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Padres Minors: Pitching wins

Portland will play a doubleheader with Nashville on Sunday after getting rained out. There were no outfield putouts recorded in Mobile's game, a thriller where Brian Whitaker starred. A behind the scene look at one player's demotion and what he is doing to get back out there and perform. Eleven strikeouts by a Fort Wayne pitcher will surely mean good things for the club?<br><br> Check out the <a href="http://padres.theinsiders.com/3/MinorNotebook.html">Daily Minor League Notebooks Here!</a>

Portland postponed

Henri Stanley was traded to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday for a player to be named and cash.

Stanley hit .248 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 28 games at Triple-A Portland. The Padres claimed Stanley off waivers from the Houston Astros on Nov. 13. He had little chance to crack the big club in San Diego and was not getting as much quality playing time in Portland.

Mobile won 1-0

Todd Donovan, having an All-Star season, broke a 0-0 tie in the eighth inning with a sharp single to score pinch runner Nick Trzesniak. He went 2-for-4 on the night and has a nine game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the Southern League.

Barfield came up to bat in the eighth with his ten game hitting streak on the line and flied out to center with two men on base and a one run lead. His streak is over at ten, the highest in the Padres system this year.

Brian Whitaker had allowed only two base runners all night long entering the eighth. He allowed an opening inning single that was sacrificed to second and moved to third on a ground out. With two outs, Whitaker was lifted in favor of Alan Webb who did his job and got the final out of the inning. He gave up just two hits on the afternoon in 7.2 innings, the longest outing of the season, and got his first win at the Double-A level after RD Spiehs ensured the victory by recording his first save of the year.

Lake Elsinore lost 5-4

Closer turned starter Mike Wodnicki opened the game and went three innings and gave up two runs. Rene Miniel followed and gave up two runs. He has now given up runs in three straight relief appearances. Natanael Mateo made his Elsinore debut and took the loss. In two innings he gave up one run, the difference in the game. Justin Smyres was sent down to extended spring training to make room for Mateo.

Mike Richardson and Paul McAnulty had solo homers, their 4th and 7th respectively. Michael Johnson struck out three times in four at bats and has whiffed in six straight games.

Josh Carter, trying to find his stroke, had two doubles and is hitting .273 in three games at Elsinore.

Carter was understandably upset with the demotion, but realizes he has some things to work on:

"It's tough being uncomfortable in the box," said Carter in disdain. "You have to feel comfortable and have your comfort zone. At the same time, it all pieces together. The last couple of weeks that hasn't been happening."

Fort Wayne lost 8-1

Clark Girardeau has given up a home run in five straight games. He did strike out a season and career high 11 batters on Saturday. His previous high had been nine with he accomplished twice this season. After not figuring into the decision in his first five starts, Girardeau took his second loss in a row.

Aaron Coonrod allowed his first homer of the season in his 13th appearance. His ERA zoomed from 1.42 to 3.29 with the three runs he allowed on two hits and two walks.

The Wizards managed just three hits on the afternoon. Only Fernando Valenzuela, two, and Juan Ciriaco had hits. Every batter did manage to strike out at least once with Casey Baker and Mark McRoberts leading the pack with three apiece. McRoberts has struck out in seven of his last ten at bats. Baker is hitless in his last twelve with eight strikeouts.

Greg Condon will make his season debut and Class-A Fort Wayne debut on Sunday. Conden, an 18th round selection in 2003 by the San Diego Padres, pitched in Low-A Idaho Falls in 2003 and went 4-3 in 15 starts. In 80 innings he struck out 96 and had an ERA of 3.94.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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