Bees hop on Murphy’s back for win
Tommy Murphy, who had never recorded more than five RBI in a game before, exceeded that total within a 45 minute stretch in the middle of Tuesday afternoon’s game at Portland.
The 2000 third-round pick mashed a double in the fifth and a grand slam in the sixth on his was to a 4-for-5 game and seven RBIs, pacing the Bees in an 11-8 victory over the Portland Beavers.
Kendry Morales homered for the second day in a row and Brian Specht added a double and homer – doubling his extra-base hit total of the year – to provide more thunder for the Bees. Erick Aybar scored three more runs and now has crossed the plate 19 times in 18 games.
For the second time in four starts this year, Chris Bootcheck allowed more than one walk an inning, surrendering seven free passes in just 4.1 innings of work. Despite allowing only four hits, the walks hurt him to the tune of five earned runs. Bootcheck has missed home cooking early in the year, posting an 8.59 ERA in his two road starts, almost six points higher than his home ERA.
Jason Bulger worked a scoreless ninth inning in which he recorded two more strikeouts to earn his second save. Bulger now has 17 punchouts in 11.2 innings.
Travelers shelled by Wichita
The Wranglers jumped all over starter Chris Hunter and the bullpen to hand Arkansas its eighth loss in 10 games, a 12-3 defeat.
Hunter, a 2003 draftee, was touched for five runs in just 3.1 innings of work, although only three were earned. It is the third time in four games he has surrendered five runs.
The Trav’s led briefly on a two-run homer by Brandon Wood in the bottom of the first. The blast was Wood’s fifth on the year. The shortstop is hitting 100 points higher at home on the year, and his slugging percentage if 50 points better.
Mike Eylward went 3-for-4 with a double to raise his batting average back to .400. He is 10-for-24 over his last five games with seven RBIs.
Matt Brown had a double in four at-bats Tuesday. Each of his last five hits – over the course of seven games – has gone for extra-bases.
A two-out error by Eric Rodland cost the Travelers five unearned runs in the fourth inning. The team has now allowed 24 unearned runs through 19 games.
Rancho collapses to lose 11-4
The Quakes lost their lead on an error in the ninth and then surrendered seven runs in the tenth to fall to Lake Elsinore 11-4. The Storm have taken three of five from Rancho Cucamonga so far this season.
Starter Jose Arredondo had six strikeouts through three no-hit innings to start the night for the Quakes, but the wheels started to come off in the fourth and he surrendered three runs before he could get through the fifth. All totaled, he allowed five hits and four walks in 4.2 innings.
Shortstop Sean Rodriguez had a solo homer and was 2-for-4 on the night. He is now 12-for-34 since missing four games with a knee injury, and is hitting .396 on the season.
Elsinore scored the tying run scored with two outs in the ninth when Michael Collins threw the ball away trying to nab Sean Kazmar stealing third and plated two more in the 10th when a third strike got away from him and he threw the ball down the first base line. With three errors on the night, the Australian now has seven for the season.
Matt Pali, who had already appeared in left and right field as well as first base, took to the mound once the game was out of hand in the tenth. He has pitched in one game in each of the last two years, yielding one earned run in 1.2 total innings.
Kernels shut out for the third time
The Lansing pitching staff demonstrated why they lead the Midwest League in ERA as a trio of Lugnuts held Cedar Rapids to just three hits to open a four-game series. Stephen Marek was saddled with the hard-luck loss in a 4-0 decision.
Outfielder Brad Coon had a single in the Kernels’ first at-bat to extend his hitting streak to five. He has now hit in 11 of 12 games. Cedar Rapids next put a man on base when Flint Wipke singled to open the eighth inning.
Marek, who had allowed a run on two hits in the fourth, was chased by a solo homer with two outs in the sixth. It was the first round-tripper he has allowed this year. Overall, Marek gave up four hits and three walks while striking out six in 5.2 innings.
Reliever Richard Romero, who was saddled with a loss in his Midwest League debut on Saturday, bounced back with an inning of scoreless relief Tuesday. The seventh-round pick from 2005 allowed a hit and a walk, but picked up his fourth strikeout of the season.