Left-hander Nathan Baker, the lone West Virginia Power pitcher selected to the South Atlantic League All-Star game, was promoted to advanced Class A Bradenton of the Florida State League Wednesday.
Baker, a fifth-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates out of the University of Mississippi in 2009, was 6-5 with a 2.99 ERA for the Power. He pitched eight no-hit innings at Hagerstown on July 6. In his last 20 innings with the Power, Baker allowed just six hits and two earned runs while striking out 19 and issuing two walks.
To fill Baker's spot on the Power roster, right-handed pitcher Melkin Laureano will return to West Virginia after playing the last six weeks with Bradenton.
Laureano opened the season with the Power, posting a 2-3 record and 2.82 ERA in 10 appearances, including five starts. At Bradenton, he was 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 games, including starts in his last three games.
Benji Gonzalez is one of the reasons for the West Virginia Power's recent offensive surge.
Gonzalez, a 19-year-old shortstop from Puerto Rico, has hit .353 in his last 10 games from the ninth spot in the batting order.
"The bottom of our lineup had really struggled throughout the first half," Power manager Gary Green said. "We just couldn't get any hits outside the one-through-five guys. Now we're really getting some offensive depth and the seven, eight and nine hitters are doing much better, and we're able to put up six to eight runs a night now. Our hitting coaches have done a great job with the guys."
The Power enjoyed a rare day off Tuesday because of the Major League All-Star Game.