Salt Lake boots opportunity for victory
Thanks to another strong outing by Jered Weaver, the Bees took a 3-1 lead to the top of the seventh, but committed back-to-back errors in the frame to surrender the go-ahead runs in an eventual 5-4 loss.
Weaver broke his pattern of alternating good outings with poor ones. After last week’s six-inning, two-run performance in Tacoma, Weaver allowed the Rainiers just one run in six innings at Franklin Covey Stadium Saturday. The tall righty struck out eight more hitters and now has 46 - against only six walks – in 35 innings this season.
Third baseman Dallas McPherson had a two-out double to left in the first and hit a solo shot to right in the sixth. McPherson has gone yard in three straight games, although each has been a solo shot. Eighteen of his 22 hits this season have gone for extra bases, including six homers.
Lefty Nate Bland took the loss in his first decision of the season. Although only one of the runs he surrendered was earned, it was the second straight outing in which he allowed three opponents to cross the plate. The 31-year-old, who was out of baseball last season, logged 20 innings with the Houston Astros in the 2003 season.
Arkansas rained out
The Travelers’ home game against San Antonio was rained out Saturday night. Because of the schedules for both teams, the game will not be made up. Arkansas hosts Corpus Christi for a four-game series starting Sunday afternoon.
Quakes bounce back to beat Bakersfield
Rancho Cucamonga pounded out 19 hits and got a solid performance from their starting pitcher on the way to an 8-2 victory over the Blaze.
Ben Johnson entered the contest with just two doubles in 66 at-bats this season, then knocked one out in three straight at-bats. Johnson also posted four RBIs to match a career high he most recently posted against Inland Empire last season.
Fernando Rodriguez allowed just two hits and one run over six innings to earn his third victory of the season. He matched his season high with seven strikeouts, but also issued four walks, his largest total in 15 starts dating back to last July. The righty from El Paso came into the game with a 10.97 ERA on the road, but had no problem feeling at home in Sam Lynn Ballpark.
Baltazar Lopez’s performance was even more of a breakout game than Johnson’s. By going 4-for-5 on the night, not only did he raise his batting average 74 points, but his two doubles surpassed his season extra-base hit total coming in. Lopez is still looking to recapture the success he had in 2004, when he hit .314 for Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids falls in extra innings
For the second night a row, the Kernels got a late-inning rally to tie the Timber Rattlers, but they were unable to push across the winning score and went on to fall 3-2 in 11 innings.
Stephen Marek turned in his longest outing of the year, going 7.2 innings for Cedar Rapids. The Texan allowed two runs on only five hits while striking out six in a start that lasted an inning more than any of his first five outings of the year. Uncharacteristically, two of the extra-base hits Marek surrendered were to right-handed hitters. On the year, righties are hitting just .162 against him with a .338 slugging percentage.
Bradley Coon had a single and three walks in the contest and also stole two bags. He extended his team leads in both categories with the performance. Although his average is just .260, the centerfielder has reached base in all but two of his starts this season.
Reliever Tim Didjurgis gave up just two hits in 3.1 innings of work, but nonetheless took the loss when the Rattlers got a two-out triple from Chao Kuan Wu in the eleventh inning. The tall righty has averaged more than two innings in his nine appearances from the pen this year, going at least three innings in three of his past five appearances.