With our top pick from last time presumably out of the minors for good and several top prospects…
After doing it to the Bees with pitching for three straight days, on Sunday, the RiverCats used their bats to claim an easy victory and a series sweep over the Bees.
Kasey Olenberger, who had made two solid starts since coming off the disabled list, got hit hard by Sacramento and compounded his problems with poor command. In four-plus innings, the righty from Northern California yielded eight hits and eight earned runs. He walked a season-high five Cats and also hit one batter. After sailing through the first inning 1-2-3, the Long Beach State alum put at least two runners on in each of the next four innings but was twice helped out by double plays. Unlike most Salt Lake pitchers, Olenberger's struggle on the road is nothing new. In six appearances away from Franklin Covey Field, he has a 6.75 ERA and has allowed opponents to hit .322. At home, his ERA is a much more respectable 4.17.
With Howie Kendrick back with the big league club, Adam Pavkovich made his fourth straight start at second base and represented most of the Bees offense. The utilityman had two doubles and a walk in four plate appearances, scoring a pair of runs as well. The 2003 draftee has stabilized after a brutal May, hitting .266 in 32 games since June .
Arkansas had the day off and will resume Tuesday at Tulsa
Quakes drop another to Storm 8-7 (Padres)
Rancho Cucamonga pitching continued to struggle against the California League's weakest offense, giving up eight more runs on the way to the club's third loss in four games against their I-15 rivals.
Nate Sutton continued his hot for the Quakes, clubbing his fourth homer in six days and extending his hitting streak to six contests. The left-handed hitter, who had just two homers through his first 237 at-bats of the season, has hit .381 with a .726 slugging percentage in July.
After a relatively steady performance from Fernando Rodriguez to start the contest, the Quakes bullpen once again cost the team a victory when the Storm got to relievers Aaron Pullin and Micah Posey for four runs in the eighth inning. After getting three easy outs in the seventh, Pullin gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases before he yielded to Posey, who moved back to the bullpen to make room in the rotation for Stephen Marek. Posey came on to face Peter Ciofrone, but the lefty gave up a grand slam. He has now given up all 10 home runs on the year, and 25 of 27 total extra-base hits, to right-handed batters.
Mosebach gets Kernels a 4-0 win over Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)
A day after Cedar Rapids' ace was promoted to Rancho Cucamonga, Robert Mosebach made a strong bid to take up that mantel, giving up just five hits in eight innings of work.
Mosebach, who has now won four straight decisions, matched his season high with seven strikeouts and gave up just one walk – to the last batter he faced in the game. The right-hander lowered his season ERA to 3.13, a number that has benefited greatly from Mosebach's control and his ability to keep the ball in the park. In 126 innings of work, last year's fifth round pick has walked just 26 and given up only five homers.
Marco Albano drove in three runs with a double in the fifth inning then came around to score the club's last run of the day. The second baseman was the only Kernels batter to collect two hits on the day. The three RBIs set a career high for the 2005 draft pick and give Albano eight through nine games in July, his best monthly total yet.
Orem beats Helena 5-4 (Brewers)
Trevor Bell made his shortest outing of the season and collected his fourth straight no-decision, but the Owlz came back late to claim the series sweep and extend their lead in the South division.
Bell escaped several jams over the first three innings, but opened the fourth by allowing just the second homer against him this year and gave up a second run on a double steal. His game ended early when he yielded a double and walk in the next frame, but when both runners ultimately came around to score on an error, he was charged with four runs – two earned. The right-hander gave up a season-high eight hits, one walk and hit one man. Even with a season-low one strikeout, Bell still has an impressive 20-to-6 ratio in 32 innings of work.
Peter Bourjos drove in the winning runs with a two-strike, two-out triple in the seventh inning. The hit doubled his RBI output for the month and moved him into sole possession of second place in the Pioneer League with four three-baggers. Bourjos, whose average has hovered around .300 all season, has dramatically slowed his strikeout pace and increased his walks over the last 10 games, whiffing just five times to go with five bases on balls. He had struck out 19 times through his first 13 games against only two walks.
AZL Angels cruise past Rangers 8-0
Vladimir Veras and two relievers combined to shut out the Rangers while the Angels offense put up runs in six of their eight innings for an easy victory Sunday.
For the second time in three starts, Veras threw six innings of shutout ball, giving up just three hits in the process. The 20-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons pitching in his native Dominican Republic, struck out a season-high eight batters and walked just one. He also made it through his first contest without a wild pitch. He has held righties to a .198 average against and has allowed just four extra-base hits over 24 innings of work in the Arizona League.
Matt Sweeney got back in the lineup after nearly two weeks and picked up right where he left off with a double and two triples in five plate appearances. The left-handed slugger has demolished right-handed pitching for a .435 average and 1.043 slugging percentage so far, making area scout Dan Radcliffe look very good for lobbying on his behalf during the draft. Sweeney, who continues to show an advanced approach at the plate for a high school hitter, has also convinced the organization that his work ethic will allow him to make the transition to third base.
After a pair of rough outings to start his career, 38th-round pick Eduardo Chile came back with his second straight strong effort, throwing two innings of hitless ball. The 22-year-old righty out of Florida's Rollins College is another of the older members of the AZL roster, so he may be looking at a promotion before August.