) yet he was good enough to put a lid on his Oakland Athletics 6-3 doubling of the local rival Los Angeles Angels. There was a rude welcome for Grant in the top of the ninth when former ABL import Vernon Wells hammered his third pitch over left field for a leadoff homer. Any sign of an LA revival was promptly squashed when 'Balf' struck out Mike Trout, Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo, Aybar looking and the other two swinging. He pitched like a man in a hurry with 13 of 19 pitches thrown for strikes. As mentioned former ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) struck for his 21st 'jack' of the season as part of his 2-4 (.220) plus two RBIs that weren't quite enough for the 'Halos' on this occasion.

Aussie left hander JOSH SPENCE wasn't quite able to keep a clean sheet with 1.0ip 1h 1er 1bb 1k (2.48ERA) for the San Diego Padres in their 3-8 loss to the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Spence took over for the bottom of the sixth that began with a five pitch walk to the dangerous Aubrey Huff, yet he kept him camped on first with Brandon Belt popping out to second, Hector Sanchez struck out swinging and Brandon Crawford grounding out to the first baseman. Returning for the seventh inning a leadoff single by Andres Torres saw Josh replaced and his replacement quickly allowed the earned run to be scored against Josh's account. That's life as a pitcher!
  13 SEPT 2011 - HUGHES TRIES TO RALLY TWINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

 

Australia's LUKE HUGHES continues to be a versatile infield option for the Minnesota Twins, starting at third base this time and hitting cleanup at No.4 in their 1-2 defeat by the Detroit Tigers. Hughes faced Doug Fister as the leadoff hitter in the top of the second inning and he grounded out to the third baseman as the first out of the inning. In the top of the fourth Fister had him ground out back to the mound for the third out of the frame. Hughes again made the third out in the sixth in similar fashion when he found Fister's glove with a line out to the pitcher. Luke's most positive offensive moment came in the top of the ninth when he helped fuel a rally via his single into right field following Joe Mauers leadoff walk to put two runners aboard with nobody out. Unfortunately for the Twins only one run ensued, leaving them one short of levelling the game. His 1-4 effort leaves his season average at .237 currently.

Aussie outfielder TRENT OELTJEN batted 0-1 (.230) as a pinch hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 1-8 loss to the San Francisco Giants yesterday. Trent was called upon to bat for the pitcher with one out in the top of the seventh and he lifted the second pitch he saw from Steve Edlefsen for a fly ball out to left field.
 
  12 SEPT 2011 - BALFOUR & MOYLAN EARN HOLDS!
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


Peter Moylan
Hard throwing Aussie reliever GRANT BALFOUR was solid again with 1.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (2.24ERA) to collect his 24th hold of the season when his Oakland Athletics prevailed 8-7 in a tight one over the Texas Rangers. Grant did an important job to close down an uprising for the Rangers who had just scored twice to get within a run with one on and one out in the bottom of the seventh. He kept his team in the lead by getting Adrian Beltre to fly out to centre field and David Murphy to ground out to the second baseman. Back to handle the eighth inning Balfour saw Yorvit Torrealba threaten with a leadoff single into right field but he quickly erased that issue by getting Mitch Moreland to line into a double play the the first baseman. He finished his job for the day by getting pinch hitter Mike Napoli to ground out to the third baseman to end the inning. As often our Aussie was a key component in the win for his team. Australia's LUKE HUGHES made another start at second base for the Minnesota Twins yesterday but he wasn't able to make much offensive impact with 0-3 (.237) in their 2-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Facing Tigers' starter Matt Scherzer in the top of the second Luke made the third out by flying out to left field. He next made the first out as the leadoff batter in the fifth when Scherzer had him fly out to right field. In a fast moving game Hughes faced Scherzer again in the top of the seventh and this time he was the second out after being called out on strikes. This proved to be his final plate appearance for the day.

After some lean times and limited opportunities Australian outfielder TRENT OELTJEN came to the fore with 1-1 (.233) as a pinch hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 3-0 win over bitter rivals the San Francisco Giants. Oeltjen grasped his chance with one out in the top of the ninth when he singled up the middle from the second pitch he saw from Steve Edlefsen. Trent then went on to steal second base and third base but his terrific base running was wasted when he was left stranded on third at the end of the frame.

