16 May

staying the course

With four hits, including a home run on Monday night, plus two walks in his last three games, it looks like Austin Riley might be coming out of his lengthy slump. The former DeSoto Central High star’s seventh homer of the season, a deep blast to right-center at Globe Life Field, was one of five bombs Atlanta hit in a 12-0 win over Texas that snapped a four-game losing skid. It was Riley’s first homer since May 3, though he has had some hard-hit balls in the interim. He has 20 RBIs, ranking just fifth on the team. His average, which had dipped to .239 on on May 9, is now at .245. He is a .270 career hitter and batted .300 in 2021. Watching Riley play, you’d never guess he has been slumping. He never shows any sign of frustration or anger. His defense at third base is unaffected. He punches in every day, always with the same calm demeanor. Slumps, Riley said in a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, are “part of the game. I think how you deal with it is what brings you out of the back end of it.” Maybe that’s what’s happening now. P.S. Former Meridian Community College standout Corey Dickerson was activated from injured list by Washington on Monday, though he did not play. Dickerson is eight hits shy of 1,000 for his big league career, which began in 2013. … Milwaukee transferred ex-Mississippi State star Brandon Woodruff (shoulder inflammation) to the 60-day IL, retroactive to April 8. That likely means it’ll be late June at the earliest before the Brewers get their horse back. Before landing on the IL, he was 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA in two starts. … The Brewers sent Hattiesburg High product Joe Gray Jr. back to High-Class A Wisconsin from Double-A Biloxi. Gray was 2-for-37 in his first taste of Double-A pitching … Mississippi State alum Jordan Westburg is ranked No. 52 in MLB Pipeline’s recently updated list of the Top 100 minor league prospects. Westburg, who was 74th in the February rankings, is batting .321 with 11 homers in Triple-A in Baltimore’s system. Biloxi High product Colt Keith cracked the Top 100 at No. 87. Keith is hitting .266 with five homers in Double-A in Detroit’s chain.

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