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Skeeters’ France named Triple-A West pitcher of the week

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JP France

JP France

Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that Sugar Land Skeeters right-hander JP France was named the Triple-A West Pitcher of the Month for July.

France finished the month 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in five games (three starts), striking out 29 batters in 26 1/3 innings pitched. He set the Skeeters’ season high with 10 strikeouts in a relief appearance on July 10 vs. Tacoma. He struck out a total of 19 batters through his first two July appearances (10.2 IP).

The 26-year-old was promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi on June 22. France ranks second among Houston Astros’ minor-leaguers with a combined 96 strikeouts on the season.

The Astros selected France in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB Draft from Mississippi State University.

France becomes the second Sugar Land player to be awarded Triple-A West Pitcher of the Month honors. Brett Conine was the pitcher of the month for May.

Bregman goes 1-for-2 in suspended game

The Skeeters game Tuesday night against the El Paso Chihuahuas at Constellation Field was suspended in the top of the fourth inning due to inclement weather.

Sugar Land was leading the Chihuahuas, 7-1, and the game will resume at a date to be determined later this season in El Paso.

Astros infielder Alex Bregman continued his MLB Rehab Assignment on Tuesday, starting at third base. Bregman lined a double in the left-field gap in his first at-bat of the night that left his bat at 103 mph. He finished the night 1-for-2, striking out in the second inning.

JJ Matijevic powered an opposite-field grand slam in the first inning. It was the fourth grand slam from the Skeeters this season and Matijevic’s 17th total home run of the year (eighth since joining the Skeeters from Double A Corpus Christi).

Michael Papierski added his second home run in as many nights, a two-run shot in the third inning, giving him four homers on the year. Taylor Jones provided the other Skeeters run, driving in Bregman in the first inning on an RBI single in the first.

Right-hander Brandon Bielak made his first start of the season and allowed an unearned run on two hits over three innings, while striking out three. Brett Conine recorded an out in the fourth inning before the game was suspended.

El Paso left-hander Daniel Camarena was forced to exit the game in the first inning after being struck in the leg by a line drive from Norel Gonzalez. Evan Miller came on in relief and surrendered three runs on three hits through 1 2/3 innings. Taylor Williams, beginning an MLB Rehab Assignment, allowed two runs and struck out three through an inning of work.

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