Though the benches-clearing melee will get most of the attention, they did play some baseball in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Corey Dickerson, the McComb native and ex-Meridian Community College star, drove in a career-best five runs and hit two homers to lead Pittsburgh to an 11-4 win that stopped a nine-game losing streak. Dickerson, who has battled injuries all season, appeared to stay on the fringes of the fracas in the ninth inning that resulted in multiple ejections. The lefty-hitting outfielder has played well when he’s been on the field (.317, four homers, 25 RBIs) but has appeared in just 43 games, most recently sidelined for three days by a groin problem. He also has been the subject of trade rumors, which he claimed have not been a distraction. “I’ve been so focused on my routine (and) the process of being healthy and trying to be the best version of me every day,” Dickerson told mlb.com. P.S. East Central CC alum Tim Anderson returned to the Chicago White Sox’s lineup from the injured list and went 0-for-3 with a ninth-inning sac fly in a game won by the New York Mets 5-2 in 11 innings. … Former Madison Central High star Spencer Turnbull began a rehab assignment for Detroit by throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts for Triple-A Toledo. Turnbull is 3-9 with a 3.65 ERA for the Tigers.
Kade Scivicque, the former Southwest Mississippi Community College and Mississippi Braves standout, is plugging away – quite successfully – at Triple-A Toledo in the Detroit chain. The 26-year-old catcher is batting .288 with two homers (including one on Monday) and six RBIs in 15 games for the Mud Hens after earning a mid-June promotion from Double-A Erie. Scivicque has bounced around a lot the last couple years. He was a Southern League midseason All-Star with the M-Braves in 2017 and went to spring training with Atlanta’s big club in 2018. He was squeezed off the Triple-A Gwinnett roster that April and released, then re-signed by Detroit, which had drafted him in the fourth round out of LSU in 2015 and dealt him to Atlanta in 2017. He played at three levels with the Tigers last year and opened 2019 at Erie, where he hit .346 with five homers in 28 games. An All-America pick at LSU, the defense-minded Scivicque has a .275 career minor league average. … Also on the Toledo roster is former Mississippi State star Jacob Robson, a fourth-year outfielder who is hitting .278 with seven homers, 40 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. MLB Pipeline rates him as the Tigers’ No. 25 prospect.
Jarrod Dyson, having a good season with Arizona, is rumored to be drawing interest from other clubs as the MLB trade deadline approaches. MLB Trade Rumors rates the former Southwest Mississippi Community College standout No. 31 among its top 75 trade candidates, and he is one of five Mississippi products appearing on that list. The others are Corey Dickerson (No. 3), Hunter Renfroe (39), Lance Lynn (67) and Drew Pomeranz (72). The trade deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. CDT. Dyson, a speedy center fielder, is batting .251 with six home runs and ranks among the MLB leaders with 24 steals. He will be a free agent after this season. Meridian Community College product Dickerson, a left fielder, has had an injury-dampened season with Pittsburgh but is hitting .300. He is also a pending free agent. Mississippi State alum Renfroe, a corner outfielder with San Diego, has a career-high 29 homers plus 58 RBIs. He is arbitration-eligible next year. Lynn, the veteran right-hander out of Ole Miss, has been a stalwart starter for Texas, posting a 13-6 record with a 3.83 ERA. He is in the first year of a 3-year, $30 million free agent deal. Lefty Pomeranz, also a UM product, is on a one-year deal with San Francisco and has mostly struggled. He is 2-9, 5.75 and recently was moved to the bullpen, where he has posted three straight scoreless appearances.
Challenged by the Milwaukee Brewers to compete in the Midwest League as a first-year pro, ex-Ole Miss star Thomas Dillard appears to have figured something out. Batting .125 with no home runs through 13 games with Class A Wisconsin, the fifth-round pick has now homered in three straight games and is 7-for-15 in his last four. The switch-hitting Dillard, 21, hit .278 in four games at the rookie level before the Brewers promoted him to the low-A club. Listed as a catcher, which he played at Oxford High and for a handful of games at Ole Miss, Dillard has played only first base, left field and DH for the Timber Rattlers. Known for his power, Dillard hit 31 homers in his three years with the Rebels, including 14 this past season. He was a highly recruited player out of Oxford High, earning All-America recognition after blasting a nation-leading 16 homers for the state champion Chargers in 2016. P.S. Former Mississippi State ace Ethan Small, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in June, has made two appearances in the rookie Arizona League and retired all nine batters he’s faced, five via strikeout.
