Padres Minors: Heroes Are Born

Josh Barfield

Late inning heroics were the story on Tuesday. Three teams within the Padres system won the game in the final at bat with heroics coming from a number of different sources. A number of starting pitchers had solid performances go to waste as the bullpen reminded those of the big club.

Portland won 6-3 in 11

The combination of Blaine Neal and Bart Miadich continues to excel for the Beavers. The duo completed its third win-save combination with Neal recording his second win and Miadich registering his fourth save. Neal had previous saved one game for Miadich.

Rico Washington started the rally in the top of the eleventh. He drew a walk and advanced to third on two ground outs. With two outs, Bernie Castro singled him in. Bobby Scales then followed with a double to drive in Castro and Jon Knott singled him in to give the Beavers a 6-3 victory and the win.

Scales, Knott and Castro each had three hits on the night. Washington, Knott and Yamid Haad have four game hitting streaks, while Joe Gerber had his four game streak end. JJ Furmaniak is now hitless in his last eight at bats after starting 2-for-7 in Portland. Furmaniak has had a history of struggles when he enters a new level in the Padres system but generally responds after his first 30-40 at bats.

"As weird as it sounds, that is what is going to happen each year or every level I go to," Furmaniak admits of the trend he is trying to buck. "I don't know if it is just because when I get put into a new situation I try to hard or something like that.

Mobile won 5-3

The BayBears scored four runs, three coming with two outs in the top of the ninth to earn a come from behind victory against Jacksonville.

Todd Donovan started the Mobile rally down 3-1 in the ninth. Donovan walked to open the inning which was followed by a Josh Barfield double. After a strike out, Jake Gautreau walked to load the bases. Another walk to Ben Johnson forced a run in. Another strike out followed before Jason Clements singled in two runs and another scored on an error by Nick Alvarez, the Jacksonville right fielder.

Brad Baker pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save of the season. RD Spiehs got the win, but hardly earned it. With the game tied at 1-1, Spiehs gave up two home runs in the eighth inning to put the BayBears down.

Freddy Guzman extended his hit streak to seven, but his non-stolen base streak is now at four. He also grounded into a double play.

"If Freddy doesn't get on, I am essentially the leadoff hitter," Todd Donovan, who had a stolen base Tuesday said. "When he is on base, he knows I am going to let him run and when he doesn't run, I have to learn how to get him over."

Lake Elsinore won 6-5

Justin Smyres did it all on Tuesday. He scored the tying run on an error after opening the inning with a walk, making his way to second on a sac bunt and moving to third on a single by Kennard Jones, he tripled, doubled and had two RBI's. After Jones singled and stole second, Luis Cruz singled. Michael Johnson was intentionally walked, Kervin Jacobo hit into a force play at home and Paul McAnulty strode to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. McAnulty promptly hit a sharp single to right to score the winning run and give the Storm the victory.

Smyres was in on four of the six Storm runs on Tuesday. Smyres has had a hit in all four Strom games he has played in.

Michael Johnson added his sixth homer of the season.

High Desert scored all their runs in the fifth inning off Tim Stauffer and reliever Nate Sevier. Sevier inherited one Stauffer runner and allowed three other runs on three hits. Stauffer had gone 6.1 innings and was charged with two runs. Alan Webb got the win, pitching a scoreless ninth.

Fort Wayne lost 8-5

Clark Girardeau faced his first real trouble in the fifth inning, allowing a two run homer before being replaced by Sazi Guthrie in a 5-3 game with the Wizards still up. Guthrie faced five batters, hitting one with a pitch and allowing four straight hits with a balk and wild pitch mixed in as a 5-3 turned into a 7-5 deficit. Dick Hayhurst came on with a man on second and shut em down, continuing his run on perfection. Hayhurst has still not allowed a run all season.

On the offensive side of things, the Wizards struck out 13 times, the second day in a row they have whiffed more than ten times as a team.

Jordan Pickens remains on fire. Since missing two games, Pickens has a four game hitting streak with multiple hits in each game. During the stretch he is 9-17 with two homers, five RBI's and six runs scored.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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