BAPR Plus: August 7

Brandon Wood has hit three home runs in the past two days while Matt Maloney and Will Inman have enjoyed their changes of scenery to new teams. Each threw a second strong start for their new teams on Monday.

Jed Lowrie had another two hits (including a double) and Clay Buchholz gave up only one run in seven innings, but Pawtucket reliever Edgar Martinez was rocked for five runs as Rochester picked up a 6-1 win. Kevin Slowey allowed one run in eight innings for Rochester.

This was the Brandon Wood we were all expecting to see this year. After homering on Sunday, Wood hit two more home runs on Monday giving him 19. Ervin Santana struck out 10 in seven innings for Salt Lake as well but Cody Ransom homered as Round Rock rallied for a 9-4 win.

Craig Brazell’s quest for 40 home runs is losing steam. Brazell hasn’t homered since July 17 although his 32 home runs still lead the minor leagues. Brazell had two hits in Omaha’s loss to Tucson on Monday.

Recently traded Seth McClung is getting a chance to start for Nashville. McClung was 1-5, 1.99 with Durham before the trade, but all 59 innings came in relief work. In his first start for Nashville McClung allowed three hits in five scoreless innings.

Philip Humber dropped to 10-7 after allowing five runs in four innings against Fresno. Humber was pulled from his scheduled start right before the trade deadline as the Mets flirted with dealing him. He ended up not being traded, but he’s been limited to four innings in each of his past two starts because he is recovering from a case of the flu.

Daniel McCutchen allowed one run in five innings in his second Double-A start, but that was enough to be charged with the loss in Bowie’s 2-0 win over Trenton.
Matt Maloney struck out 10 in his first start with Chattanooga, he only fanned nine on Monday, but it was enough for his first win since being traded to the Reds.

Maloney isn’t the only recently traded pitcher to thrive in a new environment. Will Inman improved to 2-0, 1.35 in the Texas League since being traded to the Padres. Inman struck out nine in seven innings on Monday.

Maybe a promotion was just what Jeff Samardzija needed. The righthander allowed only one run in six innings while allowing six hits as he helped Tennessee beat Montgomery.

High Class A

Sergio Pedroza homered for a third straight game. This time he did it as part of a 4-for-4 night, but it still wasn’t enough as Lou Marson, Brad Harmon and Jeremy Slayden all homered in Clearwater’s 9-8 win.

It wasn’t Zach Ward’s best performance of the season, but it was a win. And when you come into the game with a 2-15 record, any W is greatly appreciated. The Fort Myers righthander has pitched much better than his now 3-15 record indicates–he has a 3.21 ERA and is allowing less than a hit an inning. But Ward’s luck has been so bad that he went 0-1 on a pair of starts in July where he didn’t give up any earned runs.

Brad Corley hit a pair of doubles and a home run as Lynchburg beat Salem 7-5.

B.J. Szymanski has never been able to cut his strikeouts enough to be the power/speed threat the Reds had hoped for when they drafted him in the second round of the 2004 draft, but for one day, he gave glimpses of what he was supposed to become. Syzmanski homered and drove in six as part of a 3-for-6 day. For the season Syzmanski is hitting .235/.288/.385 with only six stolen bases.
Low Class A

Augusta’s Kevin Pucetas improved to 13-3 with six solid innings. In the nightcap teammate Clayton Tanner picked up his 11th win.

Daniel Bard was better on Monday. It wasn’t exactly pretty, but it was definitely an improvement. After allowing 11 runs in 5 1/3 innings in his previous two starts, the righthander allowed two runs in four innings. Bard walked three and threw one wild pitch.

Alexander Smit is another pitcher who’s benefited from a change of scenery. Smith picked up his second win and lowered his ERA to 1.19 since being picked up off waivers by the Reds and sent to low Class A Dayton.

Ryan Roster impressive season continued on Monday. Royster hit his 19th home run on Monday as Columbus beat Lexington. Roster is now hitting .314/.364/.543 for the Catfish.

Rome’s Chris Vines and two relievers combined to shut out West Virginia. Jeremy Jeffress allowed three runs in six innings to pick up the loss.

Asheville’s Aneury Rodriguez allowed only two hits in five shutout innings but his bullpen blew it in a 5-4 loss to Delmarva.

Leadoff hitter Quinton Berry is hitting .478 in August. He kept it up on Monday while showing off some unusual power. Berry hit his third home run of the season as Lakewood fell to Kannapolis.

Jeremy Hunt hit a pair of home runs and drove in six for Fort Wayne.

Short Season/Rookie Leagues

Jordan Zimmerman struck out nine in four scoreless innings as Vermont beat Tri-City 2-0 in five innings in a game that was called because of fog.

Danny Otero has made 15 appearances and has 15 saves. He picked up his 15th on Monday as Salem-Keizer beat Spokane. Ian Gac hit his 11th home run for Spokane, while that’s impressive it has to be tempered by the fact that Gac spent all of last year in the Midwest and California Leagues.

Yakima’s Clayton Conner hit a pair of home runs in a 12-9 win over Vancouver. The 45th-round pick is hitting .360/.420/.616.

Sixth-round pick Guillaume Leduc struck out six in six innings to improve to 1-0, 0.90 for the GCL Mets.

Jose Ortegano allowed only one hit while striking out eight in five innings for Danville, while Jeremy Hall struck out eight in six scoreless innings for Princeton. But once the starters were out of the game the hitters got comfortable. Danville scored four runs in the 10th innings for a 7-6 win.