Kyle Blanks a loaded gun; Ben Krosschell shot down

Kyle Blanks makes an impressive debut with Peoria while Ray Gill continues to make an impact after a great college career. Chris Oxspring has the hot hand and Josh Barfield showed why he is playing in the All-Star Futures Game. Brian Whitaker didn't get any support in losing his ninth game. Eddie Bonine is easing into the starter's role nicely. Ben Krosschell wasn't treated kindly in his Northwest League debut.

Portland won 3-1

Chris Oxspring yielded one run over 6.1 innings of work, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out three to get his fifth victory over his last six starts. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of those six starts and has lowered his ERA from 6.80 to 4.45 in the process, aided by a 2.43 ERA during the month of June.

Josh Barfield, fresh off being the sole San Diego Padre prospect selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game, went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored on Wednesday. Barfield is hitting .364 during the month of June with seven of his 15 extra base hits coming this month.

Greg Sain made his Triple-A debut and went 0-for-3 with an error while playing first base. Sain had four errors in 64 games with Mobile.

Mobile lost 2-0

Ronnie Merrill accounted for half of the hits gathered by the BayBears. He went 3-for-4, breaking an 0-for-14 stretch, notching three singles in an offensive deficient game. Merrill did, however, commit an error that led to an unearned run.

Brian Burgamy made his Double-A debut and went 0-for-4 with a K. Steve Baker got his first hit in Southern League play, a single but has struck out five times in eight at bats since joining the team. Casey Baker upped his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in three at bats. Pitcher Mike Thompson made an appearance as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, grounding out with runners on first and third to end the game.

Brian Whitaker allowed two runs, one earned, over six innings of work on eight hits and a walk. He served up a homer for the first time since May 9, a span of seven starts without allowing one. He has allowed one earned run over his last two starts after giving up 19 in his previous three. He now leads the Southern League in losses with nine and is tied for third with the most losses in all the minors.

Paul Abraham made a successful Double-A debut, tossing an inning and a third of scoreless ball. Abraham allowed five earned runs in 35 appearances for Lake Elsinore over a span of 42 innings. He began the year with 20 straight appearances without surrendering an earned run.

Lake Elsinore lost 5-3

Eddie Bonine made his second start of the year, going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits. In ten innings as a starter, he has allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits while striking out eight. As a reliever Bonine had a .313 average against while he has a .231 average against as a starter.

The Storm replaced the two California League All-Stars who won't play in the game due to promotions with two of their own. Pitcher Jared Wells and catcher George Kottaras will head to Maryland for the game. Speaking of Kottaras, he had two of the three Storm RBI's on the night and has driven in seven over his last five games. Kottaras has 12 extra base hits in 21 June games after netting 12 in his first 41 games.

Fort Wayne had the day off

Eugene lost 6-1

Ben Krosschell made his Northwest League debut after spending his initial season with Peoria. Unfortunately, it wasn't a picture perfect night as he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in 3.2 innings of work. The right-hander pitched in 14 games for Peoria in 2004, 11 starts, and went 1-3 with a 2.42 ERA. He allowed just two earned runs over his last 20 innings of work. During that time he was tagged with two losses as eight unearned runs crossed the plate. He did not allow a run over his last ten innings of work and struck out 11 during that time.

Brian Cavanaugh, selected by the San Diego Padres in the 21st round of the 2005 draft, struck out in his first at bat of the season on Tuesday but provided the only offense for the Ems on Wednesday. His first professional hit was a solo homer – one of just five hits for Eugene on the night. Cavanaugh finished his senior season at East Carolina with a C-USA leading .382 average, belted seven homeruns with 36 RBI and 14 stolen bases. He led the Pirates in hits (79), total bases (120), triples (4), slugging percentage (.580), on base percentage (.444) and was second in runs scored.

Peoria won 12-6

Kyle Blanks, a draft and follow signee by the Padres, hit a home run in his professional debut and drove in an astounding six runs, going 3-for-4 while adding in a double and a sacrifice fly. He was also thrown out at home trying to score in the eighth inning. Blanks was selected in the 42nd round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft and signed days before the 2005 draft. He batted .440 and stole 23 bases for Yavapai Community College in Arizona, winning Player of the Year honors.

Ray Gill, a 27th round draft pick by San Diego in 2005, went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI's in his debut. Gill is the all-time leader in home runs (66) and RBIs (261) while playing for Brevard Community College. This past season for Brevard, Gill hit .315 with 16 homers, 10 doubles and a .619 slugging percentage. He walked 39 times, two short of the school record, after breaking single-season marks with 25 home runs and 83 RBIs in 2004.

Peoria veteran Juan Jimenez got the start and went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five. Jimenez went 1-0 with a 0.89 ERA pitching for Peoria in 2004. He made just four appearances and had one start. But he went seven innings in two of those games, one coming in relief. He allowed just two runs over that 14 innings span and gave up two earned runs all year in 20.1 innings of work. He struck out 14, gave up 12 hits, and walked two.

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