Rockies righthander Chad Bettis thrived as both a starter and reliever during his college career at Texas Tech before Colorado made him a second-round pick in last year's draft. With a low- to mid-90s fastball but inconsistent secondary pitches, some believe that Bettis could end up a reliever, but the Rockies have kept him in the rotation to start his first full season with high Class A Modesto.
Bettis' results through his first five starts for the Nuts were solid but unspectacular, as he carried a 1-1, 4.00 mark into Tuesday's start at home against High Desert. But Bettis turned in the best outing of his young career, striking out 11 over six innings while permitting only one run on four hits and one walk. His evening included a stretch of retiring eight straight hitters from the third through the fifth, and seven of his 11 strikeouts were of the swinging variety.
Bettis and the two relievers who finished the game combined to strike out 17 High Desert hitters in Modesto's 2-1 win. Bettis was the winning pitcher and improved to 2-1, 3.55 in 33 innings. He upped his strikeout total to 40, good for second in the California League.
• The prevailing thought entering the season was that Mike Moustakas would probably be the first of the Royals' wave of blue-chip prospects to reach the majors, but it looks like Eric Hosmer has had other ideas. Triple-A pitchers haven't been able to figure out the Royals' 21-year-old first baseman, who connected for his third home run of the season last night in Albuquerque, part of a 2-for-3 night. Hosmer is riding a seven-game hitting streak, with five of those being multi-hit efforts, upping his line for the year to .430/.518/.581 in 93 at-bats. He ranks second in the Pacific Coast League in average and first in on-base.
• Hosmer does have competition for best start in the PCL, batting division. Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Triple-A Tucson's game in Tacoma last night, his eighth long ball of the season which puts him one back of league leader Wily Mo Pena. The 21-year-old went 3-for-4 and raised his line to .398/.457/.728 after 103 at-bats. Rizzo leads the PCL in slugging and RBIs (36), and his .398 average ranks third, right behind Hosmer.
• Nationals righthander Brad Peacock has found a groove with Double-A Harrisburg. The undersized but hard-throwing 23-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings last night against Bowie, striking out eight and allowing just two hits and one walk. This was Peacock's third straight start in which he's gone at least seven innings, and in that stretch he's given up only one run on 10 hits in 21 1/3 innings. He's been especially tough on lefty hitters, holding them to a .127 average in 63 at-bats, compared to .229 for righthanders in 48 at-bats. He dominated last night against a Bowie lineup featuring six lefthanded or switch-hitters. Peacock has won four straight starts overall and stands at 4-1, 1.16 in 31 innings.
• It's been feast or famine for Diamondbacks first baseman Matt Davidson through the first month for high Class A Visalia. On one hand, he's recorded 10 multi-hit efforts in 24 games. On the other, he was still hitting just .258/.320/.366 entering Tuesday, as stringing success together had been problematic. Davidson had it going last night though, belting two home runs against San Jose, giving him four on the year. The 20-year-old went 2-for-4 on the night, bringing his numbers to .268/.327/.433 through 97 at-bats.
• Brandon Guyer continued making a positive impression on his new employers in Tampa Bay. The right fielder for Triple-A Durham homered for the sixth time and went 2-for-4 yesterday, giving himself a nine-game hitting streak. Guyer, 25, leads the International League in slugging and stands fourth in average with a .370/.427/.630 line in 100 at-bats
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