Josh Barfield continues to tear up the PCL and is hitting .432 this month. Clay Hensley can’t catch a break, however, in a strong outing. Arturo Lopez has been the best starter for the Storm in recent weeks. Fabian Jimenez, meanwhile, has not been too steady for Fort Wayne.
Portland won 2-1
Josh Barfield went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .286 for the year. His average has only been higher for one day during the year, when he was batting .296 just seven games into the season. His homer in the eighth inning, his sixth of the year, was the eventual game-winner. Barfield is hitting .432 for the month of June and has a .311 average with runners in scoring position.
Clay Hensley pitched seven solid innings, scattering just three hits which produced one run. The right-hander struck out a season-high eight and walked two but did not figure into the decision. Hensley has allowed two runs or less in five of his nine starts but has just one win to show for it. He is holding the opposition to a .195 average against and has held the team he is facing to five hits or less in six starts.
A day after blowing his fifth save of the season, Brad Baker was back on the hill. He did not allow a hit and struck out two in his inning of work to record his minor league leading 20th save. After walking ten batters in April in a span of 8.2 innings, Baker has walked seven in his last 20 innings. He has allowed runs in six of his 29 outings and in five of those has allowed three runs or more.
Mobile was postponed due to rain
Lake Elsinore won 7-2
Arturo Lopez had his fifth strong performance over his last six starts, logging eight innings and surrendering two runs, one earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out three. Lopez has given up eight earned runs over his last six starts and that includes a five-run explosion against on June 6. He hasn’t allowed more than six hits in each of his past seven starts and has lowered his average against to .239. The lefty has given up just two runs beyond the fifth inning of work in his starts.
Juan Ciriaco went 2-for-3 with two doubles to break a 16-game hex without an extra base hit. Still, his 20 extra base hits on the season place him in a tie for second place among Storm hitters. Ciriaco also logged two RBI’s on the night to give him a Storm-leading 38 on the season. The shortstop had gone 14 games without a multi-hit effort and his average in June, including Saturday, is just .171.
Reserve catcher Andres Pagan went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI. Pagan has a modest four game hitting streak going where he is 6-for-14. He has RBI’s in three of his past four games. Pagan has gone 15 straight games without taking a walk. On Saturday he stole his first base of the year but did miss the only runner attempting to steal on him. He is 3-for-11 in catching the thieves on the year.
Fort Wayne lost 8-3
The up and down season for Fabian Jimenez continued on Saturday. For the second straight start the lefty was smoked for 11 hits as eight runs crossed the plate, six earned, while he walked three. Jimenez has now given up 18 runs, 22 hits and six walks over his last two starts, spanning 7.2 innings. He has given up eight runs or more in three starts and four runs or more in five, while limiting the opposition to three or fewer runs in seven constest.
Matt Varner worked in a non-save situation for just the third time this year on Saturday. The team’s closer has allowed just one run over his last 19 appearances after giving up eight runs in his first three. He has lowered his ERA from 54.00 down to 3.68 in the process. Since the start of May, Varner has limited the opposition to a .160 average against.