July 13, 2009 - Texas League (TL)
Co-Players of the Week, July 6-12, 2009
Chad Tracy, Frisco RoughRiders
.379 AVG (11-for-29), 3 home runs, 15 RBI, .759 slugging pct.
Craig Gentry, Frisco RoughRiders
.440 AVG (11-for 25), 1 home run, 10 runs, 6 stolen bases
In a week that belonged to the RoughRiders of Frisco, it\'s only fitting that two teammates ride together to the winner\'s podium for the Texas League Player of the Week award.
Leading their team to a 6-1 record for the week, Tracy and Gentry put up video game numbers during the week: Tracy had 11 hits, including two doubles and three homers, a whopping 15 RBI, four runs scored and two walks. Gentry also had 11 hits, including two doubles and one homer, three RBI, 10 runs scored, six stolen bases and five walks. Tracy slugged .759; Gentry got on base at a .516 clip.
Tracy, a righthanded hitting slugger, batted .379 for the week, raising his average from .243 to .255 on the season. He is now second in the Texas League with 64 RBI, including 18 RBI in his last eight games. By comparison, league-leader Drew Locke of Corpus Christi has 78 RBI, but just 21 in his last 38 games.
Gentry, a speedy, righthanded hitting centerfielder, batted .440 for the week to increase his batting average from .297 to .308. He is currently the Texas League leader in hits (105), runs scored (67) and stolen bases (34), while being hit-by-the-pitch 10 times, fourth most in the circuit.
Tracy, son of Colorado Rockies\' manager Jim Tracy, was a third round draft choice by the Rangers in 2006 out of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Last season he batted .286 in 106 games with 13 homers for Single-A Bakersfield, and .344 with four long balls in limited duty with the RoughRiders. He was not listed among Baseball America\'s Top 30 Prospects in the Rangers\' system entering the season.
Gentry, the 10th round pick in the same draft in which Texas took Tracy, played most of last season with Frisco. In 76 games with the \'Riders he batted .276, had an on-base percentage of .333 and slugged .372. This year, through 83 games, he has improved across the board, coming through with marks of .308/.377/.437. He also was only successful on 16-of-24 stolen base attempts a year ago in Double-A, whereas this year he is a remarkable 34-of-38 on the basepaths.
With Frisco hurler Kasey Kiker also winning Pitcher of the Week this week, they become the first trio of teammates to sweep the Texas League awards during the same week, dating back to the inception of the weekly awards in 1992. Frisco teammates A.J. Murray, Steve Karsay and Scott Feldman shared the Pitcher of the Week award in 2005, but the Player of the Week winner was from Arkansas.
Pitcher of the Week, July 6-12, 2009
Kasey Kiker, Frisco RoughRiders
1-0, 0.75 ERA, 12 IP, 1 run, 6 hits, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts
Frisco RoughRiders lefthander Kasey Kiker had two excellent outings this past week, earning the Texas League Pitcher of the Week award for the second time this season.
On July 6, in the second game of a doubleheader against Arkansas, Kiker took a no-hitter into the seventh and final inning, allowing a leadoff double to break up his attempt. He finished the game with six innings pitched, one hit, no runs, three walks and five strikeouts, evening his record to 5-5 on the season. Then, on July 12, Kiker again threw a gem, allowing just one run, four hits and two walks, while striking out six. He did not receive a decision in the game, but still finished the week with impressive numbers: 1-0 record, 12 innings, five hits, one run, five walks and 11 strikeouts.
Drafted 12th overall in 2006, the 21-year-old Kiker is beginning to come into his own during his first season in the Texas League. In four starts since June 18, Kiker is 2-0 with a 0.36 ERA in 25 innings, allowing just 16 hits and six walks while striking out 20. For the season, he is fourth in the league with a 2.70 ERA, while his 83 strikeouts are tops among active pitchers in the Texas League.
Kiker is the second pitcher to win the Pitcher of the Week award more than once this season, joining Corpus Christi lefthander Polin Trinidad. He is the first Frisco hurler to take home two awards in the same year since Doug Mathis in 2007.
North Division Notebook
ARKANSAS TRAVELERS (Los Angeles Angels)
This week: 3-4; Second Half record: 6-10; Overall record: 34-52
4th place North, 5.5 games behind Northwest Arkansas
Monday, July 6: L, 5-4 (8 innings) & L, 10-0 vs. Frisco
In game one of a twin bill, the Travelers allowed the tying run in the seventh and the game-winner in the eighth which led to their 24th one-run loss of the season. Peter Bourjos singled, homered and scored twice, while Val Majewski had two doubles, a run and an RBI in the losing cause. Bobby Cassevah (1-4) was charged with a blown save and a loss, allowing the game-tying sacrifice fly in the seventh and game-winning sacrifice fly in the eighth. His ERA jumped to a still respectable 2.20 on the season. Game two was all RoughRiders, as the Travs failed to record a hit until Mark Trumbo's leadoff double in the seventh. Barret Browning (0-8) took the loss, getting hammered for eight runs on nine hits in three innings. The loss dropped the Travelers to 4-10 in double-header games this season.
