Key Statistics: CF Travis Jankowski 3-for-4, CS; SS Ramiro Pena 2-for-4, 3B, R; RF Jake Goebbert 1-for-3, HR (6); 3B Will Middlebrooks 2-for-4, 2B; RBI, R; RHP Chris Smith 7IP, 3H, 0R, 6K, 0BB; RHP Jay Jackson 1.1IP, 1H, 0R, 2K, S (9)
Prospect Watch: After sitting for two days, Will Middlebrooks picked back up with another multi-hit effort Sunday. The 26-year-old is 13-for-37 with four extra-base hits in his first nine games back at Triple-A following his demotion. While he has only struck out five times for the Chihuahuas, he has yet to draw his first walk. … Chris Smith turned in his most impressive start of the year, blanking the Aces on only three hits over seven innings. The 34-year-old righty struck out six and, for the second time in three games, did not issue a walk. … Travis Jankowski extended his hitting streak to 10 games (his entire tenure in the PCL) and, with three hits, edged his batting average back up over .500.
Missions 5 – Frisco RoughRiders 4
Prospect Watch: In his second start back since missing a turn in the rotation because of a finger issue, Casey Kelly worked five more innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits. He’s now given up only 18 hits in his last 24 innings, though he has yet to make it through a start without issuing a walk. He only has about 20 to 30 more innings before he hits the ceiling the organization planned to have for him this season as he continues to work his way back from an elbow injury that first struck over three years ago. … Cody Hebner’s wacky year continued to get back on track with another scoreless outing for the Missions. After being left back in extended spring training to open the year, he joined the Lake Elsinore Storm in June and was shelled for 6 earned runs in his first game. He gave up a run in each of his next three outings, but hasn’t allowed an opponent to cross the plate in 13 appearances since. He’s only given up two hits in 11.2 Texas League innings, but has issued eight walks and hit another batter. …Yeison Asencio had his fourth multi-hit game in a week and keyed both Missions scoring rallies with RBI singles. He did strike out once on Sunday, but this year he’s become even more pronounced in his career-long tendency to avoid K’s (8.3% rate this season) and walks (3.1%).
For further reading on the San Antonio Missions, see the San Antonio Express-News.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 4 – Storm 3
Prospect Watch: After rallying to tie the game in the top of the ninth, the Storm watched the Quakes walk off with three straight two-out hits in the bottom of the frame. They’ve now lost six straight and 11 of 12. One of the lone bright spots for the Storm over the last month has been the hitting of Nick Torres. Since being promoted to the Cal League, last year’s fourth-rounder has put up a .349/.360/.530 line, far and away leading the club in all three categories. His 39 doubles at two levels this year continue to pace all minor leaguers. … Kyle Lloyd struck out seven more on Sunday and now has 102 in 99.2 innings between the rotation and the bullpen this year. The big righty with the nasty split-finger pitch has a respectable 1.36 WHIP, but has had to work to get his ERA back below 5.00 on the year.
TinCaps 3 – West Michigan Whitecaps 2
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps had their third consecutive walk-off victory over West Michigan Sunday, this time relying on Franmil Reyes’s fourth hit of the game. The massive outfielder has hit in five of six games and has only struck out three times in his last eight contests. … Righty Michael Kelly allowed the first two batters he faced to score, but then gave up only two more hits on the afternoon. The former compensation-round pick struck out a season-high seven hitters. … Ruddy Giron extended his hitting streak to seven games with two more singles. Since hitting his low-water mark at .294, the 18-year-old has added 22 points to his average in 27 at-bats.
For further reading on the TinCaps, see the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.
Hillsboro Hops 6 – Dust Devils 2
Prospect Watch: Despite mustering just five hits all afternoon, the Dust Devils carried a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning before the Hops jumped on reliever Luis Hernandez for five earned runs to claim the victory. Through eight innings, starter Brett Kennedy and a quartet of relievers had surrendered only two hits. Kennedy, the club’s 11th-rounder this year, worked a perfect first, but then a walk and wild pitch put a run on the board in the second. After working 87 innings for Fordham this spring, he has yet to go more than three innings in Tri-City, but owns a 1.93 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 23.1 innings of work. Opponents have hit just .150 against him.
For further reading on the Tri-City Dust Devils, see the Tri-City Herald
. AZL Mariners 6 – AZL Padres 1
Key Statistics: 1B Brad Zunica 1-for -4, 2B, RBI; RHP Austin Smith 2IP, 6H, 5ER, 0K, 2BB
Prospect Watch: The Padres were held hitless until Yale Rosen led off the ninth with a single and Brad Zunica drove him in with a double to right. Zunica, the 19-year-old slugger drafted in the 15th round this year, now has six doubles through 16 games. … The Padres’ top pick this year, Austin Smith, had a scoreless first, but was tagged for five runs on five hits and a pair of walks in the second. Four of the runs came around with two outs. The Floridian has been touched for 11 hits in his last two appearances, totaling four innings. For the box scores of all the games please go to the MiLB.com scoreboards.