Barfield's Streak to 8; Valenzuela Finding Power

Clay Hensley continues to be the promise of Portland, and Josh Barfield continues to remind us why he's the top Portland prospect; Mike Thompson isn't his normal self, but still wins behind the big bat of Mobile teammate Joe Gerber; Fernando Valenzuela Jr. is showing newfound power and Javier Martinez is the benefitiary in Lake Elsniore; Fabian Jimenez's stock falls, and his bullpen isn't helping in Fort Wayne.

Portland lost 5-4


Clay Hensley went six innings, allowing four runs on a season-high eight hits while striking out four.  Hensley has allowed eight runs over his past two starts after allowing seven through his first five starts of the year.  Hensley has limited the opposition to a .200 batting average for the year and has not given up more than five hits in any start until Sunday.


Lee Evans made his debut at catcher for the Beavers and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, including 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position (RISP) – the Beavers coincidentally went 1-for-9 with RISP.  Evans had not played in a game this year and last played in Triple-A in 2004.  He was a .239 hitter with Richmond last year with seven homers and 20 RBI's.  When he entered the game as a catcher, Evans batted just .186 but hit .286 in 17 games at first base.


Kerry Robinson extended his hitting streak to seven games after going 2-for-5.  He has five straight multi-hit games over the streak and has raised his average from .277 to .293.  Robinson has 22 multi-hit games on the year.  The speedy outfielder was caught stealing for the seventh time this year after being nabbed just once all of last year.


Josh Barfield extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 2-for-3.  Ben Johnson homered for the third time in four games and has an RBI in five straight.  J.J. Furmaniak homered for the fourth time in seven games, combining with Johnson to hit back-to-back jacks for the second time this year.


Mobile won 6-5


For the first time this year, Mike Thompson (5-2) allowed more than three earned runs in his start and it marked just the second time he has allowed four or more runs.  He was charged with five runs, all earned, on seven hits and two walks and still recorded the victory when Mobile scored five in the top of the sixth.  Thompson surrendered two home runs in his five innings of work.  The right-hander has allowed two runs or less in nine of his 12 starts on the year.  Thompson now has a 3.51 ERA in away games as compared to 1.40 at home.


Joe Gerber hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to tie the game at 5-5.  It was his second homer in three games after notching just one extra base hits, and five hits total, over his first 49 at bats – including time spent with Portland.  Gerber went 2-for-3 with a walk to give him his third straight two-hit game.  He has also walked in each of those games and scored a run.


Natanael Mateo pitched one inning of scoreless ball and hasn't allowed a run in nearly a month (May 7) and hasn't allowed an earned run since April 29, a span of 15 appearances covering 15.1 innings.  His ERA has dropped from 4.97 at the end of April to 2.25.  Mateo has walked just one batter over his last 12 outings.


One night after benches cleared following Montgomery's 10-8 win, Sunday's game was played without incident. "There is no question this will be an emotional series," said BayBears catcher Luke Carlin. "Hopefully we can pull out a few wins."


Lake Elsinore won 6-4


Steve Baker this and Steve Baker that.  When you are 19-for-36 over a nine game hitting streak, it is easy to see why his name is so popular.  Baker raised his average to .386 on the year by going 3-for-4.  He has scored five runs in his last three games and homered, his fourth of the year.  Baker has nine three-hit games on the year and seven multi-hit games over his current streak.


Javier Martinez went six innings and allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits and three walks to secure the victory.  Martinez has won his last three starts and last four decisions.  Martinez has not allowed more than five hits in any of his past three starts and has given up two earned runs over his last 19 innings.  He has not allowed a homer in his past three starts after giving one up in each of his first eight.


Fernando Valenzuela homered for the second time in as many nights, giving him six on the year. Valenzuela has RBI's in each of his past four games and nine over that span with an extra base hit in each contest.   He is tied for the team league with 35 RBI's.  He went 2-for-3 with a walk and now has 27 walks to 29 strikeouts on the year.


Fort Wayne lost 16-9


Fabian Jimenez was walloped on Sunday afternoon.  He was smacked around for a season high ten runs, all earned, on a season high 11 hits and three walks in 2.1 innings of work.  The lefty gave up three home runs, matching the total of jacks he had given up entering the game in 49.2 innings.  It is the second time this year he has given up eight or more runs and his ERA rose from 4.17 to 5.71 after the outburst.  He was also hit in the leg by a line drive in the second inning to add insult to injury.  He only truly recorded five outs on the day as the opposition hit .688 off him.  Since the beginning of May the opposition is hitting .386.


Vern Sterry followed Jimenez with more misery.  Sterry lasted two innings and gave up season highs in runs, six, and hits, nine.  Two more blasts left the park off the righty – doubling his total of homers allowed for the year.  His ERA ballooned from 3.98 to 5.35.  His nine hits allowed were two shy of the amount he allowed in all of May, spanning 17.2 innings of work.


Tom Vincent was credited with three outfield assists and just missed nailing another runner at home plate early in the game.  Vincent threw out a runner at home plate in the first inning and hit cutoff man Baudilio Figueroa who relayed the ball to third baseman Brett Dowdy – forcing a rundown where Jimenez actually tagged the runner out.  The right fielder also threw out a runner at second base in the fourth inning. Vincent went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.


Six Wizards collected two or more hits, five different players had RBI's and seven scored at least one run, but most of the runs came with the game all but decided.

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