Tuesday, July 7: L, 8-2 vs. Frisco
The Travelers were pummeled in the final game of their series with the RoughRiders, scoring their only two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Starting and losing pitcher Jordan Walden (1-5) was ineffective, allowing seven runs on seven hits with four walks in 3 2/3 innings. On offense, Branden Florence hit a solo home run, while Wil Ortiz singled home Chris Gutierrez to cap the scoring. Peter Bourjos went 0-for-3, snapping a 36-game on-base streak dating back to May 6.
Thursday, July 9: W, 9-2 @ Midland
Despite a bout of wildness, starting pitcher Trevor Reckling (5-2) earned the victory, helping the Travelers over the RockHounds. Reckling packed 88 pitches into just five innings, having allowed two runs on six hits, with five walks and two strikeouts. Meanwhile, offensively, the Travs had 16 hits and drew five walks, batting an astounding 19 times with runners in scoring position. Mark Trumbo got things started with a two-run home run in the first, while Branden Florence went 4-for-5 with two runs and Peter Bourjos singled, tripled, scored twice and drove in a pair. Hank Conger and Val Majewski also tripled for the Travelers in the contest.
Friday, July 10: W, 9-7 @ Midland
Hank Conger hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth, powering the Travelers past the RockHounds for the second straight night. Arkansas jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but saw the 'Hounds score one run in the fifth inning, five in the seventh and one in the eighth to tie the game at 7-7. Conger finished his evening 3-for-5 with a single, double, homer, two runs and two RBI. Wil Ortiz also singled, doubled and drove in two, while Flint Wipke was the only starter without a hit. Bobby Cassevah (2-4) blew his fifth save but earned the win thanks to Conger's heroics. Fernando Rodriguez walked the bases full in the ninth but still managed to record his first save.
Saturday, July 11: W, 8-0 @ Midland
The Travelers completed a three-game sweep in Midland, piling up 19 hits in an 8-0 shellacking of the RockHounds. All seven Travs who recorded hits had multi-hit games, including five players who had three hits apiece. Catcher Hank Conger, not the fleetest member of the team, tripled for the second time in the series and the third time all season. He also singled twice and drove in two runs. Peter Bourjos, Arkansas' leading hitter entering the game, was 0-for-5 to leave his average at .304, while Branden Florence, who was 3-for-6, improved his average to .311. Tim Kiely (2-1) earned the win, going eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits.
Sunday, July 12: L, 4-3 @ Frisco (10 innings)
Catcher Flint Wipke hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth to give Arkansas a 3-2 lead, but the one-run gods once again worked against the Travelers. Wipke's karma ran out in the bottom of the ninth, when, with two on and two out, he threw the ball into centerfield after blocking a pitch in the dirt, allowing the tying run to score. Then, in the 10th, a walk-off double by the RoughRiders plated the winning run off losing pitcher Marco Albano (1-4). The loss, Arkansas' 25th in 35 one-run games this season, snapped the Travs' three-game winning streak.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS (Kansas City Royals)
This week: 5-1; Second Half record: 11-4; Overall record: 47-38
1st place North, 2.5 games ahead of Springfield
Monday, July 6: W, 11-7 vs. Corpus Christi
One night after rallying from down 4-0 to win 14-4, the Naturals pulled off a similar comeback to drown the Hooks. Trailing 6-0 after three innings, the Naturals scored 11 unanswered runs, including seven in the top of the fifth inning. Corey Smith went 3-for-5 with a double, Ed Lucas and Cody Strait drove in two apiece, while Jose Duarte hit his first home run of the season. Gilbert De La Vara (4-1) earned the win in relief of Blake Johnson, who lasted just two innings. Shortstop Josh Johnson had the dubious distinction of making the first two outs in the fifth inning.
Tuesday, July 7: W, 9-2 vs. Corpus Christi
The Naturals utilized a balanced offensive attack and a strong game from starting and winning pitcher Everett Teaford (3-2), sweeping aside the Hooks in three games. Rehabbing Major Leaguer Alex Gordon and former Mets and Tigers catcher Vance Wilson each homered and drove in three runs, leading a 15-hit attack, while Teaford allowed just two hits and two runs (one earned) in eight solid innings. The only blemishes on the night for the Naturals were their three errors, one of which brought home the Hooks' second run. The Naturals scored at least one run in each inning from the second to the seventh.
