Craig Brazell is making a run at a 40 home run season, Jose Guzman flirted with a no-hitter and Edwar Ramirez is continuing to strike out nearly two batters an inning.
At this point, it would appear only a promotion would keep Craig Brazell from finishing the season with the minor league home run lead. And with a pair of home runs on Sunday in a doubleheader, Brazell now has 28 home runs for the season, seven more than anyone else.
Rick Ankiel hit his 20th home run of the season and added a pair of doubles in Memphis’ loss to New Orleans. Joe Mather, one of the surprise Double-A stars of the season, hit his first home run since being promoted to Triple-A. The Memphis Commercial Appeal explains that Mather’s big season has come about because he finally learned to stop tinkering daily with his swing.
Brandon Wood is heating up. The shortstop/third baseman hit a home run on Sunday, giving him five home runs in the past 10 games. He is now hitting .321/.396/.667 this month. But as hot as Wood is, he can’t compare to Sacramento’s Daric Barton. Barton is hitting .650 (26 of 40) over the last 10 games and an amazing .521/.549/.732 this month. Barton had four hits including a double as Sacramento beat Salt Lake.
Chase Wright and Edwar Ramirez combined to shut out Syracuse 8-0. Ramirez struck out five in two innings, lowering his overall numbers to an incomprehensible 3-0, 0.67 with five saves and 74 strikeouts in 40 innings. Ramirez’ stuff doesn’t match up with what you would expect from those numbers. The skinny 26-year-old doesn’t throw his 88-90 mph fastball that much, but he has an outstanding changeup that he has the confidence to throw repeatedly. And despite the fact that hitters are looking for it, its deception and late drop allows him to pile up the strikeouts.
Garrett Olson struggled a little, but still picked up his sixth win on Sunday.
Jeff Niemann shut down Richmond for his eighth win.
Richie Gardner’s long road back from shoulder injuries took another step forward on Sunday when he picked up his first win with Louisville. Gardner allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The knuckler is now dancing again for Charlie Zink. Zink improved to 3-1, 1.73 in June as he allowed two runs in six innings on Sunday for Portland.
Erie jumped on Trenton’s Jeff Marquez for eight hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Carolina’s struggles to score runs continued to haunt Gaby Hernandez. Hernandez allowed only two runs in seven innings, but still dropped to 3-7 despite his 3.75 ERA.
After watching slugging teammate Joe Mather get promoted to Triple-A, Colby Rasmus is still trying to cllmb out from the slump that has seen his batting average dip below .250. Rasmus isn’t hitting for average, but he did hit a home run for a second straight game on Sunday. And his great play in center field was the talk of today’s game story.
Chris Mason’s complete-game shutout gave him his 10th win of the season. Evan Longoria had three hits including a double to help Montgomery trounce Mississippi.
Emerson Frostad had four hits including a home run as Frisco bounced Corpus Christi.
High Class A
Every Clearwater starter had at least one hit in a 16-5 win over Jupiter.
A rain delay that lasted more than two hours forced both starters from the game after only three innings, but Kinston’s Chris Gimenez is happy that the umpires waited long enough to get the rest of the game in. He hit his league-leading 16th home run of the season.
Cody Strait’s grand slam led Sarasota past Vero Beach.
Jeff Samardzija’s back in the Daytona rotation, and until Sunday, he had been showing solid signs of progress. He took a step back yesterday, giving up eight hits and four earned runs in five innings, raising his ERA to 5.22 in Tampa’s 7-6 win over the Cubs. Before Sunday, Samardzija had allowed only three runs in his last 12 2/3 innings.
Brandon Erbe threw six scoreless innings to beat Potomac.
Leadoff hitter Ryan Khoury had three hits including a home run and Tony Granadillo had four hits as Lancaster rolled to a 14-4 win over Bakersfield.
Matt Antonelli hit his 11th home run of the season to help Lake Elsinore beat High Desert.
Low Class A
Carlton Smith has given up more than a hit an inning this season, which makes his effort on Sunday all the more unexpected. Smith combined with relievers Austin Creps and Luis Perdomo to no-hit Delmarva. Smith worked seven innings while Creps and Perdomo each threw a hitless inning.
Michael Dunn one-hit Rome for seven innings in a 4-0 Charleston win.
Clinton’s Omar Poveda improved to 8-2 with six shutout innings against Kane County.
Great Lakes Cody White improved to 4-0, 0.72 in June as he allowed one run in eight innings against South Bend on Sunday, then found out after the game that he has been promoted to Inland Empire.
Desmond Jennings had three hits and stole three bases and Heath Rollins allowed one run in six innings as Columbus rolled over Savannah.
Sergio Escalona allowed three hits in six shutout innings for Williamsport.
Dellin Betances picked up a win in his 2007 debut with Staten Island. The Staten Island Advance reported that Betances consistently hit 92 mph on the radar gun.
Justin Pickett homered twice to lift Eugene past Boise.
Only a pitch count may have kept Jose Guzman from a no-hitter in Yakima. The Vancouver starter threw seven no-hit innings, but saw the no-hitter snapped in the eighth when Julio Parra singled against reliever Earl Oakes.
Ian Gac homered twice as Spokane topped Salem-Keizer.
Kingsport’s Jordan Abruzzo hit his third home run of the short Appalachian League season, but Burlington rallied for an 8-7 win.
Ogden’s Paul Coleman struck out 10 and allowed only two hits in seven innings to beat Casper.
Stephen King tripled and homered for the Gulf Coast League Nationals in a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers.