Mobile pitching carries team; Doubleheader dismay

Four BayBears to the All-Star team and two had roles in Wednesday's win. Marcus Nettles played the most significant role with his hustle. Greg Conden was hammered on Wednesday and yanked quickly. Eugene lost two low scoring games with Gary Gallegos falling to 0-3 and the season is but two weeks old. Seven errors by the Rookie League Padres told most of the story.

Former Beavers Blaine Neal and Brandon Puffer were both touched for runs pitching for the Padres against Arizona. Neal took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Neal did not register an out. Puffer gave up a two run homer in the eighth and allowed three hits and a walk in his inning of work.

Portland and Lake Elsinore had the night off.

Mobile won 3-1 in 10

Pitcher Steve Watkins has been sent to Portland. Pitcher Edgar Huerta has been activated from the disabled list.

Five BayBears were named to the Double-A All-Star team, four prior to Wednesday's game and a late edition was added on Thursday. Josh Barfield, Greg Sain, Brad Baker and Chris Rojas.

Of the four, Baker is most deserving. His numbers are in a class by himself. The fifth is equally deserving as the setup man to Baker, R.D. Spiehs. Barfield has knocked in 50 runs, but is hitting just .240 on the year. Sain leads the league with 21 homers but his .218 average is less than stellar. Rojas had one small stretch where he surrendered a bunch of runs but has been beyond stellar of late. In his last four games he has allowed just one earned run, spanning 23 innings.

Kennard Jones was dropped from the leadoff spot to the seven hole and responded with his first multi-hit game in 12 games. His average is above .200 for the first time since his first week in Mobile.

Marcus Nettles had his first two hit game since joining Mobile on June 23. Nettles also scored the winning run in the tenth inning eluding a tag at home plate by the catcher after Prince Fielder dropped the ball on a ground out to second by Ronnie Merrill (the other BayBear to have two hits). Fielder threw the ball wide of home and Nettles was able to slide safely in with a headfirst slide. The downward spiral continues for Nick Trzesniak. He is now 2-for-46 over his last 16 games, knocking a .266 average down to .211.

For the eighth time this year, Clay Hensley allowed just one run in his start. That is exactly half of his 16 starts on the year. Perhaps ironically, Hensley has allowed five runs or more in six of his other eight starts. On Wednesday he was in command. He tied a season low by allowing just three hits and walking two while striking out eight, tying his season high that he established in his last start. R.D. Spiehs moved to 4-0 on the season, pitching an inning and a third of one hit ball. His ERA has dropped to 2.17 and has not been above 3.00 since his fourth appearance of the season. He has made 29 appearances since then and is holding opposing hitters to a .211 batting average.

Brad Baker notched his league leading 21st save of the year. He is in the midst of an 11 game scoreless streak his second streak of ten plus games this year. He had a 16 game streak to begin the year. Baker is holding opposing hitters to a miniscule .159 batting average.

"Every pitcher wants that first pitch strike," Baker said. "That is where it all starts. Once you get there then you have a lot of options. I was lucky as guys just swung through the ball. Sometimes they are right on it."

Fort Wayne lost 13-2

Greg Conden had his shortest outing of the year, a 2.2 inning performance where he gave up six runs, three earned, on four hits, three walks and two hit batsmen. Conden has lost four straight games and has not gone more than five innings in any of them.

Errors on Skip Adams and Brian Burgamy cost seven runs against the Wizards. Four scored after the mistake from Adams and three after Burgamy's untimely demise. Ironically both batters are hitting under .200 on the year. Not a good place to be if they are also committing errors.

Drew Macias has had four of his last six hits go for extra bases. Prior to that only six of his last 37 hits went for extra bases. Macias smacked a solo homer on Wednesday, his second solo jack in five games. He also has two doubles within the last four games.

Eugene lost both games of a doubleheader, 3-1 and 4-1

After playing in both games, Sean Kazmar has a ten game hitting streak. He went 3-for-6 on the day, the only Emerald to have a hit in each game, and is 13-for-41 over the streak, a .317 average. His average on the season, however, is just .263 and was .235 entering play today. Kazmar also committed an error in the sixth inning of game two which cost the team a run.

Gary Gallegos took the loss in game one, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks in 5.1 innings of work. Gallegos has walked nine this year in 13.1 innings pitched, thrown two wild pitches and has hit four batters. One run came in when Matthew Varner allowed a single with a man on third that he inherited in relief of Gallegos.

William Ponce took his first loss of the year in game two. Ponce went five and allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and a walk. The eight hits matched a season high, which he surrendered in his first start.

Orlando Diaz has a six game hitting streak, driving in the lone run in game one. Diaz is 7-for-20 over the streak, raising his average from .100 to .267. He has three RBI's in the streak but has yet to secure an extra base hit this year.

Since getting a hit in his first game of the year, Tom Vincent is 1-for-21 over his last eight games. He has struck out eight times in that span.

Peoria lost 7-1

Julio Cruceta extended his hitting streak to seven, going 1-for-5, and his RBI streak to six. He is hitting .500 on the year. Yordany Ramirez also pushed his hitting streak to seven with a 1-for-5 night but was caught stealing for the first time in five attempts.

Brandon Figueroa committed two of the seven Padres' errors on the night and now has four in his first six games. He did score the only Padre run on the night. William Killian also had two errors and Trey Johnston, Joel Santo and Brandon Kintzler were on the losing side of fielding the ball cleanly.

Santo was hurt the most by the follies. He gave up six runs, two earned, on eight hits in just two innings. Santo also threw two wild pitches in taking his first loss of the year.

Kintzler only had one run unearned and gave up three overall in four innings of work. He gave up seven hits and struck out two.

Billy Jenkins came back from a shortened first outing to pitch two innings of hitless ball.

The pitching staff didn't allow a walk on the night.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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