Jackson Creeps Toward .400; Montero Streak to 19

Managing Editor
Posted May 24, 2005


Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin are making things tough for Pacific Coast League pitchers; Steven Jackson is brilliant in South Bend; If Lancaster's defense was as consistent as catcher Miguel Montero's bat, they might be undefeated; Enrique Gonzalez is great (but not as great as usual) in Tennessee.

Albuquerque 3 @ Tucson 7

It was going to happen, and it finally has.  Shortstop Sergio Santos went 1-4 Monday to raise his season average to .200.  While the Mendoza Line certainly isn't Santos' goal for the season, it marks the first time the #3 prospect in the D'Backs organization has reached the mark all season, Santos is a career .278 hitter.

On the other side of the coin there's first baseman Conor Jackson.  Jackson was 2-3 with two doubles, a walk, and three runs scored on Monday, and he's creeping toward a mark of his own.  The #2 prospect in the system has hit in 14 of his last 15 games and currently sits at .399 for the season, second in all of minor league baseball.  His 32nd walk of the year puts him in the top 10 in all the minors in that category, so it's no wonder he currently sits third in on base percentage with a .495 mark.

That's third in OBP for Jackson, because fellow Sidewinder, and #1 D'Backs prospect right fielder Carlos Quentin is second, with the absolutely ridiculous OBP of .500.  Quentin was 2-4 with a triple, his sixth homer of the season, and three RBI, raising his batting average to .346.

Left fielder Josh Kroeger continues his hot streak.  His 1-3 performance featured a double, an RBI and a run scored.  He's 9 for his last 21 with three RBI, three runs scored, and three extra base hits in his last six games, and added two outfield assists Monday night.

Birmingham 2 @ Tennessee 7

There was good news and bad news for starter Enrique Gonzalez Monday.  He won his fourth straight start, but has his consecutive scoreless innings streak stopped at 25 innings after giving up a double that scored a run with one out in the second inning.  Gonzalez scattered five hits over his seven innings to earn his fifth win of the season.

With Marland Williams getting the day off left fielder Noochie Varner slid into the lead off spot and responded nicely, hitting his second homer of the season, a three run shot, in the second that would prove to be all the run support Gonzalez would need.  Varner would later add a double and run his hit streak to seven games.  Varner has

Third baseman Jaime D'Antona was moved down to the seven spot in the batting order for the first time this season and apparently took it as a wake up call, going 2-4 with a double, a homer, and two runs driven in.  It was just D'Antona's fifth homer of the season in 138 at bats.  Last year at Hi-A Lancaster D'Antona crushed 13 bombs in 273, and in his first year as a pro at Yakima he had 15 in 278 trips to the dish.

First baseman Jesus Cota was 1-2 with a double, run scored, and an RBI.  It was his third straight game with a RBI, and he has driven in 11 in his last seven games.  Cota hasn't had back to back hitless game since April 26th and 27th.

Lancaster 7 @ Lake Elsinore 11

It was a high scoring affair, but the Lake Elsinore bats weren't necessarily doing the damage as the JetHawks committed three errors and gave up five unearned runs on Monday.  Alex Cremidan was the hard luck loser, giving up three hits and four unearned runs as he took his first loss of the season.  Apparently Cremidan felt the only way to stop the bleeding was to do it himself, all three outs he recorded were via the strikeout.

Somebody call me when Miguel Montero doesn't get a hit.  Starting his fourth straight game behind the plate Montero ran his hit streak to 19 games on Monday by going 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored.  Montero is now in the Top Five in the California League in batting average, hits, and RBI, and leads the JetHawks in virtually every offensive category except stolen bases.

Perhaps more notable than the three errors the JetHawks committed was the fact that none of them were by shortstop Danny Richar, who has 15 boots on the season.

Jeff Cook moved from right field to left field but it didn't affect his bat one little bit.  Cook extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-4, one walk, two RBI performance.  Cook has had multiple hits and multiple RBI in four of the nine games during his streak and has raised his batting average 40 points as well.

 Burlington 2 @ South Bend 4

Steven Jackson has put together his best back to back outings of the season after throwing seven innings and giving up only one earned run.  This follows a seven inning performance on the 17th where he allowed three earned.  Jackson scattered four hits and walked two while striking out five.  He has allowed only one home run in his last six starts, spanning 36.2 innings.

After a seven game hit streak that culminated in the 3-3 performance in the second game of double header last Friday third baseman Augie Murillo has hit a bit of a slump.  He's just 1-13 in his last three games with five strikeouts.

After a tough April that saw his batting average struggle to reach .200, Mark Reynolds is bouncing back in May.  He was 1-2 with his third home run of the season, a walk, and two RBI.  This month Reynolds is hitting .271 and has hits in 14 of his last 17 games.

Wilkin Castillo started behind the plate and went 2-4 with his second homer of the season.  Castillo, who earlier in the month had a streak of five straight multi-hit games, and regularly starts as a catcher, left fielder, DH, and occasionally at third base, has hit both his home runs when catching.

After allowing four runs (three earned) in his last three appearances, which resulting in his first two losses of the season, closer Matt Elliott bounced back Monday, earning his ninth save of the season by tossing a perfect ninth inning that included two strikeouts.



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