Justin Germano goes eight; Nate Whitney five

A streak in Portland sadly ended on Sunday but a win nonetheless for Justin Germano. Rene Miniel gave up a homer in extra innings. Geoffrey Jones made a successful debut in relief of David Pauley. Dirk Hayhurst pitched well but Chuck Bechtel did not. Alfredo Fernandez pitched shutout ball but the ailing Ems offense could not score a run, even in extra innings. Christopher Rayborn was rocked in his first start but was bailed out by hitting and more hitting. Nate Whitney led the charge.

Portland won 6-4

Third baseman Jake Gautreau sprained an ankle after doubling in his first at-bat in the second inning. He was taken out of the game and is day-to-day. Gautreau is hitting .323 since joining Portland.

Justin Germano went eight solid innings, one inning shy of his third complete game in a row. Germano was scored upon in the opening frame, ending a scoreless streak of 23 innings. With the win Sunday, Germano has gone 3-0 over his last three starts with an ERA of 0.69. He allowed his first homer in four games, a solo shot that made the score 4-2 Beavers in the fifth.

Alex Fernandez was one of two Beavers to have two or more hits. He went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI's. His triple in the second put the Beavers in the lead for good. It was the first triple of the year for Fernandez after having two with Portland in '03.

Marty McLeary came on in the ninth with the bases loaded after Mike Bynum issued three straight singles and a walk to open the inning before recording a strikeout. McLeary allowed one run to score on a ground out and struck out the next man to end the game. McLeary now has five saves on the year and all have come over his last six games.

Left-hander Sterling Hitchcock returns to the Beavers for his third rehab start on Monday as he continues to come back from a groin injury. Hitchcock pitched for Lake Elsinore this past week, throwing four innings of shutout ball and striking out seven.

Mobile lost 5-4 in 13

The BayBears have lost 18 of their 29 games in the second half, a franchise record for futility. It is the fastest that they have lost 18 in a half in club history. Mobile relievers have a 1-9 record in the second half after posting a 13-6 mark in the first half.

Mobile was no hit over the last 7.2 innings of the game. The last hit came off the bat of Greg Sain who singled with one out in the fifth.

Brian Whitaker went 6.1 innings and gave up four runs, two earned, on six hits and two walks. He has kept the opposition to six hits or less in each of his last three starts after allowing seven or more in his previous five outings. Whitaker had kept the opposition to a .148 batting average combined in the sixth and seventh innings coming into Sunday. They were 4-for-8 off him on Sunday, raising that average to a cumulative .188.

A throwing error on Kennard Jones in the seventh scored two runs and tied the game. The error was the second of the inning as Josh Barfield booted a ball on the previous play. It allowed the game to go into extra innings as Mobile had a 4-2 lead.

Rene Miniel allowed a solo homer to Shane Victorino, a former Padre farmhand, with two outs in the top half of the 13th. It broke a string of 6.2 innings of scoreless work by the Mobile bullpen. Miniel has now allowed homers in consecutive relief appearances after allowing two homers in his first 28 outings. He has given up runs in eight of his 14 Mobile appearances.

Lake Elsinore won 9-3

David Pauley was solid through five, allowing two hits and no runs. With one out in the sixth, Pauley gave up two walks and three hits before getting yanked. On the day the tally was three runs, all scoring in the sixth, on five hits and three walks. It was the first time this year that Pauley did not complete the sixth inning but still earned a victory.

Brian Burgamy has hit safely in 14 of his last 17 games between two leagues. He has hit in all but two since rejoining the Storm 12 games ago. Until this past weekend, Burgamy had not had a multi-hit game. After going 2-for-4 on Sunday, he now has two in a row. He has driven in four runs over the last two games and has RBI's in five of his last six games. He has raised his average from .204 to .252 with his recent tear.

Luis Cruz extended his hitting streak to ten games with a double. It was his third extra base hit in his last four games after not having any over his first six of the streak. He is 16-for-44 overall during the streak. It is his second ten game hitting streak of the year.

