Johnston walk-off; Sinisi debuts

Eric Junge

Eric Junge has hit his stride with another solid outing. Jon Knott has homered in successive games. Vince Sinisi debuted for Mobile at first base but it wasn't a game he would like to remember. Chase Headley was the offense in Lake Elsinore but it wasn't enough. Josh Geer returned but it was Seth Johnston with the heroics.

Portland won 4-1 sweeping Albuquerque (Marlins) in a four-game series

Over the last nine games, the Portland pitching staff has a commanding 2.52 ERA and they have given up just three runs over the last four games. Portland sports a seven-game winning streak.

For the third time in four starts, Eric Junge earned the win in style. Junge gave up one run over seven frames, yielding seven hits and striking out eight. He has whiffed 17 batters over his last two games after netting 13 over his first five. His three-game hitting streak was snapped though he did add a sacrifice bunt.

Jon Knott homered for the second night in a row, his seventh of the year. Ten of his 17 hits on the season have gone for extra bases and five of his last eight hits have left the park – unfortunately he is hitting just .222 over that span and .186 for the season. Knott is batting just .137 at home this year.

Aquilino Lopez walked two and struck out a season-high five in two innings of work to earn his first save of the year. He has walked six of his ten batters on the season over his last four appearances. Lopez has given up runs in five of his last seven outings and in nine of 16 this year.

Mobile lost 6-0 to Jacksonville (Dodgers)

Newcomer Vince Sinisi made his debut, batting third for Mobile and playing first base. He went 0-for-4 at the plate, grounding into one double play. He also committed a throwing error. The left-hand hitting prospect batted .220 in Triple-A Oklahoma where he played all three outfield spots and playing the majority at first base. There is talk of a full-time conversion to the outfield for Sinisi but first base is a need position in Mobile with Michael Johnson still on the DL.

"When I drafted him I wanted to convert him to the outfield," Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development, confirmed. "He played a little bit of the outfield in college."

Dropping to 0-3 on the season, Sean Thompson gave up four runs while matching a season-high with seven hits allowed over 4.2 innings. He also walked two and struck out six. Thompson has gone more than five innings just twice this year and this is the third time he has given up four or more runs in seven starts. Thompson has a 7.36 ERA at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile compared to a 3.54 ERA away from home.

Paul Abraham walked a season high four in two innings of work but did not allow a run. Over his last three outings, spanning six innings, he has given up eight walks. He gave up eight walks over his first 12 appearances. The right-hander has given up runs in six of his 15 appearances and is getting hit at a .321 clip by lefties.

Lake Elsinore lost 6-3 to San Jose (Giants)

Chase Headley has as many hits as the rest of the team, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI's. He has nine multi-hit games this year. It is his eighth RBI in ten May games after netting seven in 23 April games. Headley is batting .317 off right-handed pitching this year but is just 4-for-29, a .103 average, off lefties.

Dirk Hayhurst took his third loss of the season after allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits and a walk. He also struck out a season-high seven. Hayhurst has allowed just six baserunners in the 35 times he has faced the leadoff man in an inning but the opposition is hitting .353 off him with runners in scoring position and two outs.

Richie Daigle gave up his second earned run of the year after going nine innings without yielding one. He went an inning and allowed a hit and a walk. The right-hander has given up three hits in 18 at bats with runners in scoring position and has held the opposition to a .204 average against this year. Three of his five walks this year have come over his last two outings.

Fort Wayne won 3-2 over Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)

It was a walk-off homer from Seth Johnston that provided the winner for the Wizards, the second game in a row that he has left the yard and third time this year. The only time Johnston reached base earlier in the game was when he was plunked by a pitch. The second baseman leads the Midwest League in hits with 44 and is amongst the leaders with 24 RBI's. Johnston has been on base in 30 of 32 games this year.

Josh Geer returned from the disabled list and tossed six innings of two run ball, yielding three hits and two walks. It is the fourth start in a row that he has gone six innings and the three hits allowed were a season low. The opposition is hitting .289 off him for the year. Four of the six batters he has walked this year have come over his last two starts.

Mike Baxter went 2-for-5 with a triple and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to six games. He has three multi-hit games over the span with six runs scored. Baxter played in centerfield for just the second time this year and batted leadoff for the third time. In May, he is hitting .310 after batting .205 in April.

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