A night after they were rained out, Salt Lake and the Sounds split a doubleheader. The Bees took the first contest 7-6 in eight innings before falling in the nightcap 9-5.
Tommy Murphy had a pair of homers in the opener, including the game winner in extra innings as part of a 3-for-5 line in the leadoff spot, then went 1-for-4 in game two. He has hit in 10 of 12 games since returning from the big leagues and is hitting .340 in that span. Despite his above-average speed, the former third round pick was caught for the 12th time in 16 tries in the second game of the night.
Kendry Morales had a pair of hits in each game including a homer in game two. In all, he reached base in five of his eight plate appearances while batting cleanup on the night. For the year, he is hitting .343 in the fourth spot in the order with five homers and 24 RBIs in 102 at-bats.
Travs ride big second inning to 10-7 victory over Wichita (Kansas City)
For the second straight night, Arkansas used a heavy dose of early offense to lock up a victory over the Wranglers, pulling to 3.5 games behind the division leaders in the second half.
For the third straight game, left fielder Aaron Peel had a pair of hits, knocking a two doubles and scoring twice. He put the Travs ahead for good when he drove in two runs with his first two-bagger of the night as part of an eight run second inning. Since the start of June, he is hitting .308 with 21 doubles and seven home runs in 214 at-bats.
Starter Chris Hunter was unable to take advantage of the support and was chased after just four-plus innings of work. The righty gave up seven earned runs on eight hits and a walk, including three homers. On the year, Hunter has allowed 18 round-trippers in just 96 innings of work. The short stint was nothing new for the Utah Valley State alumni who has not made it through the fifth inning in eight of his 19 starts on the year.
Quakes cracked by Modesto 6-2 (Oakland)
Rancho Cucamonga got a pair of runs early thanks to several defensive lapses by the Nuts, but could manage nothing else on the night as they opened their road trip with a loss.
Pat Reilly, the only Quake hitter with two hits on the night, opened the second frame with a single and eventually scored on the front end of a double-steal, a play Rancho has used successfully several times this year. He also collected his 16th double of the year later in the contest to extend his streak of games with an extra-base hit to four. His .477 slugging percentage trails only Sean Rodriguez on the team.
Francisco Rodriguez cruised through the first six innings, allowing just one run, but wound up getting charged for four more – two earned – while retiring two in the seventh. Rodriguez walked the final two hitters he faced to load the bases then was replaced by Pedro Herrera, who promptly walked in a pair of runs. When Aaron Pullin came on, he induced a would-be groundout but Sean Rodriguez threw the ball away to allow two unearned runs to cross. The right-hander has now walked 47 in 99.2 innings of work this year.
Cedar Rapids falls to Chiefs 5-3 (Cubs)
Once again, a big inning did in the Kernels as the club dropped their opener in Peoria. In four of their last five losses, Cedar Rapids has given up at least four runs in an inning.
Anderson Rosario extended his hitting streak to five games, collecting three singles for the first time this year. The 21-year-old has raised his average more than 100 points to .275 over the last seven games. Rosario collected the Kernels' only RBI of the night and now has five on the season.
Starter Andy Hill took his fourth straight loss even as he recorded a season-high seven strikeouts. The 21-year-old righty allowed five runs – four earned – in seven innings. As he has all year, Hill struggled against left-handed hitters, yielding a homer and double. On the season, Hill has allowed a .390 average to lefties.
Owlz obliterate Chukars 22-12 (Kansas City)
In the highest-scoring contest of the year in the Pioneer League, Orem had season highs with 13 strikeouts and five errors, yet still won by 10 as their offense pounded out 20 hits including six for extra bases.
Brooks Shankle, getting his third straight start at first base, had one of the odd stat lines of the night, going 1-for-2 but scoring three times and driving in three more. The one hit was a three-run homer that came as part of a seven run sixth inning. The righty from Texas also drew four walks to explain the other runs scored. He had just five walks on the year coming into the contest.
Darrell Sales paced Orem with four RBIs as all but one starter drove in a run. A 16th round pick last year, Sales was 4-for-5 with a double against Chukars pitching, bettering his output from his previous 27 at-bats. Though Sales is hitting just .190 on the year, he has been a solid threat on the road where he is hitting .254 with 13 runs scored and 11 RBIs in 16 games.
Despite the Owlz offensive explosion, starter Trevor Bell was unable to find any success on the day, getting chased after just 2.2 innings, his shortest start of the year. Bell was touched up for six runs for the second straight outing, giving up eight hits and two key walks in the first inning and a hit batter. After allowing nine earned runs through his first 38 innings, he has surrendered 12 in the last 8.2 to raise his ERA to 4.05.
AZL Angels edge Cubs 3-2 in 10 innings
After Warner Madrigal blew a save by allowing the Cubs a run to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels pushed the winning run across without the benefit of a hit in the 10th to move to one behind the league-leading Royals in the second half of the season.
When Willie Ortiz took one for the team for the second time in the game and got hit by a pitch to open the final frame, he not only moved his on-base percentage to .400 on the year, but the right-handed shortstop also set up the winning run. Having also been plunked to start the game, Ortiz, 20, advanced to second on a Carlos Colmenares sacrifice bunt, then moved up on a wild pitch before scoring on a passed ball. Though he has just six hits over his last nine games, the leadoff man has scored four times in that span.
Vladimir Veras delivered another strong outing, giving up just one unearned run on three hits in five innings of work. The 20-year-old righty has allowed only 31 hits in 38 innings of work in his first season in the U.S. and has just one start in eight where he has allowed more than one earned run and leads the Arizona League with a 1.89 ERA.