L – Hurley (2-5)
HR – Cruz (17)
Although Eric Hurley suffered the loss and gave up five runs in 7.1 innings, it would be safe to say he pitched better than his final line.
Hurley held the O-Royals scoreless through the game's first four innings, allowing only one baserunner – a Billy Butler infield single.
After surrendering a two-run homer in the fifth, Hurley settled down once more to blank Omaha for 2.2 innings. It was when the prospect came out for the eighth inning that he got burned. Hurley allowed two hits and a walk while only recording one out to start the eighth.
Right fielder Nelson Cruz (2/4, HR) hit his 17th home run of the season and his second in as many days.
DH Jason Botts and SS German Duran each went 1-for-4 with a two-base hit.
W – Ballard (4-3)
HR – Ramirez (14), Murphy (7), Benjamin (1)
Left-hander Mike Ballard entered Sunday's game in a bad funk. After tossing up three quality starts to begin the season, Ballard posted an 8.76 ERA in his next five outings.
The Virginia Beach native got back on track Sunday with a 107-pitch complete game gem. Ballard scattered eight hits – seven singles and a double – through the nine innings, giving up only one run. He walked none and struck out a season-high eight batters.
Playing first base, Max Ramirez (.376/.456/.694) was 1-for-3 with a homer – his 14th – and a walk.
Left fielder Steve Murphy (.291/.321/.510) also homered for his only hit in four at-bats.
Casey Benjamin (2/4, 2B, HR) doubled and homered. He recently returned to Double-A Frisco from Triple-A Oklahoma to fill in for the injured Elvis Andrus.
Craig Gentry (2/5, 2B) and Dustin Majewski (1/3, 2B, 2 BB) also had two-baggers.
The Blaze (32-24) return home to face division-rival Stockton (33-23) on Monday night.
L – Beavan (4-2)
Blake Beavan (2.84 ERA/.227 BAA) lost on Sunday despite pitching well. The right-hander went a career-high seven innings, giving up three runs – two earned – on six hits. Beavan walked one and struck out one.
Although he has fanned just 16 batters in 38 innings this season, the 19-year-old has issued only two free passes.
Engel Beltre (1/4, 2B), Mitch Moreland (1/4) and Justin Pickett (1/3) accounted for all of Clinton's hits in the game.
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