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Texas League Update

June 24, 2009 - Texas League (TL) News Release

Player of the Week, June 15-21, 2009

Lance Zawadzki, San Antonio Missions

.593 AVG (16-for-27) 1 home run, 3 RBI, 9 runs scored,

.656 on-base percentage, .741 slugging percentage, five multi-hit games

One of the best-kept secrets in the San Diego Padres farm system, Lance Zawadzki has emerged as a bona fide prospect in his second full season of minor league ball. Last week he led the Texas League with a .593 (16-for-27) average, nine runs scored and a .656 on-base percentage, primarily out of the cleanup spot in the order. Zawadszki finished the week with a string of five straight multi-hit games, including a 6-for-6 effort in an 18-7 win over Midland on June 20.

Zawadzki, a switch-hitting infielder who has split time between shortstop and third base for the Missions, made his Texas League debut on May 30 after batting .276 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI in 36 games for Single-A Lake Elsinore. After a 1-for-6 start to the week he was scuffling a bit at .246 (14-for-57) in 16 Double-A games, but absolutely caught fire at the end of the week, finishing at a .714 clip (15-for-21). His 15 hits in five games was one more than his 16-game output for the Missions up to that point.

Tabbed as San Diego's "sleeper" prospect by Baseball America prior to the season, Zawadzki was a fourth-round draft pick in 2007 out of Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., where he played one season after transferring from San Diego State University. A native of Framingham, Mass., Zawadzki is now batting .372 (a jump of 126 points in five games) with an on-base percentage of .456 and a slugging percentage of an even .500. He drew five walks during the week, struck out three times and stole one base.

Zawadzki is the second member of the Missions to win the Texas League Player of the Week award this season. Mike Baxter, now a member of the Portland Beavers (Triple-A) won the award for the weeks ending May 24 and May 31.

Pitcher of the Week, June 15-21, 2009

Jhoulys Chacin, Tulsa

2-0, 1.88 ERA, 14.1 IP, 3 runs, 7 H, 2 BB, 14 K

Jhoulys Chacin, one of the top young pitchers in all of minor league baseball, earned the Texas League Pitcher of the Week award for his performance this past week. Chacin, 21, went 2-0 in two starts with an ERA of 1.88 in 14 1/3 innings pitched. He allowed just seven hits, walked two batters and struck out 14.

On Tuesday, Chacin got off to a hot start, fanning 10 in 7 1/3 innings in a 5-3 win over Northwest Arkansas. He struck out the first six batters of the game, while carrying a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings. Then, on Sunday, Chacin tossed another seven brilliant innings on the road at Arkansas, this time winning a 4-2 decision.

The Venezuelan right hander is one of the brightest stars on a Tulsa staff that features three of the Texas League's top six ERA leaders, helping the Drillers stay in the thick of things in an intense North Division pennant race. Chacin got off to a bit of a slow start this year, but has rebounded to post a 6-5 record with a 2.92 ERA through Sunday. He is working on a streak of six straight starts of allowing two earned runs or fewer, and leads the league in strikeouts with 71.

Chacin, minor league baseball's winningest pitcher in 2008 at 18-7, has a 30-13 won-loss record through his first 58 minor league starts with a career ERA of 2.52. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Colorado system behind Dexter Fowler, who now patrols centerfield for the Rockies.

Named to the 2009 Texas League All-Star team, Chacin is the second Pitcher of the Week winner on the Drillers staff this year, joining Keith Weiser. Along with teammates Esmil Rogers (6-2, 2.84) and Samuel Deduno (6-2, 2.98), the Drillers should continue to have one of the top pitching staffs in the league as long as the rotation remains at the Double-A level.

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North Division Notebook

ARKANSAS TRAVELERS (Los Angeles Angels)

This week: 3-4; Overall record: 27-41

4th place North, 10.0 games behind Springfield and Tulsa

Monday, June 15: W, 7-2 vs. Springfield

Pitching for the first time in Double-A, Tim Kiely (1-0) threw one of the finest games in the Texas League this season. Kiely went the distance, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out 13 batters, matching a league-high for the year. He was supported on offense by Val Majewski, who singled, doubled and drove in a pair of runs. Kiely's only two runs allowed came on a ninth-inning home run.

Tuesday, June 16: L, 4-3 vs. Springfield

The Travelers got a strong performance by starting and losing pitcher Jordan Walden (1-3), but an ill-timed error led to two unearned runs, costing the Travs a victory. Walden fired 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three walks, striking out six. Hank Conger went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while Val Majewski belted a solo shot in the ninth to cut the deficit to one. The loss was Arkansas' 19th in one-run games, nine more than the team with the second-most one-run defeats, Northwest Arkansas.

Wednesday, June 17: W, 10-9 vs. Springfield

In one of the more dramatic comebacks of the season, the Travelers scored four times in the bottom of the ninth inning, winning the game on a walk-off three-run home run by Flint Wipke. The backup catcher, who came into the game with zero homers and seven RBI on the season, also belted a two-run shot in the fourth, giving him two longballs and five RBI in the game. Regular starting catcher Hank Conger doubled and homered in five trips to the plate, scoring twice and driving in two runs as well. The win gave Arkansas its 10th one-run win in 29 tries this season.

