Padres Minors: Jones, Germano Speak

Kennard Jones spoke to us and painted a beautiful picture on a diving catch he made on Wednesday that would have easily been the number one play of the day on Sportscenter. also caught up with Justin Germano who talked about his last start. On the diamond, the Padres affiliates split and one pitcher left his game early with shoulder pain.

"Guy hit the ball. I forget what inning it was, maybe the sixth inning, and I was playing shaded over that way," Kennard Jones began eloquently. "The pitcher was late in the count and guy the just smashed the ball and I just happened to get a great jump on it.

"I believe I did everything perfect on the catch. It was kind of windy out and I was playing a little deeper than normal. I still had to run a long ways because left center is kind of deep back there. I just got on my horse and I had a pretty good read on it. I knew it was hit hard.

"I didn't know if was going to go off the wall or not. I looked back at the wall as I was running and looked back at the ball to track it again. Last minute just leaping after it and ended up catching it on the track."

And Jones came away with the rug burns to prove it.

"Huge adrenaline rush. You don't feel the dirt or the strawberries all over your forearm and your body," Jones added with a laugh. "You are just happy you came up with that great play for that pitcher."

Ironically, Jones had to see the trainer on Thursday after diving for another ball.

Portland lost 4-3 in 10

The last three games Mike Bynum has entered, he has allowed a run and it cost Portland the game on Thursday. Brandon Puffer, meanwhile, has not allowed a run over his last five relief appearances. He has gone two innings in each of those appearances and lowered his ERA from well over 4.00 to 1.72.

Edmonton turned three rally killers, aka double plays. Jon Knott hit into his second in as many games. Knott does, however, have a five game hitting streak. He is 11-for-23 over that stretch. He has raised his average from .250 to .310 with the streak. During the stretch, Knott has two homers, three doubles, and six RBI's. Thursday was the first time since the streak began that he did not drive in a run.

Dennis Tankersley allowed a three run homer in the first inning and after struggling through the rest of the inning but not allowing a run, Tank settled down. He went six innings, allowing just the three run homer, walking a season high five and striking out four.

Mobile won 2-1

"It felt good," Germano said of his seven inning outing last Sunday. "I was glad to be able to go seven strong and have my team come out swinging the bat and score me some runs."

And Germano was back on the hill on Thursday. The game went scoreless into the eighth inning. Germano was still manning the mound in the eighth and going strong. After a fly out, Jose Rojas singled. An error on Jake Gautreau put two men on with one out. That took Germano out of the game and brought in Matt Hampton. Hampton promptly threw a wild pitch. Tony Socarras followed with a ground out that scored Rojas and put Jacksonville up 1-0.

Over his last two outings spanning 14 innings, Germano has allowed just two runs, one earned. In the process he has lowered his ERA from 4.00 to 2.51. Germano is also hot at the plate. He is 3-for-5 on the year.

With Mobile down by one heading into the ninth and a streak on the line, Josh Barfield reached on an error and advanced to second on the play. Nick Trzesniak walked and Jason Clements followed with a single to load the bases. After Ben Johnson struck out, a hitless Freddy Guzman came to the plate. Guzman stroked a single, preserving his nine game hitting streak, to centerfield that scored Barfield and Trzesniak to give the BayBears the lead. Jason Clements was thrown out at third on the play, but Trzesniak crossed the plate before the third out.

Brad Baker pitched the ninth for his sixth save of the year. Baker remained perfect for the season and has now gone ten innings without allowing a run.

Lake Elsinore won 11-1

Brian Whitaker leads all Storm starting pitchers in ERA with a 1.99 mark and was finally rewarded with his first win on Thursday. Whit went six innings and allowed just one run. In three of his four starts on the year, he has allowed two or fewer earned runs.

Mike Richardson has a five game hitting streak (5-for-16) and has had an extra base hit in his last three games. He homered during the Storm's six run sixth inning. He also added a sac fly, his third of the season. Michael Johnson leads the league in sacrifice flies with four after hitting one on Thursday.

Kennard Jones was caught stealing for the fourth time in 14 attempts this year. Those numbers are far better than the ones he posted a year ago, when he was caught almost as many times as he stole. Jones went 4-for-5 on Thursday, but did hit into a double play.

Paul McAnulty hit his third homer of the season, a three run shot in the sixth. He has a modest three game hitting streak.

Fort Wayne lost 5-4

A rally in the bottom of the ninth fell short. With the Wizards down 5-2, Greg Bochy hit a home run with a man on to bring the team within one. A single, sacrifice and walk followed and Brian Wahlbrink came up with on out in the inning. Wahlbrink promptly fouled out. The last chance came to Jordan Pickens, the hottest Wizard hitter. He, too, fouled out to end the game.

The real story of the game was Daniel Moore leaving after just one inning. Moore left with shoulder pain after throwing 18 pitches in the first inning. He allowed one run, walked two and has not looked sharp at all since joining the Wizards. He took the loss and is 1-3 on the year with an ERA that sits at 7.41. The confidence of the former second round pick cannot be high.

Sazi Guthrie came on and for the fourth straight game got knocked around for four runs in his third inning of work. Dick Hayhurst, on the other hand, has extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 16 innings.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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