Mike Thompson's gem; Michael Johnson is back

Mike Thompson provided validation for his promotion with a one-hit gem. J.J. Furmaniak got it done at the plate. Mobile has had a rough year at the plate – for the second year in a row. Michael Johnson is back – really this time. Jonathan Ellis made a spot start. Chase Headley had his shot and was robbed once and stuttered the second time.

Portland won 6-1

Mike Thompson debuted with Portland on Saturday. Besides pitching in his first Triple-A game, he went on three days rest after pitching with Mobile on July 19. As proof that he belonged, Thompson went out and threw a one-hitter over seven innings, walking one and striking out eight. His previous low for hits allowed was four on the season and his eight whiffs were a season high, topping the six he K'ed on two occasions. Over his last four outings, Thompson has given up four earned runs, covering a span of 26.2 innings. It is the 13th time in 19 starts that he has given up two runs or less.

Four times up, four hits, four runs scored. That was the beginning of J.J. Furmaniak's night before grounding out in the ninth. Playing third base before Sean Burroughs arrives Furmaniak singled twice, doubled and homered. Over his last ten games, he is 14-for-41, a .341 average, with nine RBI's. His four runs scored were a season high. He had scored three runs on two separate occasions. Furmaniak has played second base, third base and shortstop this year.

Ben Johnson extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double and an RBI in four at bats.

Mobile lost 6-1

The BayBears were no-hit through 7.1 innings before collecting two straight hits with Joe Gerber singling and Brian Burgamy doubling.

Mobile entered the game hitting a league worst .245, producing a Southern League worst 386 runs scored. Their 780 hits on the year are 62 less than the nearest team. They are also second from the bottom wrung in homers with 56 and worst in strikeouts with 815. Their 52 stolen bases also rank last in the league. The only hitting category that they do not rank in the bottom two is walks where they rank second best in the league.

Brian Whitaker pitched scoreless ball through five before giving up three runs in the sixth. He ended his night after seven with three runs in on six hits and a walk while whiffing five. Over the last six games, Whitaker has given up nine earned runs to lower his ERA from 5.94 to 4.46. The right-hander has given up two runs or less in eight of his 19 starts. He has allowed a .318 average against on the year and has only limited opponents to a less than .300 average in one inning – the fourth – where he has limited them to a .215 average.

One day after being recalled by the Big League club, Craig Breslow was sent back down to Double-A Mobile.

Lake Elsinore lost 6-2

Michael Johnson was officially back in the lineup on Saturday, taking his spot at first base. On a day that Brett Bonvechio's hitting streak ended at 14, Johnson went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Johnson has played one game at first base since May 17. He came back on July 5 for one game before missing another two weeks. He also came on as a pinch runner on July 17 and scored a run. In his first game in the field, Johnson did have an error which led to an unearned run. His RBI was his 35th of the year in 33 games played.

Wilmer Villatoro pitched two innings and allowed a run on two hits and a walk. It was the 18th time in 44 appearances that he has given up a run, three of those coming in five contests with Mobile and ten of those coming in his last 19 outings overall. After limiting hitters to a .197 average against through the first three months of the season with Mobile, they are swatting .324 off him in July. Villatoro has also walked 27 while striking out 31 in 41.2 innings for the Storm.

"Slow out of spring training," Padres' Director of Player Development Tye Waller said of Villatoro. "We had some concerns. We seem to have him on track. He is a good guy arm-wise."

Fort Wayne lost 4-2

Jonathan Ellis made a spot start for the Wizards, taking his first loss of the season after winning his first three decisions, including two straight wins in his last two relief appearances. Ellis went four and allowed three hits on seven hits and a walk. It matched the amount of runs he had allowed in his previous 16.2 innings of work and he had given up five runs over his last 28.2 innings. He has held the opposition to a .236 average with runners in scoring position.

Matt Thayer has reached base safely in 12 straight games with hits in 11 of those. He went 1-for-4 and is 17-for-39 with ten walks over the 12 game span and he is hitting .426 with Fort Wayne through 14 games with a .556 on base percentage. Thayer was caught stealing for the first time in six attempts since joining the Wizards. The left-handed hitter is batting .467 off lefty pitching.

Eugene lost 4-3

Chase Headley was robbed of an extra base hit in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs that Travis Buck made a fantastic play on to end the inning. He had redemption on his mind with the bases juiced in the ninth inning, the Ems down a run. Instead he struck out on three pitches to end the game, the Emeralds seventh one-run loss of the year. Headley left five runners in scoring position with two outs on the day.

Cesar Ramos has allowed just one run through the first three innings in his four starts but has given up ten runs in the fourth inning and four in the fifth. Ramos went 4.1 and allowed three runs on four hits and four walks. He walked more on Saturday than he did in his first 16.1 innings of work. He also struck out seven, doubling his season total. Ramos, a lefty, has limited left-handed hitters to a .176 average but righties are batting .333.

William Venable went 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average with Eugene to .074. He has just two hits, both doubles, in 27 at bats. He has walked seven times and has been hit by two pitches since joining the Ems. Venable hit .322 with the Peoria Padres over 15 games, netting hits in all but two games. Nine of his 21 hits on the year have gone for extra bases.

AZL Padres had the day off

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at denis@sandiegosports.net. Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during MadFriars.com weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.

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