Stauffer 7 Scoreless; Mobile Drops 7th Straight

Stauffer 7 Scoreless; Mobile Drops 7th Straight

MadFriars.com takes you through the Padres minor league system daily. Today we touch on strong starters named Stauffer and Whitaker; a Southern League losing streak that takes extras to continue; and a pitcher of the week named Sean Thompson.

Portland won 4-3, 6-4

Tim Stauffer pitched seven scoreless innings in his third start of the year, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out seven. He has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his starts this year. He left the game with a 4-0 lead but came away without a decision.

Brad Baker entered the ninth inning for the second time on the day. After recording his third save of the year to end the suspended game, he allowed three runs on two hits and two walks to blow the save in the scheduled game – his first blown save of the year. He had not allowed a run this season until Monday.

Michel Hernandez had more hits on Monday, three, than he had in his first ten games of the season, two. Hernandez also homered and drove in two runs. Hernandez, however, has only thrown out one of the past ten baserunners attempting to steal.

Jon Knott broke out in a big way on Sunday. Entering the game in a 1-for-19 slump, Knott hit two homers and knocked in three. The homers were his first two of the season. It is the fourth time since last year that Knott has homered twice in the same game.

Mobile lost 2-1 in 11

Brian Whitaker allowed one run on five hits over six innings of work. He struck out four and walked two. Whitaker has not allowed more than two runs in his first three starts of the year. He also picked off two runners on Monday. The right-hander allowed two or fewer earned runs in 19 of his 28 starts last year.

After throwing one scoreless inning in his first outing (and one that you won't find in the stat sheet since it went to Rusty Tucker), R.D. Spiehs has surrendered runs in each of his past four outings. Fifteen runs, ten earned, have crossed the plate in the past 2.1 innings against Spiehs.

Greg Sain went 2-for-5 with a double and extended his hitting streak to six games. All three of his doubles on the season having come during the hitting streak. Sain has also struck out just two times in the past five games – after striking out nine times in his first six games.

"There is really no explanation of how you feel when you're going through a streak like we're going through," infielder Ronnie Merrill said of the BayBears seven game losing streak. "You just have to find a way to get out of it."

Lake Elsinore won 12-10

Sean Thompson was named California League Pitcher of the Week for the time period April 7-17. The lefty went 2-0 and allowed just one earned run in 12.2 innings for a 0.71 ERA.

Michael Johnson returned from an ingrown toenail that kept him out of action for two days to hit a grand slam homer in the sixth inning. Johnson leads the California League in RBI's with 18 and fifteen of the RBI's have come over his last six games.

Brett Bonvechio ran his hitting streak to seven games on Monday, going 1-for-4 with a run scored. He is 10-for-28 over the streak and has five RBI's in his last four games. Bonvechio also leads the club with 11 walks but is second on the team with five errors.

Although Rancho Cucamonga pounded out 17 hits, none came against reliever Paul Abraham. Abraham came on with two on and two outs in the eighth and did not allow a baserunner, closing the game out and earning his first save of the year and just his second as an member of the Padres farm system. Abraham has not allowed a hit with runners in scoring position this year, facing that challenge ten times thus far. He has yet to give up an earned run in five appearances.

After getting the first out in the bottom of the seventh, Dirk Hayhurst proceeded to give up six straight hits, including a three run homer. All six ended up scoring as he was lifted without retiring another batter. Hayhurst entered play having allowed just two hits in his first 7.2 innings of relief work.

Fort Wayne won 5-2

Michael Ekstrom was finally rewarded for his hard work on Monday. After allowing one run over his first 12 innings of work, Ekstrom threw five more innings of no-run ball, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out six. His ERA for the year is 0.53. In 2004, Ekstrom allowed four runs or more in each of his three starts for the Wizards.

Sean Kazmar extended his hitting streak to six games by going 2-for-3 with a double. Kazmar has four multi-hit games during the streak. He had 16 multi-hit games in 70 games last year, split between Eugene (65) and Fort Wayne (5).

After allowing six runs in his first outing of the year and earning a blown save as a result, Matt Varner has saved four straight games. Over those past four games he has allowed four hits, and three of those came in one game.

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