Top storiesHudson sharp in rehab start: After two rehab starts in low-A that didn't go so well, the Braves moved him to Gwinnett and he looks much closer to a return. In five innings, Hudson allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks while striking out four. His command clearly still needs to improve, but it's an improvement over his previous two starts. He's expected to make one more start with Gwinnett before joining the Braves.
Blasts from the past: There was once a day where big league teams had high expectations for Brad Eldred and Mike Costanzo, but those days are long gone. On Wednesday, they combined for three home runs in Toledo's 13-9 win over Louisville. Eldred's two home runs give him a minor league leading seven on the season. It's widely believed that his presence in the Pirates organization eight years ago led them to reject a chance to trade Kip Wells to the Phillies for Ryan Howard. This was Costanzo's 2012 AAA debut, where he's spent part of the last two seasons with the Reds organization. When the Phillies made Costanzo a second round pick in 2005, they thought they had their new power hitting third baseman, but his strength wasn't enough to compensate for his poor plate approach and defense.
Matchup of Wheeler and McGuire lives up to billing: Deck McGuire's season didn't start well, allowing five home runs in his first outing and then three earned runs in five innings his next. Zack Wheeler also struggled in his first start, but he rebounded in a big way last time out with nine strikeouts in six innings. On Wednesday they were both on top of their games in a 2-0 New Hampshire win. McGuire threw 6.2 scoreless innings, and the only negative to take away is that he walked three. Wheeler allowed just one run in six innings and struck out eight. The two teams combined for six hits.
A.J. Kirby Jones slugs three home runs: MiLB has its first three home run game of the season, and not surprisingly, it comes from the Cal League. However, it was not at one of the league's traditional launching pads. Stockton first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones hit a home run off each of Lake Elsinore's pitchers, Burch Smith, Yefri Carvajal and Dennis O'Grady. Prior to the season, Kirby-Jones owned 27 minor league home runs through 169 games. In his final two years at Tennessee Tech, he slugged 46 in 112 games. Blake Treinen threw seven scoreless innings in Stockton's 8-0 win.
Matt Barnes continues SAL domination: Unlike most polished college pitchers, the Red Sox assigned Barnes to low-A rather than high-A. It's only been three starts, but he's proved that it's not a challenge. He struck out nine in six more scoreless innings, and he hasn't allowed a run, earned or unearned, in 16 innings this season. He has 25 strikeouts, has a great groundout to flyout ratio, and his WHIP sits at a solid .50. It seemed like Boston got a bit of a steal with Barnes at 19 overall, and they could surely use some help in the rotation.
Savannah sweeps doubleheader with more great pitching: By scores of 2-0 and 4-3, the Sand Gnats won both games of their doubleheader against Rome. Their offense needed a late surge to take game two, but again the pitching stood out. They're the only team in the minor leagues that has a WHIP below 1.00 which is outstanding for a staff. Domingo Tapia, Tyler Pill and Rafael Montero are all starters with a WHIP under 1.00, and Pill hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings this season. It will be tough to sustain this pace much longer, but their staff should be able to carry them to the top of the SAL standings.
On tap todayMiLB.TV scheduleTerry Doyle tries to turn season around
Oklahoma City, Nashville meet in doubleheader
Barret Loux faces off against hometown Houston's AA affiliate
Chad James hopes to continue rebound season
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MiLB Records Tracker
Billy Hamilton, Bakersfield Blaze
Current: 131 stolen bases in 109 games (1.20 per game)
Pace: 159 stolen bases in 133 games
Jurickson Profar, Frisco RoughRiders
50 game on-base streak (not on-going)