BAPR Plus: July 3

Craig Brazell continued to add to his amazing season while Daytona was the scene of a great pitching duel on Monday.

Jo-Jo Reyes struck out nine in five scoreless innings for the Richmond Braves. Reyes has gone 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts for Richmond since being promoted from Greenville. Bernie Castro had a pair of doubles and a triple for Columbus.

Victor Zambrano’s attempt to make a comeback has gone pretty poorly this year, but his last two starts shows a small glimmer of hope that he’s figuring things out. Zambrano allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings to lower his ERA for Syracuse to 6.99.

Juan Gutierrez struck out eight in 7 1/3 innings, but he was matched by R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball in a game that went 11 innings. Vinny Rottino drove in Drew Anderson with the winning run for the Sounds in the 11th.

Craig Brazell hit his 30th home run of the season as he continues to extend his minor league home run lead. Brazell is on pace for 50 home runs this season and he now leads the Pacific Coast League in home runs (23) despite the fact that he spent the first month of the season in Double-A. Nearly as impressively, reliever Matt Wright struck out 10 in five innings.

Steve Torrealba homered twice and Mark Hollimon and Eider Torres homered as well, but Erie still lost to Akron. Jair Jurrjens allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings for Erie.

Ryan Patterson homered as part of a 21-hit New Hampshire onslaught in a 13-3 win over Portland. The Portland fans did have something to cheer for however as the Red Sox extended their player development contract with the Sea Dogs through 2012.

Max Scherzer gave up four runs in six innings, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out six. Anthony Raglani homered twice for Jacksonville.

Donald Veal put together his second-straight solid outing for Tennessee. Veal allowed one run in six innings as he continued to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters. Veal has struggled for much of the season because he’s struggled to throw strikes. Improved command has him back on track, as Tennessee manager Pat Listach explained to the (Maryville) Daily Times.
“He’™s got good stuff,” said Listach. “Even when he has walked guys, they still haven’™t hit him But you can’™t put base runners on base. ‘¦ Nothing positive can come out of a walk, except a double play. And he’™s not a ground ball pitcher. When he throws strikes and works ahead in the count, he’™s as good as anybody in this league.”

After going 0-4, 7.13 in high Class A Bakersfield, Edinson Volquez has shown small signs that this reclamation project is coming together. Volquez improved to 7-0 with Double-A Frisco, but that’s not as encouraging as it sounds. Volquez has a 3.77 ERA overall, and an ERA over 4.00 over his last five starts. John Mayberry homered for Frisco in the win.

Jay Bruce broke out of an 0-for-10 slump with a home run, but Chattanooga was swept by Carolina. The Mudcats jumped on Chattanooga starter Carlos Fisher as the sinkerball specialist struggled to keep the ball down. Grant Psomas went 5-for-5 with a home run for Carolina.

High Class A

Elvis Andrus went 3-for-4 with a double and home run in Myrtle Beach’s 7-6 loss to Frederick. The Pelicans also saw their rotation overhauled as Moises Hernandez was promoted to Double-A and four pitchers were demoted. Rome pitchers Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen and Deunte Heath were promoted from Rome.

The best pitching duel around the minors last night took place in Daytona where Jake McGee and Joel Santo dominated hitters. McGee struck out 13 in seven innings, allowing only two hits and walking no one. Santo allowed only two hits in eight innings while striking out seven, but Santo was just as good, allowing two hits in eight innings while striking out seven. Daytona jumped on reliever Eduardo de la Cruz in the eighth inning for a 2-0 win.

Blake DeWitt went 5-for-5 as Inland Empire beat High Desert 7-4, but the game will most be remembered for a bench-clearing brawl that saw six players ejected. The brawl began after Inland Empire’s Jamie Hoffman slid hard into second base in the seventh inning.

Low Class A
Juan Francisco has four hits and Chris Valaika homered as Dayton beat Fort Wayne 9-5.

Brandon Allen homered twice for Kannapolis in an 11-3 win over Greensboro. John Raynor had four hits and a stolen base in the losing effort for the Grasshoppers.

Matt Repec had a fine week in one night. Repec doubled twice and homered while driving eight runs as Asheville pounded Hickory 16-3.

Pedro Beato couldn’t keep the ball down on Monday, which led to predictable results. Beato allowed eight hits as he gave up four runs in six innings.

Wilson Ramos, Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee all homered in Beloit’s 9-3 win over Clinton.

Short Season/Rookie Leagues

Ryan Kalish is stealing a base a game, as he stole his 12th base and added his first pro home run in Lowell’s 8-4 win over Tri-City.

A pair of college stars also hit their first pro home runs. Matt Mangini hit his first pro home run in Everett’s 11-3 win over Boise while Kellen Kulbacki slugged his first homer in Eugene’s 3-2 win over Yakima.

D’Arby Meyers had four hits while Tyler Mach had three hits (two doubles and a triple) to lead Williamsport to a 13-3 win over Jamestown.

GCL Cardinals 19-year-old first baseman Osvaldo Morales had a pair of home runs in the Cardinals’ 8-6 win over the Mets.

GCL Reds shortstop Neftali Soto’s hot hitting continued with a 3-for-5 day on Monday, raising his averages to .476/.489/.667.

Matt Bush struck out two in a perfect inning of work. Pitching in the Arizona League, Bush now has struck out eight while allowing one hit in 3 1/3 innings.