ROUND ROCK, Texas - Fresno outfielder Preston Tucker and Iowa right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng have been named the Pacific Coast League Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of July 17-23, the League office announced Monday. Tucker drove a Grizzlies offense that scored 85 runs over the week, winning six-of-seven games to move into a tie with Reno atop the Pacific Northern Division. Tseng only allowed one run in two starts in helping Iowa to a pair of wins.
Tucker posted Minor League Baseball weekly-highs of 28 total bases and 13 RBI, while matching the PCL best in home runs (5) and runs scored (12) to pace a potent Grizzlies offensive attack. He played in all seven games, hitting .393 (11-for-28) with seven extra-base hits and had more walks (6) than strikeouts (4). Additionally, his 1.500 OPS trailed only teammate Jon Kemmer's 1.603 mark for tops in the PCL.
The Florida native homered in five separate contests. He had four games of multiple hits and multiple RBI, highlighted by a three-hit, five-RBI performance against the Last Vegas 51s on July 20 - the final game of the four-game series. He also recorded games of three hits, three RBI and two hits, two RBI in the set. The Grizzlies scored 61 runs in the series, 59 coming in three games, and mashed 19 home runs. In the first three games against Round Rock, Tucker added three more hits, with two coming on July 23, a game in which he also walked twice and drove in two.
Tucker has spent the entire year with the Grizzlies and leads the club with 76 RBI, a total that ranks fourth in the PCL. Since May 25, Tucker has hit .301 (58-for-193) with 13 home runs. That streak has coincided with the Grizzlies going 41-13 over that time, including 24-4 over their last 28 games, to make up 12 games in the standings. Tucker was selected by the Astros in the seventh round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Florida. He has appeared in 146 MLB contests over the 2015 and 2016 seasons, hitting .219 (95-for-434) with 17 home runs and 41 RBI. This is his fourth career Player of the Week award, having also been honored in 2012 - twice - by the New-York Penn League and 2013 by the California League.
Making just his second and third career Triple-A starts, Tseng went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA (14.0 IP, 1 ER), walking three and striking out 13. Against Nashville on July 17, he guided Iowa to a narrow 1-0 win by hurling seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts, surrendering three hits and one walk. Tseng retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced and allowed only one runner to reach second base. The 22-year-old followed that up by pitching seven innings of one-run ball in a July 22 win against Oklahoma City. The Dodgers only run came via a solo home run from All-Star Willie Calhoun. The Taiwan native struck out five and walked two, allowing four hits.
Tseng began the season with Double-A Tennessee and was named a Southern League All-Star after going 7-3 with a 2.99 ERA (90.1 IP, 30 ER) in 15 starts prior to his promotion on July 4. The Cubs signed Tseng in July 2013. The righty has appeared in 81 career games (79 starts) across four affiliates, pitching to a 3.26 ERA (447.0 IP, 162 ER) with 339 strikeouts. Tseng gave up three runs (two earned) over 5.1 innings in his first start with Iowa. This is his first career Pitcher of the Week award.
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