Portland and Fort Wayne had the night off, although the Wizards had seven players named to the All-Star squad. The BayBears managed just six hits in the doubleheader but split and earned another tie with West Tenn for first place. Tim Stauffer was his usual dominant self but Clay Hensley could not hold serve for the seventh consecutive strong start and victory. Luis Cruz single-handedly powered the Storm offense to victory. Happy birthday to Sean McCall, voice of the Storm.
Mobile won 3-1, lost 5-0
Although the BayBears had just two hits, a season low for the team, they did manage three runs and a victory behind another strong outing from Tim Stauffer. Stauffer, on the heels of Player of the Week honors, pitched a complete game, the first time this season a Mobile starter has gone the distance.
Stauffer gave up one run, coming on a solo home run, on four hits and one walk while striking out six. Over the last 15 innings, it is the only run he has surrendered. In the last 22 he has given up just two earned runs and since coming to Mobile, spanning six games and 42 innings, Stauffer has surrendered just eight runs for an ERA of 1.71.
For the first time since joining Mobile, but the fourth time this year, Stauffer tied his lowest total for hits allowed with four. He had held the opposition to four hits on three previous occasions while in Lake Elsinore.
Jesse Roman entered the game in a slump that saw his average drop from .203 to .161 which is the true meaning of a slump. He was 6-for-49 over his last 18 games. On Wednesday, all was forgiven as he delivered a two out, two run homer run in the second inning that helped give the BayBears the victory. It was his first homer, fourth on the year, since May 11 and only his second and third RBI’s since that day.
Clay Hensley broke serve when he allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks, including a three run homer in the first inning. The BayBear starting pitching staff had allowed just three runs over its previous six outings, spanning 41 innings. Hensley had allowed one run per start over his last three starts entering the game and has not walked a batter in any of them. Hensley, going four innings, tied his shortest outing of the year. He has allowed a homer over the past three games.
Nick Trzesniak had his 11 game hitting streak snapped like a twig. He went 0-for-2 in game one with a walk and scored a run. Steve Morales handled the catching duties in game two and committed an error for the second consecutive game. It did not hurt the team on the scoreboard.
Lake Elsinore won 7-3
Luis Cruz homered twice and had four RBI’s as he extended his hitting streak to seven in style. Cruz had not homered since April 18 and with his two jacks, doubled his homer output for the year. He is now 12-for-33 over his last seven with five extra base hits, five runs scored and nine RBI’s. He has taken the team lead in RBI’s with his four on Wednesday.
“Anytime the hitting stands out, we are going to come out on top,” Manager Rick Renteria said.
Steve Baker and Paul McAnulty each extended their hitting streaks to seven while Marcus Nettles upped his to nine.
Before his current streak, Nettles did not have a run batted in since May 11. He has four during the current streak and is 14-for-34 with four walks, two triples that account for his only extra base hits and four stolen bases.
David Pauley went six innings and gave up three runs on six hits and three walks. It was the eighth time in 12 outings that he has gone six innings or more. His three walks represent the highest total he has given up this season, a mark he has reached for times and in each of the last three games. He has not had any outing this year that did not produce at least one walk and has only limited the opposition to one free pass in two starts.
Nate Sevier has been pitching well of late and was rewarded on Wednesday with a two inning performance that saw him earn his first save of the year and of his career. Sevier went two innings and walked two to get the save. He has now given up just two runs over his last 14 innings and has struck out a batter or more in his last seven appearances.
Denis Savage can be reached at email@example.com