W – Ponson (1-2)
HR – Cruz (5, 6)
15-4, 3.0 GU
With Kason Gabbard leaving Monday's Rangers game because of back spasms, a spot in the big league rotation could be opening up within the next five days.
That means tonight may have been an audition for starter Sidney Ponson, who is already on the same schedule as Gabbard. Ponson responded by tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits. He walked two and struck out four. Ponson record an impressive 15 outs via the ground while allowing only one flyout.
Right fielder Nelson Cruz (.360/.522/.800) helped win the game by going 2-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI and a walk. In addition to his six home runs in 15 games, Cruz has drawn 17 walks. He has struck out only six times this season.
Joaquin Arias (2/4, 2B), Jason Ellison (2/5) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2/4) also had a pair of knocks.
Kaz Fukumori needed just 12 pitches to complete a perfect ninth inning.
W – Hodges (2-1)
SV – Madrigal (7)
13-4, 2.0 GU
Trey Hodges gave the ‘Riders six shutout frames on Monday, giving up only three hits. The former Braves prospect walked four and struck out four.
Left fielder Steve Murphy (.389/.426/.593) collected two more hits – a double and a triple – in four at-bats.
John Mayberry and Max Ramirez each singled twice in four at-bats while Emerson Frostad and Taylor Teagarden both doubled.
Warner Madrigal made it interesting in the ninth inning by loading the bases with just one out, but he was able to work out of the jam by allowing just one unearned run.
8-10, 5.0 GB
Bakersfield had a scheduled day off on Monday. They will open a three-game series with Rancho Cucamonga (6-12) on Tuesday at 9:05 p.m. CST.
Kasey Kiker is now listed as active on the Bakersfield roster while fellow starter Omar Poveda goes to the 7-day disabled list.
L – Feliz (2-1)
11-4, 3.0 GB
On Monday, Clinton slugger Ian Gac was honored as the Midwest League's Player of the Week. The award is particularly impressive in the Midwest League given the fact that there are 14 teams in the circuit.
Gac didn't begin to cool off, though, as he went 2-for-4 with his fourth double of the season. He raised his batting average to .431.
Engel Beltre (2/5) and Renny Osuna (2/4) each singled twice.
Starting pitcher Neftali Feliz struck out five without allowing a hit in his first three innings, but he struggled in the fourth. The hard-throwing hurler walked the first batter he faced in the fourth before giving up four consecutive hits.
When the dust had settled, Feliz allowed four runs on four hits in four innings, walking one and fanning five.
Fabio Castillo (2.13 ERA/.140 BAA) entered in relief and surrendered two runs in four innings. He gave up three hits, walked one, and struck out six. Right-handed hitters are batting just .040 against Castillo this season.
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