Former ABL import and major league journeyman GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-4 (.267) with a RBI and a walk to help his Arizona Diamondbacks to squeak past the San Diego Padres 6-5.

... and from other weekend action:

Aussie reliever PETER MOYLAN was on the hill again with 1.0ip 2h 0er 0bb 0k (4.05ERA) to register his second hold of the year in a game that his Atlanta Braves went on to lose 3-4 to the St.Louis Cardinals. Pete took over at the beginning of the bottom of the sixth to pitch to the considerable meat of the 'Cards' lineup and he did very well to maintain a 2-1 lead for the Braves at the time. He lost the leadoff hitter when superstar Albert Pujols singled into centre field but, in familiar fashion, he bounced back to get Matt Holliday to ground into a double play to the short stop. The third of the big bats, Lance Berkman, singled into left field before the inning was ended with David Freese grounding into a fielder's choice to the second baseman. Unfortunately his bullpen partners couldn't preserve the lead as the game went into a tenth inning.

Productive backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) thumped his sixth home run of the season with 2-4 (.264) plus two RBIs and a walk to help his Atlanta Braves to beat the New York Mets 5-1 in the nightcap game of a double header.
  9 SEPT 2011 - HUGHES HELPS TWINS TO TOPPLE WHITE SOX!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Peter Moylan


Australia's LUKE HUGHES must be enjoying the consistent playing time as he produced offensively once again after starting at second base for the Minnesota Twins and helping them to snatch a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox. Batting in the #6 slot, Luke enjoyed a strong 2-3 game with the stick plus a walk and a stolen base. His first plate appearance in the bottom of the second delivered a two out single into centre field from the pitching of 'Chisox' veteran starter John Danks. Hughes then made the third out in the third inning when Danks induced him to fly out to right field on a full count. With Danks still on the hill Hughes worked a one out walk in the bottom of the sixth after another full count and he made the most of the chance by stealing second base and then scoring on a throwing error from the same play to give the Twins what turned out to be the winning fifth run. Luke threatened to give his team some breathing space in the eighth frame with a one out double to deep centre field off Dylan Axelrod but he was left stranded on third base when the inning ended. No doubt his effort was pivotal in this game.

It was terrific to see seasoned Aussie reliever PETER MOYLAN back in the big leagues following a long injury rehabilitation but, in this instance, it was not a case of many happy returns. Pete happened to be the man entrusted to pitch the ninth inning for the Atlanta Braves in a tied ballgame and he was unable to stop the Philadelphia Phillies from securing a 3-2 comeback win. His 0.1ip 2h 1er 1bb 0k (4.76ERA) outing brought about his first loss of the 2011 season. Pete got the first out with Hunter Pence grounding out to the second baseman but the decisive moment came when he lost an eight pitch battle with veteran Raul Ibanez who milked a full count walk to put the winning run on base. Next Carlos Ruiz squeezed a single into left field and pinch hitter Ross Gload clinched the deal with his walkoff single into right field.


Evergreen utility GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-5 (.269) as the starting second baseman for the "surprise packet" Arizona Diamondbacks who topped the Colorado Rockies 5-3. The opposing starting pitcher was another veteran former ABL import KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997)  who took his second loss of the season with 5.2ip 10h 4er 0bb 4k for the Rockies. His record now stands at 2-2, 3.79ERA for 2011.
  7 SEPT 2011 - LIAM HENDRIKS BECOMES 31st AUSSIE MAJOR!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks
































Luke Hughes


Trent Oeltjen

'Flintoff & Dunn' CONGRATULATES AUSTRALIA'S No.31 player to reach the US major leagues on 7 September 2011 (AUS time), 22yo West Australian Right Hand Pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS.

