Closeups of the 2019 San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Missions catcher/first baseman David Freitas won the Pacific Coast League batting title. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Missions catcher/first baseman David Freitas won the Pacific Coast League batting title. – photo by Joe Alexander
Even front row seats are a long way from some positions on a baseball field.

During the course of the 2019 San Antonio Missions season, I occasionally got closer a look at some of the players.

That seemed like a good way to wrap up my summer from Wolff Stadium.

Former Missions trip wraps up at Wrigley Field

Former San Antonio Missions second baseman Keston Hiura playing for the Milwaukee Brewers against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 30, 2019, at Wrigley Field. - photo by Joe Alexander
Former Missions second baseman Keston Hiura playing for the Brewers against the Cubs on Aug. 30, 2019, at Wrigley Field. – photo by Joe Alexander
The third and final game of my trip to catch up with some former 2019 San Antonio Missions players was on a sunny afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019.

It was a tough day for the former Missions. Keston Hiura started at second but suffered a hamstring strain and went on the injured list the next day.

Hernan Perez started at third base. Trent Grisham and Cory Spangenberg both got in the game late.

Former Missions pitchers Ray Black and Jay Jackson each threw one scoreless inning in relief.

Game photos taken from my seat in Section 225.

Former Missions star Keston Hiura homers in Game 2 of Brewers trip

The Milwaukee Brewers' Keston Hiura celebrates after hitting a fourth-inning home run on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Miller Park. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Milwaukee Brewers’ Keston Hiura celebrates after hitting a fourth-inning home run on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Miller Park. – photo by Joe Alexander
The second game of my Milwaukee Brewers trip was a sunny afternoon at Miller Park.

Keston Hiura hit his 16th major league home run as the Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Former San Antonio Missions in the Brewers’ starting lineup were Trent Grisham in center, Hiura at second and Cory Spangenberg at third.

Hiura had two hits including a double and three RBIs. Grisham also had two hits with a double.

Game photos from my seat in section 208.

Former Missions with the Brewers and my first visit to Miller Park

Former San Antonio Missions players Keston Hiura, Trent Grisham and Cory Spangenberg in uniform for the Milwaukee Brewers on Aug. 27 at Miller Park. - photo by Joe Alexander
Former San Antonio Missions players Keston Hiura, Trent Grisham and Cory Spangenberg in uniform for the Milwaukee Brewers on Aug. 27 at Miller Park. – photo by Joe Alexander
After a summer of watching the San Antonio Missions, I got a chance to see some former Missions in the majors.

Tuesday, Aug. 27 was also my first visit to Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Trent Grisham in left field, Keston Hiura at second, Cory Spangenberg at third and Adrian Houser on the mound were all in the starting lineup for the Brewers.

Game photos were taken from my seat in Section 212.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brewers 6-3.

A look at Missions infielder Cory Spangenberg

Cory Spangenberg playing for the Missions at Wolff Stadium during the 2019 season. - photo by Joe Alexander
Cory Spangenberg playing for the Missions at Wolff Stadium during the 2019 season. – photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Missions infielder Cory Spangenberg has a four-game hitting streak entering tonight’s game in El Paso and has hits in six of the last seven games.

The veteran left-handed batter has a .318 average for the season. On Wednesday, Spangenberg hit a two-run homer, his 12th home run of the season, in a 14-7 road victory over the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Spangenberg has worked at all the infield positions this season, in keeping with Milwaukee Brewers organization procedure. He has also seen some action in the outfield. This is Spangenberg’s first season in the Brewers organization.

The 28-year-old Spangenberg was in the San Diego Padres organization and spent all or part of the previous five seasons in the majors with the Padres.

Spangenberg spent time with the Missions in 2013-15 when they were a Double-A farm club of the Padres.

Missions break out offense but fall to Grizzlies

The Missions' David Freitas hits a first-inning home run on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ David Freitas hits a first-inning home run on Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
After going scoreless in the first nine innings of their last two games, the San Antonio Missions’ bats came alive Sunday night.

The Missions came up a run short despite 16 hits including a home run by David Freitas.

The Fresno Grizzlies lashed out 14 hits including four home runs to beat the Missions 11-10 at Wolff Stadium.

Freitas hit his ninth home run of the season in the first inning. He finished with three hits, including a double, and scored three times.

Troy Stokes Jr. had three hits and Tyrone Taylor, Cory Spangenberg, Lucas Erceg and Jake Hager had two hits each for the Missions.

Hernan Perez finishes another Missions win in extra innings

The Missions' Hernan Perez connects with the ball for the winning hit in the 12th inning Saturday night at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Hernan Perez connects with the ball for the winning hit in the 12th inning Saturday night at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
For the second straight night the San Antonio Missions didn’t score through nine innings.

