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TEXAS LEAGUE BASEBALL: Howard hurls Midland past Amarillo, RockHounds win sixth in a row - Odessa American: Baseball

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TEXAS LEAGUE BASEBALL: Howard hurls Midland past Amarillo, RockHounds win sixth in a row

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Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 11:35 pm

MIDLAND Brian Howard pitched seven solid innings and the Midland RockHounds broke loose for five runs in the sixth inning Tuesday to take a 7-1 victory against Amarillo in Texas League action at Security Bank Ballbark.

Chase Calabuig and Nate Mondou each drove in two runs as Midland won its sixth in a row and extended its lead in the South Division to four games.

Howard (7-5) allowed a run on seven hits, striking out three and walking one. His outing came a night after Kyle Friedrichs pitched into the ninth of Monday’s series opener. Over the last two games, RockHounds starters have allowed two runs over 15 innings.

“When you get those starts back-to-back, No. 1 it helps the bullpen stay fresh, then it puts (Amarillo’s) offense on a little bit of a downslide, which is good for everybody in general,” Midland manager Scott Steinmann said. “And it allows (the Midland) offense to kind of do their thing.”

Howard dodged trouble much of the night, but didn’t give up a run until the seventh after the RockHounds had taken a sizeable lead.

Amarillo’s Rodrigo Orozco led off the game with a double, but was stranded at third as Howard retired the next three batters. Midland turned double plays to end the fourth and sixth innings, the latter with runners at the corners in a 1-0 game. In between, Howard escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the fifth.

“Any time he gets into trouble, he has the ability to get out of it,” Steinmann said of Howard. “He has a low ERA for a reason, because of his ability to get out of a jam if something did come up.”

Amarillo’s combination of Adrian Morejon and Jesse Scholtens held Midland without a hit until Tyler Ramirez singled with one out in the fourth. Calabuig then delivered a two-out single to drive in the first run.

The RockHounds seized control in the sixth with an RBI single by Taylor Motter, Calabuig’s sacrifice fly, a run-scoring double by Brallan Perez and Mondou’s two-out, two-run single.

“We’ve seen (Scholtens) a lot this year and we finally got a hold of him a little bit,” Steinmann said. “I’m glad we could get him out of there when we could.

“We did a good job of attacking pitches in the zone, then a couple of long at bats and a couple of two-strike hits there in that rally really kept it going.”

Scholtens (3-3) was charged with five runs on three hits over 3.1 innings. He struck out five and walked three.

Amarillo avoided the shutout on Buddy Reed’s RBI single in the seventh in an inning that was almost identical to the fifth. In the fifth, Hudson Potts doubled with one out and Taylor Kohlwey was hit by a pitch with two outs, but Howard got Reed to bounce out to short. In the seventh, Potts again doubled with one out and Kohlwey walked with two outs before Reed rolled a single through the right side.

Potts and Edward Oliveras both went 2 for 4 for Amarillo.

Midland got the run back in the bottom of the seventh on Mikey White’s RBI single. Dairon Blanco led off the inning with an infield hit, stole second and moved up on a wild pitch to set up the run.

The teams close out the series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before the RockHounds visit Corpus Christi for four games starting Thursday.

Odessa, TX

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