When he arrived at the Double-A level with the RockHounds at the end of June, Texas League hitters didn't exactly make Casey Meisner feel "welcome", as he was 0-3 with an 8.78 earned run average after three starts. Over his last five appearances, however, the 6-foot 7-inch right-hander has felt very much at home, thank you.
Meisner went seven scoreless innings on Sunday afternoon as the 'Hounds shut out the San Antonio Missions, 6-0 at Security Bank Ballpark. He allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out six (and has now tossed 12 shutout innings in two starts against the Missions). In his last five starts, Meisner is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA.
Video: Midland's Meisner finishes the seventh
The win, in the finale of a four-game series, snapped a three-game slide against San Antonio and was the club's 12th victory in 17 games.
The 'Hounds provided all the offense their starter would need just eight pitches into the first inning. Jorge Mateo tripled on the first pitch from Brett Kennedy and scored on B.J. Boyd's single on a 3-2 pitch to right.
A three-run fourth inning, started by Viosergy Rosa's leadoff triple - his first of the year - pushed the lead to 4-0. Rosa scored on a passed ball (in retrospect, costing J.P. Sportman an RBI as he then sent a drive to left that would have scored the run) and Tyler Ramirez started a new rally with a walk. Andy Paz brought Ramirez home with an RBI double and scored on Branden Cogswell's two-out single.
Sportman and Ramirez drove in runs with back-to-back sacrifice flies in the fifth to cap the scoring, with eight of the nine RockHounds hitters scoring a run, driving in a run or both.
Kennedy, one of the Texas League's top starters - as he leads the league in wins and strikeouts - took the loss by allowing all six runs (earned) on eight hits and two walks, while striking out three over five innings.
The RockHounds are:
55-59 overall … 20-24 in the second half ... have won 12 of their last 17
13-15 in the season series vs. San Antonio ... 6-6 at Security Bank Ballpark ... and finished 7-9 at Nelson Wolff Stadium
third in the Texas League South ... seven games behind the Missions and one behind Corpus Christi (entering Sunday night's game)
tied with the Hooks in the (increasingly probable) South Division wild card race (again, entering Sunday night's game)
32-25 at home … 23-34 on the road
42-36 versus the South Division and 13-23 against the North
Here's a more complete breakdown on Casey Meisner's eight starts with the RockHounds:
Totals: 4-3, 4.46 ERA, 8 G/8 GS, 40 IP, 37 H, 17 BB, 28 K, 1.34 WHIP, .247 average against, 1.65 K/BB ratio
First three starts: 0-3, 8.78 ERA, 3 G/3 GS, 13.1 IP, 15 H, 10 BB, 13 K, 1.88 WHIP, .283 average against, 1.30 K/BB ratio
Last five starts: 4-0, 2.33, 5 G/5 GS, 27.0 IP, 22 H, 7 BB, 15 K, 1.07 WHIP, .226 average against, 2.14 K/BB ratio
Jermaine Curtis (0-for-3, hit by pitch) extended his on-base streak to 38 games. The streak is the longest in the Texas League this season by seven games.
Jorge Mateo's remarkable speed has been on display since his arrival from the New York Yankees organization in the Sonny Gray trade, as the RockHounds shortstop has three triples in his first six games.
After going 3-for-30 (six RBI) in his previous eight games, Viosergy Rosa was 6-for-9 (run, triple, two walks) on Saturday and Sunday.
Andy Paz (1-for-4, run, double, RBI) has an eight-game hitting streak (10-for-29, .345) with two doubles and five RBI.
Sunday was the "finish line" for the Texas League's annual 26 games in 26 days stretch.
Beginning on Tuesday, the league enters the final (12-game) section of cross-division play.
The RockHounds will travel to Northwest Arkansas (Tuesday-Thursday) and Arkansas (Friday-Sunday) for three games each, then host the Naturals and Travelers in a pair of three-game sets at Security Bank Ballpark (August 15-20).
Dustin Hurlbutt makes his eighth start (his first against Northwest Arkansas) since being promoted from Class-A Advanced Stockton (he also made one appearance with Triple-A Nashville). Hurlbutt gave up four runs in his first outing with the RockHounds and in his six starts since is 3-1, with a 1.49 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP (12 BB / 24 K). The Bartlesville, Oklahoma native was selected by Oakland in the 16th round of the 2015 draft out of Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas.
Midland RockHounds: 3-2, 2.41 ERA, 7 G/7 GS, 27.1 IP, 31 H, 16 BB, 19 K, 1.72 WHIP, .292 average against, 1.19 K/BB ratio
Stockton Ports: 2-2, 3.23, 15 G/8 GS, 69.2 IP, 52 H, 16 BB 74 K, .199 average against, 4.63 K/BB ratio
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.