Short-season clubs only affiliates to win

On the first day with a full six-team schedule in the minors, Angels minor-leaguers at the upper levels struggled to overcome familiar problems in losses. Their rookie teams in Ogden and Arizona, however, put on an impressive display in picking up a pair of victories.

Defense does in Bees
Demonstrating the same problems that have frustrated their major-league compatriots, Salt Lake struggled to come up with the big hit and gave away runs in the field on their way to a 7-4 loss to Sacramento.

The RiverCats scored four unearned runs thanks to a throwing error by Erick Aybar that extended their rally in the fifth inning and two errors on one play by Reggie Willits one inning later. The club had allowed just 36 unearned runs coming into the game.

Jason Aspito, making his first start with the Bees after being recalled to replace injured Nick Gorneault, had a hit in three at-bats and drove in a run. The left-handed hitter hit .266 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in his third tour of duty with Arkansas before getting to Triple-A.

Tommy Murphy had the club's only extra-base hit in the game, a two-run double in the first inning, but also cut the rally short when he was caught stealing third base for the first out of the inning. He has now been caught in 10 of his 13 attempts this season including each of his last five efforts.

Travelers start the way they ended
James Holcomb returned from the disabled list to start the first game of the second half of the season, but the results looked far too similar to what the Travs did in the season's first two and a half months as Arkansas fell to Corpus Christi 8-2.

Holcomb last pitched on May 25, but lasted only one inning before back soreness forced him from that outing. He eventually went on the disabled list on June 10. The righty had his worst game of the season, giving up six runs on nine hits in just 3.1 innings of work to take his fifth loss of the year. He had one strikeout on the night, the eighth time in his 11 appearances he had three or fewer punchouts.

Greg Porter helped the Travs avoid the shutout by hitting a two-out, two-run homer to left in the ninth inning. Porter also had a double earlier, accounting for two of the team's five hits in the game, but he also struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning when the team squandered it's only significant scoring chance of the night. The slugger has hit just .250 with runners in scoring position on the year, nearly 40 points below his overall average.

Daniel Davidson, who had been in the Arkansas starting rotation throughout the first half, made his first relief appearance of the season, throwing a scoreless ninth inning though he did load the bases. The lefty last appeared as a reliever for Orem in his first professional season in 2003.

Quakes fall to Mavericks again
As they had in each of their last eight matchups with the High Desert Mavericks over the last two weeks, the Quakes lost, falling 8-2 to tie the franchise's longest losing streak against one opponent.

Karl Gelinas, who made a spot start for Salt Lake when he was activated from his 50-game suspension, returned to the Rancho Cucamonga rotation and gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in five innings. The righty had just two starts before he was suspended for violating the minor league drug policy in April.

The team got mixed results from two new members of their bullpen. Rafael Cruz Chavez tossed two shutout innings giving up only one hit. The 20-year-old righty notched five relief appearances for the Storm last year, but has been in Cedar Rapids most of this season.

Aaron Pullin's first appearance following his demotion from Arkansas wasn't as successful. The righty surrendered a game-tying homer to Mike Stodolka in his only inning of work. Although he had a 5.49 ERA in Double-A, he had given up only five homers in nearly 40 innings of work.

Kernels open second half with familiar sounding loss
The second half of the Midwest League started with a result that has become all-too familiar for the Kernels, as they dropped their 11th extra-inning game of the year 3-2 to Fort Wayne in 12 innings.

Starter Nick Adenhardt picked up where he left off before the all-star break, giving up just two runs in 7.1 innings of work. The righty struck out four and walked only two. He has now gone at least seven innings in nine of his last 10 outings and has given up more than two runs only once in that same stretch.

Larry Infante collected two of the Kernels' seven hits in the contest with a pair of doubles. He drove in both runs in the second inning when he followed a Brett Martinez single and a throwing error that allowed Dallas Morris to reach. It was just the third time all season the middle infielder had multiple hits in a game and left him with 13 of his 23 hits having gone for extra bases.

Brad Coon led off the game with a single to extend his hitting streak to 15, just four off the longest streak in the league this season. The lefty also drew the only two walks of the game for Cedar Rapids and stole his 25th base of the season. He now leads the club in both categories.

Orem offense explodes
A night after they lost by 13 runs, the Owlz turned the tables on Ogden in pounding out a 16-2 victory to win the first series of the year.

Peter Bourjos, hitting in the leadoff spot, was 4-for-6 including a pair of triples in the seventh inning to drive in three. The 19-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., also showed his plus speed with his first stolen base. The 10th-round pick last year didn't sign until the end of the summer, so he is just making his pro debut this season.

Sean O'Sullivan impressed in his pro debut, throwing four shutout innings in which he gave up just two hits and struck out six. Orem starters have now allowed just one earned run through 13.1 innings of work.

The win went to former Stanford Cardinal Blake Holler who gave up two unearned runs in three innings. The lefty struck out three and walked one, flashing the stuff that prompted the Angels to take him in the 13th round after a disappointing junior season.

As reported earlier, the Arizona League Angels debuted with a victory this morning.

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