Salt Lake tried to rally late for another victory, but for the first time this year the club had dug too deep a hole and was unable to extend a season-opening winning streak to four.
Terry Evans, hitting in the leadoff slot for the first time since the Angels traded for him last July, opened the game with a walk and then swiped second and third base before scoring on a Kendry Morales groundout. The center fielder, who drew just 41 free passes in 560 total plate appearances in three stops last season, finished with two walks and a single.
Righty Pedro Liriano took the loss in his first start in the Angels organization since the 2002 campaign. Originally signed just after his 18th birthday in 1998, Liriano reached the majors with the Brewers in 2004 and Phillies in 2005 before spending all of last year at Triple-A for the Giants. The Dominican gave up two runs on six hits including a homer while walking one in five innings. His five strikeouts recorded match his season high for Fresno last year when he started in 10 of his 24 appearances.
Jeff Mathis collected his first homer of the season while reaching base four times in five appearances. After struggling through his 2005 campaign and spring training this year, the 24-year-old catcher has reached base in each of his starts to open the season and has two walks without yet striking out. The right-handed hitter had just one roundtripper in 192 at-bats at Franklin Covey field last season.
Arkansas snowed out
The inclement weather that has plagued the Midwest caught up with the Travelers in Midland Sunday. The clubs will play a doubleheader on Monday with Chris Saenz and Jesse Smith taking the mound for Arkansas.
Quakes fall to Storm 7-4
Shaky defense and a rough inning caught up with Rancho Cucamonga as they dropped their first contest of the year.
Reliever Brad Beck, 21, can take comfort in knowing that everything has to get better after a disastrous first appearance of the season. The lefty got just one out – on a sacrifice bunt – while walking three, surrendering a pair of hits and tossing in one wild pitch to yield four runs and take the loss. He gave up more runs in his first third of an inning this year than he did in the first two months of his stint with Rancho last season.
Starter Amalio Diaz gave up just one earned run in five innings, but also surrendered a unearned pair when he couldn't recover from a Brad Coon dropped fly ball in the fourth inning. The Storm reached him for only three hits, while striking out twice and drawing one walk. While shuttling throughout the system last year, the 20-year-old righty was particularly impressive in four appearances for Rancho, posting a 1.52 ERA.
First baseman Pat Reilly picked up his first two hits of the year, knocking a pair of doubles and driving in the Quakes final run in the ninth inning. After a promotion to Rancho last May, 42 percent of he lefty's hits went for extra bases. The Costa Mesa native particularly enjoyed hitting at the Epicenter where he posted a .565 slugging percentage on the year.
Cedar Rapids rest from busy start to season
The Kernels had a scheduled day off after getting just seven innings in during their season-opening series in Beloit. They open a two game set in Quad Cities Monday before getting to the home opener against Burlington Wednesday.