Tuesday featured a very light minor league schedule, with just three full-season and two short-season leagues in action. One of the handful of noteworthy performances came from Royals righthander Jake Odorizzi, making his second Double-A start for Northwest Arkansas. The 21-year-old went seven innings against Corpus Christi, allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits. He registered just four strikeouts and also walked only one. Odorizzi gave up a leadoff homer to Jonathan Villar in the first inning but settled down to retire 14 of the next 16 batters before running into trouble again in the sixth.
Odorizzi went 5-4, 2.87 in 78 innings for high Class A Wilmington before his callup, although he had actually lost four straight outings before moving up. In two Double-A starts, he's allowed five runs on 11 hits in 12 innings, striking out eight with three walks.
Odorizzi was matched up against Astros righthander Ross Seaton, who had one of his best outings of the year. Seaton, a supplemental third-round pick in 2008, came into the game 4-5, 5.67 in 94 innings, but he went six against the Naturals and allowed only one run on three hits. Seaton had five strikeouts, not a high total but an improvement considering how low his strikeout rate (5.24 per nine innings) has been all season. He also didn't issue a walk on Tuesday.
"(Seaton) pitched the way you'd like to see him pitch all the time," Corpus Christi manager Tom Lawless told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. "He kept the ball down tonight. If you keep the ball down, then you've got a chance. All three pitches were down in the zone and if he missed, he missed 99 percent of the time down in the zone. That's the big difference."
AROUND THE MINORS
• Athletics outfielder Michael Choice continued his home run binge. He ranked No. 1 on last week's Prospect Hot Sheet after homering in five straight games. That streak ended last Thursday, but he's homered twice more since then, including one last night as part of a 4-for-6 effort with high Class A Stockton. Choice is on an 11-game hitting streak and upped his line to .280/.373/.563 in 336 at-bats, to go with a 24 homers to lead the California League. Choice's average is the highest it's been all year and he's hit .369/.450/.796 in 103 at-bats over the last month.
• Rockies outfielder Tim Wheeler had his second two-homer game in less than a week, smacking a pair of longballs yesterday for Double-A Tulsa. Wheeler went 2-for-4 in the game, putting his slash line at .313/.394/.602 in 352 at-bats, and he upped his Texas League-leading homer total to 24.
• Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar returned to low Class A Hickory's lineup after his trip to the Futures Game and led off the game with a home run. The blast was his ninth of the year, and he went on to finish the night 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his 11th. He was also caught stealing once and is just 11-for-18 stealing this year, a percentage that needs to improve, but that feels almost like nitpicking considering how well he's performed for an 18-year-old. Profar improved to .272/.381/.498 in 261 at-bats.
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