New Storm pitcher; Willy Crafort debuts

Brandon Emanuel was brilliant in a spot start. Javier Martinez hasn't missed a start all year and feels strong after missing all of '04. There is a new player in Lake Elsinore but he has not been activated yet. Jose Lobaton debuted in the Midwest League, a replacement for Colt Morton who went on the DL. Daryl Jones has a hitting streak and Brandon Higelin has some of the strangest stat lines in the minors. Willy Crafort had a positive debut in Arizona.

Portland won 4-2

Josh Barfield went 0-for-2 with a K in the Futures Game.

Brandon Emanuel made his third spot start of the year and was dynamite. Over a season-high five innings of work he allowed just two hits and struck out five to earn his first victory of the season. The righty has whiffed 40 in 38.1 innings and has held the opposition to a .172 average against in home games, as he was on Sunday, and .233 for the year. Nearly half of the earned runs he has surrendered have come via the long ball. He has given up seven so far this year.

Wilson Valdez went 1-for-2 with a walk, a triple and two RBI's. He also swiped a base on Sunday. Valdez has had a hit in six of his last seven games and is 7-for-17 over that span with three walks and four RBI's. Valdez has raised his average from .143 to .205 for the year in the process. As a member of Portland he is hitting .217 (he spent limited time with Tacoma).

Mobile postponed Sunday and Monday's game due to thunderstorms in the area and the threat of a Hurricane.

Lake Elsinore won 6-4

Javier Martinez made his 15th start at the Diamond compared to just two road starts. The right-hander allowed four runs on six hits and two walks and has given up 12 runs in 25.2 innings versus Rancho Cucamonga. It is the ninth time this year that he has given up four runs or more in a start. Three hits by the leadoff man in seven innings produced two runs. Leadoff man are hitting .218 off him. He has six straight no-decisions and has not lost since May 9.

"Today I didn't feel really good with my fastball control," said Martinez. "Seven innings, four runs. My changeup (was working) and my curveball sometimes. I was using those to get ground balls. My fastball control wasn't good tonight."

On how he feels after missing all of last year:

"I feel pretty strong. I am going to keep working and doing the best I can do until the playoffs."

Right-handed pitcher Luis Mendoza was unofficially added from the Boston Red Sox, claimed off waivers after the Red Sox removed him from their forty-man roster. When asked, manager Rick Renteria was unsure how he was acquired and stressed that he is not officially on the roster just yet.

"A right-handed pitcher," Renteria said. "A starter."

When pressed to see if he was going into the starting rotation, Renteria replied, "Yes, more than likely. Next week. When we will get to that point we will see. I think he was in A ball."

Who drops out of the rotation?

"We will make that decision closer to that point," said Renteria.

"We are going to have him pitch on the sidelines and when we activate him we will figure it out," pitching coach Dave Rajsich said.

When asked who his favorite player was, Mendoza replied, "Esataban Loaiza." Mendoza, 21, went 3-4 with a 5.63 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Red Sox Carolina League affiliate in High-A.

Fort Wayne lost 4-0

Joel Santo pitched seven innings, surrendering three runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks, taking his third straight loss. It is his ninth game in 17 starts that he has given up three runs or less. Santo is 0-2 with a 6.93 ERA on the road, as he was on Sunday, and hitters are batting .343 off him away from Fort Wayne. Thirty-five of the 96 hits he has yielded on the year have gone for extra bases.

Jose Lobaton made his Midwest League debut on Sunday. He went 0-for-2 at the plate with two walks, one of two Wizard players to reach base twice. Lobaton had been with Peoria where he hit safely in four of his five games and reached base safely in all of them. He was 5-for-14 with six walks and has been issued a free pass in four straight games dating back to his time in the Arizona League. He was 1-for-4 catching baserunners attempting to steal after tossing out 2-of-3 with the Peoria squad.

Regular catcher Colt Morton was placed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring earlier in the weekend. Morton was batting .266 with 10 homers and a team-high 46 RBI.

Eugene lost 3-1

First baseman Daryl Jones went 1-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to seven games – on the same day Brian Cavanaugh's ended at eight. Jones is 9-for-30 over the streak, raising his average from .156 to .213. Jones did, however, strike out three times and matched his hitting streak with his seventh error of the year to lead the club and tying him for tops in the Northwest League. It is rare that a first baseman leads a league in errors by the way.

Brandon Higelin went an inning and a third, allowing one hit and striking out two. The lefty has had some strange appearances among his eight outings. While he has been credited with preventing eight of nine inherited runners from scoring, three of his outings did not produce an out and account for one inherited runner scoring and four being held. Higelin was taken in the 28th round of the 2005 draft by the San Diego Padres out of Cal State Los Angeles. He ranked fourth in his conference in strikeouts with 69 and fifth in innings pitched with 88.1. Higelin also stood second in the conference with five runners picked off. In addition, Higelin walked an average of 2.55 batters per nine innings, good for 13th in the league. He ended the year with a 5-6 record and a 4.18 ERA.

After coming out of the pen in his last outing on July 6, Ben Krosschell was back in the starting rotation on Sunday. The right-hander lasted a season-high 5.1 innings and gave up three runs on six hits and a walk to take his third loss of the year. The righty has given up seven doubles on the year and five have come with men on base. The opposition is hitting .288 off him this year.

AZL Padres won 7-2

Willy Crafort, a Dominican League (DSL) veteran, made his debut with Peoria in right field. After spending two years in the DSL and hitting .184 in 109 games, Crafort made a positive debut, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. The 6-foot-3, 20-year old hit .173 last year with 24 hits in 139 at bats. He had seven extra base hits and seven RBI's while scoring 14 runs. He also walked 15 times while striking out 41 times.

Ernesto Frieri went three innings and allowed one run on three hits and four walks. In 16.1 innings he has given up just two runs and has .164 batting average against. He has, however, walked 11 in that span and three or more in three of his four outings. The right-handed has limited the opposition to one hit in 21 at bats with runners in scoring position.

A day shy of his 20th birthday, Julio Sanchez recorded his first professional save. He went 3.2 innings, allowed one hits and two walks while striking out three. He also prevented two inherited runners from scoring. The right-hander has allowed runs in every even outing among his seven appearances on the year. While the opposition is hitting .206 off him, he has allowed as many hits as walks, seven.

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