22yo Perth pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS today became the 31st Australian to play at the major league level when he made his debut as the starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins in their spanking new Target Field Stadium, Minneapolis. The young tyro that ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ nicknamed the “Wanneroo Wrecker” because of his amazing exploits as a teenager for WA in the Claxton Shield has had a dizzy climb in professional baseball this season. This time last season Liam was pitching at ‘Advanced A’ level for in the Twins organisation, but this year has seen him really take off. After starting the 2011 season in dominant fashion at ‘AA’ New Britain, Hendriks earned a promotion to ‘AAA’ Rochester where he pitched well enough to be selected for the World Team to contest the prestigious All-Star weekend Futures Game. Not long after he now finds himself achieving the dream of all aspiring baseballers by reaching the pinnacle of the sport.

Liam’s debut started in ideal fashion in front of 36,959 home fans versus the visiting Chicago White Sox with a neat, nine pitch, 1-2-3 first inning where he had Juan Pierre line out to left, Alexei Ramirez fly out to left and A.J Pierzynski struck out swinging.
He was bitten for a run in the top of the second when, after striking out Alex Rios, he lost an eight pitch battle with power-laden monster Adam Dunn who walked. The walk would eventually hurt when Dunn advanced on Tyler Flowers’ ground out and then scored on Alejandro De Aza’s single to left. De Aza was out trying to stretch a double on the play.
Hendriks caused himself a headache with a leadoff walk to Brent Morel to begin the top of the third but he re-grouped to get Gordon Beckham to fly out to right, Juan Pierre called out on strikes and Alexei Ramirez to ground out back to the mound for another clean inning.
In the fourth he got A.J Pierrzynski to ground out back to the mound but dangerous Alex Rios followed with a first pitch home run to left field. He then got Adam Dunn to ground out to the first baseman before Tyler Flowers became the third hitter to ground one back to the mound for the third out.
Another run came in the fifth when nemesis Alejandro De Aza led off the inning with a triple to deep centre field and then scored on Brent Morel’s single up the middle. Once again Hendriks showed his mettle by having Gordon Beckham struck out looking and then getting Juan Pierre to ground into an inning ending double play.
Hendriks posted another three up, three down inning in the sixth with Alexei Ramirez grounding back to himself, A.J Pierzynski flying out to centre field and Alex Rios grounding out to the third baseman.
Another walk to Adam Dunn led off the seventh but Liam added that frame to his bank with Flowers popping out to short, De Aza fouling out to left and Morel grounding out within reach of the catcher.
After throwing 99 pitches (65 for strikes) Hendriks was relieved before the start of the eighth inning with a quality start of 7.0ip 4h 3er 3bb 4k for his initial big league record of 0-1, 3.86ERA. Even though he was saddled with the loss because of his team mates being shut out in a 0-3 defeat by the ‘Chisox’ it was a most outstanding debut effort.


Unable to assist his WA team mate with some run support was LUKE HUGHES who started at second base for the Twins while batting in the #6 slot with 0-3 (.234). With one on and none out facing Jake Peavy Hughes made the first out in the second inning when he lined the first pitch he saw to the short stop. Luke came up again with one on and none out in the bottom of the fourth and this time he battled before being struck out swinging by Peavy. His next plate appearance saw him battle Peavy for a leadoff walk after a full count in the seventh. Leading off again in the bottom of the ninth Hughes battled Matt Thornton before being called out on strikes.

Australia's TRENT OELTJEN made another pinch hit appearance for the Los Angeles Dodgers today, going 0-1 (.224) in their comfortable 7-3 win over the Washington Nationals. Once again pinch hitting for the pitcher, Trent came up to bat with one out in the top of the seventh and he lasted four pitches before Brad Peacock had him fly out to right field.
  6 SEPT 2011 - SHANE LINDSAY MAULED BY TIGERS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes








Josh Spence


Grant Balfour


Shane Lindsay


For the time being at least Australia's LUKE HUGHES seems to have settled at the first base position with another start for the Minnesota Twins in their 1-2 defeat by the Chicago White Sox in the early game of a double header today. Batting in the #8 hole he drove in the Twins' only run of the game with 1-3 (.240). His first plate appearance came in the bottom of the third when Philip Humber had him fly out to right field for the first out with one runner on. In the fifth Humber again got him to fly out to centre field for the first out with a runner aboard. Hughes did his job against Humber in the seventh by executing a bunt single to the third baseman to advance a runner into scoring position with one out. Finally, Luke's sacrifice fly off Sergio Santos in the bottom of the ninth got his team within a run but, unfortunately for them, this is the way it concluded.

