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MINOR LEAGUE NOTES: Plagman heats up after ice-cold first month

Tony Plagman's overall stats remain the victim of a horrendous April, but the former Wesleyan and Georgia Tech standout has certainly had a memorable May.

Ten days after hitting three homers in a game, Plagman completed hitting for the cycle with a walk-off single for Erie of the Class AA Eastern League.

The cycle began with a first-inning grand slam and then included a triple and a double off the top of the wall before the single ended an 8-7 victory over Reading.

"It was a fun night," said Plagman, a ninth-round draft choice by Detroit in 2010. "It was cool. I'd never (hit for the cycle) as a professional."

The cycle followed a three-homer outburst in which Plagman drove in eight runs in an 11-8 victory over Altoona.

Which game gave the 24-year-old the most satisfaction?

"I'd say the three homers," he said.

Plagman, moved from first base to the outfield this season, has had plenty of low moments to go with the high this year. He batted just .157 in April and his average was still only .204 through Friday. He had seven homers and 27 RBIs in 37 games.

Plagman's 97 RBIs led the Class A Advanced Florida State League last year. He batted .257 with 18 homers for Lakeland.

Wilkerson moves up to AA

Shannon Wilkerson was promoted to the Class AA Eastern League by Boston after hitting .329 in 38 games with Salem of the Carolina League.

Wilkerson, who was the NCAA Division II player of the year for Augusta State in 2009, led the Class A Advanced league with 16 stolen bases in as many attempts and also had 13 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs.

Wilkerson, 23, was an eighth-round draft pick of the Red Sox. His progress had been slowed by injuries until this season.

Tice having power breakout

Dacula's Jeremie Tice was atop the Carolina League in homers (nine), RBIs (36) and slugging (.632) through Friday. He was batting .299 in 34 games for the Carolina Mudcats in the Class A Advanced league.

The third baseman had a memorable four-game series in late April, going 9-for-14 with three doubles, three homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored against Lynchburg, an Atlanta farm team.

Tice, 25, was taken in the sixth round of the 2008 draft by Cleveland after playing at the College of Charleston.

French thrives after promotion

Collins Hill graduate Justice French had a 2.14 ERA in his first four starts with Bakersfield after being promoted to the Class A Advanced California League by Cincinnati.

French, 22, was 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA in six starts for Daytona of the Midwest League to start the season. He was a 25th-round draft pick by the Reds last June after pitching for Mercer.

Central Gwinnett product Jeff Shields, 22, also moved up to the California League from the Midwest League, joining Visalia although he had been 0-5 with a 4.05 ERA for South Bend.

The right-hander was a seventh-round draft choice of Arizona in 2010.

Moreau retires from Orioles

Former Parkview and Georgia pitcher Nathan Moreau, who struggled in two April appearances with Frederick of the Class A Advanced Carolina League, decided to retire.

The left-hander pitched a no-hitter for Frederick in 2010 and won 11 games for the Keys last year. But the 11th-round draft pick in 2008 never made it to Class AA and called its quits after walking seven in three innings with Frederick this year.

Moreau, 25, had a 23-25 career record in 85 games, striking out 361 in 377 innings.