Rusty Tucker in Cali; Kelvin Vasquez homers

There is another Rusty Tucker sighting. Tucker will suit up for the Lake Elsinore Storm as he continues his rehab. Dirk Hayhurst earned his ninth win and has had an ERA under 3.00 all year long. Xavier Nady is back in Portland as Brian Buchanon goes the other way and starts. Nate Sevier gets promoted. Kelvin Vasquez hit his first homer as a pro. A lot is happening with three of the Padres farm teams off.

Portland had the day off

Brian Buchanon had his contract purchased by the Padres and the team sent down Xavier Nady. Nady had not gotten much of an opportunity to play, getting just 37 at bats in two stints with the team over 35 games, the last recall to San Diego coming July 6. He had just seven starts, batting .216 with a homer and five RBI's.

Buchanon got the start in his first game back up and went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.

Mobile had the day off

Nate Sevier was promoted to Mobile from Lake Elsinore. Sevier had a 3.10 ERA with the Storm in 38 appearances. Sevier has allowed runs in three of his last four games for the Storm and allowed runs in 15 of the 38 games he has appeared in overall with four of those games yielding only unearned runs. He has walked just 12 in 52.1 innings while striking out 46.

Josh Barfield leads the league in second half homers (9) and RBI (33) while Greg Sain, Ben Johnson, and Rico Washington are all hitting at least .290 in the second half. The BayBears are second in the league in second half runs scored, trailing only Chattanooga. Mobile finished seventh in first half runs scored.

Lake Elsinore won 4-3

Rusty Tucker will join the Storm on Thursday. He appeared in eight games with the Peoria Padres, throwing in ten innings and allowing four runs, three earned on six hits. Tucker allowed runs in each of his first two outings and then in just one of his next six. He walked four and struck out four while hitting three batters. Tucker has not fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery as his fastball is running in the mid-eighties as opposed to the mid-nineties.

The Storm got just one RBI on the night. That came from Josh Carter who singled in a run. Carter also scored on as passed ball in the third inning and Casey Baker would later score on a bases loaded passed ball. The only other run to cross the plate came in on an error from the opposing pitcher that allowed Brian Burgamy to score.

Wilmer Villatoro won his fourth straight decision on Wednesday. Since giving up runs in six straight games early in the year, Villatoro has given up runs in six appearances out of his last 27. With a two inning, two walk outing, his ERA has dropped below 3.00 to 2.98. It is the first time he has been below 3.00 since the second game of the year. It came down from 12.96. He has gone nine games without allowing a run, spanning 15 innings.

Eddie Bonine went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. Bonine has allowed four hits or less in two of his last three and four times this year. Since joining the Storm, Bonine has held the opposition to five hits or less in seven of his 15 starts. For the fifth time in six games he did not allow a homer. He has had a no decision in six of his last eight games.

Carter extended his hitting streak to nine games with his 1-for-3 night. He RBI was his fourth in two days. He walked twice on Wednesday after not drawing a walk in his previous eight games of the streak. Carter also stole his first base in 24 games but grounded into his second double play in the last four games.

Peeter Ramos and Jesse Roman are both 5-for-8 over the last two games.

Fort Wayne won 5-2

Dirk Hayhurst moved to 9-3 with a decisive victory in front of 2,054 fans. He allowed two runs on six hits and three walks in seven innings of work. After walking just five batters in his first nine starts, Hayhurst has walked a batter in each of his last seven games and 11 overall. Wednesday was the first time he walked three in a game all year. Hayhurst has gone seven innings in four of his 11 starts and has now allowed more than three runs over his last 13 starts.

Drew Macias singled in a run but was caught between third and home later in the inning and tagged out for the final out of the inning. It was the only hit of the day for Macias but extended his hitting streak to five games.

Brian Wahlbrink connected with a ball, smacking it into right-center for a stand up triple with two men on in the fourth, his fifth triple of the year. He now has a six game hitting streak, going 11-for-26 with two homers, a double and a triple. Wahlbrink has knocked in six over the streak and has raised his average from .250 to .262.

Ruben Mora hit a homer over the right field wall, his first homer as a Wizard and first homer of the year in 35 games. His last homer came in 2002 with Idaho Falls. Mora went 2-for-4 and has had multiple hits in each of his last two games after starting his Fort Wayne career 1-for-10.

Eugene had the day off

Peoria lost 4-3

Kelvin Vasquez went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. It was his first home run as a member of the Padres organization. He leads the club in extra base hits with 12, pounding out eight doubles, three triples and a homer. His two hit night marked his twelfth multi-hit game of the year in 32 games.

Christopher Rayborn made his third start of the year and went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and two walks. It was the second game in a row that Rayborn has gone at least five innings and allowed four hits. Of the ten base runners he has officially (not counting errors) allowed over the last two games, eight have scored. Rayborn has hit six batters in his last four games, including at least one in each.

Nate Whitney is in a 3-for-28 slump that has knocked his average from .298 to .250. Perhaps most amazing about the slump is he has struck out just three times. He has struck out 20 times on the year in 33 games while walking 12 times to lead the club. He has not drawn a walk, however, over his last 12 games.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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