Facebook Twitter



Salt Lake Buzz pitchers LaTroy Hawkins and Oscar Munoz haven't exactly been tearing it up this year, but Friday night's doubleheader sweep - by identical 4-2 scores - may put the duo on the right track.

Hawkins had 18 victories - which tied for the best in all of minor league baseball - last season.So the 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospect earned a promotion, starting the season in the Minnesota Twins' rotation out of spring training.

It wasn't pretty, however, as Hawkins went 0-3 with a 13.50 earned run average for the Twins, earning himself a trip back to the minors. In his first two starts for the Buzz, Hawkins was 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA.

Friday night, in his third start this season for the Buzz, Hawkins wasn't exactly his old self, but still managed to earn a 4-2 victory over the Albuquerque Dukes in the first game of a rain-delayed doubleheader.

Munoz, who entered the game with an 1-3 mark and an unimpressive 7.33 ERA, pitched well in the nightcap as the Buzz won by an identical 4-2 score. Munoz retired the first nine batters he faced and was aided by a bases-loaded double by designated hitter Bernardo Brito in the fifth inning. Munoz gave up just two runs on three hits in six innings while striking out three to earn his second win of the year.

The sweep improved the Buzz to 27-20 while the Albuquerque Dukes fell to 21-25.

Hawkins wasn't particularly sharp, giving up nine hits in five innings, but hey, a win's a win at this point after a combined 0-4 start this season.

The Buzz scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning of the opener, which was all the scoring Hawkins would need. Rich Becker and Chip Hale had back-to-back RBI singles in the inning and Denny Hocking drove in the third run on a fielder's choice. The Buzz scored an insurance run in the fifth when Mitch Simons doubled, stole third and scored on a throwing error by Dukes catcher Noe Munoz.

The only runs scored against Hawkins came on a two-run homer by 19-year-old Dodger outfield prospect Karim Garcia in the fifth. Lefty Scott Watkins finished the game with a perfect seventh inning for his league-best 11th save of the year.

After a one-hour rain delay between games, the Buzz got off to a quick start in the nightcap with a run in the first when catcher Damian Miller scored on a fielding error. The Dukes scored a run in the fourth and another, on a solo-homer by Mike Busch in the fifth, but Brito's dramatic bases-loaded double to left in the bottom of the fifth gave the Buzz the lead back for good. Carlos Pulido pitched the seventh inning to earn his first save of the year.

BUZZ BRIEFS: The Buzz are scheduled to open a four-game series against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox tonight at 7. RHP Mike Misuraca (3-2, 4.38 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Buzz against LHP Lance Painter (0-1,4.50). The Sky Sox are the only team in the PCL the Buzz have yet to play this season . . . Juan DeLaRosa, who came off the disabled list on Tuesday, made his first appearance in several weeks when he pinch ran for Bernardo Brito late in the opener. He was promptly picked off first . . . Buzz radio broadcaster Steve Klauke fainted in the fifth inning of the second game. Jim Lawwill, a broadcaster from Albuquerque, and KISN-AM's David Locke finished up the game. Klauke was back in time for the postgame show. Klauke appears to be fine and is expected to be back in the broadcast booth tonight.