The first pitch was pushed back an hour as the result of travel delays. That didn't stop Ryan O'Malley from picking up his third win and lowering his ERA to 1.53 since joining the starting rotation. The reason behind his success has been obvious.
The southpaw has 22 strikeouts to only two walks in five starts, and 31 strikeouts to three walks overall this year. O'Malley allowed one run and seven hits through 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Micah Hoffpauir didn't homer, but did pick up three hits to raise his average to .310 since joining the club from Double-A. Mike Fontenot scored two runs and has reached base in each of his last 10 games. He's batting .366 in 82 at-bats this month after getting only 55 AB's in April.
In a move that even Stevie Wonder could have saw coming, the Cubs promoted INF Tony Womack to Chicago Friday and sent Ryan Theriot back to Iowa. The 36-year-old Womack was 7-for-15 in his five games with the Triple-A club. Theriot was hitless in four at-bats with the big league club.
AA: West Tenn lost to Carolina, 1-0
Shutout for the second time in the series, the Jaxx mustered four hits, which is two better than they accomplished on Wednesday. Randy Wells threw seven solid innings, allowing just an unearned run on five hits. He struck out nine and walked two.
Like O'Malley, Wells has done an admirable job of keeping guys off base this year by limiting the number of free passes.
"I've really bought in to commanding my fastball," Wells told us earlier this week. "You can do so much by not walking guys. Let the hitters get themselves out. You just make quality pitches."
Through the first two months of the season, Wells has done precisely that. In eight starts, he's yet to walk more than two batters in a game. That, in turn, has resulted in no more than one earned run allowed in any of his starts. He threw his first wild pitch of the year in a losing effort Friday.
Eric Patterson's two hits was the only thing of note for the offense. He snapped a string of 14 straight at-bats without a hit.
Class High A: Daytona beat Dunedin, 6-4
Daytona took advantage of their 11 hits, and five errors by the opposing team, for their 11th win in 14 tries Friday. Lighting the fire as usual was leadoff hitter Sam Fuld, who extended his hitting streak to 14 straight games. He's batting .413 this month with an on-base percentage of .486 in that span.
Mark Holliman picked up his third win of the season. He allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. Adalberto Mendez gave up his first run in relief since April 23, snapping a string of 13 straight appearances without a run. He recorded his ninth save of the season.
Class Mid A: Peoria lost to Clinton, 5-4
Donald Veal upped his season strikeout total to 65, which re-claimed him the top spot in the farm system in that category. He gave up four runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings Friday in a no-decision to lower his ERA to 3.02 in 10 starts. The left-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Matt Avery went the final 2 2/3 innings and was tagged with the loss in extra innings. The former starter gave up four hits, plus an unearned run. His last earned run allowed was back on May 1.
From Peoria broadcaster Nathan Baliva:
"With 23 games remaining in the half the Chiefs are in the Wild Card spot in the Western Division. They are 2 ½ games behind first place Kane County and started the day 3 ½ ahead of Burlington for the Wild Card while the Bees were still playing Beloit Friday night."
(Updated statistics and top organizational performers will be added soon.)