Padres Minors: Law of averages

Two pitchers made debuts in new leagues on Sunday. While one gave up quite a few runs, he earned the win. Another gave up just one run and did not win. Such is life in the minors. Sometimes they hit for you (Lake Elsinore) and other times they don't (Fort Wayne). If Fort Wayne keeps it up, they may be playing tee ball by the end of the year.

Portland lost 7-6 in 10 in game one

Tim Byrdak had pitched ten innings and walked just one batter entering Sunday's game and promptly walked the bases loaded in his one inning of work. He did not end up allowing a run.

After going 3-0 for Mobile, Matt Hampton took his first loss of the season. Pitching in his second game since joining Portland he allowed the game winner in the bottom of the tenth with two outs.

Brian Sweeney pitched in his shortest outing of the year, four innings. He had gone at least six innings in all seven of his previous starts. He allowed six runs on eight hits, including two homers.

Humberto Quintero is nine for his last 22, a .409 clip, and has four RBI's over that stretch. A four game hitting streak accompanies those stats.

JJ Furmaniak hit his second homer of the season and has now had two games in a row with multiple RBI's. With four over the last two games, he has 14 for the season.

Portland won 8-4 in game two

Justin Germano got his first Triple-A win on Sunday in a seven inning affair. He gave up four runs on eight hits and one walk. The eight hits were the most he had given up all year long between Mobile and Portland and the win marked the second time Germano has gotten a win while allowing four runs in an outing.

Alex Fernandez had four RBI's in the doubleheader, two in each game. Jon Knott had all four of his RBI's in the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with a double and triple. He is third in the league with 33 RBI's. Xavier Nady is 7-for-15 since his return with two homers, two doubles and four RBI's.

Joe Gerber left his .233 days behind in Mobile and is back at Portland where he is hitting .300 for the year even after going 0-for-1 in his second tour.

Mobile lost 5-1

Two days after his ten game hitting streak ended, Josh Barfield is hitting worse than before it began. He was at .237 when the streak began and went up to .248 at the end of the streak. Now, after an 0-for-8 stretch he is hitting .234.

Todd Donovan got his hit on Sunday and a ten game hitting streak to go with it, tops in the Padres system this year.

Ben Johnson is hitting .333, 8-for-24, over his last seven games and has a hit in each. His average has jumped from .186 to .218 in the process.

Mike Thompson has allowed one run over his last eleven appearances spanning 15.1 innings. His ERA has dropped from 4.50 to 1.04 in the process.

Lake Elsinore won 7-6

After allowing three earned runs in his first two outings of the year for Fort Wayne, Chris Tierney was promoted to Elsinore. On Sunday, Tierney went five innings and gave up five runs on ten hits, two of which were homers. Despite less than stellar numbers this time out, he got the win. He had not gotten a decision in either of his starts for the Wizards, despite his 2.25 ERA with Fort Wayne.

In Dale Thayer's last four appearances, he has three saves and a win. He has allowed just one hit over that span, coming Sunday. Over his last three outings he has not recorded a strike out, odd for someone in a closer's role.

Joe Lima had three doubles and an RBI in a 3-for-4 day and scored each time he reached base. His average rose from the grave in the process, from .179 to .217. Luis Cruz also went 3-for-4 and knocked in Lima twice. It was Cruz' second three hit night in the last three games and the third time he has accomplished the feat since May 11.

Fort Wayne lost 3-2

Over the last three games, every batter in the lineup has been struck out at least once – IN EACH GAME – except Fernando Valenzuela jr. who did not strike out in two of the three games. Valenzuela has struck out just 12 times in 126 at bats, or one per 10.5 at bats. In contrast, with three more strike outs on Sunday – six in a row now – Mark McRoberts has struck out once every 2.21 at bats (28 times in 62 at bats), worst on the team.

Valenzuela is 5-for-8 over his last two games and added one of only two RBI's on Sunday.

Reliever Sazi Guthrie has now allowed a run or more in 10-of-13 games he has been in after allowing two on Sunday. His ERA has dipped below 5.79 just once.

Greg Conden got his first start of the season and first start above Rookie ball. He allowed one run on two hits and four walks. He did throw two wild pitches and struck out five.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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