Whitaker the reliever? Villatoro the starter?

Eugene ruined the clean sweep of the Padres' system – they won. Brian Whitaker in relief? Mike Richardson pitching…again? Clayton Hamilton isn't taking too kindly to the Cal League. Joel Santo has been solid of late but is not getting any support. John Madden is gearing up for the NFL season with a save. Cesar Rojas pitched well but Patrick Clayton gets the stat line of the year in a loss on Friday in Arizona.

Portland lost 7-2

Ryan Snare, playing against his former team, gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in 5.1 innings of work. The lefty has given up nine runs in his first 10.1 innings of work with the Beavers and the opposition is hitting .372 off him, .476 with runners on base.

Brian Whitaker came on in relief for the first time this year, and the results weren't promising. After 20 starts, 19 coming with Mobile, Whitaker came on with two one and one out in the sixth. A double ensured both inherited runners scored before he was able to get out of the inning. He ended his night giving up two runs of his own on six hits in an inning of work. In seven of his 21 starts he had given up six hits or less.

Josh Barfield's hitting streak was snapped after an 0-for-2 night with an RBI and two walks. Jesse Garcia, transferred to Portland a day ago, went 2-for-3 in his return to Triple-A. Sent to Mobile on July 17, Garcia played in just seven games for the BayBears.

Mobile lost 6-5, 10-1

Mike Richardson might have a late blooming career as a pitcher – since he has a batting average that a pitcher would be proud of at .180. Richardson took the hill for the second time this year in game one of the doubleheader, and the first time since June 24, tossing one inning of scoreless relief and striking out one. He has yet to allow a hit in his two innings of work, whiffing three.

Wilmer Villatoro got his first start of the year and first start since July 31, 2002 on Saturday. The right-hander did not fare so well, hitting three batters in the first inning and getting charged with eight runs, all earned, in two-plus innings of work. That is on par with the 8.26 ERA he had back in 2002 with the Eugene Emeralds as a starter.

Kennard Jones pushed his hitting streak to eight with hits in both games of the twin bill. Steve Baker has a five game streak but lost his consecutive games with a double at four. Rusty Tucker has allowed the last eight inherited runners to score, three coming in game two on Saturday.

Lake Elsinore lost 8-6

Clayton Hamilton took the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings of work. Hamilton has given up 14 runs in 12 innings since joining Lake Elsinore on 25 hits. He has given up seven hits or more in each of his three outings after giving up seven hits or more in four of his 20 starts with Fort Wayne.

Ryan Trytten has gone ten straight relief appearances without surrendering a run, a span of 7.2 innings. He has given up four hits over that time frame and has prevented the last three inherited runners from scoring. After posting a 1.20 ERA with Fort Wayne, he has gone on to post a 2.45 ERA with the Storm over 36 appearances. Since the beginning of July the opposition is hitting just .200 off him with an ERA of 1.80.

Fort Wayne lost 4-2

The string continues. Joel Santo hasn't won since May 29 – a string of 12 starts. Not to say he hasn't put in some good efforts. Santo allowed four runs, three earned, over seven innings of work on Saturday and has given up eight runs over the last four starts, with nary a win to show. He did surrender ten hits in his eighth loss of the year but has a 3.50 ERA over his last seven starts.

Drew Davidson accounted for two of the five hits the Wizards managed on the day, smashing one of those out of the park for a two-run homer. Davidson has RBI's in three straight games, six over that span. He has also knocked in runs in five of his last six games, spread over two different leagues. The homer was his first in Fort Wayne and fifth of the season. He is 17-for-52 with runners in scoring position this year.

Eugene won 4-3

Nick Hundley went 2-for-4 with a homer, his team leading sixth of the year. Hundley has just three RBI's over his last 16 games but has scored a run in five straight. He is hitting .229 with runners in scoring position on the year. Despite a .259 batting average, Hundley leads the team with a .416 on base percentage – thanks to 30 walks in 35 games. He ranks four in the Northwest League in the category.

With Neil Jamison used over the last two days, John Madden got the save on Saturday, his first as a pro. Madden leads the Northwest League in appearances with 23, giving up runs in ten of those. He has had some hard luck with three outings of unearned runs. Madden has given up three earned over his last 11 appearances and has whiffed 30 in 25.1 innings.

AZL Padres lost 9-6 on Friday

Cesar Rojas had his longest outing of the year. He went six innings and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out a season-high seven. Rojas had given 15 runs in his previous 16 innings of work after giving up three over his first 14. Unfortunately, the bullpen could not hold. Rojas has limited the opposition to a .200 average against but has walked 21 in 36 innings, including 14 in his last four games.

Patrick Clayton struck out the side in his first inning of relief work before his game collapsed around him. He ended up being charged with five runs in the next frame without issuing a hit. He walked four and hit a batter before being pulled. Clayton has walked 11 over his last four innings of work while allowing just three hits.

Geoff Vandel came on to relieve Clayton in the ninth and allowed two inherited runners to score. He came back to get the next three batters on strikes. Vandel has whiffed four of the first seven batters he has faced in Pro ball.

Saturday's AZL Padres game was not available for inclusion in this report


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