The West Michigan Whitecaps beat the Great Lakes Loons 6-0 Friday for their 24th shutout of the season, breaking the old Midwest League record of 23 set by the 1974 Quad City Angels.
Whitecaps starter Anthony Castro scattered four hits and two walks in five innings, and struck out five batters. He got the win, improving to 9-4 with a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts.
Reliever Trent Szkutnik struck out six batters in four perfect innings to earn his second save.
The Whitecaps offense was led by Danny Woodrow, who went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
West Michigan broke the shutouts record in its 113th game of the season, whereas Quad City played 123 games in 1974. The Whitecaps have 23 games left in their season.
Side note: I previously wrote about the two pitchers from the 1974 Quad City Angels who later made it to the big leagues. You can read that post here. What I didn’t note then was that team was managed by Jimy Williams, future skipper of the Toronto Blue Jays (1986-1989), the Boston Red Sox (1997-2001), and the Houston Astros (2002-2004). Williams also played in the Midwest League as a Red Sox farmhand, batting .287 with two homers, 19 doubles, 31 runs batted in, and 10 stolen bases in 115 games with the 1965 Waterloo Hawks. His playing career included 14 games in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Beeker extends scoreless streak
Kernels RHP Clark Beeker pitched seven scoreless innings against the River Bandits on Friday, extending his scoreless streak to 32.2 innings. Cedar Rapids won the game 3-0, ending Quad Cities’ winning streak at nine games.
The Midwest League record for consecutive scoreless innings in a single season is 42, set by Clinton Giants RHP Mark Grant in 1982. The future major-leaguer earned the Midwest League Prospect of the Year Award after going 16-5 with a 2.36 ERA, four shutouts, 243 strikeouts and 60 walks in 198.2 innings. He completed 12 of his 27 starts that season.
Beeker is 11-3 with a 2.03 ERA, two shutouts, 84 strikeouts and 17 walks in 128.2 innings (20 starts) for the Kernels this season. The Minnesota Twins prospect leads the Midwest League in ERA and WHIP (0.92).
Beeker is the reigning Midwest League pitcher of the week, having won the award for July 31-August 6 and the previous period, July 24-30.
Franklin traded to Braves
The Cincinnati Reds announced Friday that they sent minor-league first baseman Kevin Franklin to the Atlanta Braves to complete a four-player, Feb. 13 trade involving Brandon Phillips.
Franklin played 14 games this year and 28 games last year with the Dayton Dragons. He batted .219 with 2 HR and 15 RBI in those 42 games.