Portland won 7-3 over Colorado Springs (Rockies)
Jon Knott came into the game without a triple to his name this year and left the contest with two. He also homered and added five RBI’s. It may surprise you to learn that Knott had 11 triples during the 2002 season, split between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore. He had never tripled twice in the same game. His five RBI’s tied a season-high he set in the third game of the season and Knott ended the month hitting .290 to raise his average from .229 to .256. His 56 RBI’s are fifth-best in the league, pending the outcome of the night’s games.
Roger Deago picked up the win, tossing six innings of two-run ball on six hits and three walks. Both runs came across on a homer as the lefty struck out five for his first Portland win. He had pitched in seven games over the last two years with the Beavers but was 0-3. He has limited the opposition to 15 hits in 69 at bats with runners in scoring position this year and moved to 7-4 with a 3.90 ERA over two leagues.
Mobile lost 7-6 to Birmingham (White Sox)
The walk-off that wasn’t. On as a pinch hitter, Matt Lauderdale launched a ball that went out of the park in the left field corner but was ruled foul after he circled the bases and celebrated what they thought was a two-run blast to win the game. Instead, he walked and the game ended in defeat. It would have been Lauderdale’s second pinch-hit homer in eight days. Lauderdale is 3-for-7 with three walks as a pinch-hitter this season.
George Kottaras went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, giving him RBI’s in successive games for the first time in over a month. The catcher ended the month hitting .198 in June after hitting over .300 in each of his first two months of the year. He has hits in four of his last 14 games, going 8-for-42 and he has just two extra base hits over his last 23 games. He threw out one of two runners attempting to steal on Friday and has thrown out 23 of 72 this year.
Lake Elsinore lost 5-3 to High Desert (Royals)
Brent Carter tossed another gem, giving up just one unearned run on three hits over eight-plus frames while not walking a batter and striking out five. Carter sprained an ankle and was pulled from the game - he had thrown just 80 pitches and would have been asked to finish the game. The lefty has now given up one earned run over his last four outings, spanning 28 innings, but has just two wins to show for it. Over that span he has now walked a single batter, given up 14 hits and struck out 17. After the opposition hit over .300 in each of the first two months off Carter, he has limited them to a .186 average against in his last six starts.
Neil Jamison took the loss after worked just two-thirds of an inning and was charged with four runs on three hits and two walks. Matt Varner, the closer to begin the year, ended up getting the final out of the inning. Jamison had been perfect in his first 11 save opportunities, but has blown three of his last ten chances. He has given up runs in seven of his 32 appearances on the year. After posting a sub-2.00 ERA in April and May, Jamison ended June with a 4.40 mark.
Peter Ciofrone went 2-for-4 and was one of six Storm players to net an extra base hit. The left fielder capped off a torrid June with a double and an RBI. He hit .435 during the month with 20 hits in 46 at bats and nine walks, giving him a .527 on base percentage. He is hitting .400 with runners in scoring position and has the same average when he is in the field, compared to his .189 mark as a designated hitter.
Fort Wayne won 11-2 over Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)
The Wizards, who lead the league in walks, drew nine more on Friday, including one from Jesus Lopez who ended his night 1-for-4 with the free pass, an RBI, and three runs scored. It was a career-high in runs scored for the infielder and he has scored five times over his last four games. He has gone 12 straight games without a multi-hit affair and ended the month with a .233 average. He has just four hits in 24 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Fort Wayne wasted little time putting Jarrett Gardner to use. With his signing announced earlier in the day, the right-hander got the nod as the starter and went four innings, giving up a run on three hits while striking out two. Gardner split time between High-A Wilmington and Low-A Greenville last year. He was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA to begin the year in the Carolina League and after he won his first start in the South Atlantic League he would go on to lose eight straight starts, as the opposition hit .316 off him for the year. In 2004, Gardner was 13-5 with a 2.51 ERA. He was originally drafted in the 19th round in 2003 by the Boston Red Sox.
Grant Varnell came on in relief for the first time this year and it turned into a nice change of pace as he picked up the win with five innings of one run ball. He gave up three hits and punched out four. Varnell came into the game with a .312 average against on the year and 20 runs allowed over his last 15.1 innings of work. It wound being the sixth game he has worked five or more innings and given up two runs or less. He has not pitched more than six innings in any start.
Eugene lost 6-5 in 11 innings to Vancouver (A’s)
Casey Smith had one hit in five at bats but pushed the Ems ahead in the tenth inning with a bases loaded walk, giving him two RBI's on the day. While the lead would not hold, Smith has drawn a walk in four of his five games and has reached base seven times over his last two. He had struck out in his only previous at bat with the bases juiced. Smith is hitting .455 when he bats cleanup but .125 when he hits elsewhere in the lineup.
Ernesto Frieri blew his first save opportunity and went on to lose the game an inning later, taking his second loss of the year. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two and throwing a wild pitch in an inning and two-thirds. After tossing blanks over his first 4.2 innings, Frieri has given up six in his last 5.1. He gave up a leadoff single in each of his innings on Friday and seven of the ten leadoff hitters have reached base on him this year.
While Mike Epping pushed his hitting streak to 11 games, it was Matt Antonelli that paced the offense. The third baseman notched three singles in five at bats and scored each time he reached base. He has scored seven times over his last two games and has been on base in all 11 games. His walk streak of ten games, however, was snapped. A right-handed hitter, Antonelli is batting .423 off righties and .091 off southpaws.
AZL Padres lost 6-5 to AZL Giants
Jeremy Hunt went 2-for-3 with two walks and scored three of the squad's runs. He had been in a 1-for-14 slump after collecting six hits in his first three games. The cleanup hitter is 6-for-13 on the season with the bases empty and has yet to notch a hit in nine at bats with runners in scoring position. Hunt is hitting .367 away from Peoria and .167 at home.
Felix Carrasco extended his hitting streak to six games with a two-run homer, going 1-for-3 with a walk. The homer was his first of the year and third extra base hit. The third baseman has RBI's in five of his six games this year and has scored a run in four of his last five. He is 6-for-16 with runners on base but did commit his fourth error of the year.
Vantroit Medina took the loss after allowing four runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks in 2.2 innings. He also thwacked two batters and unleashed a wild pitch. His two hit batsmen matched the total for the entire team through the first seven games of the year. The opposition is now hitting .417 off him with the bases empty but that number drops to .200 with runners in scoring position. The right-hander gave up one run in his first 3.2 innings of work.