Thursday, July 9: L, 5-1 vs. San Antonio
In a tough loss to the Missions, the Naturals failed to get a runner on base until two outs in the eighth, staving off a perfect game but dropping the opening game of a three-game set. David Lough broke up the Missions' perfect game bid with a double, while Alex Gordon doubled home Cody Clark in the ninth to break up the shutout. Matt Kniginyzky (2-7) was the losing pitcher for the Naturals, allowing three runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched, striking out four and walking one. Clark extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
Friday, July 10: W, 5-3 vs. San Antonio
Down by a run, Ed Lucas hit a two-run, go-ahead homer with two out in the seventh inning, leading the Naturals past the Missions in a thrilling Friday night contest. One batter later, catcher Vance Wilson capped the scoring with a longball of his own, one of three hit by the Naturals in the game. Alex Gordon, still rehabbing his surgically-repaired hip labrum, started the Northwest Arkansas scoring with a two-run homer in the fourth. All five Naturals runs came via the longball. Gilbert De La Vara, who got the start after sceduled starter Dan Cortes was traded to the Seattle Mariners prior to the game, went the first 5 1/3 innings, before winning pitcher Ben Swaggerty (2-0) came on to pitch the sixth and seventh. Greg Holland earned his eighth save with two scoreless innings to close it out.
Saturday, July 11: W, 11-10 vs. San Antonio
In one of the wildest games of the season, the Naturals rallied from deficits of 4-0 and 10-6 to defeat the Missions. Cody Clark's single brought home Jose Duarte with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, completing the improbable comeback, in which the Naturals scored one in the seventh, two in the eighth and two in the ninth. Nine different Naturals recorded hits, seven scored runs and six drove in runs on the night, including Corey Smith, whose pinch-hit two-run triple in the eighth brought the Naturals to within a run. Winning pitcher Chris Nicoll (7-0) was the only effective hurler for the Naturals, allowing one run (unearned) over the final 2 2/3 innings of the game.
Sunday, July 12: W, 5-1 vs. Corpus Christi
Starting and winning pitcher Blake Johnson (6-5) had his best outing in more than a month, Cody Clark had two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored, and the Drillers won their fifth game of the week and third in a row. The Naturals needed just five hits to get past the Hooks, who had 11 hits and stranded nine baserunners. Johnson, who did not walk or strike out a batter, scattered seven hits in five scoreless innings of work, before giving way to Aaron Hartsock and Ben Swaggerty. Newly-acquired shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, in the minors rehabbing a hamstring injury, was 0-for-4 in the game.
SPRINGFIELD CARDINALS (St. Louis Cardinals)
*First Half North Division Champion*
This week: 4-2; Second Half record: 9-7; Overall record: 47-39
2nd place North, 2.5 games behind Northwest Arkansas
Monday, July 6: W, 2-1 vs. Midland
Cardinals ace starting pitcher Trey Hearne (9-1) turned in another excellent performance, going 7 1/3 innings of a 2-1 win over the RockHounds. Hearne, who lowered his ERA to 2.72, allowed just one run on three hits and three walks, striking out five. Tyler Henley went 3-for-4 for the Cards, while 2008 2nd-round draft pick Shane Peterson went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple. Francisco Samuel slammed the door in the ninth, earning his 20th save of the season.
Tuesday, July 7: W, 8-3 vs. Midland
Starting pitcher Brandon Dickson (6-5) came within two outs of a complete game, helping the Cardinals earn a three-game sweep over the RockHounds. The new-look Cardinals lineup came through with a big night, including a 3-for-4, two RBI performance from Jim Rapoport in the leadoff spot and 2-for-5 nights from two-hitter Colt Sedbrook and three-hitter Shane Peterson. Cleanup man Steven Hill, playing first base, belted a two-run homer in the second, part of a six-run inning for the Cards. Dickson completed his 8 1/3 innings having allowed three runs (two in the ninth) on 10 hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Thursday, July 9: L, 10-4 @ Frisco
Riding into Frisco coming off a series sweep of Midland, the Cardinals were humbled by a RoughRiders squad coming off a series sweep of their own. Defending Texas League Pitcher of the Week Ryan Kulik (3-6) lost his 16 1/3-inning scoreless streak before an out had been recorded in the first, taking the loss after allowing seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. On offense, young leftfielder Shane Peterson continued his early success, smacking two hits and driving home two runs, while Mark Folli singled, tripled and scored twice. Lefthanded pitcher Brad Furnish was sent down to Single-A Palm Beach prior to the game.
