PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Prospect Of The Day
After an uneven half-season in Double-A, righthander Jeff Samardzija (Cubs) has now turned in three good starts in four tries for Iowa. Yesterday, the 23-year-old limited Round Rock to two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He gave up a pair of solo home runs, but aside from that he was just about flawless, striking out seven, walking none and keeping the ball on the ground, generating 10 groundouts and four fly outs. In four starts for Iowa, Samardzija is 3-1, 3.55 with 22 strikeouts, 11 walks and four home runs in 25 1/3 innings. He’s induced 1.58 groundouts for every fly out.
Portland CF Will Venable (Padres) has quietly put together a nice year in Triple-A. While he may not have a standout tool, the 2005 seventh-round pick out of Princeton is batting .322/.389/.510 on the year after going 2-for-4 last night, with a home run (eight), a double (20), a walk and a strikeout. . . . Fresno RF Nate Schierholtz (Giants) upped his averages to .298/.346/.538 in going 3-for-5 with a double (16), two runs and two RBIs. . . . Sacramento LHP Gio Gonzalez (Athletics) was strong in a win against Colorado Springs, going six innings and giving up only one run on one hit. He walked one and struck out seven, moving to the top of the PCL in punchouts, with 110. He improved his ERA at home to 2.41 with the win, but his road ERA still stands at 6.79. . . . Colorado Springs LHP Franklin Morales (Rockies) was on the other end of the Gio Gonzalez game—and it wasn’t pretty. Morales was charged with 11 earned runs on eight hits, three of them home runs. He struck out seven and walked four. . . . Salt Lake 2B Sean Rodriguez (Angels) has been an unstoppable force in July. He’s batting .400/.442/.875 for the month after going 2-for-4 yesterday with three runs scored.
Prospect Of The Day
The Charlotte Knights are on a five-game winning streak—they’ve won seven of 10—to charge back into the Southern Division picture. Even though the Knights’ record stands at just 44-50, they’ve pulled within five games of Durham, losers of five straight. They did it with pitching yesterday, sweeping a doubleheader from Rochester by a combined score of 8-1.
Emergent Charlotte lefthander Clayton Richard (White Sox) started game one and improved to 6-0, 2.37 in tossing six, one-run, four-hit innings. He struck out five and walked one. The 24-year-old has walked just four batters in 38 Triple-A innings, and on the year he’s 12-6, 2.44 through 19 starts. Richard, an eighth-round pick from Michigan in 2004, is around the plate with a high-80s sinker, a four-seamer that can reach 93 mph and a very good changeup. He throws a slider and a slower, get-me-over breaking ball.
Righthander Jack Egbert (White Sox) went the distance in game two, tossing seven shutout, two-hit innings while striking out seven and walking none. After going 0-4, 9.00 in five May starts, Egbert has improved dramatically and his record now stands at 3-6, 4.67.
Back down from the majors, Indianapolis 1B Steve Pearce (Pirates) went 2-for-3 with a double (24), two runs and an RBI in the first game of a doubleheader with Columbus. . . . Buffalo SS Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians) continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-5 with a home run (third), two runs and two RBIs.
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