Billings Wins Slugfest

Jonathan Reynoso came from the Dominican League and entered a lot of radars last season when he hit .311 in the Arizona League. He started out slowly this season at Billings, but his bat is heating up including a four hit game in the Mustangs win on Saturday.

Billings scored five runs in the seventh inning to pull away and held on for an 11-8 win at Orem in a Pioneer League Slugfest. Jonathan Reynoso led the way offensively and started the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning and finished with four hits and three runs. Later a two-run homer by Daniel Paula in the fourth gave the Mustangs a brief lead. Phil Ervin tied the score in the sixth by doubling home a run and scoring on a wild pitch. Jonathan Matthews started the big rally with a single and advanced on Reyoso's bunt single. Those two pulled off a double steal and then their team received some charity as Orem contributed an error, passed ball, walk, wild pitch, and hit batsman to give them the lead. Jhimmy Lopez and Nick Benedetto stroked run-scoring singles before the scoring was concluded.

Avain Rachal also had a multi-hit game with a single and double. Ervin, Paula, and Taylor Terrasas all reached safely twice with a hit and walk each. Starter Luke Moran was tagged for six runs in five innings, but the offense made sure he did not get a decision. Werleen Taveras allowed one run while tossing three innings for the win.

Before this season Reynoso had started to climb into some analysts' lists of top Reds prospects after he cracked .300 and stole thirty bases in the Arizona League last season. Prior to moving stateside he spent a couple of his teen years in the Dominican League. Now at the age of twenty yesterday's outburst lifted his average to .256 this year and he's gone 13-38 (.342) over his last nine games.

Reynoso is another young foreign prospect that needs to develop plate discipline as he's walked only eight times in almost 300 plate appearances over the past two seasons. In spite of being a free-swinger he does make good contact, striking out only 37 times during the period, the same number as his stolen base total during that time.

He's very athletic with a 6'3"/177# build. Not much power has been seen in his game, but that could increase as his body matures. The Reds have used his speed in center field for most of his action where he's run down almost two putouts per game over his 127 career games and thrown out thirteen base-runners.

It's often difficult to predict how Dominican prospects will turn out. Some of them will eventually become good MLB players and stats in initial years do not necessarily represent their abilities because they put them up at such young ages. Reynoso moved stateside after showing some progress in his second DSL season, but he had an AVG/OBP differential that was a bit artificial because he had been hit by ten pitches. Since arriving in the US that differential has been less than .020'.

Still, he's progressing and learning the way to first base and giving reason to believe he can patrol the middle of the outfield with some more development. He has the speed to project as a potentially disrupting runner on the bases for the opposition if he can figure out how to improve the frequency he gets to do that job. After a couple of lackluster Dominican seasons he generated a lot of excitement for himself last year and it appears he's on the verge of adding to that momentum in 2013.

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The Reds took another early lead but could not hold it in their 4-2 loss at Atlanta. The Braves are dealing with injuries that kept all three of their outfielders out of the lineup, but their replacements combined to go 7-11. Zach Cozart got scoring started in the second inning when he led off with a triple and scored on a groundout. Later that inning Chris Heisey doubled and crossed the plate on a hit by Shin-soo Choo, but that would be all the runs the Redlegs would get. Choo had two hits in the game while Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips both reached safely twice with a hit and walk each. Homer Bailey took the loss for allowing four runs off ten hits in six innings while striking out seven.

Louisville got pounded at home in a 10-0 loss to Toledo. The Bats' bats were limited to three hits on the day, one of them by Denis Phipps who also walked twice. Starter Chad Reineke was gone after three innings and took the loss after allowing eight runs (seven earned).

Pensacola finally finished their rain suspended game and pulled away for a 12-4 win at Montgomery. Leadoff hitter Corey Wimberly had three hits and scored twice. Four Wahoos: Donald Lutz, Tucker Barnhart, Brodie Greene, and Ryan LaMarre had two hits apiece including home runs by Greene and LaMarre. Daniel Renken allowed four runs (two earned) in four-plus innings of relief, but that was good enough to pick up the win.

In the regularly scheduled game the Pensacola offense went silent in a 6-0 loss to the Biscuits who limited them to only one hit in the seven-inning game. Starter Josh Smith was lifted in the fifth inning and took the loss for allowing five runs.

Bakersfield allowed two runs in the eighth and came up short in their comeback attempt in a 3-2 loss at Rancho Cucamonga. Juan Perez gave the Blaze an early lead with a solo home run in the fifth inning and Juan Silverio provided their other run with a homer in the ninth. Perez, Juan Silva, and David Vidal each had two of their team's nine hits while Yovan Gonzalez reached twice with walks. Mike Dennhardt got the start, but pitched to only one hitter before leaving with a groin injury. Carlos Gonzalez relieved him with four scoreless frames and Brooks Pinckard allowed the two go-ahead runs in one-plus innings pitched for the loss.

Dayton rallied for four runs in the eighth inning in their 4-3 win at Quad Cities. The Dragons loaded the bases with two outs and scored on a walk, two-run single from Jesse Winker, and run-scoring hit by Seth Mejias-Brean. Beau Amaral had three hits for Dayton and also reached with a walk. His UCLA teammate Jeff Gelalich reached twice with a hit and a walk. Robert Stephenson was strong again, yielding only two unearned runs off two hits in six-plus innings while striking out eight against only one walk. Alejandro Chacin relieved him to end the seventh and ended up with the win after recording only one out. Kyle McMyne allowed an unearned run in the ninth and qualified for the save.

In a wild one, the AZL Reds found themselves in a ten-run deficit, but rallied for nine in the sixth inning and added two more in the ninth for an 11-10 win over the AZL Padres. Pinch hitter Alberti Chavez ended the game by hitting into a walk-off fielding error to score Logan Uxa who walked twice in the game. Kevin Garcia, Corey Thompson, and Aldi Guzman each had two hits for the Reds while Kevin Franklin reached via a hit and a walk. Juan Morillo was victimized by errors over his four innings pitched and only one of the seven runs he allowed was earned. Chad Jones entered in the final inning, retired two batters, and hung around for the win.

The DSL Reds split a double header with the Twins. They won the first game 6-5 by taking the lead with four runs in the eighth inning and re-taking it from another one in the seventh and final frame. Geraldo Valor stroked three hits and drove in three to lead the offense. Starter Pedro Damian was lifted in the fifth and allowed three runs (two earned). Jose Munoz entered in the seventh and retired his only batter faced which gave him the win.

The DSL Twins came back in the second game to take a three-run lead and hold on for 4-2 win over the Reds who were limited to only two hits in the contest. Hector Vargas and Miguel Mendez both had a hit and also reached with a walk apiece while Valor walked twice. Jose DeSousa pitched four innings and allowed three runs, all unearned, for the loss.

The DSL Rojos scored two in the eighth inning, but it was not enough in their 3-2 loss to the DSL Blue Jays. The Rojos were held to four hits including a double by Luis Gonzalez who also drew a walk. Starter Jose Salas allowed three runs in five innings for the loss.

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