Knott on a mission, two starters falter

Jon Knott is becoming unstoppable. A two homer, five RBI night ensures his hot streak is in full swing. Mobile gets some hitting, but the pitching fails as Clay Hensley suffers through his worst start of the season. The bullpen was great for the Storm, but Eddie Bonine wasn't. Welcome back to Ryan Klatt who looks to begin his closing career again.

Portland won 7-1

Jon Knott is becoming a legend. On Monday, the undrafted Knott hit two more home runs to up his season total to 11 and added five RBI's to push his season total up to 45. Knott has had three games with four or more RBI's over the last eight games. Over that span he has 16 runs batted in and a nine game hitting streak to boot.

Rob Deer has taught Knott to not think about his next home run and it has helped his average.

"That is what Rob tries to get through to me because he did that in Pro ball," Knott said. "He did hit a lot of home runs and he was conscious of that. He is trying to get me to not think about that and to know that if I take the same approach everyday that the home runs will come and not to worry about that."

Deer was right. Because of that Knott also leads the league in RBI's.

Mike Bumstead had a rude awakening in his debut at Triple-A. After being dominant for Lake Elsinore before his promotion, and skipping Mobile along the way, Bumstead got smacked around for four hits, one walk and one run scored in an inning and two-thirds.

Marty McLeary got his first start of the season. He shut out Omaha, pitching four innings and allowing one hit. He had three spot starts in 2003 playing for Albuquerque and Carolina. Since he did not go five innings, he did not earn the win. That distinction went to Blaine Neal who went an inning and a third.

J.J. Furmaniak committed his third error in the last two games. Unlike Sunday, it did not cost the team. He is, however, now tied for the team lead in this dubious category with eight.

Mobile lost 11-8

Clay Hensley suffered his worst outing of the year on Monday. He gave up seven runs in four innings on ten hits and took his sixth loss of the season. Hensley has had a decision in every game he has pitched, nine on the season. The seven runs scored and ten hits were both season highs.

Hensley also homered in the top of the second inning, a solo shot, and is hitting .444 on the year.

Brad Baker gave up a run for the second time in 21 appearances. His ERA is now 1.29 on the year. The run came on a solo homer, the first homer he has surrendered this year.

Ben Johnson slugged his seventh homer of the season, a three run blast in the second inning. Johnson has now had three homers and six RBI's in his last four games and has hit homers in consecutive games. Johnson is now tied for second on the team in RBI's with 23.

Lake Elsinore lost 6-3

Eddie Bonine did not allow more than two earned runs in any of his five starts in Fort Wayne. He has allowed more than four earned runs in three of four at Lake Elsinore. Monday, Bonine gave up five earned runs, six overall, in four innings.

Rene Miniel and Mike Wodnicki provided five innings of scoreless relief. Between them they allowed just one hit.

Kervin Jacobo and Josh Carter each had three hits in the loss. Luis Cruz extended his hitting streak to eight games and Paul McAnulty extended his to seven. Andres Pagan, meanwhile, pushed his RBI streak to five games with one RBI on Monday.

Fort Wayne won 7-6

Ryan Klatt earned his first save playing for the Wizards and first of the year. Klatt had 12 saves for Idaho Falls a year ago. He has gone five games without giving up an earned run and is 4-0 on the year.

Jared Wells was not at his best on Monday but got run support for the first time this year. In the four previous games where he has allowed three runs or more (he allowed five on Monday, four earned), he had lost all four. In every other game, four, he has allowed just one run or less and only came away with two victories.

George Kottaras has a three game hitting streak and a three game RBI streak. He is 5-for-12 with five RBI's. Jordan Pickens has three doubles in his last two games. Fernando Valenzuela Jr has a four game hitting streak and is 6-for-17 over the stretch with four RBI's.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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