CG for Chris Oxspring; Seth Johnston debuts

Chris Oxspring pitched a beauty to redeem himself. Brian Sweeney has been consistent, giving the Beavers a chance each time out. George Kottaras is picking up the doubles stroke. Clayton Hamilton was rock solid and the offense in Fort Wayne finally came through. Brent Carter pitched well but the offense labored in Eugene. SS Seth Johnston debuted and had the lone RBI, but had a chance for more. John Hussey had a no-hitter but got a little wild in allowing a run. Gigantor is still humming along.

Portland won 5-0, lost 6-3

Chris Oxspring closed out the first game of the doubleheader with a seven inning complete game shutout, his first no-run outing of the year. The Aussie allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out four. It comes on the heels of the worst outing of his career (nine runs in two innings). It marks the ninth time in 17 starts that he has given up two earned runs or less. Oxspring is 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA at home this year and has limited the opposition to a .199 average against. By contrast, he has a 6.89 ERA on the road with a .307 average against.

Brian Sweeney got the start in game two and stayed about as consistent as he could be. His ERA before the day is the same as it is after the start, 3.65. He gave up two runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work. It is the seventh straight time he has given up two runs or less in an outing and he has yet to surrender more than three runs in nine games.

Catcher Lee Evans is 0-for-25 over his last eight games and 1-for-36 on the season, a .028 average. He has struck out 14 times and walked five times. Behind the plate he has tossed out two of 13 runners trying to steal.

Mobile suspended due to rain

Lake Elsinore won 9-8

Luke Steidlmayer worked six innings and gave up six runs, three earned, on eight hits while striking out five. The righty has given up 18 runs in three starts with Lake Elsinore but only ten of those have been earned. He does own a 15-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio since joining the Storm after walking 21 in 59 innings with Fort Wayne.

A day after two sacrifice flies scored two runs, George Kottaras went 2-for-5 and knocked in three. He has eight RBI's in the last five games and six of his last nine hits have been doubles. The catcher has reached base safely in 14 of his last 15 games. Each of the last eight baserunners attempting to steal have been successful against Kottaras.

Brett Bonvechio committed three errors on Saturday, trying to single-handedly lose the game for the Storm. His errors cost the team four unearned runs and brought his total to 25 for the year and tie him for second among all third basemen in errors in all the minors.

Fort Wayne won 4-3

The Wizards scored four runs in the top of the ninth to give Clayton Hamilton the win and it was just enough to fend off the competition as three runs scored off Ryan Klatt and Matt Varner. Hamilton did not relinquish a run in eight innings of work, giving up five hits and two walks. It is the 13th time this year that he has given up two runs or less in an outing. He did not whiff a batter for the first time this year, inducing 14 ground outs and 10 fly outs. In 18 starts, Hamilton has given up three first inning runs.

Matt Varner came in with two outs in the ninth and a man on. He ended up giving up a two run homer before closing the door for his Midwest League leading 24th save. It is the third appearance in a row that Varner has allowed a run – the first time that has happened in 31 appearances. He has given up homers in consecutive games after going 28 straight outings without allowing one.

After going 1-for-13 with Peoria, Trey Johnston made his first appearance as a member of the Wizards. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Johnston was the designated hitter but has played third base and catcher this year.

Eugene lost 2-1

Seth Johnston made his professional debut after being signed by the Padres on Saturday, going 0-for-4 with an RBI and two K's. He has a golden opportunity in the ninth with the bases loaded and nobody out but grounded out to score the line Emerald run of the game.

Johnston is the 11th pick taken in the first ten rounds to sign, leaving only Mike Baxter – who prefers to play first base rather than moving to the outfield – unsigned. Johnston, taken in the fifth round, led the nation in at bats with 304, was third in the nation in hits with 115 and was eighth in total bases with 172 as a senior at Texas. Johnston hit .378 with nine homers, 20 doubles, five triples and 66 RBI's. He also stole 15 bases in 24 attempts and committed 16 errors in 72 games.

"I came back for my senior year after having a little bit of an injury the second half of my junior year," Johnston explained. "I wanted to come back healthy. I played second base last year and played short this year and I feel like I made myself a much better baseball player. I hit for a pretty high average this year, showed some power and stole some bases, showing I could run pretty well."

Brent Carter made his fourth start of the year and took the loss without run support. He gave up two runs over seven innings on five hits while striking out seven. Carter has a 20-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio early in the year. He has given up two runs or less in three of his four starts but is 1-2. Lefties are hitting .353 off him, also a lefty, on the year.

Brian Cavanaugh had two of Eugene's three hits on the night, stretching his hitting streak to eight games. He is 10-for-32 over the streak with six RBI's while batting anywhere from second in the lineup through eighth in the lineup. All ten hits have been singles and just two of his 19 have gone for extra bases. The only place he has not hit is in the leadoff spot, seventh and ninth.

AZL Padres lost 5-4 in 11 innings

While William Venable had his nine game hitting streak snapped, Casey Smith continues to cruise along with a seven game roll after going 2-for-5. He has homered in consecutive games and has RBI's in four straight with ten RBI's over that span. Smith has a hit in every game since joining Peoria and has four multi-hit games in a row.

Kyle Blanks, known as "Gigantor" around these parts, homered for the second time in as many games to pad his league leading total now at seven. Through 14 games he has already homered on consecutive days twice and has one two-homer game. Blanks ha scored ten runs over the past six games, including at least once in each game. He also has an RBI streak of four games. On Saturday, however, he struck out four times in addition to his homer and has one walk on the year compared to 13 K's.

John Hussey didn't allow a hit over four innings and was perfect through his first three innings of work. In the fourth, Hussey walked three and hit a batter to score the only run against the Australian import. Hussey allowed six runs his last time out but has held the opposition to two runs or less in three of his four outings on the year. He has also held opponents to one hit or less in two separate outings and has held them to a .203 batting average against on the year.

Daniel Baca came in with the bases juiced in the seventh and nobody out. The opposition has just two hits in 19 at bats with runners in scoring position this year. He allowed just one of the three runners to score and went on to pitch two innings and not allow a run. Baca has pitched scoreless ball over his last six innings, striking out seven over that span. The right-hander has whiffed 15 in 10.1 innings this year.

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