Mobile alone in first; Minors sweep

The way J.J. Furmaniak is hitting the ball one would think that each Padres minor league notebook is dedicated to him. Brandon Puffer returned to Portland and notched a save. First place…finally by themselves in Mobile. You know you are hot when you are intentionally walked twice in the same game. Kudos to Jake Gautreau. Dale Thayer is a name to start taking notice of. A catcher has finally emerged and his name is George Kottaras – or was is Humberto Quintero?

Portland won 4-2

For those scouts and analysts that were wondering if Humberto Quintero would hit this year, it is safe to say he is just fine. Quintero has been hovering in the .265-.285 range most of the year before a recent tear has put him on the verge of .300. Quintero is 13-for-28 in his last seven games, pushing his average up to .299. He went 3-for-5 on Monday with two doubles and an RBI.

J.J. Furmaniak smacked his tenth homer of the season on Monday. He has a five game hitting streak where he is 10-for-22 and has hit four homers in his last three games. His RBI streak is now also at five with Furmaniak knocking in 11 runs in that time frame.

Tagg Bozied also hit his tenth dinger of the year. Bozied has knocked seven out of the park in his last nine games and has 14 RBI's in that span. Since returning from the disabled list 15 games ago, Bozied has had seven multi-hit games.

Marty McLeary returned to the starting rotation after going back to the pen for a game. McLeary had his longest outing of the year, going six innings and giving up two runs on five hits. He struck out a season high seven in his fourth start of the year.

Brandon Puffer returned to the league he dominated and picked up where he left off. Puffer pitched another perfect inning for Portland and notched his first save of the year. His Pacific Coast League ERA is now 1.50.

Mobile won 4-3 in 10

Mobile managed just four hits, but they did walk nine times in the game as they finally got a handle on first place with another win and West Tenn loss.

Tim Stauffer – what more can you say about him. Coming off Player of the Week honors, Stauffer tossed seven scoreless innings. He has now gone seven or more innings in each of his last four starts and has given up just two earned runs in 29 innings of work and one run in his last 22. Since giving up three earned runs in his Mobile debut, Stauffer has not surrendered more than two, and has only given up two once in six starts.

Some have been clamoring to keep him in Mobile for a while longer, but how long can you justify it when his numbers have been staggering. We could see him up in Portland when the second half begins and Mobile gets that first half Championship.

Ronnie Merrill got on base three times on Monday and scored every time. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and also got on base in the tenth on an error. Ben Johnson brought him home after Jake Gautreau was intentionally walked to setup a possible double play.

An error by Gautreau, however, cost the team and RD Spiehs three runs in the eighth inning and eventually sent the game into extra innings.

Merrill is now 7-for-15 in his last four games with five runs scored and three RBI's. He has also walked twice.

Eight of Greg Sain's last 17 hits have left the yard. Sain smacked his team leading 16th homer of the year. He also walked with the bases loaded to drive in another run. Sain has 26 extra base hits this season and just 43 hits overall. Sixty percent of his hits have gone for two bases or more. Although he is hitting just .204, Sain is still third on the team in RBI's with 37.

Lake Elsinore won 8-3

Kervin Jacobo had his first extra base hit in seven games, a triple and drove in two. He has had just two extra base hits in his last 16 games and during that time has whiffed 29 times. For a hitter that misses so much, he needs to start hitting for a lot more power.

Paul McAnulty extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 1-for-3 night. He also drove in a run and scored once. McAnulty is 18-for-45 over the streak with 11 runs scored and seven RBI's.

Marcus Nettles, meanwhile, is 18-for-51 over a 13 game hitting streak. He has kept it going by getting one hit in each of his last seven games. On Monday, Nettles got his first extra base hit that was not a triple when he doubled in the sixth to drive in a run. Nettles has driven in five total during the streak and has just two other RBI's over the rest of the season.

Dale Thayer loaded the bases in the ninth before getting out of the inning. The last six games he has appeared in have not been save situations, despite being the teams newest closer. He has six on the season and has not surrendered a run in his last nine outings and has given up just one run in his last 25 outings, spanning 29 innings. Just how dominant has Thayer been? Monday was the first time he has given up a hit in five outings and he has not given up a hit in 15 of his 26 outings this year.

Fort Wayne won 6-3

Leo Rosales has recorded a save in his last five appearances, earning his sixth on Monday. Although he allowed two hits, he struck out the side in the ninth, the second time he has done that this year. The two hits he allowed were the most men he has had on base over his last 12 trips to the mound and he has allowed just one run in his last 15 games.

For the sixth time in 13 starts, Jared Wells has given up eight hits in a game, his highest total of the season. With the win he is 2-3 in such contests and 4-5 overall. Wells went 7.1 innings, his longest outing of the year, leaving with first and third and one out. Howie Pence, although his stats read 0.00 under his ERA, allowed both inherited runners to score as they got charged to Wells.

George Kottaras has hit safely in seven of his last eight games. He is 12-for-27 with five walks. He has driven in six and has scored four times over that stretch with two runs scored coming on Monday.

Denis Savage can be reached at denis@sandiegosports.net

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