HIGHS: It didnâ€™t get any hotter than the Portland offense on Friday as the Beavers defeated Sacramento, 17-3. Craig Stansberry went 3-for-6, Luis Cruz doubled three times and Jack Cust homered twice in the rout . . . But then again, thereâ€™s Tucson infielder Jamie Dâ€™Antona. No, Dâ€™Antona didnâ€™t have any hits in the Sidewindersâ€™ 2-1 win against Salt Lake. But he did walk three times and is now hitting .490/.567/.796 in 49 at-bats . . . Blue Jays righthander Josh Banks allowed a pair of runs on two hits over seven solid innings in Syracuseâ€™s 8-2 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre . . . And Shawn Riggans and Joel Guzman both homered in Durhamâ€™s 9-8 win against Columbus. Guzman went 2-for-5 and is now hitting .241/.232/.333.
LOWS: Athletics righthander Jason Windsorâ€”who tied for the minor league lead in wins last seasonâ€”had very little in the way of command on Friday in the Rivercatsâ€™ 17-3 loss to Portland. The 2004 third-round pick allowed nine earned runs on 11 hits over just two innings . . . Rockies righthander Ubaldo Jimenez was no better in Colorado Springsâ€™ 9-5 loss to Las Vegas. Jimenez allowed seven runs on as many hits and walked five, throwing 86 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings . . . Bulls righthander Jason Hammel got roughed up in Durhamâ€™s win against the Clippers. Hammel, who got off to a nice start this season, allowed five earned runs on six hits and walked five over four innings of work.
HIGHS: Scouts in attendance were raving about Indians 21-year-old lefthander Chuck Lofgren during Akronâ€™s 4-1 win against Reading on Friday. Weâ€™ll have a full scoutâ€™s view on Lofgren this week, but for now, letâ€™s just do the numbers: Lofgren allowed a run on four hits and struck out seven over five innings. Outfielder Brian Barton hit his second home run of the season, and third baseman Rodney Choy Foo, who forced Aerosâ€™ manager Tim Bogarâ€™s hand into an everyday role, went 3-for-3 and is now hitting .471/.561/.735 . . . With Boston center fielder Coco Crisp struggling in the big leagues, Red Sox fans are clamoring for Jacoby Ellsbury . . . like now. Ellsbury strengthened his case Friday, going 4-for-5 with a double, two triples and three RBIs in Portlandâ€™s 5-2 win against New Hampshire. The 2005 first-rounder is now hitting .500/.538/.806.
LOWS: Rockies righthander Ching-Lung Lo seemed to have all his mechanical flaws figured out by the end of the Hawaii Winter Baseball season after he struggled so badly early on last fall, but this season has been . . . well, rather nightmarish. So far this season, Lo has allowed 14 earned runs on 19 hits in 15 innings, and that includes Tulsaâ€™s 7-0 loss to Springfield on Friday. The 21-year-old Taiwanese righthander allowed six runs on seven hits and walked four over five innings . . . Dodgers lefthander Mike Megrew has been one of the feel-good stories of the early part of the seasonâ€”after coming back from 2004 Tommy John surgery, the Marlins took the 23-year-old in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft but returned him after arm troubles persisted. Now back with Los Angeles, and with a full season under his belt in high Class A this season, Megrewâ€™s stuff took a major step forward this year. But Friday was little indication of that, as Megrew allowed five earned runs and seven hits in five innings of Jacksonvilleâ€™s 5-3 win against Huntsville. He did strike out eight, however, and now has 1-0, 2.65 numbers with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings.
HIGH CLASS A
HIGHS: It was a great night for Ian Desmond fans, and we at Baseball America know that assistant editor Aaron Fitt woke up this morning a happy camper. Still just 21, the Nationalsâ€™ shortstop went 3-for-5 with a homer and a double in Potomacâ€™s 8-2 win against Frederick. Continuing the good news in Natsâ€™ camp, lefthander John Lannan was impressive again with five strikeouts over six shutout innings. Lannan, an 11th-round pick out of Sienna in 2005, is now 3-0, 0.47 with a 13-2 strikeout-walk ratio in 19 innings . . . Astros righthander Brad James didnâ€™t roll over as many hitters as he normally does, posting a 12-6 ground ball/fly ball ratio in Salemâ€™s 8-3 win against Lynchburg, but he was impressive nonetheless. James allowed a run on five hits over seven innings and is now 3-0, 0.45.
LOWS: Getting back to Hawaii Winter Baseball for a second, arguably no one improved their stock last fall than Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler in the developmental league. But Fowlerâ€™s been off to a slow start in the California League this season. He went 1-for-5 in Modestoâ€™s 5-0 win against Bakersfield and is now hitting .189/.306/.283 . . . It wasnâ€™t a pretty outing for Reds lefthander Travis Wood in Sarasotaâ€™s 5-3 win against Clearwater. Wood, a 2005 second-round pick, allowed three runs on four hits over three innings of work. One of those runs came via the home run, by Phillies outfielder Jeremy Slayden.
LOW CLASS A
HIGHS: Augusta righthander Adam Cowart keeps cruising right along. The 23-year-old tossed another seven shutout innings in the Greenjacketsâ€™ 9-0 win against Columbus, scattering five hits and striking out four . . . Phillies righthander Carlos Monasterios bounced back from his first two starts, tossing seven shutout innings in Lakewoodâ€™s 4-3 loss to Delmarva. Monasterios is now 0-1, 6.75 in 12 innings . . . Angels catcher Hank Conger had a nice night in Cedar Rapidsâ€™ 9-4 win against South Bend. Conger went 3-for-5 with a double, and picked a runner off third base . . . The Dayton combination of Drew Stubbs and Chris Valaika is tearing up the Midwest League right now. The Dragons are 10-1, and Stubbs and Valaika combined to go 6-for-9 with three RBIs in a 9-5 win against Quad Cities. Valaika, a third-round pick last year, doubled, tripled and homered, extending his hit streak to 10 games.
LOWS: The Great Lakesâ€™ offense has been scuffling early this season, and the left side of the Loonsâ€™ infield isnâ€™t helping. Shortstop Preston Mattingly went 1-for-4 and committed his fifth error of the season, while third baseman Josh Bell went 1-for-2 with a single. Of the two infielders, Bell is the hotter hitter, batting just .205/.295/.231 in 39 at-bats . . . There was nothing biting about â€˜The Mosquito,â€™ in Quad Citiesâ€™ loss to Dayton. Cardinals righthander Elvis Hernandez allowed four runs on seven hits over four innings and is now 2-1, 2.45.
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