Thursday, June 18: L, 6-5 vs. Tulsa

Mark Trumbo had two doubles, a triple and four RBI, but the Travelers second straight attempt at a ninth-inning rally fell a run short in a loss to Tulsa. Hainley Statia tripled and scored in the final inning, but his triple came just after pinch-runner Kevin Ramos was picked off first base. Starting pitcher Barrett Browning (0-5) took the loss, his first start in a nine inning (non-doubleheader) game.

Friday, June 19: L, 1-0 vs. Tulsa

The Travelers suffered a shutout loss to the Drillers, recording just six hits. Starting pitcher Tommy Mendoza (4-3) took the loss, lowering his ERA to 3.05 with six innings of one-run baseball. Mendoza gave up five hits, two walks and struck out six. Hainley Statia singled and doubled in four at-bats, while Wil Ortiz added two singles. The rest of the team combined to go 2-for-26, including 0-for-11 from the No. 3-4-5 hitters.

Saturday, June 20: W, 6-4 vs. Tulsa

Trailing 4-0 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Travelers shocked the Drillers with six runs, stealing a two-run victory. Nate Sutton's three-run triple was the decisive blow, turning a two-run deficit into a one-run advantage late in the game. Tim Kiely, coming off a brilliant debut outing, surrendered four runs on seven hits in seven innings before giving way to winning pitcher Bryan Rembisz (2-2), who retired Tulsa in order in the top half of the eighth.

Sunday, June 21: L, 4-2 vs. Tulsa

One day after a big eighth inning gave the Travs a comeback victory, the Travelers came up short with just two in the eighth in a 4-2 loss to the Drillers. This time, Arkansas loaded the bases with no outs, then got an RBI single from Coby Smith and a sacrifice fly by Hainley Statia, making it 4-2. After a wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out, the Travelers could get no further. Nate Sutton was 2-for-4 with a double, giving him a team-leading 66 hits on the season, while Mark Trumbo collected his 12th double and 20th extra base hit overall, also team-highs.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

RHP Trevor Bell (2009) threw a two-hit shutout to beat Colorado Springs on Tuesday in his first Triple-A start ... SS Sean Rodriguez was promoted to Anaheim, leaving Salt Lake with a large power deficiency ... OF Bradley Coon (2007) had a .421 average (16-for-38) over his last nine games ... Brandon Wood (2006) had nine hits in 21 at-bats over his last five games ... C Ryan Budde (2002-03) was 4-for-28 in an eight-game stretch.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS NATURALS (Kansas City Royals)

This week: 3-4; Overall record: 35-33

3rd place North, 2.0 games behind Springfield and Tulsa

Monday, June 15: W, 6-5 vs. Tulsa

Ed Lucas's three-run home run capped a five-run, fifth inning rally, helping the Naturals to a one-run win over the Drillers. The home run gave the win to Everett Teaford (1-0), who was making his first career start at the Double-A level. Teaford allowed three first inning runs, but settled down to finish seven innings without any further damage. Greg Holland earned the save, though he struggled to get through the ninth inning, allowing two runs on three hits.

Tuesday, June 16: L, 5-3 vs. Tulsa

The Naturals did not record a hit until two men were out in the sixth inning, yet still managed to make a game of it against the Drillers. Northwest Arkansas, which was doubled up in hits 10-5, got a solo home run by Cody Clark to break up the no-no, his first homer of the year. Two innings later, a two-run eighth brought the Drillers to within one at 4-3, but a ninth-inning insurance run by Tulsa put the game away.

Wednesday, June 17: L, 11-2 vs. Tulsa

The Naturals slipped one game behind Tulsa and two behind Springfield following a blowout loss to the Drillers. Kurt Mertins was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored both runs for Northwest Arkansas, Jordan Parraz singled, doubled and walked in four trips to the plate, while the rest of the team was just 2-for-25 in the game. Dan Cortes (4-6), who had improved considerably of late, allowed six hits, four walks and four runs in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Thursday, June 18: W, 6-5 @ Springfield

Cody Clark singled home Ed Lucas with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, pulling the Drillers within one game of the first-place Cardinals. Clark had two RBI in the game, including a solo home run, while John Suomi went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI as well. Suomi scored the tying run on a wild pitch, which was followed by Clark's base hit. Ben Swaggerty (1-0) threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory in relief, while Greg Holland survived the ninth to notch his fifth save of the season.

Friday, June 19: W, 9-5 @ Springfield

Jordan Parraz continued his stellar first half with a pair of home runs, new shortstop Jeff Bianchi had three doubles in his first Texas League game and the Naturals pulled into a second-place tie with Springfield, one game behind Tulsa. Ed Lucas contributed to the win with a big day at the plate as well, going 4-for-4 with a homer, one of eight extra-base hits the Naturals clubbed as a team. Starting and winning pitcher Blake Johnson (5-5) struggled through 6 2/3 innings, walking five and allowing three runs, but was economical with his 83 pitches.

