Thursday highlights from the Giants' farm: Chris Heston combined with three relievers for a 14-inning shutout, and both Conor Gillaspie and Luke Anders homered as part of multi-hit efforts.
AAA: Fresno defeated Round Rock 10-5
(after trailing 5-3 entering the 6th inning)
Fresno: CF Justin Christian: 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB, HBP, CS
Fresno: 3B Conor Gillaspie: 2 for 5, HR, SO
Fresno: 1B Todd Linden: 3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 SO
Round Rock: CF Julio Borbon: 2 for 5, 2 HR
Fresno: SP Matt Yourkin: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K--3 HR
Fresno: RP Scott Munter: 1.0 IP, 2 K
Fresno: RP George Kontos: 1.0 IP, 1 K
In the 7th inning, Gillaspie's 4th HR turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead. Linden had 5 RBIs on his three-hit night. Christian reached base four times, raising his OBP back above .450. The Rangers' Borbon, who has spent part of the last three seasons in the majors, had his 3rd and 4th HRs, although for the season his OPS remains below .700 through 163 AB.
After allowing just 3 HRs over his first eight appearances (including two starts), Yourkin has yielded 3 HRs in each of his last two starts. With 11 ER over his last two starts, his season ERA is up to 6.26. Munter, pitching in his first game this year, and Kontos each pitched a perfect inning.
AA: Richmond defeated Harrisburg 1-0 (14 innings)
Richmond: CF Gary Brown: 1 for 6, 3 SO
Richmond: 3B Daniel Mayora: 3 for 5, BB, SO, SB, E
Richmond: SP Chris Heston: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Richmond: RP Daryl Maday: 3.0 IP, 2 K--1 WP
Harrisburg: SP Daniel Rosenbaum: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Harrisburg: RP Kevin Pucetas: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 5 K
Mayora had three of the Flying Squirrels' six hits (all singles). He may good with the bat as his .314 AVG easily leads the team but not so good with the leather given his 14 errors (while all other position players on the team have 15 errors combined). Neither team got a baserunner past second base until the 14th inning. The Squirrels won with four walks in the bottom of that inning. Top prospect Brown had a hat trick, but his SO/AB ratio is a manageable 17%.
Heston made his longest start of the year with 8.0 shutout IP. With just 4 ER allowed this year over eight starts, including no earned runs in his last three starts, he has a 0.71 ERA. Rosenbaum, whom Baseball America ranked as the Nationals' #23 prospect, has an even lower ERA, though, at 0.62, as through his eight starts he has pitched a few more innings than Heston. In relief, Maday was the first of three relievers for the Squirrels, faced the minimum in 3.0 scoreless IP. His first batter reached on an error but was subsequently erased on a double play. Pucetas, whom the Giants traded for Jose Guillen a couple years ago, was the first of three relievers for the Senators and had a season-high 5 K, striking out nearly half of his eleven batters in 3.0 scoreless IP. For the season he has 22 H, 3 BB and 14 K in 24.0 IP over ten relief appearances.
A+: San Jose lost to Visalia 8-3
(allowing six runs in the 8th inning)
San Jose: 3B Adam Duvall: 1 for 4, HR, 2 SO
San Jose: 1B Luke Anders: 2 for 3, HR, HBP, SO
Visalia: SS Chris Owings: 3 for 5, 3B, 2B
San Jose: SP Taylor Rogers: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K--1 HB
Among the Giants' five hits, Duvall and Anders had their 5th and 3rd HRs. Owings, whom the Diamondbacks drafted 41st overall three years ago, is having a breakout season. Coming off two four-hit games, tonight he had two XBH among three hits, improving the 20-year-old's season line to .339/.371/.589 through 168 AB.
Rogers, who has yet to pitch into the 7th inning this year, had his third quality start among eight starts. This start came on eight days rest after a brief stint on the minor league's 7-day DL.
A-: Augusta defeated Savannah 3-2
Augusta: LF Shawn Payne: 1 for 3, BB, 2 SO, SB
Augusta: 2B Mark Minicozzi: 0 for 4, 4 SO
Augusta: CF Carlos Willoughby: 1 for 3, 3B, HBP
Augusta: SP Clayton Blackburn: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K--1 HB
Augusta: RP Derek Law: 2.0 IP, 2 K
Payne and Willoughby each reached base twice for the GreenJackets. With the sombrero, the 29-year-old Minicozzi had an inauspicious return to the minor leagues in his first game in nearly five years.
Blackburn followed up his previous start that included a season-high 8 K with a new season-high 10 K. Was that also a career high? He also matched his longest start of the year with 6.0 IP. It's a bit unusual how high both his hit and strikeout rates are his peripheral stats include 38 H, 8 BB and 41 K in 31.0 IP. Law had 2.0 perfect IP, bringing his ERA below 2.50.