San Antonio Notebook

It was a difficult week for the San Antonio Missions, which at one point scored only one run over a 44 inning span. The team busted out of it with a big win on Thursday and had some activity take place on the roster. One player was released, another called up from extended spring training. Find out all you need to know on the Missions from InsidethePark's Joe Ruiz in this week's Missions Notebook.

This homestand can be described in many ways, although the easiest and most descriptive moniker for it would be wacky. Not wacky in the "Henry the Puffy Taco" or "Bat Races" way, this homestand against the Wichita Wranglers and Tulsa Drillers brought the team on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows.

San Antonio would experience the highs of coming in to this home stand solidly positioned in second in the Texas League's West Division behind their rival, the Houston Astros-affiliated Round Rock Express. The first two games were uneventful for the most part. In the opener, the Missions used timely hitting to first take the lead in the sixth and then to break an eighth inning tie and won 6-4. The second saw the home team not able to capitalize on their scoring chances and lose 7-3.

RHP Chris Buglovsky (2-2) started a Saturday night doubleheader with a complete-game (7 inning) one-hitter and the Missions did not allow a Wrangler past first base during the first game. SS Eddy Menchaca scored the first run of the game and OF Greg Jacobs hit his fourth home run of the season to bring in 3B Greg Dobbs to give Buglovsky the 3-0 victory.

Roughly one hour later, the power hitting made noise again as 1B/DH John Lindsey hit his sixth home run of the season onto the left-field grass berm in the bottom of the first. Unexpectedly, the 3-run homer would be the last visit across home plate for longer than anybody expected. The Missions ended up losing the nightcap 4-3, but it was the next 44 innings that would be the biggest test of the young season.

The Missions proceeded to get shutout in the next two games despite getting outstanding starting pitching. RHP Gustavo Martinez (2-1) gave up one run in seven innings of work yet was saddled with the loss when the Missions failed to score against Wichita and lost 1-0.. In the opener of the next series against Tulsa, RHP Elvis Perez (1-4) recorded six strikeouts in five innings, but gave up three runs in a 3-0 loss in which the Missions recorded only three hits.

Maybe the lack of pop in the Missions' bats was caused by playing at night. Tuesday's game started before noon and Dobbs ended the 27 innings of being shutout with a home run to right-center for the Missions only run. The solo shot was enough, though, as RHP Juan Doñe (2-1) pitched the team out of more than a few jams in the rain-shortened 1-0 win.

Wednesday's game also started before noon and LHP Troy Cate (1-3) had his best effort so far pitching 7.1 innings, striking out six Drillers and giving up only one earned run. Again, the lack of timely hitting translated to 13 Missions left on base and no runs scored in the 1-0 loss.

After the game, the Missions dugout was the most solemn it has been all season. Very little was said between the team as each player packed up his gear and walked to the clubhouse. Lindsey and OF Shin-soo Choo stayed alone in the dugout sitting on the bench after the rest of the team departed; Lindsey with his head in his hands gazing at the field, and Choo sitting, two bats to his right and his batting helmet stuffed with black-and-white gloves, pondering his 0-17 slump.

Afterwards, Lindsey talked with a reporter in the dugout while Choo fielded questions from

"You know, things like this happen," said the 21-year-old from Korea. "I just don't want to do anything. While I eat dinner, I think about baseball. Before I go to sleep, I look at pictures of my swing. Sometimes it goes good, sometimes bad. But it's tough."

The Missions would have one final opportunity before leaving for a four-game series against the El Paso Diablos to break out of the hitting slump. That game came Thursday night.

You can read more on that incredible game right here: Missions comeback win a Doozy on Thursday

Missions of the Home Stand:
Dobbs hit .421 (8-19) during the home stand with 1 HR and 3 RBI. The prospect from Los Angeles, CA hit the game-winning home run and scored the only run in a 44 inning stretch during Tuesday's 1-0 victory against Tulsa.

Pitching honors go to the entire pitching staff. Each of the starters in the series had at least one great outing and every reliever that pitched kept the Missions from being blown out game-after-game. What has been noted is that the pitching staff is necessary for the team to come together if the Missions want to succeed. This series, the staff put out nearly every fire that was lit around the mound and for that, they deserve the honor.

Nunez Released:
LHP Jose Nuñez was released by the organization Thursday. The former Padres and Dodgers reliever was signed as a free agent by the Mariners on Dec. 17, 2003, and optioned to Double-A San Antonio at the beginning of the 2004 season. Nuñez appeared in 10 games for the Missions, finishing 1-0 with a 6.19 ERA. His best outing of the season was 3.0 innings of no-hit relief in Monday's game against the Tulsa Drillers.

New Mission:
RHP Renee Cortez placed his San Antonio Missions jersey, a nameless number 38, on for the first time Thursday afternoon. Cortez was optioned to Double-A San Antonio after undergoing extended Spring Training while recovering from a pulled ribcage. The 6-foot-4 reliever originally signed with the organization on May 12, 2000. Cortez pitched in 28 games for Middle-A Wisconsin (4-2, 2.91 ERA) before being promoted to High-A Inland Empire (0-1, 1.66 ERA) in 2003. He didn't pitch in Thursday night's 8-7 extra inning victory, but is expected to see his first action of the season in the Missions' four-game road trip against the El Paso Diablos.

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