The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.
Alonzo Gonzalez (Glendale Community College, 2012) Gulf Coast League Blue Jays pitcher: Gonzalez began his first professional winning streak Friday, as he recorded his second win in as many starts in the Gulf Coast Blue Jays' 7-3 victory over the Gulf Coast Pirates.
The former Vaquero lasted five innings in which he gave up six hits and three runs. Gonzalez gave up two singles to start the third inning, but got out of trouble with two ground balls and when a runner was caught stealing second.
A mini two-out rally allowed the Pirates to score all three of their runs off Gonzalez in the top of the fourth. Dilson Herrera doubled in a run for the Pirates, who also got a two-run single from Kevin Ross in the inning.
Gonzalez bounced back to retire the side in order in the bottom of the fifth before he was pulled to start the sixth with the Blue Jays up, 5-3.
The best start of Gonzalez' professional career so far came July 28 when he gave up three hits, two walks and a run over five innings to earn his first win with the Blue Jays, a rookie affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, over the Gulf Coast Tigers.
It may have helped keep Gonzalez (2-3) in the starting rotation, as he just made the transition from the bullpen July 11 and had lost his first three starts before winning the last two. The 6-foot-5 left-hander has 15 strikeouts compared to nine walks and has surrendered 27 hits through 26 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays, who are second to last in their league's north division with a 15-26 record.
Ryan Sherriff (Glendale Community College, 2011) starting pitcher, Palm Beach Cardinals: Sherriff strung together two stellar starts in a row to earn his third win in as many starts Friday over the Bradenton Marauders.
The left-hander held Bradenton to four hits, three walks and two earned runs through 6 1/3 innings. He was pulled with Palm Beach up, 7-3, in favor of reliever Drew Benes with one out in the bottom of the seventh after he gave up a walk, single and a runner scored on a wild pitch after the leadoff runner reached on an error.
The Marauders nearly rallied for the win, but Palm Beach reliever Jose Almarante recorded the last two outs when he induced a 6-4 line drive double play for the save and Cardinals victory, 7-6.
Sherriff has been dominant in his last three outings. He gave up just one run, four hits, two walks and struck out six through 7 2/3 innings in a 6-4 win over the Brevard County Manatees on July 22. He also pitched a scoreless six innings, giving up four hits, no walks and struck out four in a 12-0 win over the Tampa Yankees July 28.
Sherriff's record and ERA have improved to 8-1 and 2.95, respectively, over that span. He has struck out 41 batters and walked 15 through 76 1/3 innings this season for the Cardinals. They are 53-57 on the year and currently in first place in the Florida State League South Division's second half of the season with a 22-21 record.
Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Modesto Nuts: Modesto has watched Bergman uncharacteristically cough up two healthy leads in his past two outings. The Nuts ace gave up just five hits Thursday but three of them were home runs in a 9-8 loss to the Visalia Rawhide.
Bergman appeared to be sitting pretty up 4-1 through four innings — retiring the side in order in the bottom of the first and fourth innings — after giving up a solo home run to Visalia's Yazy Arbelo in the second. Keon Broxton put Rawhide within two, 4-2, with a leadoff homer in the fifth and Jonathan Griffin knotted the score at four with a two-run bomb in the sixth.
Bergman was pulled to start the bottom of the seventh, but was still in line for the win after Modesto, the class-A advanced affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, went back up, 5-4, in the top of the frame on a Jared Clark solo shot.
Visalia cracked the Nuts, though, with three runs in the seventh and two more in the ninth for the walk-off win.
Bergman's eight-game unbeaten streak remains in tact, as he stayed at 14-5 after barely picking up the win in Modesto's 8-6 victory over the San Jose Giants on July 27.
The former Golden Knight gave up 11 hits and six runs through 5 2/3 innings. It stands as his worst start of the season, as he hadn't given up more than five runs in a game this year.
After his past two starts Bergman's ERA has ticked above 3.00 to 3.13. He has given up 47 earned runs through 135 innings and 22 starts in which he's struck out 105 batters.
The Nuts (56-54) are now in a first-place tie with Visalia in the second half of the season in the California League North Division after the Rawhide swept them at home with Thursday's victory. Modesto will look to rebound in a three-game homestand with the Bakersfield Blaze this weekend.
Chad Nacapoy (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) catcher, Princeton Rays: Nacapoy hasn't disappointed in limited action with the Rays, a rookie affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Appalachian League.
With 13 games under his belt at the minor-league level, Nacapoy is hitting .261 (seven for 26) with Princeton. All seven of Nacapoy's hits have been singles, but he has a .424 on-base percentage having drawn six walks and struck out five times this year.
Nacapoy, one of three catchers listed on the Rays roster, last saw the field Friday. He went one for three with a walk and run in the game in a 7-5 loss to the Pulaski Mariners. It mirrored his performance Monday in an 8-2 win over the Burlington Royals.
Princeton sits in third place in the Appalachian League East Division with a 22-20 record.