Saturday, June 20: L, 9-3 @ Springfield

Everett Teaford's second Double-A start lasted just two-thirds of an inning, putting the Naturals in a 7-0 first-inning hole from which they could not recover. The Naturals fought back with a run in the second and two more in the third, but were just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 baserunners stranded. Former Major Leaguer Vance Wilson, a native of Springdale, Ark., got the start at catcher for Northwest Arkansas. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and one RBI. The 36-year-old joined the club on Friday.

Sunday, June 21: L, 4-3 @ Springfield

Northwest Arkansas saw its first-half title hopes take a major hit, dropping two back of both Springfield and Tulsa with just two games to play. Blake Wood (2-6) tried his best to keep the Naturals in the game, eventually taking the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Wood allowed three runs (two earned) with two walks and five strikeouts. Corey Smith homered in the sixth to tie the game at 2-2, while John Suomi's RBI single in the ninth cut the deficit to one.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

OF Cory Aldridge (2008) had a .364 average over seven games for Omaha ... RHP Greg Atencio (2008) snapped a string of four losses in his last four relief appearances.

SPRINGFIELD CARDINALS (St. Louis Cardinals)

This week: 3-4; Overall record: 37-31

T-1st place North, tied with Tulsa

Monday, June 15: L, 7-2 @ Arkansas

The Cardinals' week got off to a slow start, as they were nearly blanked by the Travelers. Only Tyler Henley's two-run home run in the ninth inning, his fourth longball of the season, staved off a shutout. Daryl Jones and Tony Cruz had the other two hits for the Cardinals, while 13 Cards struck out at the plate. Losing pitcher Brad Furnish (2-2) failed to record an out in the second inning, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks in his one-plus innings of work. Springfield also committed four errors in the game.

Tuesday, June 16: W, 4-3 @ Arkansas

Steven Hill's two out, two-run double in the top of the fifth highlighted a big one-run victory for the Cardinals, moving them two games ahead of Northwest Arkansas and Tulsa in the South Division. Winning pitcher Trey Hearne (6-1) tossed seven innings of two run baseball, earning the victory while lowering his ERA to an even 3.00. Francisco Samuel allowed a solo home run in the ninth, but still earned his 16th save of the season.The Cardinals improved their record to 15-6 in one-run games.

Wednesday, June 17: L, 10-9 @ Arkansas

Two outs from maintaining a two-game lead in the North Division, the Cardinals coughed up four runs in the bottom of the ninth, three coming on a walk-off homer. Regular closer Francisco Samuel was unavailable, so Samuel Freeman (0-1) took the loss, throwing just two pitches including the final toss of the game. Tyler Henley continued to smoke the ball, going 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. He is sitting at comfortable .339 batting average on the year. Steven Hill and Jim Rapoport each had three hits for Springfield, which scored seven runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-4 lead at the time.

Thursday, June 18: L, 6-5 vs. Northwest Arkansas

The Cardinals blew a ninth inning lead for the second straight night, dropping them into a first-place tie with Tulsa. Francisco Samuel (3-3) took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in one inning of work. Daryl Jones and Pete Kozma went 5-for-10 with two runs in the top two spots in the order, including singles with two out in the ninth. A walk-off win was not in the cards, however, as Daniel Descalso struck out on a full count with both runners in scoring position.

Friday, June 19: L, 9-5 vs. Northwest Arkansas

The Cardinals lost for the seventh time in eight games, dropping them out of first place and putting their postseason hopes in jeopardy. Daniel Descalso hit a big three-run home run in the sixth inning to cut the score to 4-3, but that would be as close as the Cards would get the rest of the way. They stranded six runners, including three in the eighth with a deficit of just 7-5 at the time. Starter Brian Broderick (0-2) took the loss, allowing four runs in six innings of work. The bullpen didn't do him any favors, allowing five more runs over the next three frames.

Saturday, June 20: W, 9-3 vs. Northwest Arkansas

Springfield made sure there was no doubt who was going to win Saturday's game, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 9-3 win. In the first inning alone, Pete Kozma went 2-for-2 with a single, triple and three RBI, while Matt Arburr later added a two-run home run in the seventh. Four Springfield relief pitctures threw four scoreless innings, allowing four hits. Combined with Tulsa's eighth inning collapse to the Travelers, the Cards are now again tied with the Drillers for the first half title with three games remaining.

Sunday, June 21: W, 4-3 vs. Northwest Arkansas

The Cardinals earned a crucial four-game split with the Naturals, staying even with Tulsa atop the North Division with just two games left in the first half. Tony Cruz delivered a two-out RBI double to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning, while Steven Hill's RBI double in the eighth provided a much-needed insurance run. Winning pitcher Trey Hearne (7-1) came through with a big-time performance, tossing seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out six. Daniel Descalso went 2-for-4 with a two-RBI ground rule double in the third.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

OF Allen Craig (2007-08) hit .375 over his last five games ... 2B Jarrett Hoffpauir (2006-07) hit six homers and drove in 10 runs over his last 10 games while batting .286 (10-for-35) ... OF Joe Mather (2007) was placed on the DL with a wrist injury after batting just .176 through 39 games ... RHP Clayton Mortensen's (2008) streak of wins in four consecutive decisions ended when he allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings against Iowa.

