In what was his last rehab start, right-hander Chien Ming-Wang struggled Sunday in his first loss in six minor league rehab assignments. Wang allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings, the big hit a three-run home run by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Gustavo Molina.
The Nationals reported Wang will start Friday night against the New York Mets. He otherwise dominated with a 2-1 record and a 3.14 ERA in six games with 17 strikeouts and four walks.
Harrisburg left-hander Evan Bronson acquitted himself rather nicely in his first start at Double-A. Bronson pitched four innings, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and one strikeout. He got the a no-decision in Richmond's 4-1 victory Sunday night.
Bronson threw 78 pitches, 44 for strikes, with eight groundball outs and two flyouts. He faced 18 batters.
Right-hander Brad Peacock got back to the pitcher everyone had seen at the Double-A level in his second start for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs,
In his July 16 Triple-A debut, Peacock allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss. On Friday, Peacock went five innings, allowing just four hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out four for the victory over Scranton. He now has 11 minor league wins this season and 137 strikeouts in 16 starts.
I have noticed a very steady movement forward for right-hander A.J. Cole with Single-A Hagerstown. Cole has allowed one earned run or less in four of his last five starts. He has a 2.72 ERA with 57 strikeouts and just six walks in his last 10 games, nine of those starts.
He notched his first professional win June 5 with five innings, allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in a win over Greensboro. He has also walked only two batters in his last five games.
Keep an eye on innings-eater Colin Bates with the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays. The University of North Carolina product is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in eight games (seven starts). The right-hander has allowed one earned run or less in five of his first 8 games. In 39 innings, he has 21 strikeouts, 10 walks and has yet to allow a homer.