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D-backs Farm Rumblings: Near cycle and a 7-inning no-hitter

RenoAcesAn unlikely suspect: Reno catcher Willians Astudillo was red-hot at the dish last week, batting .417 (10-for-24) with five runs scored, three doubles, two home runs and five RBI. The 25-year-old Venezuelan has played sparingly this season, his first in Triple-A. Asudillo spent 2016 with the Braves organization and three years in the Philadelphia chain before landing with the Aces this year.

generalsConsistent power: Jackson first baseman Kevin Cron clubbed his Southern League-leading 19th home run Sunday — a solo shot in the first inning off of Birmingham’s Tanner Banks in an 8-2 win. Cron needs just one more deep ball to accomplish his third straight 20-home run season in the minor leagues. The former TCU Horned Frog had 27 in 2015 for Visalia and 26 last season with Double-A Mobile.

generalsStellar starters: Alex Young, Joel Payamps and Ivan Pineyro helped the Generals win three straight to close out their week. Friday, Young tossed six innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits while striking out eight in a 2-1 win at Birmingham. Saturday night, Payamps picked up where Young left off, allowing just one hit over six shutout innings in a 9-3 win. Then on Sunday, Pineyro, a 25-year-old right-hander, allowed just one run over 6.1 innings to move his season record to 8-0.

rawhidesmallBig bats: Several members of the Visalia lineup had big weeks in the California League as the Rawhide outscored opponents 49-33 over their six games. Outfielder Jason Morozowski drove in 10 runs, as did infielder Austin Byler. Byler, Matt McPhearson and Fernery Ozuna combined for 32 hits, eight doubles, two triples, two homers and 17 RBI.

rawhidesmallReed crusing: Cody Reed, a 21-year-old lefty who is ranked as Arizona’s 17th-best prospect by, has been nearly unhittable lately. Sunday against Inland Empire, Reed allowed just four hits over six shutout innings while fanning six in an 8-5 win. The former second-round pick has won his last three starts, posting a microscopic 0.53 ERA over 17 innings.

hopsAs advertised: Pavin Smith is a terrific hitter. The D-backs’ first-round pick out of Virginia last month hasn’t taken long to find his footing as a professional. Tuesday, Smith just missed out on a cycle, but pounded out five hits in a 19-7 pasting of Vancouver. Two days later, the 21-year-old went 4-for-5 with four runs scored in a 6-5 win over Spokane. In 26 games with Hillsboro, Smith is batting .359 (37-for-103), a mark that leads the Northwest League.

Third baseman Drew Ellis, Arizona’s second-round pick out of Louisville, is also lighting it up. Ellis hit .400 (8-for-20) with three home runs and seven RBI while competitive balance pick Daulton Varsho, a catcher out of Milwaukee, batted .348 (8-for-23) with a home run and 10 RBI.

AZLLogoRookie League no-no: Juan Hernandez, a 17-year-old Venezuelan right-hander, had the game of his young life Saturday night. Hernandez hurled a seven-inning no-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Padres, who managed one base-runner. In the third inning, Hernandez struck out Luis Roman, but a passed ball by catcher Luis Tejeda allowed Roman to get to first base. He was erased on a double play, meaning Hernandez still faced the minimum 21 Padres hitters. The youngster had 10 strikeouts in the contest, and is 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA so far this season after spending 2016 in the Dominican Summer League.

Affiliate Standings

Team Week Season Notes
aces 4-3 59-42 Tied for 1st place in Pacific Northern Division with Tacoma
generals 3-3 15-15 Fourth place in North Division (2nd half); 8.0 games behind Chattanooga
rawhidesmall1 4-2 15-15 Second place in North Division (2nd half); 2.0 games behind Modesto
cougars 3-3 15-15 Fourth place in Western Division (2nd half); 5.0 games behind Quad Cities
hops 5-2 22-16 Won South Division first-half title
osprey 2-4 16-17 Tied with Billings for first place in North Division; 1.0 game ahead of Helena
dbacks 2-3 10-13 Fourth place in East Division; 4.5 games behind Giants

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