TULSA DRILLERS (Colorado Rockies)

This week: 5-2; Overall record: 37-31

T-1st place North, tied with Springfield

Monday, June 15: L, 6-5 @ Northwest Arkansas

Leading 3-0 in the middle of the fourth inning, the Drillers suddenly lost all their momentum in a one-run loss to the Naturals. Losing pitcher Brandon Durden (1-2) got touched for a run in the fourth and five more in the fifth, while a Drillers rally came up a run short in the top of the ninth. Cole Garner went 4-for-4, while Ryan Harvey doubled in two runs in the top of the first inning. The loss dropped the Drillers two back of Springfield in the North Division standings.

Tuesday, June 16: W, 5-3 @ Northwest Arkansas

Desperately needing a big pitching performance to stay in the hunt for a first-half division crown, the Drillers got a masterful outing by righthander Jhoulys Chacin (5-5) and hung on to beat the Naturals. Chacin went 7 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs on two hits while striking out 10 batters. After Adam Bright got into some trouble later in the eighth, Andrew Johnston finished the inning and then struck out the side in the ninth, earning his 18th save of the year. Anthony Jackson had three hits for the Drillers, while Mike Paulk added two hits and two RBI.

Wednesday, June 17: W, 11-2 @ Northwest Arkansas

Mike McKenry, Ryan Harvey and Cole Garner hit back-to-back-to-back sacrifice flies during a four-run sixth, helping the Drillers take out the Naturals. It was believed to be the first time in Texas League history that three teammates hit sacrifice flies in the same inning, a feat that must be accompanied by a dropped fly ball by the defense. Garner finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI, while Jeff Kindel hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning. Keith Weiser (5-5) got the win, going the first six innings and allowing one run on three hits.

Thursday, June 18: W, 6-5 @ Arkansas

The Drillers got another quality start from Esmil Rogers (6-2) and a pair of big breaks in the ninth inning to knock off Arkansas by one run. Rogers didn't have his best stuff, but he got through six innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits. Daniel Mayora went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI, including a two-out single in the top of the ninth to extend the Drillers lead to 6-4. The run was made possible when Arkansas' pitcher didn't cover first base on an infield hit by Brad Corely, who eventually scored. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, closer Andrew Johnston picked off a runner just prior to a triple and sacrifice fly, avoiding extra innings. Cole Garner added a double and three RBI for the Drillers.

Friday, June 19: W, 1-0 @ Arkansas

Drillers starter Chaz Roe (2-0) had his best outing of the season, going five scoreless innings, as the Drillers held off the Travelers to take the second game of a four-game series. Roe, making his first start since a strained oblique landed him on the DL in early May, allowed just three hits, walked none and struck out four, using just 66 pitches. Tulsa gave Roe the win by scoring without recording a hit in the top of the third inning, when two walks, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Danny Sandoval made it 1-0. It was Tulsa's ninth shutout win of the year, including three in their past seven games.

Saturday, June 20: L, 6-4 @ Arkansas

Winners of four in a row and sporting a one-game lead in the North Division, the Drillers looked like they were on their way to a league-best 37-30 record and a one-game lead in the standings. The Travelers had other ideas, burying the Drillers with a six-run eighth inning, evening up the race for the first half title in the North. Anthony Jackson singled, tripled and scored two runs, while Ryan Harvey popped his 10th home run of the year. Brandon Durden was solid, throwing 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits - two of which came in the eighth,

Sunday, June 21: W, 4-2 @ Arkansas

The Drillers took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning for the second day in a row, but unlike the previous day limited the Travelers to two runs, earning the victory. Six of the nine Drillers had two hits in the game, including Jeff Kindel, who also walked twice. Mike Paulk drilled a solo home run in the sixth inning, his third of the season, while Darin Holcomb added a double and a run scored. Jhoulys Chacin (6-5) had another nice outing, allowing just one run in seven-plus innings, allowing five hits and walking one. For the week, Chacin allowed just seven hits in 14 1/3 innings with 14 strikeouts. Andrew Johnston picked up his 21st save of the season, giving the Drillers a mark of 8-2 in their past 10 games.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

INF Eric Young, Jr. (2008) leads the PCL in runs with 63. OF Matt Miller (1999-2000) had two hits in 19 at-bats (.105) over his last five games for Colorado Springs.

South Division Notebook

CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS (Houston Astros)

This week: 3-6; Overall record: 31-37

4th place South, 6.0 games behind San Antonio

Monday, June 15: W, 6-0 @ San Antonio

Defending Texas League Pitcher of the Week Polin Trinidad (6-4) pitched one of his finest games of the year, throwing eight scoreless innings against the Missions. Trinidad allowed four hits (all singles) and three walks, while striking out seven. Wladimir Sutil went 3-for-5 for the Hooks, who outhit the Missions 11 to four.

Tuesday, June 16: W, 4-3 @ San Antonio

Trailing by scores of 2-0 and 3-2 early in the game, the Hooks found a way to beat the Missions, moving within one game of the .500 mark at 30-31. Two of the four runs scored by the Hooks were not driven in on RBI hits, including a go-ahead wild pitch in the top of the sixth. Wladimir Sutil and Jhon Florentino each singled and doubled in the win, which was the ninth victory in 11 games for the Hooks.

