Portland falls asleep at home

Ryan Meaux

The Beavers fell asleep at the plate, on base and on the mound in Saturday night's game against the Sacramento River Cats. In the first inning, both Freddy Guzman (0-3) and Bobby Hill (0-3) made it to first on balls but were picked off first base.

In particular, Hill seemed oblivious to his predicament until it was too late. Guzman, incidentally, was thrown out leading off first in the home opener as well.

Walter Young (1-3) and Justin Leone (1-4) hit back-to-back jacks in the second inning to provide the only offense for Portland. Leone, who went deep the previous night, took a first pitch strike and then connected on a fastball from Shane Komine sending it over the left field wall. Young, who sat out the previous game, hit a monster into the building behind right field, also on the second pitch. Unfortunately, those would prove to be the only hits for the team until Ricky Gutierrez (1-3) connected for a single in the eighth.

Referring to his subsequent lack of productivity, "I think we all wish we could hit a homer every at bat," Leone stated, "but it's the law of averages." Leone also had homers in consecutive games in a doubleheader May 9, 2004 and again June 4-5, 2004.

Young, who appears to swing for the bleachers at every opportunity remarked, "I hit for average. I've hit my share of home runs, but I'm not just a home run hitter."

Starting pitcher Mario Ramos lasted four innings and gave up two runs pitching against his former team. Brian Sikorski, credited with the loss, came in at the top of the fifth and was hammered for three runs but was able to retire the side in order the next inning.

Jason Anderson took the mound in the seventh and immediately had his first pitch drilled back at him for a single. He subsequently loaded the bases and gave up a grand slam on a 1-2 count to Matt Watson before retiring the next two batters and making it back to the dugout. Anderson returned in the eighth, handing out five base hits and a double before being pulled for Ryan Meaux who fared little better, giving up three hits and a run.

"The guys got hot, we went at them in, out, soft and hard but they just kept connecting and getting them to drop," Young said after the game. "You just have to keep going at them, but sometimes you run into innings like that."

The Beavers' fielding was also lackluster at times. In the fourth, Ramos didn't appear to make an effort to stop a grounder that ended up rolling past second for a single. In the seventh, a fly to left field that looked catch-able dropped between left fielder Jack Cust and short stop Ricky Gutierrez in what seemed to be a missed communication. No error was given and another run scored.

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