HIGHS: If Hunter Pence sticks in the big leaguesâ€”he was called up Friday nightâ€”at least he went out in style. Pence went 3-for-5 with a triple, double and stolen base in Round Rockâ€™s 8-7 loss to Albuquerque. In 85 at-bats for the Express, the 2004 second-round pick batted .341/.398/.588 with 10 doubles, three homers and 19 RBIs . . . Portland second baseman Craig Stansberry doubled three times in the Beaversâ€™ 11-5 loss to Tucson . . . In one of the best pitching matchups of the night, Rochester righthander Matt Garza squared off against Toledo righthander Virgil Vasquez, with the Mud Hens defeating the Red Wings, 6-2. Vasquez earned the win after allowing a pair of runs on seven hits and striking out seven in 7 1/3 innings. Garza meanwhile also allowed two runs on six hits and struck out six over six innings of work . . . Speaking of work, Indians righthander Adam Miller threw 97 pitchesâ€”66 for strikesâ€”in Buffaloâ€™s 5-1 loss to Pawtucket. Miller allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and struck out eight . . . Finally, good news for Pirates fans. First, righthander Bryan Bullington was clocked at 93 mph in his last start and now John Van Benschoten seems to be following that path. Van Benschotenâ€™s fastball was up to 92 mph in Indianapolisâ€™ 2-1 loss to Ottawa, and the righthander tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings, striking out seven.
LOWS: Triple-A has not been kind to Astros righthander Chad Reineke. The 25-year-old did not wear the Round Rock loss to Albuquerque, but he did allow six earned runs on nine hits, including two homers, over six innings. In 18 innings this season, Reineke has allowed 20 earned runs on 25 hits and is now 1-2, 10.00 . . . The Mets are still looking for consistency from righthander Philip Humber, and the 2004 first-rounder didnâ€™t take a step in the right direction in New Orleansâ€™ 5-1 loss to Oklahoma. Humber allowed five runs on six hits over five innings and is now 2-2, 4.15.
HIGHS: It seems like every weekend we touch on the Montgomery dynamic duo of Reid Brignac and Evan Longoria, and this weekend is no different. Brignac and Longoria hit back-to-back homers in the first inning against Dodgers righthander Justin Orenduff as the Biscuits defeated Jacksonville, 12-5. The two sluggers combined to go 5-for-9 with six RBIs on the night . . . White Sox lefthander Gio Gonzalez seems to get better and better with each start now that heâ€™s back with the club who drafted him in the first round of 2004. Gonzalez allowed a pair of runs on five hits and struck out 13 in Birminghamâ€™s 6-3 win against Hunstville and is now 4-1, 1.91 with 43 strikeouts in 28 innings . . . Tigers righthander Eulogio De La Cruz wound up the losing pitcher in Erieâ€™s 3-2 loss to Bowie, but whiffed 10 over eight innings . . . Rangers righthander Eric Hurley continues to dominate the Texas League. Hurley threw seven shutout innings in Friscoâ€™s 1-0 win against Corpus Christi and is now 3-0, 1.50 in 30 innings . . . And we canâ€™t leave out Braves outfielder Brandon Jones, who homered twice and drove in four in Mississippiâ€™s 8-2 win against Mobile. Jones is now hitting .338/.386/.600 with 11 extra-base hits in 80 at-bats.
LOWS: When we think of Binghamton versus Altoona, we automatically think of the prospect showdown between leadoff hitters, but Andrew McCutchen and Fernando Martinez could have put us to sleep on Friday night. The two prospectsâ€”two of the best outfield prospects in the minorsâ€”went a combined 1-for-7, with Martinez getting the lone base hit. In fact, neither has done much to keep anyone away from a slumber this season: McCutchen is hitting .185/.250/.292 in 65 at-bats, while Martinez is hitting .228/.313/.333.
HIGH CLASS A
HIGHS: Justin Upton continues to swing a hot bat. The Diamondbacks outfielder went 2-for-5 and hit his third homer of the season in Visaliaâ€™s 7-2 win against Rancho Cucamonga. During Uptonâ€™s current 10-game hit streak, the 2005 first-round pick is hitting .350 (20-for-57). Righthander Dallas Buck earned the victory for the Oaks, allowing a run on three hits and striking out six over six innings . . . Astros righthander Brad James was touched up for his first home run of the season, but still worked into the seventh inning in Salemâ€™s 2-1 win against Kinston. James served it up to Indians shortstop Josh Rodriguez . . . Pirates righthander Todd Redmond got his first win of the season in Lynchburgâ€™s 4-3 win at Myrtle Beach. The 21-year-old allowed a run on five hits and struck out five over five innings and is now 1-2, 4.74 with a 19-4 strikeout-walk ratio in 19 innings.
LOWS: Take your pickâ€”Tigers lefthander Andrew Miller got hammered in Lakelandâ€™s 8-1 loss to Clearwater, giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings . . . Millerâ€™s teammate at North Carolina, Daniel Bard also ran into some problems again at home in Lancaster. Bard allowed six runs and walked six over just 2 2/3 innings . . . And while the line might not look nearly as bad, Chris Volstad got hit hard in Jupiterâ€™s 4-3 loss to Daytona. Volstad allowed three runs on seven hitsâ€”but four of those were doublesâ€”over 6 1/3 innings of work.
LOW CLASS A
HIGHS: Another weekend, another round of praise for Devil Rays righthander Wade Townsend. This time, Townsend allowed a run on three hits and struck out seven over five innings of Columbusâ€™ 6-4 loss to Charleston. On the season, the 2005 first-round pick is now 3-1, 2.25 with 32 strikeouts in 26 innings . . . Time to give some love to Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer. The 20-year-old went 2-for-4 with a homer in Romeâ€™s 8-4 win against Savannah, and is hitting .354/.415/.625 in 96 at-bats . . . Brewers outfielder Stephen Chapman homered and tripled in West Virginiaâ€™s 8-5 marathon win against Lexington. The 21-year-old made seven trips to the plate in the 17-inning game, getting three hits in all and driving in five . . . Lake County shortstop Carlos Rivero went 2-for-3 with a homer in the Captainsâ€™ 5-4 win against Lakewood.
LOWS: In the bottom of the ninth inning of Lake Countyâ€™s win, things started off well for Lakewood reliever Andrew Cruse. But that didnâ€™t last long. With the Blue Claws up 4-3, Cruse recorded two quick outs before serving up a solo shot to outfielder Roman Pena to tie it, then gave up a walk-off solo home run to catcher Matt McBride.
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