Johnny Hellweg added some more hardware to his trophy case on Wednesday when he was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year.
The 6-foot-9 right-hander is second in the PCL with a 3.16 ERA, is tied for second with 11 wins and leads the league with a .688 winning percentage and a .226 opponents’ batting average. Hellweg received more than half of the votes cast by the league’s managers and media representatives from the 16 cities in the circuit.
Hellweg is 10-1 over his last 15 starts after going 1-4 in his first seven Triple-A outings. He is the second Nashville pitcher to earn the honor since the team joined the Pacific Coast League in 1998. R.A. Dickey, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, was the last in 2007. The Sounds have been the Milwaukee Brewers’ top farm club since 2005—an interesting coincidence considering the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals are an affiliate of the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League.
Hellweg is scheduled to make his final start for the Sounds Friday night against the Iowa Cubs and will likely join the Brewers when rosters are expanded on Monday.
Eugenio Velez extended his hitting streak to 17 games and the Triple-A Nashville Sounds beat the Oklahoma City RedHawks Wednesday night at Oklahoma City, 6-1.
Alfredo Figaro (1-0) picked up his first Triple-A win of the season, working five innings and allowing a run on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Dustin Molleken allowed just one hit over his three innings and Jesus Sanchez pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Sounds got all the offense they needed with a pair of runs in the third on Velez’s two-run single. Hainley Statia added a run-scoring groundout in the fourth, Stephen Parker had an RBI grounder in the sixth. Nashville closed the scoring in the seventh with an RBI double by Hunter Morris and a run-scoring single by Blake Lalli.
Lalli was 3-for-4, while Morris and Robinzon Diaz had two hits apiece.
The Double-A Huntsville Stars were off on Wednesday and return to action on Thursday when they host the Jacksonville Suns.
The High-A Brevard County Manatees squandered an early lead and lost Wednesday to the Lakeland Flying Tigers at Viera, Fla., 4-3.
D’Vontrey Richardson led off the bottom of the first with his first home run of the season to give the Manatees an early 1-0 lead and Brevard added two in the second on Lance Roenicke’s two-run double to reclaim the lead at 3-1.
That was all the Manatees would get, however.
Lakeland tied it on a two-run homer off Jacob Barnes (9-6) in the fifth and took the lead in the sixth when Barnes surrendered a solo homer to Jeff McVaney just after Nick Ramirez dropped a pop up in foul territory to give McVaney new life at the plate.
Damien Magnifico worked the first two innings for the Manatees in his second start since returning from the disabled list. He allowed an unearned run and a hit with a walk and two strikeouts. Barnes went four innings and was touched for three runs, two earned, and four hits to go with two walks and three strikeouts. Eric Arnett worked two scoreless innings and Stephen Peterson struck out two in a scoreless ninth.
The Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers couldn’t move into a tie in the Midwest League’s Western Division wild-card race on Wednesday night, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Quad Cities River Bandits at Grand Chute.
The Rattlers got some help after the Peoria Chiefs beat the wild-card leading Clinton LumberKings 7-6 in 12 innings on Wednesday, but couldn’t take advantage. To reach the postseason, Wisconsin has to finish ahead of Clinton as the LumberKings hold the tiebreaker.
Victor Roache put the Rattlers up 1-0 in the first with an RBI single and it stayed 1-0 for awhile. That’s because starter Austin Ross allowed just one hit and two walks in five innings of work, striking out seven.
But in the top of the sixth, the River Bandits broke through against reliever Alan Williams (0-1), scoring three times. Quad Cities added a run in the eighth off Williams, who allowed four runs, three earned, in 2.1 innings with three walks and two strikeouts. Taylor Wall got the final five outs, surrendering a hit and two walks and allowing an inherited runner to be added to Williams’ ledger.
The Rattlers made it closer in the seventh. Mike Garza tripled and scored on Max Walla’s sacrifice fly.
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