Gerut and Headley 5, Redhawks 3

PORTLAND, OR-- On a "balmy" 49 degree night in the Rose City three Beaver home runs were the difference in a 5-4 victory over the Oklahoma City Redhawks.

The Redhawks opened the game with right fielder Nelson Cruz crushing his eighth home run of the year over the right field wall for a two-run blast.

Beavers' right fielder Jody Gerut returned the favor in their half of the first with a booming solo shot over the right-field wall.

In the fifth, the Beavers led off the inning with back-to-back walks from shortstop Oscar Robles and third baseman Craig Stansberry and capitalized when Gerut hit his second home run of the evening – this time over left-center.

"They were both fastballs and I was able to hit them both hard," said Gerut.

Starting pitcher Shawn Estes was shaky in the first two innings but came back to retire nine of the last ten batters he faced, limiting Oklahoma to three hits. Estes, whose contract has an option in the middle of May, could have pitched his last game for the Beavers.

Relief pitcher Paul Abraham, possibly the only Padres pitcher in the organization that does not throw a changeup, came in the top of the sixth and promptly struck out the side.

"You definitely want to get that third guy to strike out the side, but on the last one I nearly got into trouble by nibbling a little too much before I just went back to trying to throw strikes," said Abraham.

He got into trouble in the next inning allowing a single and walk to the first two batters resulting in a sacrifice fly but rebounded with a ground out and his fourth strikeout in two innings to retire the side.

In the eighth inning, the Redhawks had the Beavers on the ropes with one out and the bases loaded but shortstop Joaquin Arias lined to Beaver second baseman Marshall McDougal who then tagged second base for the inning ending double play.

Third baseman Chase Headley, batting right-handed for the first time, then smashed a monster home run over right-center field – the deepest part of the park.

Closer Jared Wells provided the excitement in the ninth allowing a base hit, two walks and a sacrifice fly before striking out Nelson Cruz, who had homered earlier to end the game.

"I was getting a little frustrated with myself but I am a competitor and expect my best everytime. It's not always going to be that, but that is what I'm shooting for. What matters is we got the win," said Wells.

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