A late rally by the T-Pads fell short as they couldn't overcome a rough start by Jeremy Hefner.
Hefner came in riding a streak of six quality starts, but Sacramento jumped on him for seven runs in the third inning, including a grand slam by one-time Padre Kevin Kouzmanoff. In total, Hefner managed only 2.2 innings, surrendering eight runs on seven hits and a pair of walks. The River Cats touched him up for four extra-base hits.
Shortstop Everth Cabrera continued his strong play since coming off the disabled list last week. The switch-hitter went 3-for-5, scoring a pair of runs. He has a .310 average (9-for-29) in seven games back.
With Kyle Blanks out of the lineup following his collision with the wall Thursday night, Matt Clark slugged a homer out of the clean-up spot as part of a 3-for-4 night. The big lefty's performance has ticked up every month of the season, and he's now slugging .517. His increased execution has coincided with a dramatic improvement in pitch selection. After just 15 walks through his first 47 games of the year, Clark has 10 – against the same tally of strikeouts – in 19 games this month. Blanks is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.
San Antonio defeats Midland 2-0
Juan Oramas and a trio of relievers held the RockHounds to seven hits as the Missions' opportunistic offense put up just enough to win their third game in the second half of the season.
Oramas, the 21-year-old lefty from Mexico, struck out a season-high five hitters over six innings of work, giving up just five singles and a pair of walks in the contest. In seven Double-A games since coming off the disabled list in mid-May, Oramas has posted a 2.08 ERA and claimed three victories.
James Darnell, who started in left field again then shifted to first base in the ninth inning, had half of San Antonio's four hits, adding a pair of singles and the contest's only RBI. Darnell now ranks second in the Texas League in average, slugging, on-base percentage and home runs
Lake Elsinore tops Inland Empire 8-4
Jeudy Valdez paced the Storm offense with a pair of doubles and a homer as Lake Elsinore scored in seven different innings on their way to their second straight victory over the Angels' affiliate.
Valdez, a 2006 Dominican signee, has six extra-base hits in his last five games and 13 overall this month, a dramatic increase over his production in the first two months of the year. The right-handed middle infielder is on pace for his first stateside season with an OPS over .700.
Fellow middle infielder Jonathan Galvez, playing second base, continued his torrid month, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base. The 21-year-old, who was hitting below .260 at the start of the month, has posted a .370/.418/.593 line in June while swiping nine bases. On the year, he's been successful in 23 of 25 attempts on the basepaths.
Lefty Jose DePaula, bouncing back from a rough outing at home earlier in the week, pitched six strong innings, giving up only three hits and one earned run. A signing classmate of Galvez, DePaula is on track to reach 100 innings of work for the first time in his career, but continues to struggle to rack up strikeouts like he did prior to his 2009 surgery. On the year, he has just 35 whiffs against 22 walks in 56.1 innings of work.
Fort Wayne falls to Lake County, 7-3
Although the TinCaps took an early lead, Mark Hardy turned in his shortest appearance since moving into the rotation last month and Fort Wayne never reclaimed the lead.
Third baseman Jake Blackwood clubbed a homer in the first and a double in the ninth to account for most of the TinCaps offense. The indy-league alum leads the club in doubles, homers, RBIs and slugging percentage.
Hardy, who had given up a total of nine hits in his last three starts, yielded 10 over just 3.2 innings against the Loons Friday. The righty gave up at least a pair of hits in every inning, most line-drives that fell for singles. In all, he was tagged for four runs – just two earned – despite not walking a batter. He struck out three.
Rymer Liriano continues to be a force at the plate and on the basepaths. The talented outfielder went 2-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases and a walk. Now that he qualifies on the league leaderboards, Liriano ranks sixth in the Midwest League in average, seventh in OPS and 10th in on-base percentage. His 33 stolen bases ranks second on the circuit.
Eugene tops Salem-Keizer 6-3
The Emeralds rallied with two outs in the eighth inning, pushing across three runs to break open a tie game and claim a series sweep over the Volcanoes.
After Travis Whitmore and Jeremy Rodriguez drew walks, Clint Moore came off the bench to deliver a double to put the Em's on top for good. Three of the Army grad and 31st-round selection's four hits have been doubles.
Top pick Cory Spangenberg picked up two singles, extending his on-base streak to eight games to open his professional career. The left-handed hitter had drawn a walk in each of his first seven contests, but went more traditional with his performance Friday.
After an almost-perfect debut, starter Juan Herrera had a rough outing this time around. The 19-year-old yielded three earned runs over 4.1 innings of work on five hits, three walks and a trio of wild pitches. Salem-Keizer also successfully stole three bases against the righty.
AZL Padres fall to the Reds 5-3
Cuban starter Daniel Sarria was hung with the loss after giving up a pair of runs in his three innings of work. The righty, coming back after he was shut down last July, gave up four hits and a walk, but did strike out three. Continuing the parade of rehabbing pitchers, Stiven Osuna worked two perfect innings, striking out a pair. The 24-year-old reliever is probably headed back to Elsinore in the next few weeks.
Corey Adamson collected the Padres' only extra-base hit of the game, going 1-for-3 with a walk. All three of his hits this week have been doubles. The 19-year-old Australian has walked at least once in each of his four games.