Bumstead into first; Ekstrom ugly debut

Portland moved into first with another strong start from Mike Bumstead. Rene Miniel could not contain the damage as he gave up a homer to the first batter he faced in relief of Brian Whitaker. Sazi Guthrie picked up the win in his second game with Lake Elsinore. Mike Ekstrom debuted and it was ugly. In the good news department, Luke Steidlmayer returned. James Darby struggled through one inning of work. Benjamin Krosschell was dominant again but has yet to see the fruits of his labor.

Portland won 6-3

Mike Bumstead officially made his fourth start of the year. In those games he has not given up more than one run. He went five innings on Friday and allowed one run on four hits and a walk. In 17 innings he has given up three runs. Bumstead has also worked in long relief and has worked 21.2 innings and allowed six runs in his last five games.

Brad Baker remains perfect for Portland. He got his third straight save and has struck out nine batters in his four innings of work. Baker has not allowed an earned run in eight straight games dating back to his time with Mobile. His longest stretch of the year was a 16 game span to open the Mobile season without allowing a run.

Robert Fick went 4-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Since signing a minor league contract with the Padres, Fick has appeared in nine games with Portland and has recorded a multi-hit game in five of them. Friday was the first time he had four hits in a game and reached base five times.

Portland pitcher Chris Oxspring rejoined his teammates in Tacoma on Friday after returning from Athens where he helped lead the Australian Olympic baseball team to a silver medal. Oxspring, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday for the Beavers, was reinstated from the team's temporarily inactive list.

Mobile lost 8-1

Rene Miniel came on with two runners on base in the fifth inning and gave up a homer to the first man he saw. He ended up walking four batters and allowing two hits in an inning and a third. He allowed a bases loaded walk in the sixth. Miniel has been terrible of late. He has allowed five inherited runners to score over his past two games and has given up runs in seven of his last nine appearances.

Brian Whitaker lasted just 4.2 innings and was charged with six runs on seven hits and a walk. In his seven previous games, Whitaker had allowed more than two earned runs just once. Whitaker hit his sixth batter of the year and all have come in the last six games. July 8 was the last time Whitaker did not go five full innings in a game.

Mobile finished with just four hits. Jason Clements went 2-for-3 and Nick Trzesniak added a single while Josh Barfield provided the only run for Mobile, his 18th home run. It was Barfield first homer in 24 games. He has just two extra base hits in his last 20 games. Clements snapped an 0-for-19 slump and is 8-for-15 over his last five games. Everyone in the lineup except Trzesniak struck out at least once.

Ronnie Merrill is day-to-day with neck spasms. He is feeling much better than he was a few days ago when he could barely move from the pain. Merrill ha not played since August 22.

Lake Elsinore won 7-6

After recording one RBI in his first eight games back with the Storm, Michael Johnson has knocked in nine runs over his last seven. Johnson went 1-for-4 with two RBI's and his run scored proved to be the game winner, capping a seven run seventh inning.

Kervin Jacobo is on fire. He went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored on Friday. It was the second straight three hit game for Jacobo. He is hitting .365 in August after hitting .174 in June and .207 in July. Jacobo has also cut down on his strikeouts. Over the last three months he had whiffed an average of 40 times per month. He has just 15 in August.

David Pauley went five innings and surrendered four runs, two earned, on six hits and four walks. Pauley has been victimized by bad defense of late. Six of his last nine runs have been unearned. Paul McAnulty dropped a fly which helped score two on Friday. Pauley has walked a batter in each of his 26 starts on the year. It was the tenth time this year that he has walked three or more in a game.

Sazi Guthrie got the win, pitching two innings of scoreless relief. In his five innings with the Storm he has yet to allow a run. Guthrie has yielded three hits and walked two. He was promoted from Fort Wayne with a 4.23 ERA in 35 games.

Natanael Mateo has moved into the closer's role and got his first save in place of the departed Dale Thayer. It was his second save of the year and first since August 5. Mateo didn't make it easy on himself, allowing a run with two outs before closing the door.

Clark Girardeau has beem moved into the bullpen for the remainder of the season and Kevin Beavers will start. Girardeau has had a sore elbow, cuasing him to miss several starts and the Storm management does not want to jeopardize him the rest of the way.

Fort Wayne lost 8-0

The best news of the day was Luke Steidlmayer returning to the Wizards. Steidlmayer came on in the seventh inning with two on and one out. He struck out the first man he met and got the next batter out on a fly out to conclude the inning without a run scoring.

Michael Ekstrom made his debut with Fort Wayne and it was forgettable. He allowed seven runs on nine hits and a walk in just 3.1 innings of work. His night was capped by four straight hits in the fourth and ended after he surrendered a three run homer. It was only the second homer he has given up all year.

Just three Wizards managed to record hits on the night. Brian Wahlbrink, Justin Smyres and Brett Bonvechio had the hits and none came until one out in the sixth when Bonvechio broke up the perfect game with a double.

Ruben Mora landed on the disabled list on Friday. It comes on the heels of another outfielder, Jordan Pickens, also seeing the disabled list. Word of his injury had not reached our ears at the time of publication.

Eugene lost 7-2

James Darby was victimized by the hit last game but this time around it was the walk that proved to be his nemesis. Darby walked the first three batters he faced before a fielder's choice scored a run. He hit the next batter to load the bases again and then got an out at home. With two outs he walked in a run before giving up the first and only hit of the inning, a two run single. He then hit another batter and walked in a run before getting out of the inning with five runs scored. For the second game in a row he took the loss and has given up nine runs in his last inning of recorded work. He is now tied for the Northwest League lead in hit batsmen with ten. His 34 walks tie him for fourth in the league – but his have come in 25.1 innings of work whereas the other leaders have each worked over 50 innings.

Alfredo Fernandez lasted just one inning and allowed one hit and a walk. He left the game with an undisclosed injury.

Brett Burnham had been out of the lineup since August 20 and returned to go 2-for-4 with a run scored. Since his appearance on the mound, Burnham has gone 8-for-23 to raise his average from .240 to .257.

Jose Lobaton went 2-for-3 with a homer. Four of his six homers on the year have come in his last 11 games and he has five multi-hit games over that time after having just two in his first 24. He has also driven in nine runs over his last 11.

Peoria lost 3-2 in ten innings on Thursday

Benjamin Krosschell went five innings for the second straight start and did not allow a run. He gave up four hits and a walk. He has not allowed a run over his last two starts. Both times, he failed to get the win as the Peoria offense struggles to put runs on the board and the bullpen cannot hold the lead. Over his last ten innings, Krosschell has not allowed a run, given up four hits and walked four while striking out 11. Over his last seven appearances, he has not given up more than one earned run. In three of those games he was charged with ten runs but all but two were unearned.

After giving up runs in three straight relief appearances, Billy Jenkins has held the opposition in check in five straight games. The streak has lasted 8.2 innings and he has given up just four hits and a walk while striking out 12. Jenkins has allowed runs in five of his 17 appearances on the year.

Jodam Rivera had the only RBI of the game for Peoria and he didn't record a hit. He did draw a walk but was also caught stealing. He has been nabbed the last three times he has tried to steal and has been caught more times, five, than successful attempts, four.

Luany Sanchez had two hits for the second time in three games. He raised his average above .200 for the first time since his fifth game of the year. He has played 26 games since then.

Pete White has a four game hitting streak, going 7-for-16 and Nate Whitney extended his hitting streak to eight games.

Peoria was off on Friday and has three games left in the season.

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