Padres Minors: Breakout!

Portland lost a close one as a reliever continues to impress. Mobile's game with Carolina was postponed due to rain, but they will play a doubleheader on Monday. The Storm crushed their opposition on Sunday setting season highs for the second time in a week and Fort Wayne swept its doubleheader – featuring a game that had all the runs score via the long ball and a complete game effort, the first by any pitcher in the system.

Portland lost 2-1

Brandon Puffer has not allowed an earned run since his first appearance of the year on April 9. In that game he allowed three earned runs in .2 innings pitched. On Sunday, he extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to ten appearances spanning 17 innings of work. A 40.50 ERA is down to 1.53. His scoreless streak of not allowing a run was also extended to six games spanning twelve innings of work.

Matt Bruback had his best outing of the year but still took the loss. He has lost his last four outings. He went six innings, his longest outing of the year and allowed two runs. His previous best was his first outing of the year when he went five innings and allowed two runs. Bruback had his struggles on Sunday. He walked five and has now walked 17 in 23.2 innings, one off the Pacific Coast League lead in the dubious category. His 2.11 WHIP is second worst among all starting pitchers that qualified.

Lake Elsinore won 16-1

The Storm pounded out 19 hits on Sunday. All nine players in the lineup had hits and the Storm scored off all of San Jose's pitchers.

A day after reporting Joe Lima was 1-for-29 on the year, Lima exploded and moved his hit total up to five with a 4-for-5 night. His batting average climbed from .034 to .147. His three RBI's upped his total to four on the year.

Mike Richardson and Justin Smyres each added four RBI's. Richardson, 3-for-5 with three runs scored, smacked a three dinger to left-center in the seventh. Smyres, meanwhile, now has eight RBI's in his first eight games and went 2-for-4 with a base clearing triple and two runs scored.

Steve Baker went 3-for-5 with two doubles and now leads the Storm in extra base hits with 11 and doubles with eight.

Tim Stauffer pitched six innings to get the win, his second of the season. He struck out eight and allowed one run, unearned. Rene Miniel pitched three innings in relief and got a free save. The only Storm pitchers not to allow a home run this season are Stauffer and Miniel. In five games started for Stauffer, he has not allowed more than two earned runs in any. His WHIP is an Storm leading 1.06 on the season.

Fort Wayne swept Wisconsin, 7-1, 6-4

In the first game, all of the Fort Wayne runs came on home runs. In fact, all the runs in the game scored via the long ball.

Jordan Pickens, Fernando Valenzuela Jr., Colt Morton and Skip Adams all hit shots. For Pickens it was his team leading fourth and Valenzuela got his first of the year. Adams and Morton now have two apiece.

Jared Wells went seven innings to get his first complete game of the year. Granted, the game only went seven, but he gets credit for a complete game nonetheless. He allowed one run on a solo home run and gave up just four hits and one walk while striking out five.

"If you throw strikes you are going to get hitters out," said Wells. "That is just what it boils down to."

In the second game, Ryan Klatt earned the victory in relief. He leads the team in victories with three. Only twice in twelve appearances has he allowed a run. He pitched one inning and was the beneficiary of a Juan Ciriaco single that plated two in the sixth. Aaron Coonrod pitched the seventh for his second save of the season.

George Kottaras added a bases loaded double that scored three runs in the third inning. Kottaras now has seven RBI's in his last five games, including one game where he pinch hit and batted only once.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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