Former Cougars pitcher Burnett notches 2,500th strikeout

Pirates starter A.J. Burnett throws against the Cubs during the 1st inning of Sunday's game at Wrigley Field. (AP photo by Nam Y. Huh)

Pirates starter A.J. Burnett throws against the Cubs during the 1st inning of Sunday’s game at Wrigley Field. (AP photo by Nam Y. Huh)

Pittsburgh Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett became the 32nd MLB pitcher to strike out 2,500 batters when he got Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler swinging in the bottom of the 1st inning Sunday.

Burnett struck out five batters in six innings, giving him a total of 2,504 MLB strikeouts. That is three punchouts shy of Baseball Hall-of-Famer Christy Mathewson’s career total.

Burnett pitched for the Kane County Cougars in 1998, going 10-4 with a 1.97 ERA, 186 strikeouts and 45 walks in 119 innings (20 starts). Current Wisconsin Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson was one of his Kane County teammates.

A.J. Burnett struck out 186 as a Kane County pitcher in 1998. (Photo from The Cougars Den)

A.J. Burnett struck out 186 as a Kane County pitcher in 1998. (Photo from The Cougars Den)

The Midwest League’s Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year in 1998 was Peoria Chiefs shortstop Pablo Ozuna, who batted .357 with 9 HR, 62 RBI and 62 SB in 133 games. He went on to play 309 games in the major leagues.

Buxton blasts 1st MLB HR

Twins rookie Byron Buxton hit his first major-league home run Sunday in Minnesota’s 7-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. His teammates teased him with the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout following the solo blast.

Buxton made his MLB debut in June and has played in 41 games at the big-league level. He is batting .207.

Buxton was the Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year in 2013 when he batted .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Byron Buxton batting for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2013. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Byron Buxton batting for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2013. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

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This entry was posted in Baseball Hall of Fame, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Bookmark the permalink.

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