Friday, July 10: L, 14-3 @ Frisco
After building a 3-1 lead, Springfield allowed Frisco to score 13 unanswered runs, including two separate innings of five runs. Jim Rapoport was 0-for-1 with a run, walking three times, while Shane Peterson doubled home a run. Scott Gorgen, making his Double-A debut, was touched for six earned runs in five innings, walking four and striking out four. Normally reliable eighth and ninth inning talents Tyler Norrick and Francisco Samuel allowed five and two runs respectively, each recording just one out.
Saturday, July 11: W, 4-2 @ Frisco
Thanks to All-Star pitcher Lance Lynn (8-2), the Cardinals avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the RoughRiders. Lynn, who earned the victory, allowed one run, five hits and three walks in six innings, striking out seven. Three relievers combined to toss three hitless innings the rest of the way. Shane Peterson, settling nicely into the three-hole in the lineup, went 2-for-5 and launched his first Double-A home run to kick off the scoring in the third. Tyler Henley went 3-for-3, raising his batting average to .323.
Sunday, July 12: W, 6-1 @ Midland
Starting pitcher Trey Hearne (10-1) became the first pitcher in the Texas League to 10 wins, taking a shutout into the ninth inning against the RockHounds. Hearne, who also defeated Midland on Monday, completed eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits, while walking two and striking out one. His ERA sits at 2.59 for the season, second in the league among active pitchers. On offense, first baseman Steven Hill went 3-for-4 with a triple, a run and an RBI, while Tyler Henley was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs batted in.
TULSA DRILLERS (Colorado Rockies)
This week: 3-3; Second Half record: 7-8; Overall record: 45-40
3rd place North, 4.0 games behind Northwest Arkansas
Monday, July 6: W, 6-4 @ San Antonio
The Drillers overcame an early 3-0 deficit, rallying past the Missions 6-4 in the second game of a three-game series. Darin Holcomb went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI for the Drillers, who scored three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth after there were two outs and nobody on. Jhoulys Chacin (7-6) was credited with the victory, completing 5 2/3 innings, while allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Edgmer Escalona worked a scoreless ninth inning for his second save in the place of injured closer Andrew Johnston.
Tuesday, July 7: L, 7-1 @ San Antonio
Chaz Roe (3-2) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and a one-hit shutout into the seventh, but suffered the loss when the Missions rallied for six runs in the frame. Roe went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, four hits and two walks, while striking out five. All of the four hits came in succession, chasing Roe from the game. Darin Holcomb answered the San Antonio rally with a leadoff solo homer in the eighth, only the second Tulsa hit at that point. The series loss, coupled with Northwest Arkansas' sweep of Corpus Christi, dropped the Drillers to three games back in the North Division.
Thursday, July 9: L, 7-1 vs. Corpus Christi
Leftfielder Brad Corley broke up the Hooks' bid for a no-hitter with a sixth-inning home run, accounting for the Drillers' only run in a 7-1 loss to the visiting Hooks. Cole Garner's double in the seventh and Mike Paulk's pinch-hit single in the ninth were the only other hits for Tulsa, which suffered its fifth loss in seven homestand openers. Starting pitcher Keith Weiser (5-8) took the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) on 10 hits in seven innings. Andrew Johnston returned from the DL, tossing a scoreless ninth.
Friday, July 10: W, 7-5 vs. Corpus Christi
The Drillers rallied from down 5-1 with two runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth, stunning the Hooks and taking the middle game of a three-game series. Darin Holcomb, who did not start the game due to the flu, went 2-for-2, hitting the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. Each of the Drillers two-through-five hitters had two hits, including Jeff Kindel and Daniel Mayora, who each hit homers and drove in two runs. Al Alburquerque (1-0) picked up the win in relief, while Edgmer Escalona earned his third save with a scoreless ninth. Scheduled starter Esmil Rogers was promoted to Colorado Springs on Thursday, earning a win for the Sky Sox in his Triple-A debut.
Saturday, July 11: W, 4-1 vs. Corpus Christi
In his third start since returning from the DL with a strained oblique, winning pitcher Samuel Deduno (7-2) was masterful, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings, striking out seven while walking one. On offense, Anthony Jackson was 2-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base, while Mike McKenry had two hits and an RBI. Closer Andrew Johnston earned the save in his first opportunity since coming off the DL himself, his 23rd in 24 chances. Deduno has now allowed just two runs on eight hits in 14 innings pitched since his return.
