CORPUS CHRISTI - Telvin Nash cracked his sixth home run in the last nine games and Kyle Smith allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings as Corpus Christi defeated Midland 5-2 Wednesday at Whataburger Field before 4,676.
Corpus Christi improved to 14-12 in the Texas League second-half while salvaging a split of the four-game series. Midland, which dropped just its second contest in the last 13, tops the South Division at 16-9.
The Hooks scored four-two out runs during the first. Jonathan Meyer dropped a single into shallow right-center for the night's initial tally. Tony Kemp drew a lead-off walk from Nate Long (8-5) and moved into scoring position on Ruben Sosa's sacrifice bunt.
Meyer and Andrew Aplin (single) scored ahead of Nash when the big first baseman belted a curve ball over the left-field wall, his 14th home run of 2014.
Midland finally broke through against Smith (4-2) in the fifth, Kent Matthes collecting the first RockHounds hit and crossing on Dusty Coleman's double to the right-center field gap. Coleman was erased attempting to stretch his drive into a triple, right fielder Aplin to second baseman Kemp to Meyer.
Smith exited a two-on, two-out fix the next inning, Jordan Jankowski defusing the threat by getting Max Muncy on a fly to right. Smith, who retired 13 of 14 at the outset, walked two and struck out five. Houston's No. 13 prospect has yielded one earned run or less in nine of his last 11 outings.
Jankowski struck out the side in the seventh en route to a three-inning save, Jefry Marte's ninth-inning double and Jeremy Barfield's RBI single the only blemishes.
Long lasted six frames and struck out nine to go with eight hits and two walks. His relief, Deryk Hooker, issued a one-out walk to Kemp, who stole second and trotted to third via a wild pitch. Sosa's looper to left over a drawn-in infield provided Corpus Christi with an insurance run.
Aplin has a seven-game hitting streak.
The Hooks play four in Frisco Thursday through Sunday before traveling to San Antonio for three. Corpus Christi returns home for seven games on July 24.