The Corpus Christi Hooks and the San Antonio Missions kicked off a 3-game series at Wolff Stadium Monday night. The reigning Texas League Champions play host to the Astros AA affiliate in a matchup of rivals who are both looking to get back into playoff contention.
The second place Hooks started the evening with a 16-14 record, 3 & 1/2 games behind the division leading Midland Rock Hounds. The Missions sat 5 & 1/2 games off the pace with a record of 14-16.
Corpus Christi sent right-hander Jordan Jankowski (3-3, 3.53 ERA) to the mound in the opener with Travis Ballew waiting in the wings as the second half of the Hooks tandem pitching rotation. Jankowski came in with a 73/17 K/BB rate and 1.10 WHIP in 71 & 1/3 innings for the season. Pitching in the piggy-back system, Jordan has made eight starts and 14 relief appearances, picking up three saves along the way.
It was a tough night for Jankowski as he was roughed up for eight hits and seven runs in an 8-3 loss to the hot hitting Missions. Cody Overbeck led the way for San Antonio, going 2 for 4 with a double, two RBIs, and a pair of runs scored.
Jesse Hahn pitched two hitless innings for the Missions in a tune-up start as he prepares to rejoin the San Diego Padres rotation. Hahn made his major league debut last month with the Padres and was optioned back to the minors prior to the All-Star break to just get some work in and stay fresh. Joe Ross made his AA debut in relief of Hahn. Ross, a first round pick by the Padres in 2011, was 8-6 with a 3.98 ERA in 19 starts for Lake Elsinore. The 21-year old righty tossed six strong innings to pick up the win.
The Hooks also had a player making his AA debut. After striking out in his first at-bat, Conrad Gregor ended up going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. Telvin Nash connected for his 15th homerun of the year in the seventh inning but it was a case of too little, too late. The Hooks will be aiming to even the series Tuesday night when they send Kyle Smith to the mound.