PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Prospect Of The Day
When Salt Lake shortstop Brandon Wood (Angels) stops hitting home runs, we’ll stop bestowing him with POTD honors. He was 2-for-4 yesterday with a solo homer (21) in a 9-5 loss to New Orleans. But if you backtrack to Friday, July 18, the beginning of a road series with Fresno, Wood has been perhaps the minors’ hottest hitter. In those 11 games, the 23-year-old has batted .475/.523/1.025 (19-for-40) with seven home runs, a double, 12 RBIs, 15 runs scored, four walks and 10 strikeouts.
Memphis 3B David Freese (Cardinals) hit a grand slam (17) in the first inning of the Redbirds’ 8-3 win against Tacoma yesterday. He doubled (19) later in the game and finished 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBIs, providing all the offense RHP Clayton Mortensen would need. The 36th overall pick in 2007 (from Gonzaga) went seven innings for the win, striking out eight, walking three and allowing just three hits along the way. Incidentally, with the 54th pick in the same draft, the Rangers selected Alabama RHP Tommy Hunter, who like Mortensen, is a supplemental first-round pick who already has reached Triple-A . . . In the same game in which Dallas McPherson clubbed three home runs—giving him 38 on the year—his Albuquerque teammate, C Brett Hayes (Marlins), also went deep twice (two). Trouble was, all five home runs were solo shots and the Isotopes fell 8-7 to Fresno. A plus defensive receiver and thrower not renowned for his hitting, Hayes went 3-for-4 in the game, with a double (two) and three runs scored. The Marlins selected him from Nevada in 2005 in the draft’s supplemental second round . . . A central figure in Portland’s nine-run 11th inning yesterday, CF Will Venable (Padres) singled and later stroked a two-run homer (10) in that frame alone. They were his only two hits on the day, as he went 2-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs in the Beavers’ 10-1 win at Nashville.
Prospect Of The Day
First baseman Brandon Moss (Red Sox) went 0-for-his-first-7 back with Pawtucket, but erupted yesterday for two home runs (eight) in the Red Sox’ 8-5 win at Toledo. Moss, 24, played well for Boston, batting .295/.337/.462 in 78 at-bats, but was the casualty when David Ortiz returned from the DL. After his 2-for-5 day with a pair of runs scored and three RBIs, Moss is batting .289/.345/.553 in 152 at-bats for Pawtucket.
Columbus 2B Emilio Bonifacio (Nationals) recorded his third multi-hit game (out of four) since last week’s trade from the Diamondbacks. He went 3-for-4 yesterday with a run scored, a stolen base (three) but also a caught stealing (two) . . . Rochester LHP Francisco Liriano (Twins) did something yesterday that he hadn’t done in more than a month—not since June 25. He struck out nine Scranton batters and walked one in the Red Wings’ 10-5 win. But all his recent starts had similar strikeout-to-walk ratios: 10-to-2, 8-to-0, 8-to-1, etc. No, what was different for Liriano was that he gave up more than one run in a start. (Actually, he went that long between surrendering home runs, too.) In fact, he gave up four on eight hits in six innings, but got the win, anyway, to improve to 10-2, 3.28 . . . Making his first start for his new organization after arriving in the Xavier Nady trade, Indianapolis RHP Dan McCutchen (Pirates) went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking two. In making the trade, the Pirates cornered the market on McCutchens, as they already had center-fielder Andrew at Triple-A . . . Though you wouldn’t know it by his 3-9, 4.59 Triple-A record, Charlotte RHP Jack Egbert (White Sox) has been strangely effective for the Knights recently. He went another seven strong innings yesterday—striking out seven, walking four and allowing five hits—and now has a 2.32 ERA for July, with 31 strikeouts and five walks in 31 innings.
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