Angel Villalona carved up Columbus, Neftali Feliz outdueled Jordan Walden, and a couple of lefty prospects in the SAL had tough nights.
South Atlantic League
Prospect Of The Day
Angel Villalona might be figuring out this full-season thing, in which case, SAL pitchers beware. Last night against Columbus (Rays), the big Augusta (Giants) first baseman finished a triple short of the cycle–probably not the last time that’ll happen–after going 4-for-5 with a double, his fifth home run of year and four RBIs as the GreenJackets cruised to a 13-2 victory. After hitting only .213/.273//325 in April, the top prospect in the Giants organization has hits in eight of his last nine games, with four home runs over that span. He’s raised his season line to .236/.289/.414 in the process.
On the wrong end of a couple of Villalona’s hits was Columbus lefthander Glenn Gibson (5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO), who took the loss to fall to 1-6 on the year … Rome (Braves) lefthander Jeff Locke also struggled again, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out seven but also walked five. Locke fell to 1-5 as the last-place Braves continued to struggle, losing their sixth straight … Right fielder Jason Heyward continues to be one of the few bright spots for Rome. He went 2-for-4 yesterday … Charleston (Yankees) catcher Jesus Montero went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs as the RiverDogs scored a big 3-1 win over Asheville (Rockies) in a battle between the SAL’s top two teams … Three Charleston pitchers (Noel Castillo, Chace Vacek, and Jonathan Ortiz) combined to throw a one-hitter in that game … Greenville (Red Sox) center fielder Ryan Kalish came off the bench in the fourth against Savannah (Mets) and proceeded to go 3-for-4 with a double and a triple … Indians righthander Jake Westbrook made a rehab start for Lake County (Indians) against Lexington (Astros). He gave up one run over 3 2/3 innings and was followed on the mound by righthander Ryan Miller, who stayed hot by finishing the game, tossing 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only four hits, one walk, and striking out eight. Miller improved to 7-0 on the season.
What To Watch For Today
Asheville and Charleston wrap up their four-game series tonight (7:05 EDT). Asheville took the first two games of the series before Charleston struck back last night. Asheville holds a 1/2 game lead over Charleston in the SAL’s Southern Division, and the two are tied in the loss column … Another rehabbing Indians pitcher will appear tonight for Lake County. This time it’ll be closer Joe Borowski, who will start in the finale against Lexington.
Prospect Of The Day
Clinton (Rangers) righthander Neftali Feliz gets the nod after prevailing in a matchup of a pair of Top 100 Prospects when he faced off with Jordan Walden of Cedar Rapids (Angels) last night. Feliz pitched six innings, allowed only one run on three hits, struck out six and walked none. Feliz hadn’t allowed an earned run since April 21, a span of five starts and 24 2/3 innings. Although that streak ended in the fourth inning yesterday, he was still able to improve his record to 4-1 and lower his ERA to 2.53.
Walden didn’t pitch poorly either, allowing three runs on four hits over seven innings. However, one of his few mistakes of the night was turned into a two-run home run by Clinton’s Mitch Moreland in the seventh. Walden fell to 2-4 on the year … Fort Wayne (Padres) righthander Mat Latos allowed four runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings against South Bend (Diamondbacks). He struck out five, walked none and received a No Decision as the Wizards eventually won 8-5 … Wisconsin (Mariners) righthander Phillippe Aumont made his first start since April 5. He allowed two runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings and took the loss against Kane County (Athletics) … Beloit (Twins) center fielder Joe Benson went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs against Peoria (Cubs) … Dayton (Reds) third baseman Brandon Waring also went 3-for-4 with his ninth home run of the year against Great Lakes (Dodgers).
What To Watch For Today
Craig Italiano goes tonight for Kane County (7:30 EDT) against Mike Moustakas and Burlington (Royals) … West Michigan (Tigers) righthander Brandon Hamilton makes his second start of 2008 tonight (6:30 EDT) against South Bend (Diamonodbacks).