DUVALL IN THE DERBY; MINOR LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT

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Here’s the bracket for the 2016 MLB Home Run Derby. How about the possibility of Duvall facing Frazier in the second round?!

HRDerbyBrackets

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Juan Dorado checks in with this week’s Reds Minor League Spotlight

It was a memorable week for the Cincinnati Reds affiliates as two of their farm teams won five straight contests and helped the overall record to 18-17 on the week.

Billings won five straight before having their streak snapped on Thursday night. With the five victories, the Mustangs took sole possession of first place in the Pioneer League. Part of their success has been the emergence of Jose Siri. In his last five games, the outfielder is batting .560 (14-for-25) with three triples, a homer and five RBI. On July 4th, Siri hit for the cycle as he went 4-for-6 with 4 runs scored at home against Helena.

Billings was not the only team to take over first place in their respective league. Daytona, who is currently on a five-game winning streak is leading the FSL North division. While Billings has done it with the bats, the Tortugas have dominated on the mound. In the month of July, the pitching staff is 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA (7ER/45IP). Keury Mella anchored the staff as he went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his two starts last week. Tortuga starters have allowed 3 earned runs over 30.1 innings on the mound.

Robert Stephenson helped Louisville go 4-3 last week. The righty posted a 3.65 ERA, while striking out 15 batters in 12.1 innings. Stephenson tallied back-to-back quality starts and now has 10 on the season. With the four wins, the Bats are 3.5 games back of the front-running Columbus Clippers in the IL West division.

Pensacola had another tough week as they went 2-5 and dropped to fourth in the Southern League South standings. The offense has sputtered of late, posting a .232 batting average over the last week. However, Zach Vincej and Jeff Gelalich have been great for the Blue Wahoos. Vincej is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with two homers and five RBI over his last seven games. While Gelalich .364 (8-for-22) with a homer and four RBI.

The Blue Wahoos duo has been solid, but the duo of Shed Long and Nick Senzel in Dayton might be having a better week. Long posted a .444 (8-for-18) batting average with three RBI and team-high four walks. Senzel was right behind him, batting .346 (9-for-26) with four doubles and two stolen bases. Senzel, who got off to a slow start in Billings, has seen his numbers and his gap-to-gap approach spike with the Low-A affiliate.

The AZL Reds round out the circuit as they went 1-3 last week. Shortstop Francis Azcona had a good week, hitting in three straight and batting .364 (4-for-13) with a double and an RBI. On the mound, Wennington Romero hurled 5.1 scoreless frames on July 4 against the AZL Brewers. The right-hander tallied his second win of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.80.

RED Bites: Cincinnati signed Cuban free agent shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez to a minor league deal on July 4th. In the 2014-15 season, the shortstop won Cuba’s Serie Nacional Gold Glove honors as well as the Rookie of the Year…Louisville’s Steve Selsky has hit in five straight games and is batting .340 (16-for-47) with 3 homers and 11 RBI over his last 14 games…

The affiliates continue play this weekend as the big club and the Louisville Bats approach the all-star break. The clubs will look to improve their overall record of 174-191.

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