Germano all finesse, Villatoro anything but

Congratulations to Justin Germano. He will likely make his Major League debut later this week in place of David Wells and he has his own advice. Jon Knott is certainly no fluke. He is now leading the Pacific Coast League in RBI's. Tim Stauffer is pitching as well in Mobile as he was in Elsinore. Josh Barfield may be turning the corner. Wilmer Villatoro was viewed as a rising star, but that may have to wait. Jared Wells is pitching well, but it is not being shown in the win column.

Justin Germano, recently promoted to Portland from Mobile, has been kicked up to the San Diego Padres. He replaces David Wells who cut his hand in an accident at home.

What is the one thing Germano has to watch in the Majors?

"Being at a higher level if you miss a fastball out over the plate they are going to hit it a little farther," Germano said.

He admits he was a bit surprised, saying it came a little sooner than expected.

Portland won 12-8 in 10

It was a night of offense for Portland on Tuesday, highlighted by three men, Jose Nieves, Jon Knott and Yamid Haad.

Nieves went 4-for-6 with three doubles and two RBI's. Over a hitting streak that now spans five games, Nieves is 8-for-18 with four doubles and four RBI's, doubling his RBI total for the year from four to eight.

Knott went 2-for-6 with both hits leaving the yard. Knott now has nine homers on the season and with five RBI's on the night he has 38 RBI's which has moved him into the Pacific Coast League lead, one more than his competitor. He is now 7-for-19 during his current four game hitting streak with two doubles, two homers, one triple and eight RBI's.

Haad went 4-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored and three RBI's. It was a season high in hits for Haad who had just 14 hits coming into the game. His three RBI's put his total up to nine for the season. Haad scored the winning run in the tenth inning.

Mobile won 8-1

Tim Stauffer earned his first Double-A victory on Tuesday and he did it in style. Stauffer went eight innings, ending his day with a double play turned by Josh Barfield and Ronnie Merrill in the top half of the eighth. He allowed one run on eight hits and is now 3-0 on the year between Lake Elsinore and Mobile. His ERA dipped from 4.50 down to 2.57. His highest ERA in Elsinore was 2.42.

Mike Richardson pinch hit for Stauffer in the bottom of the eighth and smoked a liner to left in his Mobile debut, his first hit at the Double-A level. Fitting that he pinch hit for Stauffer.

Todd Donovan's 11 game hitting streak came down to his last at bat in the bottom of the eighth. On an 0-2 pitch, Donovan lined a ball off the glove of the centerfielder, scored as single, that allowed him to extend his streak to 12. He has also been on base in 24 straight games.

Josh Barfield has six hits and five RBI's in his last two games. He has raised his average more in the last two games than he did during his ten game hitting streak. Ronnie Merrill hit his first homer of the season, a two run blast.

Lake Elsinore lost 6-4

Wilmer Villatoro has allowed at least two hits, one or more walks, and at least one run in his last four appearances for the Storm. He took his second loss of the season and has only had one outing this year without giving up a run.

Gabe Ribas went six innings allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and did not get a decision for the first time all year. He entered the game 3-3 in his six games this year. In uncharacteristic fashion, Ribas has walked a batter in every start this year. He walked only 26 in 116 innings last year and already has 11 in 36 innings this year.

Five Storm batters had multiple hits on the night. Luis Cruz and Joe Lima have five hits apiece over the last two games.

Brian Burgamy returned to action from the disabled list and went 1-for-4. He was also caught stealing.

Fort Wayne lost 4-2 in 10

The Wizards have lost six straight and have scored 12 runs during that span. To put that in perspective, they had one game when they scored five runs. Take out that game and they have scored seven runs in five games, or 1.4 runs per game. They have scored two or less in 12 of their 23 losses this year.

Jared Wells pitched another gem on Tuesday. He has allowed nine runs over his last six starts and has two wins, two losses and two no decisions to show for his troubles. Tuesday he allowed one run over seven innings and left with the game tied at 1-1.

After going six games without allowing a run, Aaron Coonrod has now given up runs in consecutive games, the first time the reliever has suffered such a fate. Over his last three innings he has given up five runs on four hits and five walks. The walks continue to haunt the young hurler. He has walked at least one batter in seven straight games and two or more in six of seven.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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