Gabe Ribas rocked; Jared Wells solid

Chris Oxspring is back and Jon Knott is still on fire. Gabe Ribas struggled in his first Mobile start. Jared Wells didn't in his second Storm start. Howie Pence's streak comes to an end as Greece-bound George Kottaras continues to pound the ball. Do you believe in miracles? Colt Morton hit a homer and it wasn't a solo shot! The pitching in Eugene was stellar as four pitchers combined for a three hit shutout. Rusty Tucker hates the Royals farm team.

Portland won 3-1

Chris Oxspring is back to his early season form. Oxspring went seven innings and allowed one run on four hits and three walks. The only run to score came on a wild pitch from Oxspring with one out in the fifth. In six of his ten starts Oxspring has held the opposition to four hits or less.

Jon Knott is closing in on Todd Donovan. With a home run on Sunday, Knott has reached base safely in 24 games (Donovan had 28). Included in that stretch is a ten game hitting streak and his current 13 game streak. He is 18-for-47 with 12 walks in his current streak, a .508 on base percentage. Strangely, Knott has just 15 walks in his other 43 games on the year.

Mike Bynum recorded his second save in as many chances. He had not registered a save over his previous 31 appearances but has been pressed into duty with Lou Pote on the disabled list and Bart Miadich released. Bynum allowed two hits in the ninth, both with two outs, before recording the final out.

Freddy Guzman swiped three bases on Sunday and now has 40 between Mobile (17) and Portland (23).

Mobile lost 6-2

Gabe Ribas got shelled in his first start for Mobile. Ribas lasted just two innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk. It was the shortest start of the year for Ribas who was just called up to Mobile from Lake Elsinore. Ribas had one appearance in relief prior to the start. He had only allowed five earned runs or more (eight) in one other start the entire year, spanning 13 starts.

Alan Webb continues to pitch well. He has only allowed hits, three total, in two of his last eight games and has allowed just one run in his last 13 relief appearances for Mobile. He went one inning on Sunday and struck out one. His ERA has dropped from 11.70 to 4.61.

Josh Barfield's batting average continues to dip. Hitting around .250 for most of the year, his average is down to .235. May 6 was the last time his average was lower than it is after play on Sunday. He also has drawn only three walks in his past fourteen games. Ironically he has only struck out five times over the same time span.

Joe Gerber hit his second two run homer in the past four games on Sunday. Gerber went 2-for-4 and was the only BayBear player to have multiple hits.

Lake Elsinore won 4-2

Jared Wells made his second start for the Storm and went six innings. He did not surrender a run on seven hits and two walks. Wells had given up two earned runs, three overall, in his first Lake Elsinore start. It was the seventh time this year Wells has allowed one run or less in a start but just the second time he has not allowed a run at all in his 16 starts.

Dale Thayer earned just his second save in his last 12 appearances for the Storm. He has gone 15 straight games without allowing an earned run and has now allowed just one run in his last 31 appearances. His ERA sits at 1.66 on the year and the only reason it is that high is because he allowed six earned runs in his first appearance of the year.

Josh Carter has stolen a base in two consecutive games. Since he only has three on the year it is quite an accomplishment. But what has him in the notebook again today is another 3-for-4 night with an RBI. He is now 11-for-17 over his last four games and is 22-for-43 over his last 11. He has had nine multi-hit games in that span.

Peeter Ramos also had three hits in four trips to the plate. It was his first three hit game since joining the Storm seven games ago. Ramos batted .296 for Fort Wayne before getting promoted and is now at .276 with Lake Elsinore. He also added his second stolen base with Elsinore and 22nd overall between the two leagues.

Fort Wayne lost 6-4

David Mead got his second start of the year and in ten innings pitched he has hit more batters than he has allowed hits. Mead hit two more batters on Sunday after hitting three in his first start. He has only allowed four hits over the span. One of the two batters he hit scored and both hits came against Mead in the sixth inning, where he was charged with three earned runs. Mead allowed just one of those runs to score before Henry Perez relieved him with one out. Perez threw a wild pitch which scored one of the runs and a sacrifice fly followed to score the other.

Howie Pence struck out five batters in two innings and allowed a run on one hit. He gave up a single to open the eighth to Mitch Maier. Maier stole second and third and came home on a wild pitch, the first earned run Pence has allowed all year.

Catcher George Kottaras went 3-for-4 for the second time in his last three games, hit his fifth homer of the season and drove in two runs. His average is now at .308, the highest it has been since he started the year 1-for-3. On the downside, Kottaras committed two errors, the first time has erred since April 27.

Eugene won 9-0

Mike Ekstrom got his first start of the year for the Ems on Sunday. Used in relief in his four previous scoreless appearances, Ekstrom went just three innings. He allowed one hit and walked his first batter of the year.

Jonathon Ellis got the win by pitching three innings of relief and giving up just a walk while striking out one. Ellis had given up five runs in his previous 2.2 innings over three appearances. He is now 1-2 on the year.

Colt Morton has now homered in four consecutive games for Eugene and he did something in the process. For the first time since joining the Ems, Morton hit a blast that was not a solo shot, but a three run blast. He has now hit five in his last four games and seven overall in 12 games with Eugene. Morton has only driven in one run this year with Eugene that was not part of his home run trot and 12 of his last 13 RBI's between two leagues have been because of a home run.

Shortstop Sean Kazmar has started his Padre minor league career with a 14 game hitting streak. He is one away from tying the mark for the longest hitting streak in the Padres system, set by Marcus Nettles at 15 while with Lake Elsinore. Orlando Diaz also extended his streak to eight games.

Craig Johnson did not have an RBI through his first nine games. On Sunday, Johnson came through with three. After getting two hits in his first 18 at bats, Johnson has seven in his last 13 with three doubled and seven runs scored.

Peoria lost 2-0

Rusty Tucker hit three batters in the ninth inning and allowed one hit in giving up a run in his sixth game in Peoria. Tucker had not allowed a run in his previous three outings and has given up three earned, four overall, in eight innings of work. He has only struck out three batters and has walked two.

Luke Steidlmayer pitched five scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out four. He has now had two scoreless outings sandwiched around a two inning four run outing. Steidlmayer is on rehab down in Peoria because of problems with his shoulder. He may rejoin another minor league affiliate shortly.

Kelvin Vasquez has a six game hitting streak where he is 9-for-25. He added his first stolen base of the year on Sunday. Daryl Jones is 13-for-33 over a seven game hitting streak. He did commit his second error of the year.

Peoria committed four errors on Sunday with both catchers on the squad contributing one apiece.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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