Thursday highlights from the Giants' farm: Brandon Belt, Charlie Culberson, Raynor Campbell, and Ryan Scoma each had a home run and a double; top prospect Zack Wheeler had 1 ER and 9 K in 5.2 IP. Also notable, Austin Fleet allowed just 1 ER in 6.0 IP.
AAA: Fresno defeated Salt Lake 5-4
(rallying for three runs in the 7th inning)
Fresno: LF Brandon Belt: 3 for 4, HR, 2B, BB, SB
Fresno: 2B Edgar Gonzalez: 3 for 5, 2B, SO
Fresno: SP Josh Banks: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K--1 HR, 1 WP, 1 PO
Fresno: RP Marc Kroon: 1.0 IP, 2 K
At least from a statistical viewpoint, Belt's fifth PCL game was his best so far. He homered, doubled, singled, walked, and stole a base. Gonzalez also had three hits, raising his AVG to .333.
Making his third start among six appearances, Banks had his first quality start. He threw just 73 pitches (47 strikes) in 6.0 IP. His ERA remains above 6.00. Kroon had 2 K in a perfect 9th inning for his 4th save. His peripheral stats are now 8 H, 5 BB, and 10 K in 7.2 IP.
AA: Richmond defeated Trenton 7-2
Richmond: DH Justin Christian: 2 for 3, 2 BB, SB
Richmond: 2B Charlie Culberson: 2 for 4, HR, 2B, SF, SO
Richmond: SP Justin Fitzgerald: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 2 K--1 E
Culberson's 1st HR and 6th double accounted for both of the Flying Squirrels' XBHs. They raised his SLG to .438. Batting in his usual leadoff role, Christian reached base four times, raising his OBP to .312.
Fitzgerald threw just 48 of 93 pitches for strikes as he had a season-high 5 BB in a season-low 4.1 IP. He allowed just an unearned run, though, as his ERA fell below 1.50.
A+: San Jose defeated Modesto 4-3
San Jose: 2B Ryan Cavan: 1 for 2, 2 BB
San Jose: 3B Chris Dominguez: 2 for 4, GiDP, 2 E
San Jose: SP Zack Wheeler: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K--1 HR
San Jose: RP Jose Valdez: 2.1 IP, 3 K
San Jose: RP Heath Hembree: 1.0 IP, 1 K
Dominguez was one of two Giants with two hits each, but he also commited his 4th and 5th errors. Cavan reached base three times. After drawing just 3 BB in his first thirteen games, he has drawn 6 BB in his last six games.
Wheeler's high strikeout rate continues as he struck out better than one third of the batters he faced, tonight with a season-high 9 K. He also had a 7/1 GO/FO line, but he has yielded a home run in each of last two starts. Valdez and Hembree retired all ten batters they faced.
A-: Augusta defeated Hickory 10-1
(after leading 4-0 through six innings)
Augusta: 2B Carlos Willoughby: 3 for 5, BB
Augusta: DH Raynor Campbell: 2 for 5, HR, 2B, SF, SO
Augusta: RF Ryan Scoma: 2 for 5, HR, 2B, BB
Augusta: SP Austin Fleet: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K--1 HR, 1 WP
The top three hitters in the GreenJackets lineup had a huge night, combining for eight of the team's ten hits. Campbell had his 3rd HR and 7th double. Scoma had his 1st HR and 7th double. Willoughby's three hits raised his team-leading AVG to .313.
Fleet had his best start of the season, evening his W-L record at 2-2. This was his first start with fewer hits than innings pitched, helping to lower his BAA to .321.