And for the second staight night the Missions came through in extra innings for the victory.

The Missions scored once in the 10th inning and twice in the 12th to beat the Fresno Grizzlies 3-2 on Saturday at Wolff Stadium.

Cory Spangenberg singled and drove in Blake Allemand to tie the game 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 12th. David Freitas walked to put runners on first and second.

Hernan Perez singled to left to score Spangenberg and win the game.

Missions starting pitcher Zack Brown went six scoreless innings and gave up four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Relievers Ray Black and Jake Faria both pitched one scoreless inning each.

The Missions’ Deolis Guerra (3-0) pitched the 11th and 12th innings to earn the win.

Missions’ Cory Spangenberg stays hot at the plate

Missions infielder Cory Spangenberg playing against Nashville on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Missions infielder Cory Spangenberg playing against Nashville on Wednesday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Cory Spangenberg’s batting average has gone up 43 points in a little over a month.

The San Antonio Missions utility man’s batting average was .276 on June 13. The next day he started an eight-game hitting streak.

Wednesday night, Spangenberg had three hits and scored three runs in a 7-5 victory over the Nashville Sounds at Wolff Stadium. His current hitting streak extended to four games. He is now hitting .319 with 10 home runs, 4 triples, 24 doubles and 44 RBIs.

Spangenberg is hitting an even .400 over the last 10 games (18-of-45).

Listed as a third baseman, Spangenberg has seen action all over the infield this season and has also done duty as an outfielder.

Spangenberg was part of the Double-A Missions when they were a San Diego Padres farm club and won the Texas League championship in 2013. He saw action in the majors with the Padres in the 2014 through 2018 seasons, appearing in 387 games and batting .258 with 27 home runs.

Trent Grisham homers twice as Missions pound Storm Chasers again

The Missions' Trent Grisham (12) is congratulated by Blake Allemand (right) and Lucas Erceg after hitting a fourth-inning home run Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Trent Grisham (12) is congratulated by Blake Allemand (right) and Lucas Erceg after hitting a fourth-inning home run Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Trent Grisham lashed out four hits including two home runs as the San Antonio Missions beat the Omaha Storm Chasers 9-5 Sunday at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions swept the four-game series with the Storm Chasers, scoring at least eight runs and piling up double-digit hits in every game:

July 14: W 9-5, 11 hits, 3 home runs
July 13: W 8-2, 11 hits, 2 home runs
July 12: W 10-9, 11 hits, 2 home runs
July 11: W 9-2, 10 hits, 2 home runs

On Sunday, Grisham hit his sixth and seventh home runs in 20 games since joining the Missions from Double-A Biloxi.

Tuffy Gosewisch, a catcher who doesn’t see much playing time for the Missions, hit his second home run of the season. His solo homer gave the Missions a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning and they led the rest of the way.

Bubba Derby was the Missions starting pitcher. He went four innings, allowed five runs and did not get a decision.

Burch Smith had been the expected starting pitcher for the Missions on Sunday. It was announced to the media about an hour before game time that Derby would start instead.

Missions reliever Donnie Hart (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings and got the win.

The Missions' Tuffy Gosewisch hits his second home run of the season Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tuffy Gosewisch hits his second home run of the season Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions' Trent Grisham trots around the bases in the sixth inning after hitting his second home run of the game Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Trent Grisham trots around the bases in the sixth inning after hitting his second home run of the game Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions' Cory Spangenberg slides into second base on his 23rd double of the season Sunday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Cory Spangenberg slides into second base on his 23rd double of the season Sunday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Drew Smyly earns his first Missions win at Wolff Stadium

The San Antonio Missions' Drew Smyly pitches against the Omaha Storm Chasers on Thursday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Missions’ Drew Smyly pitches against the Omaha Storm Chasers on Thursday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Drew Smyly pitched in his first home game with the San Antonio Missions on Thursday at Wolff Stadium.

The former Texas Rangers starter threw five innings to get the win. He allowed two runs, including a solo home run in the second inning, on three hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

The Missions beat the Omaha Storm Chasers 9-2. Cory Spangenberg and Travis Shaw both hit home runs. Spangenberg finished with three hits and five RBIs.

Thursday’s game was Smyly’s second start for the Missions. On July 7 in New Orleans, in his first appearance after signing a minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, Smyly went four innings and gave up one run on three hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. He did not get a decision.

The 6-foot-3 left-hander had a 1-5 record and 8.42 ERA in 13 games with the Rangers this season being released.