Sunday, July 12: L, 5-4 vs. San Antonio (10 innings)
The Drillers scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to tie the game 4-4, but dropped a heartbreaker to the Missions in extra frames. Defensive replacement Danny Sandoval went from hero to goat after entering during a double-switch in the eighth inning. His leadoff walk started the Drillers' two run rally in the ninth, but his dropped pop-up allowed the winning run to cross the plate for the Missions in the 10th. Anthony Jackson tripled in a run, Mike McKenry had an RBI double, while Darin Holcomb smashed a solo home run, his sixth of the year. Chaz Roe went seven innings, allowing three runs on just three hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
South Division Notebook
CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS (Houston Astros)
This week: 1-5; Second Half record: 6-10; Overall record: 37-49
T-3rd place South, 4.0 games behind Frisco
Monday, July 6: L, 11-7 vs. Northwest Arkansas
In a devastating home loss to the Naturals, the Hooks failed to hold a 6-0 lead after three innings. Recent roster additions Kenny Baugh and Tyler Lumsden combined to allow five and six runs, respectively, before Erick Abreu stemmed the tide with three perfect innings, striking out four. On offense, Jason Castro and Mitch Einertson homered, while Drew Locke brought home his 74th and 75th RBI of the season. It was the Hooks second straight defeat in which they had led by at least four runs.
Tuesday, July 7: L, 9-2 vs. Northwest Arkansas
In the final game of their homestand, the Hooks recorded just two hits in a blowout loss to the Naturals, who swept the series 3-0. Wladimir Sutil was the offensive star, going 1-for-4 with a double and a run, while Jhon Florentino singled for the only other Hooks hit. Sergio Perez (6-8) was roughed up for six runs (five earned) in four innings, allowing seven hits and three walks while striking out one. Drew Locke hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, picking up his minor league-leading 76th run batted in.
Thursday, July 9: W, 7-1 @ Tulsa
For the second time in six days, Andy Van Hekken (4-2) picked up a big win over the Tulsa Drillers. In Thursday's contest, Van Hekken set down the first 13 batters of the game, finishing with seven innings of two-hit, one-run baseball. He walked just one while striking out five, allowing his first hit, a solo home run, with one out in the sixth. On offense, Jimmy Van Ostrand paced the Hooks with a single, double and three RBI, while Jhon Florentino was 4-for-5 with an RBI. Drew Locke continued his outstanding season with a single, walk, two runs scored and an RBI.
Friday, July 10: L, 7-5 @ Tulsa
Leading by four runs entering the bottom of the seventh, three Hooks relievers allowed six runs on seven hits over the next two innings, giving a comeback victory to the Drillers. Starting pitcher Wilton Lopez had a stellar outing, allowing just one run on six hits in six innings, walking one and striking out three. On offense, Collin DeLome homered for the Texas League-leading 16th time, driving in three, while Drew Meyer had two hits, a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Erick Abreu allowed his first home run since April 17, when he gave up three at Drillers Stadium in Tulsa.
Saturday, July 11: L, 4-1 @ Tulsa
The Hooks, who gave up six runs over the final two innings in a loss the previous night, gave up three in the first inning on Saturday and never mounted a serious threat against the Drillers. Mark Ori doubled for the Hooks only extra-base hit, while Jhon Florentino drove home the only run of the game for Corpus Christi. After his rough three-run first inning, losing pitcher Brad James (2-7) settled down, allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings, walking three while striking out one. Ryan McKeller tossed two hitless innings, walking two and striking out two.
Sunday, July 12: L, 5-1 @ Northwest Arkansas
Despite out-hitting the Naturals 11-to-5 and facing a pitcher who could only complete two innings against the Hooks earlier in the week, Corpus Christi found itself on the short end of a 5-1 loss. Brian Esposito's RBI-triple in the ninth inning was the only run of the game for the Hooks, while Wladimir Sutil, Collin DeLome and Mitch Einertson had two hits apiece. Righthander Kenny Baugh (0-1) allowed five runs (four earned) in his second start of the season, picking up the loss. Catcher Jason Castro was unavailable due to his participation in the Futures Game, where he slugged a three-run home run for Team USA.
