In the classic Aesop's fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare," the lightning-quick hare sprints out to a big lead in a match race with the tortoise, only to fall asleep and be overtaken by the relentless, plodding turtle. On Friday night, the RockHounds, playing the role of the hare, re-wrote Aesop's tale. The 'Hounds erased a 1-0 deficit by scoring five runs in the first and went on to defeat the Corpus Christi Tortoises (oops, Hooks ... sorry, just kidding), 7-1, at Security Bank Ballpark.
After Corpus Christi put a run on the board in the top of the first, the RockHounds batted around in the five-run home half of the inning. Singles from B.J. Boyd and Jermaine Curtis set the table, with RBI singles from J.P. Sportman and Max Schrock putting the 'Hounds on top, 2-1. Jason Martin then misplayed Tyler Ramirez's fly ball on an 0-2 count to left field, allowing a run to score and extending the inning for Sean Murphy, who capped the five-run inning with a two-run line drive single to center.
Video: Schrock slaps RBI single for Midland
The game's only other runs came in the RockHounds' fifth on consecutive singles from Curtis, Rosa, Sportman and Schrock, with Schrock's base hit driving in two runs and giving the 'Hounds second baseman a three-RBI game.
RockHounds starter Grant Holmes was outstanding, allowing one run on just three hits, three walks and striking out five over seven innings of work. The first batter of the game, Ramon Laureano, doubled and scored on Jon Singleton's two-out single. Holmes did not give up a hit after the first inning, allowing just three walks - with one other batter reaching on an error - over his last six innings.
Boyd made two more outstanding defensive plays in center field, robbing Kyle Tucker on an over-the shoulder catch in deep right-center in the fifth and J.D. Davis on a diving catch in right-center on a line drive with a man on in the eighth.
The RockHounds have won two-of-three (both by scores of 7-1) with one game remaining in the four-game series, are 41-50 for the season, are 25-20 at home (16-30 on the road), are one game over .500 against the South Division at 28-27 (13-23 against the North) and lead the season series with Corpus Christi 11-8 (7-4 at Security Bank Ballpark).
Grant Holmes has now recorded quality starts in six of his last eight outings. In the two exceptions (June 15 vs Corpus Christi and July 8 at Tulsa), he surrendered a total of 17 runs. In the six quality outings, the A's prospect is 3-2, with a 1.90 ERA. His combined line for the six quality starts: 40.0 IP, 34 H, 9 R/8 ER, 11 BB, 39 K (1.13 WHIP and a .231 average against).
After going 0-for-9 in the final two games of the just-concluded road trip, B.J. Boyd has busted loose again at home, going 6-for-13 with three runs and a walk (in addition to several web gems in center field) in the series. Boyd, who has been among the Texas League's top 10 hitters virtually all season, entered the homestand hitting under .300 (.299) for the first time since going 0-for-4 on opening night. He is now back to .308 for the season and ranks among the top six hitters in the Texas League.
J.P. Sportman is 6-for-14 in the series with hits and first-inning RBI in all three games, with two runs, two doubles and three RBI.
Tyler Ramirez (1-for-3, run, double, walk) has hit in four straight games (6-for-13) and is batting .325 since his promotion to Double-A.
Jermaine Curtis is 5-for-12 (three runs, double) since rejoining the RockHounds from Triple-A Nashville. Including his first stint with the club from May 31-June 13, Curtis has a 10-game hitting streak in which he's hitting nearly .500 (17-for-35, .486).
The RockHounds and Hooks conclude their four-game series Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. with postgame fireworks. The RockHounds hit the road Sunday for a quick four-game series at San Antonio (Sunday-Wednesday) versus the Missions.
Probable starters in the series finale are LHP Framber Valdez (2-1, 2.81 ERA) for the Hooks and RHP Heath Fillmyer (5-3, 3.41 ERA) for the 'Hounds.
Valdez is rated Houston's #30 prospect by MLB.com. The lefty, signed as an international free agent by the Astros in 2015, opened the 2017 season with the Buies Creek Astros of the Class-A Carolina League, going 2-3 with a 2.79 ERA. Valdez - who made one start for the Hooks in June and was again promoted to Corpus Christi on July 4 - makes his fourth appearance and third start - his first against the RockHounds. He has allowed just seven hits over 16 innings in his three outings at the Double-A level.
Valdez's Corpus Christi season line (3 G / 2 GS): 16.0 IP, 7 H, 9 BB, 16 K (1.00 WHIP / .137 average against / 1.78 K/BB ratio).
Fillmyer enters Saturday's game ranked sixth in the Texas League with a 3.41 ERA. Rated Oakland's #15 prospect by Baseball America and #12 by MLB.com, Fillmyer was Oakland's fifth round draft choice in 2014 out of Mercer CC in West Windsor Township, New Jersey. Last start was a tough 3-1 loss at Tulsa: 7 IP, 8 H, 3 R / 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. He makes his fourth start against Corpus Christi (0-1, 3.27 ERA, 11.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R / 4 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, 1.45 WHIP, .238 average against).
Fillmyer's season line (19 starts): 89.2 IP, 97 H, 36 BB, 65 K (1.48 WHIP / .277 average against / 1.81 K/BB ratio).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.