Salt Lake continued their mastery at home, beating the RiverCats in the first of seven straight contests the two clubs will play. While the Bees are just .500 on the road, they are now 30-14 at Franklin Covey Field.
Nate Bland made his second straight start and threw five innings for a team that is struggling to cobble together a rotation. Bland gave up just two hits and one run and now sports a 3.12 ERA in four starts throughout the year.
Darren Blakely is off to a strong start with the Bees, picking up his second two-hit game since signing with the Angels earlier this week. The 29-year-old switch-hitter was in left field for Salt Lake after making his first two starts in right.
Wichita out-slugs Arkansas 9-8 in 11(Royals)
Terry Evans made his debut in the Angels organization a memorable one, clubbing a home run and a double in his first appearance with the Travs. The solo shot was his eighth round-tripper in 22 games in the Texas League. The Wranglers will be very glad to be rid of right-handed slugger for a while after Sunday. Wichita played a five game series against Evans' old Springfield club and will now see him through the weekend. He is now 8-for-22 in the current run against the Wranglers.
Although Rafael Rodriguez had another sub-par outing, he was in line for the win when he left, but the bullpen took another loss as Bob Zimmerman, Daniel Davidson and Bill Edwards each surrendered runs in relief. Davidson has a 3.12 ERA since moving to the bullpen, but has allowed three of five inherited runners to score.
Visalia spanks Quakes 7-1 (Devil Rays)
Nick Adenhart was pulled after only two innings in preparation for his appearance in the Futures Game in Pittsburgh on Sunday and the bullpen wasn't up to the task as the Oaks continued their dominance over the Quakes.
Joe Torres' misery continued as he walked two and hit two more in the fourth inning. The former first round pick was charged with two runs and has now allowed the opponent to score in each of his last five appearances. The lefty has walked 20 in his last 6.1 innings of work and now has 47 on the year.
Michael Collins' sixth homer of the year accounted for the Quakes only run. Six of his last 10 hits have gone for extra bases, helping him to 10 RBIs over nine games.
Cedar Rapids shuts out West Michigan (Tigers)
Anthony Ortega led the Kernels to their fifth straight win and a share of the Western Division lead Friday night.
Ortega threw 6.2 innings of four-hit ball in his second outing for Cedar Rapids. The righty walked just one after he gave out four free passes in his Kernels debut, but still has issued 12 in 31.2 innings at three levels this year, a much higher rate than he posted in leading the Dominican League in ERA last year. Midwest League hitters have managed just a .154 average against Ortega with runners on base.
Shortstop Hainley Statia continued his torrid hitting with a 4-for-5 night and matched his career-high four RBIs. The switch-hitter has at least one hit in 13 of has last 14 games, hitting .500 in the process. Statia has raised his average more than 40 points during the streak to .304. The 20-year-old from Curacao leads the current members of the Kernels in average, on-base percentage and doubles.
Holler, the Stanford product who the Angels selected in the 13th round of this year's draft, had yielded just two earned runs in his first five appearances. Friday did not go well however, as he allowed seven of the eight batters he faced to reach on three singles, three walks and a wild pitch on a third strike. Holler had walked just three coming in to the contest.
Pitcher Leonardo Calderon made his pro debut with 1.2 innings of hitless work. The lefty from Lake City Community College came in with a pair of runners on and induced a grounder for a double play to get out of the inning and then gave up just a walk in the next frame while also getting a strikeout. Calderon was a player manager Tom Kotchman scouted for the Angels.
Shortstop Ryan Mount had a pair of homers and three RBIs to pace the offense. Last year's second round pick is just four for his last 28 at-bats, but all four have gone for extra bases.
AZL Royals beat Angels 8-2
Alexander Torres took the loss when he gave up seven runs – six earned – in just one inning of work out of the bullpen. The lefty from Venezuela surrendered six hits, a walk, and hit one man. Through four outings, Torres has walked as many – eight – as he has struck out.
Hank Conger remains the strongest threat in the Angels line-up and collected two more hits in the contest. Surprisingly, he got his third triple in 53 at-bats. After starting four straight games at catcher, the big teenager was back in the designated hitter role. He has hit .441 when he hasn't had to field a position, but just .211 in the games he has caught.