FRISCO ROUGHRIDERS (Texas Rangers)
This week: 6-1; Second Half record: 10-6; Overall record: 43-43
1st place South, 2.0 games ahead of San Antonio
Monday, July 6: W, 5-4 (8 innings) & W, 10-0 @ Arkansas
The RoughRiders swept a double header from the Travelers, including a near no-hitter by starting and winning pitcher Kasey Kiker (5-5) in the second game. In game one, Frisco got sacrifice flies by Craig Gentry in the seventh and Chad Tracy in the eighth to rally past Arkansas by a single run. Johnny Whittleman hit a two-run homer in the first, his third home run in his past two games, while Tim Smith singled, doubled and scored twice. Beau Vaughan (1-0) earned the victory in relief, going the final 1 2/3 for the 'Riders. Game two belonged to Kiker, as he came within three outs of a no-hitter before allowing a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh. He was relieved by Jose Diaz, who retired the side in order to preserve the shutout. Mitch Moreland, Chad Tracy and Adam Fox each homered for Frisco, while second baseman Renny Osuna added three hits and two runs batted from the nine-hole.
Tuesday, July 7: W, 8-2 @ Arkansas
Chad Tracy and Johnny Whittleman continued their offensive tears, leading the RoughRiders to a three-game sweep over the Travelers. Tracy went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI, giving him 10 RBI in his past four games, while Whittleman belted a three-run homer, giving him a remarkable four longballs and 11 RBI in his last three games. Craig Gentry added to the display, homering to lead off the game. Michael Kirkman (2-4) put together his finest start of the season, earning the win with six scoreless, two-hit innings.
Thursday, July 9: W, 10-4 vs. Springfield
Third baseman Adam Fox went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers and three runs scored, leading the red-hot RoughRiders past the equally-hot Cardinals in the opening game of a three-game series. Chad Tracy continued his RBI splurge with a two-run homer, giving him 12 over his past five games and nine for the week, while Craig Gentry walked, singled, doubled, scored once, drove in a run and stole his league-best 32nd base of the season. Local product Blake Beavan (1-2) earned his first Double-A win, allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Three Frisco relievers went the rest of the way, firing four perfect innings with five strikeouts. All nine 'Riders had a hit, while all but nine-hitter Marcus Lemon scored a run.
Friday, July 10: W, 14-3 vs. Springfield
Chad Tracy, Mitch Moreland and the RoughRiders easily cruised past the Cardinals Friday night, thrilling the Frisco home crowd of 10,278. Tracy homered and drove in five runs, giving him five homers and 17 RBI in his last six games. Moreland was in on the action all night, going 4-for-5 with a double, three runs and three RBI. On the mound, Omar Poveda (8-3) allowed three runs (one earned) over 6 2/3 innings, before Pedro Strop closed out the game with 2 1/3 scoreless, one-hit innings. Moreland's three RBI gave him at least one in an astounding 11 straight games, including exactly one in seven straight from June 27-July 6.
Saturday, July 11: L, 4-2 vs. Springfield
The RoughRiders' six-game winning streak came to an end with a loss to the Cardinals, as did Mitch Moreland's incredible 11-game RBI streak. Two other notable personal streaks continued, however, with Chad Tracy knocking in a run for the seventh straight game and Craig Gentry stealing a base for the fifth straight night. Frisco pitchers allowed seven hits and walked eight Cardinals hitters in the game, including five and four from starting and losing pitcher Michael Ballard (2-5). On offense, 'Riders hitters struck out 13 times.
Sunday, July 12: W, 4-3 vs. Arkansas (10 innings)
Frisco ace Kasey Kiker once again produced a stellar outing on the mound, but it was the heroics of Manny Pina in the bottom of the 10th inning that won it for the RoughRiders. With Mitch Moreland aboard, Manny Pina delivered a walk-off RBI double, giving the 'Riders a dramatic win. For the week, the 'Riders went 6-1, which kept them two games in front in the South Division. Kiker, who entered the game with a scoreless innings streak of 16, extended that five more frames before allowing a run in the bottom of the sixth, his last inning of work. In all, Kiker went six innings, allowing one run on four hits, with two walks and six strikeouts. His strikeout total is good for first in the league among active pitchers. Craig Gentry went 3-for-5 in the game, scoring two runs to give him 10 for the week and 13 in his last eight games.
MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (Oakland Athletics)
This week: 0-6; Second Half record: 6-10; Overall record: 43-43
T-3rd place South, 4.0 games behind Frisco
Monday, July 6: L, 2-1 @ Springfield
In a one-run loss to the Cardinals, the RockHounds couldn't capitalize on five chances with runners in scoring position, failing to score each time. Only a one-out RBI triple in the eighth by Archie Gilbert put the 'Hounds on the scoreboard. Starting pitcher Graham Godfrey (7-5) took the loss, tossing 4 2/3 innings, while James Heuser and Mike Benacka combined for one hit, no walks and seven strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings of relief. Josh Horton went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 12 games and his on-base streak to 16 contests.