Wednesday, June 17: L, 6-1 @ San Antonio

The elusive .500 mark once again proved tough to come by for the Hooks, who were two-hit by the Missions on getaway day. Jimmy Van Ostrand's RBI single in the fourth scored Drew Locke, who knocked the ball away from San Antonio catcher Mitch Canham to score the only run of the game for Corpus Christi. Drew Meyer's infield single in the first was the only other hit for the Hooks. The hit extended his on-base streak to 18 games.

Thursday, June 18: L 14-13 @ Frisco

The Hooks came all the way back from deficits of 12-1 and 13-4 to tie the RockHounds, but still couldn't get a victory. The top three batters in the Hooks lineup went 12-for-22 with nine RBI and seven runs scored. Wladimir Sutil went 3-for-6 with four runs scored, Drew Meyer went 3-for-5 with a triple, while Drew Locke had four hits and five RBI. Locke is now batting .350 with 10 homers and 66 RBI, placing him in the top five in the Texas League in each category.

Friday, June 19: L, 3-0 and L, 3-1 @ Frisco

Corpus Christi was officially eliminated from the first half South Division title chase, swept aside by the Frisco RoughRiders in a twin bill. In game one, Brad James (2-5) tossed a six-inning complete game in the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) with five hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Jimmy Van Ostrand was the most productive member of the Hooks at the plate, going 0-for-1 but reaching twice via bases on balls. In the nightcap, Drew Locke's sixth-inning solo homer was the only run of the game for the Hooks, who managed just four other hits. Top prospect Jason Castro singled, giving him at least one hit in each of the eight games in which he has played for the Hooks.

Saturday, June 20: L, 2-1 @ Frisco

Lefthander Polin Trinidad (6-5) threw his third straight brilliant game, but his own error in the bottom of the ninth inning led to the game-winning run for the RoughRiders. Trinidad went 8 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while scattering eight hits. He finished the week with a 1-1 mark with a 0.55 ERA in 16 1/3 innings, and has now allowed just one earned run in his past 23 1/3 innings of work. Jason Castro doubled, extended his Double-A hitting streak to nine games.

Sunday, June 21: L, 6-0 and W, 2-0 @ Frisco

Corpus Christi finished its big six-game series with the 'Riders by winning the final game, giving them a 1-5 mark in four days. In the opening game of the twin bill, the Hooks were blanked for the second time in three days, managing just five hits and striking out eight times in seven innings of action. Drew Meyer quietly raised his average to .314, doubling twice, while catcher Jason Castro went 1-for-3. Game two's win snapped the Hooks' six-game losing streak dating back to Wednesday, with four pitchers combining on an eight-hit shutout. Felix Molina and Wladimir Sutil knocked in the only runs of the game, supporting Erick Abreu, winning pitcher Daniel Meszaros (2-2), Chia-Jen Lo and T.J. Burton, who earned his eighth save of the year. Abreu went the four scoreless innings and was the most effective pitcher, striking out six while allowing four hits and no walks.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

SS Tommy Manzella (2007-08) hit .128 over his last 10 games ... RHP Bud Norris (2008) threw eight shutout innings Monday against Nashville, lowering his ERA to 2.34 through 12 starts ... LHP Mark McLemore (2005) was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last two starts ...C J.R. House (2006) batted .065 (2-for-31) over his last eight games.

FRISCO ROUGHRIDERS (Texas Rangers)

This week: 6-3; Overall record: 32-36

3rd place South, 5.0 games behind San Antonio

Monday, June 15: L, 7-6 @ Midland (12 innings)

The RoughRiders dropped a tough, extra-inning affair to the RockHounds in which they blew three separate leads in the first six innings of the game. Mitch Moreland homered and went 4-for-6, Craig Gentry went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and his league-leading 26th steal, while Marcus Lemon reached three times. Gentry was picked off late in the game, marking the first time that he had been nabbed on the basepaths this season.

Tuesday, June 16: W, 15-6 @ Midland

In a sloppy, 3 hour, 33 minute affair, the 'Riders put 27 men on base in a blowout victory over the 'Hounds. All nine Frisco batters recorded hits, while six men reached base at least three times. Amazingly, only two of the 27 baserunners reached via the extra base hit (doubles by Craig Gentry and Chad Tracy). As a team, Frisco rapped 15 singles, drew nine walks and had one hit batter. Each of the 2-through-8 hitters in the lineup added at least one RBI.

Wednesday, June 17: L, 2-0 @ Midland

Frisco starter Michael Kirkman (1-3) had easily his best pitching performance of the season, but suffered the loss despite allowing just two hits over seven innings. Kirkman held Midland to just one hit and one walk through six innings, keeping the game scoreless. The 'Hounds finally broke the gridlock with one out in the seventh, when a bobble and errant throw by third baseman Johnny Whittleman with the bases loaded plated the only two runs of the game. Kirkman was charged for one earned run, finishing the game with an ERA of 3.90 on the season.

