'Hounds Drop Series Opener at San Antonio
A three-run first inning set the tone, a three-run home run sealed the deal in the seventh and San Antonio pitching, led by right-hander Michael Kelly, did the rest as the Missions ran away with the opener of a key four-game series, 8-2 on Thursday night at Nelson Wolff Stadium.
The first three Missions hitters scored. Luis Urias singled and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches by RockHounds starter Evan Manarino . Noah Perio singled to right, scoring Urias, and Jose Rondon followed with a double, putting runners at second and third. A groundout by Franmil Reyes and a single by Ty France - his seventh RBI in two games after driving in six at Springfield Sunday - gave the Missions a 3-0 advantage and, thanks to Kelly & Co., that was all the offense they would need.
Nick Torres launched a three-run home run in the seventh, pushing San Antonio's advantage to 8-1. Torres finished the night with four RBI, while Rondon (3-for-5, run, double, RBI) and France (3-for-4, run, RBI) helped lead the way in San Antonio's 16-hit attack.
Although held hitless into the fourth by Kelly, the 'Hounds down 3-0, loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a catcher's interference with two out in the third. Kelly then got B.J. Boyd to foul out to end the threat. Kelly went six innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. He walked two and struck out eight, six of the K's coming at the expense of Tyler Marincov and Jermaine Curtis (three each). The right-hander improved to 5-1 with the win, and now ranks sixth in the Texas League with a 2.84 ERA.
The RockHounds (29-28) are now tied with the Corpus Christi, three games behind San Antonio in the Texas League South. The Hooks defeated Frisco, 5-1 at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi.
There are 13 games remaining in the first half pennant race.
The three 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.
San Antonio pitching has been outstanding all season. The Missions' team ERA of 3.08 is more than a half-point better than the next best club (Tulsa, 3.70) and nearly a full point below the league average of 3.98. The Missions also entered the game with the lowest team WHIP in all of Double-A baseball (1.17). The 13-strikeout performance Tuesday was the 22nd time this season San Antonio pitchers have recorded double-digit strikeouts in a game.
Adding "statistical insult to injury," RockHounds hitters saw four streaks come to an end in the defeat. Two of them were owned by Tyler Marincov, who lost both a seven-game hit streak and a 14-game on-base streak snapped (0-for-4, three strikeouts). Yairo Munoz (0-for-3, reached on error) also saw a seven-game hit streak come to an end and Viosergy Rosa (0-for-4, strikeout) lost a five-game streak.
Brett Vertigan went 0-for-3, but drew a third-inning walk against Kelly, extending his on-base streak to 21 games (.282 batting average with a .385 on-base percentage). The streak is now Vertigan's longest of the season - he also had a 20-game streak between April 18 and May 11.
B.J. Boyd went 2-for-4 with a triple (he now shares the league lead with five), and has hit in four straight games (7-for-18, .389).
The RockHounds and Missions continue their pivotal series Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (first pitch at 7:05 p.m. / radio at 7:00).
The 20 games in 20 days stretch that began Tuesday will see the end of the first half pennant race on June 19 and the start of the second half the following day. All games in this stretch are divisional play.
Enyel De Los Santos gets the start for San Antonio in Wednesday's game. The 21-year-old right-hander's record of 2-3, 4.88 ERA is a "tale of two seasons." In three starts against the 'Hounds, De Los Santos is 0-1, 17.36 ERA (9.1 IP, 19 H, 18 R / 18 ER, 8 BB, 9 K). Against the rest of the league, De Los Santos is 2-2, 2.54 ERA (49.2 IP, 33 H, 14 R / 14 ER, 10 BB, 40 K)
RockHounds starter Heath Fillmyer (2-2, 3.75 ERA) makes his 13th start and his fourth against the Missions. In his first three starts against San Antonio, Fillmyer is 1-0, 1.29 ERA (14.0 IP, 14 H, 2 R / 2 ER, 6 BB, 7 K with a 1.43 WHIP and .280 average against).
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Texas League Stories from June 7, 2017
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- 'Hounds Drop Series Opener at San Antonio - Midland RockHounds
- Hooks Trip Up Frisco - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Offense Erupts for Missions in Opener - San Antonio Missions
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