Green Leads the Way; Gonzalez Strong Through Eight

Green Leads the Way; Gonzalez Strong Through Eight

In our tour of the Diamondbacks minors we find stellar pitching through eight for Edgar Gonzalez, and stellar pitching through seven for both Adam Bass and AJ Shappi. Problem is Shappi went into the eighth, and Bass handed the ball to his bullpen. Plus, Andy Green can't be stopped; Augie Murillo is homer happy; and Jon Zeringue is heating up with the weather.

Fresno 3 @ Tucson 7

Andy Green continued to rake the ball, going four for five with a homer to extend his current hitting streak to 11 games. Green finished just a triple shy of the cycle for the night and raised his batting average to .352 on the season.

Every player in the lineup got a hit except second baseman Brian Barden, who finished zero for five but did score a run.

Scott Hairston got his third start of the year in center field and went three for four with a double. Since returning to Tucson Hairston has gone five for 18 with one homer, two RBI and three runs scored.

Edgar Gonzalez had his longest outing of the year and his fourth straight quality start, going eight innings and giving up just three runs, all earned. Gonzalez gave up only five hits, but two were home runs, and struck out seven while walking only one. He improved to 3-1 on the season.

Tennessee 3 @ West Tennessee 4

Adam Bass has given up one earned up in his last two starts, covering 13 innings pitched, and hasn't gotten a decision in either game. Monday night Bass went seven scoreless and handed the ball to his bullpen with a 3-0 lead. Bill White faced three hitters and recorded only one out, but Casey Daigle came on to get the final two outs of the eighth inning and hold the lead at 3-2. Mike Schultz pitched to three hitters in the ninth and the Smokies fell apart defensively, literally giving the game away. Jesus Cota committed his fourth error of the season, a single moved runners to first and second, and then a sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position. Schultz followed with a wild pitch and then a passed ball, a run scored on each miscue, and the Smokies six game winning streak was a thing of the past. It was Schultz's third wild pitch of the season, in only 13.2 innings.

At the plate Cota was two for four with a solo homer, his sixth of the year. Four of Cota's six home runs this season have come with the bases empty.

Starting in left field Noochie Varner was three for four with a double, a stolen base (his fifth) and two runs scored. Varner has now hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, and carries a .372 average during that span.

Jon Zeringue notched two hits in the game, he's now hit in 11 of the last 12 games he's started. After an April to forget that saw Zeringue hit just .211 with four extra base hits May has seen Zeringue rounding into form. He's hitting .368 through the first five games of the month and already has three extra base hits.

Bill White should be wary of the number eight. While White has struck out eight hitters in 11 innings pitched, he's also walked eight, given up eight hits, and eight earned runs. No word yet on whether White is a big Dick Van Patten fan.

Lancaster was off Monday

South Bend 3 @ West Michigan 4

A. J. Shappi was brilliant for seven but ran out of gas in the eighth, giving up two singles, hitting a batter and then allowing a ground rule double before being lifted as he took his first loss of the year. Shappi, who leads all of the minor leagues with 48 innings pitched, did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Augie Murillo hit his sixth home run of the season in the eighth inning, a solo shot that extended his current hitting streak to nine games. Murillo has now had a hit in 20 of his last 22 games and has three home runs in his last eight at bats.

Catcher Allen Mottram was the designated hitter in Monday night's game and finished two for four with a double and an RBI. All eight of Mottram's RBI have come as a DH on the season.

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