Portland won 9-5 over Sacramento (A’s)
Powered by six homers, the Beavers took the last game of the series on Monday after being swept in a doubleheader the day before. Ben Johnson smashed two, both solo shots and ended the night 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Four of Johnson’s last five hits have gone for extra bases and he has five multi-hit games in 11 contests. The outfielder is batting .433 off right-handed pitching. Johnson also added his second stolen base of the year.
Jack Cust banged out three hits in four at bats, including a solo homer. He also doubled twice. The left fielder entered the game with two RBI’s over his last 18 games but his 39 runs scored remain in the top two in the Pacific Coast League. Cust leads the team in doubles with ten and is tied for second in homers with the same number. His .470 on base percentage also paces the club.
Tim Stauffer won his third game of the year, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. It is the second game he has won when giving up three or more runs in five innings or less. Stauffer has given up nine earned runs over his last five starts but has given up two runs or less in three of his 11 outings. The opposition has hit .304 off him with the bases empty but .242 off him with runners in scoring position.
Mobile won 2-1 over Birmingham (White Sox)
Jared Wells gave up a run over seven innings on seven hits and three walks, lowering his ERA to 1.70. The right-hander has given up one run or less in seven of his nine starts and has not given up more than three runs in an outing. He has surrendered three runs over his last five games, a span of 26 innings and has given up 17 hits during that time. The opposition has eight hits in 50 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Stephen Smitherman has four hits since joining the BayBears and all have gone for extra bases with three leaving the park. Unfortunately, his four hits over his first 26 at bats this year have all come with the bases empty. Forty-eight percent of his hits last season with Chattanooga went for extra bases and forty percent since he began his career in 2000.
After losing three games, Paul Abraham got into the winner’s circle with two-thirds of an inning – coming in with an inherited runner and stranded that runner in the top of the ninth. Mobile came through with a run in the bottom of the frame. Abraham has given up runs in seven of his 20 appearances with one coming over his last seven. He has been particularly effective at home with a 0.66 ERA as opposed to the 6.00 mark he has on the road.
Lake Elsinore won 2-0 over High Desert (Royals)
Mike Ekstrom was magical over eight innings, giving up just three hits and a walk while striking out five. Overcoming four errors from his squad, Ekstrom has won four of his last five decisions. The right-hander has given up two earned runs or less in nine of his 11 starts and has given up four hits or less in four outings. Ekstrom has a 1.50 ERA at The Diamond this year and a 3.94 mark on the road.
Neil Jamison notched his 11th California League save and 14th overall between two leagues. The right-hander has given up runs in four of his 22 appearances on the year with a .148 average against. In his last five outings he has given up just one walk, pitching four perfect innings. He has given up just one hit in 17 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Chase Headley broke a scoreless tie with a solo bomb in the eighth inning. He went 2-for-3, was hit by a pitch and grounded into a double play. All five of Headley’s homers have come this month and he is hitting .315 in May after a .238 April. He has been much better from the left side of the plate, hitting .321 as opposed to his .203 average as a right-handed batter.
Fort Wayne lost 5-4 to South Bend (Diamondbacks) in 11 innings
Seth Johnston was at third base with the retirement of Chad Steiner. It was his first game of the year playing the position this year and just second time he played there since joining the system. He went 1-for-6 with two RBI’s but it was his ninth error of the year that cost the Wizards the game in the 11th. He also ended up making the last out of the game.
Rayner Contreras made his debut at Fort Wayne, playing second base. Contreras, 19, went 1-for-5 with a run scored. A free agent signing in 2004, he has spent the past two years in the Dominican Summer League. He hit .267 with 41 RBI’s and 36 runs scored over 81 games in the DSL.
John Madden saw his ERA drop to 1.00 for the year with two innings of perfect relief work. The right-hander has given up runs in three of his 17 appearances but only once has he given up an earned run. Madden has a .197 average against and has yet to give up a run at home. He has held righties to seven hits in 46 at bats and he has not given up an extra base hit this year.