Tuesday, July 7: L, 8-3 @ Springfield
The 'Hounds dropped their fourth straight game, scoring all three of their runs during the final two innings. Midland actually out-hit Springfield 12-11 in the contest, smacking eight singles and four doubles but having little to show for it. Adrian Cardenas went 3-for-4 with a run scored, boosting his average to .352, just six points behind the league-lead. Josh Donaldson, starting at third base, doubled home a run and scored one as well.
Thursday, July 9: L, 9-2 vs. Arkansas
Righthander Michael Madsen (0-1) lasted just 1 2/3 innings in a spot start for Midland, taking the loss in just his third appearance with the RockHounds since being called up from Single-A Stockton. Madsen and four relievers allowed 16 Travelers' hits, including three triples. On offense, Archie Gilbert singled, doubled and scored a run, Matt Spencer was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and MIchael Affronti hit a solo homer in the fourth, capping the 'Hounds scoring output. Gilbert also contributed the best defensive play of the year for the 'Hounds, an over-the-shoulder catch in deep centerfield with the bases loaded in the fifth. Former Major League righthander Dewon Day was added to the roster, replacing James Heuser, who was released.
Friday, July 10: L, 9-7 vs. Arkansas
The RockHounds rallied from down 7-0 to tie the game in the eighth, but a two-run homer by the Travelers in the ninth spoiled the comeback. Adrian Cardenas went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI, while Matt Spencer had three hits and two runs batted in. Starting pitcher Daniel Barone allowed seven runs (six earned) in six innings. Jon Hunton (1-3) took the loss, giving up the ninth inning homer.
Saturday, July 11: L, 8-0 vs. Arkansas
With a disheartening shutout loss to Arkansas, the RockHounds' losing streak reached a season-worst seven games. As they have done throughout the slide, the 'Hounds fell behind early, going down 4-0 before they even stepped to the plate. Jason Fernandez (6-8) lost his fourth straight decision, allowing five runs on 12 hits, with three walks and two strikeouts in just five innings of work. The 'Hounds misery can be summed up by the fact that they have not led a game since the third inning on July 4, a span of 51 innings. On a brighter note, shortstop and leadoff man Corey Wimberly returned after missing 2 1/2 months with an injured wrist. At the time of his injury, on April 28, he was batting .348, getting on base at a .458 clip and had stolen nine bases in 10 attempts.
Sunday, July 12: L, 6-1 vs. Springfield
The RockHounds didn't find much to build on in the first game of their series with Springfield, running their non-leading streak to 60 innings. Josh Horton's ninth-inning sacrifice fly was the only run of the game for the 'Hounds, breaking an 18-inning scoreless drought. Starting and losing pitcher Graham Godfrey (7-6) posted a decent line, but picked up his second loss of the week. Godfrey went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while walking five and striking out three. The Hounds didn't help themselves with the leather, committing three errors and a passed ball in the game.
SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS (San Diego Padres)
*First Half South Division Champion*
This week: 3-3; Second Half record: 8-8; Overall record: 47-39
2nd place South, 2.0 games behind Frisco
Monday, July 6: L, 6-4 vs. Tulsa
The Missions suffered a tough loss to the Drillers, jumping ahead 3-0 and watching the lead evaporate due to an untimely two-out, nobody on error in the top of the fifth. Starter Cory Luebke made his home debut for the Missions, pitching 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (all unearned), while allowing five hits and three walks. The Ohio State University product struck out two. Cedric Hunter hit his first home run of the season, a two-run drive in the second, while Mitch Canham homered, walked and recorded two singles. Stephen Faris (3-10) suffered his league-worst 10th loss of the year in relief.
Tuesday, July 7: W, 7-1 vs. Tulsa
Starting and winning pitcher Cesar Carrillo (6-4) had one of his finest outings since having Tommy John surgery in 2007, while the Missions rallied with six runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to break open a scoreless tie. Carrillo, who took a one-hit shutout into the eighth, allowed one run on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts in eight full innings. He needed just 74 pitches to get through seven frames. Cedric Hunter singled in the fifth for the first Missions hit, then drove home the first run of the game in the seventh with a line drive single. Mitch Canham later added a two-run double off the base of the wall in deep right center.
Thursday, July 9: W, 5-1 @ Northwest Arkansas
Starting and winning pitcher Mat Latos (5-1) and three relievers came within four outs of a perfect game, settling for a three-hit, 5-1 win over the Naturals in the first game of a three-game series. Latos, who lowered his ERA to 1.91, retired all 15 batters he faced, including seven by strikeout and seven by groundout. Scott Rice and Brandon Gomes then tossed scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh, before Gomes allowed a two-out double in the eighth to break up the Missions' bid for perfection. Evan Scribner pitched the ninth, allowing a run on two hits. On offense, Mitch Canham went 3-for-4, Lance Zawadzki hit a bases-clearing triple and Luis Durango was on base three times, scoring twice. Zawadzki is now 4-for-5 with the bases loaded with a ridiculous slugging percentage of 2.200.