Dakota Hudson celebrated the anniversary of his big league debut on Sunday in St. Louis, but the Houston Astros crashed the party. Hudson, the former Mississippi State standout, was knocked around for five runs on eight hits in four innings as the Astros claimed a 6-2 victory over the Cardinals in an interleague matchup of division leaders. A sinkerball pitcher who typically gets a lot of ground balls, Hudson relied more on sliders Sunday, according to reports, and gave up three home runs. “I felt like I had good execution, they just got to a few pitches,” he told mlb.com. Hudson had won his four previous starts in July and is now 10-5 with a 3.88 ERA for a Cardinals club that dropped into a first-place tie with Chicago in the National League Central. The Cardinals host the Cubs for a compelling three-game series starting on Tuesday. On July 28, 2018, a little over two years after signing with St. Louis as a first-round draftee, Hudson threw a perfect inning in relief against the Cubs, registering two strikeouts. P.S. Southern Miss product Brian Dozier went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs to help Washington and ace Stephen Strasburg beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-4. Dozier’s 15th homer of the year, a two-run shot, came in the fifth inning off Walker Buehler and put the Nationals ahead 2-1. Washington, 5.5 games back of Atlanta in the NL East, hosts the Braves in a big three-game series starting today.
It’s probably too early in the season to declare it a defining moment for the Milwaukee Brewers as a team, but it may have been precisely that for second baseman Keston Hiura’s rookie year. The Biloxi Shuckers alumnus stroked a walk-off two-run home run in the 10th inning against Chicago Cubs closer (and former Mississippi Braves star) Craig Kimbrel on Saturday, giving the Brewers a 5-3 victory over their National League Central rival. The Brewers are now tied with the Cubs in second place in the division, both a game back of St. Louis. Hiura, who knocked in a game-tying run in the eighth inning, is batting .333 with 11 homers and 27 RBIs in 42 games for the Brewers. He has a 15-game hitting streak. Biloxi fans have seen a fairly steady stream of Shuckers pitchers rise to the big league club since the team moved to the Coast in 2015. Hiura is just the second position player to have a significant impact; shortstop Orlando Arcia is the other. Hiura, drafted ninth overall by the Brewers out of UC-Irvine in 2017, made it to Double-A Biloxi last June and batted .272 with six homers in 73 games. He played in last summer’s All-Star Futures Game and was MVP of the Arizona Fall League. Hiura, 22, was raking at Triple-A San Antonio when he got his first big league call-up on May 14. He was sent back down on June 3, then recalled on June 28. Surely he’s up to stay now.
4 – Runs accounted for by Mississippi State product Mitch Moreland, who had two RBIs and scored twice for Boston, which scored its most runs ever against the New York Yankees in a 19-3 romp on Thursday night.
9 – Holds this season by Tony Sipp, the ex-Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College star; his Washington team ultimately lost to Colorado 8-7 on Thursday.
5 – Hits in two games by East Central Community College product Tim Anderson in his rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox’s system.
7 – Consecutive strikeouts by Mississippi Braves right-hander Ian Anderson, who collected nine K’s all told in the Double-A M-Braves’ win at Jackson (Tenn.); Anderson leads the Southern League with 138 strikeouts.
4 – Hits in 25 at-bats (.163) for Gulfport native Bobby Bradley since he returned to Triple-A Columbus following a big league stint with Cleveland.
3 – Saves in his last three appearances for Petal’s Demarcus Evans, who has a 1.21 ERA for Double-A Frisco in the Texas system.
5 – Hits in Thursday’s game by Mississippi College alum Blaine Crim, who is batting .340 with four homers for short season Class A Spokane in the Texas system.
