An early rally and a sensational outing by Michael Kelly ignited San Antonio to a 4-0 win over Corpus Christi in Monday night's series opener at Wolff Stadium.
San Antonio entered Monday's opener in sole possession of first place in the South Division. The Hooks, making their first trip into the Alamo City this season, were looking for revenge after a Missions four-game sweep at Whataburger Field last week.
After both teams went scoreless in the first, San Antonio put together what would be the game's key rally in the bottom of the second against righty Brock Dykxhoorn.
Sunday's walk-off hero, Nick Torres, began the frame with a single to left. After Alberth Martinez singled as well, Ty France drove in Torres with a double to right. Fernando Perez made the score 2-0 when he followed with a run-producing groundout to second. San Antonio capped the three-run rally when France scored from third following a Garrett Stubbs passed ball.
The Missions tacked on another in the sixth against Dykxhoorn (0-3) courtesy of an RBI double by catcher Stephen McGee.
The 4-0 lead was more than enough for Kelly, who continued his May surge with a brilliant performance. The Boynton Beach, FL native allowed just a Drew Ferguson leadoff double in the sixth and three walks over a career-high eight shutout innings. Kelly (2-1) fanned a career-high tying nine and threw 72 of his 107 pitches for strikes. In three starts this month, Kelly is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA and a K:BB of 21:5 over 21 innings.
Rafael De Paula worked around a Stubbs leadoff single in the ninth to complete the two-hit shutout. The Hooks have scored no more than one run in four of their last eight games.
The Missions are now 12-2 in the month of May. It's the club's best start for a calendar month since 2011 when they began June 14-2. The victory, coupled with Midland's 5-0 loss at Frisco, pushed San Antonio's South Division lead to two games.
San Antonio (22-15) resumes its four-game series with Corpus Christi (17-20) on AARP's $2 Tuesday presented by KCWX. Enyel De Los Santos ((2-0, 5.05) gets the ball for the Missions, while the Hooks counter with fellow righty Kyle Smith (0-1, 4.03).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.