Chris Bootcheck got the best of tonight's match-up with another former Angel first-round draft pick after the Bees jumped on Portland starter Seth Etherton for six runs in the first two innings.
Erick Aybar led off the first with a homer to right-center field, and then came back with an RBI single in the second to pace the attack. He then scored on a Howie Kendrick homer that spotted the Bees' to a six-nothing lead.
Staked to the early advantage, Bootcheck held the Beavers scoreless over five innings of work, surrendering three hits and walking two to earn his first victory of the year after logging only three innings in his first effort. Bootcheck, the 20th overall pick out of Auburn in 2000, was taken two years after the Angels selected fellow righty Etherton out of the University of Southern California with the 18th pick.
Both have taken circuitous paths that include major-league time, but are back in the Pacific Coast League for a fourth go-around. After the Bees struck for seven hits, four going for extra bases, before they'd made five outs, they managed only two more singles on the night. Third baseman Dallas McPherson continued his early-season struggles, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Through nine games, his is just 5-for-35 with 22 strikeouts.
Travelers charge past Wranglers 10-5
A night after they wasted an early-inning offensive outburst, Arkansas waited until the late innings to win Friday night, scoring five runs over the final two frames.
Aaron Peel was 4-for-5 on the night with a double and three RBI to lead six Travelers with multiple hits on the night. Mike Eylward hit his first home run of the year and had an RBI single in the winning effort as well. Eylward now has at least two hits – including an extra-base hit – in five of his last six games.
Arkansas starter James Holcomb gave up five runs, four earned, in six innings. The win went to reliever Tim Bittner, who moved to the bullpen after two years of starting in Arkansas. The lefty has allowed just one run in three appearances to start the year.
Matt Brown had a ninth inning single to extend his season-opening hitting streak to eight games. Meanwhile, Wrangler pitchers held Brandon Wood hitless for the third consecutive game, a feat that only happened once during his monster year at Rancho last year. Wood has struck out 11 times in 30 at-bats this year.
Wood's double play partner Eric Rodland, claimed from the Tigers in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft this winter, was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI on the night. It was the former Gonzaga Bulldog's fourth straight game with an RBI.
Rancho wins with strong pitching, timely hitting
For the third straight night, a young Quakes starting pitcher shut down the opponents to lead the squad to victory as Rancho Cucamonga defeated the Lancaster JetHawks 5-4.
Starter Jose Arredondo delivered his second consecutive start of one-run ball over five innings. The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic struck out nine on the night, and now has 16 against only one walk in 10 innings.
Arredondo was in line for the victory until relievers Miguel Gonzalez and Mike Pete were touched for three runs in the seventh inning. The Quakes came right back in the top of the eighth with the tying and winning runs on a Clifton Remole single and a Daniel Pohlman wild pitch.
Outfielder Drew Toussaint had a pair of doubles and scored two runs for the Quakes. The 2004 draft pick has hit in seven of eight games on the year. After striking out 125 times for Cedar Rapids last year, he has fanned eight times through his first 27 at-bats of the season.
Kernels ride Marek to 4-2 win over Wisconsin
Bradley Coon had a single and double to score and drive in a pair in the first two innings, providing Stephen Marek all the offense he would need to defeat the Rattlers.
Marek, a 40th-round draft pick in 2004 who the Angels signed as a draft-and-follow player last May, turned in his second impressive outing in a row to start the season. The 22-year-old righty allowed four hits in five innings of work while giving up his first run of the season. Although he won only one decision last year, Marek has now limited opponents to one run or less in eight of his 14 career starts.
Coon has now hit in seven of his last eight games and scored in five of them. The fleet-footed outfielder had a 10-game and 12-game streak at Orem last year.
Jordan Renz, DH-ing for the third straight game, had a double and two walks. After going hitless in his first three games while playing the field, Renz has now reached base in eight of his last 11 plate appearances.
Reliever Tim Mattison was called on with runners on first and second and two outs in the ninth. After walking the first batter he faced, he got Bryan Sabatella to ground into a fielder's choice to end the game. His 5.1 innings of scoreless work to start the season is longer than any streak he had last year.