San Antonio Missions drop tight series to Midland RockHounds – San Antonio Express-News

Highlighting the week that was and previewing the upcoming week for the San Antonio Missions:

After a week of late lead changes and close calls, the Missions couldn’t have been too surprised by the dramatics of Sunday’s finale.

San Antonio scored two runs on bases-loaded walks during the top of the 10th inning to take a lead, but the Midland RockHounds answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, capped with a two-RBI double by Logan Davidson for a 13-12 walkoff win at Momentum Bank Ballpark in Midland.

The rally lifted the RockHounds to a series win, claiming four of six against the Missions. Five of the games were decided by one run, as Midland notched two walkoffs and scored Wednesday’s winning run during the eighth inning.

The series continued a lackluster start to the second half for San Antonio (50-44), which is 12-15 since the season’s midpoint after earning the first-half title in the Texas League South at 38-29.

San Antonio squandered multiple chances to flip the first two games of the series, going 2-for-23 with runners in scoring position and stranding 23 on base. During Wednesday’s 3-2 loss, the Missions left two on base in the eighth and could not convert with the bases loaded in the ninth.

On ExpressNews.com: Missions keep rolling after break with series win against Corpus Christi

A stumble on the mound proved costly Thursday, as Angel Felipe, who ranks second in the Texas League with 11 saves this year, suffered his third blown save of the season. After coming on to record the final out of the eighth inning, Felipe retired just one batter in the ninth, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk.

Sunday’s game was the most dramatic of the set, as San Antonio rallied to tie with a four-run eighth inning, highlighted by Yorman Rodriguez’s three-run homer — his team-leading 11th of the year.

The Missions walked in two more runs in the 10th inning to take a lead, but pitcher Osvaldo Hernandez recorded just one out in the bottom half, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk to shoulder the loss.

Prospect watch

Outfielder Tirso Ornelas led the Texas League in hits last week despite playing only five of six games, going 12-for-25 (.480) with three doubles, a triple, six RBIs and six runs scored.

Ranked as the No. 21 prospect in the San Diego Padres’ organization, per MLB.com, Ornelas is the only position player in the club’s top 30 on the Missions’ active roster.

He managed three hits in the first four innings Wednesday, then notched the first five-hit game of his career Sunday, becoming just the second Missions player to do so this season. Rodriguez also recorded a 5-for-6 day on July 13.

Pitcher Reggie Lawson, the No. 15 prospect in San Diego’s organization, continued a backslide following a stellar run, failing to finish the second inning in either of his two starts last week. On Tuesday, he struggled with control, walking five batters and allowing another to come home on a wild pitch as he yielded three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

He returned to the mound Sunday and was blasted for a pair of homers in 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks.

During his past three outings, Lawson has lasted a combined 6 1/3 innings, giving up nine earned runs on eight hits and 13 walks for a 12.79 ERA.

The slump is a stark turnaround after a stretch of strong starts. In seven outings from June 7 through July 7, Lawson had a 1.35 ERA, tossing 331/3 innings allowing 16 hits and just 11 walks with 31 strikeouts.

Standout hitter

Webster Rivas, a 31-year-old veteran who has played mostly at the Double-A level or higher since 2017, has reached base safely in all 19 games with the Missions this season.

Starting at catcher, first base, third base and designated hitter during last week’s series, Rivas posted a team-leading .519 on-base percentage, drawing nine walks to rank tied for second-most in Double-A.

Since joining San Antonio from Triple-A El Paso on July 7, Rivas is hitting .306 with eight doubles, 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 19 games.

Standout pitcher

Kevin Kopps, San Diego’s No. 12 prospect, did not allow a run across three appearances out of the bullpen last week, totaling 3 2/3 innings.

He was called on during the second inning of Tuesday’s opener and scattered five hits across 2 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

Kopps also checked in as San Antonio was nursing a one-run lead with a runner on first and two outs during Friday’s ninth inning. Though he walked the first batter he faced, he induced a groundout from the next hitter to secure his fourth save in five chances.

By the numbers

6: Wins without a loss for pitcher Moises Lugo, who is 6-0 with a 3.38 ERA on the year.

9: Consecutive batters retired by Nolan Watson during his Wednesday start, as he tossed four innings allowing one run on three hits and a walk.

9: Double plays grounded into by Missions hitters last week, ranking as the most in Double-A.

12: Straight games with a hit for Connor Hollis, who has reached base safely in 19 straight. He has multiple hits in 10 of the 12 games during the hitting streak, batting .442 with nine doubles and 19 runs scored in that stretch.

Up next

San Antonio is back home for a six-game set against the Wichita Wind Surge beginning at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Wolff Stadium.

greg.luca@express-news.net

Twitter: @GregLuca

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