W - Ballard (2-0)
HR - Tracy (5), Brown (4), Saltalamacchia (1)
10-5, 2.0 GU
The story of the night for Oklahoma City didn't come until after the game was over, when Justin Smoak learned he'd be getting his first big league call-up.
The first baseman was 0-for-4 in the game with a pair of strikeouts, dropping his early-season average down to .300.
The rest of the RedHawks lineup showed plenty of power, though, blasting three home runs on the night.
DH Chad Tracy was 2-for-4 with a homer, a walk, and two runs batted in. He leads the system with five round-trippers on the year.
Third baseman Matt Brown (.314/.386/.627) continued his power surge, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a home run. The three-bagger was Brown's first since the 2008 season.
Rehabbing catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia also added a solo homer of his own, coming off starter Chase Wright in the sixth inning. Salty caught the game's first eight innings, and he also committed his second throwing error in as many games behind the plate.
Esteban German (2/5, 2B), Brandon Boggs (2/3, BB) and Andy Jenkins (2/4) also had multiple hits.
Starting pitcher Mike Ballard was good enough to earn the victory, pitching six innings and allowing four runs [three earned]. He gave up six hits while walking one and fanning four.
Omar Beltre picked up his second save with a pair of hitless innings, throwing 27 pitches. Beltre walked one, struck out two, and induced four ground ball outs.
W - Garr (1-1)
SV - Scheppers (2)
HR - Greene (2)
6-7, 1.0 GB
The suddenly red-hot RoughRiders won their fourth consecutive game on Thursday and got back into within a game of first place.
After a couple short outings to begin his 2010 season, left-hander Kasey Kiker was much more efficient on Thursday. The 22-year-old threw 89 pitches in 6.2 innings, yielding only one run on five hits. He walked three and fanned five.
Kiker was paired up against 19-year-old Astros prospect Jordan Lyles, who is skipping the High-A level. Lyles was effective as well, permitting only one run while fanning seven over five frames.
Jonathan Greene's solo home run provided the lone damage against Lyles. He also singled and walked in the contest.
Leadoff man Marcus Lemon drove home the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Tanner Scheppers lowered his ERA to 1.13 with two more scoreless innings. The California native struck out four without giving out a walk.
In his first eight innings at Double-A, Scheppers has 13 strikeouts and zero free passes.
W - Eppley (1-0)
SV - Flores (1)
5-6, 3.0 GB
Michael Main helped Bakersfield in a classic pitcher's duel, allowing one run over six innings of work against San Jose. Pitching against the Giants for the second time in seven days, Main gave up just three hits, walked two, and struck out six.
Sidearming right-hander Cody Eppley picked up the victory after he retired all four batters he faced. In typical fashion, Eppley got one strikeout and three groundotus.
Shortstop Davis Stoneburner (1/3, 2B) and catcher Jose Felix (1/3, 2B) both doubled for the team's only extra-base hits.
The Blaze took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when left fielder Jake Kaase scored Felix with an RBI single.
Reliever Adalberto Flores struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn the save.
W - Doyle (1-0)
SV - Lueke (5)
HR - Koncel (2), West (2), Garcia (1)
8-7, 1.0 GB
There were plenty of heros for the Crawdads on Thursday, as they scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn a comeback, one-run victory.
Starting pitcher Neil Ramirez wasn't one of those success stories, unfortunately. Coming off an outstanding start, the righty wasn't able to get out of the first inning. Ramirez gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in just two-thirds of an inning.
The rest of the pitching staff chipped in with plenty of help.
Hard-throwing righty Hector Nelo permitted just a solo home run while striking out three in 3.1 innings of long relief work.
Lefty Chad Bell helped erase a slow start with three hitless innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Andrew Doyle and Josh Lueke worked a scoreless eight and ninth, respectively, to help carry Hickory to a win. Lueke struck out all three batters he faced, giving him 15 in seven scoreless innings this season.
At the plate, Leury Garcia (2/3, HR, BB), Matt West (1/4, HR) and Ed Koncel (1/3, HR, BB) all hit home runs. Garcia's other hit was a bunt single, and he also stole a pair of bases.
Three-hole hitter and centerfielder Miguel Velazquez smacked his first triple while also walking twice.
Jared Prince (1/3, 2B) and Edwin Garcia (1/4, 2B) both doubled.
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