June 25, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Midland RockHounds
"The book" says that, to be successful, pitchers need to get ahead in the count. Saturday night in San Antonio we learned, again, why "the book" is not available at your friendly, neighborhood Barnes & Noble.
A.J. Puk faced seven batters in the first inning, got ahead of five of them (four of those 0-2) and left the game after getting just one out.
Luis Urias turned an 0-2 count into a 3-2 infield single; Noah Perio punched an 0-1 pitch through the left side of the infield for a single; Ty France turn an 0-2 count into a walk to load the bases and Franmil Reyes walked to force in the game's first run.
"The book" proved to be correct just once, with Puk getting ahead of Alberth Martinez, 0-2, before striking him out. Nick Torres then sent an RBI "duck snort" single to right field on yet another 0-2 delivery and a bases-loaded walk to Stephen McGee ended an all-too-short night for the RockHounds' left-hander.
San Antonio added one more run in the first (all four were charged to Puk) and McGee added a two-run double in the second to push the Missions' lead to 6-0.
Viosergy Rosa ripped a three-run home run to right-center in the fourth, but the RockHounds couldn't close the gap any further.
Brandon Mann retired 11-of-13 batters in relief, surrendering only a solo home run to Martinez, keeping the 'Hounds in the game. Scoring chances on a one-out double from Brett Vertigan in the fifth and a J.P. Sportman 's leadoff single and stolen base in the seventh both went by the boards, with Martinez's solo homer in the last of the seventh providing the final margin.
The RockHounds fell to 1-4 in the second half and are 2-5 on the road trip (1-3 at Frisco and 1-2 at San Antonio).
Max Schrock went 2-for-4 and has now a hit in 14 of his last 16 games (26-for-64, .406). Schrock has also reached base in six straight games (9-for-24, 375).
Viosergy Rosa drove in all three of the club's runs with his 11th home run of the season. Rosa, who has driven in eight runs in the first three games of the series in San Antonio, now shares the Texas League lead in RBI with Tulsa's Edwin Rios (59). In his last 10 games, the 'Hounds first baseman is hitting .308 (12-for-39) with 15 RBI.
RockHounds center fielder J.P Sportman and Missions left fielder Alberth Martinez each made sensational diving catches, both going airborne and "fully horizontal" to take away extra-base hits. We might give a slight edge to Sportman's catch as being the more spectacular of the two, but we also might be just a bit biased.
Making History in The Show
Three RockHounds alums have combined to earn a place in the Major League Baseball record book. Matt Olson (2015), Jaycob Brugman (2015-16) and Franklin Barreto (2016) each hit the first home run of his big league career in Oakland's 10-2 win over the White Sox Saturday afternoon in Chicago. It marked the first time in MLB history that three players from the same team have hit their first home runs in the same game. The only other occurrence came in the Federal League (which operated as a third major league) in 1914.
All three of the home runs came against James Shields.
Olson added a second home run before the day was over, finishing 2-for-3 with two HR and four RBI.
Former RockHound Bruce Maxwell had a three-hit game and Daniel Gossett, also an alum, earned his first big league win.
Yairo Munoz has been promoted to the Nashville Sounds of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The move is the result of Franklin Barreto's promotion to Oakland, which came as the result of former 'Hound Chad Pinder going to the DL with a hamstring injury.
Munoz hit in 18 of hls last 19 games (23-for-67, .343) prior to his promotion. Munoz was also hitting .354 over his last 38 games, dating back to May 16. In that span, he had 23 extra-base hits (14 doubles, three triples and six home runs) with 26 RBI.
The promotions of Munoz and Ben Bracewell on Friday to Nashville leave the RockHounds roster at just 21 players, four under the 25-man limit. The 'Hounds played Saturday night (and will almost certainly again on Sunday afternoon) with just 10 position players, three of them catchers. The club enters the three-day Texas League All-Star break on Monday.
The RockHounds and Missions conclude their four-game series at Nelson Wolff Stadium on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m.
As mentioned, above, the three-day Texas League All-Star break begins on Monday with the All-Star Game taking place on Tuesday in Frisco.
RHP Brett Kennedy (6-3, 3.75 ERA) will start the series finale for San Antonio and RHP Grant Holmes (5-7, 5.00 ERA) goes for the RockHounds.
Kennedy, selected by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round of the 2015 draft out of Fordham University makes his 15th start for the Missions and his fourth versus the RockHounds. He is 1-1, with a 6.59 ERA in the season series versus the RockHounds and 5-2, with a 3.09 ERA against the rest of the Texas League. Kennedy ranks fifth among Texas League starting pitchers in most strikeouts per nine innings (8.88) and fewest walks per nine innings (2.13). He enters Sunday's game with 17 walks and 71 strikeouts for the season, a ratio of more than four-to-one.
Holmes makes his 17th appearance (13th start) for the RockHounds and his fourth against San Antonio (he is 0-1, with a 10.61 ERA against the Missions). Rated Oakland's #6 prospect by both Baseball America and #3 by MLB.com, Holmes has recorded quality starts in three of his last four outings. The exception was June 15, when Corpus Christi scored nine runs (seven earned) on 12 hits in four innings. In the three quality starts in that span (June 4-20), he went 2-1, with a 0.90 ERA (20 IP, 18 H, 3 R/2 ER), walking four while striking out 26.