A quartet of minor league all-star games took place last night. A quick look at each.
Double-A Southern League
Northern Division 6, Southern Division 3
Rays lefthander Matt Moore threw a no-hitter in his last start for Montgomery and got the ball to start the SL all-star game for the South. Things didn't go quite so well this time. Moore was touched for four runs on three hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Moore's allowed four earned runs just once in 14 stars for the Biscuits, but he was tagged for the loss yesterday after the North never relinquished its lead.
"I saw a guy get a hit and I looked in our dugout, I was wondering what was happening," South first baseman Paul Goldschmidt told the Huntsville Times. "I almost didn't bring my glove out there (with Moore pitching)."
Goldschmidt's Mobile squad was the one victimized by Moore's no-hitter. Goldschmidt, the minors' home run leader with 22 at the break, did have his moment though, slugging a two-run homer in the first inning off North starter Jarrett Grube (Mariners). Goldschmidt finished the night 1-for-4. Among other performers, Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock went 2-for-3 for the South, and Dodgers first baseman Scott Van Slyke led the North's offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He won the game's MVP award.
Pat Corbin (Diamondbacks) and Randall Delgado (Braves) both threw scoreless innings in relief of Moore, but Chris Archer, Moore's Montgomery teammate, gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in his inning of work.
High Class A California/Carolina Leagues
California 6, Carolina 1
The California League scored four runs in the third inning and never looked back. Cal League third baseman Jedd Gyorko (Padres) won MVP honors after going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Gyorko, whose .381 average ranked second in the Cal League at the break, was the only player on either side with multiple hits. Giants center fielder Gary Brown started for the Cal League and went 1-for-4 with an RBI. On the pitching side, Joe Wieland (Rangers), Drew Pomeranz (Indians) and Jake Odorizzi (Royals) all threw scoreless innings for the Carolina League. Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks) and Zack Wheeler (Giants) were among those who did the same for the Cal League.
Low Class A Midwest League
Western Division 8, Eastern Division 3
Burlington second baseman Nino Leyja (Athletics) owns just five homers in his four-year pro career, and none during this year's regular season. But Leyja connected for one against one of the MWL's hottest pitchers, Diamondbacks lefty David Holmberg, in last night's all-star game. He struck a two-run shot in the sixth inning that gave the West a 3-0 lead. That was Leyja's only hit of the evening, but it was enough to earn him MVP honors. Holmberg had allowed just three home runs all season. The West put the game away with a four-run eighth, while the West's pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts. Padres outfielder Rymer Liriano was one of the East's few bright spots, going 1-for-1 off the bench with two steals and two runs scored.
Low Class A South Atlantic League
Southern Division 6, Northern Division 3
The North took an early 2-0 lead, but the South rallied with a five-run third inning and held on the rest of the way. The South's big inning was highlighted by a pair of two-run homers by Giants third baseman Adam Duvall (the league's home run leader with 17) and Mets outfielder Cory Vaughn (who owns just four homers). Duvall added an RBI single later on and was named MVP. Red Sox outfielder Brandon Jacobs was all over the field for the South as well, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a stolen base.
Playing in front of his home crowd at Delmarva for the last time, Orioles shortstop Manny Machado—promoted to high Class A after the game—went 2-for-4 and scored a run. The Nationals had Bryce Harper scratched from the pregame home run derby, as he's been nursing a thumb injury, but he did participate in the game. Harper hit one spot behind Machado in the North's batting order and went 0-for-2 with an RBI groundout.
“I went up there and swung hard,” Harper told the Washington Post. “I felt good up there each time.”
AROUND THE MINORS
It was business as usual for the rest of the minors. A few highlights:
• Orioles outfielder L.J. Hoes went 5-for-5 with Double-A Bowie. All five hits were singles, continuing a trend for Hoes. He's has been on a solid run since the calendar turned to June, batting .304 in 56 at-bats, but he has just two extra-base hits in that span. He's hitting .281/.330/.337 in 89 at-bats overall since joining Bowie on May 23.
• You don't usually expect guys to pitch better after they leave the Florida State League, but that's been the case with Blue Jays righthander Henderson Alvarez. Alvarez went just 8-8, 4.48 in 121 innings for high Class A Dunedin from 2010 to this year, but he's been almost lights out since being moved up to Double-A New Hampshire in late May. Alvarez has gone 4-2, 2.30 in seven starts as a Fisher Cat, allowing more than two runs only once, and he turned in his best outing yet on Tuesday. Alvarez held Altoona to two hits over shutout seven innings while striking out five and walking one.
• Angels second baseman Taylor Lindsey, the 37th overall pick in last year's draft from Desert Mountain High in Scottsdale, Ariz., has gotten off to a scorching start with Rookie-level Orem. Lindsey is 7-for-9 through two games and went 4-for-5 with a homer—the first of his career—and three doubles last night.
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