SAN ANTONIO – The Missions beat the RockHounds and an incoming thunderstorm 11-3 on Saturday night as they pounded out fifteen hits. The pitching also dominated until a ninth-inning, two-out two-run homer.
With the win, San Antonio is back at .500 for the first time since April 12.
“What makes me happiest is that what once was a very obvious weakness for us [pitching], has become a strength for us,” said manager Phillip Wellman. “And it is coming from everyone.
“We’ve had eight different guys that have been part of two no-hitters. [Henry] Henry made one mistake on a slider, but for the first time in his life, he also threw a few pitches at 100 mph.”
Midland opened the scoring with a solo home run off Lake Bachar before San Antonio put 11 unanswered runs on the board. Right fielder Thomas Milone fell a home run short of a cycle, and the Missions had five extra-base hits.
Center fielder Esteury Ruiz continued to terrorize the Texas League with a pair of hits tonight and two stolen bases. He is now hitting .353/.497/.590 with 29 stolen bases in 33 attempts. Remarkably, the on-base percentage is only good enough for second in the league, but he is on top for stolen bases.
“He is also covering an amazing amount of ground in center,” said Wellman. “He has really improved that part of his game from last season when he mainly was in left.”
Bachar’s command was not as sharp as his previous start when he led off the first of San Antonio’s two no-hitters. The righty only allowed the one run over four innings, but didn’t strike out a batter.
“I’m extremely pleased with him because he has missed two years. His command wasn’t as sharp as it was his first outing, but that is what I preach to him and Reggie [Lawson, who also is coming off of Tommy John surgery]. I have been doing this for a long time and its a journey. There will be bumps in the road, but put it behind you and keep going forward.”
Catcher Chandler Seagle had his third multi-hit game of the month tonight to push his batting average to .232, and it looks like there is room for much more growth on the offensive side.
Why is this important? Because Seagle is as dominant a defensive catcher as the Padres have had since Austin Hedges. If his bat is viable, the defense could carry him to the major leagues.
“He catches with joy, and I’m just so happy for him anytime I see two hits in the box score,” said Wellman.
“That was our challenge this year with him to be more competitive at the plate because he can be a backup in the big leagues with the way he can catch, throw, block and take care of pitchers.
“Chandler will be the first to tell you that there was no reason for anyone to believe that he could hit, but that’s why they call it player development.”