Bergman piling up wins for Nuts

The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Modesto Nuts: Bergman, a former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, continues to excel for the Nuts over the last month and the wins keep piling up. The right-hander, who was scheduled to start Wednesday against the San Jose Giants, proved he could bounce back after standing out during his prior appearance Friday.

Bergman allowed one run on five hits in six innings in Modesto's 5-1 road win against the Stockton Ports. Bergman (4-2) lowered his earned-run average to 3.09 and won for the fourth time in his last five starts, dating back to April 19. Bergman encountered a rough outing in his previous start May 5 against the host Bakersfield Blaze in which he allowed five runs (all earned) and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 7-6 defeat.

Entering Wednesday, Bergman has struck out 30 in 43 2/3 innings for the Nuts in seven appearances. He's allowed 16 runs (15 earned) and 36 hits and has limited opponents to a .229 batting average.

The Nuts, a Class A advanced affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, are in third place in the California League's North Division at 20-19.

Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) Leones de Yucatan designated hitter/first baseman: The former Glendale Community College standout is in the middle of his best stretch despite Yucatan struggling. Through Tuesday, he's hit safely in five straight games and seven of eight for Yucatan, which competes in the Mexican League's North Division.

Valenzuela, who garnered his first-ever selection as a Mexican League Mid-Season All-Star last season, guided Yucatan to a victory when he hit a game-winning double in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Yucatan a 4-3 win against Petroleros de Minatitlan on May 10. He notched a pair of doubles against Minatitlan.

Valenzuela finished with two hits and then recorded two hits each in Yucatan's next two contests. In his last 10 games, Valenzuela has recorded 10 hits.

Through Tuesday, Valenzuela is batting .280 (49 for 175) with three home runs and 21 runs batted in. He's recorded 16 doubles and scored 14 runs for Yucatan, which is 16-34 and in last place.

Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) starting/relief pitcher, Indianapolis Indians: The left-hander has flourished throughout the season. Slaten, who previously pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals before signing a minor-league deal with Pittsburgh in January, has recorded seven saves in 16 appearances for the Indians, who are the triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Slaten pitched a scoreless ninth inning to preserve Indianapolis' 1-0 victory against the Norfolk Tides on Monday.

Slaten (1-0) has allowed one run in 18 2/3 innings for Indianapolis. He's struck out 12 and sports a 0.48 earned-run average.

The Indians are 22-16 and in first place in the International League's West Division.

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