BAPR Plus: June 15

Brandon Watson is starting to walk among a pretty elite company. The Columbus leadoff hitter has extended his hitting streak to 40 games, putting him among the longest hitting streaks in the 100-plus year history of the minor leagues.

Triple-A

Brandon Watson extended his hitting streak to 40 games with few problems. He doubled to lead off the game, then added two more hits to help Columbus beat Ottawa. By reaching 40 games, Watson now has the 13th-longest hitting streak in minor league history. He’s now two games away from the International League record of 42, set by Jack Lelivelt in 1912.

Jeff Niemann’s slider is finally back to where he wants it to be. That was bad news for Indianapolis. Niemann allowed only one infield hit in 6 1/3 innings as the Bulls shut out the Indians 5-0.

Nick Blackburn threw a complete-game shutout to lead Rochester past Louisville.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s pair of doubles helped power Pawtucket past Richmond.

Garrett Olson was hitting his spots and Buffalo had no answer. Olson struck out 10 in seven shutout innings while Jeremy Sowers allowed three runs in eight innings in his return to Triple-A.

Kei Igawa might be figuring things out as well. Igawa allowed one run in six innings, lowering his Triple-A ERA to 2.88 as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre topped Charlotte.

Adam Jones just keeps on hitting. Jones went 3-for-5 on Thursday to raise his average to .332. He now has three or more hits in five of his last 10 games. But the Rainiers haven’t been winning despite Jones’ heroics. Tacoma lost to Tucson 3-1 in 12 innings last night. Jamie D’Antona homered for Tucson. The Tacoma paper also explained how Sean Burroughs was quickly released after four games with the Rainiers–he showed up roughly 40 pounds overweight.

Ronny Cedeno had four hits for Iowa, but Craig Brazell’s three doubles led Omaha to a 3-1 win. Brazell, the minors home run leader with 22, is now hitting .322/.353/.718 for Omaha.

Salt Lake beat Portland as Brandon Woods and Tommy Murphy homered and Terry Evans added his 22nd double.

Matt Albers allowed one hit over six innings for Round Rock and Mike Pelfrey struck out seven in five innings for New Orleans, but neither were involved in the decision.

Double-A

Neil Walker had two doubles and a triple as he continued his June tear. Walker is now hitting .468/.510/.766 for the month.

Chuck Lofgren threw six shutout innings to lead Akron past New Hampshire.

Talk about an unlikely ace. Fredy Deza struck out 10 in seven innings as he lowered his ERA to 5.57 in Bowie’s 7-1 win over Harrisburg.

Reid Brignac doubled and homered for Montgomery, but catcher A.J. Ellis drove in four runs to pace Jacksonville to the win.

Luke Hochevar’s struggles continued on Thursday. Hochevar gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to 5.05. Colby Rasmus’ 11th home run of the season and Tyler Greene’s eighth led Springfield to the 11-2 win.

Tulsa’s Matt Macri hit two home runs in an 8-3 loss to Arkansas.

Eric Hurley held Corpus Christi to one run in six innings as Frisco rolled to a 6-1 win.

High Class A

Aaron Bates hit two home runs in Lancaster’s 15-3 rout of High Desert.

Blake Dewitt is another prospect who’s happy its June. Dewitt hit only .211 in April, but is now hitting .362/.455/.660 in June. He had a pair of doubles on Thursday as part of a three-hit night. He didn’t get any help from his teammates however, as Bakersfield rolled to a 12-0 win. Inland Empire starter Mario Alvarez didn’t make it out of the first.

Micah Schnurstein added to minor league leading doubles total with his 28th double Thursday night and added his 16th home run as well. Clint Everts, now working out of the pen, was charged with the loss.

Clearwater’s Jeremy Slayden homered as part of a three-hit night.

Erik Lis homered for Fort Myers, but Craig Tatum’s home run after a nearly two-hour delay led Sarasota’s comeback.

Ryan Tucker threw a complete-game shutout against Palm Beach. Lorenzo Scott tripled and homered for Jupiter.

Jose Tabata doubled and Daniel McCutchen threw six shutout innings to pace Tampa to a 2-1 win over Lakeland.

Mike McClendon threw seven shutout innings as Brevard County salvaged a split with Daytona to clinch a playoff spot.

Low Class A

Wilberto Ortiz doubled and tripled in Cedar Rapids’ 6-2 win over Beloit.

Yusuf Carter hit two home runs for Peoria, but it wasn’t enough as Burlington ran wild in an 8-6 win. The Bees stole five bases including one by Joe Dickerson who went 3-for-5.

Steve Delabar allowed only an infield single in seven innings to beat West Michigan.

Kane County’s Henry Rodriguez and two relievers combined on an 8-0 shutout of Clinton.

Jeremy Jeffress has found 2007 much more to his liking than 2006. Jeffress struggled to a 5.88 ERA in the Arizona Rookie League last year. But in three starts this season he’s gone 2-0, 1.98. Jeffress allowed only one hit in five scoreless innings of the Power’s 10-1 win over Lake County.

Now three months into the season, Wade Townsend’s long road to the majors seems even longer. The two-time first-round pick gave up five home runs in five innings as John Still, Josh Reddick and Reid Engel all had two home run games for Greenville.

The crazy line of the night goes to Greensboro’s Chris Coghlan. Coghlan walked four times, scored three runs and didn’t record an official at-bat in the Bats’ 11-0 win Thursday.

Hector Gomez drove in the winning run in the 15th as Asheville outlasted Hickory 3-2.

Minors |

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