Philip Hughes and David Purcey dominated. Dayton stayed undefeated and Kane County and Rome keep losing.
Philip Hughes watched as Chase Wright skipped Triple-A to join the Yankees rotation thanks to injuries and his spot on the 40-man roster. If Hughes pitches like he did on Wednesday, the injury-stricken Yankees may not wait too long before calling him up as well. Hughes faced only two batters above the minimum in six innings while striking out 10 as he outdueled Dustin McGowan. Matt Michael’s game story notes that Hughes command was near perfect on Wednesday. Syracuse manager Doug Davis was impressed.
“I saw him all last year, and for a six-inning stretch that’s the best I’ve seen him throw,” Davis said. “When he gets to the point where he can throw his curveball for a first-pitch strike, work his changeup in there when he needs to for strikes, and keep the ball down, he’ll be very tough.”
Erik Threets has been one of the minors hardest throwers for years. But he’s also been proof that a near 100 mph fastball is not enough by itself to shackle hitters. He finally started to find the ability to control his amazing stuff last year, but a late season lat injury has carried into this season. Threets couldn’t make it out of the third inning for the second consecutive start on Wednesday–he gave up eight hits and three runs to actually drop his ERA to 12.96. Outfielders Adam Jones and Justin Reed provided big hits to help Tacoma to a 4-2 win.
Jose Capellan has been placed on the restricted list after he failed to report to Triple-A Nashville. The righthander is unhappy with being sent to Nashville. Ryan Braun doubled and Brad Nelson and Vinny Rottino homered as Nashville beat Oklahoma.
Mike Fontenot is the kind of player who is always described as scrappy, partly because of his short stature and partly because of his approach on the field. The scrappy utility infielder hit two doubles, and was described as scrappy in the lead of the game story, to lead Iowa past Albuquerque.
There were plenty of stars in Tucson Wednesday. Terry Evans extended his hitting streak to 13 games (but left the game after one at-bat), Brandon Wood doubled on a three-hit night, Jamie D’Antona doubled and Chris Carter raised his average to .429 with another three-hit night as Salt Lake throttled Tucson. Carter, who pleaded to be traded earlier this week, has hit safely in all 12 games this season and he has three three-hit nights in his past five games.
Round Rock’s Juan Gutierrez shut down the Omaha Royals on Wednesday. Portland’s Cesar Carrillo struggled with his command (five walks in five innings) but he allowed only one hit in his best outing of the season. That wasn’t enough against Sacramento however as trade pickup Jason Stokes hit his second home run of the season.
Lastings Milledge has handled his demotion to New Orleans pretty well. The outfielder had four hits including a home run and added two stolen bases to help the Zephyrs beat Memphis. Rick Ankiel hit his fifth home run of the season for the Redbirds.
Jason Stanford shut down Toledo, allowing only one hit in seven innings. There’s also an update on Tigers prospect Jordan Tata in this feature on the effectiveness of the Toledo bullpen. Tata met with Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday for a second opinion on his sore pitching shoulder.
Kory Casto’s back in Triple-A as Michael Restovich was promoted to Washington. His new teammates in Columbus squandered a late lead.
Sean Burnett’s six strong innings and three-hit nights from Yurendell de Caster and Luis Ordaz led Indianapolis past Norfolk.
Charlie Haeger’s knuckleball isn’t dancing much early this season. The White Sox prospect dropped to 0-2 after he was pounded for 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings on Wednesday in a loss to Ottawa.
David Purcey dominated the hapless Connecticut hitters–throwing a seven-inning complete game one hitter. As impressive as Purcey was, the Defenders were just as bad–they saw their scoreless inning streak stretch to 45 1/3 innings before they finally scored two runs in the sixth inning of the nightcap to beat New Hampshire in the second game. As a team Connecticut is hitting .212/.269/.281.
Huntsville rallied to beat Jacksonville closer Jonathan Meloan on Wednesday despite Suns shortstop Chin Lung-Hu’s four-hit night. Chattanooga’s slide continued as Sean Gallagher and Tennessee shut down the Lookouts.
Evan Longoria doubled in two runs and James Houser pitched six effective innings as Montgomery beat Birmingham. The Birmingham News also has a feature on Barons catcher Donny Lucy, who’s doing a good job of working with pitchers.
