Jack Suwinski, Missions stay hot in series opener against Naturals

Eguy Rosario slides into home to score the San Antonio Missions' first run of the game. The Missions beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 5-3 on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Eguy Rosario slides into home to score the Missions’ first run of the game.
Tuesday night in San Antonio followed a familiar pattern, and that’s a good thing for the Missions.

Jack Suwinski hit his 11th home run of the season and the Missions piled up 10 hits to beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 5-3 at Wolff Stadium in the opener of a six-game series.

The Missions have won five in a row and eight of their last nine. Suwinski has four home runs in the last three games.

Eguy Rosario had three hits and scored twice for the Missions and leadoff batter Jose Azocar had two hits and scored a run.

Rosario scored a rather unusual run in the bottom of the second inning. He broke from second base to steal third at the same moment as a wild pitch, allowing Rosario to come all the way around for the first run of the game.

Missions third baseman Allen Cordoba, in just his third game of the season, had a hit and a walk. He has had a hit or a walk or both in all three games. He also took a hard hit ball off his leg at or near his knee that was clearly painful, but he stayed in the game.

Missions starting pitcher Reggie Lawson, in his second game of the season, went two scoreless innings and struck out two batters. There was a rain delay after the second inning and he did not return, but wasn’t expected to make a long appearance.

Adrian Martinez, who has been a starter most of the season, pitched five innings and earned the win (2-3). He allowed three runs on four hits with five strikeouts.

Henry Henry pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Tom Cosgrove pitched the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

Missions bullpen clicks in season opener

Pedro Avila pitched the final inning for the San Antonio Missions in their 8-3 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks in Tuesday's season opener. - photo by Joe Alexander
Pedro Avila pitched the final inning for the San Antonio Missions in their 8-3 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks in Tuesday’s season opener. – photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Missions relievers were one pitch away from four scoreless, hitless innings in the season opener.

Four Missions pitchers worked one inning each in relief in the Missions’ 8-3 victory over the Corpus Christi Hooks on Tuesday.

Missions starter Reiss Knehr went five innings before turning things over to the bullpen with San Antonio leading 5-2.

Things didn’t look so promising right after Knehr left the game. The Hooks’ first batter of the sixth inning, David Hensley, hit a home run off of Sam Williams. That cut the Missions’ lead to 5-3. But the Hooks didn’t record a hit the rest of the night.

Williams, a 6-foot-3 left-hander, got through the sixth inning with no more damage, allowing one walk with one strikeout.

Carlos Belen pitched the seventh. The 6-1 right-hander from the Dominican Republic struck out two batters with no walks.

Tom Cosgrove pitched the eighth. The 6-2 left-hander also struck out two batters with no walks.

Pedro Avila closed out the game. The 5-11 right-hander from Venezuela pitched the bottom of the ninth with no hits, no strikeouts and no walks.

For the game the Missions’ relievers allowed one run on one hit with five strikeouts and one walk in four innings.