Varnell falters; Antonelli, Cooper déjà vu

Clay Hensley was good through six but wasn't in the seventh. Sean Thompson carrier a one-hitter into the sixth when the wheels fell off. Matt Antonelli and Craig Cooper combined for the game one win and did the same in game two. Grant Varnell surrendered more runs on Sunday than he had all year.

Portland lost 7-3 to Salt Lake (Angels)

Clay Hensley gave up three runs over six and was still on the hill in the seventh when four runs crossed. The right-hander dropped to 1-2 in Triple-A with seven runs, six earned, scoring on nine hits and two walks over 6.2. He was pegged for a three-run homer in the seventh and another run came home after he was pulled. Hensley has given up four runs or more in three of his five starts and has tossed a wild pitch in three straight games.

Pete Laforest grounded into two double plays as part of an 0-for-4 night. He also committed his fourth error of the year on a throw, going 0-for-2 in catching baserunners stealing. He took over the team lead in the grounded into a double play category with seven. He has one RBI over his last 11 games. Laforest has thrown out just 18.2 percent of the thieves attempting to steal.

Steve Watkins pitched an inning and a third, allowing one inherited runner to score while putting up blanks on his own ledger. He walked one and allowed a base hit. Of the eight runners he has inherited this year, three have scored. Watkins has struck out just five over his last 11.1 innings after whiffing 24 over his first 25.2 innings. He has held the leadoff man to a .242 on base percentage.

San Antonio lost 4-2 to Corpus Christi (Astros)

Sean Thompson cruised through five innings before getting rocked for four runs, three earned, in the sixth. Six of the seven hits he allowed came in that fateful inning as the left-hander also walked three on the night and saw his record fall to 3-6. The southpaw has given up four or more runs in each of his last four outings after only accomplishing the feat once over his first nine. He has also walked three or more in his last three starts – a feat that has occurred five times in 13 starts.

Dirk Hayhurst pitched an inning and a third scoreless, striking out one. He came in with the bases juiced and fanned the final batter of the inning to keep three inherited runners from scoring. He has held all four runners inherited from scoring In Double-A and three of nine have scored across two leagues. He has not walked a batter over his last 8.2 innings and has walked just two in Double-A over 20.2 innings.

Luis Cruz went 2-for-3 with a double but did not figure into the scoring. His double was his second of the year for the Missions and the only extra base hits he has notched – along with 10 singles. Sixteen of his 26 hits in Triple-A went for extra bases. In 51 at bats, Cruz has whiffed just four times. He has notched a hit in five of his last seven games.

Lake Elsinore won 10-9 in 12 innings of suspended game over San Jose (Giants), won 11-7 in scheduled game

Matt Antonelli doubled and Craig Cooper singled him in to end the game in the 12th inning to conclude the suspended game from the night before. Antonelli then went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored in the nightcap. Antonelli is riding a 10-game hitting streak and is 7-for-12 with two doubles, a triple, a homer, four RBIs and seven runs scored over his last two games.

Cooper also had the hot hand. He went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs. While he only had one hit it was the game-winner and the first baseman had come into the game with six hits in his last 32 at bats, dropping his average from .342 to .316. Sunday marked the sixth time this year Cooper has collected multiple extra base hits in the same game. With Sunday included, he is hitting .295 when he bats second in the order.

Richie Daigle took a no-decision after allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks while hitting a batter in just 3.2 innings of work. It was the fifth game in a row he has allowed five runs or more and the eighth time in 13 starts he has yielded four or more. The opposition's .327 average off him is the highest it has been all season. Thirty-three of the 54 runs he has allowed have come in the second and fourth innings – innings he surrendered four runs in on Sunday.

Fort Wayne lost 8-5 to Great Lakes (Dodgers)

Mike Epping doubled and homered in five at bats while also scoring two runs to pace the offense. Five of his 10 hits since joining the Wizards have gone for extra bases. Epping has collected three straight multi-hit games and has accomplished the feat in four of his last five games. A left-handed batter, he is hitting .345 off righties.

Stephen Faris allowed two runs on six hits and three walks over five innings of work, striking out one in a no-decision. It is the fourth time this year he has gone five innings or more and allowed two runs or less. The right-hander has walked seven over his last 9.2 innings and the opposition is hitting .341 off him with runners in scoring position.

Grant Varnell suffered his first blown save of the year and second loss, allowing five runs on four hits and a walk over an inning of work. Three of the four hits allowed went four extra bases. The right-hander had not allowed an earned run since April 18. He had gone 22 straight innings over that span and had allowed just two earned all year. His average against went from .215 to .240.

MadFriars Top Stories