Rayner Contreras continues torrid pace
Rayner Contreras

Posted Aug 1, 2006


Tim Stauffer is the first to ten in the system – not the ten he hoped. Colt Morton has been back on track after a slow start. Nate Culp picked up another win in Fort Wayne. Rolando Valdez piled up his sixth victory. Rayner Contreras is on a tear, driving in 16 runs over his last five games.

Portland lost 7-1 to New Orleans (Nationals)

Tim Stauffer became the first pitcher in the system to hit double-digit losses after surrendering five runs on eight hits and four walks in 6.2 innings on Monday. It is the fourth game in a row that he has given up five runs or more and two balls left the yard on the right-hander, the fifth time this season he has given up multiple homers in a game. Over his last three games, Stauffer has walked 12 batters and has walked three or more in a game on eight occasions.

Kennard Jones went 1-for-2 in centerfield. Barely used in Portland, Jones has seen action in 41 games but has just 85 at bats. He came into the game with one hit in his last 15 at bats, spanning nearly half a month. Jones has more walks (16) than hits (14) in Portland. The outfielder hit .263 with Double-A Mobile over 49 games before being moved up and got 171 at bats during his stint there.

Mobile lost 8-1 to Jacksonville (Dodgers)

Colt Morton collected two of Mobile’s five hits, including a double. After a slow start that saw him go 3-for-21 to begin his Double-A stint, Morton has gone 9-for-21 over his last seven games with four extra base hits and seven RBI’s. He has whiffed just three times over the last seven games after whiffing 11 times in his first seven. The catcher is hitting .279 off left-handed pitching over two leagues this year but just .220 off right-handers.

Sean Thompson lost his ninth game of the year, not making it past the fourth inning. He was pulled after four runs on five hits and two walks. Thompson is 1-3 over his last five starts with a 4.88 ERA, his worst five game stretch of the season ERA-wise. He did limit the opposition to a .258 average over that time but the big inning has plagued him. He surrendered his 13th bomb of the year on Monday – but 11 have been solo shots.

Lake Elsinore had the night off

Fort Wayne won 11-4 over Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)

Will Venable smashed his first homer in over a month, a two-run blast, and added a single, a walk and two runs scored to pace the club. After hitting .365 in June, the outfielder has managed a .245 average in July, spanning 27 games. He came into the game with three hits in his last 24 at bats. He has gone from first in the league in hitting to eighth in the process. Venable has drawn more walks (18) than strikeouts (12) this month, the first time this season he has accomplished that in a given month.

Nate Culp pushed his record to 2-0 in the Midwest League, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks over six innings of work. The southpaw has given up just one hit to left-handed hitters with Fort Wayne and has held the opposition to four hits in 28 at bats with the bases empty. Over two leagues, he has allowed the leadoff man of an inning to reach base seven times in 32 at bats, a .219 on base percentage.

Eugene won 7-5 over Yakima in ten innings

Rolando Valdez continues to rack up wins with his sixth of the year. While two starting pitchers have amassed six wins in Northwest League play, he is the only reliever on the leaderboard. Valdez tossed a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and striking out one. The right-hander has given up two runs in his last 20.1 innings and has a 1.61 ERA as a reliever after one start to open the year. Valdez has limited the opposition to a .182 average against.

Mike Epping went 4-for-6 at the top of the lineup for Eugene, scoring a run and adding two stolen bases. The centerfielder is 14-for-18 on steal attempts and has been successful in each of his last four attempts. Epping has batted in the leadoff position in 35 games and is hitting .297 when he bats first, as opposed to his .273 mark when he bats second. He leads the league in runs scored with 37 and has scored nine times in his last seven games.

AZL Padres won 12-2 AZL Angels

Rayner Contreras belted his second homer of the year, a three-run blast, and drove in five runs, giving him RBI’s in five straight games. The homer was his second in four games and he has collected 16 RBI’s over the last five contests, knocking in three, four, three, one, and five over that time. It is the second time this year he has driven in five in a game and his 29 RBI’s in 21 games place him second in the Arizona Rookie League. Despite playing in 11 less games than the league leader, he is just six off the pace. The second baseman is 17-for-36 with runners in scoring position in rookie ball and is hitting .387 in the month of July. Contreras, incidentally, had four hits in 38 at bats with the Fort Wayne Wizards earlier this year.

Pascual Juan allowed a run on two hits and two walks over 2.2 innings of work while striking out three. He also unleashed two wild pitches, giving him six in 13 innings of work. After giving up eight runs in his first 2.1 innings, Juan has surrendered three over his last 10.2. The left-hander has limited the opposition to a .231 average over that time after the initial 7-for-14 blast he suffered to begin the season. Monday was the first time this year that he has started a game.



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