Arkansas Travelers (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Three different pitchers won games and three different pitchers lost games during a 3-3 week that left the 15-20 Travelers in last place, four games off the pace in the North Division.
WHO'S HOT: The Arkansas pitching staff, which shares quarters with the most anemic offense in the league, finished the week with a TL-best team ERA of 3.53 -- the only one on the circuit under 4.00. Arkansas ranked No. 2 in walks (110) and had given up the fewest home runs (13) in the league.
WHO'S NOT: 2B Nate Sutton's bases-loaded bounce-out ended a 3-2 loss to Tulsa on May 13 in which the Travelers committed two errors and left nine runners on base. As his luck would have it, LHP Michael Anton, 0-3 in seven starts, took the loss in that game after giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, over six innings.
NEWS & NOTES: OF Peter Bourjos, who nabbed Offensive Player of the Week honors, had four hits May 15, including his first home run this season as he scored twice and drove in three runs to help the Travs outlast Tulsa, 9-7. ... SS Hainley Statia hit a one-out, tie-breaking RBI double in the ninth inning that was the deciding hit in that Friday night game. ... RHP Trevor Bell, 3-1, struck out a season-high nine batters and gave up one run over six innings to defeat Springfield, 7-1, and help Arkansas snap a five-game skid May 11. ... The Travelers drew 10,258 to "Anti-Tobacco School Day" on Monday, May 11.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "He finds a way to make pitches," Arkansas manager Bobby Magallanes said after LHP Trevor Reckling improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.05 in four starts by giving up just one run on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings in a 3-1 win over Springfield on May 12. "I've been talking about attitude for a while now, and it's just your attitude on that mound. And that's what he's got."
Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros)
WHATABURGER WONDER: RHP Casey Hudspeth crafted a nine-inning, complete-game victory over San Antonio, 5-2, at Whataburger Field on May 11, helping earn himself a share of the league's Pitcher of the Week honors with teammate Polin Trinidad. With the win, Hudspeth improved to 3-0 with a 1.92 ERA in four starts at home this season, compared to 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in two starts on the road. "I don't know if it's my comfort level, or what it is," Hudspeth told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. "But, hopefully, I can take it out on the road."
RESTING THE BULLPEN: LHP Polin Trinidad emulated Hudspeth's effort with a nine-inning complete game on Friday, May 15, as he led the Hooks to a 7-2 home win over Frisco. Trinidad moved to 3-2 as he matched his season-high six strikeouts for the third time.
WHO'S NOT: RHP Chad Wagler, who gave up runs in five of the 10 games in which he relieved, was sent to Lancaster in the Class A Advanced California League to concentrate on being a starter.
NEWS & NOTES: C Koby Clemens, son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, batted .235 in seven games before being reassigned to Lancaster. The Astros were shuffling catchers about in the organization as C Brian Esposito returned to Corpus Christi from Round Rock in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. ... Houston RHP Brandon Backe, mending from a strained left intercostal, improved to 3-0 in three rehab starts with the Hooks in the team's 13-6 rout over Frisco on May 13. ... Houston general manager Ed Wade was in town to see the Hooks rough up the RoughRiders in that game, as Corpus Christi hitters amassed 18 hits. Manager Luis Pujols told his team to be cool with the GM on hand. ... LHP Andy Van Hekken was moved up to Triple-A Round Rock.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I believe that they're not even looking at the dugout anymore," manager Luis Pujols told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times after RHP Casey Hudspeth, who gave up nine hits May 11, became the second pitcher in a span of three home games to pitch a complete game. "They're just pitching until we take them out. And they know that. They see that we've already proved if they pitch well enough to complete a game, they're going to do it." LHP Douglas Arguello threw a complete game May 6, and LHP Polin Trinidad joined the party May 15. A team that had gone nearly two years without a complete game suddenly had three in a span of 10 games.
Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers)
WHO'S HOT: C Manny Pina set the tone for Frisco's 6-5 win in 13 innings at Midland on May 11 with a three-run homer in the first inning. He finished the week batting .400, the only Texas Leaguer at that mark.
