Even though the Angels don't want to rush Ramon Ortiz to the majors, Ortiz is doing his best to tempt them.
Ortiz made his triple-A debut in Edmonton Sunday night, and was impressive. He pitched seven innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs, striking out 12 in Edmonton's 9-3 victory over New Orleans. New Orleans got all its runs in the sixth inning, thanks to Ortiz's only mistake--a three-run home run by Daryle Ward, who played at Rancho Santiago College.
Ortiz kept the Zephyrs off balance with an array of pitches, and Edmonton (37-43) gave him plenty of support. Ortiz won nine straight games in double-A Erie before being promoted to Triple A.
Ortiz will get a chance to play on a bigger stage on July 11, when he participates in the Futures All-Star game at Fenway Park.
Erie (49-34)--With Ortiz gone, the team must look to Brian Cooper to step up as the team's ace. Cooper has an 8-2 record with a 3.00 ERA and a league-leading 103 strikeouts in 111 innings. The Seawolves lead the Eastern League with a 3.74 team ERA.
Lake Elsinore (5-7, second half)--Just more proof that statistics can be misleading: pitcher Brian Cowsill leads the California League in complete games (four) and innings pitched (108 1/3). The problem? Cowsill also leads the California League in home runs allowed and losses. Cowsill has a 4-9 record with a 5.07 ERA.
Cedar Rapids (5-7, second half)--In Sunday's 21-7 loss to Quad City, assistant coach Allan Parker was called on to pitch the eighth inning. Parker, a minor-league infielder from 1994-97, was recently activated due to the rash of injuries on the team. In his inning of work, Parker gave up six runs on seven hits.
Boise (10-8)--Boise has been scoring runs without the long ball. Despite only hitting five home runs in its first 17 games, Boise is second in the league with 117 runs scored. Gary Johnson epitomizes Boise's attack: He leads the league with 21 RBIs, and doesn't have a home run.
Butte (9-11)--Cordell Lindsey (.441) and Gregory White (.396) are 1-2 in batting average in the Pioneer League.