Kevin Collins Heating Up

In Daytona, OF Kevin Collins is finally heating up after a slow two-month start to his season.

Iowa Notes

Iowa fell 7-1 to Nashville as the "AAAA" squad highlighted much of the game. Prospect-wise, 1B Micah Hoffpauir collected two hits but is just 7-for-32 this month. C Geovany Soto had the night off, but is the hottest hitting Cubs Triple-A prospect in June with a .320 average and six RBIs through eight games. One night after totaling four RBIs for the first time since April of 2003, 3B Nate Frese went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Frese has a team-best nine RBIs for June.

Daytona Notes

Daytona swept another doubleheader with Palm Beach, winning 3-1 and 4-0, respectively. The Cubs held Cardinal hitting to nine hits in the two games combined. In the first game, RHP J.R. Mathes allowed one run and four hits in six innings for his fourth win in his last five starts. Mathes improved to 5-2 and has surrendered 11 earned runs in his two losses this year, as opposed to five in his five victories. RHP Thomas Atlee nailed down his first save since May 23, recording his eighth overall this season. Atlee has seen all but 6 1/3 innings of his 19 2/3 total this season in the ninth inning, where he has a 4.05 ERA.

RHP Billy Petrick started the second game and went only two innings in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list with an undisclosed injury by manager Richie Zisk. (Unlike most all minor league managers, Zisk's personal policy is to not release injury information - such as reasons for DL stints - to the media, according to Daytona broadcaster Bo Fulginiti.) Petrick faced eight batters and did not allow a hit in his two innings. RHP Anderson Tavarez finished things off with five shutout innings in what was easily his best showing to date this season. Opponents were hitting above .300 against Tavarez (2-5) heading in, and the right-hander had surrendered 23 earned runs in his last five outings prior to Sunday.

Who better to headline the offense in both games than the team's hottest hitter this month? OF Kevin Collins finished a combined 4-for-6 on Sunday with a home run and three RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Collins has seven RBIs over his last four games with a .450 average for the month of June. His five home runs and 16 RBIs this month are already more than his monthly totals for April and May, in which he batted only .235 through 46 games. In addition, the 12-game hit streak by Collins ties his career longest, previously set from May 26 to June 12 at Lansing in 2003. He is now batting .277, his best clip since April 28.

Peoria Chiefs

OF Luis Montanez's seven-game hitting streak wasn't enough to give Peoria the extra boost they needed, as the Chiefs fell 3-1 to Beloit. Montanez hit his second home run in his last three games after going 16 games without one. He already has 12 RBIs this month, tying his May total and falling just one shy of his April total. Montanez's 37 RBIs rank first on the team. OF Ryan Harvey made it five straight games with a hit despite batting .229 for the month. Harvey's 52 strikeouts are tied with OF Bo Flowers for second on the team, one behind Drew Larsen's 53. Flowers struck out three times on Sunday and has whiffed in all but one of his last 20 games.

RHP Jesse Estrada allowed three runs for the fifth consecutive start en route to his sixth loss. He allowed six hits in five innings on Sunday. Right-handed batters are hitting .341 against Estrada (3-6) in his 13 starts this season. The Peoria bullpen hurled four shutout innings in the loss. The Chiefs' relief core has a 4.85 ERA for the season.

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