CORPUS CHRISTI - Hiro Nakajima and Jeremy Barfield homered and Chris Jensen won his fifth straight decision as Midland beat Corpus Christi 7-3 Thursday at Whataburger Field before 5,712.
The Hooks, 16-18 in Texas League second-half games, have dropped six straight. Midland is 21-13 and leads the South Division by three games over San Antonio and Frisco.
Jensen (9-7), who left six base runners over six frames, yielded seven hits and three walks. He struck out two in a 105-pitch performance (62 strikes).
Jose Flores worked the ninth and gave up a two-run bomb to Telvin Nash. Marcus Walden recorded a two-inning hold for the 'Hounds.
Midland had Jefry Marte at third with one out in the second but came away unfulfilled. After his soft liner off Colton Cain sat down inside the left-field line for two bases, Marte advanced 90 feet when Kent Matthes flied to center. Cain whiffed Dusty Coleman and walked Barfield before retiring Bruce Maxwell on a drive to the left-field warning track.
The RockHounds scored one but left three an inning later, Matthes' single to left plating Conner Crumbliss. The second baseman led off and was struck by Cain's 91-mph offering.
The Hooks quickly matched, touching Jensen for a run on Delino DeShields, Jr.'s two-out liner up the middle, which scored Carlos Perdomo (lead-off single).
Cain's control issues created opportunity for Midland in the fifth, but again the RockHounds were stymied. He hit lead-off man Billy Burns and wild pitched him into scoring position. Nakajima walked and Burns pilfered third. Cain fanned Max Muncy, reaching his 80-pitch limit in the process. On came Chris Devenski, who struck out Marte and Matthes to end the threat.
Cain scattered three hits, walked three and struck out five.
Jensen then allowed consecutive one-out singles and a walk, but benefited from a well-executed cut-and-return by shortstop Coleman, whose perfect throw erased Perdomo at home on the front end of a double steal attempt.
Nakajima had the right approach in the seventh. With the visitors having stranded eight over the first six frames, the Tokyo resident drilled a 92-mph Devenski (2-2) fastball 360 feet into the Goodwill Zone for his third home run.
Barfield's initial yard shot of 2014 provided eighth-inning insurance for Midland, which went on to hang four runs on Ruben Alaniz during its last turn. Alaniz allowed one hit, but walked four and uncorked two wild pitches.
That was significant, as Nash belted his eighth homer in 16 games and 16th overall.
Mike Hauschild (1-6) pitches for Corpus Christi Friday at 7:10 against Sean Murphy (4-0). Bud Light presents Friday Fireworks postgame after the 2014 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs Caravan visits the ballpark. The Texas League presents a special pregame tribute to Mike Coolbaugh.