Minor Matters: McBride Gets Honor

Matt McBride

Matt McBride is the Class A Carolina League Batter of the Week -- the third straight Kinston Indians player to earn the award. McBride extended his hitting streak to 17 games by batting .464 (13-for-28), with two home runs, nine RBI, seven runs and a .700 slugging percentage last week. Kinston, tied for first place in the Southern Division at 13-11, has won five of the first six weekly awards.

McBride leads the Carolina League in doubles (11) total bases (66), RBI (28), slugging percentage (.667), and ranks second in hitting (.404, 40-for-99) and is tied for second with five homers.

McBride, a former catcher who had offseason shoulder surgery, has played 19 games at first base this season.

Outfielder Matt Brown and left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz earned batter and pitcher of the week honors for the period of April 8-19.

Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and lefty Eric Berger then earned the award for April 20-26.

Columbus Clippers outfielder Matt LaPorta also earned batter of the week honors in the Triple-A International League for April 20-26.

Brown opened the season with six multi-hit games in his first 10. The 13th round pick in the 2007 draft from Wichita State went 16-for-35 (.467) with six runs, four RBI, a double, six walks and one stolen base during his big week.

Overall this season, Brown is batting .325 (27-for-83) with three doubles, one homer, 10 RBI and 14 runs.

De La Cruz opened with two wins in two starts. The 21-year-old from the Dominican Republic nstruck out 10 over six innings in his 2009 debut against Winston-Salem. He then fanned nine in six scoreless innings against Wilmington on April 14.

In 12 innings over those two games, he gave up six hits, two walks and two earned runs (1.50 ERA).

De La Cruz has been shut down since with a little tenderness in his elbow, but is expected back soon.

The next week, Berger went 2-0 and didn't allow a run over 10 innings in two starts. He gave up only one hit and two walks while striking out seven in five innings during a win at Myrtle Beach on April 21 one day before his 23rd birthday. Five days later, he struck out five without a walk, giving up three hits over five innings in a home win over Lynchburg.

Overall this season, the eighth-round pick out of Arizona in 2008 is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA in five starts. He has 31 strikeouts in 23 innings.

At the same time, Chisenhall was torrid at the plate. The first-round draft pick from a year ago hit three homers in three days, including grand slams in consecutive games. Overall, he hit safely in the first six of seven games during the week, going 10-for-30 (.333) with three homers, two doubles, six runs, 15 RBI and four walks.

In a 15-5 triumph at Myrtle Beach on April 22, Chisenhall was 1-for-5 with a walk and five RBI, hitting a grand slam for his first homer of the season. Then in a 9-8 loss at Myrtle Beach the next night, he again hit a grand slam and had five RBI, going 2-for-5. He homered again and had three RBI the following night against Lynchburg.

Overall this season, Chisenhall is hitting .269 with four homers and 20 RBI in 22 games.

LaPorta was also hot at the plate April 20-26. he hit safely in all seven games during the week, going 13-for-25 (.520) with two homers, six walks, a triple, 10 runs and six RBI.

In 21 games overall, LaPorta hit .333 (25-for-75) with four doubles, two triples, five homers, 22 runs and 14 RBI.

A first-round pick by Milwaukee in 2007 who was the key player traded to Cleveland last July in the blockbuster deal that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers, he was called up by the Indians on Saturday. LaPorta made his MLB debut Sunday in Detroit, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Class AAA Columbus Clippers, 11-13

First baseman Michael Aubrey is hitting .385 (25--for-65), tied for fourth in the International League. ... 1B-OF Jordan Brown has gone 13-for-34 with four doubles and six RBI over his last 10 games to improve his season average to .353 (24-for-68), which is eight in the league. ... 3B Andy Marte has a nine-game hitting streak, during which he has batted .393 (11-for-28) with three homers and 10 RBI.

LHP David Huff (4-0, 3.21 ERA) has struck out 23 in 28 innings ... RHP Tomo Ohka is 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts. He has allowed 26 hits and five walks in 29 2-3 innings, striking out 14. ... RHP Matt Herges (1-2, 3.86 ERA) has five saves. ... LHP Jeremy Sowers (1-1, 2.25 ERA) has walked only five and fanned 22 in 24 innings entering tonight's start at Norfolk.

Class AA Akron Aeros, 18-4

Second baseman Josh Rodriguez, who was put on the disabled list Monday with a strained right hamstring, leads the Eastern League in hitting (3.14, 16-for-51). He also has 15 walks and leads the league with a .478 on-base percentage. ... Catcher Carlos Santana leads the league with 18 walks, is tied for first with six homers and is third wih 19 RBI. Ten of his 17 hits (four doubles, six homers) have been for extra bases.

RHP Hector Rondon (4-0, 1.17 ERA) has gone at least five innings in all four of his starts, holding opposing hitters to a .226 (19-for-84) average. He has 22 strikeouts in 23 innings. ... LHP Chuck Lofgren (1-0, 1.29 ERA) has allowed only 10 hits over 21 innings this season, holding oppsoing hitters to a .137 (10-for-73) average. ... RHP Vinnie Pestano (1-0, 2.61 ERA) is tied for the Eastern League lead in saves with nine.

Class A Kinston Indians, 13-11

McBride has seven multi-hit games in his last eight. He's on a 17-game hitting streak. ... Brown has hit in six in a row and has batted .417 (10-for-24) against lefties, and .288 (17-for-59) vs. right-handers this year. ... OF Tim Fedroff is batting .295 (23-for-78) with 15 walks and four stolen bases. ... 2b Cord Phelps (.289, 24-for-83) has 21 walks in 23 games.

RHP Dallas Cawiezell (0-0, 2.03 ERA) is 2-for-3 in save chances and RHP Josh Judy (0-0, 0.00 ERA) 3-for-3. Judy has struck out seven without a walk over 4 2-3 innings.

Class A Lake County Captains, 10-13

First baseman Nate Recknagel had his seven-game hitting streak snapped Sunday, but the second-year player out of Michigan is still hitting .339 (21-for-58) after going 11-for-27 (.407) on a seven-game trip. He has hit safely in 13 of 16 games overall. OF Adam White is hitting .286 (16-for-56) in 20 games and is tied for third in the South Atlantic League with 10 stolen bases. ... 3B-2B Karexon Sanchez is tied for second with five homers and is tied for sixth with eight steals.

RHP Joey Mahalic (0-1, 1.00 ERA) has not given up a run in his last two games, covering nine innings. ... RHP Santo Frias (1-0, 2.38 ERA) has fanned 18 in his last 10 1-3 innings. ... RHP Alexander Perez (0-0, 1.99 ERA) has struck out 23 in 22 2-3 innings, walking only seven.

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