Laforest goes yard twice; Link perfect closer
Jon Link
Jon Link
MadFriars.com
Posted May 16, 2007


Pete Laforest banged two out of the park, including a game-tying shot but it was not enough. Nick Hundley is starting to find his stroke. Jon Link is doing his work at the back end of the bullpen. Ernesto Frieri had something happen that has never been done before against him.

Portland lost 9-7 to Round Rock (Astros)

Pete Laforest hit a game-tying two-out grand slam in the top of the ninth – his second homer of the game. Laforest doubled his RBI total for the season from five to 10. The catcher has notched an RBI in four of the last five games. His last multi-homer game came on June 21, 2005 when he belted three. He is 6-for-21 with six walks over his last seven games after beginning the year with two hits in his first 27 at bats.

Andrew Brown accepted the loss, giving up a two run-homer in the bottom of the ninth to drop to 1-2 for the year. Brown has allowed runs in consecutive games after giving up runs in two of his previous 14 outings. The right-hander has seen four men reach base off him in the past inning and a third after allowing just two baserunners in his previous seven outings. Brown is holding opponents to a .153 average on the year but lefties are hitting .310 off him.

Tim Stauffer was charged with six runs, three earned, on eight hits and a walk over five innings, striking out five and tossing a wild pitch. The right-hander topped 90 pitches for the first time this year (92). For the first time all year, the opposition attempting to steal while Stauffer was on the mound, going 1-for-2 off the righty. Lefties are hitting .419 off him this year.

San Antonio lost 4-3 to Corpus Christi (Astros)

Nick Hundley went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI, giving him two-baggers in successive games for the first time this year – three over that span. It is the first time this year he has secured consecutive multi-hit games. The catcher is now hitting .300 at Nelson Wolff Stadium but hitting .161 on the road. Since being moved into the fifth spot in the lineup, Hundley is hitting .333 with four doubles. He is hitting .195 when he bats elsewhere in the lineup.

Cesar Ramos evened up his record at 3-3 after taking the loss on Tuesday. The lefty allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk over seven innings, uncorking two wild pitches and hitting a batter. He also struck out four and picked off a runner at first base. The left-hander had given up three runs over his previous three starts. He has limited southpaw batters to a .217 average against. Twenty-one of the 47 hits he has yielded have gone for extra bases.

Will Venable went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to six games after scuffling through a 2-for-32 stretch. Just seven of his 41 hits this year have gone for extra bases but he has collected one in successive days for the first time this year. Six of his seven extra base hits have come at home. Venable also has an RBI in four of his last five games. He is hitting .387 at home this year but just .218 on the road.

Lake Elsinore won 4-2 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

Richie Daigle brought his record to 2-2 with six innings of two-run ball, allowing seven hits and striking out two while not walking a batter. It is the second time this year that Daigle has allowed two runs or less and second time in a row that he has gone at least six innings after not reaching that mark over his first six starts. The opposition is hitting .313 off him with the bases empty.

Jon Link picked up his third save of the year, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning. Since taking over the closer’s role, Link is perfect in his save opportunities. The right-hander has allowed just three hits over his last eight appearances and has given up nine hits in 16 innings overall. Tuesday marked the sixth time he has pitched to the minimum in his outing over 16 outings. He has given up just one extra base hit this season.

Jose Lobaton cracked his fourth homer of the year, a two-run show in the fifth inning. He also drew a walk, pushing his on base percentage up to .388 on the year and becoming the third member of the team to draw 20 walks. He is hitting .340 this year with runners on base. The catcher went 0-for-2 in throwing out baserunners and has caught 32.8 percent of those attempting a theft this year, 19-for-58.

Fort Wayne lost 5-1 to Dayton (Reds)

Cedric Hunter collected three hits in four at bats and notched the only RBI of the day for Fort Wayne. It was the second time this year he has collected three or more hits in a game. All of his hits were singles as the outfielder has collected just five extra base hits over his 36 hits. He came into the game with a .212 average in 15 May games after batting .292 in April. Hunter batted in the two-hole for the first time this year on Tuesday; he is 4-for-7 this year when he bats outside of the three spot in the order.

Stephen Faris lost for the second time this year – but the first time as a starter. The first three men reached base with the final man of the trio connecting on a three-run homer. He would end his night with those three runs allowed, two earned, on seven hits and two walks over five innings. It is the second time in three starts he has allowed two earned or less. While lefties are hitting .206 off him this season, righties are batting .324. He has given up just three extra base hits in 18 innings.

Ernesto Frieri got the first two batters he faced out but preceded to give up back-to-back jacks before retiring the final batter he faced. Over his first 19 innings, Frieri had not surrendered a homer and the right-hander gave up just three homers over three leagues last year and just one the year before. He had never allowed more than one homer in a contest prior to Saturday. After allowing runs in one of his first seven appearances, he has given up runs in three of his last five.



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