Tye Waller in Lake Elsinore; Corey Smith connects

Ben Johnson connected for the first time this year in Portland. Corey Smith did the same in Mobile. Sean Thompson has a run in with Savage in Lake Elsinore and Tye Waller was in attendance. Fort Wayne was one-hit and ten guesses wouldn't land the player that got the hit.

Portland won 6-5

Ben Johnson hit his first Pacific Coast League homer, a solo shot in the second frame. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, just his second multi-hit game of the year through ten contests. He has only scored two runs on the season.

Ben Risinger hit a two-run homer in the first. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI's. He now has a five game hitting streak and leads the Beavers in RBI's with 11. He has reached base safely in all but one of his ten games this year. His second homer of the year in 2004 came in his 47th game.

Bobby Scales extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 1-for-3. He also stole his second base of the year.

Chris Oxspring went five innings and allowed five runs on five hits and no walks. He struck out seven but every batter that reached base scored. He has given up nine runs, eight earned, in tens innings of work this year. Oxspring made five starts before giving up his eighth earned run a year ago.

Mobile lost 5-3

Corey Smith celebrated his birthday a day late when he smashed a two-run homer in the fourth inning and accounted for three of Mobile's five hits on the day. The homer was his first of the year and first as a member of the Padres' organization. Smith spent last year in the Cleveland organization and hit 19 homers in 128 games for Akron.

Luis Cruz is myriad in a season long slump. The shortstop is 3-for-36 to open the year with one walk. He has three errors in the field and has grounded into two double plays. Cruz had three hits in his first two games with Lake Elsinore in 2004 and hit .277 for the year.

Mike Bumstead made his second start of the year and yielded five runs, four earned, on seven hits and a walk. The unearned run was courtesy of a Bumstead fielding error on a bunt. Bumstead had allowed just one run in his first start of the year.

"They put the ball in play," said Bumstead. "I left the ball up in key situations. I tried to battle, but unfortunately we didn't win tonight."

Lake Elsinore won 4-2

San Diego Padres Director of Player Development, Tye Waller, was in attendance on Saturday, checking on his pupils. He offered words of encouragement to Jared Wells before the game, saying he did a nice job in his outing the other night.

He also gave all the credit to his managers at each level, saying, "We try and hire guys that share the same philosophy as us and can nurture guys when they need it. If we can help them in some small way, we have done our job. I would not trade what I do for the world."

How ironic is it that a little leaguer named Taylor Savage, no relation, met up with Sean Thompson on the mound before the game to stand in for the National Anthem. Perhaps it was prophetic given Thompson's razzing of me this past week? He must have known I was watching from the eye in the sky.

Must be why Thompson went on to walk one batter – the last man he faced. He earned the victory by pitching shutout ball through six-plus.

"I knew I was walking on thin ice," he said of taking the hill to begin the seventh inning. "I knew if I went out there and guided it, I was going to walk him on four straight. What did I do? I guided it."

Dave Roberts spent a significant part of batting practice working with Juan Ciriaco, a right-handed hitting shortstop, on his bunting techniques.

Specifically, Roberts worked with Ciriaco on the proper stance and minimizing movement as he was bringing the bat down into bunting position. Ciriaco has a tendency to skip around in the box as he is about to drop the bat down and Roberts told him to calm that down and be fluid – allowing for more control when the bat makes contact with the ball.

"I think the guys really take to him," Storm Manager Rick Renteria said. "His ability to communicate with the guys and talk to them is really special. His presence here is exactly that.

"When you have someone here who has been around and has experienced that level of play and his ability to communicate, it is pretty special. They use it and they take advantage of it and I think they enjoy his presence here.

Fort Wayne lost 2-0

Baudilio Figueroa was the only Wizard to record a hit on Saturday. It was just the second game that Figueroa has appeared in this season. Figueroa batted .115 in eight games for Fort Wayne in 2004.

Matt Bush and Tom Vincent each saw their seven game hitting streaks come to an end, while Chris Kolkhorst had his streak end at eight consecutive games with a hit.

After giving up just two solo homers in his first outing of the year, Clark Girardeau pitched 5.2 innings scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. He left the game after an error allowed a man to reach base.

Vern Sterry came on in relief and allowed more hits than both teams combined for off every other pitcher, five, in taking his second loss of the year. Sterry got out of the sixth inning but a failed pickoff attempt in the seventh led to a run. Sterry also committed another error in the eighth which helped lead to another run.

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