Wells Returns Strong

DES MOINES – The stat line wasn't ideal, but Class AAA Iowa pitcher Randy Wells felt fine Monday after returning from an injury.

The right-hander skipped his last turn in the rotation while dealing with pain from a calf bruise and tendonitis in his throwing arm.

On Monday, Wells spread out nine hits and three runs (two earned) over six innings of work, striking out seven Omaha Royals batters and walking one. Iowa won, 6-3.

"I thought I made a couple of poor decisions on pitch selection on a few guys, gave up a lot of hits, didn't walk a lot of guys," he said. "It went good. I kept the team in the ballgame. That's about the best I can expect after not pitching in 10 days."

In his last start, Wells lasted only two innings against Albuquerque and gave up a career-high 10 runs on nine hits – three of which were home runs.

His ERA as a starter this season jumped from 1.64 to 3.33.

"Albuquerque is a tough place to pitch," offered Wells. "It's deceiving. A couple balls fell in, a couple balls were hit hard, you know. But the bottom line is you've got to know when to flip the switch and try to stop the bleeding there. I didn't do it.

"I was hurting a little bit, but you've just got to forget about those (things). Realistically, you're going to have one of those a year. Hopefully that's it, that's my one and I can keep moving on," added Wells.

When Wells left Monday's game at Principal Park, Iowa was in a 3-0 hole. But Micah Hoffpauir's three-run home run in the sixth inning tied the game, and Jason Dubois started a three-run rally in the eighth inning with a solo blast, crushing the first pitch he saw from Royals reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta. Right-hander Greg Reinhard (2-0) earned the win for the Iowa, striking out seven over three scoreless innings of relief.

Wells said he thought his velocity was probably down in Monday's game, but he thought it would return with continued work. He threw 108 pitches, which approached a career-high.

"I think I've thrown 115 one time, but that was back when I was starting full-time, so it's a little different," Wells said. "Maybe coming in and jumping into starting real quick after not working on it during spring training [as a reliever with the Toronto Blue Jays] has caught up with me a little bit."

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At Sevierville, Tennessee (36-47) allowed 16 hits in the loss. LHP James Russell (3-3, 4.45 ERA) started and allowed three runs and a season-high nine hits over five innings while suffering the loss. 3B Josh Lansford hit his sixth double since joining Tennessee from Single-A Daytona and is 11-for-35 (.314) in nine games.


At Peoria, the Chiefs (37-43) tied a season-high 16 hits in the win. OF Jonathan Wyatt led the way with four hits atop the lineup while 1B Jovan Rosa drove in a career-high five runs courtesy of a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning. Rosa raised his average to .291 through 74 games and has hit safely in seven of his last eight games. RHP Craig Muschko (3-2, 4.79) got the win in relief.


At Pasco, Wash., the Hawks (7-7) tallied 11 hits in a losing effort. 3B Josh Vitters continued his assault on Northwest League pitching with two hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games. The third overall pick in the 2007 draft is batting .357 with six extra-base hits and nine RBI through 14 games at Boise. LHP Harol Tolentino started and allowed three runs in four innings. LHP James Leverton (0-1, 3.00) suffered the loss in relief, allowing one run and four hits in three innings.

--Combined Reports

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