Markham’s George Kottaras became the first big leaguer to hit for the cycle this season, as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros 8-2 Saturday in Houston.
Kottaras is the fifth catcher in the to record a cycle on the road. Mickey Cochrane did it twice in consecutive seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics.
The former Ontario Blue Jays catcher hit a solo homer in the fourth off Bud Norris, tripled in the sixth, added an RBI single in the seventh and doubled off David Carpenter in the ninth.
Needing a double in his last at-bat, his drive to centre bounced over for a ground-rule double, Kottaras likely could have stretched the hit to a triple.
Canada has not had much luck playing international ball in Colombia.
In 2001, the World Cup qualifier was scheduled for the south American country.
It was cancelled when U.S. and Canadian foreign affairs departments received kidnapping threats which both governments deemed serious.
Neither country attended and in 2002 Remo Cardinale guided a team independent league players to a first-place finish in a four-team secondary qualifier in Bradenton, Fla.
Now, the world juniors qualifier in Cartagena, Columbia, has been postponed due to a newly developed geological fault in nearby San Francisco has already reportedly destroyed 550 houses and displaced 2,600 families.
The Americas world junior qualification tournament will now take place from Nov. 17-27, rather than Sept. 23-Oct. 2.
The Junior national team will hold a qualifying camp Nov. 9 prior to travelling to Colombia for the qualifier. The top four countries from Colombia will qualify for the 2012 world junior championship in Seoul, Korea.
The annual Mizuno camp gathers the best teenagers from across the country for three days Sept. 7-10 at the Rogers Centre.
Of the 64 players invited 21 are from Ontario. They will be instructed by Blue Jays coaches Brian Butterfield, Bruce Walton, Don Wakamatsu and Luis Rivera, plus former Jays Duane Ward, Paul Quantrill, ex-pros Adam Stern, T.J. Burton, Jamie Lehman, Jays Canadian director of scouting and Greg Hamilton, director of Baseball Canada national teams.
Ontario players are: Brooklin’s Nathan Borges, Maple’s Christian Botter, Toronto’s Jamar Burnette, Etobicoke’s Robert Byckowski, Keswick’s Josh Grise, Georgetown’s Tyler Hardie, Bowmanville’s Brodie Harkness, Leamington’s Haydon Hodgson, Brampton’s Connor Lewis, Windsor’s Jake Lumley and Toronto’s Gareth Morgan.
Plus, Kleinberg’s Nathanial Morris, Thunder Bay’s Mike Moskalyk, Ajax’s Sean Ratcliffe, Peterborough’s Travis Seabrooke, Vaughan’s Drew Simmons, Mississauga’s Owen Spiwak, Etobicoke’s Adrian Stellato, Chatham’s Mark VanRycheghem, Etobicoke’s Jerrod Walsh, Oakville’s Blake Weston and Barrie’s Cole White.
Which program in Canada had the most players or alumni drafted or signed this summer?
It’s a three-way tie amongst the Langley Blaze, Ontario Blue Jays, and the Ontario Terriers with four apiece.
The tie-breaker which puts Brett Lawrie’s old team into top spot would be the fact that Doug Mathieson’s Langley team had two players go in the top 10 rounds, both signing for six-figure signing bonuses
Right-hander Tom Robson of Ladner, B.C. selected in the fourth round by Blue Jays scout Jamie Lehman and Dustin Houle of Penticton, B.C. chosen in the eighth by Milwaukee Brewers scout Jay Lapp.
The Ontario Blue Jays, coached by Danny Bleiwas had Toronto’s Justin Marra go in the 15th to the Cubs; Whitby’s Steven Wickens of Florida Gulf University, 33rd, Minnesota Twins; Oshawas’ Eric Wood, 37th, Oakland A’s and Whitby’s Joey Hawkins, 42nd, Kansas City Royals.
Marra and Wickens signed.
Current or former Terriers drafted or signed and coached by Danny Thompson were Roberto Suppa of Connor, Ont. a 26th rounder by the San Diego Padres; Chris Cox of St. George’s, Ont., and Canisius College, 39th round, Blue Jays; Shane Davis of Belmont, Ont. 42nd, Jays and Luke Willson of La Salle, Ont., a free agent sign by the Jays.
Davis signed, while Willson, a tight end for the Rice Owls has the Jays as a back-up plan if an NFL career does not work out.
McElroy had the most hits of the 121 Canadians in the minors. McElroy batted .375 (12-for-32) with three RBIs and scored seven times at class-A Dunedin (Jays) to win the honour.
Runners-up: Etobicoke’s John Suomi .600, two RBIs double-A Reading (Phillies), Eric Sim, Abbotsford, B.C. rookie-class Arizona Giants .462, four RBIs; Ethan Stewart, Campbell RIver, B.C. first win, two earned runs in nine innings, class-A Williamsport (Phillies), Toronto’s Tim Smith, one homer five RBIs, .436, double-A Northwest Arkansas (Royals), Cole Armstrong Surrey, B.C, .400 triple-A Salt Lake (Angels), Mark Hardy, Campbell River, six scoreless, class-A Fort Wayne (Padres), Steve McKinnon, Duncan, B.C. one run in five innings rookie-class Rangers; Mike Blanke, Granby, Que. two homers, five RBIs, class-A Winston Salem (White Sox), Jordan Lennerton, Langley, B.C. .353, two homers, seven RBIs class-A Lakeland (Tigers).
Moves of the week
Guelph’s Scott Diamond recalled by Minnesota Twins from triple-A Rochester.
Taylor Green, Comox, B.C., recalled by the Milwaukee Brewers from triple-A Nashville.
Newmarket’s Pete Orr, optioned by the Philadelphia Phillies to triple-A, Lehigh Valley.
Philippe Valiquette, St. Laurent, Que., signed as a free agent by the Seattle Mariners.
Burlington’s Tom Boleska had his contract purchased by the San Francisco Giants from Edmonton Capitals.
Etobicoke’s John Suomi moved by the Phillies to Lehigh from double-A Reading.