1 – Career minor league homers by Grae Kessinger, the Ole Miss product – and second-round draftee — who went yard Thursday for Class A Quad Cities in Houston’s chain.
1 – Minor league appearances to date by ex-MSU star Ethan Small, drafted in the first round last month by Milwaukee; he worked a clean inning with two strikeouts on July 19 for a Brewers rookie club.
2 – Scoreless innings pitched Thursday by former State standout Jacob Lindgren in his first appearance for Class A Winston-Salem in the White Sox’s system; Lindgren, a one-time big leaguer, is trying to come back from two elbow surgeries.
12 – Current hitting streak by Cole Zabowski, the Ole Miss alum who is batting .344 with a Detroit rookie league team.
On this date in 1939, Morton native Atley Donald set the American League rookie record for consecutive wins at 12 when he beat the St. Louis Browns 5-1 at Yankee Stadium. The record would stand for almost 40 years. Donald, nicknamed “Swampy,” went 13-3 for the ’39 New York Yankees, considered by some to be the best team of all-time. Throwing a fastball said to touch the upper 90s, Donald went 65-33 with a 3.52 ERA in an eight-year big league career curtailed by injuries. He became a Yankees scout after his playing days and scouted Ron Guidry, who signed with the Yankees and, as a rookie in 1978, won 13 straight games, breaking Donald’s record.
He came in from the bullpen in the seventh inning of a 1-0 game with a runner on and two outs. He struck out the batter, the only one he would face. His team, the Washington Nationals, went on to win 2-0 over Colorado in Game 2 of a twinbill. Tony Sipp, the former Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College star from Pascagoula, did his job Wednesday. Again. He’s a situational reliever, typically called on just to get one or two hitters. It’s not a job that warrants many headlines, but Sipp has been good at it this season, especially so over the last couple months. The 36-year-old lefty has posted eight straight scoreless appearances. He has yielded just one run in his last 13 games. He has been a quiet contributor for a Nationals club that has won 35 of its last 50 and pulled within 4 games of first-place Atlanta in the National League East. For the season, Sipp has eight holds and a 3.79 ERA – inflated by some early scuffles – in 19 innings spread over 33 appearances. A former 45th-round pick out of Clemson, Sipp is in his 11th big league season. He signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with Washington as a free agent in March. The Nationals, who have had their share of bullpen issues this season, surely feel they are getting their money’s worth from Sipp.
There were five Mississippi college products in uniform for Tuesday night’s St. Louis-Pittsburgh game, and all five had something to feel good about. Start with Dakota Hudson, the ex-Mississippi State star. He went 6 1/3 innings in a 4-3 Cardinals victory, winning his fourth straight start to improve to 10-4 on the year. Ole Miss alum Mike Mayers did not pitch for St. Louis but was available in the bullpen for the first time since mid-April, having come off the injured list on Tuesday. MSU product Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh’s second baseman, led off the bottom of the first with a single and went 2-for-4 with a run. Former Meridian Community College standout Corey Dickerson, the Pirates’ left fielder, went 1-for-3 with a double, boosting his average to .301. And ex-State star Chris Stratton worked three perfect innings in relief for the Pirates. Hudson’s performance stole the show for a surging Cardinals club that has moved to within a half-game of first-place Chicago in the National League Central. After allowing a three-run homer in the first inning, Hudson pitched into the seventh without surrendering another run. He valiantly worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth, getting a strikeout (of Josh Bell) and a double-play ball. “What it comes down to, it’s just bearing down and having some guts and trusting your stuff to make quality pitches,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told mlb.com. St. Louis had taken the lead in the top of the fifth on a homer by Mississippi Braves alum Jose Martinez. P.S. Mitch Moreland, the State product from Amory, came off the IL and went 0-for-2 for Boston in a win at Tampa Bay. … Former Bulldogs star Jonathan Holder of Gulfport was recalled from the minors by the New York Yankees on Monday and pitched a clean inning that night at Minnesota. He did not appear in Tuesday’s wild 14-12 Yankees win.