Portland Crushed; Elsinore Wins With Walk Off

A quick tour through the Padres minor leagues feature a Ben Johnson walk off, a struggling Justin Germano, sterling performances from pitchers at the lower levels, and humble pie for the MadFriars family.



As with the start of any season, we work out some kinks as we go.


We errantly reported Sean Thompson walked five batters when in fact he walked three in his Storm debut (he let me have it for getting it wrong and deservedly so).


Also, R.D. Spiehs worked an inning in the opener for Mobile, but those stats were widely reported as belonging to Rusty Tucker.  Spiehs pitched one inning that night and struck out two.



Portland lost 13-3


Justin Germano cruised through his first three innings, allowing just a single and a walk.  The opening batter in the fourth started the barrage, hitting a solo homer to break the dam open.  Three more runs would score in the fourth and another two in the fifth. Germano officially went four innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks.  His ERA this year ballooned to 10.24.


Patterson allowed five runs on six hits in two innings of work.  Patterson spent the 2004 season between the Independent League, where he allowed two runs in three appearances and Memphis of the PCL.   He allowed five runs in 6.2 innings of work, appearing in nine games.  Patterson entered the game having not allowed a run in 3.1 innings of work.


Joe Gerber remains hitless through his first 18 at bats replacing the injured Robert Fick.  Gerber did, however, drive in a run on a sacrifice fly.  Gerber hit .258 in Portland last year through 49 games.


Mobile lost 2-1


Brian Whitaker received no support from his Mobile teammates.  He allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings of work and took home the loss.   He did not walk a batter and struck out three.  Whitaker went 8-9 with a 3.73 ERA in 2004, suffering three no decisions and a loss in games where he allowed two runs or less.


Sain doubled down the left field line, just under the glove of the third baseman in the second inning.  He moved to third on a heads up play when Corey Smith popped out in foul territory along the first base side of the field but was stranded at third after Ronnie Merrill and Nick Trzesniak failed to drive him in.  Sain, however, struck out three times on the day (for the second time this year) and has whiffed a team leading nine times on the year.


Merrill continued his hot hand in the fourth inning, hitting a double to the warning track in left field for a double to score Paul McAnulty from first.  It was the only run of the game for Mobile.  Five of his ten hits on the year have now gone for extra bases.  Merrill is the only BayBear to have hit safely in each of his first five games.


On Monday, Jose Oyervidez' fastball sat between 89 and 92 throughout most of his short night.


Lake Elsinore won 9-5


Michael Johnson hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning – a walk-off slam to win the game.  It was the second consecutive game that he has homered.  Johnson also added a sacrifice fly to give him five RBI's on the night.  Johnson has 11 RBI's on the year with at least one in every game.


Steve Baker went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI's and is 8-for-13 with five doubles over the last three games.  He has knocked in two runs in each of those contests.  He also had two outfield assists in his first two games of the year.


Javier Martinez made his first start in the California League since missing all of 2004.  He went 5.2 innings and allowed five runs on four hits and a walk while striking out eight.  All five runs scored in the second inning with the big blow a three run homer.


Wilmer Villatoro pitched two innings of scoreless relief, striking out the final five batters he faced.  All three batters went down looking in the ninth inning.


Fort Wayne won 4-1


Fabian Jimenez made his first Midwest League start and came away victorious.  The right-hander sailed through six innings, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out three.  He did not allow a run.  Jimenez spent the 2004 season in Rookie League with Peoria.   He went 2-6 with a 6.95 ERA.  He did not last longer than five innings in any start last year and walked 28 in 45.1 innings with batters hitting .330 off him.


Five Wizards had multiple hits with Peter Ciofrone collecting three.  Ciofrone had one other three-plus hit game as a member of the Wizards, collecting four back on July 31, 2004.  He also nabbed his first RBI of the year.  He knocked in 15 a year ago in 42 games.  Tom Vincent had two hits and two RBI's while stretching his hitting streak to four.  Chris Kolkhorst extended his hitting streak to five with two hits.  Sean Kazmar and Matt Bush each had their first multi-hit game of the year.


Matt Varner bounced back from a dismal first outing to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, recording his first save of the year and second as a Wizard.  His last save came on September 5, 2004.  Varner had allowed six runs in his debut outing, blowing a save in the process.



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