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M's hot-hitting Zunino flirts with cycle
Seattle catching prospect plates four runs in Tacoma triumph
04/09/2013 2:19 AM ET
Mike Zunino was selected third overall in the 2012 Draft.
Mike Zunino was selected third overall in the 2012 Draft. (Jordan Megenhardt/MLB.com)

Seattle catching prospect Mike Zunino homered, doubled and fell a triple shy of the cycle in the Tacoma Rainiers' 9-3 victory over the host Sacramento River Cats on Monday night.

MLB.com's No. 23 prospect recorded four RBIs in the triumph, lifting his season average to a robust .500. He has plated 12 runs in four Pacific Coast League contests to start the year, recording multi-hit performances in three of his outings.

***

Philadelphia's No. 3 prospect Tommy Joseph smacked a three-run homer -- his first of the season -- as part of a two-hit, four-RBI performance in the Lehigh Valley IronPigs' 14-5 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Acquired by the Phillies in the Hunter Pence deal last July, the second-rounder raised his average to .235. Joseph hit 11 longballs in 108 games between two organizations in 2012.

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Nashville starter Frankie De La Cruz struck out five batters over six one-hit innings as the Sounds bested the Oklahoma City RedHawks, 1-0.

The 29-year-old right-hander threw 48 of his 85 pitches for strikes while walking one before turning things over to the bullpen. Michael Olmsted and Robert Wooten slammed the door the rest of the way, striking out three batters over the final three frames to secure the win.

Cruz has appeared in the Majors for parts of four different seasons with four organizations. His last appearance was in September 2011.

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Syracuse shortstop Zach Walters continued his hot start to 2013, hitting his fourth homer in five games in the Chiefs' 8-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons.

Washington's No. 14 prospect hit 12 homers in 126 games across three levels a year ago, but has  left the yard in consecutive games twice in the first week of the new season. The Wyoming native is batting .286 with five RBIs and four runs, and all six of the 23-year-old's hits have gone for extra bases.

***

Pirates center fielder Darren Ford recorded just three triples in 2012. On Monday night, he legged out two three-baggers in the space of four at-bats.

The 27-year-old led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple to center field and he replicated the feat with a line drive down the left-field line in the seventh. Ford finished 2-for-4 with a run, raising his average to .364, as the Indianapolis Indians edged the Toledo Mud Hens, 3-1.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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