CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii Sports) - Dusty Coleman had a two-run double and Pedro Viola and Brett Hunter provided solid relief as Midland shaved Corpus Christi 4-3 before 5,053 Thursday at Whataburger Field.
The RockHounds (23-36; 56-73) won for the ninth time in 31 2013 meetings with Corpus Christi. The Hooks (35-24; 77-52) remain two games behind San Antonio in the Texas League South Division second-half standings. The Missions fell to Frisco 2-1 in 10 innings in the Alamo City.
Corpus Christi and San Antonio meet in the TL South Division playoff series early next month.
Two-out singles by Raoul Torrez and Erik Castro created a disturbance for Midland starter Sean Murphy in the first, but the right-hander struck out Jonathan Meyer.
The RockHounds chinked David Rollins for a hit during each of the first two frames before breaking through with a two-run, three-hit third. Coleman did the honors, his double to right-center sending Conner Crumbliss and Jefry Marte across.
Ronny Torreyes' lead-off triple - a pin baller into the right-field corner - kick started a swift and equal reaction. Enrique Hernandez' single picked up Torreyes and the Hooks second baseman scored two outs later when Castro shot a liner into right.
Marte's sharp single back through the box plated Crumbliss (lead-off double/stolen base) as Midland moved up 3-2 two innings later. The tie-breaker prompted Corpus Christi manager Keith Bodie to remove Rollins (0-1). The former Toronto farmhand lasted 4 1/3 innings, yielded seven hits, walked one and struck out five.
Murphy (8-6) survived an inning longer, pulled after Castro and Meyer singled consecutively to open the sixth. Murphy was peppered for nine hits but struck out seven and did not suffer any walks.
His replacement, Viola, successfully navigated the balance, getting Drew Muren and Ryan McCurdy to pop up.
The RockHounds added an insurance tally off T.J. Geith in the eighth, Max Muncy's second lead-off double of the night converted into a run as Beau Taylor singled up the middle.
That run was big. Meyer's 15th home run, a two-out blast into the Goodwill Zone off Viola, pushed the Hooks to within a run at 4-3 through eight. Viola recorded two strikeouts over three frames of work and Hunter pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth to collect his second save.
Castro and Marte had three hits apiece.
Midland center fielder D'Arby Myers has hit safely in a league season-best 28 straight games.
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