Thursday, June 18: W, 14-13 vs. Corpus Christi

The RoughRiders blew a 12-1 lead after five innings, but managed to score once in the bottom of the ninth to steal a one-run win over the Hooks. The 'Riders had 24 hits in the game, including four apiece by Craig Gentry, Tim Smith and Johnny Whittleman, who doubled twice. Marcus Lemon was also a big part of the effort, driving in four runs with two singles and a double. Rehabbing Rangers Frank Francisco and Dustin Nippert threw the first three innings, departing with an 8-0 lead in the game. Gentry hit a three-run homer in the fourth, seemingly putting in the dagger at 12-1.

Friday, June 19: W, 3-0 and W, 3-1 vs. Corpus Christi

The RoughRiders, who struggled to close out the Hooks the previous night, needed just 172 pitches and 3 hours, 22 minutes to sweep the Hooks in a doubleheader. In game one, winning pitcher Jared Hyatt (2-4) allowed no runs and two hits in six innings, giving way to Thomas Diamond, who finished the shutout and picked up his first save. Tim Smith went 3-for-3, while Craig Gentry scored once, drove in a run and stole a base. In game two, Tanner Roark (1-0) got the win, also going six innings, while Beau Vaughan got his first save. Tim Smith was again the hitting star, smacking a three-run double in the fifth inning to give the 'Riders pitching staff all the support it would need. An announced crowd of 11,592 was on hand for the sweep.

Saturday, June 20: W, 2-1 vs. Corpus Christi

Adam Fox singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, bringing home Manny Pina from second base with the winning run for the RoughRiders. Joe Torres (1-1) got the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings in relief of Blake Beavan, who went the first seven innings. Marcus Lemon continued his solid week with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate, while Chad Tracy doubled and was intentionally walked in the ninth, setting up Fox's heroics.

Sunday, June 21: W, 6-0 and L, 2-0 vs. Corpus Christi

The RoughRiders split the final two games of their six-game set with the Hooks, getting terrific pitching performances in each game. In game one, four pitchers combined on a five-hitter, while Marcus Lemon went 3-for-3 for the second straight game. Lemon's hits were part of a franchise-record eight hits in eight consecutive plate appearances. Lemon, who also drove in two runs, was joined on offense by Craig Gentry, who was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Beau Jones (2-3) was credited with the win, going 2 1/3 innings with no runs, three hits, no walks and five strikeouts. Dustin Nippert went the first three frames on a Major League rehabilitation assignment. The second game of the double-dip went to the Hooks, who held the 'Riders bats to an 0-for-7 mark with runners in scoring position. Starting and losing pitcher Michael Ballard (1-4) went the full seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts

.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

OF Julio Borbon (2008) batted .474 in his last four games ... DH Emerson Frostad (2007-09) had a .400 average over five games ... C Max Ramirez (2008) hit a walk-off home run on Saturday night against Nashville ... RHP Brian Gordon (2008) earned his fifth win Saturday night in relief ... RHP Tommy Hunter (2008) was on the mound for six steals in six innings in a loss to Iowa.

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (Oakland Athletics)

This week: 3-4; Overall record: 36-32

2nd place South, 1.0 game behind San Antonio

Monday, June 15: W, 7-6 vs. Frisco (12 innings)

Adrian Cardenas went 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI, including the game-winner in the bottom of the 12th, leading the RockHounds to a thrilling victory over the RoughRiders. Chris Carter added two hits and a run batted in, while three other 'Hounds recorded doubles. The win, combined with San Antonio's loss, put Midland in first place by one game heading into the final eight games of the first half.

Tuesday, June 16: L, 15-6 vs. Frisco

One day after a feel-good win and a return to first place in the standings, the RockHounds were derailed by an early injury to Bobby Cramer and an ineffective day by the bullpen. Cramer, who struck out two batters in a perfect first inning, was removed due to elbow pain. Then, six relievers subsequently allowed 17 hits and nine walks in the next eight frames. Even backup infielder Michael Affronti got in on the action, throwing the ninth inning. Midland's offense was led by Josh Donaldson, who singled, doubled and drove in three.

Wednesday, June 17: W, 2-0 vs. Frisco

In the final game of a four-game set with the 'Riders, the RockHounds put together their best win of the series, despite tallying just two hits. Graham Godfrey (6-4) threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and two walks, while Jon Hunton and Sam Demel completed the shutout. Chris Carter and Michael Affronti, who pitched during Tuesday night's loss, had the only base hits for the 'Hounds.

Thursday, June 18: L, 9-5 vs. San Antonio

In a game that was never as close as the final score indicated, the 'Hounds lost a four-run decision to the upstart Missions, falling into a first place tie in the South Division. Chris Carter hit a solo homer in the eighth to cut the Midland deficit to 9-5, while Raul Padron went 3-for-4 with an RBI in his third game in Double-A, giving him a .500 (7-for-14) average. Travis Banwart (5-3) again struggled to regain his early-season form, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Four of the 'Hounds nine hits went for extra bases, as did seven of San Antonio's 13.

