Clutch Howard leads Sox to AFL wins

Clutch Howard leads Solar Sox to AFL wins

Kevin Howard came up big for the Arizona Fall League's Mesa Solar Sox this past week. On Monday, he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and scored as Mesa edged the Peoria Saguaros, 6-5.

The 24-year-old infielder was even better on Wednesday, driving a homer and three singles in a 4-for-4 effort as the Solar Sox topped the Peoria Javelinas, 8-5.

Howard and six other Reds prospects are continuing their 2005 campaigns with Mesa. Here's how they fared during the week ending Oct. 27:

OF Chris Denorfia: One of Denorfia's four hits last week was his first homer of the AFL season, complementing the 20 he collected with Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville in 2005.

C Ryan Hanigan: The 25-year-old backstop delivered two hits in seven at-bats, and even picked up a stolen base on Wednesday against the Javelinas.

Howard: The red-hot Howard collected nine hits in 19 at-bats to raise his average to a team-leading .396. He has hit safely in 12 of 15 games this season.

RHP Luke Hudson: Hudson turned in a solid start on Saturday, allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings while striking out six.

RHP Bubba Nelson: The 24-year-old right-hander struggled through a rough relief outing on Tuesday, allowing three runs on five hits in just two innings, raising his ERA to 5.91.

RHP Allan Simpson: Simpson tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday and two more on Tuesday to run his streak to 7 2/3 frames on the season.

3B Joey Votto: Votto had a breakout game on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. It was first extra-base hit and first RBI of the AFL season for the 21-year-old infielder.

Ben Hill is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.