Ending An Eight-Game Skid
The Missions could be in store for an interesting Sunday afternoon at Wolff Stadium.
Well, for one thing, they broke a season-high, eight-game losing streak on Saturday night, turning back the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 5-4, in 13 innings.
But as the new day dawns, with the Missions set to host the Cakes at 6:05 p.m. Sunday in a four-game series finale, questions loom about the status of the roster both on the pitching side and in the infield.
It's possible that the Missions might lose a pitcher because the parent-club Milwaukee Brewers used 10 of them Saturday night in a 15-14, 14-inning victory at Washington.
And now, the Brewers are set to play the Nationals again in a day game Sunday afternoon in the nation's capital.
In addition, the Missions released a roster Saturday that did not have standout Cory Spangenberg's name on it.
Missions manager Rick Sweet said after his team's first victory in 10 days that he wasn't in a position to say why.
"I can't tell you," Sweet said. "Come back tomorrow and I'll explain the whole thing to you."
Spangenberg has been one of the top players on the Missions' first Triple-A team.
Entering play Saturday, he was 11th in the Pacific Coast League in batting at .317. Plus, he was tied for second in stolen bases with 28.
Spangenberg also ranked among the team's leaders in home runs (14) and in RBI (61).
Asked about Spangenberg's status, Sweet said only, 'He's not here." He declined further comment.
Sweet said he is happy to see the end of the losing streak, the Missions' longest since the 2012 season.
"I'm glad it's over," Sweet said. "Now the key is to get focused for tomorrow. You know, the guys are pretty good. It's a relief. It's a relief, because we've had a lot of things go wrong."
Finally, a few things went right for the Missions in the bottom of the 13th.
With Lucas Erceg opening the inning as the placement runner at second base, Nate Orf laid down a bunt, and Erceg advanced to third.
Tyler Saladino followed by hammering an 0-2 pitch down the third base line. When Saladino hit it, Sweet didn't have a good feeling.
"We had a couple of balls (that we) crushed tonight, right at 'em," Sweet said. "You just say, 'Geez, when's this going to end?' When that ball was hit to third, my heart sank. I thought it was right at him. Just because that's the way everything's been going."
American Southern Division: Round Rock 75-48, San Antonio 73-51, New Orleans 67-55, Oklahoma City 57-66.
American Northern Division: Iowa 66-58, Memphis 58-66, Nashville 56-66, Omaha 52-72.
Note: Teams play a 140-game schedule. The season ends on Sept. 2. Winners of the America Southern and American Northern divisions meet in the first round of the playoffs.
Surging Round Rock
The Round Rock Express continued their late-season surge with a 2-0 home victory over the Oklahoma City Dodgers. The Express have won five in a row. They're 11-4 in August and 2 and 1/2 games ahead of the Missions in the American Southern Division race. The Missions are 5-10 in August.
Tyler Austin's debut
Former major leaguer Tyler Austin, who has played for the Yankees, Twins and Giants, stroked three hits in his first game with the Missions.
"Our pitching was great, and we did what we needed to do to get that win," he said.
Austin hit a double and two singles and smashed a line drive in the 11th inning that was caught in the infield.
"I'm just trying not to do too much," he said. "Trying to swing at good pitches - I think that has been the big focus for me, swinging at good pitches, swinging at strikes. Not trying to do too much. Trying to hit the ball hard.
"When I do that, things seem to work themselves out."
Corey Ray's contribution
Missions outfielder Corey Ray snapped an 0-or-16 slump with a two-run homer in the second inning. He also added a sacrifice fly in the seventh that contributed to a two-run inning and tied the game at 4-4.
Strong bullpen effort
The bullpen came up big against New Orleans, with Jake Faria, Danny Coulombe, Taylor Williams, Deolis Guerra and Jay Jackson combining for seven scoreless innings. The Cakes produced only two hits against the Missions' relievers, who struck out eight.
Jackson (5-2) got the win by pitching out of a jam in the top of the 13th. After the Cakes' placement runner was moved to third base on a sacrifice, Jackson got Magneuris Sierra on a ground ball and then struck out Eddy Alvarez, a .330 hitter.
Faria returned to the Missions Saturday after two weeks in the major leagues with the Brewers. The Brewers acquired Faria, 26, in a July 31 trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for first baseman Jesus Aguilar.
He pitched once for the Missions on Aug. 3 before he was called up. In three appearances with the Brewers, Faria gave up three runs on five hits in 3 and 1/3 innings.
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Pacific Coast League Stories from August 18, 2019
- Dodgers Hang On During Wild Ride in Round Rock - Oklahoma City Dodgers
- Homers Doom Round Rock in 14-11 Loss to Oklahoma City - Round Rock Express
- Nashville Nips Omaha 4-3 - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Skoglund Silences Sounds, Chasers Win 7-4 - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Nashville Fails to Sweep Omaha in Sunday's Loss - Nashville Sounds
- Missions Take Bite out of Baby Cakes - San Antonio Missions
- Brugman Homers Twice, Tacoma Sweeps Fresno in Four-Game Series - Tacoma Rainiers
- Rainiers sweep Grizzlies 9-7 despite clouts from Taylor and Ward - Fresno Grizzlies
- Aces Drop Series Finale against Sacramento - Reno Aces
- Local names lead River Cats to victory in finale - Sacramento River Cats
- Chihuahuas Keep Bees at Bay - El Paso Chihuahuas
- Bees, Chihuahuas Split Series - Salt Lake Bees
- Redbirds Rout First-Place Iowa in Game, Series - Memphis Redbirds
- Memphis Sweeps Iowa with Decisive Victory - Iowa Cubs
- Nashville Sounds Game Information: Nashville Sounds (56-66) vs. Omaha Storm Chasers (52-72) - Nashville Sounds
- Taking Flight with â?¦ Skye Bolt - Las Vegas Aviators
- Game Notes: San Antonio Missions vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes - San Antonio Missions
- OKC Dodgers Game Notes - August 18, 2019 - Oklahoma City Dodgers
- Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (58-66) vs Iowa Cubs (66-58) - Memphis Redbirds
- Blistering Rainiers Offense Leads to Third-Straight Victory against Fresno - Tacoma Rainiers
- Ending An Eight-Game Skid - San Antonio Missions
- Aces Bats Catch Fire in Comeback Victory over River Cats - Reno Aces
- Davis adds two more dingers but bullpen and defense faulter late - Sacramento River Cats
- Aviators Hold off Isotopes for 6-5 Win - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Fresno tripped up by Tacoma on Saturday - Fresno Grizzlies
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