Hornbeck, Cougars Dominate Bees
The Kane County Cougars had to put in a little extra work on Wednesday, as the Cougars squared off against the Burlington Bees in a double-header. The double-header made up for a rain-out on Monday.
In the first contest, A's 2008 seventh round draft pick Brett Hunter got his first start of 2009. Hunter allowed only one hit in three innings, but he struggled with his command, walking five. He struck-out three and allowed two runs.
Josue Selenes also allowed two runs, but it was enough to earn the win, as the Cougars' offense exploded for seven runs. The bottom of the Cougars' order led the way, as seventh-place hitter Dusty Coleman went 3-3 with a double and a triple and eighth-place hitter Juan Nunez went 2-3 with a double. They each scored twice.
Franklin Hernandez and Steve Kleen both added doubles and scored runs. Grant Desme went hitless in three at-bats, but he did score a run.
Jamie Richmond, who has moved into the bullpen this season, threw two scoreless innings to earn his first save of the year. He allowed only one hit and he struck-out three.
Game two was all about pitching for the Cougars. Lefty Ben Hornbeck took the hill for his first start of the season and he was brilliant. Hornbeck allowed only one unearned run in five hitless and walkless innings. He struck-out six. Reliever Scott Deal lost the no-hitter in the seventh and final inning of the game, but he was solid in his relief outing, tossing two scoreless innings.
The Cougars won the game 6-1 and they did all of their scoring in the fifth inning. Kleen had another good game at the plate, going 2-2 with a walk. Jason Christian had the big blow; a grand slam. That was his first homer of the season. Dusty Coleman had a hit and stole second base. He ended the day batting .300 on the season.
Sacramento Routed By Portland
It was just one of those days for the Sacramento River Cats' pitching staff on Wednesday. Five River Cats' pitchers combined to allow 11 runs on 13 hits and 12 walks. It got so bad that the final two innings were pitched by position players, with outfielder Matt Carson allowing three runs in the eighth and catcher Raul Padron tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
Starter Ryan Webb struggled with his command, walking five and allowing two homeruns in three innings. He struck-out four and was hung with the loss. Jared Lansford took over for Webb in the fourth and he struggled, allowing four runs (three earned) in 1.2 innings. He walked five and didn't strike-out a batter. Lansford has walked 10 and has struck-out only one in 4.1 innings thus far this season.
Jay Marshall put together the best outing of the night for Sacramento, allowing a run in 2.1 innings. He struck-out two.
The River Cats' offense was basically non-existent on Wednesday. They managed only five hits and a run. Daric Barton picked up the River Cats' only RBI and Jeff Baisley was the only River Cat with more than one hit.
Stockton Drops Another One-Run Game
The Stockton Ports saw their season-opening losing streak extended to seven games with a heart-breaking 3-2 loss to the Modesto Nuts for the second straight day.
The Ports actually had a lead into the eighth inning, 2-1. Starter Carlos Hernandez put together a solid outing, allowing only one run on five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck-out three. Patrick Currin tossed a scoreless 1.2 innings in relief of Hernandez, but Nick Walters and Justin Friend combined to blow the lead in the eighth and ninth, each allowing a run (Friend's run was unearned). The winning run scored on a fielding error by outfielder Toddric Johnson.
Stockton managed only three hits and two runs on offense. Shane Keough had the Ports' only extra-base hit, a double. Dante Love had both of the Ports' RBIs. Stockton heads home on Thursday to try to break this losing skid.
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