L - Eppley (0-1)
HR - Moreland (11), Saltalamacchia (11), Brown (7)
53-47, 1.0 GU
Starting pitcher Mike Ballard was uncharacteristically wild [37 strikes in 71 pitches], but he worked his way through four scoreless innings. The southpaw allowed three hits, walked three, and struck out three.
The RedHawks got out to an early lead behind a power display from their middle-of-the-order bats.
First baseman Mitch Moreland (.296/.380/.490) went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk, and three runs batted in. He has a 1.058 OPS in 22 games this month.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1/4, HR, BB) and Matt Brown (1/3, HR) also went yard.
Memphis got back into the game when veteran reliever Geoff Geary coughed up five runs in just 1.2 innings of work.
Left-hander Clay Rapada (1.55 ERA/.172 BAA) put out the fire by retiring all four batters he faced, fanning three. The 29-year-old hasn't permitted a run in his last eight appearances.
Leadoff man Craig Gentry singled once and walked twice in five trips.
DH Max Ramirez struck out in all four of his plate appearances.
The Redbirds tied the game in the eighth with a solo homer off Cody Eppley, the first round-tripper he had allowed all season. They plated another off him to win it with two outs in the ninth.
W - Bleier (6-7)
HR - Whittleman (3)
19-10, 3.0 GU
The RoughRiders got another sparkling performance from a starting pitcher on Sunday night.
This time it was left-hander Richard Bleier (4.83 ERA/.276 BAA), who tossed a 90-pitch complete-game shutout.
Bleier breezed through the Corpus Christi order, surrendering six hits, walking one, and fanning three. He recorded 15 ground ball outs in the game.
The complete-game shutout was Bleier's second of the season. He tossed the other at San Antonio on May 6, throwing only 88 pitches.
First baseman John Whittleman provided the necessary support with a two-run homer in the second inning. He also singled.
Right fielder Joey Butler singled three times in five trips.
James Tomlin (2/4), Jose Felix (2/4) and Renny Osuna (2/3, BB) all had two knocks apiece.
Centerfielder Engel Beltre was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. He is 3-for-30 over his last eight contests.
L - Pimentel (6-6)
19-12, 2.0 GU
Blaze starter Carlos Pimentel was undone by a pair of fourth-inning errors that led to three unearned runs.
The 20-year-old surrendered those three unearned runs in five innings, giving up four hits. He walked four and struck out six.
Generally known for his above-average control, Pimentel has issued four free passes in each of his last three starts.
Second baseman Jake Kaase (.290/.342/.407) went 2-for-4 with a double.
Doug Hogan, who was 1-for-3, also added a two-bagger.
Miguel Velazquez (1/4) and Mike Bianucci (1/4) singled for Bakersfield's only other hits of the day.
W - Thompson (8-7)
SV - Tufts (6)
HR - West (7)
17-13, 1.5 GB
Right-hander Daniel Gutierrez got his first start of the season, and he yielded three runs [one earned] in three innings pitched. He struck out one without walking a batter.
The Rangers may be stretching Gutierrez back into a starting pitcher. After beginning the season on a 50-game suspension, he reported to Hickory before quickly landing on the DL for a month. The prospect then made four relief appearances before getting Saturday's start.
Matt Thompson (3.97 ERA/.305 BAA) replaced Gutierrez and eventually picked up his eighth victory.
The 20-year-old hurler yielded a solo home run for the only damage in five innings. He scattered six hits, walked one, and fanned five.
Third baseman Matt West contributed with a two-run homer in the third inning. It was his only hit of the day.
Vin DiFazio (2/3, 2B, BB) and Michael Ortiz (2/5, 2B) both doubled once.
Second baseman Jonathan Roof singled twice and drove home three runs.
Tyler Tufts picked up his sixth save with a perfect ninth inning, striking out one.
L - Mendoza (2-1)
HR - Hoying (6)
The Indians kept Tri-City scoreless––until the final two innings of the game.
The Dust Devils plated five runs in each of the last two frames to earn an eventual blowout victory.
Even with his sixth-inning struggles, starter Randol Rojas (2.68 ERA/.230 BAA) was solid yet again. The 19-year-old permitted two runs [one earned] while scattering six hits in five innings.
Rojas hasn't walked more than two batters in any of his eight starts with Spokane.
Left fielder Jared Hoying took his power stroke into the cleanup spot, and he went deep for the third consecutive game. The Toledo product also walked.
Jurickson Profar (1/4, 2B), Brett Nicholas (2/4, 2B) and Santiago Chirino (1/3, 2B) all doubled once.
First baseman Clark Murphy singled in both of his plate appearances, raising his average to .358.
Relief pitcher Francisco Mendoza allowed three runs––including a grand slam––in one inning. Brett Weibley coughed up five more in his frame.
W - Stanford (3-0)
21-16, 2.0 GU
Spokane clinched a first-half division title and a playoff berth with a dominant victory in game two.
Andrew Doyle got the first start of his professional career and logged 3.1 scoreless innings. He fanned four and worked around three hits and a walk.
Right-hander Tim Stanford (1.00 ERA/.145 BAA) continued to impress in long relief, hurling 2.2 no-hit frames.
In 18 innings with Spokane, the 21-year-old Australia native has surrendered just two runs on nine hits, walking five and striking out 14.
Jared Hoying (.302/.359/.512) went back into the leadoff spot, and he was 2-for-4 with a double and two stolen bases, giving him 13 swipes on the summer.
Andrew Clark (1/3, 2B), Josh Richmond (1/4, 2B) and Santiago Chirino (1/2, 2B, BB) also doubled.
Kennesaw State product Ryan Rodebaugh struck out one in a perfect seventh inning to close out the playoff-clinching win.
W - Rijo (2-2)
15-13, 3.0 GB
The young AZL Rangers offense appears to be heating up again. The club scratched their way to eight runs on 15 hits in the victory.
Infielder Oduber Herrera (.325/.345/.446) led the way, going 3-for-5 with his third triple of the summer.
Christian Villanueva had the other extra-base hit, going 2-for-5 with a double and two runs batted in.
Teodoro Martinez (2/4, BB), Tomas Telis (2/5), Jhonny Gomez (2/4, BB) and Alinson Perez (2/4) all singled twice.
The speedy Martinez stole his 16th base in 19 attempts.
Starting pitcher Ezequiel Rijo allowed three runs on six hits in five innings, walking none and striking out four.
New Mexico native Anthony Haase followed with three no-hit innings. The sinkerballer fanned three while walking two.
Luis Sardinas singled in his only plate appearance. The 17-year-old switch-hitter has begun his pro career by going 5-for-12 with two walks and two stolen bases in four games.
Outfielder Braxton Lane struck out three times and walked once. After getting out to a fast start, Lane now has 18 strikeouts in 32 official at-bats over his last 10 contests.
21-19, 3.5 GB
The Rangers had a scheduled day off on Sunday.
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