Steidlmayer pitches deep; Bourassa makes mark

Jason Kershner has been a welcome addition to Portland while the two young stars are beginning to shine for the Beavers. Brian Whitaker suffered his league leading seventh loss. Steve Baker continues to rake in the Cal League and new addition Adam Bourassa made his presence known in a positive way. Luke Steidlmayer earns his sixth victory – the third Wizard to get that distinction and talks about lasting beyond the fifth and his velocity.

Portland won 6-4

The Beavers added catcher Lee Evans to the roster on Saturday. Evans replaces Troy Cameron who was released. Evans last played with Double-A Greenville in the Atlanta Braves system in 2004.

Josh Barfield extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single. Barfield is 11-for-30 over the life of the streak with six RBI's. The second baseman is hitting .298 with runners in scoring position, 34 points higher than his average and similar to last year when he hit 80 points higher than his average with runners in scoring position.

Ben Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 on the day with a walk, two runs scored and a solo homer. Johnson has raised his average to a season high .274 and has a four-game RBI streak. He has also homered three times in his last six games, eight times in his last 17, and has knocked in 17 over his last 17 games.

Since arriving in Portland, Jason Kershner has made a relief appearance in nine games spanning 12.1 innings. The reliever has allowed three runs on seven hits – a 2.19 ERA and a .163 batting average against – and has gone 3-0 with wins in consecutive appearances. He did not allow a hit in an inning and a third on Saturday, stranding one inherited runner.

Justin Germano went 6.2 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk. He also served up two homers, making up for the one game this year, last time out, that he did not allow a homer. He has given up 11 homers in 11 starts – almost as many homers as walks (15). Germano has given up four or more runs in five of his 11 starts but has allowed just one first inning run on the season.

Mobile lost 10-8

Brian Whitaker allowed eight runs, five earned, on a season-high 11 hits in five innings of work to take his seventh loss of the season, tied for most losses in the Southern League. In 65.1 innings, Whitaker has yielded 86 hits and has allowed ten hits or more in three of his 12 starts.

"You have to stay positive. You have to come to the ballpark every day and prepare mentally to win," said BayBears manager Gary Jones.

Luke Carlin went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI's. It was the first three-hit game for Carlin since his first start of the year on April 9. The catcher ‘s two doubles marked the first time this year he has had two extra base hits in the same game. He has, however, notched five multi-RBI games on the season.

Ronnie Merrill hit his sixth homer of the year, coming in his 52nd game to match his total of last year in 91 games played. Merrill had three hits on the night, his 14th multi-hit game. He has knocked in five runs over the last five games with five runs scored and five extra base hits.

Lake Elsinore won 9-8

Adam Bourassa, making his Storm debut and playing in left field, went 2-for-4 with a walk and knocked in the winning run in the ninth inning with a single. Bourassa has walked more than he has struck out in each of his past two years, 78-to-58, although he is on pace to break that mark this year with 12 walks to 18 strikeouts on the year. His two-hit night was his fourth multi-hit game in 32 games played on the year.

Steve Baker took over the California League lead in batting average at .377 with a 2-for-3 night. He extended his hitting streak to eight games, going 16-for-32 over the streak. He logged his first triple of the year on Saturday and drove in three runs. Over the last two games, Baker has as many walks, four, as he had in his previous 39 games.

Leo Rosales benefited from the winning single from Bourassa after blowing his fourth save of the year. After issuing a walk, Rosales gave up a two run homer that tied the game at 8-8. Rosales has given up runs in eight of his 23 appearances on the year and has given up two or more runs in four of those. Rosales allowed runs in eight of his 53 outings in 2004.

Fort Wayne won 6-1

"I am at a 90-pitch count and hopefully I can get deep into a game and pass the 5th inning one of these days – through the sixth," right-hander Luke Steidlmayer said prior to his start on Saturday.

As if the words were the magic cure, Steidlmayer completed his longest outing of the year, going seven innings and surrendering one run on six hits and two walks while striking out three. His longest outing of the year had been 5.2 innings of work. Steidlmayer has made five starts and has allowed one earned run or less in three of those. He has still only allowed four hits in 50 at bats with runners in scoring position.

"It is probably pretty close to what it was," Steidlmayer said of the velocity on his fastball after recovering from Tommy John surgery. "Maybe a little bit less but to be honest I think it is pretty close. It feels like I have what I used to have."

Yordany Ramirez went 2-for-4 with two RBI's to extend his hitting streak to five games, going 7-for-18 over that time span. The centerfielder had two extra base hits, including his third homer of the year. He has an RBI in each of his past three games and despite hitting .219 for the year, he is hitting .293 with runners in scoring position. Ramirez has gone 15 straight games without drawing a walk.

Colt Morton smashed his eighth home run of the year and second in as many nights. Four of his homers have been solo shots and his eight homers account for nearly half of his 18 runs scored on the year. Morton's 32 RBI's lead the Wizards and rank in the top ten in the Midwest League.

Billy Killian made his Midwest League debut, coming on in the ninth inning as a replacement for Morton. Just over a week shy of his 19th birthday, Killian spent last year with Peoria in the Arizona Rookie League and at Triple-A Portland as a bench player.

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