CORPUS CHRISTI - Rob Rasmussen allowed two runs and five hits over 7 1/3 innings as Corpus Christi trimmed Midland 3-2 Monday night at Whataburger Field before 5,161.
The Hooks, who’ve won eight of 11 and stand 36-18 at home, are 25-12 in the second half of Texas League play. They hold a five-game lead over second-place San Antonio in the South Division race.
The RockHounds are 16-20.
Rasmussen (2-2) threw 102 pitches, including 65 strikes. His eighth-inning lead-off walk of Leonardo Gil became Midland’s second run of the evening when Tyler Ladendorf dumped a single off Josh Zeid into no-man’s land in shallow left-center field.
Jason Stoffel converted his 20th save in 21 opportunities, aided by a 3-6-3 double-play ball off the bat of Jeremy Barfield. Stoffel fanned Josh Horton to end the contest.
The Hooks wasted a golden opportunity to inflict damage on Midland starter Fabio Castro in the first frame. Robbie Grossman drew a lead-off walk and singles from Jose Martinez and Jon Singleton loaded the bases with an out.
Drew Locke then popped up to second and newcomer Bobby Borchering - acquired in Sunday’s Chris Johnson trade - struck out swinging.
The RockHounds threatened an inning later, Barfield and Horton christening the second with consecutive singles. Grossman made a couple of nifty plays in center field and Rasmussen fanned Ryan Lipkin to escape trouble.
Borchering didn’t come up empty during Corpus Christi’s three-run third. His bases-loaded single scored Jake Goebbert (hit by pitch) for the night’s first run. Ben Heath followed by slapping a two-run double into the right-field corner.
Barfield took Rasmussen’s 3-1 off-speed pitch over the wall in left for his ninth bomb of 2012 and Midland’s eighth-home run of the four-game series.
Castro (1-3) couldn’t get out of the fifth. He threw pitch No. 103 - a ball four to Borchering - and was pulled by Midland manager Steve Scarsone. Castro surrendered seven hits, walked three and struck out five.
Martinez has a seven-game hitting streak.
The Missions hit town for three important games Tuesday through Thursday. Corpus Christi’s Matt Heidenreich (1-0) faces veteran Josh Geer (4-4) in the opener.