Theme of the dayGetting in gear: Triple-A Indianapolis hitters Kevin Newman and Jacob Stallings each hit for the cycle in the same inning. That's right -- an actual bi-cycle! It's the second time a pair of teammates have both hit for the cycle in the same Minor League game this
Theme of the dayGetting in gear:
Triple-A Indianapolis hitters Kevin Newman
and Jacob Stallings
each hit for the cycle in the same inning. That's right -- an actual bi-cycle! It's the second time a pair of teammates have both hit for the cycle in the same Minor League game this season; Gio Brusa
and Jalen Miller
did it as well for Class A Advanced San Jose back on April 11. There has never been such an event in Major League history. More on the Indy bi-cycle in Tyler Maun's story for MiLB.com here
Who stayed hotRays LHP Matthew Liberatore, GCL Rays: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K --
Make that three straight scoreless starts for this year's 16th overall pick, who hasn't allowed a run in his last 12 frames. He's allowed only five hits while fanning 14 and and walking two in that span. This outing was his best yet, with the 6-foot-5 southpaw striking out a career-high seven and finishing just an Erick Rivera single shy of perfection. The 18-year-old Arizona native was considered MLB.com's No. 4 overall Draft prospect,
thanks to his mix of four above-average pitches, but fell to the Rays, who have reaped the benefits since signing him below slot for $3,497,500. Liberatore now owns a 1.50 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 18 innings in his first pro season.
Who needed this oneRed Sox 3B Michael Chavis, Double-A Portland: 4-for-4, R, SB, CS --
MLB.com's No. 99 overall prospect has spent the second half of the season playing catch-up after being suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He began the day hitting just .196 through his first 16 games back with Portland, but his four hits in Erie raised his line to .250/.366/.450 and tied his career high for hits in a single game. It was just his second multi-hit game since rejoining Portland on July 12. With three homers and three doubles in 17 games, Chavis's power potential remains, but there are only a few weeks left in the season to demonstrate it.
The unexpectedRangers LHP Joe Palumbo, Class A Advanced Down East: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K, 74 pitches, 54 strikes --
On the comeback trail after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2017, the Rangers' No. 8 prospect had a brilliant outing. His 11 strikeouts marked a new career high, despite coming in just five frames. That beat out the 10 he collected on April 12, 2017 with Down East before suffering a torn UCL. The 23-year-old left-hander has posted a 3.32 ERA with 23 strikeouts and three walks in 21 2/3 innings since returning to the Carolina League on July 13. The Rangers had enough confidence in Palumbo's arsenal (which includes a low-to-mid-90s fastball and plus curve) and health to add him to the 40-man roster last November, and he's proving worthy of their trust.
Best matchupMatt Manning vs. Alex Kirilloff:
Tuesday's matchup between Lakeland and Fort Myers pitted the 2016 ninth overall pick (Manning) against the 15th overall selection from the same year. As hot as Kirilloff has been in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, it was Manning who came out on top in this Florida State League contest. The Flying Tigers starter got Kirilloff to ground out to second base in both the second and seventh innings and strike out swinging in the fourth. Manning finished with six K's and no walks and allowed one earned run on five hits in 6 2/3 innings, though his team fell to Kirilloff's Miracle, 5-0. Kirilloff, who is batting .347 with a .973 OPS on the season, is just 1-for-6 with a strikeout against Manning.
Who strengthened their promotion caseBlue Jays SS Bo Bichette, Double-A New Hampshire: 3-for-5, R --
Bichette's performance extended his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he's hitting .388 with two homers, eight doubles and a 1.066 OPS. Though all three of his knocks were singles Tuesday, he still leads the Eastern League and ranks third among all Double-A hitters with 51 extra-base hits on the season. His 35 doubles, in fact, are tied for most in the Minors. MLB.com's No. 9 overall prospect has occasionally scuffled, but with a 118 wRC+ on the season, he's performed extraordinarily well for a player who only turned 20 in March. With the shortstop really hitting his stride, it might be time to give him a taste of Triple-A ball in Buffalo.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.