The Bees were unable to pick up where they left off before the All-Star break as the RiverCats used two big innings to push them under .500 on the road this season.
Joe Saunders gave up more than two runs for the first time in over two months when the Cats jumped on him for three in the first inning. After the lefty was hit by a comebacker in that first frame, he gave up a two-run shot and later an RBI double, but rebounded to allow just one more hit over the next five innings. Saunders had entered the contest with a 1.98 ERA on the road this season.
As rough as Saunders' first inning was, Greg Jones struggled even more in the ninth – with no chance to redeem himself subsequently. Jones, who had a streak of six scoreless outings snapped in his last outing, got two quick outs, but then allowed a pair of singles before Hiram Bocachica took him deep to end the game with a walk-off homer. The Bees' closer now has a 4.62 ERA on the year.
Arkansas comeback falls short against San Antonio (Mariners)
The Travs fell behind 7-0 early, but rallied to pull within one and put the winning runner on first base in the bottom of the ninth before the Missions escaped with their second straight win and a split in the series.
Chris Hunter lost his third straight decision after allowing all seven of the Missions' runs over 4.1 innings. The righty gave up seven hits, including another home run, and two walks and did not record a strikeout. Hunter unleashed a pair of wild pitches and now the 2003 draftee has at least one in three straight contests.
The Travs got exactly the production from the middle of their order that they hoped for after the acquisition of Terry Evans. Brandon Wood drew a season-high three walks and scored a pair, Matt Brown had two hits and was hit by two pitches, Evans reached safely three times including an RBI double in the ninth, and Bobby Wilson drove in a pair on two hits. The club is now second in the Texas League in runs and homers.
Big inning does in Quakes in 9-6 loss to Elsinore (Padres)
After Rancho jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, the bullpen and defense failed them and the club lost its third straight to the Storm.
Micah Posey had had his strongest outing in a month, yielding just one earned run on five hits over six innings. While the lefty walked three and struck out a season-high seven batters, he still has more free passes on the year than punchouts. Including tonight's success, Posey has held opponents to an average almost 30 points lower at the Epicenter than they have on the road.
Sean Rodriguez had a pair of extra-base hits including his 17th homer to lead the Quakes offense. The Miami native has used several big games to boost his average in July to .352, though his power numbers are slightly down from June. He has done the bulk of his damage this season at home, where he has a .340/.380/.601 line.
Clinton crowns Kernels 14-5 (Rangers)
A 10-run eighth inning, which also featured a 45 minute rain delay, cost Cedar Rapids a chance to extend the Lumber Kings' nine game losing streak.
After John Mayberry opened the eighth with a walk, Mike Pete came on threw one pitch before the skies opened up. When play resumed, Tim Didjurgis came on and yielded six earned runs on three hits and three walks, though three runs crossed the plate after Tim Mattison relieved him.
Anthony Ortega, who had allowed just one earned run in his first two starts, was tagged with the loss after he gave up four – two earned – in six innings of work. The righty once again struggled with command as he walked three, but minimized damage by giving up just one extra-base hit.
Orem downs Missoula 5-3 (Diamondbacks)
Sean O'Sullivan continued his impressive pro debut and the Owlz bunched their hits into one inning to claim a series split with the Ospreys.
O'Sullivan lasted only four innings, but once again did not give up an earned run. He was touched for two unearned runs on three errors – one he committed himself – and has now been victimized for three unearned this year while allowing just one earned run to cross the plate. O'Sullivan once again made it through his outing without issuing a walk and the righty from San Diego sports a 16-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Felipe Arredondo gave up his first homer of the season and walked a pair to put the tying run at the plate before Darren O'Day replaced him and ended the game with a flyout and strikeout. After he collected three saves in his first four outings, O'Day hadn't had another opportunity in over two weeks.
Third baseman Abel Nieves was the only Owlz player with more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. The Angels' final pick in the 2004 draft had been in a 2-for-23 cold spell after collecting hits in seven of his first nine contests with the Owlz.
AZL Angels beat Mariners 3-2
Robert Fish made his professional debut out of the Angels bullpen and did not allow a hit in 1.2 innings of work. The sixth round pick from Fontana had been held back a bit by the club after a heavy throwing schedule in his senior year at A.B. Miller high. The lefty walked two and recorded one strikeout.
Wilberto Lopez, in the leadoff spot for the second straight game, had a pair of hits including his second double of the year and scored a run for the fourth straight game. The 20-year-old shortstop has hit over .500 after he was held hitless in his first two games. Lopez now has a .417 average through seven outings.