A colossal nine-run second inning came at the expense of Portland starter Mario Ramos (0-2). The Beavers and Ramos appeared solid through the first inning in which the pitcher struck out two, allowed one hit and threw only 15 pitches.
In the bottom of the inning, a red hot Jack Cust hit the first of his two homers for the day.
In the second, the lefty Ramos gave up five hits, four for extra bases, two leaving the park with one blast being a grand slam by Fresno shortstop Tomas De La Rosa. Ramos was replaced by reliever Jack Cassel after allowing seven earned runs in a drawn out two-thirds innings. Cassel fanned the fire giving up a double and a homer to the first two batters he faced, but then struck out the final batter to end a harrowing inning.
Through the next four innings, Cassel settled down and looked sharp allowing only two more hits and no more runs while striking out six Grizzlies.
Down 9-2 after a Jon Knott solo blast that landed in SW 18th Street, the Beavos made a run in the bottom of the six putting up three more runs behind a two-run homerun by Cust and a solo shot by Paul McAnulty.
Cust, the 2005 PCL leader in both strikeouts (153) and walks (115) while at Sacramento, has now reached base 20 of his last 23 plate appearances. During a strong April, the right fielder is hitting .302 and a sizzling .438 with runners in scoring position. The game marked Cust’s seventh multi-hit game and his fifth multi-RBI game.
Despite his team’s loss, he finished the day with eight total bases and in the first month of the season has grounded into just one double play over 63 at-bats.
When asked about his production Cust pococurantely stated, “(As a ball player) you’re going to have good games, going to have bad games. Lately I’ve been feeling good.”
Portland begins an eight game road trip tomorrow in Sacramento.