James homers as ‘Hawks win; streak at 36
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July 10, 2009 - KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Jason James homered to extend his hitting streak to 36 games and broke another Frontier League record on Friday as the Rockford RiverHawks shut out Kalamazoo, 3-0. Rockford starter Kyle Wright outdueled former RiverHawk John Brownell and pitched a three-hitter for his first career shutout.

Rockford, which recorded its second straight shutout victory, has allowed a total of one run over its last three games. The RiverHawks swept Traverse City, 11-1 and 8-0, in a doubleheader on Thursday. The RiverHawks, who improved to 24-22, will take a winning record to the all-star break for the first time in three years.

James led off the top of the fourth inning with a shot over the right-field fence, his eighth home run of the year. James now has the longest hitting streak in league history by any standard. The league had recognized 30-game streaks by River City’s Michael Robertson in 2001 and Florence’s Mike Galloway in 2005, as well as a 35-game streak by Kevin Holt that began in 1996 with Johnstown and stretched in the 1997 season, when Holt played for Richmond.

James broke a scoreless tie with the homer. Brownell, who will be the East Division’s starting pitcher in next Wednesday’s All-Star Game at Road Ranger Stadium, then gave up a double off the wall to Todd Martin. Martin later scored on Caleb Fields’ sacrifice fly.

Wright, also an All-Star selection, escaped a first-and-third, one-out threat in the first inning. He retired the following 10 Kings in order. Kalamazoo did not put a man in scoring position until an error in the eighth, but Wright got out of the inning with the runner stranded at third base.

Wright (6-1) struck out seven without a walk for the win. He is unbeaten in his last eight starts and has won his last six decisions. Wright became the first Rockford starter to pitch a nine-inning shutout since Tanner Watson beat Windy City, 4-0, Aug. 9, 2007.

Brownell (6-2) gave up six hits over seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.

The RiverHawks picked up an unearned run in the ninth inning. Fields singled, stole second, reached third on an error and scored on a passed ball.

The RiverHawks shut out the Kings for just the third time in the rivalry, which dates back to 2002.

The series continues at 6:05 p.m. CDT Saturday. The game is not scheduled for local broadcast.

The RiverHawks host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star celebration July 14-15. The Jim Beam Cubs/White Sox Legends Game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday. The All-Star Home Run Derby immediately follows. The 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league in its 17th season. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com. Most games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380, and on the team website.


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