Padres Farm Report September 2nd

Matt Clark slugs his way to the end of the season

Buschmann, Kelly, De Paula, Hardy and Needy all delivered strong starts for the system, but bullpen struggles cost Tucson and San Antonio victories late.

Tucson fall to Aces in extras
Will Inman yielded a bases-loaded walk-off single as the T-Pads fell to Reno in 10 innings Friday, dropping them into a last-place tie in their division.

Slugger Matt Clark blasted his 23rd homer of the season to represent the Padres' scoring. Splitting time between left field and first base, the big lefty also smacked a double to push his season slugging percentage up to .499. Still just 24, the LSU product has faded a bit in the second half, but still has played well enough to position himself as a potential call-up in 2012.

Erik Hamren, making his Triple-A debut a month after his big-league debut, worked two scoreless frames in relief of Matt Buschmann, who turned in a stellar seven-inning performance. Hamren, who jumped directly from San Antonio to the majors, struck out a pair, but did issue three walks, betraying the same control issues he struggled with in San Diego. In three minor league stops on the year, he sports a 0.93 ERA.

San Antonio tumble against RockHounds
Colt Hynes had a nightmare ninth inning, giving up four runs on six hits to take the loss as the Missions fell to Midland 5-3. The meltdown cost Hynes more than half a run on his season ERA, pushing his Texas League mark up to 3.86 and his record on the year for the Missions to 0-6.

Jason Hagerty and Jedd Gyorko continued their late-season pushes at the plate as Hagerty singled and scored and Gyorko knocked in a pair as the Missions put up their entire offense in the third inning. Over his last 10 games, Hagerty has a .306 average and 819 OPS, reversing the early struggles he had after his Double-A promotion. Gyorko is hitting .300 since the first of August.

Storm sneak past Lancaster 2-1
Jake Blackwood's ninth-inning homer pushed Elsinore over the JetHawks and kept them locked in a tie with Rancho headed into the season's final weekend.

Originally signed out of the independent leagues as a third base option for Fort Wayne, Blackwood has now picked up playing time at first, second and outfield since earning a promotion to the Cal League. The soon-to-be 26-year-old sports a .270/.318/.455 combined line this year, blowing past his previous highs in affiliated ball.

Jose DePaula had a strong final outing, giving up just one run on four hits over six innings in the most hitter-friendly park in minor league baseball. The 21-year-old lefty struck out six and walked just one. Since the all-star break, DePaula's strikeout rate has soared and his walk rate has fallen off, contributing to a 4.38 ERA which is nearly two runs below his first-half mark. As he gets further away from his 2009 surgery, he remains a candidate to break out significantly in San Antonio in 2012.

TinCaps destroy South Bend
The TinCaps put together quite a performance in their final home game of the season, clubbing 21 hits and riding a stellar performance from Mark Hardy to a 12-0 victory over the Silver Hawks. Read all about if from John.

Eugene tops Bears 2-1
As they have so often over the season, the Ems rode strong pitching and just enough offense to a victory Friday, eliminating Yakima and clinching at least a tie in the second-half division chase.

James Needy finished out the year with a second consecutive strong performance since a late-season demotion to the AZL. The big righty from Santee worked five innings, giving up only one run on three hits and a pair of walks.

Matt Colantonio delivered a pinch-hit two-run double to account for the Em's runs in the seventh inning. The former Ivy Leaguer struggled through a brutal July, but has hit .300 since the first of August.

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