Fernando Valenzuela back up; Grant Varnell dealing

Josh Barfield continues to tear up the PCL while Brandon Emanuel faces his own demons. Don't look now – Brian Whitaker has won four straight. Fernando Valenzuela took a brief dip in the sub .300 pool and didn't like it. Grant Varnell has made a successful transition to the starting rotation. Kyle Blanks is back on the scene with a first for the year.

Portland lost 10-3

Josh Barfield is at 11 – that is 11 straight games with a hit after going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Barfield is 19-for-47 over the streak with ten RBI's. He has driven in a run in six of the last seven games and has 22 RBI's during the month of August. His previous high for a month was 13 RBI's in June. Since the start of June Barfield is hitting .354 with 19 doubles and nine doubles. He also stole his 17th base of the year on Wednesday.

Brandon Emanuel did not record an out on Wednesday in taking the loss. He faced five batters and all ended up scoring. He gave up three hits and a walk and added insult to injury when he made a throwing error that prevented him from recording his one chance at an out. In 8.2 innings over the month of August he has given up 12 runs, 11 earned, for an ERA of 11.42. The opposition is hitting .314 off him this month.

Mobile won 8-2

Brian Whitaker won his fourth straight start, although one win gets credited to July 9, allowing just on run on six hits and two walks. The right-hander has now allowed two runs or less in 11 of his 25 starts on the year. He has won six of his last eight starts in Mobile and has recorded a decision in ten straight Southern League games. Since the start of July he has a 3.17 ERA.

While Luis Cruz homered for the third time in four games, Joe Gerber has hit six homers in the last 14 games, nine in the last 32 and 12 in the last 45. The one problem is ten of his 15 homers on the year have been solo shots and he has just 38 RBI's on the year as a result. In 26 August games, Gerber is batting .313 with 12 extra base hits.

Lake Elsinore won 9-6

Fernando Valenzuela Jr., whose average dropped below .300 for the first time all season on Tuesday, went 3-for-5 to bring his average back up over the magic number. He doubled and added two RBI's, giving him a team-leading 75 on the year. After hitting .321 in July and over .300 in three of the first four months of the year, Valenzuela is hitting just .229 in August.

Eddie Bonine has given up nine runs in the last ten innings over two starts and has two wins to show for it. He gave up four runs on six hits and four walks in five frames to secure the win on Wednesday, despite an ERA that moved upwards from 6.48 to 6.52. It is the fifth time in nine starts he has allowed four or more runs and he is 2-3 in those contests.

Fort Wayne had the night off

Eugene won 3-2

Chase Headley went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. After knocking in 22 runs in July, Headley has just eight RBI's this month. His .250 average is also down but he has drawn more walks this month, 20, than strikeouts, 15. Jis on base percentage is up to .406 and despite reaching base 39 times in August he has scored just 11 runs, including the two on Wednesday.

Grant Varnell, making his second start of the year, was stellar again. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out four. He has a 1.65 ERA since joining Eugene in 16.1 innings. Varnell has struck out 16 and has issued just one walk over that time. He has kept the opposition to a slim .203 batting average and has given up just one hit with runners in scoring position. Lefties are batting jut .139 off him.

AZL Padres won 10-3 on Tuesday

Every regular had a hit with Josh Howard extended his hitting streak to ten games and scoring runs in nine of the last ten. Javis Diaz also pushed his hitting streak to six with RBI's in five of his last six and ten RBI's over that time.

Kyle Blanks was making some noise on Tuesday, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and a walk, his first four-hit game of the year. While the first baseman has hit just .260 for the month of August, through 16 games, he does have 16 walks over that period of time, giving him a .439 on base percentage for the month. Blanks is hitting .340 with runners in scoring position this year.

Juan Jimenez gave up two runs on six hits in five innings to pick up his fourth win in 13 starts. He has allowed two runs or less in five of his starts, posting a 3.86 ERA along the way. The opposition is hitting .297 off him with righties batting .324 and lefties limited to a .248 average. He has allowed seven first run innings, tied for the most runs allowed in any inning.

Geoff Vandel pitched three more scoreless, not allowing a hit and striking out three. He lowered his average to 0.56 with one earned run allowed in 16 innings. Vandel has whiffed 24 over that span and he has limited the opposition to a .148 average against. Vandel, a left-hander, has given up just one hit to left-handed hitters. Of the eight hits he has allowed, two have gone for extra bases.

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

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