Rain can't stop Newcomb in impressive outing for Gwinnett

Rain can't stop Newcomb in impressive outing for Gwinnett

Sean Newcomb was rolling in his start Sunday for Triple-A Gwinnett, holding Pawtucket to one hit over four scoreless innings with six strikeouts already on his ledger. Then it started raining.

An unexpected rain delay has the potential to either derail or end a positive start for a pitcher -- especially a young prospect -- but Newcomb wasn't fazed. If anything, the southpaw was even better when he got back on the mound, striking out another five batters over his final three innings to tally 11 strikeouts on the day (tying a career high). Even with an interruption in the middle, Newcomb walked off the mound with a scoreless outing after seven one-hit innings.

Newcomb's stellar performance was ultimately wasted in the Braves' 2-0 walk-off loss to the Red Sox, but it marked another positive step for the 23-year old lefty. After allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings in his opening start, Newcomb has lowered his ERA to 3.08 while racking up 35 strikeouts in only 26 1/3 frames on the mound.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Sunday

• Two of the brightest lights in the Yankees organization brought their A-games to help lift Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre over Indianapolis, 7-6, in extra innings. The headliner was undoubtedly No. 8 prospect Dustin Fowler, whose home run in the bottom of the 11th not only delivered a walk-off win for the RailRiders, but also capped off his hitting for the cycle and first five-hit performance. Clint Frazier (Yankees' No. 2No. 21 overall) also shined in the victory, crushing his third homer of the season in the third inning.

• Reynaldo Lopez (White Sox No. 4) didn't get off to the best of starts for Triple-A Charlotte in 2017, which is understandable enough considering how he was adjusting to his new surroundings after being involved in the Adam Eaton trade between Washington and Chicago over the offseason. But the No. 40 overall prospect has now put together four sharp outings in a row after tossing six innings of one-run ball while scattering three hits at Columbus. The right-hander has lowered his ERA to 4.10 while striking out 28 batters over 26 1/3 innings, stoking hopes in the South Side as White Sox fans eagerly await Lopez's return to the Major Leagues.

• Right-hander Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 3No. 42 overall) submitted his best outing of the year, registering a season-high nine strikeouts while holding Charlotte scoreless over seven five-hit innings in Class A Advanced Bradenton's 4-2 victory. The outing lowered Keller's ERA to 3.62 through five starts with a miniscule 1.06 WHIP.

• Members of the Indians' front office certainly had to be pleased with Double-A Akron's 11-2 rout of Bowie considering how well three of their top youngsters performed. First baseman Bobby Bradley (Indians' No. 4No. 88 overall) and shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang each left the yard as part of a five-homer day for the RubberDucks, while Julian Merryweather (Indians' No. 25) took care of the rest on the mound, working around a walk and four hits to punch out five and allow just one run over six strong innings. The RubberDucks sent 11 batters to the plate and eight of them came around to score in a massive seventh inning.

• It's hard to imagine a much better name than Carter Kieboom for someone who hits three home runs in a game, which is exactly what the Nationals' No. 4 prospect did in Class A Hagerstown's 22-4 blowout of Lexington. Washington's first-round Draft pick from last June matched Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon's massive day homer-for-homer while collecting single-game career bests in homers, hits (5), RBI (5) and runs (4).

"It was just one of those days," Kieboom told MiLB.com. "Sometimes baseball is a crazy sport. Sometimes you wake up and you get in the box and it just happens."

With a score like that, it's not hard to imagine Kieboom's teammates also enjoying "one of those days," as third baseman Anderson Franco (Nationals' No. 15) certainly did. The Dominican native went 4-for-6 with two doubles and a homer while driving in five of Hagerstown's 22 runs and scoring four more on a memorable day in Lexington.

• Power was in ample supply for Triple-A Memphis in its 11-7 victory over Round Rock, and third baseman Paul DeJong (Cardinals' No. 11) supplied the bulk of it with two home runs. The Redbirds trailed 4-0 in the fourth when DeJong hit his first dinger, a solo shot, to get them on the board. They led 6-4 by the time DeJong homered again in the seventh as part of back-to-back-to-back blasts following Patrick Wisdom and Harrison Bader (Cardinal's No. 5). DeJong was one of six batters in the Memphis lineup to enjoy a multi-hit Sunday in Tennessee.

• Finally, Mauricio Dubon (Brewers' No. 9) went 2-for-4 with a stolen base from the leadoff spot, but the second baseman's biggest contribution may have come on this sensational play with his glove to record the final out of Biloxi's 4-3 win over Pensacola.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.