The Arkansas offense continued to struggle as they opened a series against the San Antonio Missions, but got just enough production to win when Brandon Wood launched his sixth homer of the year in the sixth inning. Prior to the blast, the Trav's had only two hits in the game.
Pitcher Jesse Smith threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits while striking out six to earn his first win since last August. Although he entered the game allowing opposing hitters a .482 average when working with runners on base, he limited the Missions to just one hit in eight at-bats in that situation Wednesday.
Bill Edwards, who worked almost exclusively as a starter last year, picked up his first save since 2004 while working in his fifth game in six days. The righty has a 2.45 ERA in a team-leading nine appearances on the year.
Matthew Brown had a pair of singles on the game to raise his average to .329. Last year, Brown also jumped off to a fast start, hitting .337 in April for Rancho Cucamonga. He finished the year at .262.
Quakes stymied by Storm
After splitting the first two games of the series, the Cal League's best offense was shut down by the league's best pitching staff as Rancho Cucamonga was held to only six singles on the night.
Despite turning in his second straight strong start, Fernando Rodriguez was the hard-luck loser for Rancho. The 21-year-old righty gave up just one earned run while striking out seven in five innings. He has been dominant at Epicenter, yielding just a 1.69 ERA at home.
Second baseman Nate Sutton was the only Quake hitter with multiple hits in the game. Although he is hitting .300 on the year, he has yet to get an extra-base hit in 40 at-bats. He entered the year with an isolated power average (slugging percentage minus batting average) of just .081.
Although Kevin Lynch continued his streak of scoreless appearances with two-thirds of an inning in which he earned both outs with strikeouts, he allowed both runners he inherited to score. He had allowed just one of seven runners who were on base when he entered to score coming into the game.
Kernels fall to Lansing in the 13th
Cedar Rapids plated a pair of runs in the seventh inning, but left two more runners on base in the frame. In all, the Kernels stranded nine runners and hit into two double plays as well to squander scoring opportunities until the bullpen finally faltered in the 13th inning.
Robert Mosebach turned in his fourth consecutive strong start for the Kernels, yielding two runs in seven innings of work. The righty, with a 2.08 ERA on the year, has been particularly effective against right-handers this year, yielding just a .119 average.
Reliever Tim Didjurgis was even more dominant, giving up just two hits while striking out six in four innings. The outing was the longest of the former University of the Pacific Tiger's professional career.
Jordan Renz had a double and run-scoring triple in the game, but, in keeping with his all-or-nothing campaign, also struck out once on the night. The slugger has fanned in eight straight games and 12 of his 14 appearances on the year.
Second baseman Marco Albano had a pair of hits in his first game with the squad. He was added to the roster from extended spring training when Ryan Leahy moved up to the Cal League. The 2005 draftee hit just .190 in his professional debut at Orem last season.