HIGHS: Mariners catcher Jeff Clement homered and drove in six runs and right fielder Wladimir Balentien went 3-for-6 with another three RBIs as Tacoma pounded Las Vegas, 15-1. Clement, who is off to a slow start after hitting just .189/.204/.321 in Hawaii Winter Baseball last fall, is now batting .225/.311/.388 with a pair of home runs in 80 at-bats for the Rainiers . . . Athletics second baseman Kevin Melillo went 3-for-5 with a home run and drove in four and first baseman Daric Barton collected a pair of hits in Sacramentoâ€™s 10-0 shutout of Salt Lake . . . Pirates outfielder Rajai Davis homered, tripled and had three RBIs in Indianapolisâ€™ 10-0 shutout of Ottawa . . . And Devil Rays righthander Andy Sonnanstine had nearly flawless command in Durhamâ€™s 7-2 win against Charlotte. Sonnanstine allowed a run on three hits and struck out 11 over seven innings. On the season, the 2004 13th-round pick is now 2-2, 2.70 with a 37-6 strikeout ratio in 30 innings.
LOWS: Yankees righthander Steven Jackson can be dominant as times, but Saturday nightâ€™s outing against Columbus was not one of those occasions. Jackson gave up two homers in the first inning, then another in the third of Scranton/Wilkes-Barreâ€™s 8-2 win against Columbus. Darnell McDonald, Kory Casto and Larry Broadway all went deep for the Clippers. Jackson, who came over to the Yanks in the offseason Randy Johnson deal, allowed six runs on eight hits over just 3 2/3 innings.
HIGHS: Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury followed up a four-hit night on Friday with a 1-for-4 performance, collecting his 10th double of the season in Portlandâ€™s 10-5 win against New Hampshire. Ellsbury is hitting .455/.507/.667 in 66 at-bats . . . As for his former rival in the Pac-10 conference, Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe has struggled this season, but went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in Akronâ€™s 10-4 win against Reading. It was just Croweâ€™s second multi-hit game of the season . . . Mariners lefthander Robert Rohrbaugh tossed six shutout innings in West Tennâ€™s 3-2 win against Chattanooga. The 2005 seventh-round pick out of Clemson allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked two . . . Brewers catcher Lou Palmisano might have fallen off the prospect radar somewhat in recent seasons, but the 24-year-old put together a nice April, hitting .372/.500/.558 in 43 at-bats. The 2003 third-rounder went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs in Huntsvilleâ€™s 4-2 loss to Birmingham.
LOWS: Braves righthander Jo-Jo Reyes struggled in Mississippiâ€™s 6-3 loss at Mobile on Saturday. The 22-year-old allowed five earned runs on seven hits, but struck out seven over 5 1/3 innings . . . Blue Jays lefthander David Purcey, who started out the season on a roll, got back to his old ways in New Hampshireâ€™s loss to Portland. Purcey allowed six earned runs on six hits, struck out four and walked two in 5 1/3 innings . . . In that same game, Red Sox reliever Bryce Cox allowed five runs on three hits and walked three in just 1 1/3 innings . . . Phillies third baseman Mike Costanzo committed errors No. 9 and No. 10 in Readingâ€™s loss. But the weirdest line of the night belonged to Costanzoâ€™s teammate Matt Maloney. The Phillies lefthander allowed seven runsâ€”none earnedâ€”on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings.
HIGH CLASS A
HIGHS: In terms of prospect matchups, one of the cooler ones on Saturday was Palm Beach righthander Adam Ottavino pitted against Vero Beach lefty Jacob McGee. Neither figured in the decision of the Cardinalsâ€™ 8-4 victory over the Devil Rays, however. Ottavino, a first-round pick last year out of Northeastern, allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out eight over 4 1/3 innings. McGee, a fifth-rounder in 2004, allowed two unearned runs on two hits and struck out seven over five innings of work . . . Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton remained on fire, going 3-for-4 and connected for his fourth homer of the year in Visaliaâ€™s 5-4 win against Rancho Cucamonga.
LOWS: While there are several good candidates, itâ€™s probably â€œbestâ€ if we start the low marks with the guy with an infinite ERA. Devil Rays righthander Brian Lockwood made his first appearance of the year in Vero Beachâ€™s loss after McGee exited, and things didnâ€™t go too well. A 19th-round pick in 2000, the 25-year-old gave up five hits in allâ€”including two home runsâ€”and did not retire a batter before being lifted . . . Rangers righthander Edinson Volquez again struggled at Bakersfield. Volquez allowed six runs on seven hits, but struck out seven in Lancasterâ€™s 7-3 win against the Blaze. On the season, Volquez is now 0-2, 8.87 and has allowed 23 earned runs in 23 innings.
LOW CLASS A
HIGHS: In another prospect oriented pitching matchup, Hagerstown lefthander Cory Van Allen faced Delmarva righthander Pedro Beato. Niether figured in the decision, but that didnâ€™t stop Van Allen from being extremely dominant. The fifth-round pick out of Baylor last year struck out 12 over five innings, walked two and struck out four. Beato meanwhile, also worked five innings, allowing a pair of runs on eight hits . . . Keeping on the dominant tip, Reds righthander Daryl Thompson certainly has gotten off to a strong start at Dayton. Thompson, who came over to Cincinnati as part of the package that sent Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns to Washington, allowed just one hit over six shutout innings and struck out six in the Dragonsâ€™ 11-1 win against Beloit. The 2003 eighth-round pick is now 4-0, 0.39 with a 19-1 strikeout-walk ratio in 23 innings.
LOWS: Augusta baserunning. The Green Jackets might have defeated Greenville, 3-0, but they also learned a valuable lesson: Donâ€™t run on Drive catcher Zak Farkes. Speedy second baseman Marcus Sanders stole two bases against Farkes, but the 23-year-old catcher caught four other would-be basestealers in the game . . . Itâ€™s been a tough go so far for Mariners lefthander Tony Butler. The 2006 third-round pick allowed five earned runs on six hits over just two innings of Wisconsinâ€™s 9-3 loss to Fort Wayne. On the season, Butler is 0-2, 5.14 with a 16-14 strikeout-walk ratio in 14 innings.
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