Two of the most prominent prospects to change addresses at the trade deadline debuted with their new organizations Tuesday—against each other. Jarred Cosart and Robbie Erlin faced off in the Double-A Texas League last night and both were sharp, throwing six shutout innings apiece.
Making his Padres organizational debut with San Antonio, Erlin allowed Corpus Christi to load with bases with none out in the top of the first inning on a walk and two singles, but he got out of the jam unscathed on a strike out, a force out at home and a fly out. The 20-year-old lefthander didn't allow another runner to get into scoring position all night, and he struck out six while allowing five hits and one walk.
"I was a little nervous in the first inning," Erlin told the San Antonio Express-News. "After that, I settled down. My fastball was working, and I felt better."
Meanwhile, Cosart was making his Double-A debut as well as his Astros organizational debut, after Houston decided to move him up a level upon his arrival from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence deal. Cosart responded to the challenge, breezing through San Antonio's lineup for six innings. He faced the minimum through the first four innings and finished his night allowing just two hits, no walks and striking out four.
Both hurlers were efficient. Cosart needed just 73 pitches (47 strikes) to complete six innings, inducing 10 groundouts along the way, and Erlin got through his six frames on 81 pitches (61 strikes). While Cosart shined, fellow ex-Phillie Josh Zeid wasn't as fortunate. Zeid came out of the Hooks' bullpen to replace Cosart in the seventh. The righthander threw a perfect seventh but was touched up for four runs on four hits in the eighth, getting tagged with the loss.
AROUND THE MINORS
• This is what happens when the draft's best college power hitter gets turned loose in the homer-happy Pioneer League. Rookie-level Orem DH C.J. Cron, the 17th overall pick this June, homered three times as part of a 4-for-5 game against Ogden on Tuesday. Cron, a first baseman who's been restricted to DH-duty since debuting on July 1, took over the PL home run lead with 11 in 29 games. Cron led NCAA Division I in slugging and OPS while putting up a .434/.517/.803 line this spring for Utah, and he's off to a .298/.358/.613 start in 124 at-bats for Orem.
• Triple-A was supposed to be more of a challenge for Matt Moore, but it hasn't happened yet. The Rays lefthander dominated again Tuesday, throwing five shutout innings for Durham against Charlotte, striking out nine and allowing three hits. In three Triple-A starts, Moore has allowed all of one run on nine hits in 18 innings, with a 29-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Going back to his time in Double-A, Moore hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in an outing since April 19—18 starts ago. Moore lowered his cumulative ERA to 1.94, the sixth-best mark in the minors.
• Another notable debut took place in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where Yankees lefthander Manny Banuelos made his first Triple-A start. With Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in attendance to observe the battery of Banuelos and Jesus Montero, the 20-year-old had to work hard to get through five innings, allowing seven hits and three walks against Lehigh Valley, but he did strike out eight and limited the IronPigs to two runs. Banuelos became the youngest pitcher to work in the International League this season, surpassing Julio Teheran. Montero put on a show for the GM himself, going 3-for-4 with a home run, his 11th.
• Royals righthander Jason Adam had his best start in months for low Class A Kane County. The 19-year-old, who turns 20 on Thursday, was a fifth-round pick in last year's draft who signed for an above slot $800,000 bonus. Adam ran up a 5.07 ERA in June and July, but he turned things around yesterday, allowing only one hit over six shutout innings against Beloit. He faced the minimum and struck out five, improving to 5-6, 4.68 in 77 innings for the year.
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