Late Two-Run Double Downs RockHounds
Meaning absolutely no disrespect to San Antonio's center fielder and No. 9 hitter, Auston Bousfield might have been the least likely player to deliver a two-run double, a swing that gave the San Antonio Missions an 8-6 lead in the last of the eighth inning and ultimately the win on Wednesday night at Nelson Wolff Stadium.
Bousfield's heroics were made even more significant with Frisco's 4-3 win at Corpus Christi, as the Missions now lead both the RockHounds and Hooks by four games with 12 to play in the Texas League South Division.
The two-run eighth marked the third time the Missions had broken a tie on Wednesday night.
The 'Hounds scored three times in the third, manufacturing the first run on a Brett Vertigan single, a J.P. Sportman walk, a sacrifice bunt from B.J. Boyd and a sac fly from Yairo Munoz . After Jermaine Curtis drew a walk, Viosergy Rosa ripped a two-run double to right-center.
San Antonio answered in the home half of the third on a two-run double by Jose Rondon and a two-run single from Franmil Reyes to take a 4-3 lead, and the Missions never trailed the rest of the way.
The RockHounds rallied back to tie the game three times with single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh, but the Missions answered each time, culminating in Bousfield's game-winner.
With the score tied, 6-6 in the eighth, Ty France sent a ball just inside the bag at first and part way down the right field line, resulting in a leadoff double against RockHounds reliever Kyle Finnegan . After Alberth Martinez popped out to Rosa at first, the 'Hounds intentionally walked Nick Torres, putting runners at first and second, and Finnegan struck out Stephen McGee (who was 2-for-2 with a walk, run, double & RBI). Bousfield ran the count full before taking Finnegan's 3-2 pitch to the base of the wall in left.
The RockHounds (29-29) remain tied with the Corpus Christi - who fell at home, 4-3, to Frisco - with both clubs now four games behind San Antonio in the Texas League South.
There are 12 games remaining in the first half pennant race.
The two games remaining in the current series between the 'Hounds and Missions are the last meetings of the first half. The RockHounds and Frisco meet six times (four at Security Bank Ballpark and two at Frisco) and the 'Hounds host Corpus Christi in a four-game series (part of the June 10-17 homestand).
Brett Vertigan (1-for-2, run, two walks) extended his on-base streak to 22 games (.288 AVG with a .400 OBP). The streak is now Vertigan's longest of the season, he also had a 20-game streak between April 18 and May 11.
Yairo Munoz (1-for-4, run, RBI, sac fly, stolen base) has now hit in eight of his last nine games (16-for-39, .410) and has reached base in 18 of his last 20 games. Over that 20-game span, Munoz is hitting .357 (30-for-84) with 21 runs scored, eight doubles, three triples, four home runs and 19 RBI. He also has seven stolen bases in as many attempts in the 20 games.
The RockHounds and Missions continue their pivotal series on Thursday and Friday (first pitch at 7:05 p.m. / broadcast at 7:00).
San Diego Padres left-hander Christian Friedrich will make a rehab start for San Antonio on Thursday. Friedrich was placed on Padres' DL just before Opening Day with a strained lat muscle and developed elbow discomfort while recovering from that injury.
Left-hander Jerry Keel (1-1, 0.71 in two starts) is expected to follow Friedrichs to the mound. The appearance will be the first against the RockHounds for Keel, whose line in two starts is: 12.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R / 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K for a 1.18 WHIP / .261).
Brett Graves (1-1, 5.20) makes his seventh appearance (sixth start) since being promoted from Class-A Advanced Stockton (he was 0-0, with a 2.55 ERA in seven games with four starts with the Ports). In his last start on June 2 against Northwest Arkansas at Security Bank Ballpark, he pitched in relief (basically a tandem start) when weather conditions were threatening to delay the game in the early innings. Carlos Navas started and threw three scoreless innings and Graves entered to open the fourth, allowing nine runs over a two-inning span in the fifth and sixth. With the bullpen down to six arms (and fewer than that available), he had to pitch multiple innings, regardless of the outcome.
After giving up the nine runs, Graves came back with two scoreless innings in the seventh and the eighth, striking out five of the last six batters he faced, keeping his club in the game as RockHounds rallied back to win, 10-9. His final line in the no-decision was 5 IP, 12 H, 9 R / 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. In his five previous outings, Graves was 1-1, with a 3.18 ERA. The fourth-year pro was Oakland's third round draft selection in 2014 out of the University of Missouri.
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Texas League Stories from June 8, 2017
- Third-Inning Dooms Missions in Loss to 'Hounds - San Antonio Missions
- Drillers Win Streak Ends with 6-1 Loss - Tulsa Drillers
- Ray, Four Run First Fuel Naturals to Shutout Win - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Late Two-Run Double Downs RockHounds - Midland RockHounds
- Cardinals and Naturals complete Doubleheader - Springfield Cardinals
- Riders Square Series - Corpus Christi Hooks
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