Friday, July 10: L, 5-3 @ Northwest Arkansas
In a tough loss to the Naturals, the Missions briefly rallied for a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh before giving up three in the bottom half of the inning. Starting pitcher Nathan Culp (5-6) took the loss, allowing back-to-back home runs with two out in the seventh, before exiting the ballgame. Seth Johnston hit his team-leading seventh home run for the Missions, while Craig Cooper singled, doubled and scored a run. Logan Forsythe, returning to the area in which he played his college ball for the Arkansas Razorbacks, doubled in a run for San Antonio.
Saturday, July 11: L, 11-10 @ Northwest Arkansas
Leading by scores of 4-0 in the fifth inning and 10-6 in the seventh, the Missions couldn't hold on, suffering a devastating loss to the Naturals. Four San Antonio errors contributed to the Naturals comeback, accounting for five unearned runs, while five pitchers combined to allow at least one run in each of the final five innings. On offense, Cedric Hunter homered and drove in three, Brian Joynt singled, doubled and had three RBI, while Michael Collins was aboard three times and drove in two. Evan Scribner (5-2) took the loss in relief, pitching just one-third of an inning, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to cross the plate (one earned).
Sunday, July 12: W, 5-4 @ Tulsa
Mitch Canham homered twice, Michael Collins hit an RBI double, and Lance Zawadzki raced home on a dropped pop-up in the top of the 10th inning, helping the Missions defeat the Drillers. Seth Johnston also homered for San Antonio, who failed to hold a ninth-inning lead for the second straight game. After the Missions allowed Tulsa to score two in the ninth, knotting the score 4-4, San Antonio re-captured the lead after a critical Tulsa error, with Zawadzki on second and two out. Leadoff hitter Cedric Hunter lofted a routine pop fly into a nine mile-per-hour breeze blowing out, causing the Tulsa shortstop to drop the ball, scoring Zawadzki. Evan Scribner (6-2) got the win, striking out the side in the 10th after blowing a save for the second night in a row. Cory Luebke, who got the start, went 3 1/3 hitless innings before leaving with a hamstring injury.
This Week in Texas League History
July 14, 1953...Vic Morasco drove in five runs, helping Fort Worth swamp Beaumont 8-1. Marasco\'s big blow was a three-run homer in the eighth inning.
July 15, 1896... San Antonio used 26 hits to pound Fort Worth 19-0, handing the Colts their first shutout of the season. San Antonio lead-off hitter Buttsy Kleeman had a pair of doubles and drove in five runs, while W. C. Bulger led all hitters with a 5-for-6 effort at the plate, while scoring four times. Every San Antonio hitter had at least two hits in the game and scored at least one run.
July 16, 1914...In a 22-3 pounding of Austin, Dallas batters stroked 21 hits, 20 of which were singles. Seven Dallas hitters had at least two hits in the game, while Gus Kellerman was 4-for-5 and one of three Giants to score four runs. Dallas spread out the scoring, failing to put up a run in just one inning in which they batted, the fifth.
July 17, 1896...San Antonio pounded 25 hits on the way to a 20-10 win over Dallas. For the second time in three days, every batter in the San Antonio lineup had at least two hits.
July 18, 1927...In Wichita Falls\' 12-3 win over San Antonio, the Spudders were led to victory by the middle of their lineup when their three-through-six hitters collected 14 of the Spudders 16 hits. Number three hitter Pug Allen led the barrage with a perfect 4-for-4 day, which included three doubles and four runs scored. The next hitter, Lyman Lamb, was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, while Tom Jenkins, the fifth hitter, was 3-for-5 with a pair of homers. Finally, the Spudders sixth hitter in the Wichita Falls order, shortstop Al Benton, was 4-for-5 with all of his hits going for one base. The only other Wichita Falls batter to gather a hit in the game was pitcher Fred Fussell, who singled twice as he tossed his 15th win of the season.
July 19, 1966...Floyd Wicker\'s fifth straight hit drove in the winning run in the 11th, giving Arkansas a 5-4 decision over Amarillo. After being retired in the first inning, Wicker led the Travs\' 16-hit attack with three singles, a double and a triple.
July 20, 1996...Wichita\'s 6-4 loss to Arkansas was certainly no fault of Larry Sutton, who homered in all three of his official at-bats and drove in all his club\'s runs.