A 3-2 victory over Potomac last week marked the first time the Keys had won a game with three or fewer runs since June 17. Darnell McDonald tailed off with a 4-for-26 stretch after a 14-game hitting streak but remained in the .280 range. Franky Figueroa warmed up with a .354 stretch, including an eight-game hitting string. Pappy Ndungidi has responded to a promotion from Delmarva, where he had struggled with the bat. He had a six-game surge and raised his average above .250. Josh McNatt got his first victory of the season July 29. The Keys lead the Carolina League with a .266 team average, but have the fewest homers in the league. Scoreboard operator Stan Share was forced into umpire duty during a recent game when Dusty Dellinger was injured. Share has umpired at the collegiate level, but not recently. Rick Bauer has joined the league leaders in wins (nine) innings (128 1/3) and complete games (three).
The Shorebirds continue to stay alive in the South Atlantic League playoff picture despite a losing second-half record. But the influx of 1999 draft choices has provided a lift with 12 wins in 21 games. Pitching is the catalyst for the team, with the starters posting a 3.16 ERA over 49 games and the bullpen at 2.61 over 17 games. John Stephens tops the league with 175 strikeouts and four complete games. Juan Guzman has not allowed more than three earned runs in 10 straight starts. First draft pick Mike Paradis (13th overall this year) is on the disabled list and Jacabo Sequea, obtained in the deal for the other Juan Guzman, was activated. Delmarva drew a team-record 14 walks against Columbus in a 9-0 victory and is 13-6 on the road in the second half. The Shorebirds have announced that their games can be heard live on the Internet for the first time. They are available by visiting the team's web site at www.theshorebirds.com.
Unbeaten David Tavarez won his seventh straight for Gulf Coast and paces the rookie league. He is second in innings, and fourth in strikeouts and ERA. Alex Gordon, who tore up the Gulf Coast League, moved to Bluefield and had two doubles, a triple, two homers and six RBIs in his first five games. Charlie Dees' eight homers lead the league at Gulf Coast.
Pub Date: 8/09/99