SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Missions turned the tables on yesterday’s loss by jumping out to an early lead, taking advantage of four first-inning walks, and getting contributions up and down the lineup. All nine batters in the starting lineup reached base by the third inning. Webster Rivas, getting the start in the DH spot, led San Antonio with three hits, while Connor Hollis and Thomas Milone contributed a pair of hits each.
“[The Hooks] won the game in the first inning yesterday,” said Missions manager Philip Wellman, “and we did tonight.”
In his Padres debut, Wyatt Ulrich went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. Ulrich, who turns 26 later this week, had been playing for the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association prior to signing his first affiliated contract during the all-star break. The northern Minnesota native spent two years playing minor league hockey before a five-year collegiate career that ended in a graduate transfer season at Richmond.
The offense also got a boost from the ninth spot when Chandler Seagle hit his third home run of the season. Seagle is enjoying one of his best seasons as a hitter, as the Appalachian State product has hit three of his six career professional home runs this year.
“Whenever you can put a good swing on like that and hit it out of this place, you know you squared it up pretty good,” Seagle said. “Hopefully, this is a good starting point moving forward in the season.”
The Missions scored four times in the first inning, twice in the second, and Seagle added his solo shot in the third, giving plenty of run support for Ben Krauth. Krauth, making his third start for the Missions since signing as a minor league free agent July 9, gave his best effort thus far for San Antonio, throwing four innings of one-run ball, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out five.
“That work we put in between appearances really showed up,” Krauth said of his performance, “I was proud of that, and it allowed me to throw my fastball freely, knowing they weren’t able to sit on any pitch. I had all four of them working for strikes.”
“He’s getting better,” Wellman noted on Krauth, “I told him next time he’ll get 10 more pitches, and maybe he’ll go five [innings]. Tonight was the best he’s thrown. He threw all his stuff over for strikes.”
Henry Henry, tonight’s winning pitcher, worked a scoreless fifth with two strikeouts but loaded the bases via three walks in the sixth, leaving to go to the bullpen Wellman to turn to Fred Schlichtholz out of the bullpen. The left-hander managed to get the first two outs of the inning but failed to escape the jam, as a single scored two runs, both charged to Henry. Schlichtholz allowed an additional run in the seventh to make it 7-4, but Carlos Belen closed the door on the inning, getting two groundouts to stop the rally.
Angel Felipe worked a scoreless ninth as the former Rays farmhand picked up his 11th save in 13 opportunities. The final out was a line drive ably handled by Juan Fernandez at third base. Fernandez, primarily a catcher, had a stellar night with the glove at third base, including a spectacular backhand of a ground ball in the third inning. The throw was off-line, but Yorman Rodriguez landed the tag on an all-around excellent defensive play by two catchers playing the corners.
“He’s played second, he’s played first, he’s played third,” Wellman added, noting Fernandez’s versatility, “and we’re working with him in the outfield some, too.”
With the three-game series now tied, the Missions close out the weekend tilt against Corpus Christi tomorrow at 6:05 pm.
Note: Ben Davey contributed to the reporting in this article.