Ben Johnson Hits Two; Matt Varner Saves #14

Ben Johnson hits two round trippers while Adam Hyzdu is starting to get hot; Nick Trzesniak has suddenly added speed to his game; Matt Varner is dominating the ninth inning in the Midwest League.

Portland won 8-4

After making three starts with the Double-A BayBears at the beginning of the year Michael Bumstead got promoted to Portland, and moved into the bullpen.  Now back in the starting rotation Bumstead pitched just well enough to win Thursday, going five innings and giving up four runs on a pair of two run homers.  While his pitching just got him the 'W' he certainly helped himself with the bat.  The Beavers four run third inning was capped off by a two RBI Bumstead double.

While Bumstead's bat was nice, everybody got in on the fun Thursday, literally.  Every starter notched at least one hit, three different Beavers had multi-hit games, and Nashville pitchers gave up eight extra base hits in the game.

Right fielder Ben Johnson continued his power surge by going 3-4 with a walk, a double and two solo home runs.  In the last four games Johnson has hit four homers and collected six RBI, at least one in each game.  Five of his seven homers on the year have come in the last seven games.

Left fielder Adam Hyzdu was 3-4 on the day, collecting a pair of doubles, scoring a run and driving in two, though his batting average in Portland is still just .187, he's been selective, drawing 13 walks in 17 games.

Reliever Jack Cassell pitched two scoreless innings to finish the game.  Though his consecutive scoreless appearances streak was halted at 10 on Wednesday he has still allowed only one earned run in his last twelve appearances.

Mobile won 6-3 in 10 innings

Though he didn't collect the win Michael Thompson looked good on Thursday giving up only three runs on seven hits in seven innings.  Thompson has gone at least seven innings in six of his 10 starts this season.

Since it is probably the most thankless job a player can have, we like to point out any time a middle reliever gets a win, and Thursday Natanael Mateo picked up the 'W' with a scoreless eighth inning. 

For center fielder Kennard Jones it was a mixed bag of a day.  Two hits is always nice, three strikeouts isn't as pleasing, but the bases clearing double down the left field line Jones smoked in the top of the 10th inning probably tilted the day in Jones' favor.  That game winning hit should help Jones, and the Mobile coaches, forget that his three K's Thursday give him 12 in his last six games.

Catcher Nick Trzesniak started the season hot, but hadn't seen his average over .300 since the last day in April.  With hits in seven of his last eight games coming into Thursday night is seemed that Trzesniak was rounding back into form, and Thursday confirmed it, as he went 4-5 with a double, two runs scored, and two stolen bases.  Trzesniak has stolen three of his four bases on the season in the last two games.

Lake Elsinore was off Thursday

Fort Wayne won 6-5

Fabian Jimenez's struggled continued, as he failed to make it out of the fourth inning for the third time in his last five starts, but the bats, and solid bullpen work, bailed him out.

Jimenez gave up seven hits and three walks in 3.2 innings, surrendering only three runs (two earned) before leaving.  Reliever Vern Sterry collected the win with 3.1 innings of work that featured three strikeouts, one walk, and only one hit, though that hit was a two run homer.  It is only the second homer Sterry has allowed in 28 innings pitched this year.

Center fielder Yordany Ramirez collected two double and two RBI in his four trips to the dish, while second baseman Sean Kazmar has his second straight three hit game, and drove in two as well.

Matt Varner collected his Midwest League leading 14th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning.  In May Varner has given up only one earned run, has converted seven of his eight save chances, and opponents are hitting just .167 off him.

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