Friday, June 19: W, 7-1 vs. San Antonio

The 'Hounds picked up where they left off on Thursday, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first and coasting to an easy victory. Archie Gilbert and Josh Donaldson each went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Raul Padron drove home two with a single in the first. Carlos Hernandez (5-1) was efficient in five innings of work, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The 'Hounds were 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the game.

Saturday, June 20: L, 18-7 vs. San Antonio

It was a forgettable night for the 'Hounds, as San Antonio came in and rocked Midland to the tune of 18 runs on 20 hits. The RockHounds still managed seven runs on 13 hits, but after back-to-back three run innings in the fifth and sixth they had actually lost ground on the scoreboard, with the score going from 7-1 to 16-7 at that point. Starting and losing pitcher Ben Hornbeck's (0-1) Double-A debut was a rough one, lasting just 3 1/3 innings. Hornbeck allowed seven runs (six earned), as did Arnold Leon, who did the same in just one-third of an inning. The loss dropped the 'Hounds back into a first place tie at 36-31 with three games left in the first half.

Sunday, June 21: L, 8-5 vs. San Antonio

For the first time since April 10 - the second day of the season - the Midland RockHounds are not in first place. After the Missions came into Citibank Ballpark and took 3-of-4 from the 'Hounds, Midland now trails San Antonio by one game in the standings with just two games remaining in the first half. Raul Padron, the 'Hounds hottest hitter, doubled twice in four at-bats, while Josh Donaldson drove in two runs with a double that knotted the game at 3-3 in the sixth, then scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Matt Sulentic. Jon Hunton (0-1) took the loss in relief, allowing five runs in one-third of an inning after the RockHounds had taken their brief 4-3 lead.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

1B Jesus Guzman (2008) has an average of .312 on the season after finishing May .383 ... RHP Ramon Ortiz (1998) had 11 strikeouts in 11 innings over his last three games, while going 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA ... OF John-Ford Griffin (2002) batted .433 (13-for-30) with seven RBI over his last 10 games for the Iowa Cubs ... OF Travis Buck (2006) batted .458 (11-for-24) over eight games ... C Anthony Recker (2007-09) had a .182 average in a six-game span.

SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS (San Diego Padres)

This week: 4-3; Overall record: 37-31

1st place South, 1.0 game ahead of Midland

Monday, June 15: L, 6-0 vs. Corpus Christi

Missions pitchers struck out 19 Hooks batters in nine innings, but the offense could only record four hits in a shutout at the hands of Corpus Christi. Mat Latos (3-1) picked up his first loss in 2009 at any level, going 5 1/3 innings, striking out 12 and walking none. Scott Rice, Rolando Valdez and Brandon Gomes finished the game from there, striking out seven more Hooks batters along the way.

Tuesday, June 16: L, 4-3 vs. Corpus Christi

The Missions couldn't ever come up with the big hit in a loss to the Hooks, stranding 10 runners on base and hitting just 1-for-11 in run-scoring situations. Luis Durango went 3-for-4 without hitting a ball out of the infield, while Cedric Hunter singled, tripled and drove in two. The game was played in front of 6,636 in San Antonio, the highest mid-week attendance mark of the year.

Wednesday, June 17: W, 6-1 vs. Corpus Christi

Winning pitcher Nathan Culp (5-5) threw his second straight gem, two-hitting the Hooks in seven innings of work. Culp allowed just one unearned run, walking none and striking out one. He was boosted by a season-best performance from Eric Sogard, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI, and Lance Zawadzki, who went 3-for-4 with a double.

Thursday, June 18: W, 9-5 @ Midland

The Missions, homerless in their recently completed 6-2 homestand, smacked two homers in a crucial road win over the RockHounds, forging another first-place tie with Midland. In addition to the longballs, the Missions laced four doubles and a triple, while starting and winning pitcher Ernesto Frieri (7-3) eluded disaster despite walking five batters in his 6 1/3 innings pitched. Brian Joynt and Lance Zawadzki led the offensive attack, combining to go 5-for-8 with two homers, a double, two walks, three RBI and three runs scored.

Friday, June 19: L, 7-1 @ Midland

San Antonio again fell one game behind Midland, allowing five runs in the first inning and never seriously threatening thereafter. Lance Zawadzki had his third straight multi-hit game for the Missions, while Jesus Lopez had two hits and the team's lone RBI. Stephen Faris (3-8) took the loss, taking the brunt of the first-inning damage following a 1 hour, 4 minute rain delay.

Saturday, June 20: W, 18-7 @ Midland

Lance Zawadzki went 6-for-6, Seth Johnston drove in five runs and Mitch Canham blasted his first home run since the final day of the 2008 season, leading the Missions in a romp over the RockHounds. The win, San Antonio's largest this season in both margin of victory and number of runs scored, pushed the Missions back into a first-place tie with Midland, this time with just three games left in the race for the first-half title. The Missions relied on two big innings, a six-run fourth and a nine-run sixth, to do most of their damage. Surprisingly, the top of the Missions order didn't do much in the game, with the top three going 3-for-15 (.200) and the bottom six combining to go 17-for-28 (.607).