An import player from the original ABL, journeyman utility infielder GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) continues to find his place in the US majors and he had a big offensive game for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their high scoring 10-7 win over the Colorado Rockies today. Blum launched his second home run of the season while batting 3-5 (.286) with three runs batted in.

Australian lefty reliever JOSH SPENCE walked the only batter he faced today with 0.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (1.93ERA) for the San Diego Padres during their 2-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Spence was summoned from the bullpen in the top of the eighth in a dicey situation with runners on second and third bases and only one out in the inning, just as the Giants were set to break the game wide open. With an open base at first he may have been told to pitch carefully to Brandon Belt, but I'm not sure that a five pitch walk to load the bags was really the ideal result. At least it didn't cost Josh an earned run!

... and from yesterday:

Established Aussie relief ace GRANT BALFOUR had an unusually tough day with 1.0ip 4h 2er 0bb 2k (2.30ERA) for the Oakland Athletics during their 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. Grant came in to handle the top of the eighth which started shakily when Justin Smoak lashed a leadoff single into left field before he claimed two quick outs with Miguel Olivo struck out swinging and Kyle Seager lining out to centre field. Trayvon Robinson followed with a double to deep right field to set the table for Luis Rodriguez to rope a two RBI single up the middle. The prolific Japanese great Ichiro Suzuki poked another single into shallow centre field but Balfour was able to stop the bleeding by striking out pinch hitter Adam Kennedy to end the inning. Thankfully the As had a big enough cushion to win the game.

If his more seasoned Aussie compatriot Grant Balfour had a tough time, then that would be a gross understatement for Australia's most recent new major leaguer SHANE LINDSAY whose honeymoon in the major leagues proved to be a short one. In his second outing for the Chicago White Sox poor Lindsay was used as "cannon fodder" with a painful 1.0ip 8h 7er 1bb 1k (31.50ERA) in their 2-18 blowout hammering at the hands of the merciless Detroit Tigers yesterday. With his team already floundering 0-9 to start the bottom of the sixth Shane was simply hung out to "sink or swim" by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and it wasn't pretty. In order to make this slightly less painful for Aussie baseball fans, we'll do this as quickly as we can. Victor Martinez walked; Alex Avila doubled to deep centre; Jhonny Peralta smacked a two RBI double into right field; Ryan Raburn struck out swinging; Brandon Inge hit a RBI single into deep centre field; Austin Jackson reached on an infield single via an error; Ramon Santiago popped out to the second baseman... That was two outs, but it didn't end there. Andy Dirks smacked a two RBI single up the middle; Miguel Cabrera pounded a two run homer over centre field; Victor Martinez doubled to deep left field; Alex Avila singled up the middle... Finally, pinch hitter Will Rhymes flied out to right field to end the torture! There's simply nowhere to hide as a major league pitcher in that situation.

