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Farmer solid again for West Michigan

Buck Farmer celebrated the country’s berth in style recently. The Rockdale High School graduate, now pitching for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) of the Midwest League, tossed six shutout innings in a 3-1 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps, a San Diego Padres’ affiliate, on July 4.

Farmer, who improved to 8-5 in 2014, scattered five hits and didn’t walk a batter in helping West Michigan win game two of a series they would eventually sweep. The 6-4, 225-pound Farmer, who is in his second season in the Tigers organization after being a fifth round selection in the 2013 draft out of Georgia Tech, had his second consecutive excellent outing (six innings of one-run ball against Bowling Green on June 28).

It’s been a fine season so far for Farmer. The 23-year old right-hander was named to the Midwest League All-Star Game and in 15 starts has a 2.98 ERA (29 earned runs in 87 2/3 innings pitched) and through the games of July 6 had a league-high 104 strikeouts to go along with just 23 walks.

The performance against Fort Wayne, which was Farmer’s first road victory since April 30, marked the third time this season he hasn’t surrendered a run and the ninth time he’s given up two runs or fewer.

Minor League Notes

Tyler Austin, a Heritage High School standout now playing for the Double-A Trenton Thunder, has at least one hit in seven of his last eight games as he tries to rebound from a tough start to the 2014 season. Austin, who is in his fifth year in the New York Yankees organization, had two hits and an RBI in Trenton’s 9-7 loss in 10 innings to New Hampshire on July 6 to boost his season average to .253 and his on-base percentage to .320. His home run on June 28 against Erie broke a 19-game homeless drought, and it was just his third long ball of the season after hitting six in 85 games in 2013. The Conyers native, who turns 23 in September, hit 17 home runs in 2012 on his way to being named the Yankees’ minor league player of the year…Another Heritage graduate, Anthony Bazzani, has appeared in three games for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rookie league team, including picking up his first professional save June 30 against the Reds. Pitching for the Arizona League Diamondbacks, the right-handed Bazzani, who recently signed a free agent contract with the National League West organization, has pitched 3 1/3 innings, surrendering one earned run while allowing just three of the 13 batters he’s faced to reach base.