The RockHounds out-hit the Corpus Christi Hooks Saturday night, 15-14 and lost by six runs. The reason? Two words: Jack Mayfield.
The Hooks shortstop had two home runs and six runs batted in. The final margin of victory for the Hooks was six runs.
With the RockHounds leading, 3-1, and the bases loaded in the third, Mayfield sent Heath Fillmyer's 0-2 pitch into the right field short-porch bullpen. The grand slam changed the course of the game and the Hooks went on to hit five home runs (including Mayfield's second) for a 13-7 win and a split of the four-game series at Security Bank Ballpark.
After Mayfield's slam put the Hooks on top 5-3, Jason Martin sent the next pitch out just right of straightaway center field and two batters later, Bryan De La Cruz hit a solo homer into the right field corner. The Hooks finished the third with six runs on four hits, with three of them leaving the ballpark.
Mayfield's second home run of the game came just one inning after his slam - a two-run homer - this one a 400-foot blast to center field.
The 'Hounds chipped away with single runs in the fourth (on a Richie Martin triple) and fifth (the run scoring on a double play), drawing to within 9-5. J.D. Davis then belted a towering three-run home run to left - his league-leading 21st of the season - boosting the Hooks' lead back to 12-5. Tyler Ramirez had the RockHounds' only long ball of the game, a two-run home run to the right field berm in the eighth.
Leading 3-1 in the second, the RockHounds missed a great opportunity to expand the early lead. They loaded the bases on the first three pitches of the inning on singles from Andy Paz, Martin and Jordan Tarsovich's perfect bunt, but failed to score.
The RockHounds and Hooks, who split the four-game series, meet again next Thursday through Sunday at Security Bank Ballpark. The four-game set is part of a seven-game RockHounds homestand from July 20-26 with Frisco also coming to town for a three-game series.
The RockHounds are 41-51 for the season ... 6-16 in the second half ... 25-21 at home (16-30 on the road) ... back to .500 against the South Division at 28-28 and 13-23 against the North ... lead the season series with Corpus Christi 11-9 with a 7-5 mark at Security Bank Ballpark.
The Hooks hit for the "home run cycle" as a team. Jack Mayfield collected a grand slam and a two-run homer, J.D. Davis had a three-run shot and the Hooks had two solo jacks. Mayfield with six RBI and Davis with RBI, drove in 10 of Corpus Christi's 13 runs.
The RockHounds had a total of 52 hits in the four-game series for an average of exactly 13 hits per game.
Tyler Ramirez (2-for-4, two-run HR) has a hit in five straight games (8-for-17) and is batting .341 (two home runs, eight RBI) since his promotion to Double-A.
Jermaine Curtis is 6-for-16 (four runs, double) since rejoining the RockHounds from Triple-A Nashville. Including his first stint with the club (May 31 through June 13), Curtis has an 11-game hit streak (18-for-39, .462).
J.P. Sportman went 7-for-19 in the series with four RBI, one in the first inning of each game.'Jordan Tarsovich, batting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, also went 7-for-19 in the series.
Viosergy Rosa went 6-for-17 in the series, scoring five runs, with a double, a home run and two RBI. He leads the league with 66 RBI.]ichie Martin busted out of a 1-for-28 slump with a three-hit game (3-for-4), including an RBI triple.
Saturday was a rough night for both starting pitchers. Heath Fillmyer (5-4, 4.01 ERA) allowed seven earned in 2.1 innings and saw his ERA bump up by six-tenths of a point from 3.41 to 4.01. Framber Valdez, who got the win, allowed five earned in five innings and his ERA went up by 1.5 points from 2.81 to 4.29 in four appearances.
The RockHounds depart on Sunday morning for San Antonio to open a four-game series with the Missions at Nelson Wolff Stadium.
Probable starters in the series opener are LHP Joey Lucchesi (2-0, 2.61 ERA) for the Missions and RHP Casey Meisner (0-3, 8.78 ERA) for the RockHounds. First pitch on Sunday is set for 6:05 p.m. with a 7:05 p.m. start on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lucchesi is rated San Diego's #24 prospect by Baseball America and #19 by MLB.com. The 24-year-old was selected by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO after leading all of NCAA Division I in strikeouts as a senior (10-5, 2.19 ERA, 149 K's). He opened the season with the Lake Elsinore of the Class-A Advanced California League and went 6-4 with an outstanding 2.52 ERA in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League in 14 games for the Storm. He posted a 0.95 WHIP and opposing hitters batted just .194 against him. Lucchesi makes his third start for the Missions.
Lucchesi's San Antonio season line (two starts): 10.1 IP, 15 H, 2 BB, 10 K (1.65 WHIP / .341 average against / 5.00 K/BB ratio).
Meisner makes his fourth start since being promoted from the Class-A Advanced Stockton Ports. The 22-year-old Cypress, Texas native was drafted by the New York Mets in the third round of the 2013 draft out of Cypress Woods High School and came to the Oakland A's via trade from the Mets in July 2015. He entered this season rated Oakland's #26 prospect by MLB.com and went 6-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 16 games with the Ports, including 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA (21.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R/2 ER, 5 BB, 19 K) in his last three starts with Stockton. In his last start, a 6-0 loss on July 10 at Tulsa, he went 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on just one hit, walked four batters, hit four batters and struck out six.
Meisner's RockHounds season line (three starts): 13.1 IP, 15 H, 10 BB, 13 K (1.88 WHIP / .283 average against / 1.30 K/BB ratio).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.