WHO'S NOT: RHP Jared Hyatt fell to 0-2 in four starts, and his ERA jumped to 9.19, after he gave up seven runs on eight hits in just two innings in a loss at Corpus Christi on May 13. That game brought his season totals to 16 earned runs on 26 hits in 15 2/3 innings. Hyatt was placed on the disabled list May 14.
NEWS & NOTES: 1B Justin Smoak's 13-game hitting streak ended May 12 and his string of reaching base in a game at least once ended at 30 two days later. ... RHP Omar Poveda, 4-2, had his worst start May 12, giving up six runs -- three earned -- over five innings, with five of those surrendered in the first inning, in a 9-1 setback at Midland on May 12. ... DH Adam Fox, who entered the game because DH Ben Harrison had been ejected in the ninth, tripled and scored the winning run in the 13th. Harrison was tossed for arguing about a play at the plate on which Midland tied the game, 5-5, in the ninth.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "He was throwing lots of fastballs in off-speed counts and was really attacking with it," Hooks OF Collin DeLome told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times after Frisco LHP Kasey Kiker gave up two solo homers and four hits over six innings in a win May 14. Kiker was only 3-2 after defeating the Hooks, but in his seven starts he'd given up more than two earned runs just once, five in his second start on April 16. Opposing hitters were batting just .187 against him, and the homers on Thursday were the first long balls he'd given up this year.
Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics)
ON A MISSION: If 1B Tommy Everidge swings a hot bat when he faces San Antonio pitching, teammate Graham Godfrey (3-3) is tougher than Cy Young when he faces Missions hitters. The 6-foot-3 right-hander hurled 6 1/3 innings in a 3-0 shutout at San Antonio on May 16, leaving him 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA over 18 1/3 innings against the Missions this season. Against all other teams, Godfrey's a mere human, with an 0-3 record and 7.15 ERA.
C'MON, TAKE A BOW: OF Matt Spencer flew all night from California, where he'd been with the Class A Advanced Stockton Ports, to arrive in time for a day game May 12. On the third pitch of his Double-A debut, he smacked a two-run single for the first RBIs in a 9-1 win over Frisco that snapped a four-game losing streak. "It was awesome," Spencer told the Midland Reporter-Telegram after going 1-for-5 before he'd had time to have his name sewn on the back of his uniform. "Here I am in my first at-bat getting a hit, two RBIs and batting a thousand. Things kind of changed from there, but it was good to get that first one out of the way." Spencer replaced valuable offensive contributor, OF Danny Putnam, who was batting .301 with seven homers and 22 RBIs when he was promoted to Triple-A.
NEWS & NOTES: RHP Travis Banwart retired 12 of the final 14 Missions he faced May 13 and improved to 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts. ... C Josh Donaldson drove in four runs in a May 11 loss, giving him eight RBIs in seven games and 22 in his first 28 games this season. He also drove in a run May 12. ... RHP Jason Fernandez, 4-3, won for the third time in his last four starts, when he held Frisco to one earned run on five hits over six innings May 12. He didn't give up more than three runs in any of the four starts. ... Midland scored five times in the first inning to help Fernandez settle in as 'Hounds hitters stroked 11 singles without an extra-base-hit in the 9-1 win. ... Midland committed five errors in a 9-3 loss at San Antonio on May 15.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Everidge is Babe Ruth against us," Missions manager Terry Kennedy told the San Antonio Express-News after Midland 3B Tommy Everidge homered and drove in a season-high five runs in a 7-4 win at San Antonio on May 13. In 12 games against the Missions, Everidge has batted .373 (19-for-51), hit two homers and five doubles, and driven in 17 runs.
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals)
WHO'S HOT: RHP Chris Hayes, 3-0, who was 12-for-12 in save opportunities in 40 games with the Naturals last season, finally earned his first save on his first chance in a 4-2 win over Springfield on May 14. The save came in the right-hander's 11th appearance as he lowered his ERA to 0.78. He'd given up two earned runs over 23 innings and none in his last six outings.
