When pitcher Evan Marshall was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft out of Kansas State it was thought he might be someone who could fast-track to the majors as a reliever. That hasn't exactly happened, and even though most of his numbers at first glance look okay there have been a few red flags that have softened analysts' stance on his future. In particular it was the poor strikeout rate in Mobile last year alongside a pretty so-so overall season. He got promoted to Reno to start the season anyways and his April was a rude awakening as he got blasted in his first month. He has spent the rest of the seasons trying to overcome the bad start and he's actually making some real progress. And his July in fact has been outstanding with no runs allowed in 7 outings and 13 Ks in 9 innings. He's not closing for Reno so he's not doing any of the headliner relieving, but he's finding himself in more and more high leverage situations and he's really doing the job of late. Maybe he still does have a major league future as he's found some swing-and-miss pitches this year and he does what relievers have to do most--he keeps the ball in the yard. He's still only 23 so he's holding his own for a 23-year-old in the PCL.
3 Stars: Robert Coe, South Bend 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 ER, W (2-1)
2 Stars: Daniel Palka, Missoula 3 for 4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR (5), 2 RBI
1 Star: Fidel Pena, South Bend 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR (8), 2 RBI
0 Stars: Gerson Montilla, Visalia 0 for 4, 3 K
Triple A: Reno 5 Las Vegas 4. This one came down to a battle of the bullpens as both starters allowed 4 runs through 6 innings and then it was goose eggs until the bottom of the 12th. Mike Bolsinger started and went 6 innings allowing 4 runs, but just one earned, as he struck out 6. Brett Lorin followed with 2 shutout innings on 1 hit and 2 Ks. Kevin Munson followed him with 2 perfect innings and 3 Ks. And Evan Marshall earned the win with 2 more shutout innings and 3 more Ks. Juan Rivera drove in the game-winner in the 12th with a pinch-hit RBI single. Brad Snyder went 3 for 6 and scored 3 runs.
Double A: Mobile 3 Montgomery 3. Bradin Hagens had somewhat of a bumpy start allowing 4 runs on 10 hits over 6 innings. The offense tried but couldn't get the equalizer late. Dustin Martin went 3 for 5 with a triple, Ryan Court walked 4 times, and Keon Broxton had a pair of singles and 2 RBI.
High A: Visalia 4 @ High Desert 7. South Bend starting pitcher Daniel Watts got his much-deserved promotion to Visalia this week but was given the unenviable task of making his first California League start in High Desert, the most hitter-friendly park in all of baseball. And the results reflected that as he went 7 innings allowing 7 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 home runs. Consider it something to build on. David Nick and Jon Griffin paced the offense with home runs, and Sean Jamieson went 2 for 4 with a double.
Low A: South Bend 4 @ Burlington 1. Robert Coe had a superb start allowing just a solo home run over 7 innings while striking out 7. Henry Garcia pitched a clean 8th and Enrique Burgos closed it out in the 9th for his 11th save. Fidel Pena followed up his cycle performance yesterday with a 2 for 3 night and another home run, his 8th. Brandon Drury went 2 for 4 and hit his 12th home run.
Short Season A: Hillsboro 2 Spokane 4. Hillsboro's poor season continued with another tough loss as Ross Gerdeman was solid allowing 3 runs over 7 innings. The offense couldn't match it as Zach Esquerra hit a 2-run homer in the 1st but that was it.
Rookie: Missoula 5 @ Idaho Falls 6. This one wasn't settled until the 10th when reliever Silvino Bracho surrendered his first run of the year on a 2-out RBI single. Andrew Potter had a fair start allowing 4 runs (3 earned) in 6+ innings. Daniel Palka had a big night going 3 for 4 with a double, his 5th home run and 2 RBI. Jake Miller and Anderson Bolivar each went 2 for 5 with a double.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 5 Athletics 4. The Dbacks rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th without the benefit of a hit, capped off by a walk-off wild pitch. Ryan Doran started and was fair allowing 4 runs (e earned) in 5 innings while striking out 5. The offense produced just 4 hits. B.J. Lopez had 2 of those hits including a double and 3 RBI.