Lefty Jared Doyle, last year's third-round pick, came within three outs of a no-hitter Monday for Class A South Bend in a 5-0 defeat of Lansing. Doyle had a no-hitter through six innings of a seven-inning game (the first of a doubleheader).
Doyle retired the first 17 men he faced before issuing a walk. Then Lansing's Mike Salas singled to lead off the seventh.
Class A Lancaster survived a protest from last Sunday's game, caused when catcher Chris Snyder was discovered using a bat made by a non-approved company. Former ASU catcher Casey Myers, playing for Modesto, pointed out the bat to the umpire after Snyder had homered. The umpires allowed the home run to count and Modesto manager Rick Rodriguez protested. The California League held up the umpires’ decision, saying illegal bats are to be removed from the game but do not lead to ejections or overturned hits.
Two players returning to Lancaster from last year's team are off to good starts. Josh Kroeger, a fourth-round pick in 2000 but still just 20 years old, was hitting .360 with a league-high seven doubles after Friday's game. Snyder was hitting .340 with 12 RBIs in his first 13 games.
Class AAA Tucson ended a seven-game losing streak Friday with a 3-0 victory at Tacoma. Chris Cervantes threw 5 2/3 hitless innings, and relievers Jeremy Ward and Scott Service finished up. In Thursday's loss, Ward was charged with four runs while not retiring a batter, bumping his ERA to 22.85.
Lefty Bill White, who was a third-round pick in 2000 but missed most of last season with injuries, has a 3.60 ERA in six appearances for Class AA El Paso. Outfielder Nate Murphy hit three homers in two games, Wednesday and Thursday.
El Paso third baseman Brian Barden, last year's sixth-round pick, was hitting .400 after going 3-for-4 on Friday.
Before going 0-for-2 Friday, South Bend had stolen 20 bases in 21 attempts.