Mike Thompson no-hitter bid; Rusty Tucker back

A new day, a new pitcher trying for a no-hitter. On Thursday it was Mike Thompson who worked his way into the seventh inning with a no-hitter. Rusty Tucker is back on the mound after having Tommy John Surgery ten months ago. Tagg Bozied just won't quit. David Pauley is smacked around like a bad habit. Howie Pence is starting to get recognized. Gary Gallegos really dislikes hitters.

Tommy John Surgery. A tough place for any prospect. Seeing Rusty Tucker rehabbing down in Peoria with the Padres is refreshing. Tucker had surgery last August after that fateful day on the fifth of the month. To be back sooner than expected is a beautiful thing.

Tucker has been throwing in simulated games in Peoria for a few weeks before actually getting into a real game on Tuesday. Rusty Tucker went two innings and gave up one run, unearned, on one hit and a walk while striking out one. He took the loss for Peoria.

"This is a guy who was a left hander and we saw him throw 96, 97, 98 miles an hour early in the season and for a lefty to be throwing that hard, aside from Randy Johnson, you don't see a lot of that," one Padres scout quipped.

It wasn't always that way. In fact, Tucker came into the organization with a fastball that reached 90 miles per hour. After struggling in the Rookie Pioneer League, where he led the League in walks for 2001, the Padres decided to slow down Tucker's delivery to help improve his control. That change in his mechanics elevated his fastball into another dimension that tops out at 99 MPH.

Portland won 5-4 in 11

J.J. Furmaniak pinch hit for Jake Gautreau in the bottom of the eleventh and walked. He was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ben Risinger and the next batter, Freddy Guzman drove him in with a single.

In 25 games since returning to the lineup, Tagg Bozied has amassed a three hit game five times, a feat he has accomplished more times than two hit games (four). He was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI on Thursday. He was also hit by a pitch.

Dennis Tankersley went five innings and gave up four runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks. Gautreau's error in the sixth inning allowed three unearned runs to cross the plate. It was Tank's first appearance since being sent down from San Diego. On the year, Tankersley has walked two or more batters in all nine of his starts and has topped four or more three times. Somehow he has kept it from affecting his work on the mound as evident from his 2.25 ERA.

Brandon Puffer worked two scoreless innings of relief, but it was a single off him that plated two inherited runners as he came on in relief of Tankersley in the sixth. While the boxscore will show he worked two more innings without allowing a run, keeping those inherited from scoring is equally important. As far as the stat book is concerned, Puffer has not allowed a run in five appearances since his return.

Donovan Osborne loaded the bases in the top of the eleventh with one out before getting out of the jam to get his second win of the season. Osborne had allowed runs in each of his three appearances in Portland. Despite that, he is 2-1 on the year.

Mobile won 7-0

Mike Thompson has been a starter for just five games now after making 17 relief appearances. On Thursday, Thompson turned in the finest performance of his career. He took a no hitter into the seventh inning before a one out single broke it up. He also walked one and hit a batter while striking out three. With a pitch count of just 62, Thompson was pulled. It was, by the way, his longest outing of the year and it improved his record to 4-0, with three of the victories coming as a starter.

Gabe Ribas made his debut, in relief, for the BayBears. Ribas has been a starter for the past few seasons after spending time as a closer with Eugene. He went one inning and gave up one hit.

Nick Trzesniak is in an awful 2-for-35 slump after his 11 game hitting streak ended 12 games ago. He has struck out at least once in 12 straight games, 17 total, after whiffing in just one of his previous seven. Amazingly, Trzesniak has had an RBI in each of his last three games.

Marcus Nettles made his debut with Mobile and went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a sacrifice bunt that led to a run scoring single for the BayBears.

Lake Elsinore lost 9-3

David Pauley had his worst outing of the year on Thursday. He gave up season highs in hits allowed (11), runs scored (8) and tied his high for earned runs (6). It was his second shortest outing of the year. One run scored off an Andres Pagan error in the third and another scored on a Kervin Jacobo error in the fourth.

Chuck Bechtel also allowed one inherited runner to score when he gave up a two run homer in the fifth, capping a six run inning where Lancaster had a stretch of five straight hits. It was the fifth game in a row Bechtel has allowed a run or more.

Paul McAnulty hit his tenth homer of the season and second in four games. He went 3-for-5 and has an overwhelming lead over his teammates with a .395 on base percentage. His two RBI's tied him for the team lead with Michael Johnson and he now has 26 extra base hits, same as Johnson. McAnulty has also walked a team leading 44 times, good for fourth best in the league.

Peeter Ramos went 1-for-5 with a run scored in his Lake Elsinore debut. Ramos was an All-Star for Fort Wayne this year, batting .296.

Fort Wayne won 8-2

Brett Bonvechio not only had his nine game hitting streak snapped, but also committed an error for the second straight game he has played in. He has three errors on the year since coming to Fort Wayne 14 games ago and all came in the last eight games.

Brian Burgamy returned to Fort Wayne after spending time in Lake Elsinore. He went 0-for-3 with two walks, two strikeouts and two stolen bases, his first swipes of the year.

Juan Ciriaco knocked in a season high three RBI's while also extended his hitting streak to seven games. He is 12-for-29 with five runs batted in during the streak.

George Kottaras hit his first homer in 20 games. Kottaras hit a solo homer and has a modest four game hitting streak going, 6-for-16.

Two games after having a season high four hits, Drew Macias had three hits and two runs scored. He is 8-for-11 in his last three games and has raised his average from .264 to .286 in the process. He did get caught stealing on Thursday.

Howie Pence has now gone ten straight games without allowing an earned run to start his Fort Wayne career. He has given up one unearned run but has been perfect otherwise in 10.2 innings. Over his last three games he has not allowed a hit.

Eugene lost 5-4

Yesterday we said that Brett Burnham did not commit any errors and while that was true, there was a caveat that was missed by the staff – Burnham was the DH! Our apologies for not reporting the proper information. By the way, Burnham was in again on Thursday as the DH. (Thanks to Joel Scruggs of the Eugene Emeralds for pointing this one out).

Every single Emerald batter that had a plate appearance also had a strike out. Eleven Emeralds combined to strike out a whopping 17 times. In four separate innings all the outs were by way of the strike out. Brian Fryer led the way with three K's and has ten whiffs in six games.

Colt Morton is the only player that has played in more than one game to have a hit in each game he has played (four). Morton smacked his first homer of his Eugene season, a solo shot. Morton stroked four while playing with Fort Wayne.

Gary Gallegos has hit four batters in the two games he has started, three coming on Thursday. It was safe to say pitchers didn't like hitters, but this much? Gallegos went 4.1 innings and gave up four runs on five hits and four walks. He has given up ten earned runs in his first two starts, both losses. He has also walked six batters (four on Thursday) and thrown a wild pitch.

Ronnie Robinson inherited two men with one out in the fifth and slammed the door shut on the inning. It was just the opposite of what happened his first time out when he let two inherited score. He did allow a run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch, his second in as many games.


Peoria was off on Wednesday. The reporting will generally be a day late as the announcements from the game do not arrive until the next day.

Denis Savage can be reached at denis@sandiegosports.net

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