Morris, Rafters hang on for victory

Morris, Butler provide just enough in Rafters' win

Milwaukee prospect Hunter Morris continued his impressive Fall League showing with a clutch two-run single in Surprise's 8-7 victory over Peoria on Saturday.

The 22-year-old first baseman is batting .325 over 10 games with the Rafters, but none of his hits have been as important as his seventh-inning knock that helped his side hold on to the top spot in the AFL West.

Morris, who has seven hits over his last four starts, came to the plate with the bases loaded and Surprise (10-6) holding on to a one-run advantage over the second-place Javelinas, who are just half a game out of the division lead.

The left-handed slugger wasted no time padding the league leaders' cushion to 7-4. He lined Travis Turek's first pitch -- an 81 MPH changeup outside -- back up the middle to plate a pair of runs and give the Rafters a lead they would not relinquish.

Texas League All-Star Joey Butler (Rangers) slugged his first homer of the fall -- a two-run shot in the third inning -- and third baseman Zack Cox (Cardinals) extended his hitting streak to five games after going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

First-rounder Pete Kozma (Cardinals) had two hits and a pair of runs out of the No. 7 hole, but Royals prospect Eric Hosmer, the third overall pick in the 2008 Draft, went 0-for-4 with a walk and two runs one day after seeing his seven-game hit streak come to an end.

Right-hander Patrick Keating (Royals) won his first game for the Rafters after allowing one unearned run over two innings in relief after starter Brooks Brown (Tigers) surrendered three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and two walks over three frames.

Third baseman Cord Phelps (Indians) was 3-5 and Adam Loewen, a converted pitcher who slugged 13 homers for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the Eastern League in 2010, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs and a walk for the Javelinas (9-6) in the loss.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.