BAPR Plus: May 22

Brett Smith is on a pretty impressive roll for Trenton, while Jake Fox just keeps on hitting.

Triple-A

Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 15 games while hitting a grand slam in Louisville’s 9-6 win over Columbus.

Who would have thought that Joe Koshansky would turn into a high-average, low power hitter in Colorado Springs? Koshansky doubled for only his 10th extra base hit of the season on Monday, but he’s hitting .317 with a .393 on-base percentage. Ian Stewart was the star of the game for the Sky Sox as he tripled, doubled and started the game-ending double play.

Adam Jones homered and doubled in a three-hit outing as Tacoma beat Las Vegas.

Dan Meyer’s long-road back took another step forward. Meyer allowed two hits and one run in five innings. But Salt Lake’s Terry Evans had three hits including a double and rehabbing Howie Kendrick hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to beat Sacramento 5-3.

Luis Cruz homered and doubled twice in Portland’s 9-7 win over Tucson.

Double-A

Andrew McCutchen hit only the second inside-the-park home run in Altoona history, but Altoona lost its fifth straight.

John Lannan pitched well enough to win in his Double-A debut, but when you’re playing for Harrisburg (12-30), that’s often not enough. Lannan gave up three runs in seven innings as Erie’s Matt Joyce homered and doubled in the SeaWolves’ 5-4 win.

Trenton Brett Smith carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning as he lowered his ERA to 1.03 in a 6-0 win over Portland. This was the third time this season that Smith has flirted with a no-hitter. The 2004 second-round pick out of UC Irvine left his April 21 start with a no-hitter when he reached his pitch count and he also left with a one-hitter in his May 16 start. Smith has not allowed an earned run in five of his eight starts.

New Hampshire’s Kyle Yates outdueled Reading’s Kyle Kendrick in a 1-0 win Monday night.

Carlos Fisher has to rank near the top of the list of surprise prospects of 2007. Fisher blazed through high Class A in seven starts, and he has had two outstanding starts in his first three Double-A appearances. On Monday, Fisher threw six shutout innings for the second time in three starts. Also included in the Chattanooga game story is the news that Cody Strait is out indefinitely with a broken orbital socket. In a freak accident, a foul ball he hit bounced back and struck him in the eye. And there is a plea from the Chattanooga paper for Jay Bruce to be promoted. What is not mentioned is why Justin Upton left Monday’s game after one at-bat.

Wherever he plays, he hits. Playing first base yesterday Jake Fox doubled and had another double robbed by Carl Lodenthal’s diving catch in Tennessee’s 4-3 win over Mississippi.

High Class A

There’s been a Michael Aubrey sighting. The former first-rounder hit a home run for Kinston in his 2007 debut. Stephen Head and Jon Drennan also homered as the Indians forced Salem to turn to catcher Justin Tellum as an emergency reliever in a 15-4 Kinston win.

Lynchburg beat the fill-ins wearing Frederick uniforms on Monday. Frederick called up seven players from extended spring training to cover for the 12 Keys who were sent to play in the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, N.Y. Brad Corley hit a home run and drove in six for Lynchburg.

Brett Sinkbeil struggled in his first appearance since April 12 as he returns from a forearm strain. Sinkbeil allowed four hits and four runs (two earned) in two innings.

Sergio Pedroza homered three times in Vero Beach’s 15-4 win over Lakeland.

Zach Ward hasn’t pitched poorly this season, as his 2.94 ERA attests, but he dropped to 1-6 with a 3-2 loss to Palm Beach. Gary Daley threw six shutout innings for Palm Beach.

It’s probably time to have some concern about Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija allowed nine hits and seven runs in 1 2/3 innings against Sarasota as his ERA climbed to 5.18. Samardzija’s biggest problem is that while he may be a ground ball pitcher, he really struggles to miss bats. Samardzija has struck out only 17 in 42 innings while allowing 62 hits (opponents are hitting .354 against him).

Low Class A

Andrew Bailey struck out 11 while allowing one run in six innings. But he pitches for Kane County, which means that outings like that can end up as losses. The Cougars dropped to 11-31 in a battle of the Midwest League’s worst with a 1-0 loss to Wisconsin (12-29). Kyle Parker allowed three hits in seven shutout innings for Wisconsin. Jeff Manship just keeps rolling along. Manship struck out six in seven innings as he improved to 5-1.

Adolfo Gonzalez was only recently promoted to Great Lakes. But the 21-year-old third baseman is making the most of the opportunity. Gonzalez went 4-for-4 on Monday with a double and a triple. In 12 games, Gonzalez is now hitting .381/.449/.571 for the Loons.

Kasey Kiker’s first start of the season was an impressive one. The 12th pick in last year’s draft allowed one hit in five innings while striking out nine. Stephen Farris matched him by throwing six scoreless innings and Fort Wayne took advantage of Clinton’s bullpen in a 6-2 win.

Brett Anderson is human. The lefthander gave up three runs for the first time as a pro and lasted less than five innings as he gave up nine hits in four innings in South Bend’s 6-5 win over Quad Cities.

Kyle Drabek allowed two hits in seven shutout innings to lead Lakewood past Hagerstown 8-0.

Tommy Hanson allowed two runs in six innings while striking out five in Rome’s 5-2 win over Savannah. Hanson now has a 1.11 ERA in his last eight starts.

Columbus’ Jeremy Hellickson picked up his second win with five effective innings as the Catfish beat Charleston.

Darren Ford’s hot-hitting continued on Monday. Ford homered and extended his hitting streak to 13 games as West Virginia fell to Augusta 10-5.

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