East County Sports

Foothillers’ Brault is brilliant for Bucs

Former Foothiller Steven Brault delivers a pitch Monday night in Milwaukee.



From staff and wire reports


MILWAUKEE — All summer long, former Grossmont Foothiller STEVEN BRAULT was the best starting pitcher in the Triple-A International League. On Monday, he was nearly perfect against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Brault suffocated the Brewers for six innings and delivered two hits, including a two-run single, as the Pirates cruised to a 7-0 victory to end a five-game losing skid.

It was Brault’s first win in 16 appearances (nine starts) in the majors.

“It’s an impressive night,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “One he’ll always remember.”

At Triple-A Indianapolis, Brault went 10-5 with a league-best 1.94 ERA over 21 games (20 starts). Called up July 22, Brault was assigned to the bullpen.

With management’s focus shifted toward planning for next year, Brault has been squeezed into the rotation.

“If you get a big league opportunity, you move on it,” Hurdle said. “We told him we’d be hunting some starts for him. We’ve gotten him two, and he’s responded well.”

Monday was Brault’s second audition start, and the Brewers never had a chance. The left-hander allowed one single, one walk and struck out six.

“I wasn’t afraid to just be in the zone and let them hit the ball,” Brault said. “That’s key. This is a good-hitting team. It was fun to be able to attack them and let them get themselves out.”

Brault nursed the lead, working over the Brewers with good inside stuff and getting lots of soft contact.

“If I’m going to be successful, I need to get inside, especially on righties,” Brault said. “I kind of crossfire a little bit, so if I can get it in on righties, that really opens up the outer half for me. It was huge for me tonight.”

Finding the zone with every pitch in his arsenal, Brault threw first-pitch strikes to seven of the last 10 batters he faced.

“From a hitters’ standpoint, it looked like you just didn’t know what you were going to get or where you were going to get it,” McCutchen said. “That’s what made him very effective. He was working in, working out, working up.”

Brault was handy with a bat, too. With one out in the fifth, Brault roped a first-pitch fastball into the right-field corner for a double. Starling Marte’s home run to center made it 4-0.

“(Brault) turned on the ball like a guy who’s had some experience in the box,” Hurdle said.

Ryan Braun drew a two-out walk in the fourth to become the Brewers’ first baserunner. Leading off the fifth, Jesus Aguilar lined a 2-0 fastball into left for the first hit off Brault.

“That’s getting behind in counts, which is something I’ve been working on avoiding,” Brault said. “I was able to avoid it, for the most part, tonight, which helped me get through those innings a lot quicker.”

In the sixth, with the bases loaded and two outs, Brault bounced a two-run single up the middle off Jared Hughes.

“You come up, it’s a four-run lead, bases loaded and you can make it a six-run game. It makes a huge difference,” Brault said. “That’s something I can bring to the table.”

Former Eagle Taijeron hits first ML homer

The New York Mets’ TRAVIS TAIJERON hit his first major league home run over the weekend after his recent call up by the team.

Taijeron is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound power-hitting outfielder who spent six years in the minor leagues before getting the call up on Aug. 26.

Taijeron led off the second with his shot in a game against the Reds.

“It felt really good,” Taijeron said. “It’s a good feeling always, the first one, and hopefully more to come.”

Taijeron, out of Granite Hills, picked up his first major league hit back on Aug. 31

“It was a relief (to get that first hit) and (hopefully) the first of many,” Taijerson said of his first professional knock.

Taijeron was drafted in the 18th round by the Mets in 2011 out of Cal Poly-Pomona.

The 28-year-old rookie was born in La Mesa and worked his way through the minor leagues where he recently spent three years at Triple A Las Vegas, averaging .275 and more than 20 homers a year.

The main knock on Taijeron is his high strikeout rate, which comes with his major league power.

Taijeron was drafted 18th and moved through the system starting out in Low-A ball in 2011, to reaching High-A in 2012.  In 2013, Taijeron started the season with High-A St Lucie Mets and batted .303, with 20 doubles, nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 55 games. He was then promoted to the Double-A Binghamton Mets and in 65 games he had 18 doubles, 14 home runs and drove in 42 RBIs.

In 2014, the California native played the full season in Double-A with the B-Mets and hit 30 doubles, with 15 home runs, and 48 RBIs.

With Taijeron quickly making a name for himself with his power bat, he was promoted to Triple-A with the Las Vegas 51s for the 2015 season and batted .274, with 22 doubles, 25 home runs, and 71 RBIs.

In 2016, he started out with Taijeron being invited to his first big league camp as a non-roster invitee and in 20 games he batted .366, with two home runs and 11 RBIs. When he returned to Las Vegas for the Triple-A season, he upped his batting average by one point from the prior season, finishing .275, with 42 doubles, five triples, 19 home runs and 88 RBIs.

This season, Taijeron was invited back to big league camp and it propelled him to another monster season as he is currently batting .272, with 32 doubles, three Triples, 25 home runs, and 78 RBIs.

Travis Taijeron Minor League Accomplishments

MiLB Organizational All-Star: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016

Mid-Season All Star: 2011 (Brooklyn), 2012 (Savannah), 2015 & 2016 (Las Vegas)

PCL Triple-A All Star Game Top Star: 2016 (Las Vegas)



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