Portland lost 3-1
Nick Trzesniak went 3-for-4 to raise his average with Portland to .404 through 13 games. He has notched consecutive three-hit games and has four three-hit games and six multi-hit contests on the year. The catcher also has a .545 average with runners in scoring position (RISP). Unfortunately he has scored just once in the last two days despite reaching base six times. He has thrown out five of the 11 baserunners attempting to steal against him since joining the Beavers.
Mike Thompson yielded three runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings on Friday to take his second loss since joining the Triple-A club. Thompson has given up nine hits or more in three of his last five starts – on the heels of a one-hit performance in his first Portland start. Thompson has a .298 average against during the month of August but has limited the damage by holding the opposition to a .241 average with RISP and a .182 average against with RISP and two outs. He has gone six-plus innings in each of his six starts with the club and has given up three or fewer runs in all but one.
Mobile won 4-2 to complete July 9 game, won 3-2 in game two
In a game that took over a month to finish, Brian Whitaker held the opposition pitches scoreless ball until the eighth frame, with three innings coming on July 9. Whitaker struck out the side in the sixth and ended his night after eight innings, five coming on Friday, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven. With the win, Whitaker has won three straight and is now 7-11 on the year.
The completed game was so long ago that Paul McAnulty got credit for a hit and a run scored and he is in Triple-A Portland now.
Sean Thompson got the nod in game two and went six, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five. It is the eighth time in 18 starts that he has given up two runs or less. Thompson possesses a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 1.57 with a .299 average against and 44 walks in 101.2 innings of Southern League play. Even with the quality start, Thompson has a 5.73 ERA during the month of August.
Lake Elsinore won 9-6
Fernando Valenzuela Jr. has reached base in 15 straight games. Over that time his average has dropped from .314 to .303. On Friday he had just his second multi-hit game over that span, adding a double, triple and two RBI’s. The man who we lovingly refer to as “needing a double to score from third” now has four triples on the year – more than he has had in his entire professional career. It is the 40th multi-hit game of the season for Valenzuela who leads the team with 71 RBI’s.
What does Eddie Bonine get for allowing five runs on seven hits in five innings of work? His first win since June 17 of course. Bonine owns a 7.17 ERA as a starter but has lost two tough decisions in the past month. His biggest problem has been pitching with runners on base – the opposition is hitting at a .412 clip off him with RISP. He also owns a 1.77 WHIP on the season with 127 hits allowed and 35 walks in 91.2 innings.
Fort Wayne won 6-3
Neil Jamison made his Midwest League debut, tossing an inning and a third scoreless while preventing one inherited runner from scoring. It is just the third runner he has inherited in 26 appearances over two leagues. It is just the fifth time that he has worked more than an inning. With Matt Varner firmly entrenched as the closer, Jamison is back in the middle relief role. Jamison has given up five runs this year, four earned, and has struck out 13 over the last 8.1 innings.
Cesar Ramos picked up his third win in five starts for Fort Wayne. Ramos allowed two runs on six hits in 5.2 innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out a season-high eight. Ramos has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his five Midwest League starts and four of eight overall. He is actually pitching better now than he had in the Northwest League. He is sporting a 3.77 ERA with Fort Wayne while posting a 6.97 ERA with Eugene.
Eugene won 4-3
Grant Varnell moved into the starting rotation and was solid over four innings, allowing four hits while striking out two. He dropped his ERA down to 1.59 as an Emerald and has given up one run over the last ten innings. He has held the opposition to a .175 average against in Northwest League play after the opposition hit .295 off him in Arizona Rookie League ball. He has walked just three batters in 37.1 innings.
Ironically, the man who got the victory is likely the man he replaced in the rotation. Jon Link was moved to the bullpen for the second time this year and responded with two scoreless innings, striking out three. Link’s ERA as a reliever went down to 3.21 while he posted a 5.67 ERA as a starter. Similarly, Link has held the opposition to a .192 average against out of the pen and a .336 average taking the hill as a starter. He has given up 17 runs over his previous 12.2 innings of work – all from the rotation.
Tim Turner went 3-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to six games. The outfielder, known for his heady defensive play, homered, scored two runs and drove in two. It is his third homer in the last 13 games after netting just one homer over his first 34. He has as many homers with Eugene as he does doubles and triples but on the year he has five triples, five doubles and four homers. Turner is 9-for-22 over his current streak and has three hitting streaks of six or more games on the year.
AZL Padres lost 5-4 on Thursday
Geoff Vandel took the loss on an unearned run in the ninth but it was a stellar performance nonetheless. Vandel struck out seven in 3.2 innings of work, allowing the one unearned run on two hits and a walk. That means 64 percent of his outs came by way of the strikeout and would equal 17 K’s over a nine inning game. He has now struck out 19 in 12 innings and holds a .190 batting average against. Vandel sports a 0.75 ERA for the year and has given up just one hit with RISP.
Javis Diaz’ fourth extra base hit of the year was also his first homer as a pro. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s to give him 11 multi-hit games in 27 contests. Diaz, who was dropped to third in the order after spending the bulk of his time in the leadoff spot, has struggled since the move. He is hitting .243 when batting in the three hole but does own a .379 average with RISP.
Josh Howard has reached base safely in all 12 games he has appeared in for Peoria. Howard has hits in 11 of those contests and has scored a run in four straight. He has scored ten runs this year and has knocked in seven while adding six stolen bases. He is 10-for-19 with runners on base and is hitting .833 with RISP and two outs early in his career.
Friday’s AZL Padres game was not available for inclusion in this report