Bees drop another one late
As they had each twice previously in the series, Salt Lake watched as the Tucson Sidewinders pushed across the decisive run in their final at-bat, losing their fourth straight contest by a 7-6 score.
In his second game back with the Bees, leadoff man Erick Aybar was 3-for-5 with a double, two stolen bases and a pair of runs scored. After getting just 12 at-bats during his three-week stint with the Angels, Aybar returned to the starting lineup in Triple-A on Saturday. Underscoring an area he must improve on before getting an opportunity everyday at the big league level, the shortstop had a grounder go through him for his 12th error of the year, plating a run in the second.
Darin Erstad, who looks to return to the Angels on Monday, collected just his third hit in seven games with the Bees, but picked up three RBI’s in the process. Erstad twice had productive outs, knocking in a run with a groundout in the third and hitting behind a runner on second with no outs in the fifth. Erstad also tried to show his ankle is fully recovered by stealing his first base on the rehab assignment.
Reliever Marcus Gwyn took the loss after entering the game with a one-run lead in the eighth inning. Although he set the side down in order in his first inning, he gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the ninth, before issuing a four-pitch walk to push the winning run across for the Sidewinders. Ironically, he hadn’t walked a batter in his previous six innings of work. He’s now given up runs in nine of his 22 outings.
Arkansas whipped by Cards
The Travelers dropped their fourth straight game Sunday in embarrassing fashion, getting pounded 11-1 by Springfield on a night when they had more errors (two) than runs scored.
The game opened on a positive note for the Travs when Brandon Wood clubbed his 14th homer of the season in the top of the first inning, but while the club collected three more extra-base knocks among their five hits over the next eight innings, they couldn’t get any other to third base all night. Wood, who had a 13-game hitting streak snapped on Friday, now has one hit in each of the last two games and is hitting .288 on the season. Today’s homer notwithstanding, Wood has struggled on the road all year, managing just a .242 average.
Rafael Rodriguez continued his struggles, giving up nine runs – five earned – in just 5.2 innings of work. For the first time in ten Texas League starts, Rodriguez didn’t issue any walks while striking out four, but he surrendered three more homers on the day. In 50.2 innings of work, he has now been torched for 17 longballs while opponents hit .324 against him.
Matt Brown continued his strong June with three hits, including a pair of doubles for the Travs. After collecting just seven extra-base hits in May, the third baseman has already matched that total in ten games this month for a .541 slugging percentage.
Quakes get another shutout victory
Rancho Cucamonga got their third shutout of the month behind a strong start by Jose Arredondo, blanking San Jose 4-0.
Arredondo allowed just three hits and three walks in seven innings while striking out seven Giants. The 22-year-old righty has now gone at least seven innings in three of his last four outings after going no more than six through his first eight appearances. He extended his Cal League-best strikeout total to 92 on the season 68 innings of work and lowered his ERA to 1.99, good for second on the circuit. He has been particularly devastating against righties, who are hitting just .144 against him on the season.
Josh Leblanc had his first three-hit game of the season in the leadoff spot and drove in the Quakes’ first run of the game with a single in the third. The right-handed hitter was 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position in the contest, improving his season mark to .314 in such situations.
Nate Sutton hadn’t collected a hit in his last five games, but doubled and singled on Sunday to score one run and drive in another. The Santa Cruz native had just one other double on the month entering the game even though his June average sat at .300.
Kernels fall in marathon match-up with Wizards
Cedar Rapids rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday with three runs to tie Fort Wayne at six, but couldn’t do anything else as the Wizards eventually won on a 15th-inning solo homerun.
Starter Robert Mosebach had his shortest outing in nearly two months, giving up five runs – four earned – on nine hits in just four innings of work. The sub-par showing comes on the heels of back-to-back eight inning performances in which Mosebach had allowed just one run total. Lefties have gotten to him all season, hitting at a .307 clip.
Four relievers followed Mosebach, giving up just one run over the next ten frames before Tim Didjurgis, working a second inning, surrendered a homer to lead off the 15th inning. It was just the second round-tripper the righty has given up all season. His three strikeouts on the night took his total to 33 in just 35 innings.
Dallas Morris had a pair of singles to drive in three runs on the afternoon. The third baseman also swiped his eighth base of the year and third in the last week. He already has twice as many stolen bases as he had in 2004.