Christian Bergman continues to make the climb at Tulsa

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

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Tulsa Drillers: Last year’s California League Pitcher of the Year, Bergman has made a fairly smooth transition to the double-A stage with Tulsa of the Texas League.

Bergman, a former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, has put up respectable numbers with the Colorado Rockies’ affiliate after starring in class-A last season with the Modesto Nuts.

The right-hander, looking to build off last season’s 16-win performance, pitched well in his latest start Tuesday against the visiting Springfield Cardinals. Bergman tossed seven innings, allowing three earned runs and six hits during an 85-pitch effort that included 63 strikes. Bergman, who gave up a three-run home run in the fourth inning, finished with six strikeouts and didn’t yield a walk.

Bergman’s last win came May 3 against the Arkansas Travelers. He went five innings, allowing four runs and striking out five in Tulsa’s 5-4 road victory.

In eight starts, Bergman is 2-2 with a 3.28 earned-run average. In 46 2/3 innings, Bergman has struck out 37 and walked eight. He’s allowed 21 runs (17 earned) and 41 hits, while opponents are batting .232.

The Drillers are 17-22 and in third place in the league’s North Division through Thursday.

Alonzo Gonzalez (Glendale Community College, 2012) starting pitcher, Lansing Lugnuts: Gonzalez encountered difficulty in his latest appearance Wednesday against the Lake County Captains. It was his roughest outing of the season for Lansing, the class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays that competes in the Midwest League.

Gonzalez (2-3) gave up a season-high 12 runs, but just two were earned in Lansing’s 13-4 road defeat. The Lugnuts committed four errors, including a pair in the second inning that led to six runs. Gonzalez, a left-hander, surrendered six runs in the fourth before being removed.

Gonzalez went 3 1/3 innings, walking five and striking out one of the 25 batters faced. Gonzalez’ earned-run average jumped to 6.11.

In his previous start May 10 against the host Dayton Dragons, Gonzalez had better results. He allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out four in six innings to pick up a 7-4 victory.

In eight appearances totaling 35 1/3 innings, Gonzalez has struck out 24.

Through Wednesday, the Lugnuts are 14-23 and are in fourth in the league’s Eastern Division.

Joe De Pinto (St. Francis High, 2007) infielder/outfielder, Birmingham Barons: De Pinto has made the most of his opportunity since being promoted in April to Birmingham, the double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

In four games with the Barons, De Pinto is batting .385 (five for 13) with two runs batted in and two runs scored. De Pinto had two hits and drove in a pair of runs to help host Birmingham record a 16-14 victory against the Chattanooga Lookouts on May 5.

He began the season with the Winston-Salem Dash, a class-A advanced team in the Carolina League. In 10 games with the Dash, he batted .158 (six for 38) and scored seven runs.

The Barons are 26-14 through Thursday and in first place in the league’s North Division.

Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) designated hitter/first baseman, Leones de Yucatan: Valenzuela has gotten off to a quality start with Yucatan, a triple-A franchise in the Mexican League. In his last 10 games, Valenzuela, who also played at Glendale Community College before transferring to UNLV, has hit safely in seven contests. In that stretch, Valenzuela has registered a pair of multiple-hit games.

Valenzuela had a run-scoring double in the fourth inning to help Yucatan pick up a 5-2 road win against the Campeche Pirates on May 8.

In 40 games, Valenzuela is batting .314 (48 for 152) with 22 doubles, 12 doubles, one home run and 14 runs batted in.

Yucatan is 22-22 and tied for fourth in the league’s Sur Division through Thursday.

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