CATCH THE POWER: An eye-catching item in The Morning News noted that Naturals catchers hit nine home runs in 143 games in 2008. C John Suomi (5) and C Jeff Howell (3) have combined to go deep eight times in the team's first 35 games this season. "Both those guys can swing the bat," manager Brian Poldberg told the newspaper. "Not that they are bad defensive guys."
NEWS & NOTES: OF Jose Duarte was promoted to Triple-A Omaha on May 12 after batting .250 with seven RBIs and seven steals in 28 games for the Naturals. ... INF Ed Lucas returned to the NWA roster after one week at Triple-A. ... INF Corey Smith's club record 14-game hitting streak ended May 16. He lifted his average from .172 to .245 and hit three of his five home runs during the skein. ... 2B Chris McConnell broke a 5-5 tie with an RBI single in the top of the ninth in the Naturals' 8-5 win at Tulsa on May 12. He'd also driven in a run with a squeeze bunt in the seventh. The two RBIs gave him four in 16 games this season. The first of those four came courtesy of a game-winning hit in the 12th inning in an April 28 win against Springfield.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Every time we got back in it, our pitching gave it up again," NW Arkansas manager Brian Poldberg told The Morning News after repeated comeback attempts fell short in a 9-8 loss to visiting Springfield on May 13. "The hill just got too tall."
San Antonio Missions (San Diego Padres)
WHO'S HOT: RHP Ernesto Frieri improved to 4-1 in seven starts -- and 4-0 over his last five -- by holding sloppy Midland to one run on two hits over five innings May 15. Frieri, who owns a 2.83 ERA on the season, gave up four runs in his first start, two in his fifth and just one in each of the other five outings.
ONE-SIDED MATCH: Following his May 13 start against Midland, RHP Cesar Carrillo was 2-2 with a 6.52 ERA in seven outings this season. And if the RockHounds weren't on his schedule, Carrillo's numbers would look a lot better. In three starts against Midland, all with RHP Travis Banwart as the opposing starter, Carrillo is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA, having surrendered 16 runs on 23 hits over 14 2/3 innings. Banwart is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA after limiting the Missions to five runs -- four earned -- on 14 hits over 18 innings in those contests.
NEWS & NOTES: OF Mike Baxter hit a three-run double to highlight an eight-run seventh-inning explosion in a 10-5 win over Corpus Christi on May 12. ... RHP Stephen Faris was 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA after his first three starts, but after dropping his fourth and fifth straight decisions since then (May 11, 16) had fallen to 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA. After allowing just three earned runs over 17 innings in his first three starts, he surrendered 19 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings over his next five outings. ... The Missions released OF Sam Carter, who batted .161 with two homers and six RBIs in 21 games. ... INF Kevin Howard was brought in from Triple-A Portland and went 2-for-4 with a run scored May 13 before being traded to Toronto on May 14. ... 1B Craig Cooper reached base in 29 straight games before his streak ended May 16. ... INF Eric Sogard, who'd reached base in all 21 games in which he appeared before being sidelined with a groin pull, was activated off the disabled list and went 0-for-2 on May 16 in his first game back. ... INF Brian Joynt joined the team from extended spring training May 15.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "That may be my first broken bat hit ever," C Mitch Canham said after his single in the bottom of the 10th inning was the difference in a 4-2 win over Midland on May 14. "If I could have a single every time, I'd break a bat. But it was a wild game. We had runners on base and didn't score. Then you had people getting thrown out. And we came up with a win." The Missions, who had 23 base runners, left a near-record 19 of them stranded before they finally prevailed. Oklahoma City set the league mark by leaving 20 runners on base in a game against Shreveport on Aug. 22, 1949. The Missions stranded another 11 base runners the next day, but won, 9-3, when Midland committed five errors.
Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)
WHO'S HOT: RHP Lance Lynn, who had no record in five games with Class A Advanced Palm Beach, improved to 2-0 in three starts for Springfield after he gave up just two runs over six innings in a 5-4 win over NW Arkansas on May 15. "He mixed in his breaking ball and threw a few good changeups and kept them off balance," manager Stu Cole told The Morning News. Lynn had a 2.16 ERA in his three starts.
