Denied promotion, Black continues to dominate AAA

Speculation around the San Francisco Giants centered early this week on who would get the start on the mound Wednesday night in Boston.

It wasn’t Mason Black, the Valley View grad who impressed the club in spring training and continued with an impressive April at Triple-A Sacramento. Instead, the Giants went with opener Erik Miller ahead of the right-hander who did get the call-up, Daulton Jefferies.

As Jefferies struggled against the Red Sox, allowing four runs on five hits in 2⅔ innings in a 6-2 loss at Fenway Park, Black showed no signs of disappointment against Tacoma.

Black didn’t allow a hit over four shutout innings Wednesday, striking out four in the River Cats’ 6-3 win.

Black did walk three batters, but he actually faced just one batter over the minimum, coercing two double plays with a dominant sinker. His four-seam fastball touched 94 mph at one point.

The performance continued a string of dominant efforts for Black, who is not on the Giants’ 40-man roster (a big reason the veteran Jefferies, who is, got the Wednesday start in Boston). Dating back to his April 12 start against El Paso, Black has allowed just five hits over 18 innings, allowing just one unearned run. He has walked seven and struck out 19.

He has not allowed an earned run in five of his six starts in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Black’s earned run average dropped to a miniscule 1.01 after Wednesday’s start. That easily leads the PCL by more than a full run (Sacramento teammate Tommy Romero’s 2.02 ERA is second), and is second overall in all of Triple-A baseball behind the 0.39 ERA of Indianapolis right-hander Paul Skenes, the top prospect in baseball according to

Acclimating himself

Max Kranick’s first Triple-A start since the New York Mets optioned him to Syracuse got off to a rough start before the right-hander settled in on Sunday.

The other star right-hander from Valley View allowed three first-inning runs before working into the fourth inning of the Mets’ 8-6 win over Columbus in the second-game of a doubleheader at NBT Bank Stadium.

Kranick allowed a leadoff home run to Clippers center fielder Daniel Schneemann on the game’s third pitch, then couldn’t pitch around an error after hanging a curveball to Jhonkensy Noel, who blasted a two-run shot with two outs later in the inning.

But, Kranick pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam and worked a three-up, three-down third before tiring in the fourth and allowing a fourth run.

If his time with Syracuse extends a bit, Kranick might be due for a homecoming later this month. Syracuse makes its second visit to PNC Field to face the RailRiders for a six-game series that starts May 21.

Where’s the defense?

Former North Pocono standout Cory Wall’s second start for High-A Rome was, well, interesting.

Making a spot start for the Emperors, Wall lasted just 2⅓ innings on Saturday against Winston-Salem, and he did give up seven hits. But only three of the six runs he allowed were earned, including neither of the two the Dash scored against him in the first inning.

The Atlanta Braves’ affiliate made seven errors in the game but still wound up walking away with an 8-7 win.