Brent Johnson and Jeff Frazier had three-hit nights and Matt Tuiasosopo had an RBI double as West Tenn pounded Mississippi 9-1.
High Class A
This is more like what the Rangers were hoping for when they sent Edinson Volquez back to high Class A Bakersfield. Volquez allowed only three baserunners and struck out eight in six scoreless innings. Brad Riddell writes that Volquez will be promoted back to Double-A after five starts.
Bradley Coon has been everything you can ask for in a leadoff hitter this season. He gets on base (.389 on-base percentage), he steals bases (9 stolen bases, 3 caught stealing) and he’s showing decent power (five doubles and a .417 slugging percentage). Coon had two more hits, including a double, and two stolen bases to help Rancho Cucamonga beat Lake Elsinore.
Justin Upton had three hits and two steals, but it wasn’t enough as Lancaster beat Visalia. Bubba Bell continued his hot hitting for Lancaster with his sixth double of the season.
John Drennan went 4-for-4 with a home run and David Huff shut down the Wilmington bats as Kinston picked up an easy 4-0 win.
Myrtle Beach reliever Jose Santiago walked four batters in the eighth as Winston-Salem scored four runs to rally to beat the Pelicans 7-4. Aaron Cunningham had another nice night for the Warthogs with two hits and two stolen bases.
For the second time in two weeks Jeff Samardzija and Wade Davis faced off in a highly anticipated pitchers’ duel. Neither factored into the decision. Samardzija struggled with command problems, as Sean Kernan describes in his game story, but he left with the lead. The Cubs bullpen quickly blew that lead after he left the game. Davis allowed two runs in four innings.
Will Inman allowed only one hit in six exceptional innings as Brevard County throttled Jupiter. Jay Bruce hit his first home run of the season as Sarasota beat Dunedin.
Mark Hamilton’s ninth-inning home run gave Palm Beach a series sweep over St. Lucie.
Low Class A
Padres prospect Cedric Hunter has found that the Midwest League is a tougher test than the Arizona League, which he torched to the tune of a .371 average last year. Hunter had his first multi-hit game of the season and only his second extra-base hit. He almost had a home run as well, but O.D. Gonzalez went over the wall to steal the home run. That home run would have been crucial. Burlington scored three runs against the Fort Wayne bullpen to rally to a 6-4 win. Brent Fisher pitched very well for Burlington, throwing five scoreless innings.
Scott Campbell’s pair of doubles led Lansing past Kane County. The loss sunk Kane County to 1-10.
Catcher Brett Martinez drove in five runs with a single and a triple to help Cedar Rapids overwhelm South Bend 12-6.
Rafael Gonzalez threw six strong innings and Chris Valaika hit a pair of doubles as Dayton stayed perfect. The Dragons have rolled to a 9-0 record. They need to win three more games to equal Augusta’s 12-0 start this season.
Augusta hasn’t slowed down since finally picking up their first loss. Henry Sosa used a mid-90s fastball to shut out Columbus. A Cesar Suarez error gave Augusta its only run as the GreenJackets improved to 13-1. The most disturbing stat from this game may be the announced crowd (including season ticket holders who didn’t attend) of 253.
While Dayton has been perfect and Augusta has been just as good, the Rome Braves have been pathetic. Rome dropped to 2-12 as Daniel Mayora tied an Asheville record with four stolen bases. Thanks to the GreenJackets’ hot start the Rome club is already 11 games out of first place two weeks into the season.
Chris Tillman struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings and Greg Hallman drove in the winning run in the 11th as Wisconsin beat Beloit.
As long as Pedro Beato was in the game Lakewood didn’t have much of a chance. But the Blueclaws just waited Beato out. When he left and the Delmarva bullpen took over, the Blueclaws took advantage to rally for five runs in the seventh and eighth to beat Delmarva 6-5.
Hickory had not completed a game since last Friday because of weather delays. The Crawdads bats didn’t seem to suffer. Kent Sakamoto had four hits including a home run and Jim Negrych drove in three to lead the Crawdads to an easy 13-7 win over Lexington. The quote of the day comes from Lexington manager Gregg Langbehn.
“We didn’t get a whole lot of production out of the middle of the lineup,” Langbehn said. “But when you score seven, you shouldn’t lose by six. That’s the bottom line.”
Chris Marrero’s first home run of his career wasn’t enough for Hagerstown.