Hitting for the cycle is rare enough that you could go years without seeing one. But fans all around the minors got the chance on Thursday as Visalia’s Derek Bruce, Louisville’s Chris Dickerson and Lexington’s Jordan Parraz all completed the feat. We could have seen two more cycles as well if John Shelby and Nick Mahin’s bids hadn’t been thwarted by the lack of a double.
Louisville had plenty of stars on Thursday. Chris Dickerson hit for the cycle, Joey Votto added two home runs, Jay Bruce doubled and Phil Dumatrait held Scranton to one run in five innings.
When he was pulled early from his start on Sunday, there was a lot of thought that Aaron Laffey was headed to the big leagues. But he’s still in Buffalo, and on Thursday he responded with another solid outing, allowing two runs on three hits in six innings.
Garrett Olson allowed one run in seven innings while fanning eight as Norfolk rallied to beat Durham. Olson has now allowed one run in 13 innings since being sent down from Balitmore.
The promotion to Triple-A seems to have helped Luke Hochevar a little. After throwing five shutout innings in his previous start, Hochevar allowed two runs while striking out eight in six innings on Thursday.
Curt Schilling struck out eight in five scoreless innings in a rehab start with Pawtucket.
Brandon Watson had four hits and Collin Balester picked up his first Triple-A win as Columbus beat Indianapolis.
Mark DiFelice’s amazing season just keeps getting better. The former indy leaguer threw seven shutout innings on Thursday, lowering his Triple-A ERA to 1.42.
Wladimir Balentien homered in Tacoma’s loss to New Orleans.
Oklahoma’s Nelson Cruz homered for a third consecutive game and Victor Diaz added a pair of home runs in the Redhawks’ 15-4 rout of Portland.
Ian Stewart hit two of Colorado Springs’ seven home runs as the Sky Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 12-8 win over Iowa.
Neil Walker tripled and Steven Pearce homered as Altoona jumped all over Akron starter Shawn Nottingham.
Jair Jurrjens was in control on Thursday. The Erie starter struck out 10 while allowing one run in seven innings as Erie beat Harrisburg.
Johnny Cueto held Mississippi to two hits in six innings as he combined with Justin Mallett on a shutout. What may have been more impressive is that Cueto dominated the Braves despite lacking control of his fastball for much of the early innings.
Gio Gonzalez was nearly as good for the Birmingham Barons. Gonzalez struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings to take over the minor league strikeout lead.
Justin Upton hit one of three Mobile home runs and walked three times as the Bay Bears gave Max Scherzer plenty of run support. Scherzer had one of his better outings of this month as he gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Low Class A
Derek Bruce did his part for the cycle trifecta as he went 4-for-5 to lead Visalia past San Jose. Bruce got the hardest part of the cycle in his final at-bat as he tripled in the night to complete the feat.
Michael Hernandez hit a pair of home runs and Ovandy Suero stole his 64th and 65th bags of the season but Lakeland still fell to Dunedin.
Catcher Armando Camacaro tied a Carolina League record with three home runs to pace Kinston’s 7-5 win over Wilmington.
Marvin Lowrance hit a pair of home runs in Potomac’s 5-4 loss to Salem.
Low Class A
John Raynor and Logan Morrison each homered as Greensboro beat up on Delmarva starter Pedro Beato in a 4-1 Bats win. Beato gave up nine hits and four runs in seven innings to pick up the loss.
The best pitching performance of the night might have been turned in by Hickory reliever Henry Cabrera. Cabrera struck out nine while allowing one hit in four innings of relief work as he combined with Dustin Craig on a shutout.
Jordan Parraz became the first Lexington Legend to ever hit for the cycle. He had a little extra time to complete the feat as his single to complete the cycle came in the 14th inning of the Legends’ 6-5 loss to Lakewood.
We almost had four cycles on Thursday. John Shelby fell a double short of the cycle for Kannapolis as he went 4-for-6 with a triple and a home run to help Kannapolis beat Rome 11-8.
In short-season ball, you’re just as likely to see both starters work three innings as seven, which made the pitchers duel at State College on Thursday stand out. Zachary Jevne and Nicolas Suero matched each other pitch for pitch for eight innings before both left a 1-1 tie. Aberdeen shortstop Ryan Adams homered in the 10th to give the Ironbirds the win.
Marlins third-round pick Torre Langley hit a pair of home runs in Jamestown’s 5-4 win over Lowell.
Adrian Alaniz, the Nationals’ eight-round pick out of Texas, lowered his ERA to 0.57 and improved to 5-0 with six strong innings for Vermont on Thursday.
Corey Brown continues to build one of the strangest stat lines in the minors. The Oklahoma State product hit his eighth home run last night to lead the Northwest League. But he’s also hitting only .237 because of his inability to hit singles to go with his slew of extra-base hits. Of Brown’s 27 hits, 21 of them have gone for extra bases.
After seeing his previous start washed away after one inning, Neftali Feliz struck out five in two scoreless innings as Danville beat Burlington. The Danville starters have now gone 33 innings without giving up a run.
Nick Mahin came close to a cycle as well. The Bristol first baseman had already singled, tripled and homered when he came up in the eighth, but he struck out. Given one more chance to get the double to complete the cycle he grounded out in the ninth.
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