L - Rupe (3-7)
HR - Smoak (2)
54-50, 2.5 GB
First, the positive.
Justin Smoak hasn't been seeing many fastballs since his promotion to Triple-A. But as the Isotopes worked with a gigantic lead, approaching 20 runs for most of the night, he most likely saw them on Friday.
And that led to Smoak going 3-for-5 with his second Triple-A home run. The first baseman is beginning to heat up, with a six-game hitting streak and six hits over his last two games.
Esteban German (2/3, 2 BB), Royce Huffman (2/4, BB) and Jose Vallejo (2/5) all singled twice.
Now, the ugly.
Starting pitcher Josh Rupe was rocked for 12 earned runs in 2.1 innings, skyrocketing his ERA to 7.32.
Mike Hinckley and Beau Vaughan both pitched 1.2 innings, giving up six and four runs, respectively.
Amazingly, A.J. Murray was effective. He yielded just an unearned run in 2.1 innings.
L - Strop (3-5)
18-15, 0.5 GU
On Wednesday, the Frisco RoughRiders' bullpen nearly lost a big lead. On Thursday, they did, giving up five runs in the ninth inning.
Blake Beavan allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings, striking out zero.
At the plate, third baseman Adam Fox (.333/.378/.710 in July) had a huge game, going 2-for-2 with a home run and three walks. Fox has now went yard in each of his last three games.
First baseman Chad Tracy was 2-for-4 wiht a double, a triple, and a walk.
Steve Murphy (2/5, 2B) also doubled while Guilder Rodriguez (2/3, BB) singled twice.
As previously mentioned, the bullpen had a rough night. Zach Phililps (1.1 IP) and Pedro Strop (1 IP) both walked three batters. Phillips allowed one run while Strop surrendered four runs.
W - Gomez (4-9)
HR - Butler (10)
17-18, 9.0 GB
Scuffling righty Kennil Gomez earned the victory despite giving up five runs on 10 hits over five innings of work.
Right fielder Joey Butler helped the Blaze to victory by going 3-for-4 with a home runs and three runs batted in.
Davis Stoneburner (2/5, 2B) and Ian Gac (2/4, 2B) both doubled.
David Paisano (2/5), Jonathan Greene (2/4) and Jose Felix (2/4) all singled twice.
Paisano is off to a strong start in the Cal League, as he's batting .350 through his first four games.
Southpaws Beau Jones and Ryan Falcon slammed the door with two hitless innings apiece.
18-14, 1.0 GB
After playing a doubleheader on Wednesday, the Crawdads got Thursday off.
W - King (2-2)
HR - Mendonca (4)
15-25, 9.0 GB
Whether they're winning or losing, the Indians have been all about providing late-inning heroics lately.
On Thursday, they were on the good side, rebounding from a 5-2 deficit for the extra-inning triumph.
Starter Trevor Hurley had early struggles, leading to six runs on 10 hits in six innings. He walked one and fanned six.
Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.278/.320/.495) continues to heat up. He was 3-for-6 with a double, a home run, and three runs batted in.
Joe Bonadonna (2/5, 2B, BB), Vin DiFazio (1/3, 2B, 3 BB) and Miguel Velazquez (2/5, 2B, BB) all doubled in the game.
Left fielder Aja Barto singled three times in six at-bats.
The bullpen was key for the Indians.
Left-hander Joseph Ortiz pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up three hits and walking zero.
Hard-throwing righty Justin King didn't allow a hit or a walk in 1.2 innings. In 16.2 frames on the season, he's surrendered just 11 hits while walking 14 and striking out 20.
L - Rijo (2-5)
HR - De Jesus (2)
1-3, 3.0 GB
Starter Ezequiel Rijo fell to 2-5 after he gave up five runs (three earned) over four innings of work.
The AZL Rangers faced rehabbing left-hander Cesar Ramos, who threw three scoreless innings and struck out two.
Right fielder Santo De Jesus was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
?Edwin Garcia (2/4, 3B) singled and hit his fourth triple.
Infielder Billy O'Conner singled twice in four at-bats.
Lefty Juan Grullon returned from the disabled list to fan two batters in a hitless, scoreless inning.
Ovispo De Los Santos also punched out two in a shutout inning.
12-35, 24.0 GB
Thursday morning's game was postponed due to rain.
36-11, 10.5 GU
The DSL Rangers2 enjoyed a scheduled day off on Thursday.
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