After having just four RBI's in his first 25 games with Elsinore, Peeter Ramos exploded for three on Sunday. He went 3-for-5 with a double, his fourth three hit game since joining the Storm.

Geoffrey Jones made his debut with Lake Elsinore and pitched out of a jam in the sixth. With runners on the corners and one out, Jones got out of the inning without any damage. Jones completed the next inning with just a walk issued. He had been pitching in Peoria, allowing one earned run in five appearances.

Fort Wayne lost 8-5

Every Wizard batter except Brian Wahlbrink had a hit in the game, including Baudilio Figueroa who added his first two since joining Fort Wayne. Figueroa went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI's. His homer in the second put Fort Wayne ahead 2-0 and was his third homer of the year over two different leagues. Baudilio entered the game 0-for-5 in two games after hitting .308 in 15 games with Peoria. Figueroa also committed his second error in three Midwest League games and has five errors in his last seven games played.

After not walking over his first 20 games, Chris Miller has drawn a walk in each of his last two games. Miller walked in front of Figueroa's homer in the second and added a single to give him a three game hitting streak, tying his longest hitting streak of the year. Ronnie Robinson made his debut in the bottom of the eighth inning with runners on the corners and two outs. He faced one batter, inducing a foul out to end the inning. It was the second time this year that Robinson has come into a game with two runners on and not allowed them to score, the last time coming with Eugene where he started the year.

Dirk Hayhurst has not pitched more than 5.1 innings in each of his past three starts after going six or more in the previous four. Hayhurst left after five having surrendered two runs on six hits and a walk. It was the fifth straight game that Hayhurst has issued a walk – significant since he had only walked five over the first nine starts he made on the year and one while he pitched in nine games of relief. Hayhurst left the game with a 3-2 lead.

For the fifth time this year, reliever Chuck Bechtel allowed four or more runs in a relief appearance, all coming during his time with Fort Wayne. Bechtel took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits and a walk in an inning and a third. He left the game with runners on second and third and both scored and were charged to Bechtel.

Eugene lost 1-0 in 12

Alfredo Fernandez had the second longest outing of any Emerald pitcher (Vern Sterry had the longest) and the longest outing of his career. Fernandez went seven innings, scattering five hits but not walking a batter. He did not allow a run and struck out three. It was the second time in the last three games that he held the opposition off the scoreboard and the second time in nine starts that he did not walk a batter.

Between two different leagues, Jose Cespedes has been perfect in four of his ten outings, not allowing either a hit or a walk. Cespedes began the year with Peoria before being promoted to Eugene. He went two innings, retiring six in a row on five ground outs and a fly out. He has allowed runs in three of his ten games to date.

James Darby issued two walks, hit a batter and allowed a single in two-thirds of an inning to take the loss, his first of the year. Darby has walked a batter in 12 of his 13 outings. He leads all relievers in walks allowed with 19 in 13 innings of work. He has allowed runs in seven of his games this year including three outings where he did not allow a single hit.

The first three times that Eugene put runners in scoring position, Ruben Mora was responsible. He doubled in the fourth and was stranded at third as two players could not get him in. Mora then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move a runner over before singling in the ninth and getting stranded at second.

Eugene had the bases loaded with one out in the tenth but both Tom Vincent and Matt Thayer struck out to end the threat.

Peoria won 12-11

Christopher Rayborn was shelled in his first start of the year. Rayborn lasted two and a third of an inning, surrendering eight hits, hitting three batters and uncorking two wild pitches. Rayborn was charged with six runs on the afternoon. He entered the game having allowed four earned runs over 8.1 innings of work.

E.J. Shanks gave up his first earned run of the year and by the end of the day had surrendered three in 2.2 innings of work. He was also tagged for a homer. He had gone seven appearances without allowing an earned run, spanning 9.1 innings.

For the second time this year, Nate Whitney drove in five runs. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and a sacrifice fly. He has now tripled three times over his last six games and leads the team in RBI's with 16.

Luany Sanchez was 0-for-4 at the plate and even worse behind the plate. Six players stole a base against Sanchez and not a one was caught.

Denis Savage can be reached at denis@sandiegosports.net

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