  5 SEP 2011 - HUGHES STILL HITTING FOR TWINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Vernon Wells

Rich Thompson

Trent Oeltjen

Kevin Millwood
Versatile Australian LUKE HUGHES continues to play any infield position aside from short stop and it was to be first base today with 1-3 (.242) for the Minnesota Twins in their 6-10 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. In the top of the second Luke executed a neat bunt single to get aboard with none out against the tough pitching of All-Star Jared Weaver. He next led off the fourth with an eleven pitch battle before being struck out swinging. In the top of the fifth Hughes worked a five pitch walk from Weaver with two out to keep the inning alive in a tied game at that stage. Facing Bobby Cassevah he grounded out to the third baseman as the leadoff hitter in the eighth inning.
The previous day HUGHES also started at first base while batting at #7 with 0-3 for the game. Facing 'Halos' starter Joel Pineiro in the top of the second Luke battled for a full count but he eventually struck out swinging as team mate Jason Kubel was also caught stealing to end the inning. In the fifth Pineiro had him fly out to centre field for the first out with one aboard. Hughes then made the third out in the top of the seventh when the same pitcher had him ground out to the short stop. In this game veteran Angels slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-4 (.221) with two RBIs including his 19th home run of the season.
On Saturday HUGHES did even better with a solid 2-5 plus two RBIs to help the Twins to crush the Angels 13-5. In the same game Australian reliever RICHARD THOMPSON hurled 1.2ip 3h 1er 0bb 1k (3.08ERA) for the 'Halos'. This time Hughes began his day facing Tyler Chatwood in the top of the second which resulted in him being struck out swinging for the second out. Up again in the fourth Luke delivered the go-ahead run for his team with his RBI double into deep left field off Chatwood. With Jerome Williams on the bump Hughes led off the fifth by flying out to right field for the first out. In the top of the seventh our man helped to ignite another threat with his single up the middle off compatriot Thompson to advance a team mate to second with nobody out and this run eventually scored. To cap a good day at the office Hughes pushed across another run in the eighth when he milked a bases loaded four pitch walk from hard throwing Fernando Rodney. The game began in positive fashion for THOMPSON when he locked down the last two outs in the top of the sixth with Michael Cuddyer flying out to left field and Danny Valencia flying out to centre. Back to pitch the seventh he was quickly under pressure with Rene Tosoni slapping a leadoff single up the middle, followed by a similar stroke from fellow Aussie Luke Hughes to put two runners on base. Drew Butera grounded into a fielder's choice to the second baseman to force Hughes out at second but Ben Revere cashed in a run with his RBI single into left field. Richard concluded that inning by getting Trevor Plouffe to fly out to centre field.

Once again Aussie TRENT OELTJEN was afforded just a minor bench role for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves after ten innings. Trent came into the game as a defensive replacement to start the bottom of the tenth inning at right field. He didn't see much action in that final inning of the contest.
On Saturday OELTJEN at least got the opportunity, brief as it was, to swing the bat as a pinch hitter for the Dodgers with 0-1 (.228) in their 8-6 victory over the Braves. Trent was asked to hit for the pitcher with one out and one on in the top of the ninth and he was required to take strike two while team mate Matt Kemp was caught attempting to steal for the second out. Needing to protect the plate Oeltjen grounded out to the first baseman, thus allowing Atlanta pitcher Scott Linebrink to finish the inning.

... also on Saturday:

Evergreen starting pitcher KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) rolled back the clock to near his very best with a masterly 7.0ip 7h 0er 0bb 8k for his second win of the season when he anchored the Colorado Rockies 3-0 shutout win over the San Diego Padres. As the mainstay of the combined shutout 'Big Kev' improved his season record to 2-1, 3.34ERA.
  3 SEPT 2011 - SHANE LINDSAY 30TH AUSSIE MAJOR!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Shane Lindsay

No.30


'Flintoff & Dunn' CONGRATULATES AUSTRALIA'S No.30 player to reach the US major leagues on 3 September 2011 (AUS time), 26yo Victorian Right Hand Pitcher SHANE LINDSAY.

26yo Victorian right hand pitcher SHANE LINDSAY today (3 September 2011 AUS time) became the 30th Australian to reach the US major league. Hard-throwing Lindsay may be an enigma in Australian baseball where he has rarely flourished, yet he has been an asset as a relief pitcher in the US professional scene. After having one of his best seasons with the Chicago White Sox this season, mainly in 'AAA', he certainly earned his call up to the extended September roster of the big league 'Chisox'.
Lindsay enjoyed a positive debut when he closed a wide 1-8 defeat by his former Detroit Tigers club in front of just over 42,000 away fans at Detroit's relatively new Comerica Park stadium with 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (0.00ERA). As he often does in Australia, Shane struggled for control with only seven of 17 pitches thrown for strikes, yet 'Flintoff & Dunn' will not use this to sour a memorable major league debut.
Pitching the bottom of the eighth, Lindsay got Dayan Viciedo to ground out to the third baseman before issuing a four pitch walk to pinch hitter Brent Lillibridge. His next pitch saw Tyler Flowers foul out to right field and he finished his job by getting Brent Morel to ground out within range of the catcher.

