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JETHAWKS NOTEBOOK: GOOD OUTING A RELIEF FOR DOYLE.

Byline: Gideon Rubin Staff Writer

SAN JOSE - One outing can only do so much to rebuild a struggling pitcher's confidence.

But Jared Doyle's performance Wednesday in the JetHawks' first-half title-clinching 8-1 victory over the San Jose Giants wasn't just any other outing, and to hear him tell it, it has his confidence soaring.

Doyle, who entered a 1-1 game in the second facing a second-and-third, one-out situation, struck out the first two batters he faced to escape the inning unscathed.

Doyle pitched 4 2/3 shutout innings of one-hit ball, during which he struck out five batters and allowed two walks in what was by far his best outing since being assigned to Lancaster from Double-A El Paso (Texas). It was also his first appearance since losing his spot in the starting rotation.

The JetHawks led 7-1 by the time Doyle (1-2) left the game.

``That was huge, especially coming off a lot of bad outings I've had since I've been here,'' Doyle said.

The left-handed Doyle, who's ranked among the top 30 prospects for the parent Arizona Diamondbacks organization by Baseball America, lowered his ERA from 14.06 to 10.89.

``I haven't struggled like this since I can remember, since high school,'' Doyle said. ``That outing really helped my confidence. Hopefully I can build off of it.''

A key factor in his success Wednesday was pitching out of the stretch, an adjustment made under the direction of pitching coach Dan Carlson, who believes Doyle has a tendency to drift forward when pitching from a windup, causing him to drop his arm slot and lose command.

``If that works, that's what I'll do,'' Doyle said. ``That's fine.''

--All-star update: The JetHawks have three new all-stars.

Pitcher Justin Wechsler, shortstop Danny Richar and outfielder Jarred Ball were selected by the California League office as replacements for the JetHawks' three soon-to-be-promoted original selections, the league announced Friday.

The JetHawks' original all-star selections - outfielder Conor Jackson, third baseman Jamie D'Antona and pitcher Clint Goocher - will be promoted, presumably to Double-A El Paso (Texas), sometime before the June 29 California/Carolina League All-Star game at San Bernardino.

Wechsler is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA. He's struck out 46 batters and allowed 36 hits and 13 walks in 40 1/3 innings. Richar is batting .336 (41 for 122) with three homers and 16 RBI, and Ball is batting .288 (67 for 233) with nine homers and 233 RBI.

Many in the JetHawks clubhouse have complained publicly that despite winning the Southern Division's first-half title, the JetHawks have just three all-stars compared to second-place Inland Empire, which has five.

The most conspicuous JetHawks all-star snubs are outfielder Carlos Quentin, who's batting .300 with 14 homers and 49 RBI, and catcher Phil Avlas, who's batting .312 with seven homers and 34 RBI.

--A light day: A day after celebrating their title, manager Wally Backman gave the team a light work day in preparation for Thursday's game against the Giants.

Players did some stretching and briefly played catch in the outfield grass after the team bus arrived at San Jose Municipal Stadium about an hour before game time.

The JetHawks lost an essentially meaningless 3-2 game to San Jose that ended a six-game winning streak.

``We just wanted to give them a chance to relax,'' Backman said. ``They've worked really hard all year.''

Gideon Rubin (818)713-3607

gideon.rubin(at)dailynews.com

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Lancaster's Danny Richar was named to the California League All-Star team after hitting .336 with three homers and 16 RBI.

John Lazar/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 19, 2004
Words:595
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