Sunday night was all about home runs. Juan Francisco hit three home runs to take over the Midwest League home run lead. Val Pascucci hit his 31st and 32nd home runs. Laynce Nix homered for a fifth straight day for Nashville and David Smith homered for a fourth straight night for New Hampshire.
Making his second start since being sent back down from the majors, Aaron Laffey allowed one runs in six innings to pick up his ninth straight win for Buffalo.
Jed Lowrie hit his fourth home run and Devern Hansack struck out 11 in seven innings as Pawtucket beat Syracuse 2-1. Jacoby Ellsbury scored from first on a single in the eighth for what proved to be the winning run.
When Troy Patton has been good, he’s been very good. But when he’s been bad, you get outings like Sunday, where Patton gave up six runs in five innings, raising his ERA with Triple-A Round Rock to 4.59. Laynce Nix homered for the fifth consecutive game for Nashville.
Brent Lillibridge raised his average to .305 with two more hits, but even more impressively Lillibridge stole his 26th base in 29 tries at Richmond. He now has 40 steals for the season.
Chin-Lung Hu hit his 13th home run of the season and Delwyn Young went 4-for-5 to lead Las Vegas over Portland 6-3.
Matt Macri hit his first home run since joining Rochester three days ago. The third baseman was dealt to the Twins for righthander Ramon Ortiz last week.
Daric Barton’s power predominantly comes in doubles these days, but he did hit his eighth home run of the season on Sunday.
Add Val Pascucci’s name to the minor league home run race. Pascucci hit a pair of home runs on Sunday as part of a four-hit day. He now has 32 for the season, four behind minor league leader Craig Brazell.
Recently promoted Andrew McCutchen hit his first Triple-A home run in Indianapolis’ 7-1 loss to Charlotte.
Kendry Morales has hit five home runs for Triple-A Salt Lake this season. Four of them have come in the past week. It likely Morales will be headed back to join the Angels as soon as rosters expand in September.
Trenton’s Tyler Clippard allowed only one hit and no runs in five innings, but it wasn’t necessarily a dominant performance–he also walked four.
Chris Davis was already having an outstanding season before he was promoted to Double-A. But Davis is hitting even better since being sent to Frisco. Davis hit his eighth home run in 17 Double-A games. His numbers with Frisco are now an impressive .356/.443/.831.
Chris Kline favorite Jose Martinez raised his average 15 points to .301 with a five-hit day, but he was nearly overshadowed by teammate Colby Rasmus as Rasmus hit his 22nd home run as part of a four-hit day.
New Hampshire’s David Smith has turned around a middling season with an outstanding second half. Smith was hitting .263/.355/.431 at the all-star break. But since then he’s hitting .331/.400/.683 including his current four-game home run streak.
High Class A
It’s hard to describe how bad Brandon Erbe has been recently. Erbe has allowed 43 runs in his last 43 innings. He kept up that run an inning pace on Sunday, giving up five runs in five innings. Matt Whitney hit his 29th home run of the season for Kinston.
Alexander Smit, Midwest League pitcher, is very good. Smit, Florida State League pitcher is a different story. Smit gave up five runs in four innings to raise his high Class A ERA to 5.73. Scott Mathieson allowed two runs in one inning in a rehab stint. Daryl Thompson threw six scoreless innings as Sarasota came back to pull off the split.
Henry Sosa allowed two runs while striking out seven in five innings for San Jose. Chris Nelson hit a pair of doubles for Modesto.
Elvis Andrus hit his second home run since coming over to Bakersfield.
Doug Waechter threw six hitless innings for Vero Beach while Sergio Pedroza hit his 20th home run. It was Waechter’s best outing since beginning his rehab from a shoulder injury.
Low Class A
Beau Jones has been outstanding since the Rangers picked him up at the trading deadline. Jones threw six scoreless innings on Sunday and is now 3-0, 1.15 in three starts.
Blake Wood carried a no-hitter into the ninth, but Burlington’s hopes of a no-hitter fell apart when Ryan Pietro gave up a walk and a single before being chased from the game.
Juan Francisco was considered a sleeper coming into the season, but he’s a secret no more. The 20-year-old Dominican third baseman hit three home runs for Dayton on Sunday, giving him 21 home runs this year. If there’s a knock on Francisco, it’s that he’s not a very selective hitter (.305 on-base percentage). On Sunday all three of Francisco’s home runs came on the first pitch he saw.
Pedro Beato gave up one unearned run in seven innings while striking out eight for Delmarva. It was Lexington’s 14th loss in its past 19 games.
Glenn Gibson threw yet another outstanding outing for Vermont. Gibson allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven. He has given up more than one earned run only once in his 10 starts, and that one start came when he started despite feeling ill.
Nick Hill dominated for five innings of relief work striking out 10 to lead Everett past Eugene. The former Army star has allowed only two earned runs in 32 innings for a stellar 0.56 ERA. He has allowed four unearned runs, which explains why he has a 1-3 record.
Bruce Billings struck out 10 in five innings for Tri-City, but his teammates didn’t keep up their end of the bargain in a loss to Yakima. Billings now has 73 strikeouts in 60 innings. The Northwest League playoff race is extremely interesting because of Salem-Keizer’s dominance. Salem-Keizer is now 47-12, while Eugene is the only other team in the league with a winning record. Tri-City and Yakima are now 25-34, but only 3 1/2 games behind first-place Spokane (28-30).
We’ve already covered Beau Jones and Elvis Andrus‘ strong starts since being acquired by the Rangers. Neftali Feliz also has pitched well since coming over to the Rangers. Feliz threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings striking out three and walking three for Boise. He’s now 0-1, 1.29 in seven innings since the trade.
The Twins seem to have found something in 18-year-old Australian righthander Liam Hendriks. Hendricks struck out 11 while allowing one hit in six scoreless innings. Hendriks lowered his ERA to 1.13 in nine starts and he’s struck out 51 batters in 40 innings.
Cody Johnson had three more hits for Danville. After his disastrous 2006 season Johnson is now hitting .295/.360/.604 for the D-Braves.