Low A Dish: Locke Turns It Around

South Atlantic League

Prospect Of The Day

While Rome (Braves) plays on as it awaits word on Jason Heyward’s status, Braves lefthander Jeff Locke takes today’s POTD award. Locke has had his ups and downs in 2008, but he looks like he’s trending in the right direction after turning in his fourth straight quality start Sunday against Columbus (Rays). The caveat is that one of those "starts" was actually a seven-inning relief appearance after a John Smoltz rehab start, but we’ll give him credit for it anyway. Against the Catfish, the lefthander went seven innings, allowed one run on four hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Locke left the game with a 2-1 lead, however the Rome bullpen allowed Columbus to rally late for a 5-2 win, keeping Locke’s record at an unsightly 1-7.

Prospect Nuggets

Savannah (Mets) righthander Scott Moviel tossed seven innings against Charleston (Yankees), allowing only two runs (one earned) on three hits. He walked one and fanned six to improve his record to 5-7 … Moviel’s teammate, second baseman Greg Veloz went 2-for-4, scored two runs and stole his 20th base … After giving up five home runs in his last start, Columbus lefty Glenn Gibson came out of the bullpen yesterday in Rome. He pitched two shutout innings, gave up two hits and struck out two. He was also the beneficiary of Columbus’ late rally, as Gibson was the winning pitcher to improve his record to 2-8 … Lexington (Astros) center fielder Collin DeLome turned in his third three-hit game in his last six after going 3-for-5 with a double and a home run in 16-8 win over West Virginia (Brewers) … Asheville (Rockies) shortstop Everth Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run in a 7-5 loss to Augusta (Giants). Cabrera also stole his minor league-leading 42nd base of the season.

What To Watch For Today

Lake County (Indians) can take a major step towards cinching up the SAL North’s first-half title as they begin a four-game set with third-place Delmarva (Orioles). With one week left in the first half, Lake County leads Lakewood (Phillies) by two games, with Delmarva also just 2 1/2 back. Meanwhile, Lakewood is visiting Hagerstown (Nationals) for three games. The Captains will send righthander Ryan Miller (7-1, 1.41) to the mound tonight (7:05 EDT).

Midwest League

Prospect Of The Day

Clinton (Rangers) center fielder Engel Beltre takes the prize after going 2-for-4 with a triple, his seventh of the year, a stolen base and two runs scored in a 9-7 loss to Peoria (Cubs). Beltre has hits in eight of his last nine games, upping his line to .280/.306/.410.

Prospect Nuggets

A couple of pitching prospects hooked up in Cedar Rapids (Angels) as the Kernels hosted Burlington (Royals), but neither fared very well. The Kernels’ Robert Fish (6.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) gave up three runs in the first but settled down for the next five innings before the wheels came off again in the seventh. However, Fish still managed to pick up the win to improve to 4-2, while his counterpart, Burlington righthander Sam Runion (3.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO), never got it going and fell to 1-4 … Lansing (Blue Jays) second baseman John Tolisano went 2-for-3 against Fort Wayne (Padres), raising his line to .279/.360/.404.

What To Watch For Today

It looked like Clinton was going to cruise to the MWL West’s first-half crown, but a six-game losing streak has allowed Kane County (Athletics) to cut the LumberKings’ once imposing lead down to 3 1/2 games with a week to go. The division title will be on the line as Kane County travels to Clinton for a four-game set beginning tonight (8:00 EDT), and the series will kick off with an outstanding mound matchup of Kane County’s Craig Italiano (7-0, 0.74) versus Clinton’s Neftali Feliz (5-2, 2.33) … Another prospect showdown will take place in Burlington, where the Bees’ Danny Duffy (1-2, 5.71) will oppose Wisconsin’s (Mariners) Phillippe Aumont (4-3, 1.47) at 7:30 EDT … The Eastern Division will also be up for grabs as first-place Lansing visits second-place West Michigan (Tigers) for four games, starting tonight at 7:00 EDT. The Lugnuts hold a three game lead over West Michigan and Fort Wayne.

Minors | #Daily Dish

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