Colorado Springs gave Steve Shell another rough time of it as the Bees fell in the rubber match of a five-game series with the last-place Sky Sox to finish the year with a 9-8 record against the team they lead by 16 games in the standings.
Shell, who had a strong performance against Portland last week, was back to his post-All-Star break blues giving up six earned runs in 4.1 innings. The righty surrendered nine hits and matched his season high with three walks allowed, while striking out just one. Since July 1, the former first-round pick has a 10.25 ERA.
Rich Thompson, appearing in his second Triple-A game after a call-up from Arkansas, was saddled with the loss in just one inning of work. The 22-year-old Australian walked two and gave up a hit and has now given up a run in each of his two contests. In 42 outings for the Travelers, Thompson had a 5.13 ERA although he allowed an average against of just .218.
Travelers rally for 5-4 victory over Tulsa (Colorado)
The Travs twice lost a lead against to the Drillers on Sunday, but Sean Rodriguez led off the ninth with his second homer since getting promoted to Double-A to push his team over the top a night after Tulsa won the opener in their final at-bat.
Rodriguez also had a double in four at-bats on Sunday, raising his average in the Texas League to .317. Although he has struck out 12 times in 11 games, the 21-year-old shortstop has also nine of those contests and has a .512 slugging percentage since replacing Brandon Wood. The Miami native finished his stint in the Cal League with a .301 hitting mark and .545 slugging percentage.
Slugger Greg Porter had put the Travs up with a three-run blast of his own in the seventh. The big lefty finished the day – and the season so far - a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 to continue his success in the second half of the season. With hits in nine of 10 games since his 26th birthday earlier this month, Porter is now hitting .339 since July 1 and has pulled his season average above .300 for the first time since May.
Rancho pounds out 11-10 win over JetHawks (Arizona)
Putting up a score that looks more like a game played in Lancaster, the Quakes clubbed out 11 runs on 12 hits and eight walks to edge the equally offense-minded JetHawks.
Pat Reilly and Baltazar Lopez led the club with three RBIs each. Reilly was 2-for-4 with a double and walk, collecting his first extra-base hit in a week. The Orange County native, whose production has dropped off each month since he was promoted from Cedar Rapids in May, is hitting .241 with four doubles and two homers this month. Lopez, who took over for rehabbing big-leaguer Darin Erstad in the fourth, doubled in one run in the fourth and slashed a bases-loaded single to center in the seventh to drive in a pair more. After spending six weeks on the inactive list, Lopez has come back with a vengeance, going 10-for-18 with three extra-base hits.
Ryan Aldridge, who joined the club earlier in the day, picked up a save in his first Cal League appearance. The righty struggled with control in issuing three walks over two innings, but allowed just one hit while striking out four. He did allow one inherited runner to cross the plate, but extended his most recent scoreless innings streak to seven.
Cedar Rapids gets marathon 3-2 win over Beloit (Minnesota)
It's not often a club can go scoreless for two different stretches of at least seven innings in a night and get a win, but that's exactly what the Kernels accomplished when Dallas Morris finally drove an RBI single to center in the bottom of the 19th inning, nearly five hours after the first pitch of the contest.
Starter Andy Hill had his best outing in over two months, allowing just one earned run on six hits over seven innings. Unfortunately for him, his offense was no-hit over that same stretch, so he left trailing. Hill has just a 2-3 record in the six quality starts he has posted for the Kernels this season and is 3-10 overall. The righty walked only one and has surrendered just 18 in more than 96 innings of work this season.
Chris Howell made his longest appearance of the year after coming on in the 11th inning. The University of Tennessee product gave up a run in his first frame, but after his offense rallied to tie it again, he threw four more innings with only one hit allowed. Howell did uncork two wild pitches, walked two and hit one batter, wildness which hasn't been common for him this season. He had thrown just two wild pitches in his first 34 games, but now has four over his last five outings.
Perhaps most impressive in the 19-inning marathon is that the eight position players and designated hitter who manager Bobby Magallanes started all finished the game in the same spot.
Orem opens with 5-2 win over Great Falls (White Sox)
The Owlz maintained a one-game lead over the streaking Ogden Raptors on the back of starter Jeremy Haynes and a pair of homers.
Haynes matched his longest outing of the year and avoided walking anyone for the first time in seven starts to claim his second straight win. The righty threw 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up just six hits in the process of lowering his season opponents' batting average to just .198. Haynes struck out four to push his total to 60 in 50.2 innings of work and get his strikeout-to-walk ratio closer to 2-to-1. The raw talent has a 2.84 ERA, which would rank sixth in the league if he had enough innings to qualify.
Chris Pettit and Peter Bourjos had back-to-back homers to give the Owlz the lead in the third inning. Pettit later followed with a double to push his team-leading average to .319. and slugging percentage back into the top five in the league at .543. Arizona high school product Bourjos is next in line behind Pettit for average with a .295 mark and has used his speed to collect a league-high seven triples on the year. He also paces the squad with 12 stolen bases.
AZL Angels pound Royals 8-4
After jumping out to an early 6-0 lead, the Angels cruised to their ninth win over the last 11 games and extended their lead to 1.5 games with two left to play. They will finish the season Wednesday against the Padres who are their nearest challengers.
Norberto Ortiz put the club's final run on the board with a solo homer in the fifth inning. The right-handed slugger finished the day with a 2-for-3 line and was also hit by a pitch. After starting the season slowly in terms of power production, the 21-year-old has a .493 slugging mark over the last two months while hitting .287.
Dustin Miller claimed his first professional victory in the game, giving up just one run on four hits over five innings. The righty from Cal State Fullerton was making his first start after five appearances out of the pen, but continued with the same success he'd shown in relief, striking out five. In 16.1 innings of work this year, he has 25 strikeouts against just two walks and has amassed a 1.10 ERA.