South Atlantic League baseball
When: Friday through Sunday (7:05 Friday and Saturday nights; 2:05 Sunday).
Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867
Probable pitcher (Legends listed first): Friday, RH Jordan Lyles (2-5, 3.31) vs.RH Stephen Fife (0-0, 0.00); Saturday, LH Brad Dydalewicz (3-0, 0.64) vs. TBA; Sunday, RH Ross Seaton (6-4, 2.44) vs. RH Stolmy Pimentel (3-3, 2.09).
Drive to watch: 1B Anthony Rizzo (6-foot-3, 220 pounds, from Parkland, Fla.) leads Greenville in runs (29), RBI (26) and walks (21) through Thursday’s games. Over 48 games, the 19-year-old also is hitting .275 with six home runs. Selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, he batted .373 and drove in 11 runs over 21 games with the Drive in April of 2008. He missed the rest of the season when he was diagnosed with limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With the cancer in remission, he is rated by Baseball America as the 22nd-best prospect in Boston’s system.
Legend to watch: LHP Patrick Urckfitz (6-4, 190, from Penfield, N.Y.) earned team Pitcher of the Month honors in May, when he went 1-0 with four saves and a 0.71 ERA. Urckfitz gave up one earned run over 10 games in May and 12 2/3 innngs, with 13 strikeouts to one walk, while holding opposing teams to a .178 batting average. Overall, Urckfitz has a 2.82 ERA and also has four saves. A non-drafted free agent out of Monroe (N.Y.) Community College, Urckfitz signed with the Astros last year on June 29. He made 15 relief appearances for Greeneville, going 1-0 with three saves and a 1.40 ERA.
Radio: WLXG AM-1300
Also of note: Thursday, the Houston Astros Player Development Department named Players of the Month for May, as chosen by the field staffs of the Astros minor-league teams.
From the Legends, LH Patrick Urckfitz (see above) is Pitcher of the Month (POM), 1B/OF Brian Pellegrini is Offensive Player of the Month (OPM) and OF Brandon Barnes is Defensive Player of the Month (DPM).
Pellegrini, demoted from Lancaster, hit .277 (13-for-47) with three homers and nine RBI over 14 games.
Barnes has one error in 98 chances and 53 games this season, fielding at a .990 clip.
Players of the month for Houston’s other minor-league clubs (former Legends underlined):
Triple-A Round Rock — RH Yorman Bazardo (POM, 4-0, 1.49); SS Tommy Manzella (OPM and DPM, .339, 11 w, 11 2b, 2 hr, 12 rbi and .977 fielding through 52 games this season).
Double-A Corpus Christi — LH Doug Arguello (POM, 1-2, 2.28); OF Drew Locke (OPM, .327, 7 2b, 5 hr, 31 rbi); CF Josh Flores (DPM, .990 fielding over 39 games).
High-A Lancaster — RH Jordan Powell (POM, 1-1, 1 save, 3.77 ERA); OF Jonathan Gaston (OPM, .365, 23 ebh, 9 hr, 25 rbi); C Jason Castro (DPM, .984 fielding, 34 assists over 41 games).
The Farmstros Five for (top performers) the Week of May 27- June 3:
RHP Ross Seaton (Legends); RHP Yorman Bazardo (Round Rock); OF Drew Locke (Corpus Christi); OF Jonathan Gaston (Lancaster); RHP Xavier Baso (Dominican Summer League Astros).
Fan extras as Reds host Cubs in weekend series
Give and receive: The Reds and Society of St. Vincent de Paul are sponsoring a food drive during the series. Fans donating a non-perishable food item in designated collection barrels will receive two tickets to the June 17 Reds-Braves game and also can enter a drawing to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Braves game.
Friday (7:10 p.m.) — Pre-game concert in the Fan Zone by the Paul Otten Band; game-ball delivery by Miss Teen Ohio, Jessica Paige Byington of Indian Hill; pre-fireworks mini-concert by saxophonist Elan Trotman, who has played with Bronson Arroyo’s band; post-game fireworks with soundtrack.
Saturday (7:10 p.m.) — Pre-game concert in the Fan Zone by the Goshen Brothers; team baseball card set to first 30,000 fans; “Sam” the Bald Eagle trading cards to first 20,000 fans; “Sam” the Bald Eagle flight from the riverboat to the pitcher’s mound during the national anthem.
Sunday (1:10 p.m.) – Joey Votto matted photo to first 30,000 fans (500 random winners receive a signed version); Reds Heads Kids Club members accompany a Reds starter on the field for lineup introduction; Aaron’s Aces — Aaron Harang hosts free ticket program for families with a parent who is serving in the military.