Joe Saunders continued his run as the "other" former first round pick in the Salt Lake rotation by throwing seven shutout innings in which he gave up only three hits and striking out five. The lefty hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine outings and has gone at least seven innings in all but one of those outings. He has just a 1.77 ERA for the month and is the first PCL pitcher to nine victories this season.
Third baseman Mike Eylward was 3-for 4 with a pair of doubles for the Bees. The right-handed slugger had been hitting just .203 on the road coming into the contest. After a slow start when he got the call to Triple-A in early May, he has found his stroke again and is hitting .315 in June.
Travs lose another close one 4-3 to San Antonio (Seattle)
In a showdown of the two worst teams in the league during the first half of the season, Arkansas dropped their fifth game in six since the All-Star break.
Rafael Rodriguez threw his best game in a month, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings. The righty recorded six strikeouts, his best total since moving up to the Texas League in April. It was just the seventh time in 12 starts for Arkansas that he recorded more strikeouts than walks. He has now gone back-to-back outings without allowing a home run after giving up at least one in all but one of his first 10 starts.
Brandon Wood had a pair of hits and a walk in four plate appearances, clubbing his 16th home run of the season. His seven round trippers in June are the best in any month this year, but are behind his totals in every month but September last year. For the first time this season, the righty has gone three straight games without a strikeout, a feat made more impressive by the fact that it has come on the road. For the year, Wood is hitting almost 80 points better at home than away.
Quakes still in All-Star break
Kernels lose 2-1 to Burlington (Royals)
After being held scoreless for the final seven innings on Sunday, Cedar Rapids didn't push across a run until the ninth inning in Monday's series opener, ultimately falling when the Bees scored the deciding run with one out in the bottom of the frame.
Tommy Mendoza gave up just one earned run over eight innings and tied his career high with nine strikeouts. The righty from Florida had just two quality starts on the road this year. After a rough May, he has rebounded with a 3.75 ERA this month.
Brad Coon extended his hitting streak to 19 games to tie for the longest in the Midwest League this season. The leadoff man scored the Kernels' only run after getting his second hit of the game in the ninth inning, advancing on a wild pitch and stolen base, and then coming across the plate on a passed ball. Coon has converted 10 of his last 11 stolen base attempts and leads the league with 27 overall, four more than his nearest pursuer.
Owlz get 3-2 victory over Casper (Rockies)
Orem was outhit and committed a pair of errors, but still held on to defeat the Rockies.
Starter Anthony Ortega went seven innings and gave up just one unearned run on four hits to collect the win. He struck out seven hitters, the best total by an Owlz starting pitcher in the young season.
Tyler Johnson, who struggled in a short stint with the Kernels earlier this season, had a pair of hits and an RBI, and has now hit in all four games he's played in the Pioneer League. Originally selected in the 12th round in 2004, the Oklahoma native is 6-for-13 with a pair of runs scored for the Owlz.
Hitting leadoff for the first time this year, shortstop Ryan Mount was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Last year's second round pick continues to do all of his damage against righties. Lefties have held him to an .036 average as a pro, striking him out 19 times in 28 at-bats.
AZL Angels fall short 6-5 against Rangers
The Rangers used a four-run fifth inning to down the Angels, taking advantage of three errors to put the game out of reach.
Catcher Martin Maldonado was 1-for-4 with a run scored and is now 3-for-7 in two games. Behind the plate, however, the 19-year-old Puerto Rican had a rougher outing, allowing five stolen bases on six attempts and threw one ball away in the middle of the Rangers' big inning. Overall, opponents have been successful in 14 of 19 attempts over the first four games. He did redeem the situation in part with a pair of successful pickoffs, one at first and another at second.
Matt Hensley, making his first appearance while rehabbing from Salt Lake, struck out all three batters he saw in one inning of relief. The 27-year-old, who appeared in 16 games for the major league club in 2004, missed all of last season after surgery to repair a tear in his labrum. The righty has a 4.58 ERA in five seasons since being selected in the 10th round of the 2000 draft.
Former Stanford Cardinal Chris Lewis was the only Angels hitter with more than one hit, collecting a single and triple. Lewis, the Angels' 32nd round pick this year, split playing time between second and left field at Stanford, but will be at second base in the professional ranks.