In 2007, San Antonio's Josh Geer was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year after winning 16 games (16-6, 3.20) in a brilliant season with the Missions. The right-hander, who would go on to pitch parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues with San Diego, returned to his '07 form Saturday night at Citibank Ballpark.
Making a "spot start" (for the injured Jose DePaula), Geer pitched five-and-a-third innings of shutout ball, earning the win as the Missions blanked the RockHounds, 3-0. The Missions' victory was their first in the series after the RockHounds had won the first two games.
Jake Blackwood and former Oakland A's farm hand A.J. Kirby-Jones led the Missions offensively. Blackwood drove in the game's first run with a two-out single in the first, then doubled and scored on Kirby-Jones' single in the fourth. Kirby-Jones, who might well have been playing with the RockHounds in 2013 had it not been for an off-season trade sending him to the Padres organization, then doubled Everett Williams home in the seventh with the game's final run.
San Antonio pitching, which leads the league in team earned run average, "bent a little, but did not break." The RockHounds had runners on base with fewer than two outs in six-of-nine innings, but could not break through. With the 'Hounds trailing, 2-0, Conner Crumbliss led off the last of the sixth with his fifth double of the (three-game) series, but Missions reliever Jeff Ibarra retired the 'Hounds' top two hitters (Anthony ALiotti and JakeGoebbert) to end the threat. The Missions then scored in the top of the seventh to, largely, "seal the deal."
Both clubs played excellent defense, highlighted by shortstop Darwin Perez' spectacular play in the eighth. Perez ranged onto the outfield grass behind second base to make a sliding grab on a grounder up the middle off the bat of San Antonio's Yeison Asencio. Perez then popped up, spinning 270-degrees, to make an off-balance throw, which was picked at first by Aliotti.
Kibbles & Bits
- Mother Nature also "pitched a shutout" Saturday, with 30-mile-per-hour winds forcing cancellation of the scheduled post-game fireworks show. No make-up date has been announced, but we will include it in these notes when a date is set.
- "This game is goofy:" Before being shut out Saturday, the 'Hounds had outscored the Missions, 14-3, in the first two games of the series.
- D'Arby Myers has been added to the South Division All-Star Team, replacing Corpus Christi's Domingo Santana (out due to an injury). D'Arby joins Anthony Aliotti, Dusty Coleman, Jake Goebbert and Murphy Smith in representing the Oakland A's and the RockHounds at the annual all-star contest, which will be hosted by the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at Arvest ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas, on June 25.
- Right-hander Drew Granier has been promoted to the RockHounds from the (Advanced-A) Stockton Ports and will make his Double-A debut Sunday. The Louisiana native was 6-3, with a 3.25 ERA in 14 starts for the Stockton, and was selected to represent Oakland and the Ports in the annual California League-Carolina League All-Star Game.
- The RockHounds conclude their brief, four-game homestand (and reach the Texas League's two-day all-star break) hosting the San Antonio Missions at Citibank Ballpark Sunday at four o'clock. It's the final afternoon game until the season-ending Labor Day weekend.
WP Josh Geer (4-3, 3.02)
LP Carlos Hernandez (3-7, 3.45)
SV Matt Stites (5, 1.46)
vs. San Antonio Missions (San Diego Padres' AA Affiliate)
Sunday, June 23 4:00 p.m. Radio at 3:55 p.m.
San Antonio (RH) Matt Andriese (8-1, 1.99)
RockHounds (RH) Drew Granier (1st start)