Eugene kicks off year with a win

Jackson Quezada

Craig Stansberry had four hits and Tim Stauffer was nasty in a Portland win. Brett Dowdy went yard for the first time and drove in three. Players from Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne each played in their respective league All-Star games with impressive results. The Eugene Emeralds opened the season with a win behind Pablo Menchaca and a stellar bullpen. Luis Durango started his title defense.

Eugene won 6-2 over Spokane (Rangers) on Opening Day in the Northwest League

The first run of Eugene's season scored by virtue of a hit batsman with the bases loaded. Ray Stokes was plunked, starting a series of strange events that led to a five-run second. He was the second batter to get hit by a pitch in the frame, a bunt scored another, and a passed ball allowed two runs to score.

Luis Durango stayed true to the past, collecting three hits in five at bats, scoring a run and driving in one. He had seven games with three or more hits last year and led the Arizona Rookie League with a .378 average. The outfielder reached base an average of 2.02 times per game last year and reached base in all but four of his 39 games played.

Danny Payne went 1-for-2 with three walks. He also was part of a double-steal in the seventh inning, swiping third and scoring on a throwing error. Payne led Georgia Tech in average, hits, runs, doubles, triples, walks, stolen bases and on base percentage this past season, hitting safely in 21 of his last 23 games and tallying a team-best 26 multi-hit games. He also finished second in the nation with 1.11 walks per game.

The Emeralds bullpen threw four innings of shutout out ball, not allowing a hit and striking out four. Jackson Quezada worked two of those frames – his only blemish a hit batsman. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA last year for the Emeralds. In 18 appearances, including four starts, Quezada surrendered runs in nine outings – including each of his first six before going to the pen full-time and yielding runs in three of his next 12.

Pablo Menchaca earned the win, his second of the year over two leagues, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk over five innings while striking out three. The right-hander had worked in four games for Low-A Fort Wayne, picking up the win with three scoreless innings on May 26. He did, however, allow six runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings in his prior appearance. Menchaca went 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA in 13 games, including seven starts, for the AZL Padres. He also picked up the win in the AZL Rookie League Championship game where he pitched 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Portland won 5-2 over Fresno (Giants)

Tim Stauffer improved to 3-2 with six innings of one-run ball. He allowed six hits, walked one and struck out six, tossing a season-high 117 pitches. It is the first time he has gone over 100 pitches this season. Stauffer has given up two earned runs or less in three of his last four starts, lowering his ERA from 7.96 to a season-best 5.93. It is the third time in nine starts he has allowed one earned or less. The right-hander has allowed one earned run in the first inning of his nine starts.

Craig Stansberry went 4-for-5 with a double, run scored and an RBI. He was, however, thrown out for the sixth time this year on a stolen base attempt. Stansberry has been in a 2-for-19 slump but the second baseman has collected an RBI in seven of his last eight games and eight of his last 10. He has maintained an average above .300 since the fourth game of the season. Stansberry batted in the leadoff spot for the seventh time this year and is hitting .375 from that spot in the lineup.

Scott Cassidy allowed a walk and a single but preserved to pick up his fifth save of the season. He has saved five straight games since blowing his first chance of the year, allowing three hits and striking out five over that time. The right-hander has allowed runs in three of his 14 appearances on the year, all coming over a four game span. He has thrown a strike 65.9 percent of the time over 249 pitches.

San Antonio won 7-6 over Corpus Christi (Astros)

While Brett Bonvechio homered for the third straight game, a solo shot, it was Peter Ciofrone who knocked in the eventual game-winner with a single in the seventh inning. It was his only hit in five at bats but he did get credited with an outfield assist, gunning down a runner at third base. The outfielder is hitting .200 over the month of June after batting .300 in May. He came into the game without a seventh inning RBI – the only inning he had yet to knock one home.

Brett Dowdy paced the offense on Tuesday. He went 2-for-5 with three RBIs – all coming on his first homer of the season. Dowdy had five RBIs over 38 games with Triple-A Portland and two RBIs over seven games with San Antonio before bursting out. He was 4-for-29 in Double-A coming into the game and the multi-hit game was his first since May 10 when he was in Portland. It was just his sixth multi-hit game of the season.

Mike Ekstrom allowed two hits and a walk over his first four innings of scoreless ball but would not record an out in the fifth. He gave up four hits and a walk and left the game with the bases loaded and two runs in. Five runs would eventually be charged to the right-hander as all the runners he was responsible for touched home. It was the first time since April 27 that he did not go five innings and just the second time he has given up five earned. Ekstrom has, however, allowed four runs or more in eight of his 14 outings.

California League All-Stars won 10-5 over Carolina League All-Stars

Wade LeBlanc got the start and pitched an inning of scoreless ball, striking out two as he set the side down in order. It took just 11 pitches for the lefty, including seven for strikes.

David Freese walked in each of his first two at bats and came around to score each time. He also added an RBI single and an RBI sacrifice fly. While he was near flawless at the plate – he did whiff once – he made two fielding errors, one which led to an unearned run.

Kyle Blanks also had a fielding error that led to two unearned runs – and Freese's error came three plays after his. At the plate, Blanks walked, grounded out, singled and scored on Freese's sac fly, and grounded out.

Matt Antonelli grounded out in the first inning, walked in Freese with the bases loaded in the second inning, and singled in a run in the third inning. He also batted in the fourth, grounding out to end the inning. He then added a single before striking out in his final at bat.

Chad Huffman flied out to right, popped out to third, grounded out to short, walked in a run in the fifth with the bases juiced, and flied out to right for a second time in his final at bat.

Manny Ayala did not appear in the game.

Midwest League All-Star game – East 8 West 2

R.J. Rodriguez, pitching for the East, struck out two and allowed a triple in his inning of scoreless work. Ten of the 11 pitches he threw were for strikes.

Rayner Contreras had a pinch-hit single in the sixth inning and struck out in his second at bat. Contreras had missed the last few games with back spasms and also came down with a fever.

Nathan Culp did not appear in the game.

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