The BlueClaws swept South Atlantic League Player and Pitcher of the Week Awards for the week ending July 1st. Catcher Rodolfo Duran was named Player of the Week and right-hander Spencer Howard was named Pitcher of the Week.
Duran, 20, went 9-for-14 with a double, three home runs, and four RBI. The catcher from the Dominican Republic leads the BlueClaws with 11 home runs and is hitting .390 since May 27th with nine of his 11 home runs coming since then. Duran homered on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, becoming just the fourth BlueClaw (Darick Hall in 2017, Jose Pujols twice in 2016, and Jim Murphy in 2011) to homer in three straight games over the last 10 years.
Howard, 21, threw six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in Friday’s win over Hagerstown. The right-hander from Cal-Poly, drafted in the second round by the Phillies last year, set a new season-high with his 10 strikeouts and earned his fourth win of the year.
Duran follows Jhailyn Ortiz (week ending June 10th) as BlueClaws to be named SAL Player of the Week this year. Howard, who was named Pitcher of the Week in April, joins David Parkinson (May 27 and June 17) and Will Stewart(June 3) as BlueClaws to win Pitcher of the Week this year.
The BlueClaws have won seven of their first 10 games in the second half and are 33-16 in their last 49 games. Winners of the SAL Northern Division First-Half title, the BlueClaws will be back in the postseason for the fifth time in franchise history this coming September.