Minor League Recap for July 8

The clubs in Arizona won, but the rest of the system faced some struggles. Centerfielders Aaron Cunningham, Rymer Liriano and Yoan Alcantara provided most of the offensive highlights, while top prospects Simon Castro and Jason Hagerty had nights to forget.

Tucson defeats Fresno 4-3
With no current starter available five T-Pad relievers divided up the game, holding the Grizzlies offense in check long enough for Aaron Cunningham to come through again for a victory.

Cunningham's two-RBI single in the seventh put Tucson ahead for good. The single was part of another two-hit night for the righthanded outfielder, who has hit .379 since coming back down from the majors. He had four multi-hit games in the week and sports a cool 1.107 OPS in July.

Sam Deduno came off the DL and worked 3.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and two walks. He was followed by Scott Munter and Will Inman, who got his first victory since moving to the pen by working a pair of scoreless innings. In six relief appearances, the 24-year-old righty has a 4.00 ERA with nine strikeouts against two walks.

Evan Scribner and Brad Brach are following the lead of their big-league counterparts, forming a potent one-two punch at the back of the bullpen. Scribner recorded two strikeouts in his inning before Brach converted his second save opportunity in Triple-A with a perfect ninth.

Kyle Blanks' hitting streak came to an end at 23 games. The big guy went 0-for-3 with two walks. James Darnell clubbed a homer in his third straight game and has 16 total bases in his first four Triple-A contests. San Antonio trounced by NW Arkansas 10-4
Simon Castro took a pounding early and the Missions offense never got back into it as San Antonio dropped their second straight to the Naturals.

Castro was torched for eight runs over just 2.2 innings of work. While he managed to record six of his eight outs via the strikeout, the Naturals disrupted Castro by running wild every time they reached base. In addition to the nine hits and hit batter Castro surrendered, he yielded eight stolen bases, committed a balk and hit a batter. The night was obviously a major step backward after four consecutive solid starts.

Dan Robertson paced the Missions offense going 3-for-4 with a homer. He has reached base in nine of his last 10 contests, posting a 308/400/538 line in the process. From the opposite outfield corner, although Jaff Decker was 0-for-2, he had a pair of walks offensively and recorded two outfield assists, throwing out a pair of runners at second.

Lake Elsinore downed by Visalia 5-3
Just five days after torching Diamondbacks prospect David Holmberg in his Cal League debut, the Storm couldn't do much against the lefty on Friday night as they fell to the Rawhide 5-3 for the second straight night.

Jerry Sullivan took the loss, giving up three earned runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings. The third-round pick from Oral Roberts in 2009 has not been able to get much of anything going in the Cal League, posting a 6.02 ERA and giving up 118 hits against just 49 strikeouts in 86.2 innings of work.

Jason Hagerty had a rough night at the plate and behind it. The Padres' top (only?) catching prospect went 0-for-4 on four groundouts offensively, and was charged with both an error and passed ball defensively, while allowing a pair of stolen bases. He still maintains a 316/393/533 line on the season.

Working his way back from a spring training thumb injury, Mike Baxter made his second straight start in right field and went 2-for-3 before leaving the game as scheduled in the sixth inning.

Fort Wayne dumped by Dayton 9-1
A six-run sixth inning by the Dragons eliminated any chance for the TinCaps to get back into a contest they trailed all night and Ft. Wayne fell to 5-10 in the second half.

Lefty Noah Mull made his second straight start after working his previous 37 professional appearances out of the bullpen. The 2010 38th–rounder struggled with command, giving up four walks in five innings on his way to four earned runs. He had walked just nine hitters in 35.1 relief innings.

Rymer Liriano continued his domination of the Midwest League, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk. While the Padres obviously want to be careful with the talented 20-year-old after his poor showing when they rushed him to Elsinore to start the year, his 315/393/488 line with 40 stolen bases might force their hands to give him another look in the Cal League before the end of the year.

Eugene falls to Yakima 3-2 in 13
While Cory Spangenberg continues to reach base every time he gets near the ballpark, the Ems went only 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and the bullpen finally caved against the Bears. For more on the silliness of Spangenberg's .574 on-base percentage and the rest of the game, check out Taylor's game story.

AZL Padres pull out 12-7 win in 10
After giving up the lead in the ninth, the Padres pounded out five runs in the 10th to claim just their fourth win of the year.

Centerfielder Yoan Alcantara continued a strong stateside debut, going 4-for-6 with two doubles and two runs scored. The 18-year-old Dominican has a 333/338/476 line through 15 games, but has fanned nine times against just one walk. Signed for $135,000 in 2009, Alcantara flashes plus speed and a strong arm.

2011 college picks Rashad Ingram and Paul Karmas each collected three hits for the rookie-league club as well and are both hitting above .300 at this point.

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