Bees blanked by Portland 2-0
The Salt Lake offense was shut down by the Beavers Tuesday as Joe Saunders took a hard-luck loss in his second appearance since going back to Triple-A.
Saunders, 25, gave up both earned runs on three hits over six innings for the Bees. He struck out five but walked three hitters and issued three wild pitches, one of which cost him a run in the third. The lefty had allowed nine free passes in his 18.1 big league innings earlier in the year, causing some worry despite his impressive 1.96 ERA for the Angels.
Center fielder Tommy Murphy had a hit in four at-bats Tuesday and has reached safely in six of seven contests since returning to the Pacific Coast League. The switch-hitter has reached base at a .500 clip from the left side in the early going for the Bees.
Kendry Morales had a double in four at-bats, picking up his first extra-base hit since before his brief promotion to the big leagues. Although he’s been solid with a .286 average for the Bees, his slugging percentage on the year has slipped to .364 as he has just four extra-base hits through 77 at-bats. He started slow in 2006 as well before breaking out with a .408 average and .592 SLG to earn a call-up last May.
Travelers get wild win over Tulsa
Arkansas gave away an 8-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, but got a two-out homer from Bobby Wilson in the top of the 10th to rebound and avoid what would have been a devastating loss to the Drillers.
Starter Nick Green, the reigning Texas League pitcher of the week, dominated the Drillers, giving up just one hit and a pair of walks through seven innings. In the eighth, however, he surrendered three singles to plate a run before turning the ball over to Bill Edwards who got a ground-ball double play to escape any further damage. Green has allowed just three runs over his last 20.1 innings of work and opponents have hit just .134 against him in that span.
Jose Arredondo opened the ninth by walking three hitters and giving up a single while recording just one out. He has now walked eight in 11.1 innings this year. Rafael Rodriguez followed him in and surrendered three singles, a walk and a hit batter to tie the game and move the winning run to third base before finally recovering and getting two outs to end the frame. Opponents are hitting .360 off the converted starter on the year.
Wilson’s extra-inning homer was part of a season-high three RBI night for the catcher who struggled out of the gate this year. His .222 average at the end of the night is at its high point for the season and he’s drawn four walks in the last three games as he settles his approach at the plate.
Rancho falls to JetHawks in extra innings
The Quakes’ offensive struggles were on display for all to see Tuesday as the offense sputtered through 13 scoreless innings before finally falling 2-0 to open a homestand against Lancaster Tuesday night.
The Quakes fourth through ninth hitters went a combined 1-for-27 with one walk and 13 strikeouts on the night and the club finished the night with four regulars hitting under .200. The offense is last in the Cal League in virtually every category, including average, on-base percentage, homers, slugging percentage, walks and strikeouts.
Starter Brok Butcher continued his stellar early-season run, throwing 7.1 innings of shutout ball, striking out six while giving up only the same number of singles. Working with a heavy sinker, the right-hander has given up just three runs over 34.2 innings this year (a 0.78 ERA), striking out 22 against six walks and has yielded only three extra-base hits.
Kernels fall to Clinton 6-3
Cedar Rapids fell behind early and was unable to cash in on a variety of opportunities at the plate to fall back into a tie with the Lumberjacks atop the Western Division Tuesday.
A night after driving in the winning run with a single, Julio Perez clubbed his first home run of the year and drew two walks. The 21-year-old from the Dominican made his U.S debut last year, but went down with an injury after only five games. After starting slowly this season, Perez is now getting regular playing time in right field and has 10 hits in his last 34 at-bats.
Starter Jeremy Haynes continues to remind that he is a work-in-progress as a pitcher. The hard-throwing athlete walked a season-high five batters in giving up five earned runs over four innings of work. The wildness also translated into a pair of wild pitches and two errors on pickoff attempts. He has now walked five or more in six of his 18 professional starts, but continues to flash the skillset that convinced the Angels to sign him as a draft-and-follow and move him to the mound.