Nate Bland continued his solid run since moving into the Salt Lake starting rotation and Kendry Morales provided more than enough offense to carry the Bees to victory in a match-up of division leaders.
Bland gave up two runs on six hits over six innings to pick up his fourth victory of the year. The righty struck out six Sounds hitters and did not allow a walk. In eight starts this year, the 31-year-old pitcher only has a 1-2 record, but sports a more-than-respectable 3.57 ERA. He has walked just seven batters in 40.1 innings as a starter, but had given up 12 in 29.1 innings out of the bullpen. He has shut down left-handers throughout the year, allowing southpaws a .232 average.
For the third time in six games since he was sent back to Triple-A, Morales had a pair of hits, and this time both went for homers. In all, he drove in five runs with the two blasts, both of which came off of right-handed pitching. Four of the Cuban's seven hits since his demotion have gone for extra-bases, a positive sign for the people in the Angels organization who wanted to see more power from the first baseman.
Arkansas had the day off and will resume their series against Wichita on Monday.
Lancaster flies past Rancho 10-6 (Diamondbacks)
The Quakes weren't able to complete a series sweep as the JetHawks used a pair of four-run innings to put the game out of reach. The loss leaves Rancho three games under .500 in the second half of the season.
After working out of the bullpen for two weeks, Micah Posey returned to the starting rotation, but didn't fare much better than in his first stint as a starter. The lefty allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in just 3.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 3-10 on the year. With just one strikeout on the night, he once again has more walks (54) than whiffs (51) on the year. Opponents have reached base at a .393 clip against him.
Sean Rodriguez capped off a strong July by going 1-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He reached base in all but one game this month, hitting .355 with 16 bases on balls in 28 games. The big-bodied shortstop also had his best month as a pro defensively, committing just three errors. He had 24 through the first three months of the season.
Kernels clubbed by Silver Hawks 10-7 (Diamondbacks)
Dan Hawkins's first start of the year didn't go as Cedar Rapids might have hoped as South Bend jumped on him and Tim Didjurgis for eight runs in the fourth inning on the way to an easy win that knocked the Kernels to two games under .500.
Hawkins, who made 10 starts for Orem in his first professional season last year, lasted just 3.2 innings and was charged with five runs – all earned – on six hits. The righty's struggles with control continued as he walked three, taking his season total to 32 in 50.1 innings of work at two levels. Since returning to the Midwest League last month, Hawkins has posted a 9.00 ERA while opponents hit .356 against him.
Dallas Morris delivered the performance of the night at the plate for the Kernels. The right-handed hitter, who has been at third base defensively in every game he's played this month, came up a homer short of the cycle as he went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. The performance continues his strong work in July when he has hit .308 with nine doubles and 18 RBIs.
Orem had the day off. They resume at Idaho Falls on Monday.
AZL Angels down Royals 5-2
Tim Schoeninger gave the Angels another strong outing and the offense made the most of their seven hits as the Angels won their second straight on Sunday.
Schoeninger allowed one unearned run on two hits over five innings while striking out a season-high seven hitters. The righty also extended his streak of innings without a walk to 27, a span of five-plus starts. On the year, Schoeninger has more strikeouts – 36 – than runners allowed, 34.
Former Cal State Fullerton pitcher Dustin Miller, who signed as an undrafted free agent earlier this month, made his professional debut with two innings of scoreless work. The big righty from Diamond Bar struck out four and allowed just one hit in relief. After earning freshman All-American honors in 2003, Miller missed two years with elbow problems, undergoing his second reconstructive surgery in November, 2004. In this, his fifth year in the program, Miller returned to the mound and posted a 12-1 record in 97.2 innings of work.
Outfielder Jeremy Moore was the only Angel with more than one hit in the game and also collected his first professional home run. Selected in the sixth round last year, the left-handed hitter from Louisiana didn't sign until late so his professional debut was delayed until this year. After a slow start, he is hitting .290 in July.