Brian Matusz, Norfolk
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 4 K)
Matusz made 32 starts for the Orioles in 2010 but has had problems at the big league level the last two seasons -- he went 1-9 with a 10.69 ERA in 12 starts last year and 5-10 with a 5.42 mark in 16 outings earlier this season. The 25-year-old lefty had no problems whatsoever in his return to the IL on Friday, blanking host Charlotte in a four-hit, nine-inning shutout
. Matusz had given up 32 homers in his last 28 big league appearances, but the Knights managed just singles as he threw 81 of 114 pitches for strikes and faced four over the minimum.
Pacific Coast League
Wily Peralta, Nashville
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 2/3 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 12 K)
It hasn't been an easy campaign for Peralta, the Brewers' top prospect. After going 11-7 with a 3.17 ERA last year, the 23-year-old right-hander began the week with a 5.94 mark and had walked 48 batters in 77 1/3 innings. Peralta seems to have turned a corner, walking just one while picking up a pair of victories this week. Since losing six of seven starts between May 11 and June 12, he's won four of his last five and has gone 36 innings without yielding a home run.
Justin Fitzgerald, Richmond
(1-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 10 K)
Fitzgerald was winless since May 13 and coming off a performance at Reading in which he allowed five walks and five earned runs in four frames as the week began, but he rebounded with a strong pair of starts this week. On Monday the 26-year-old right-hander held first-place Akron to one run over six innings in a game the Flying Squirrels ultimately won in 11 innings, and on Saturday he got revenge against the R-Phils, allowing one run on four hits -- and one intentional walk -- over eight frames for his fourth victory of the season.
Sean Gilmartin, Mississippi
(0-0, 1.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
He didn't earn a victory, but Gilmartin, a first-round selection in the 2011 Draft, went a career-high nine innings against Jackson on Friday in a game the M-Braves won on Christian Bethancourt's walk-off single in the 12th. He got stronger as the game went along, retiring the final 18 batters he faced after yielding a leadoff double in the fourth. The 22-year-old lefty needed just 104 pitches -- 70 of which were strikes -- to get through the nine frames. Gilmartin already has three complete games this season, but each were in seven-inning contests.
Donn Roach, San Antonio
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 4 K)
Most players find promotion to the next level a challenge requiring adjustment. Not so Roach, who was 10-1 in the Cal League and has now allowed one unearned run on five hits in his first 14 Texas League innings. The 22-year-old Arizona product held Northwest Arkansas hitless over six frames -- the Naturals scored an unearned run on three walks -- in his first Double-A start on Monday, then got his first Texas League win with five shutout innings at Tulsa on Saturday.
Josh Bowman, Stockton
(0-0, 1.29 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K)
Bowman was long gone by the time Stockton won Friday night's game at nearly 1:00 Saturday morning, but he did record a career-high 11 strikeouts over the first seven frames of the 15-inning affair. It was the 23-year-old right-hander's fourth strong outing in his last five starts -- apart from yielding five runs at San Jose on July 1, Bowman has given up two earned runs in his other 25 innings dating back to June 11. Before Friday's strikeout-fest, he had not fanned more than six in any appearance this season.
Cody Martin, Lynchburg
(2-0, 1.50 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 0 BB, 16 K)
After alternating between starting and relieving in his last few appearances, Martin was back in the rotation full-time this week, with fine results -- it doesn't get too much better than 16 strikeouts in 12 innings without walking a batter. In back-to-back battles of first-half champions, Martin helped the Hillcats beat Winston-Salem twice while taking over the league lead with nine victories (four pitchers, including Lynchburg teammates J.R. Graham, Aaron Northcraft and Gus Schlosser, have won eight games). Martin also ranks fifth on the circuit with 87 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings.
Florida State League
Adam Morgan, Clearwater
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 16 K)
Morgan also fanned 16 hitters this week but did so while allowing just five hits and no runs. The Georgia-born southpaw battled Brevard County in both games and picked up his first win since May 20 with six scoreless frames on Monday. Morgan was even better on Saturday, holding the Manatees to a pair of doubles while fanning nine over seven frames, but Brevard County scored two runs in the ninth to edge the Threshers, 2-1. Despite his 3-8 record, the All-Star Morgan leads the league in strikeouts and ranks seventh with a 3.28 ERA.
Angel Baez, Kane County
(2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 13 K)
Baez began the season 0-15 as a pro -- 0-7 in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, 0-2 with the AZL Royals in 2010, and 0-6 with Burlington in the Appy League last year. He finally picked up his first victory in his full-season debut on May 26 and has been sharp ever since, allowing more than one earned run in just one of his seven starts. This week he notched his first two road wins, beating Peoria with six scoreless two-hit frames on Monday and holding Wisconsin to one run on four hits over six innings on Saturday. After allowing a .321 average to Appy League hitters last year, Baez has limited the Midwest League to a .203 mark this season.
South Atlantic League
John Brebbia, Charleston
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 9 K)
Brebbia has worked in middle relief since joining the RiverDogs on May 5 -- he has just two save opportunities, both of which he converted. This week he stretched out a little bit with a pair of three-inning outings that included a career-best seven-strikeout performance against Greenville on Tuesday. He fanned only two SandGnats on Sunday, but held them to one hit and no walks to earn his second straight victory.
New York-Penn League
Juri Perez, Tri-City
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K)
Perez was lit up in 15 starts with the ValleyCats last season, posting a 1-6 record, 5.48 ERA and .313 average against. This year the 21-year-old Venezuelan has yet to give up an earned run in his first three outings. Perez held host Lowell to five hits while fanning six over seven scoreless frames on Tuesday. After 17 innings this season, the NYPL has managed to hit just .153 off the 5-foot-11, 148-pound right-hander.
Brandon Alger, Eugene
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 7 K)
Alger was San Diego's 26th-round pick last month out of the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne, which the Padres' full-season affiliate calls home. Based on his brief 14-inning career, he may be headed home soon -- the left-hander has yet to allow a run or walk a batter. This week Alger worked three perfect frames at Everett on Monday before holding Salem-Keizer to a single in three innings of relief. Right-handers are now 4-for-39 (.103) against him.
Colin Rodgers, Burlington
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 3 K)
A third-round pick out of high school in Baton Rouge, La., the 18-year-old Rodgers is settling nicely into his pro career in Burlington. The southpaw tossed six hitless innings against Bristol on Friday to notch his first victory. Rodgers allowed one batter to reach base when he hit Bristol's Jose Barraza with two outs in the second. He was relieved by Lincoln Rassi, who retired the first eight batters he faced before losing the combined no-hitter with two outs in the ninth.
Clayton Schulz, Idaho Falls
(1-0, 1.50 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 10 K)
Schulz had fanned no more than five batters in any of his first seven pro outings before facing the Ogden Raptors on July 4. The left-hander, whom the Royals signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of North Florida last summer, doubled that total with 10 strikeouts over six innings -- also a career-high -- in the Chukars' 9-2 win. Schulz worked around seven hits -- all singles -- to get his first victory of the season. He recorded seven groundball outs without a flyout.