BAPR Plus: May 21

Jay Bruce and Darren Ford have been punishing pitchers this week, but nothing compares to the wild Lancaster-Lake Elsinore series this weekend.

Triple-A

Sean Smith lowered his ERA to 1.78 with 5 1/3 effective innings in Buffalo’s 8-1 win over Indianapolis.

Kevin Slowey improved to 5-2 with a complete-game win in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday.

Joey Votto is on a tear. After a putrid April, Votto is hitting .391/.465/.565 in May. Votto doubled and homered on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to make up for Michael Restovich’s two home runs in Columbus’ win over Louisville.

J.D. Durbin has waived by the Twins and claimed and then waived by the Diamondbacks before landing in Ottawa this spring. But Durbin was in control on Sunday, holding Pawtucket to one run in eight innings.

Scott Moore homered twice and Felix Pie added three hits to lead Iowa over Oklahoma.

Jeff Clement’s sixth home run of the season helped Tacoma beat Tucson.

Double-A

New Britain’s Brian Duensing was hitting his spots on Sunday which helped him shut down Connecticut in a 2-1 victory.

Neil Walker homered as part of his three-hit day, but Altoona fell to Bowie.

Jeff Marquez was knocked out in the fifth inning for his shortest stint of the season as Trenton fell to Harrisburg.

Reading’s Matt Maloney showed a little extra velocity than usual, touching 92 mph, but it wasn’t enough to get him a win. Maloney gave up five runs over his final two innings of work while Portland’s Jay Johnson had four hits.

Erie’s Jeff Larish homered in the ninth to send the game to extra innings and Steve Torrealba homered in the 10th to win it as the Seawolves beat Akron. Eulogio de la Cruz allowed only one run in eight innings.

James Houser won his 14th consecutive decision was he combined with two relievers to five-hit Birmingham.

Donald Veal’s struggles continued on Sunday. The Cubs’ prospect was knocked out by Mississippi in the third inning as his ERA ballooned to 6.35.

Justin Upton finally had a bad game for Mobile on Sunday. Upton was held hitless as he struck out three times in Chattanooga’s 5-3 win. Luke Lockwood pitched effectively for the Lookouts, but was not involved in the decision.

Felipe Paulino threw six no-hit innings before leaving after hitting his pitch count in his longest stint of the year. Paulino was around long enough to improve to 1-2.

Edinson Volquez struck out four in seven shutout innings as Frisco shut out San Antonio 6-0.

Al Johnson is a member of the high Class A Modesto rotation, but he’s gotten a pair of spot starts for Double-A Tulsa. He beat Luke Hochevar in the first one, but was sent back to Modesto afterward. He was called back up on Sunday and outdueled Jamie Garcia in his second start for Tulsa. Johnson threw seven shutout innings while Garcia gave up one run in seven innings. There’s no word on whether his second stint will earn him a chance to stick around with Tulsa.

High Class A

Rusty Ryal’s five-hit game wasn’t enough as Visalia fell to Rancho Cucamonga.

Brian Bocock ran his way from Augusta to San Jose–he stole 26 bags in 39 games to earn a promotion to high Class A. In his first game with San Jose, Bocock hit his second home run of the season, but High Desert still beat San Jose 6-5.

Anyone who bought tickets to all three games of the Lancaster-Lake Elsinore series was treated to the wildest weekend we’ll likely see in the minors all year. It started with a 30-0 Lake Elsinore drubbing that made sports pages around the country. Then on Saturday, Aaron Bates set a California League record with a four home run day. On Sunday, the two teams kept up the historic theme as Yordany Ramirez hit for the cycle and drove in eight runs in Lake Elsinore’s 21-8 win. Lancaster starter Mike Rozier’s ERA climbed to 8.06, but J.T Zink was much worse–he gave up eight runs in 1/3 of an inning in his first outing with Lancaster for an astronomical 216.00 ERA. The JetHawks’ pitchers gave up 63 runs this weekend–in comparison, Augusta has given up 125 runs in 43 games this season.

St. Lucie’s Bobby Parnell struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings as St. Lucie beat Clearwater.

Oswaldo Sosa was pegged by Chris Kline as one to watch this season during spring training. After a slow start, he’s living up to the hype. Sosa struck out nine while allowing one hit in six innings on Sunday. Sosa is 1-0, 0.35 in four May starts. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three outings and he’s allowed no more than one run in any of his last five starts.

Jay Bruce’s tear continues. Bruce had three hits and a double on Sunday as Sarasota beat Daytona 6-1. Over his last five games, Bruce is hitting .545 (12-of-22) with multi-hit outings in each game, he has doubled in all five games, while adding a triple and a home run during that time. He’s now hitting .351/.397/.649. Daryl Thompson had his best outing since being promoted to Sarasota–he struck out eight while allowing one run in six innings.

Will Inman allowed one run in five innings as Brevard County was able to survive Josh Kreuzer’s two home runs in the final three innings.

Ian Kennedy’s outstanding May continued with seven shutout innings on Sunday. Kennedy struck out nine. In May he’s now 4-0, 0.34.

Low Class A

David Herndon threw seven scoreless innings in relief to beat Fort Wayne.

Some of the Midwest League’s most consistent starters struggled on Sunday. Rafael Gonzalez gave up more than two runs for the first time in eight starts as Clinton pounded Dayton. Anthony Barnette saw his ERA climb to 3.19 as he gave up six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Barnette has given up 11 runs in his last two starts after giving up eight runs in his first seven outings.

Justin Maxwell’s career seems to have involved more stints in the training room than on the field during the past five years. But he’s healthy now and on a roll. Maxwell had a pair of doubles and a home run on Sunday capping off what’s been a wild week. Maxwell has four multi-hit games in the past five games, raising his overall numbers to .278/.376/.602.

Darren Ford had a pair of doubles to raise his averages to .351/.396/.503. Ford has a 12-game hitting streak and 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats.

Graham Taylor didn’t allow a run for his second consecutive start, but Greenville rallied against the Greensboro bullpen.

Minors |

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