WHO'S NOT: In a 7-1 loss at Arkansas on May 11, Springfield scored one run off a wild pitch, another on a bases-loaded walk and yet another on a hit batter with the bases loaded. In successive games, Cardinals pitchers either hit or walked six Arkansas batters with the bases loaded. Springfield hurlers walked five batters in a row in the sixth inning in a May 10 win. The staff had issued 191 walks at week's end, while no other team in the league had more than 155.
NEWS & NOTES: RHP Joe Williams gave up four runs on five hits, walked three and struck out one in two innings in his first two appearances since joining the Cardinals. ... After being limited to single runs in each of their two previous games, the Cardinals, paced by C Tony Cruz's three RBIs and with hits by eight different players and runs scored by eight different players, flattened NW Arkansas, 9-8, on 16 hits May 13. ... RHP Brandon Dickson gave up eight runs -- only four of which were earned -- in two losing starts during the week, leaving him at 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA after seven starts.
M*A*S*H UNIT: Injuries in the Cardinals system forced 3B Brett Wallace, who was batting .281 with five homers and 16 RBIs over 32 games, to be promoted to Triple-A Memphis. ... 1B Andrew Brown, who had hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, with seven multi-hit games in that stretch, was disabled with a left hand injury. He was batting .329 with one homer and 13 RBIs in 21 games for Springfield. ... C Steven Hill, batting .313 with nine homers and 23 RBIs, had to leave the game May 16 when he took a foul tip off his bare right hand. ... 1B Curt Smith, batting .344 with five homers and 22 RBIs, was called up from Class A Advanced Palm Beach.
Tulsa Drillers (Colorado Rockies)
WHO'S HOT: RHP Esmil Rogers, 2-1 in seven starts, didn't give up a hit over six innings in his May 6 start against Arkansas, but came away with a no-decision as the Drillers eventually lost, 1-0. Rogers wasn't quite as flawless May 11 when he gave up five hits, but still managed a six-inning shutout to earn his first Texas League win, 4-0, over San Antonio. "I'm feeling very good right now," Rogers told Tulsa World after leaving the mound May 11 with 12 straight scoreless innings under his belt. "My brother [a Cleveland scout] told me before my last start, 'You're the big guy. You're the best.' I threw well. Before the game tonight, he told me, 'Don't change.' I didn't change."
HIGH FIVES: Of the 20 runs and 32 hits RHP Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) has given up in 39 innings over seven starts, 10 of the runs and 10 of the hits were added to his account in the fifth inning. But there was reason for hope May 13, after the Venezuelan native withstood two errors in that frame and wound up allowing just one unearned run on four hits over 7 1/3 innings in a 3-2 win over Arkansas. "I was very pleased with how he got through that inning," Drillers manager Stu Cole told Tulsa World. "I know the fifth inning has been a problem for him, but he did a nice job. He threw a hell of a ballgame."
NEWS & NOTES: RHP Andrew Johnston saved three games during the week to improve to 11-for-11 in his opportunities. ... RHP Samuel Deduno on May 14 won his third straight start, pitching three-hit ball over seven shutout innings as he improved to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.97 over seven starts. Deduno, who led the TL with 121 strikeouts in 2007, has 32 in 36 1/3 innings this season. "I'm a better pitcher than I was two years ago," Deduno told Tulsa World. ... RHP Ryan Mattheus, who pitched for the Drillers in 2007 and 2008, arrived from Modesto in the Class A Advanced California League and worked two shutout innings May 11. He's trying to rebound from an injury. He gave up two runs and took the loss against Arkansas on May 12 and was promoted to Triple-A after the game. ... SS Daniel Mayora went 9-for-17 with three runs scored and one RBI in a four-game series against NW Arkansas.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "That was the right call," manager Stu Cole explained to Tulsa World while discussing his first ejection of this season. "But I didn't like him getting on my players. That's what it was about." Cole was tossed by umpire Steve Barga after a close play at first base May 14.
Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.