San Antonio worked some eighth-inning magic to defeat Corpus Christi 3-1 in Saturday night's series opener before 5,978 at Wolff Stadium.
Brett Kennedy took the mound Friday for the Missions looking to build on a terrific hot streak. In his previous seven starts, the right-hander had gone 5-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a K:BB of 40:6 over 39.2 innings.
Kennedy punched out a pair in a perfect top of the first before running into trouble in the second. After retiring both of his first two men he faced, Kennedy allowed three straight singles to Jack Mayfield, Jason Martin and Trent Woodward, the last of which giving the Hooks a 1-0 lead.
The former Fordham University star navigated rather easily through the next three innings before departing with one out in the sixth. Overall on the evening, Kennedy scattered seven hits, while fanning seven against just two walks.
For awhile, San Antonio had trouble solving Kennedy's mound opponent, Kyle Smith. The 24-year-old hurler allowed just three hits and one walk over six innings, while striking out eight. The Missions managed the sneak a run off talented pitcher in the fourth thanks to a double steal that tied the game at one.
The game then turned into a battle of bullpens, and like Friday night's finale with Midland, the score entered the eighth inning tied at one.
This time it was San Antonio that broke through in the eighth. Andrew Thome (3-4) began his second inning of work by fanning Luis Urias. The Missions then went to work. Fernando Perez began the rally with an infield single. After Jose Rondon followed with a single of his own, Franmil Reyes broke the tie with a base knock to right center. Two batters later, Alberth Martinez gave San Antonio a 3-1 cushion with a single to left.
Trey Wingenter worked around a two-out single by Antonio Nunez in the ninth to lock up the win and pick up his fourth save. T.J. Weir (2-1) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth. The Missions are now four games up on the third-place Hooks with nine to go. Midland (32-29) kept pace with San Antonio with a 6-0 win over Frisco to remain two back.
San Antonio (34-27) resumes its four-game series with Corpus Christi (30-31) Sunday afternoon at 2:05 PM. Right-hander Michael Kelly (5-1, 2.84) will take the ball for the Missions, while the Hooks counter with southpaw Alex Winkelman (0-0, 4.85).
Notes: Before the game, right-hander Kyle Lloyd was transferred from Triple-A El Paso to San Antonio. Lloyd was 4-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 10 starts for the Missions earlier this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.