Travelers spinning, Bees keep pounding Toros

Michael Collins went deep

Catchers were the offensive stars in Arkansas, Rancho and Cedar Rapids, but it wasn't enough to break the Travelers' losing streak or to get the Quakes past Lake Elsinore. Stephen Marek and Jose Arredondo were solid on the mound, but neither got the win.

Bees down Tucson again
For the sixth time in seven games against them, Salt Lake got the best of the Toros Thursday night, 8-5.

Although he wasn't at the top of his game, Chris Bootcheck earned his second consecutive win with five innings of three-run ball. For the first time this year, he struck out more (three) than he walked (one). The wildness is a new problem for the former first-rounder, who has 491 punchouts against 227 walks in his minor league career.

Adam Pavkovich hit a homer for the second game in a row. It's the first time since July, 2004 he had a blast in back-to-back games. His 3-for-4 performance raised his season average almost 150 points to .313.

Kendry Morales had a pair of RBI and a run scored for the night. Although he has collected a hit in 10 of 13 games, he is hitting only .236, nearly 100 points below his average last season.

For the second time in a week, Dallas McPherson had a triple, equaling his total for 2005. Eight of his 12 hits have gone for extra-bases.

Travelers drop fifth straight, 11-3
The Tulsa Drillers jumped on Arkansas starter Chris Hunter for five runs on nine hits in just 4.1 innings. The righty has now surrendered 20 hits and four walks in just 15.2 innings.

Relievers Michel Simard, Bobby Zimmermann and Bill Edwards each gave up two runs in the game. Edwards hadn't allowed an earned run previously this season in four outings.

Catcher Bobby Wilson blasted a two-out, two run homer in the ninth and finished 2-for-3 with a walk. The 48th-round pick from 2002 who signed as a draft-and-follow player in 2003, has seen his OPS go up in each of his three professional seasons.

Brandon Wood committed his eighth error in 13 games in the field trying to field a grounder off the bat of Jud Thigpen. Wood committed 20 errors in 580 total chances for the Quakes last year. His double in the fourth inning was the Travelers' only extra-base hit until two outs in the ninth. He is slugging .660 on the year.

Quakes comeback not enough
Rancho Cucamonga rallied for three runs against the Storm in the late innings Thursday night, but Kevin Jepsen couldn't keep Lake Elsinore from putting the game away in the eighth and the Quakes fell 4-3.

Michael Collins, catching for the third consecutive game, hit a two-run homer in the seventh to get the Quakes on the board. His single in the second was one of only two hits the team had going into the frame.

Baltazar Lopez had a solo blast in the eighth for the Quakes' other run. The blast was his first in 211 at-bats at Rancho. The lefty from Mexico had a .485 slugging percentage in his first two professional seasons.

For his third consecutive outing, starter Jose Arredondo went five innings, this time allowing two earned runs. With his seven strikeouts tonight, he now has 23 on the season, against just three walks.

Kernels down Whitecaps in the ninth, 5-4
Closer Ryan Aldrige gave up the tying run on a pair of walks and a single in the ninth, blowing his second save of the year, but Flint Wipke drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to bail him out and get him his first career win.

Stephen Marek gave up three runs in six innings, but was still in line to get the win until West Michigan's comeback in the ninth. The 22-year-old righty did not allow a walk for the second time in three games. Last year, he only had three such outings in 15 starts. Whitecaps' righties were 3-for-10 against Marek. Coming into the game, he had held righties 0-for-22 on the season.

Wipke, a 38th-round pick last year, had his first three-hit game of his career, including home run number one for the season. He also stole his third base of the year, tripling his total from 2005. Wipke is hitting .417 when he is at catcher but is just 1-for-15 when playing first or DH-ing

Leftfielder Pat Reilly hit a solo shot in the sixth for his first homer of the year. Now hitting .333, he has hit in eight of his last nine.

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