Salt Lake drops nail-biter
Steven Shell made his first Triple-A start a memorable one, throwing eight innings of two-hit baseball for the Bees. What he didn’t get was a win.
A trio of Tacoma pitchers outdueled him, and Jason Bulger gave up his first run of the year in the ninth as Salt Lake fell 1-0.
Shell, who began the year with Arkansas, struck out eight and walked three while allowing just two singles on the game. The righty had one complete-game shutout in each of the last three seasons.
The Bees’ only threat of the game came in the second inning when former Angel Kevin Appier allowed a flair single to Curtis Pride between a pair of one-out walks. But when Ryan Budde hit a line drive that Rainier second baseman snared, Adam Pavkovich was doubled off first to end the threat.
Bulger, who has struggled with control throughout his career, came on in the ninth and walked the leadoff batter and advanced him to second with his first wild pitch of the season. Mariners prospect Shin-Soo Choo then drove in the run with his second single of the game.
Outfielder Nick Gorneault had a pair of walks Thursday for the second game in a row. The right-handed slugger had drawn only five walks through his first 18 games.
Arkansas drops another close one
For the fifth time in six games, the Travelers played a one-run contest Friday. They also dropped their 10th decision in the last 13, a 3-2 loss to San Antonio.
James Holcomb, making his fifth start of the year, went seven innings and surrendered a pair of runs on five hits. Holcomb struck out a season-high eight batters, a total he exceeded twice last year.
Eric Rodland had three singles on the night, raising his season average to .328. He has had multiple hits in seven of his 17 games after doing so only 16 times all year in the Florida State League last season.
After striking out nine times in the game and drawing only one walk, the Travelers now have the second-highest strikeout total in the league to go along with the second-lowest walk total. With four errors on the night, they also rank seventh on the circuit defensively.
Quakes break out big bats in 10-3 victory
Rancho Cucamonga found the perfect tonic for their recent offensive slump: a trip to hitter-friendly Clear Channel Stadium in Lancaster. Five Quakes hitters had multiple hits on the night as the team blasted seven extra-base hits.
Matt Pali was glad to get back on the road, leading the offense with a double, homer and four RBI. Pali has hit 92 points higher on the road than at home, and his .583 slugging percentage as a visitor is more than double what he’s done at home.
While the offense got on track, pitcher Nick Green was effective as well. Green allowed two runs for the fourth consecutive start, with five hits, five walks and five strikeouts in – yep, you guessed it – five innings to earn the victory. The righty has kept his ERA under three by tightening down with runners on base. Opponents are hitting just .176 in 51 at-bats with runners on. He held the JetHawks to 3-for-14 in those situations Friday.
Cody Fuller had a double and walk in his return to the lineup with a pair of runs scored, extending his hitting streak to five. The 2005 draft pick has also drawn a walk in three of four.
Kernels lose fifth straight
After three nights of anemic offense against Lansing, Cedar Rapids brought their bats to Oldsmobile Park Friday. Unfortunately for them, Nick Adenhart and Chris Howell had poor outings and the team fell to the Lugnuts, 9-to-7.
Adenhart, who entered the game with a 1.46 ERA, was touched up for five runs in the first two innings, although only three were earned. He settled down nicely and allowed just three hits over his final three frames of work. In total, he allowed eight base hits, one for extra bases, and walked three while striking out six.
First baseman Mark Trumbo, in the lineup for just the second time in a week, drew a walk in the fifth to start a five-run uprising that evened the score, and then doubled in a run and scored again in the eighth to help the Kernels pull ahead. The double was the first extra-base hit of the year for the Orange County native. In his professional debut last year, 34 of his 82 hits went for extra bases.
Howell got through his first two innings allowing only one hit, extending his scoreless innings streak to 10 over five outings. Once the team got the lead however, he gave up a pair of home runs and four runs to surrender the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Howell had not allowed a homer as a professional before tonight.