June 18, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Midland RockHounds
The RockHounds first baseman - named this week to the South Division All-Star Team - had a career-high seven RBI as the RockHounds defeated the Corpus Christi Hooks 12-8, in front of a fireworks night crowd of 5,483 at Security Bank Ballpark.
Corpus Christi's Jon Singleton opened the scoring with a mammoth two-run home run to right field in the top of the first, one of the longest drives in recent memory (if not ever) at Rocky Town, clearing the right field grass berm and landing on the walkway. The RockHounds answered with a two-run double from Rosa in the last of the first, tying the game at 2-2.
With the bases empty and two outs in the second, the 'Hounds loaded the bases on a Brett Vertigan double, a walk to Kenny Wilson and a sharp line drive to right off the bat of Yairo Munoz. A fielding error by Singleton at first base allowed a run to score and more importantly, extended the inning. Tyler Marincov ripped a two-run double into the left field corner that chased Hooks starter Alex Winkelman. Reliever Riley Ferrell entered the game and Rosa greeted him with a three-run home run to right and while not as prolific as Singleton's shot, Rosa's home run landed halfway up the grass berm and made the score 8-2.
The Hooks rallied right back in the third by scoring four runs and the 'Hounds would answer again, this time on a two-run double in the fifth from Munoz, building the lead back to 10-6. After the Hooks drew to within 10-7 in the top of the eighth, Rosa capped his sensational night with his second double and sixth and seventh RBI in the home half of the eighth.
On a night dominated by offense (a combined 20 runs on 27 hits), Sam Bragg was outstanding. The 'Hounds right-hander went 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk with two strikeouts to earn the win (4-1, 2.94). Kyle Finnegan allowed one run in 1.1 innings and now shares the league lead with eight saves.
With Saturday night's victory, the RockHounds avoided being swept by the Hooks and finished the homestand with a 3-5 mark. The win also pushed the 'Hounds back to .500 (34-34) and into second place, one game ahead of the Hooks in the Texas League South.
Yairo Munoz (2-for-4, two runs, double, two RBI, walk) extended his hitting streak to 11 games (15-for-44, .341). In his last 30 games, Munoz is hitting .355 (44-for-124) with 20 extra-base hits (12 doubles, three triples and five home runs) and 25 RBI.
Tyler Marincov's two RBI give him 49 for the season, which ranks him third in the Texas League.
Kenny Wilson saw a six-game hit streak come to an end, but he reached base twice (0-for-3, BB, HBP). In his last seven, Wilson is 8-for-18 (.444) with two HR, four RBI, four walks and a hit by pitch. He has reached base in 13-of-23 trips, .565 on-base percentage.
J.P. Sportman saw a seven-game hitting streak go by the boards on an 0-for-5 night, but it still hitting,284 in his last eight games.
The RockHounds will add pitcher A.J. Puk to the roster on Monday. The left-hander, Oakland's first round selection in the 2016 draft (sixth overall) out of the University of Florida, is scheduled to make his Double-A debut Monday at Frisco. He is rated Oakland's # 2 prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com.
The RockHounds now open an eight-game road trip in which the Texas League first half will come to an end and the second half pennant race will begin. The RockHounds open the trip with the first of a four-game series at Frisco, Sunday at 7:05 p.m.
The first two games of the series (June 18-19) mark the end of the first half, with games three and four (June 20-21) opening the second.
The RockHounds then travel to San Antonio for a four-game series (June 22-25) with the first half champion Missions.
Pedro Payano (RH, 0-1, 2.57) will start Sunday's series opener for Frisco. The right-hander, rated the Texas Rangers' # 29 prospect, was having a career year in 2016 before suffering a fractured arm after being hit by a comebacker, ending his season on July 7.
Heath Fillmyer (RH, 3-2, 3.79) will take the hill in the series opener for the RockHounds. Rated Oakland's # 15 prospect (by Baseball America), Fillmyer makes his 15th start of the season.
The last outing for both starters was head-to-head, June 13, at Security Bank Ballpark with the RockHounds winning, 6-2. Payano took the loss (4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R / 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) while Fillmyer earned the win with his best start of the season (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 9 K).