Key Statistics: SS Amarista 2-5, HR(1), 4 RBIs; LF Darnell 2-5, 2B, 2 RBIs; 1B Clark 2-5, HR (5), 2 RBIs; RF Robertson 2-3, BB, RHP Reyes (W) 7.0 IP, 6 H 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks.
New Orleans, LA: The Tucson Padres scored four times on five hits before making an out Wednesday, cruising to a 9-1 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs. James Darnell hit a two-run double in the first inning against former teammate Wade LeBlanc and Matt Clark hit two-run home run one batter later. LeBlanc ended up allowing nine runs, all earned, in six innings of work against his former team.
The Padres had a comfortable 4-1 lead in the sixth inning when another rally began. Tucson loaded the bases and Jorge Reyes hit a slow roller in front of the plate that catcher Jake Jefferies picked up. Jefferies turned and tried to tag incoming runner Daniel Robertson, but Robertson maneuvered around the tag to score the fifth run. The bases remained loaded two batters later when Alexi Amarista hit a grand slam to right field for his first home run of the season. It was the second grand slam in Tucson Padres history - Andy Parrino hit one in Tucson last June against Las Vegas.
Reyes had his best start of the season for the Padres, pitching seven innings and allowing just one run. Bear Bay and Brad Boxberger pitched a scoreless inning each to close the game. Amarista's two hits extended his hitting streak to 17 games and Everth Cabrera went 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
Courtesy of Tim Hagerty, Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Tucson Padres.
San Antonio had the night off.
High Desert Mavericks 6 – Storm 5
Key Statistics: CF Noel 3-5; 2B Spangenberg 2-4, 2B; SS Bisson 2-4; RHP Stauffer 7.0 IP, 3 H 5 Ks. Tim Stauffer announced his readiness to return to the big club (and not a moment too soon!), but the Storm weren't able to capitalize on it as the bullpen coughed up six runs in the final two innings to sink Lake Elsinore and leave the club with a sub-.500 record.
Stauffer went seven strong innings, giving up only three singles and striking out five. The righty induced eight ground ball outs as well, and should be ready to make his first Major League start of the year in Philadelphia. Fellow rehab assignee Carlos Quentin went 0-for-3 with an RBI in his first Cal League appearance since 2004. He was lifted after seven innings as scheduled.
Dennis O'Grady followed Stauffer to the mound and was charged with four unearned runs when, after a two-out error by Michael Wing error at third base allowed the first Maverick run to come across. O'Grady was chased with the bases loaded and Greg Gonzalez gave up back-to-back doubles to tie the score before finally ending the inning.
In the ninth, closer Kevin Quackenbush gave up a lead walk to James Jones, never a good recipe. Predictably, the light-hitting speedster was bunted over and then came around to plate the winning run on a single. Quackenbush hadn't allowed an opponent to score in the previous 11 contests.
At the plate, Cory Spangenberg continued his recent torrid streak, going 2-for-4 with a bases-clearing double to plate the Storm's final three runs. The 21-year-old, who put up a 583 OPS in April, sports a .378/.395/.568 so far in May. Leadoff man Rico Noel added three singles as well, but was caught stealing for the third time in the last week - almost unheard of for the man with some of the best base running instincts in the game.
TinCaps 5 – South Bend Silver Hawks 2 Key Statistics: 2B Whitmore 2-4; RHP Portillo (w) 7.0 IP, 1 H 2 BB, 6 Ks.
FORT WAYNE, IN: Adys Portillo tossed seven scoreless innings on Wednesday afternoon, allowing one hit and striking out six, leading the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a 5-2 victory over the South Bend Silver Hawks at Parkview Field. Travis Whitmore went two-for-four with two runs batted in, helping the TinCaps take the series opener.
Portillo (2-1) did not surrender a base hit until the seventh inning, when Matt Helm flied a double over the head of TinCaps center fielder Kyung-Min Na. The 20-year-old Portillo walked two and struck out six, going seven innings for the second consecutive outing. Over his last two starts, Portillo has worked 14 innings, allowed three hits, no runs, walked three and struck out 12. His 38 strikeouts on the season are a team high, and tie him for third most in the Midwest League. His season ERA fell from 1.72 to 1.41 on Wednesday.
The Fort Wayne (15-18) offense scored first on a double play groundout by Mike Gallic in the second inning, making it 1-0. Four more runs scored in the fifth inning as the TinCaps sent nine men to the plate, and knocked South Bend starter Jeff Shields (0-4) out of the game. Na drew bases loaded walk, Casey McElroy drove home Clark Murphy, and Travis Whitmore plated two runs with single to left, making it 5-0 TinCaps.
South Bend (18-15) pushed two runs across in the eighth inning against Luis De La Cruz, who worked one inning in relief of Portillo. Daniel Cropper worked a scoreless ninth or his second save of the season.
Courtesy of Mike Couzens, Media Director of the Fort Wayne TinCaps.