Clark Girardeau returns; Yamid Haad a rough day

Yamid Haad grounded into two double plays, threat killers. Brian Whitaker pitched well but the Mobile BayBears could barely touch the ball leaving eight in scoring position. Clark Girardeau was back on the mound and looked his usual self. Jordan Pickens has picked up his game after a two month slump and he is looking forward to the playoff drive for the Fort Wayne Wizards. Alfredo Fernandez was clobbered. Ben Krosschell threw no hit ball. Matt Bush is wishing he wasn't back.

Portland lost 1-0

Robert Fick went 3-for-4, all singles, in his third game with Portland and is 5-for-9 over his last two games. He and Jon Knott had five of the seven hits the Beavers had on the day. Yamid Haad grounded into two double plays, twice wiping out Fick from the base paths, including a double play with two on and one out in the ninth inning to end the game.

Justin Germano went 7.2 innings and gave up one run on five hits and two walks. It was the third game in a row that he has allowed five hits in a game but without any offense to back him he took the loss. It was his first in eight games, breaking a six game winning streak. Batters are hitting .259 off Germano this year and that includes a tough stretch in June where they batted .354 off him.

Alan Webb relieved Germano with two on in the eighth. He hit the first batter before getting the final out of the inning. Webb has not allowed a run in five straight appearances and has yet to allow a hit or a run in Portland over two years. He had one outing in 2003, going two innings on August 30.

Mobile lost 2-0

Mobile managed just four hits on the day but did draw seven walks. Ronnie Merrill had two hits to lead the BayBears but he was also caught stealing. Rico Washington had a hit and drew two walks. He has six walks in his past four games. The BayBears went a combined 0-for-8 with men in scoring position, 1-for-15 with men on base, and stranded 11 runners.

Brian Whitaker went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He did not walk a batter, just the second time in 20 Mobile starts that he has not walked a batter. Whitaker has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last seven games and has allowed two earned runs or less in six of the seven. He did allow a homer for the second straight game.

Geoffrey Jones, promoted from Lake Elsinore, made his debut on Saturday. He went two innings and did not allow a hit. Jones had allowed just three earned runs with Lake Elsinore in ten outings.

Mobile added first baseman/outfielder Jesse Roman to the roster on Saturday. Roman spent the first half with Mobile before being sent to Lake Elsinore.

Lake Elsinore lost 8-4 in game one; won 3-1 in game two

Kevin Beavers was hammered for seven runs, six earned, on nine hits and four walks. He lasted just 3.1 innings in game one. The nine hits were a season high and the four walks came one short of a season high he established last time out. Beavers had not allowed more than five runs in any game and never more than four earned runs.

Paul McAnulty knocked in a run in both halves of the doubleheader. He knocked in three total and has 80 on the year, tied for seventh best in the California League. Both of his run scoring hits came in the first inning of each game.

Clark Girardeau returned to the mound after missing time with elbow soreness. He had not pitched since August 3 when he had his worst outing as a member of the Storm. He went four plus innings and allowed one run on three hits, all in the fifth inning. He did not get the win as Wilmer Villatoro relieved him and retired the side to pick up the victory.

Fort Wayne lost 6-3

David Mead may have lost his handle on a starter's role with his outing on Saturday coupled with the addition of Michael Ekstrom. Mead lasted two plus innings and allowed four runs on two hits – but five walks. Mead has lost four straight games and five decisions in a row. His five walks matched a season high and it was the second time in three games that he was replaced by the third inning.

Greg Conden came on with two on in the third inning and nobody out. He proceeded to strike out the side without allowing a run to score. Conden pitched 4.1 innings and allowed one run, unearned, on one hit and two walks. Since stepping into a relief role, Conden has not allowed an earned run in 11.1 innings.

Jordan Pickens has a five game hitting streak after going 2-for-4. He is 10-for-20 over the five game hitting streak. He also smoked his third homer during the five game span and has seven RBI's.

Pickens says his problems were more mental than physical and he is looking forward to the playoff push.

"I think as a team, as a whole, we are feeling pretty good," said before the game on Saturday. "Collectively, we are just getting the job done. The past four games we have had some really good pitching and the past two we have had timely hitting. If we can get to where we are solid on defense again, then we are going to be a tough team to beat."

Juan Ciriaco has an impressive streak going. He has committed an error in five straight games and seven during that time frame. He also has 18 in the month of August. To put it in perspective, he has not had an error in just six of his last 18 games.

Eugene lost 7-3

Emeralds' starter Alfredo Fernandez struck out eight but was tagged for three homers and a season high seven runs, six of them earned. Fernandez exited the game after 5.2 innings having allowed a season high nine hits, losing his fourth straight decision. In his past four games he has given up 23 runs in 17.2 innings of work. Fernandez had relinquished four home runs in his previous 56 innings with Eugene. He did allow one homer in his sole appearance with Portland.

Baudilio Figueroa got his first two hits as an Emerald on Saturday, going 2-for-3 with a double. Figueroa also stole a base – well sorta. He cleanly stole second base and then wandered back to first, got caught in a pickle, but returned to first safely in one of the oddest plays of the year.

Christopher Kolkhorst has reached base safely in 20 straight games. He has hits in 16 of the 20 and has drawn 19 walks over that span. His on base percentage is a robust .491.

Sean Kazmar, out the day before with the flu, went 1-for-4 with a homer. It was his sixth jack of the year and first in eight games. Kazmar is hitting .349 at home this year with all six of his homers coming in Eugene but just .193 on the road. Kazmar also kept pace with Lachlan Dale by committing his 24th error of the year.

Henry Colbert pitched in his third game since returning to Eugene from Peoria and for the third game in a row he allowed a homer. He has given up four since his return and has allowed 14 runs in 4.1 innings. Saturday was his best outing. He gave up one run in two innings and lowered his ERA from 10.61 to 10.02.

Peoria lost 5-2 in 14 innings on Friday
Peoria won 5-2 in 10 innings on Saturday

Ben Krosschell threw five innings of no hit, no run ball on Saturday night. He walked three batters and struck out seven. He left the game with the scored knotted at 0-0, thus denied the win. Clearly it was his best outing of the year and the best of any starter in Peoria this year.

Matt Bush returned to the lineup on Friday after leaving the game early a week before. Bush, marred in a 1-21 slump entering the game, went 0-for-6, dropping his average to .140 for the year. He finally got another hit on Saturday to up his average to .153 and added an RBI, his first in six games and sixth on the year.

Pete White was the only player to have two hits in the 14 inning affair. He has four multi-hit games in his last six games and has hit safely in six of seven. Another hit in Saturday's game pushed a hitting streak to four games and seven out of eight in which he has hit safely. White has RBI's in six of his last eight.

Brian Medley was the only Peoria player to have an extra base hit and an RBI on Friday. He did strike out four times in the game. It was the second time in four games that he has gone down on strikes four times in one game. He also whiffed in two of his three at bats on Saturday and he has recorded a K in each of his last nine games.

Steve Delabar had his second strong start in a row on Friday. Delabar went five innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and a walk. He has given up two earned runs over his last ten innings of work but he has no wins to show for it. His ERA has dropped from 5.09 to 4.37.

Kyle Stutes took the loss on Friday when three unearned runs crossed the plate in the 14th inning. Stutes pitched in 3.2 innings and gave up three runs, all unearned, on four hits and a walk. He struck out a season high seven batters.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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