Midland Notes: Offense Explodes

The first-place Midland Rockhounds exploded for 53 runs over the Memorial Day weekend, a weekend during which the team went 3-1. We have news and notes about the Rockhounds inside…

The rest of the US might have been enjoying a leisurely holiday weekend, but the Midland Rockhounds' bats were hard at work. The team scored in double-digits in three out of the four games in which they played, including 24 runs in a laugher over Corpus Christi on Friday.

There were a number of Rockhounds who had big weekends at the plate:

Josh Horton: The Midland shortstop cracked his first homer of the season and also collected his first triple and a double over the weekend. He went eight-for-20 with three RBIs and seven runs scored. For the season, Horton is batting .280 with a .353 OBP.

Corey Brown: Brown exploded out of his first slump of the season this Memorial Day weekend. He had at least one hit in all four games and went nine-for-17 with two doubles, two triples and a homer. In Friday's game, Brown drove-in six and missed the cycle by a single (he had two doubles). He scored six runs and drove-in eight on the weekend. For the season, Brown is batting .336 with five homers, 24 RBIs and a 1044 OPS in 28 games.

Archie Gilbert: Gilbert is quietly putting together a fine season in his first campaign at the Double-A level. The Midland lead-off hitter went seven-for-19 with a triple and two RBIs over the weekend. He is batting .306 with a .402 OBP and an 805 OPS this season. Gilbert has walked 19 times against only 12 strike-outs in 144 at-bats.

Adrian Cardenas: After struggling for three weeks at Triple-A, Cardenas returned to Double-A on Friday and picked up right where he left off with the Rockhounds. He collected four hits on Friday night and eight in 17 at-bats over the weekend. He drove-in seven and hit his second homerun of the season. He also walked three times, doubled and scored nine runs. In 23 games with Midland, Cardenas is batting .389 with 26 RBIs and a 1073 OPS.

Chris Carter: Carter broke out of a mini-slump over the weekend, collecting six hits in 15 at-bats. He had three doubles, a homer and three RBIs. Carter also walked five times and scored seven runs. Carter has 35 RBIs in 44 games this season and has 23 extra-base hits. He has also stolen five bases in six chances.

Josh Donaldson: Donaldson's slow start to the season is officially a thing of the past. He is working on a five-game hitting streak and he went seven-for-15 with two doubles, a homer and eight RBIs over the Memorial Day weekend. He also scored six runs. Donaldson has his season average up to .278 and his OPS up to 855. He has 33 RBIs in 41 games this season and an impressive 29:32 BB:K ratio.

Tom Everidge: Everidge had a monster weekend, going nine-for-19 with four doubles, a homer and eight RBIs. He also walked once and didn't strike-out while scoring seven runs. Everidge is batting .306 with a team-best 42 RBIs in 43 games. He has an 842 OPS and six homers.

Matt Sulentic: Despite competing against mostly older competition, the 21-year-old Sulentic is finding the Texas League to his liking. He went four-for-16 with a double and a homer and four RBIs this weekend. On the season, he is batting .294 with 10 stolen bases and an 814 OPS.

Pitching Highlights

The weekend was mostly about hitting for the Rockhounds, but there have been some notable pitching performances of late from the Midland staff:

Bobby Cramer: Cramer was named the Texas League's Pitcher of the Week for the Week of May 18th. During that week, he didn't allow an earned run in 6.1 innings and he struck-out eight. Cramer has pitched for Stockton, Sacramento and Midland this season. He has been solid since joining the Rockhounds' rotation. In four starts, Cramer is 2-2 with a 3.66 ERA. He has 16 strike-outs and only five walks in 19.2 innings. On the season, he has a 36:15 K:BB ratio in 39.1 innings.

Travis Banwart: Banwart has been Mr. Automatic for the Rockhounds this season. He is 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA in nine starts. On May 19th, Banwart worked seven innings, allowing three runs. He struck-out six and walked none. On Sunday, Banwart earned a win by allowing two earned runs in five innings. The five-inning start broke a personal streak of five consecutive starts in which he pitched at least six innings.

Sam Demel: Demel recovered from a rough outing on May 19th to post two scoreless outings over the weekend. On Sunday, Demel pitched 1.1 scoreless innings. He didn't allow a base-runner and he struck-out one. On Sunday, he picked up his seventh save of the season, allowing a hit in one scoreless inning of work. Demel has an 0.98 ERA and 17 strike-outs in 18.1 innings this season. Opposing batters are hitting only .188 against him and he has a WHIP of just over 1.00.

Carlos Hernandez: Hernandez earned a win in his Double-A debut on Friday night, aided by the Rockhounds' 24-run explosion. Hernandez allowed two runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck-out three and walked two. He was 2-4 with a 5.31 ERA in 40.2 innings for Stockton before his promotion.

Jonathan Hunton: Hunton has made two appearances since being promoted to Midland from Stockton on May 19th. He has tossed 4.1 innings in those two appearances, allowing a run on two hits. He has struck-out two and walked none. Hunton has 29 strike-outs and six walks in 24.1 total innings this season.

Team Notes

Going into Tuesday's off-day, the Rockhounds were in first place with a 24-20 record. They are leading the Texas League with a .299 team average and an 841 team OPS. No other Texas League club has an OPS above 800. The Rockhounds are second in the league in homers with 39, first in doubles with 111 and second in stolen bases with 52 (they have been caught only 14 times). They have scored a league-best 305 runs and have walked a league-leading 198 times.

The Midland pitching staff leads the Texas League with 394 innings pitched. Travis Banwart is second in the league in ERA. The team is second-to-last in ERA with a 4.64 mark, although only .24 points separate the Rockhounds from the fourth-best league ERA. The staff is fourth in the league in strike-outs and second in the league in fewest walks. Midland is also second in the league with three shut-outs. They have yet to toss a complete game.

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