Chris Oxspring pitched a complete game shutout on Saturday in the first game of the doubleheader. He has given up two runs over the last 21 innings. Even with one eight run, seven earned, outing, he has an ERA of 2.14 over his last seven starts. The longer he goes into a game, the stronger he gets. Over 72.1 innings from the fourth inning and beyond, Oxspring has an ERA of 2.24.
Jack Cassel went five innings and allowed two hits to pick up his third win of the year. He lowered his ERA to 2.03 through three starts, two of them wins. The opposition is still hitting .292 off him as a starter and .340 off him with runners in scoring position. He does, however, have a 3.46 ERA over his last ten games, three of them starts.
Mobile lost 4-2 in game one, won 5-4 in game two
Jared Wells took a line drive off his knee in the first inning but continued to pitch. He gave up a solo homer in the third inning that looked like a short pop fly. But the ball carried over the opposite field wall off the bat of Gaby Martinez. He would give up one more run over six on four hits, taking his third straight loss. It is the third time in four starts for Mobile that he has given up two runs or less.
Devil Rays prospect Jeff Niemann looked dominant on the hill against Mobile. He left the game after 39 pitches and struck out five of the eight batters he faced. He was pulled with one out in the third after allowing one hit to Mobile backup catcher Luke Carlin.
Corey Smith had an error in the sixth inning of game one that was one of the worst possible plays that has ever occurred. With runners on first and second band nobody out a grounder was hit towards short. Smith cut it off and tried to tag the runner coming towards him and missed him and then threw high of second. It really should have been two errors for the missed tag and then the throw. The next ball was a grounder hit to Smith and he got the force out at home and Mobile turned the double play at first. After a walk loaded the bases, Wells struck out the next batter to end the inning. He also had another error in the second game. Smith, coincidentally, leads all Southern League third basemen in errors with 29.
Steve Baker hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning on a high inside fastball in game one and ended up going 2-for-3 in the nightcap with another RBI. He has a five game hitting streak, going 9-for-21 and has scored a run in each, eight over that span. He has raised his average from .222 to .282 over the last 15 games with hits in 13 of those and seven multi-hit games over that span.
Lake Elsinore lost 3-1
And the streak hits unlucky 13 – at least it was close.
Eddie Bonine bounced back from a dreadful performance to toss 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks, taking his fourth straight loss. Bonine has allowed 20 hits over his last two starts and left with two on in the fifth – both of whom were stranded thanks to good relief work by Chris Tierney. Bonine is 1-5 in seven starts with a 6.93 ERA with the opposition hitting .335 off him.
After beginning the year as a starter, Tierney has looked more comfortable in relief and with runners on base. The staff in Lake Elsinore attribute it to his dedication and work in bullpen sessions with pitching coach Dave Rajisch. Of the nine runners he has inherited only one has scored and he has kept the last six from scoring. He has a 3.87 ERA since the last day of June.
Fort Wayne's game was postponed due to rain
Eugene lost 9-2
Jon Link suffered his worst outing of the year, giving up eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits in 3.1 innings. He also uncorked two wild pitches and committed his third error of the year. After impressing early on in the rotation, Link has struggled in his return from the pen. Over the last three starts, spanning 12.2 innings, he has surrendered 17 runs on 28 hits. He had given up 13 runs over his first 32.2 innings on the year.
Grant Varnell provided three innings of scoreless relief, striking out six of the nine batters he faced. It is the second time this reliever has whiffed six in an outing, the last coming on July 31 while with Peoria of the Arizona Rookie League. He has whiffed 36 in 33.1 innings while walking only three across two leagues. Since arriving in Eugene he has limited the opposition to a .125 average.
AZL Padres won 4-3 on Saturday
Geoff Vandel allowed his first run in Arizona Rookie League play, going three innings and giving up a run on two hits and two walks while striking out five. The walks were also the first of its kind that he has allowed this year and through 7.1 innings he has whiffed 11, including the striking out the side on one occasion. Vandel has held the opposition to a .185 batting average against and has given up one hit with runners in scoring position to date.
Richie Daigle got his second start of the year and cut most of his numbers in half from his previous outing. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two. He did hit a batter for the third straight game and his two whiffs are one more than he had in his first seven innings of the year. The opposition is hitting an obscene .500 off him with the bases empty but he has limited the damage by holding them to a .267 average with runners in scoring position.
For the second game in a row, Ernesto Frieri struck out the side in one of his innings of work. And for the second game in a row he did now walk a batter, the first time he has accomplished the feat and now the second. He went two and allowed just one hit while striking out four to lower his ERA to 1.04 and earn his sixth win of the year, five coming in his last seven relief appearances. Frieri has struck out 18 over his last 8.2 innings to bring his total for the season to 42 in 34.2 frames. He has allowed one hit in 39 at bats with runners in scoring position, a .026 average.