Chin-Lung Hu keeps piling up three-hit games, Michael Bowden outdueled Ricky Romero and no one is hotter than Lancaster slugger Brad Correll.
Reliever Edwar Ramirez made it to the major leagues with the Yankees thanks to an amazing strikeout to walk rate. The Nationals also have a reliever who is making a similar case for a surprise promotion. Winston Abreu struck out the side in his one inning of work last night against Richmond. With the three strikeouts, Abreu lowered his ERA to 0.80 in 33 2/3 innings. Even more impressively, Abreu now has 60 strikeouts and only 12 walks.
Kevin Slowey allowed only three hits in a complete game shutout as Rochester beat Syracuse.
Virgil Vasquez was nearly as good for Toledo. The righthander allowed five hits in his complete-game shutout of Norfolk.
Homer Bailey had a one-hitter heading into the sixth inning, then the wheels came off. Bailey walked one batter and had another reach on an error before giving up a home run to Justin Ruggiano. After giving up another single and double, Bailey was pulled from the game. Both baserunners ended up scoring as part of a six-run sixth that led the Bulls to an easy 10-2 win. Bailey's final line was five runs allowed (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings. Jay Bruce tripled for the Bats.
Craig Brazell saw his 14-game hitting streak end on Monday, but he bounced back by hitting his 32nd home run of the season on Tuesday.
Adam Jones continues to carve up Pacific Coast League pitchers. He doubled and tripled as part of a 5-for-5 day that raised his averages to .314/.378/.598.
Nate Schierholtz hit a pair of home runs as part of Fresno's 16-1 drubbing of Tucson. It's a rough stretch for Tucson which is in the middle of a 12-day, 14-game road trip.
Chin-Lung Hu had little trouble with Double-A pitching, but he's finding Triple-A pitching to be even easier to handle. Hu had his fourth straight three-hit day as Las Vegas beat Portland. In 26 Triple-A at-bats, Hu is now batting .538/.556/1.000 with three home runs, a double and a triple. Teammate Andy LaRoche is nearly as hot. The third baseman hit his fourth home run in four games.
Jeff Karstens' rehab is going well. The righthander threw five solid innings and said afterwards that he felt good as he led Trenton to a 6-3 win over Binghamton.
Michael Bowden dominated New Hampshire for six innings and Bubba Bell hit his second home run in nine games since being promoted to Portland. As the Manchester Union-Leader newspaper points out, Tuesday's matchup of Bowden vs. Ricky Romero was a showdown of two pitching prospects from the 2005 draft. Bowden showed a 93 mph fastball and impressive mound poise. Romero showed he has more work to do as he didn't make it out of the third inning.
"I told him not to be too fine with his pitches. He got drafted because he's got a great arm, not because he can throw 88 mph and sink it," New Hampshire manager Billy Masse told the paper. "Sometimes a pitcher feels he needs to take a little something off (his fastball) because he feels he's missing his spots. What ends up happening is you start aiming instead of just throwing it … If you try to be too fine, that's when you start getting hit hard."
Wade Davis struck out seven in five innings for fourth win in six Double-A starts.
Power hasn't proved to be a problem for Matt Antonelli. The second baseman homered for the third straight game, raising his Double-A slugging percentage to an absurd .917 in six games. But Antonelli isn't even the hottest hitter on San Antonio. Catcher Nick Hundley hit a pair of home runs for the second consecutive night and now has hit seven of his 17 home runs in 11 July games.
Sam Lecure retired the first 10 batters he faced and ended up striking out nine in seven effective innings as Chattanooga beat Birmingham.
Brandon Jones homered for the second night in a row as Mississippi beat Jacksonville.
Mitch Boggs saw his streak of winning seven straight decisions snapped thanks to some sloppy Springfield defense in the fifth inning. Two errors helped lead to a four-run fifth that proved the difference in Tulsa's 5-4 win.
After a very rocky introduction to Double-A, Will Inman seems to be getting back on track. Inman struck out seven in six innings to beat Tennessee. Inman has a 2.87 ERA in three July starts after coming into the month with a 9.18 ERA for Huntsville.
High Class A
Jordan Schafer homered as Myrtle Beach beat Wilmington.
Brandon Erbe's stuff is good enough that when he's on, he can dominate. But his control is bad enough that when he can't locate his stuff, you better get the bullpen ready quickly. Erbe melted down during a nine-run third inning that sent him to the showers and raised his ERA to 6.07. It was the second time in his last three starts that Erbe has failed to make it out of the third.
As hot as Chin-Lung Hu might be, the minors hottest hitter is Brad Correll. The former indy leaguer hit his 11th home run in 15 games since the Red Sox signed him out of the Northern League and assigned him to high Class A Lancaster.
Thanks to a fourth-inning double, Chris Davis extended his hitting streak to 35 games, tying Brent Gates' California League record. It's the third hitting streak of the season to reach 35 games.
Henry Sosa struck out six while allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings to pick up his second win since being promoted to high Class A San Jose.
Low Class A
Wade Townsend allowed only two hits in six innings as Columbus shellacked Greenville 11-1. Desmond Jennings stole his 41st and 42nd bags of the season to help pace the Catfish.
Omar Poveda has been one of the better pitchers in the Midwest League for most of the season, but he was outclassed on Tuesday. Stephen Faris completely shut down Clinton's bats with a complete-game one-hitter while Poveda was rocked for nine runs in five innings.
Logan Parker hit a pair of home runs in the fourth inning as Dayton beat Cedar Rapids 11-4. Cedar Rapids ran wild for nine stolen bases in 10 tries, but Dayton's third 11-run in the past two weeks was easily enough to blow open the game.
Josh Bell hit a pair of home runs, but it was hard to notice in the aftermath of a 13-7 loss to Quad Cities. The Dodgers also announced that third baseman Eduardo Perez was suspended for seven games for unspecified reasons.
Only on the Augusta GreenJackets pitching staff could Ben Snyder be overlooked. Snyder improved to 12-2, 1.76 with 6 2/3 scoreless innings against Savannah. Snyder, the South Atlantic League wins leader, has allowed one run or less in six of his last seven starts. He's second in the league in ERA, trailing only teammate Kevin Pucetas (1.41).
Jeremy Jeffress showed off a 99 mph fastball that simply overpowered Lakewood's hitters in a 9-4 West Virginia win. Jeffress did demonstrate he's still a work in progress as he was called for a balk, threw two wild pitches and walked three. But that didn't really matter to the Blue Claws.
"Good? That is an understatement," said BlueClaws manager Steve Roadcap.
Ricky Orta struck out 10 in six innings but it was wasted in Wisconsin's 4-3 loss to Beloit.
Jamestown's Hector Correa has found the New York-Penn League is much more to his liking. Correa was pounded to the tune of a 9.29 ERA in eight starts with Greensboro, but he's been much better in Jamestown. Correa struck out eight in six innings while allowing one hit.
Ben Norton came into Tuesday's game with a microscopic 0.41 ERA. The good news about an ERA like that is that even after giving six runs without recording an out Norton's ERA still sat at a respectable 2.86 after the game.