Stingers remain in first place, Dallas McPherson returns
SALT LAKE CITY-Despite losing three of four games to the Redbirds this weekend, the Stingers are still clinging to one game lead in the Pacific Northern Division. Salt Lake hosts a four-game series with the first place Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee Brewers' affiliate) beginning tonight at 7:00pm at Franklin Covey Field. The Sounds (63-52) have an almost identical record to the Stingers' 63-51 clip so far this season.
CRUNCH TIME: The Stingers play Nashville in a battle of division-leaders to begin the week, before heading to Tacoma for a crucial five-game series. The Stingers travel to Tacoma on Friday to face the divisional-rival Rainiers. The Stingers and Rainiers are separated in the standings by only one game.
MAC BACK: INF Dallas McPherson returns to Salt Lake for tonight's game on a Major League rehab assignment. McPherson began the season with the Stingers and batted .308 (12-for-39) with five runs scored, three home runs and 14 RBI in ten games for Salt Lake. He was placed on the disabled list on July 8 with inflammation in his left hip. McPherson batted .244 (50-for-205) with 29 runs scored, eight home runs and 26 RBI in 61 games with the Halos this year. McPherson began his rehab assignment in Rancho Cucamonga on August 3 where he batted .438 (7-for-16) with two homers and five RBI in five games for the Quakes.
ROSTER MOVES: INF Dallas McPherson was activated on Salt Lake's roster today on a Major League rehab assignment. RHP Chris Hunter was promoted from single-A Rancho Cucamonga to Salt Lake's roster on August 6. Hunter will make his second start for the Stingers tonight.
WASATCH FRONT RETURN: Former Mountain View High Scholl and Utah Valley State College star Chris Hunter will start for the Stingers tonight against lefty Jeff Housman for Nashville. Hunter makes his professional debut in the Beehive State. He received a no-decision in his first start for the Stingers on July 30 at Round Rock, allowing one earned run on eight hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Hunter posted a 6-8 record and 5.11 ERA (118 IP - 67 ER) with 130 hits allowed, 60 walks and 72 strikeouts in 21 games (20 starts) for Rancho Cucamonga.
STREAKING: INF Brian Specht hit a home run and a single on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. It is the second longest streak by a Stinger this season behind OF Chris Prieto's 19-game streak. Specht is batting .382 (21-for-55) with nine runs scored and 12 RBI during the streak.
TOP PERFORMANCES: LHP Dusty Bergman has not allowed a run in his last five outings. The Stingers' only All-Star this season has allowed only two earned runs in his last 19 appearances (0.71 ERA, 25.1 IP - 2 ER). Bergman has 25 strikeouts in his last 25.1 innings. C Jeff Mathis is batting .417 (5-for-12) with two runs scored, one home run and six RBI on the current homestand.
STINGERS STUMBLING: The Stingers are now 12-14 since the All-Star break. They have lost three of their last four series and have only nine wins in the last 23 games.
CASEY AT THE BAT: Former Stinger Casey Kotchman has caught fire for the Halos this past weekend. Kotchman (who was recalled by the Angels from Salt Lake last Thursday) hit his first Major League home run in the seventh inning on Friday night in the Angels' 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay. On Sunday afternoon, Kotchman hit two more homers, including his first career grand slam. In the three-game series, Kotchman batted .500 (4-for-8) with four runs scored, three home runs and six RBI.
PROMOTIONS: This week has a full slate of exciting promotions:
Monday August 8: Harmons Family Night (Up to seven tickets for $15.00)
UDOT Safety Kids' Run
Tuesday August 9: 2-for-1 Tuesday (2-for-1 Bullpen Reserved tickets with Albertson's Card)
Wednesday August 10: Wienerschnitzel Wednesday ($1.00 Hot Dogs)
Thurday August 11: Honeybees Poster Giveaway (first 2,500 fans, sponsored by Deseret Morning News and PrinTech)
Thirsty Thursday / 2-for-1 College Night
For more information, check out www.stingersbaseball.com.
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