Salt Lake appeared to be on the way to another come-from-ahead loss Tuesday night when the bullpen gave away a six run lead, but Greg Jones stopped the bleeding in the top of the ninth and the offense came through for a 7-6 win in the bottom of the frame.
Tommy Murphy, the latest prospect to catch the shuttle back from Anaheim, singled in the game-winning run as part of a three-hit night in his first appearance back with the Bees. The centerfielder won the game for the Bees when he hit a ball the shortstop was able to knock down, but couldn't turn into an out. His first hit of the night also stayed on the infield, but the third inning line drive knocked Grizzlies starting pitcher Pedro Liriano out of the game.
Steven Shell, who got seven days off between starts after three straight rough outings, rebounded with six shutout innings in which he allowed only four hits and one walk. The lanky righty has been strong at home, posting a 2.77 ERA in four starts at Franklin Covey Field, versus a 4.18 line on the road.
Every hitter in the Bees lineup had at least one hit and scored or drove in a run as the team put 15 hits on the board. Curtis Pride, who has been in the starting lineup only twice in the last week, had a pair of singles as the designated hitter.
Arkansas two-hit by Cards
For the second time in five games, the Arkansas Travelers were shut out, wasting a strong pitching performance by Jesse Smith and dropping their sixth straight game, 2-0.
Smith had one of the stranger stat lines of the season, giving up no runs in 6.2 innings despite putting two men on in five separate frames. The 25-year-old gave up just five hits, but walked a season-high seven hitters. He had walked only 18 batters in 71 innings coming into the contest.
For the third time in four outings since he was acquired for Esteban Yan, righty Kyle Edens allowed the opponent to score, giving up both Cardinals runs on three hits and a pair of walks over 1.1 innings of work to take the loss. The Texas native has allowed 14 hits and six walks in eight innings for the Travs, leading to a 5.63 ERA.
Aaron Peel had one of the two Travelers singles in the game, but struck out in his other three plate appearances. It was the 13th time this year he has taken the collar multiple times in a game. After a brief resurgence when he returned to the lineup two weeks ago, Peel has just five hits in his last 27 at-bats.
Quakes blasted in High Desert
Rancho Cucamonga fell behind early and had the Mavericks pile it on all night, falling 15-3 to move a game under .500.
Starter Micah Posey allowed his highest run total of the year in surrendering seven runs – six earned – on six hits in just four innings of work. Coming off of back-to-back strong starts, the lefty never got untracked Tuesday and gave up three extra-base hits including a three-run homer.
Sean Rodriguez had what he hopes will be a once-in-a-career performance in the field, throwing the ball away for an error four different times on the night. He now has 19 errors in 60 games at short, doing nothing to silence whispers that he might eventually move off the position.
Michael Collins, looking to break out of his recent slump, was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored for the Quakes, lifting his average back above the .300 mark. The 21-year-old had been given two days off after a 4-for-33 slide.
Kernels fall short against Fort Wayne
Looking to repeat their magic from Monday night, Cedar Rapids put the tying run on second base in the ninth inning, but a 400-foot blast by Flint Wipke was gloved on the center field warning track to send the Kernels to a 2-1 defeat.
Starter Andy Hill was hung with his third straight loss, despite giving up only two runs over seven innings of work. The 2003 draft pick sports a 1-3 record even though he has just a 2.77 ERA and has allowed just one runner per inning of work since he joined the club at the end of last month. He has gone at least six innings in each of his four starts.
Anderson Rosario was 1-for-2 with a walk in his first game with the Kernels, scoring the club's only run. The Dominican native went first-to-third on a Brad Coon single and then scored on a sacrifice fly one batter later. He had struck out in 11 of his 17 at-bats with Salt Lake earlier this season.
Wipke already had one double when he launched his shot in the ninth inning, leading off the fifth with a liner to center. He is working on a five-game hitting streak and has hit .316 this month with five doubles in 57 at-bats after slumping through most of May. He also caught the only runner who tried to steal against him, and has now thrown out 43% of would-be thieves on the year.