Jesse Smith leads Arkansas to 7-1 win over Missions (Mariners)
The Travelers got another strong performance from Jesse Smith and collected eight doubles on the night to move over .500 in the season's second half.
Smith allowed just one run on eight hits and three walks while striking out only a pair. The righty has posted a 2.51 ERA in his six wins this season, but has a 6.46 mark in his 13 other appearances. Tuesday's victory was the third he has collected this season when allowing more walks than strikeouts.
Third baseman Matt Brown had a pair of the Travs' season-high eight doubles, With the two hits, he moved his average back up to .302 and joins three other teammates over the .300 mark. Brown is hitting .366 in 11 games this month and has used the hot streak to move into the team's top three in doubles, homers, RBIs, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Rancho edges Inland Empire 4-3 (Mariners)
The Quakes and 66'ers were tied at two at the end of regulation and both put up a run in the 10th inning before Rancho got the victory with a final run in the 11th.
Hitting in the leadoff spot, Nate Sutton led the offense with three hits including his third home run of the season. The left-handed hitter had collected that many hits just once in his first 71 games, but has now matched the total twice in three days. After struggling to a .219 average in May and June, the UC Santa Barbara product is hitting .368 this month.
Kevin Lynch continued his strong work as a setup man, throwing two innings of one-hit baseball. Last year's 26th round pick has a combined 1.33 ERA at two levels this season and has given up just one earned run over his last 19.1 innings of work spanning 17 outings. Righties are hitting only .170 against him on the year.
Cedar Rapids had the night off. They resume at home against Clinton on Wednesday.
Owlz fall 4-2 to Missoula (Diamondbacks)
Orem and the Ospreys combined for only eight hits through the first eight innings, but then both offenses broke out. Unfortunately for the Owlz, they came up one big hit short.
Trevor Bell was dominant in his longest outing of the year, giving up just two hits while striking out seven in 6.2 innings. The righty, making his first appearance at home after four appearances on the road, has allowed just 25 runners in 27.2 innings for a .198 average against. Last year's first-round pick is now fourth in the Pioneer League with a 1.95 ERA.
Reliever Darren O'Day came in with one out and runners on first and third in the top of the ninth and induced a grounder that first baseman Robert Shankle turned into a force out at the plate. After manager Tom Kotchman opted to have his side-armer issue an intentional walk to get a righty-righty showdown, O'Day – who had allowed righties just a .095 ERA – was taken yard by John Hester for a grand slam. The blast was just the second hit he allowed in 19 at-bats with runners on.
AZL Angels fall to Padres 8-3
Vladimir Veras had his first poor outing of the season and the Angels were unable to bounce back from the early deficit against the ASL's second-best team.
Veras, who had allowed just two earned runs in his first three starts, got knocked around for eight hits and four earned runs in just three innings of work. The starter yielded a pair of walks and to go along with a pair of strikeouts. Veras uncorked his fifth wild pitch of the year in the contest and has at least one in each appearance this year. He was also one of three pitchers in the contest called for a balk.
Jeremy Moore had his third straight two-hit game, knocking a pair of doubles and driving in a run. The left-handed hitter is repeating in the rookie league after the Angels drafted him out of a Louisiana high school in the sixth round last year. After starting slowly, he has hit .304 so far in July.