Sunday, June 21: W, 8-5 @ Midland

The Missions took sole possession of first place in the South Division with a rollercoaster of a win over the RockHounds. After winning pitcher Cesar Carrillo (3-4) gave up four runs in the bottom of the sixth to hand the 'Hounds a 4-3 lead, the Missions responded with a five-run seventh, capped by Michael Collins' three-run homer to make it 8-4. Collins, who went 4-for-5 in the game, had not homered since May 6. The bottom eight men in the Missions lineup recorded hits for the second straight game, while leadoff man Luis Durango finished the two-day stretch with no hits in 10 at-bats while his teammates batted a ridiculous .476 (36-for-76). Lance Zawadzki had two more hits, his fifth straight day with multiple hits. He is batting .714 (15-for-21) during his streak, raising his batting average 126 points from .246 to .372.

ALUMNI REPORT (Through Sunday, June 21):

1B Kyle Blanks batted .467 (14-for-30) with seven RBI in nine games, then was promoted to the Major Leagues ... OF Chad Huffman (2007-08) hit .107 in an eight-game span ... RHP Edwin Moreno (2007-08) has a 1.88 ERA in 12 appearances out of the bullpen, nailing down six saves ... OF Jason Bourgeois (2006) of the Nashville Sounds had a .438 average (21-for-48) and eight RBI over his last 10 games ... 3B Mike Morse (2004) batted 9-for-20 over a five-game span for the Tacoma Rainiers ... INF Travis Denker (2009) has hit .300 with eight RBI and three runs scored in his last 10 games for Pawtucket.

Alumni Report for former Texas League teams

EL PASO DIABLOS

LHP Stephen Randolph (1999, 2001) is 2-0 in his last two starts for the Albuquerque Isotopes, with an ERA of 0.82 and 10 strikeouts over 11 innings ... OF Josh Kroeger (2003-04) hit .314 with two homers, five RBI and three runs scored in his last 10 games ... C Robby Hammock (2000-02) has batted .115 in his last seven contests.

ROUND ROCK EXPRESS

OF Jason Lane (2001) had one hit in 13 at-bats (.077) over his last four games ... RHP Mike Burns (2003-04) returned to Nashville from a two-week stint in Milwaukee, earning a victory with seven shutout innings against Memphis.

SHREVEPORT CAPTAINS

LHP Shawn Estes (1995) has a record of 3-4 with a 3.07 ERA for Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League.

WICHITA WRANGLERS

1B Justin Huber (2005) has hit .389 with two homers, six RBI and seven runs scored in his last nine games played ... RHP Jonah Bayliss (2005) pitched two scoreless innings for Las Vegas on Tuesday to earn his team-best sixth win, then got his second save the next night.

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This Week in Texas League History

June 22, 1919...A pair of Houston hurlers held Galveston to just two hits over 10 innings on the way to a controversial 1-0 win over the Pirates. After making an unpopular safe call in the top of the 10th inning that allowed Houston's winning run to score, umpire Lewis had to be escorted off the field by Galveston players and local police following the final out of the game.

June 23, 1911...For the second time in three games, Oklahoma City is held to just one hit in a nine inning contest. In an exciting 1-0 Galveston win, pitcher Roy Morton limited the Mets to a sixth inning single by third baseman Jerry Kane. The Sand Crabs scored their run in the eighth inning on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Louis Cook.

June 24, 1933...Tulsa eased by Oklahoma City 2-1 ever though the Oilers collected just two hits in the game. Oklahoma City starting pitcher Al Benton held Tulsa without a hit until the sixth inning, when the Oilers used their two hits and two walks to plate their second run. Tulsa had scored a run in the second without benefit of a hit, using two walks and successful double steal which saw Sammy Hale successfully cross home plate.

June 25, 1896...Dallas pounded Galveston pitching for 23 hits on the way to a 22-6 win over the San Crabs. Dallas shortstop Charlie Bastian led the Dallas attack with five hits and five runs scored in six trips to the plate.

June 26, 1931...A second inning single by Galveston first baseman Eddie Martin was all that stood between Dallas hurler George Murray and immortality. In a 4-0 win over the Pirates, completed in just one hour, 30 minutes, the base hit was the only one allowed by the burly Dallas veteran.

June 27, 1991...In the opening game of a twin-bill, Jackson pounded Arkansas 13-4. The Generals, who got 18 hits in the seven-inning contest, were led by shortstop Frank Kellner, who was a perfect 5-for-5 at bat.

June 28, 1955...Tulsa lefty Jules Hudson set a club record when he struck out 14 Oklahoma City batters, all of them swinging, in a 4-3 win over the Indians. Hudson walked two and gave up four hits, two of which were home runs that plated all three of runs Oklahoma City scored in the game. Hudson's 14 K's were one better than the previous Tulsa record of 13, which was set on July 10, 1950 by Walter Cress.

June 29, 1914...In an 11-0 romp, Houston ran at will against the Austin battery of pitcher Bert Rorer, a local amateur, and catcher Cy Holt, stealing 14 bases. Rorer's inability to hold runners close to first base gave Holt no chance to thwart Houston's base stealing attempts. Every Houston player, except shortstop Bill Hille, had at least one theft, including pitcher Roger Edmondson, who stole two.


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Texas League Stories from June 24, 2009


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