San Francisco Giants Minor League Major Performers: July 2nd, 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Shaw #79 of the San Francisco Giants poses on photo day during MLB Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Shaw #79 of the San Francisco Giants poses on photo day during MLB Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium on February 20, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants lost on Monday night, and their minor league teams didn’t fare much better. They went 2-6 on the day, but there were some notable performances from around the system.

Chris Shaw

The Sacramento River Cats were in a battle on Monday night. They entered the ninth inning trailing the Fresno Grizzlies by a run, but Chase d’Arnaud tied it up in with a one-out double, forcing extra innings. With the minor league extra-inning rules in play (runner starts the inning at second base), the Grizzlies pushed a run across in the top of the 10th, and Sacramento needed another hero.

Enter Chris Shaw. The big, burly first baseman-turned-left fielder came to the plate with two outs and Eury Perez still waiting at second base. In a 1-0 count, Grizzlies’ pitcher Brendan McCurry threw a hanger. Shaw smashed the center-cut pitch, watched his work for a second, and flipped his bat away as the ball sailed easily over the wall to send Sacramento fans home happy.

Even through his struggles with strikeouts, the power has always been there for Shaw, as it was on Monday. That blast was his 16th of the year, good enough to tie him for seventh-most in the PCL and put him in the lead in the Giants’ organization. It was also his 34th home run in 147 games as a River Cat.

Matt Lipka

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Young center fielder Matt Lipka had one of his best offensive days on Monday for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. He was a pest against the Harrisburg Senators, picking up three hits (two for extra-bases) and a walk to reach in all four plate appearances on the day.

Lipka started his day with a one-out double in the third inning, his seventh two-bagger of the year, and scored the first run in a four-run frame. He picked up his second hit, a single, in the fourth, but was stranded. His big hit came in the seventh, when the right-hander smacked his third home run of the year with one out, giving Richmond a 5-3 lead. He led off the ninth with a walk, advanced to third on defensive indifference and a wild pitch, then scored for the third time, cutting a two-run deficit in half. The Flying Squirrels rally fell short at that point.

Lipka has been around the minor league circuit. He was the 35th overall pick in 2010 out of high school, and played seven seasons in the Atlanta Braves organization. He reached AAA in 2016 but never got to the big leagues, and elected free agency after the 2016 season. He signed with Texas and spent one year mostly at High-A before electing free agency again. Now 26 years old, Lipka is in his first year in the Giants’ organization, and has spent the entire season thus far at Richmond.

Marco Gonzalez

Down in the Arizona League, left-hander Marco Gonzalez put together a strong start for the Giants Orange team. He threw six innings and allowed six hits, giving up three runs (two earned) to go with eight strikeouts and no walks. His eight punchouts matched a career high, a total he’d reached four times in 2017, and are his most strikeouts in a game in which he didn’t allow a walk.

The Venezuela-native faced the Angels AZL team, and retired the first seven batters he faced, striking out three. He allowed a pair of singles in the third, but left runners on second and third with his fourth strikeout. After a clean fourth inning, he ran into trouble in the fifth. He allowed three hits and the defense behind him committed an error, leading to the Angels’ only three runs of the game. He worked through a one-out single in the sixth, completing six frames for the first time this season and the sixth time in his last 16 starts.

Gonzalez was signed in February 2016, and the 20-year-old southpaw is coming off a successful season in 2017 in the Dominican Summer League. In 13 starts, he pitched to a 1.83 ERA and 1.000 WHIP, and struck out 74 batters in 69 innings. He had allowed 10 runs on 13 hits in his first two Arizona League starts, but didn’t struggle at all on Monday.

Next: Minor League Major Performers 7-2-18

Others of Note:

Miguel Gomez (SAC): 3-4, 2B (2)
Ryan Howard (RICH): 3-5, 2B (21), 3 RBI (33), R
Gio Brusa (SJ): 2-4, 2B (17), HR (13), 2 RBI (46), R
Carlos Sano (SJ): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Manuel Geraldo (AUG): 3-6, 2 RBI (42), 2 R
Ryan Kirby (AUG): 3-4, 2 2B (21), 2 RBI (40)
Doug Still (SK): 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Tyler Flores (AZLO): 2-4, 2B (4), 2 RBI (15), R