Lovullo Becomes Leading Man in International League

Torey Lovullo (Montclair Prep) claimed the lead in the International League batting race Friday night, going two for two for triple-A Buffalo (Indians) in a 7-5 loss to Durham.

Lovullo, who played briefly in the major leagues for the Tigers and Angels, is batting .345, passing Jon Zuber of Scranton-Wilkes Barre, who is batting .343.


Gabe Kapler (Taft High, Moorpark College) has been chosen Howe Sportsdata minor league player of the month for May, and collected his third player of the week award from the double-A Southern League after batting .444 with 16 runs batted in for Jacksonville from June 1-6.

Kapler, who recently was selected Southern League player of the month, has 76 runs batted in through 62 games and is on pace to drive in 172.

Jacksonville teammate Carlos Villalobos, a former JetHawk, hit for the cycle Friday night in an 8-7 victory over Huntsville.

Villalobos, a third baseman who was traded last summer to the Tigers by the Seattle Mariners, hit his seventh home run and had three RBIs.


Catcher Brian Luderer (Crespi) was promoted last week to Class-A Modesto (Athletics) of the California League.

Luderer, Oakland's 21st-round draft pick in 1996, was at extended spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz.

He was called up to replace Cody McKay, who was promoted to double-A.


Pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, formerly of Cal State Northridge, signed last week with the San Francisco Giants.

Ramirez, an All-American for the Matadors, transferred to Cal State Fullerton last year, days before Northridge announced the cancellation of its baseball program.

Ramirez, a left-hander, was selected in the 11th round.


Triple-A--Former JetHawk Brett Hinchliffe of Tacoma (Mariners) allowed three hits--all home runs--through eight innings of a 7-4 victory over New Orleans. Hinchliffe (6-1) is third in the Pacific Coast League with a 2.71 earned-run average.

Double-A--David Newhan (Pepperdine) had two hits and Mike Rossiter (Burroughs High) struck out four in two innings for Mobile (Padres) in a 10-3 victory over Chattanooga. . . . Adam Kennedy (Cal State Northridge) and Nate Dishington (Hoover High) hit solo home runs and Stacy Kleiner had two hits for Arkansas (Cardinals) in a 6-3 victory over Jackson.

Class-A--Pete Paciorek (Glendale College) had two hits for Rancho Cucamonga (Padres) in a 5-3 victory over San Jose. . . . Kurt Airoso (Cal State Northridge) had four hits and three RBIs for Lakeland (Tigers) in a 9-5 victory over Clearwater. . . . Chris Garza (Notre Dame) earned his fifth save for Fort Myers (Twins) in a 4-3 victory over Vero Beach. . . . Jon Schaeffer (Harvard-Westlake) hit a home run and stole his first base for Fort Wayne (Twins) in an 8-7 loss to Lansing.

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