Welcome to the very exclusive club SHANE LINDSAY... it is something that can never be taken away!

We will update other weekend news tomorrow, but we thought that this story deserved its own billing!

  2 SEP 2011 - HUGHES HOMERS FOR No.7!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Trent Oeltjen

Grant Balfour

Rich Thompson

Josh Spence
 Australia's LUKE HUGHES continued his recent "Batting Barrage" with his seventh home run certainly helping his Minnesota Twins to topple the Chicago White Sox 7-6. Luke started at second base while batting at #8 and, although he struck out three times, his 1-4 (.237) delivered two vital RBIs via the long ball. His 403ft blast over left centre supplied the final two runs of the first inning as the Twins put up a "six spot" against a rattled Jake Peavy. Hughes next made the second out in the top of the fourth when a settling Peavy had him struck out swinging. In the seventh Jason Frasor had Luke called out on strikes when he led off the inning. He was struck out looking again by Josh Kinney to make the final out in the game for Minnesota.

The previous day HUGHES batted 0-3 for the Twins as the starting third baseman and No.6 batter in their 6-8 defeat by the 'Chisox'. His first at bat brought a ground out to the short stop in the second inning while facing starter Zach Stewart. Up again in the fourth Stewart had him fly out to right field for the first out of the inning. As the first batter to face Jason Frasor in the sixth Luke battled to work a full count leadoff walk. Facing Chris Sale with one out in the eighth Hughes was struck out swinging on four pitches for his last plate appearance.

Compatriot TRENT OELTJEN batted 0-1 (.232) after taking over at right field for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres. Trent came into the game at right field in the top of the seventh via a "double switch". In the bottom half of the seventh he was struck out swinging by Joe Thatcher for the second out.

Australia's GRANT BALFOUR was the third of seven pitchers used by the Oakland Athletics yesterday when they were beaten in a tough one 3-4 by the Cleveland Indians after 16 innings. As most often he did his job with a clean 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (2.01ERA) and it was not his fault that the A's were nipped in the end. His first duty was to secure the third out in the bottom of the seventh when he got the dangerous Asdrubal Cabrera to fly out to centre field with a runner stranded on third. Back for the eighth he got Jim Thome to ground out to the second baseman before fanning both Carlos Santana and Jack Hannahan.

... also on Wednesday:

Australian reliever RICH THOMPSON closed the Los Angeles Angels 13-6 romp over the Seattle Mariners with a tidy 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (3.00ERA). Thompson breezed through the bottom of the ninth with Luis Rodriguez grounding out to first, Ichiro Suzuki flying out to left and Trayvon Robinson grounding out to second. In the same game team mate VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999)  batted 0-2 (.215) but he did walk and produce a run batted in.

Aussies JOSH SPENCE and TRENT OELTJEN were in opposing camps in the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 win over the San Diego Padres. Spence pitched 2.0ip 1h 0er 2bb 0k (1.93ERA) for the Padres while TRENT OELTJEN pinch hit with 0-1. Taking over for the bottom of the sixth he got Justin Sellers to fly out to right field and James Loney to line out to right before Matt Kemp interrupted with a four pitch walk. He killed off that inning with a Juan Rivera flying out to left field. Returning to pitch the seventh it was a similar pattern for Josh when he got Andre Ethier to fly out to left before issuing another four pitch walk to the light hitting Aaron Miles. He got the second out with Miles caught stealing which was helpful when A.J Ellis followed with a single into left field. Spence finished his job for the day with Jamey Carroll grounding out to the second baseman. Oeltjen got his chance to pinch hit for the pitcher when he led off the bottom of the eighth and it ended with a sharp ground out to the first baseman.

If anyone takes the trouble to contact us with any reasonably substantiated news of interest to AMLB supporters, we will publish this news on this site! Click these to contact Adrian Dunn or Peter Flintoff.