Thompson tagged; Valenzuela's everywhere

Sean Thompson got rocked pitching for Mobile – his shortest outing of the year. The bat of Greg Sain is beginning to come around while Tagg Bozied's still has some smoke on it. Michael Johnson could be headed to the disabled list as Jordan Pickens just begins to find his stroke after spending a good portion on the DL. Fernando Valenzuela triples in front of his father and manager Rick Renteria wasn't happy with the game the Storm played.

Portland had the night off

Mobile lost 8-6


Sean Thompson had his shortest outing of the year, lasting just three innings. He surrendered five runs on seven hits and three walks and now boasts a Southern League ERA of 10.12. Thompson has allowed five runs or more in each of his past three starts, two coming with Mobile. The lefty has also walked three batters in six of his eight starts this year, including each of the last three starts.

Kennard Jones returned to the lineup after serving out his seven game suspension. Jones batted leadoff, dropping Dustin Delucci to ninth in the order. Jones went 1-for-4 with a walk and was caught stealing. He has reached base in 16 straight games.

Greg Sain hit a three run homer, his first blast since April 10, a span of 33 games. The slugger went 2-for-3 and has five hits over his last two nights – extending his hitting streak to seven games. His three RBI's are a season high and he has scored a run in four straight games.

"It felt nice to have the ball bounce off the bat well again," said Sain, who had his second straight multi-hit game. "I think our lineup is hitting a lot better."

Tagg Bozied went 1-for-4 in his third game back and knocked in two more runs to give him eight RBI's on the year.

Lake Elsinore lost 7-6

Manager Rick Renteria, in a closed door meeting with his players, could be heard outside the locker room after the game. He was upset about the poor showing that included three errors, a bases loaded walk, stranding a runner at third base with one out – two players taking call third strikes in that situation, and the baserunning, where Peeter Ramos, the tying run, was picked off rounding second on a double to end the game.

"Every now and then you have to talk to them and remind them that they are professionals," the manager said.

Clark Girardeau allowed one run on six hits in his Storm debut last week. With the Fort Wayne Wizards, the right-hander had allowed three runs or more in his final five starts prior to his promotion. He lasted just 4.1 innings on Wednesday, pulled because of a fastball that was up in the zone, a pitch count that was getting high and two runs crossed the plate in the fifth. Girardeau was charged with four runs, three earned, on four hits and two walks. The righty has not made it through five innings in three of his eight starts on the year.

Juan Ciriaco, batting leadoff again, came into the game hitting .444 off left-handed pitching – 16-for-36 with a .524 on base percentage. He went 0-for-3 off the left-hander he faced on Wednesday. Ciriaco does lead the team with two-out RBI's with 17. Ciriaco also leads the California League in errors, committing his 17th on Wednesday. He is on roughly the same pace as last year when he had 43 miscues in 99 games. He is set for 45 in 99 games this year.

Dirk Hayhurst allowed three runs on three hits and two walks, including an inherited runner. He has allowed the last three inherited runners to score. Hayhurst had walked just five batters through 22.1 innings before Wednesday. He had walked one over his last 10.2 innings.

For the second time in four games – and the second time this year – Fernando Valenzuela Jr. tripled. He had two all of last year and his tortoise speed rarely translates into triples. Valenzuela had the benefit of time when the left fielder dove to try and make the catch but came up empty. It was also his second three-hit game in four contests and he fell a homer shy of the cycle.

"The outfielders keep diving for the ball," Valenzuela said with a chuckle. "It is going to work out that way sometimes. I got a bloop double there too. Sometimes I will line it right at a fielder."

He has no visions of being moved to the leadoff spot anytime soon. Fernando Valenzuela Sr. was in attendance to watch his son play.

"After a hit I wonder what he is thinking," the younger Valenzuela said. "Probably, good job."

Michael Johnson will likely miss an extended period of time as his hand flared up again and the first baseman termed it "worse than last time."

He is heading down to see the doctors in San Diego on Thursday where he will learn his fate. A trip to the disabled list seems like it is in his future.

Prior to going 0-for-3 with a walk and three K's, Jordan Pickens said he is just beginning to see the ball well. He has had to work on his timing when he first came off the disabled list and the dividends are slow in coming. Pickens last three hits have left the park. He has played primarily as the designated hitter as he had been taking cortisone shots for his ailing shoulder.

It is a work in progress he says. "It doesn't hurt when I swing," Pickens revealed. "(Manager Rick) Renteria has talked to me quite a bit about being healthy and if it is bothering me at all to tell him and we will take a day off.

"Timing on the fastball is there. I was jumping at other balls. Any breaking balls I was lunging at and had to be a guess hitter instead of recognizing the ball and swinging at it."

Fort Wayne had the night off


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