Eugene rolls again; Ekstrom debuts

Eugene rolls again; Ekstrom debuts

Mike Ekstrom made his Mobile debut but the team was no-hit over seven. Doug Brocail returned to the hill but lasted just two-thirds of an inning – termed a success. The All-Star game featured three Fort Wayne players making their marks. Jackson Quezada had a solid stateside debut and Ben Krosschell – in relief?

Portland had the night off

Mobile lost 3-0 to Huntsville (Brewers)

Mike Ekstrom made his Double-A debut and pitched six strong innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Over the last five games over two leagues, the right-hander has surrendered just three earned runs – covering a span of 34.1 innings. He has allowed 22 hits over that span, a .186 average against. It is the 13th time in 15 starts that he has given up two earned runs or less.

A leadoff single by Michael Johnson broke up the bid for a no-hitter from Tim Dillard. They would manage three hits in the inning but did not score a run. Mobile is the second-worst hitting team in the Southern League, ahead of only the team they played. The BayBears are in the bottom half of the league in hits, homers and are last in stolen bases. Only one team has struck out more times. Only three players are hitting .275 or better.

After allowing runs in five straight relief appearances, Geoffrey Jones tossed two scoreless. The left-hander had given up ten runs in his last 3.2 innings on 13 hits and two walks. He has given up runs in 13 of his 27 appearances on the year. The opposition is hitting .400 off him with runners in scoring position and .500 off him over his last six games. Righties are hitting .383 off him while lefties have been limited to a .231 average.

Lake Elsinore won 5-2 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

Doug Brocail, making his first appearance of the year since undergoing two angioplasty procedures, lasted just two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, a walk, an unearned run and striking out two. His departure was not due to injury – he reached his limited pitch count before the final out of the first. The right-hander had thrown side-sessions before coming to the Storm. He pitched in 61 games last year for Texas, going 5-3 with one save and a 5.52 ERA.

Evan Meek came on in relief duty to pitch five innings, giving up three hits, a walk, and a run while striking out six. He stranded two inherited runners in relief of Brocail and picked up the win, his third of the year. Meek has won his last two outings and it is the eighth time in 15 games that he has given up four hits or less. After posting a 5.79 ERA in May, Meek has a 3.00 ERA through four June games.

For the first time since June 6, Tim Brown collected a multi-hit game. The first baseman doubled and tripled in four at bats, driving in a run and scoring two. After hitting .344 over 28 games in May, Brown is hitting .262 over 17 June contests. Brown has knocked in at least ten runs in each month this year. He has also walked at least ten times through each of the first three months and has seven-plus doubles per month. His 22 doubles rank as fourth-most in the California league.

Fort Wayne had the night off for the All-Star game

Kyle Blanks, Daryl Jones, and Seth Johnston were in the starting lineup and made contributions to a 7-1 win. Blanks and Jones singled in runs back-to-back in the third inning and Seth Johnston doubled to open up the fourth. Each batter went 1-for-2 with Blanks also getting plunked – the only member of the Wizards to notch three at bats. Will Venable had a quiet night, striking out in his two at bats. Brandon Higelin pitched to two batters, walking one before getting pulled in the sixth.

Eugene won 10-4 over Boise (Cubs)

Jackson Quezada gave up an unearned run on three hits and a walk in four innings of work. Signed as a free agent in July of 2003, Quezada went 6-1 with a 1.97 ERA in the Dominican Summer League, striking out 44 in 59.1 innings while walking 11. He has given up 24 runs in 131.2 innings over a two-year stint with the DSL Padres. In 24 games, 20 starts, he tossed five complete games and had a WHIP of 1.06.

Ben Krosschell worked an inning of scoreless relief, his first logged game action since being sent down from Fort Wayne to extended spring training. The right-hander gave up 19 runs in 17 innings for the Wizards, making four starts. Fifteen of those runs came over two starts. Krosschell made 15 starts for the Ems last year, going 2-7 with a 4.70 ERA. He received the lowest run support of any pitcher in the system. To begin this tour in Eugene, Krosschell is in the bullpen, at least for now.

Santiago Guerrero went 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. The outfielder was sent down from Fort Wayne where he had four hits in 22 at bats. Guerrero hit .253 with the Ems last year, racing to a .290 average with 25 RBI's in his first 33 games before slumping to a .186 average over the final month of the year.

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