For the first time since opening day, the Potomac Cannons are in first place in the Class A Carolina League Northern Division, leading Wilmington by percentage points.

The Cannons (23-21) have yet to put together a hot streak, but the struggling Blue Rocks (24-22) have lost six of their past nine games, relinquishing the top spot.

Still, the Cannons have benefited from some hot hitting.

Outfielder Tony Blanco is batting .318 with two home runs over the past nine games, and second baseman Kevin Howard has driven in 11 runs and has a .270 average over the same stretch. Blanco leads the Carolina League in home runs with 13.

Right-hander Eddy Valdez has had two good performances, one in relief and one as a starter, and he won two games while allowing three runs over 10 innings. On Saturday, Valdez beat Salem by pitching four innings of relief and allowing only one unearned run.

Potomac has a chance to solidify its position, as Monday's 4-3 victory over the Winston-Salem Warthogs in 12 innings started a stretch during which the Cannons play 14 of 18 games at home.

Anderson Pays a Visit

One of the hottest hitters in the Carolina League, Winston-Salem's Brian Anderson, visits Potomac this week. In the year since he was drafted in the first round out of the University of Arizona, Anderson, 22, has become one of the top prospects in the Chicago White Sox organization.

He is fifth in the league in hitting at .326, tied for the lead in doubles with 14, seventh in on-base percentage at .401 and fourth in slugging percentage at .563. He has also stolen eight bases.

Anderson has been one of the Carolina League's hottest players in May, batting close to .360 in the month.