May 23, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Zach Walters (4) singles against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

International League Week in Review: Walters Homers in Four Straight

A top 30(ish) prospect arrived in the International League this week and another was promoted. The Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez came to Buffalo and struggled in his first start there while the Red Sox brought Garin Cecchini up for another crack at the bigs. Vance Worley was also recalled by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

League Awards

Infielder Hernan Perez has already gotten 36 games of big league playing time under his belt with the Detroit Tigers and the 23-year-old Venezuelan has been on fire this week with the Toledo Mud Hens, hitting .500/.538/.917 with five doubles, a triple and a home run in International League action.

A.J. Morris of the Indianapolis Indians took the award with an outstanding, complete-game shutout of the offensively powerful Durham Bulls, allowing just six hits and one walk and striking out seven. Morris is already 27 but only made his Triple-A debut this season for the Indians after having joined the Pirates’ organization this season after being selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.

Division Leaders

The Syracuse Chiefs are still leading the Rochester Red Wings by a scant half-game in the International League North. Not much has changed overall except for the Buffalo Bisons who have plummeted to the bottom of the division standings, going 3-7 over their past 10 games.

In the South, the Durham Bulls maintain a 6.5 game lead over the Gwinnett Braves and in the West, the Columbus Clippers have been charging on the Indianapolis Indians, cutting their lead to just 3.5 games thanks to a seven game win streak, making them the hottest team in the league.

Individual Performances

Third baseman Juan Silverio of the Louisville Bats, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, announced his presence in the Triple-A International League with authority on Tuesday night, making his debut with five resounding hits. The youngster went 5/5 with two doubles and two runs scored against the Durham Bulls after having a solid first half of the season with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League, hitting .274/.311/.462 with nine home runs.

Rochester right-hander Trevor May makes his way back into the update after an outstanding start against the Pawtucket Red Sox on Monday. May went 8 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks and striking out 11 batters. It’s the 24 year old’s second 11-strikeout performance of the season.

Another pitcher, the White Sox’ Eric Surkamp had another good outing for the Charlotte Knights but hasn’t been able to put those outings together consistently this season. With a 4.88 ERA and 1.49 ERA, Surkamp has struggled overall but had a very solid outing against Lehigh Valley on Monday, striking out eight in seven scorless innings with just three hits and one walk allowed, tallying a Game Score of 78. This was his best start of the season and came just one start removed from a 12-strikeout performance against the Toledo Mudhens that earned him a Game Score of 69 (he gave up three runs over six innings in the outing). In between, however, Surkamp was rocked by the Rochester Red Wings for five runs on seven hits that included two home runs over four innings.

Syracuse Chiefs shortstop Zach Walters has been driving the club’s offense, homering in four consecutive games this past week and going deep again two days after the streak ended. Walters capped the streak with a 2/5 game on Friday, driving in five runs. Over his last ten games, Walters has a .341/.372/.829 slash line and five home runs, giving him eight on the season with Syracuse.

Tags: International League Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Nationals

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