Missed opportunities cost Beavers in loss

Ben Johnson struck out four times

PORTLAND- Pitching and defense wins games. Tonight at PGE Park, the Beavers came up short in both categories. This was a game the Beavers should have won. The opportunities were there – in abundance. They failed to capitalize with men in scoring positions in the second, third, and fourth innings.

"They made some mistakes," said Manager Craig Colbert. "You have to take advantage of them and tonight we didn't do it."

RHP Dirk Hayhurst who was promoted from Single A Lake Elsinore for the spot start was saddled with the loss. He went four and two thirds innings giving up four runs, all earned, on eight hits, he walked two and struck out two. Two bad pitches, for homeruns in the fourth and fifth innings, proved costly. The other six hits were all singles. He was sent down to Double-A Mobile after the game.

"It is incredibly hard for a guy to come up to Triple-A and maintain poise and confidence, "said Pitching coach Gary Lance. "I thought he tremendous. He did his job."

Arizona prospect Dustin Nippert (8-1) continually pitched out of jams in the second, third, and fourth innings, picked up the victory pitching five and a third innings giving up eight hits, three runs, walked three, while striking out eight.

Nippert was the beneficiary of the two, two-run homers in successive innings, which was all the scoring Tucson would need. The first two run blast came in the fourth by left fielder Scott Hairston. It was his 16th homerun of the year, which came after right fielder Carlos Quentin lead off the inning with a single. In the fifth, after a walk to shortstop Stephen Drew, Quentin hit a two out, two run homer, his sixth to left centerfield. The Sidewinders went on to load the bases after the homerun. Beavers RHP Jim Brower came in and struck out Kenny Perez to end the threat and the inning, but the damage had already been done.

In the fifth, the Beavers scored a run on Justin Leone's double down the right field line scoring Termel Sledge from first.

Behind 4–1 in the sixth, with men on second and third with no out in what seemed an odd move, Colbert sent up pitcher Tim Stauffer to pitch hit. He struck bunting and looked overmatched in doing so. The Beavers finally broke through on Termel Sledge's bases loaded single, but still left men on first and third as Center Fielder Ben Johnson struck out to end the threat and the inning.

A total of six errors, three by each team, were committed but oddly enough none of the errors led to any runs.

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