Tucson holds off Reno 6-5
On a night when recent MLB-returnees James Darnell and Pat Neshek contributed to the victory, it was 27-year-old minor-league veteran Anthony Contreras paced the offense with a double and triple and two runs scored. Contreras has been on a role since returning to Tucson from San Antonio earlier this month, posting an 815 OPS. In his earlier stay with Tucson, he hit just .175 in 12 games.
Sam Deduno picked up his first victory since moving into the starting rotation, giving up four runs over six innings of work. The 28-year-old righty is the only starter on the roster with an ERA below 4.00, sporting a 3.91 overall mark and 3.93 in the rotation. Claimed off waivers during the offseason, Deduno has kept PCL hitters pounding the ball into the ground this year, but continues to struggle with command, posting only 81 strikeouts and 52 walks.
Darnell went 1-for-3 with two RBIs in his second game back while playing both corner outfield positions. Neshek, in his first appearance back in Triple-A, earned a save, but was tagged for one run on three hits in his inning of work.
San Antonio downed by Frisco 4-3
Nick Vincent, who hadn’t issued a free pass in 13 appearances, walked in the winning run as the Missions dropped the finale of their four-game series with the RoughRiders 4-3. Their magic number in the second half remains at five games.
Vincent worked around a leadoff hit batter in the eighth inning, but in the ninth he again allowed the first hitter to reach. After a sacrifice bunt, he intentionally walked a hitter and gave up a single to load the bases. After a strike out, Vincent worked to a full count on DH Michael Bianucci before pushing across the game winner with ball four. The righty from Long Beach State had only issued multiple free passes in one other game this year as part of his stellar campaign, which includes a 2.20 ERA over 61 appearances and an 84:16 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Simon Castro turned in another solid start, giving up only one unearned run over six innings. The 23-year-old righty yielded three hits and a pair of walks, but struck out six. In four August appearances, Castro posted a 2.22 ERA with 16 strikeouts and just four free passes over 24.1 innings of work.
Jedd Gyorko continued to show he has settled in against the higher level of competition, clubbing his sixth homer as a member of the Missions. After struggling in his first month at Double-A, the right-handed hitter has gotten on base at nearly a .400 clip and sports a .477 slugging percentage through August.
Storm smacked by Lancaster
Matt Lollis was victimized by a porous defense behind him as he transitioned back into the starting rotation, getting tagged for four unearned runs and the loss as Elsinore failed to take advantage of an opportunity to move into a tie atop the division with Rancho.
Lollis surrendered six runs overall in 3.2 innings of work, yielding seven hits and a walk. As they have often recently, runners also victimized him for three stolen bases. Even after spending the last seven weeks in the bullpen, Lollis has worked 111 innings this season, 22 more than he turned in last year. While his strikeout rates are up significantly – he has notched 107 K’s – all of his other numbers have regressed significantly this year.
Catcher Eddy Martinez had his second three-hit game of the week, going 3-for 4 with a double and run scored. The 25-year-old, signed as a minor league free agent before the season, is hitting .316 over his last 10 games, posting a .500 slugging percentage in the process. Although he has spent more time at Elsinore than any other stop, but has also suited up for San Antonio and Tucson this season.
Ft. Wayne comes up short against Hawks
The TinCaps put five late runs on the board, but it wasn’t enough as South Bend used a pair of big innings to hold them off 8-7. The TinCaps fell back to seven games out in the second half, remaining in second place in the Eastern Division.
Cory Spangenberg continued his recent hot hitting, going 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to nine games. During that stretch, he is hitting .450 with four walks and five strikeouts. With today’s performance, which included his 10th steal in 14 Midwest League attempts, the first-round pick has pushed his OPS in Fort Wayne above 700 for the first time. He did commit an error on a throw from third base during a would-be double play, his seventh miscue in 37 games in the MWL.
Robert Lara came in with two on and one out in the sixth. He issued a walk before getting a strikeout to end the inning. The former catcher, who retired the only batter he saw in the seventh as well, has finally started to find his stride a bit on the mound this August, posting a 1.42 ERA and striking out 11 over 12.2 innings. Now 24 years old, the Florida native is still working to refine his command, averaging 3.28 BB/9 since being demoted after a disastrous showing in the Cal League earlier this year.
Eugene blanks Spokane
Colin Rea and three relievers made a first-inning run hold up as they limited the Indians to just a pair of singles and pulled into a tie for first place in the West Division. As always, look for our home game recaps from Eugene on the site.