Salt Lake got help from one player who will be back with the big-league team within the week and another who's glad to finally be in Triple-A on the way to a 17-7 drubbing of the Rainiers Friday night.
Outfielder Juan Rivera, coming back from a ribcage strain, looked plenty healthy in his first rehab assignment, knocking a pair of doubles and a homer among four hits and a walk in six plate appearances. He knocked in six runs and scored three on the game. In the field however, it wasn't such easy going. Playing center field, had a pair of errors. In both instances he over-ran a hit that had bounced already, allowing the hitter to take an extra base. Rivera is expected to rejoin the major league team on Tuesday.
After starting his third straight season at Arkansas, Mike Eylward finally got a chance in the PCL Friday, and made the most of his first Triple-A game. The slugging right-hander had a single and double with two RBIs hitting in the eighth spot in the lineup. Eylward joined the Bees to fill the roster spot of Tommy Murphy, who was recalled by the Angels earlier in the day. In 26 games with the Travs, he hit .365 with a .644 slugging percentage.
Kasey Olenberger won his first game of the year for the Bees, allowing one earned run on four hits in five innings. After starting the year in the bullpen and getting knocked out of his first start by a line drive, it was the first time the righty made it through five innings. He threw at least six innings in each of his final eight starts in 2005.
Arkansas holds off Missions
Raphael Rodriguez cruised through six innings as the Travelers built a 6-1 lead, but San Antonio came back to tie the game in the seventh before Aaron Peel hit a game-winning homer for the Travs.
Rodriguez, who had been hit hard in two starts after his promotion from Rancho, gave up just one run on five hits in six innings Friday. When he surrendered a double and single to open the seventh, he gave way. However, the bullpen – and defense – betrayed him by allowing both those runners, and three others, to score. After striking out at least six in his three starts in the Cal League starts, the four whiffs he had Friday were his best total with Arkansas.
Greg Porter, taking Eylward's spot in the lineup, was 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. The left-handed hitter has eight hits in his last 18 at-bats – including three home runs - to raise his average 64 points to .243. The blast to right field was Porters' first at home this season.
Devin Day, who had been 0-for-12 since moving up from Rancho, had his first two hits with the Travelers Friday, including a double, and scored in the first inning. Day has crossed the plate in three straight despite the slow start offensively after scoring four runs in 10 games with the Quakes.
Rancho tripped up in Bakersfield
Jose Arredondo had another solid outing for the Quakes, but it wasn't enough for the Quakes, who lost 3-2. Arredondo allowed three runs in six innings to raise his ERA to 2.59, but did record nine more strikeouts on the night. The righty reclaimed the Cal League lead and has whiffed at least seven in each of his six starts this season.
Cody Fuller had an RBI double in the seventh. While he has now hit in 11 of 12 games, it was his first run batted in in a week. The righty is hitting .404 against right-handers on the year.
After going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, Drew Toussaint remains mired in a slump. The fleet-footed outfielder has just two singles in his last 30 at-bats, and has struck out 14 times in that span.
Kernels' comeback not enough
Cedar Rapids scored a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to tie their contest against Wisconsin, but the Rattlers came back with a pair of their own in the top of the ninth to win 8-6.
Dallas Morris hit a two-run homer in the seventh to chase Rattlers' starter Paul Fagan, and then drove in the tying run with a two-out single to center in the eighth. After starting the year in a brutal six-for-52 slump, the 2005 draftee has ten hits in his last 29 at-bats.
Warner Madrigal also homered on the day. After going without an extra-base hit through his first 80 at-bats of the year, the rightfielder has gone yard in back-to-back games against Wisconsin. His three hits in the series doubles his total at home for the entire year.
Starter Kelly Shearer had his roughest outing of the year for the Kernels. The lefty yielded six runs – five earned – on seven hits and three walks in five innings. For just the third time in 29 career starts, the 21-year-old did not record a strikeout in the game.