Schoeninger strikes again for Kernels

Top prospect Nick Adenhart proved he's human in Arkansas, but Tim Schoeninger is making us wonder as he continues to throw nothing but strikes. Steve Marek got another win in Rancho despite odd peripherals. Salt Lake's starting pitching continues to struggle, but there's good news in the pen.

Bees drop opener to Tacoma 6-3
Salt Lake couldn't hold on to an early lead and lost their third straight game as the Rainiers moved to within a game-and-a-half of the division lead.

Pedro Liriano's struggles continued as the starter gave up six earned runs over 4.1 innings of work. With 10 more hits surrendered Friday, Liriano now sports a .408 average against. He's made it out of the fifth inning just once in six starts this year and his 8.67 ERA is the highest among qualified pitchers in the PCL.

Marcus Gwyn worked his longest outing of the year, going 2.2 innings of scoreless relief and stranding the only runner he has inherited all season. The 29-year-old righty has given up runs in only two of his 12 appearances and has issued no walks over his last 8.2 innings.

Matt Brown continued his recent surge, going 2-for-4 with the club's only extra-base hits of the night. With Brandon Wood back with the major league club for the moment, Brown is enjoying the chance to be back at third base. He's hit .480 in 25 at-bats while playing the hot corner this season, just .250 while playing elsewhere. With two RBIs on Friday, he has assumed the club lead with 18 on the year.

Arkansas falls to Drillers 7-5
The Travelers had a chance to come back after Nick Adenhart turned in his only poor outing of the year, but couldn't take advantage of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the seventh inning and lost when their bullpen gave up three in the bottom half of the frame.

Adenhart lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and five walks. He had allowed only three runs total in his first five Texas League starts, managing to control the wildness that overtook him Friday. Through 37 innings, the star right-hander has walked 15, hit four batters and tossed four wild pitches, all of which are well above his career rates.

Rafael Rodriguez's tough week continued as he allowed three runs – only one earned – for the second straight appearance to take the loss. After a strikeout to open his one inning of work, he failed to catch the feed throw on a cover play at first for an error, then compounded the mistake by giving up back-to-back doubles. Since his promotion to Arkansas last April, Rodriguez has a 6.60 ERA and opponents have hit .326 against him.

Sean Rodriguez drove in a pair of runs with a double, snapping out of a power outage. The slugger entered the game with only one extra-base hit – a double – in his previous 10 contests to drop his slugging percentage nearly 200 points. Even during that slide, the 22-year-old shortstop has maintained his patience at the plate, drawing eight walks in that span, including a pair Friday night. His .402 on-base percentage – about 20 points above his career mark – is behind only Adam Morrisey's mark for the Travs.

Rancho downs 66ers 3-2
The Quakes got some help from Inland Empire's pitching to push three runs across and claim a victory in the series opener.

Abel Nieves scored the eventual winning run in the seventh on a wild pitch by reliever Mario Alvarez. Nieves had led off the frame with a single to get his first multi-hit game of the season. The infielder had managed just two hits in his previous 21 at-bats combined but does have nine walks on the year, good for second on the club.

Drew Toussaint opened the first two scoring innings with a single as part of his three-hit night, eventually coming around on doubles, first by Nieves and then Brad Coon. The speedy outfielder had entered the contest in an 0-for-14 slump.

Steve Marek earned his second victory in four starts, limiting the 66ers to one earned run over six innings. The righty now sports a 2.14 ERA despite striking out just eight and walking seven over 21 innings of work since joining the Quakes. He entered the year with a three-to-one strikeout ratio in his career.

Cedar Rapids holds on for 4-3 win over Swing
It got scary for the Kernels, but Warner Madrigal managed to hold back Quad Cities in the ninth inning and preserve Tim Schoeninger's fourth victory of the year as the two clubs opened a four-game series.

Schoeninger allowed just one unearned run over 6.2 innings of work. He once again didn't allow a walk, extending his streak to 31 frames without a free pass this year. He went six starts without walking anyone in the middle of last season in the Arizona League. He has gone at least six innings in each of his five starts this season, helping him to second place in the Midwest League with 35 innings pitched.

Madrigal opened the ninth by surrendering four straight hits and a wild pitch to plate two runs and put the tying and winning men in scoring position. He ultimately finished the game with a bases-loaded strikeout, but has allowed runs in three straight appearances and five of 10 games this year. Opponents are hitting .304 against him overall, but he has been particularly ineffective with runners on, giving up a .429 average in those situations.

Leadoff man Peter Bourjos drove in P.J. Phillips twice as he collected his third game with at least three hits this season. The 20-year-old center fielder also swiped a pair of bases to take over second place in the Midwest League with 11. The son of former big-leaguer and current scout Chris Bourjos has shown good aptitude on the bases, getting caught just twice this season.

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