Colt Morton mashes; Wade LeBlanc debut a "W"
Colt Morton
Colt Morton

Posted Jun 30, 2006


Dave Matranga belts a homer and leads the offense. Vince Sinisi sparkles and is the catalyst for a Mobile win. Three homers for Lake Elsinore, including one from Colt Morton. Javis Diaz’ on base prowess was on display as he reached base six times. Wade LeBlanc debuts and Mike Epping keeps scoring runs as the Ems put up double-digits again. Yesid Salazar pitches well while Pablo Menchaca did not.

Portland won 5-3 over Tucson (Diamondbacks)

Dave Matranga knocked in two with one swing of the bat, sending his eighth homer over the wall in the sixth inning. Fifteen of his 39 hits this year have gone for extra bases. After hitting .296 in 20 May games, however, Matranga has hit .250 this month. Playing third base for the seventh time this year, he recorded his first two RBI’s when he plays the position and is batting just .161 – as opposed to the .301 average he has when playing second.

Jack Cassel gave the Beavers a solid effort, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks over seven frames while striking out five in a no-decision. It is the fourth time he has gone six innings or more and given up three runs or less. The right-hander did allow a homer, the third straight game he has yielded one and eighth in his last seven. In 11 starts, Cassel has a 6.46 ERA with a .298 average against. Overall, the opposition is hitting .333 off him with runners in scoring position.

Mobile won 5-4 over Birmingham (White Sox)

Pitching on three days’ rest, All-Star Sean Thompson lasted 7.1 innings and gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five. He left the game in position to win, despite allowing a two out homer in the seventh that tied the game. The lefty hurler has given up three runs over his last three starts and has walked just three batters over that span. Over his last six starts he has a 2.25 ERA. The first inning run he surrendered was just his third first frame run allowed in 16 starts.

Vince Sinisi ended the night 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth after his double tied it. It is his third night with three hits or more since joining the BayBears and first four hit affair. After hitting .200 in May, Sinisi has hit .265 this month with 12 doubles in 27 games. After not scoring more than one run in his any pf first 33 games in Mobile, Sinisi has had three multi-run games over his last 12. Nine of his 16 doubles on the year have come over that span. He also stole a base, his third of the year, and executed a sacrifice bunt.

Dale Thayer gave up a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to blow his third save in 16 chances. He managed to pick up his fifth win of the season when Mobile scored twice in the bottom half. Thayer came into the game with a 10.2 inning scoreless streak and had given up six hits in his last 37 at bats. All three of his homers have come with runners on base. His ERA had dropped from 5.73 at the beginning of May down to 2.78.

Lake Elsinore won 5-3 over High Desert (Royals)

The Storm entered the game ninth in the league in homers but got back-to-back jacks in the fifth from Jeremy Cleveland, his first, and Matt Hagen, his fourth. Colt Morton also added a solo blast an inning before, giving them three blasts in the span of four batters. Cleveland and Morton were the only two hitters to register a multi-hit game. Morton matched his homer total over his previous 32 games and it was just his fourth this year. Since the start of May, Morton is hitting .181. For Cleveland it was his first long ball of the year and he added another RBI in the sixth. The outfielder has three multi-hit games in his last four games and has six RBI’s over that span. He is now hitting .356 with runners in scoring position this year.

Evan Meek gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks while striking out seven in 5.1 innings. Meek has given up four hits or fewer in nine of his outings and two earned runs or less in 13 of his 16 starts. He has now gone five innings or more in six straight games and 11 times on the year. It is, however, the seventh time he has walked three or more. He has a 3.08 ERA over his last five starts.

Fort Wayne won 7-6 over Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)

Joel Santo picked up his fifth win of the year despite giving up five runs on a season-high ten hits in five innings. The righty has given up 12 runs over his last eight innings. For the ninth time this season, Santo has walked more batters (one) than he struck out (zero). It is the fifth time he has given up four runs or more this season. Santo has a 5.73 ERA this month after posting a 3.96 mark in May. Lefties are hitting .320 off him.

While Nick Hundley collected three hits to extend his hitting streak to 17, Javis Diaz recorded perfection – reaching base all six times he came to the plate. The leadoff hitter went 3-for-3 with three walks, a stolen base and two runs scored. Diaz had drawn just two walks in his first 12 games with the Wizards and had struck out seven times in his previous three games. He has scored eight runs over his last six games and has reached base in all but two of his games in Midwest League play. Diaz had drawn 14 walks in 31 games for the Storm earlier in the year.

Jon Madden didn’t let this opportunity pass, collecting his sixth save of the year. He struck out two in his inning of work and has held the opposition to a .171 average this month and a .189 mark on the year. The save is his third of June, equaling the amount he had in April and May. He has given up six hits to 28 leadoff batters of an inning and has yet to walk the leadoff man. He has given up runs in five of his 25 appearances and earned runs in just three.

Eugene won 12-6 over Vancouver (A’s)

Luany Sanchez has found quite the affinity for the number five. The catcher hit a bases loaded double to clear them and added a two-run single to give him five RBI’s. Sanchez had five hits in his first game with the Emeralds this season. He came into the game without a hit when presented with runners in scoring position. His previous high for RBI’s was three, accomplished on July 25, 2005 while with the AZL Padres. He now has hits in each of his first six games.

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc, the Padres’ second round pick, made his debut, pitching a 1-2-3 inning to pick up the win. LeBlanc, 21, was 11-1 with a 2.92 ERA (42 ER/129.1 IP) in 18 starts this season for Alabama. The 6-3, 190-pounder set school single-season records with 129.1 innings pitched and 128 strikeouts. He leaves Alabama as the school's all-time strikeout leader, compiling 334 in his three-year career. He allowed 110 hits, 47 runs, 42 earned, with 43 walks.

Mike Epping pushed his hitting streak to nine games to open the year with a 1-for-3 showing that included two walks and two runs scored. The centerfielder is 14-for-40 over the streak with five walks in his last three games. Epping has now recorded a multi-run game in four consecutive games and five of his last six. He is tied with teammate David Freese for the Northwest League with 14 runs scored. He is also in the top five in on base percentage and stolen bases. Epping is hitting .417 off right-handed pitching.

AZL Padres lost 8-2 to AZL Giants

Yesid Salazar pitched well over five innings, allowing a run on three hits while striking out two. Salazar came into the game with two relief appearances under his belt and over the last eight innings the Columbian native has given up two runs on five hits. Only one of nine leadoff men in an inning have reached base on Salazar and right-handed hitters are batting .217 off him.

Pablo Menchaca labored through two innings, giving up six runs, all earned, on nine hits to take the blown save and the loss. He also uncorked two wild pitches. In his only other outing, Menchaca had limited the opposition to one run over four innings – the only hits he allowed coming via left-handed hitters. He didn’t allow a hit to any lefties on Thursday but gave up nine hits in 11 at bats to righties.

Jodam Rivera extended his hitting streak to six games and recorded his third straight multi-hit game. He scored one of the two runs for the squad and has touched home plate five times in the last three games while scoring a run in five of six. Rivera, who is splitting time between second base and shortstop, was 1-for-10 over a three game span with Fort Wayne and 11-for-55 with Lake Elsinore. His season average over three leagues is .247.



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