Portland won 3-1, lost
Catcher Michel Hernandez
went 2-for-3 with two RBI’s in the first half of Sunday’s doubleheader. It
was just the fourth multi-hit game for Hernandez this season but he has hit
safely in 10 of the past 11. Hernandez has knocked in runs in three
straight games and has five RBI’s over that span. After hitting .196 in
April, Hernandez is hitting .290 in May. He also has walked more times (18)
than he has struck out (17). Hernandez has scored just two runs over his
last 21 games and has just five runs scored on the year.
Justin Germano did not
allow a home run for the first time this year as the starter in the first
game of the doubleheader. He gave up one run on three hits, while not
walking a batter and striking out five. It is the first time this year that
Germano has limited the opposition to one run – coming in his tenth start of
the year. Germano has won three of his past four starts and has allowed two
earned runs or less in seven of his past eight starts.
Brian Sweeney started the
back half of the doubleheader – his first start in his return to Portland.
Sweeney was signed just days after his release from Durham, the Triple-A
affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Sweeney signed a free-agent deal
with Tampa during the off-season, going 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 10 starts.
The 30-year old right-hander went 1-0 with a 5.63 ERA with San Diego last
season and was 11-5 with a 3.83 ERA for Portland, earning a spot on the
Pacific Coast League All-Star team at season’s end. Sweeney went five
innings in his season debut with Portland, allowing three runs on six hits.
He did not figure into the decision. Sweeney had a 3-4 record with the
Bulls in ten starts with a 4.06 ERA. Hitters were swatting .333 off him for
the year and his WHIP was up at 1.76.
Mobile lost 7-2
Corey Smith committed his
team high 14th error of the year. Smith has five errors over the
last 12 games and his gaffe cost four unearned runs to cross the plate on
Sunday. He is tied for seventh among all third basemen in the minors with
his error count. Smith did go 2-for-4 at the dish with a double and a
Sean Thompson took the
loss, his third straight in Double-A and fourth consecutive losing decision
overall. He went five innings and gave up five runs, one earned, on seven
hits and two walks. All five runs against crossed the dish in that fateful
second inning, his worst inning by far in Southern League play. Six of his
11 earned runs have come in the second inning and ten of his 16 overall runs
are from second frame fame. Hitters are batting .319 off the lefty through
Rusty Tucker went two
innings and allowed a run on two hits while striking out three. The run
scored on a solo homer – the first homer Tucker has yielded since April 11.
Tucker had walked a batter in six consecutive appearances until Sunday and
has walked 16 on the season in 21.1 innings of work. The left-hander has
allowed runs in ten of his 18 appearances but has held the opposition to a
.227 average with runners in scoring position and has not yielded an extra
base hit when in that situation.
Lake Elsinore won 2-1
Clark Girardeau had his
longest outing of the year. He lasted 7.2 innings and allowed one run on
five hits while tying his season-high in strike outs with seven. After not
walking a batter for the fourth time this year in ten starts, Girardeau
upped his strikeout to walk ratio to better than 3-to-1. The right-hander
has a 1.17 ERA on the road and has allowed the opposition to bat .196 off
him away from the Diamond. He also recorded his first pickoff of the
Leo Rosales came on with
two outs in the eighth and earned his first multi-inning save of the year.
After blowing two saves, Rosales has allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings of
work and has struck out four. Rosales is averaging 11.45 strikeouts per
nine innings pitched. He has allowed runs in six of his 20 appearances but
has allowed just four hits in his 14 scoreless outings.
Steve Baker accounted for
60 percent of the Storm’s hits on the night, going 3-for-4 with two doubles
and an RBI. It was his eighth three-hit night of the year and 17th
multi-hit game in 36 contests. The outfielder has knocked in 17 runs during
the month of May and his 13 doubles on the year lead the team.
While Brian Burgamy
extended his hitting streak to 11 games, Peeter Ramos’ streak was halted at
Fort Wayne won 11-7
Broadcaster Mike Maahs and
General Manager Mike Nutter, in an effort to change the luck of the team,
each received haircuts. While they denied the shaved look, Maahs did admit
it was short. It seems like the magic has already started to rub off.
Joel Santo had the longest
outing of his career, going eight innings and allowing two runs on three
hits and a walk. Over his last three starts, spanning 18 innings of work,
Santo has given up nine hits. Santo lowered his average against from well
over .300 to .268 on the year and .224 against when pitching at Memorial
Stadium. Both runs against Santo came in the fourth inning, by far his
worst inning throughout the season. He has allowed nine earned runs in the
fourth inning of games and has not allowed more than five in any other
Phil Polanco, who is good
friends with Lake Elsinore Storm closer Leo Rosales – the two worked out
together this past summer, served up a grand slam home run in the ninth
inning and gave up five runs in what was an 11-2 game. All five batters he
faced crossed the plate. In his last 5.1 innings of work Polanco has been
tagged for 14 earned runs. He has given up four home runs during that time
frame. Hitters are batting .500 off the right-hander and his WHIP is a
Geivy Garcia came on to put
out the fire, shutting down the opposition in order in the ninth. In six
appearances, Garcia has yielded six runs, but only two have been earned.
His ERA sits at 2.35 and he has not allowed an inherited runner to score
this year. Batters are hitting .194 off him this season and he has a WHIP
of .91. He has yet to allow the leadoff batter of an inning reach base.
Brett Dowdy went 4-for-5
with three runs scored, a homer, and three RBI’s. Dowdy has seven extra
base hits over the past nine games after netting just five over his first 33
games. He is tied for second in all the minors in triples with seven, leads
the Wizards in hits (49) and runs scored (33) and is second on the team in
RBI’s with 22. For all his speed, Dowdy has stolen just two bases. It was
the first four-plus hit game for Dowdy since August 19, 2003. The third
baseman is now hitting .356 at home this year.