Astros Minors: Hooks Down 2-1 in First Round of Playoffs


Astros Double-A Report: Corpus Christi Hooks (Sept. 8-11)

The Hooks ended Friday night with their backs against the wall, down two games to one in the best of five series against Midland. After winning the first game in Corpus Christi on September 9, the Hooks lost game two at home, and game three in Midland.

Game one starter Chris Devenski struck out nine and gave up only five hits in six innings Wednesday, as the Hooks beat Midland 9-2. Catcher Roberto Pena and 1B Conrad Gregor both reached base four times, with Pena driving in five runs, and Gregor two. Both men hit home runs, and combined for five hits, three runs, three extra base hits, and two walks.

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The Hooks were held to three runs and six hits in the 9-3 loss to Midland on Thursday. Gregor led Corpus with two hits and another home run. Colin Moran had two RBI with a home run.

Starter Ruben Alaniz went five innings, giving up six hits and two runs, while striking out three. Brian Holmes pitched the next two frames, allowing two hits, and two walks, with three strikeouts.

Unfortunately, Jandel Gustave had a rough time in his 1.1 inning appearance. The top Hooks reliever gave up three hits, five runs, and two walks, with no strikeouts. Albert Minnis pitched the last 2/3 of the ninth inning, giving up two hits and two runs, as the RockHounds capped off a seven run outburst that proved too much for the Hooks to handle.

On Friday, the series shifted to Midland’s Security Bank Ballpark, with Kyle Westwood getting the start for the Hooks against Chris Jensen. Midland struck early, getting a run on an error, two walks, and a single before the first out of the inning. Westwood lasted only 2.2 innings, giving up six hits, four runs (three earned), and four walks in the short stint.

Teoscar Hernandez and Moran led the Hooks with two hits each, and although Corpus belted out ten hits altogether, they couldn’t string enough together to score more than five runs. Midland’s pitchers weren’t much more effective than the five Hooks hurlers, but the RockHound’s 14 hits and seven walks were enough to take the win.

Hooks manager Rodney Linares and pitching coach Dan Radison were both ejected, Linares in the fifth, and Radison in the sixth, after questionable calls by umpire Clay Park.

In the three playoff games, Gregor leads the Hooks, batting .545, with Hernandez at .385, and Pena at .300.

Francis Martes was scheduled to start Saturday night for the Hooks in this must win situation. Martes, 19 years old, is 8-3 in 2015, with a 2.04 ERA, 23 walks against 98 strikeouts. He began the season at Low-A Quad Cities, moving up to Advanced-A Lancaster, and then Corpus Christi. He is the Astros #7 prospect, and should give the Hooks a good chance to extend the series to a Sunday finale in Midland.

Cover photo courtesy Tammy Tucker, Martes photo by Rich Guill.

Other notes:

  • A.J. Reed was named to the Baseball America 2015 Class-A All-Star team. He was also named Player of the Year for Class-A, and the winner of the Joe Bauman Award as the Minor League home run champion.
  • Former Hook Brett Phillips made the Double-A team.

Next: Astros Minors Playoffs: River Bandits drop Game One 5-2