San Antonio endured a rough beginning by spot starter Aaron Breit who allowed a walk, double and home run to three of the first four batters before settling down to give up one remaining run.
“In the past I probably wouldn’t have even gotten out of that first inning,” said Breit. .
“But I’ve learned that you just have to worry about the next hitter, keep the ball down and let the defense work for you.” .
The real story of the season so far has been the Missions’ bats. Seven of the twelve San Antonio hits were for extra-bases, with two of them landing over the wall. DH Cody Decker’s home run was his tenth, to give him the minor league lead in home runs. .
Decker who was picked in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft out of UCLA has steadily risen within the Padres’ organization after a monster year in the Arizona League and hitting 28 home runs in Lake Elsinore last year; tying for the organizational lead. His success forced San Diego to deal 2008 first round draft pick Allen Dykstra to find at-bats for him. .
“Its good and hopefully I’ve put myself in a position to change some opinions on me,” said Decker. .
“I still need to cut down on my strikeouts, but if it takes two strikeouts a game for a home run - I will take that,” said a laughing Decker. .
With his and LF Jaff Decker’s home runs tonight the Missions, whom play in possibly the most pitcher friendly park professional baseball, now lead the minor leagues in home runs with 40. .
Another player that has been enjoying a rebirth is Weems, who along with his double in the fourth also picked up another RBI in the eighth to give him sixteen for April. .
Always a spectacular defensive player Weems gave up switch-hitting this year and has only been hitting from the right side. .
“I’m still giving away some at-bats but I think I’m getting to where I want to be,” said Weems on his improvement at the plate. .
“I do think one of the keys is that I feel much stronger and have better balance on the right side.” .
Closer Brad Brach came in and did what he usually does closed the game even though it wasn’t a save opportunity. Brach is also having his usual year, leading the league in saves as he did in the Midwest and California Leagues in two previous seasons. .
Another similarity from years past is Brach keeps improving; particularly with his velocity which was clocked at 95 and 96 MPH. .
“He has velocity and command. Throw in a wipe out a slider and he is one tough guy to hit,” said Missions manager Dough Dascenzo. .