Michael Johnson hits two; Colt Morton adds one

Sean Burroughs homers in Portland as Kennard Jones and David Ross debut. Peeter Ramos reaches base three times for the second time in Southern League play. Michael Johnson homers twice and Colt Morton talks about striking out a bit too much. Jonathan Ellis returned from the disabled list and Joel Santo pitches on three day's rest. Grant Varnell has another impressive outing in Eugene. Javis Diaz triples AGAIN and is about as hot as a batter can be.

Portland won 4-3

Kennard Jones and David Ross made their debuts with the Portland club on Monday but both came via different paths. Jones was promoted from Double-A after hitting .281 with 23 doubles, 60 RBI's and a .373 on base percentage. Ross, on the other hand, was with the San Diego Padres and hit .236 with three homers and 15 RBI's in 48 games. Jones went 1-for-4 and Ross went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Ross also tossed out the only runner attempting to steal on him.

Nick Trzesniak, who drove in, ironically, Ross with a bases loaded walk, suffers with the Ross coming down to Portland. Despite a hot bat that has him hitting over .400 since joining Portland, Trzesniak will come off the bench for the rest of the season so Ross can start.

Sean Burroughs went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI's for Portland. After netting one extra base hit over his first ten games with Portland, Burroughs has ten extra base hits, seven doubles and three homers, over his last 21 games. Nine of his 11 extra base hits have come with the bases empty and Burroughs is just 1-for-8 with the bases loaded since joining Portland.

Mobile lost 4-3

Peeter Ramos reached base all three times he came to the plate, notching one of four Mobile hits on the day and driving in two runs. He also drew a walk and was hit by a pitch. It was just the second time since joining Mobile that he has reached base three times or more in a game. After batting .278 in 100 games for the Storm, Ramos has hit .169 in 27 games for the BayBears. He is hitting .231 on the road but just .081 at Hank Aaron Stadium.

Brian Whitaker allowed three runs over seven innings on seven hits while striking out six to take his first loss in over a month (July 23). He had gone 4-0 with a 3.30 ERA during August before dropping Monday's decision. Whitaker has given up three runs or less in 16 of his 26 starts and two runs or less in 11. Monday was the first time he did not walk a batter in a start since July 3 and the fourth time this year that he has not issued a free pass. He is 1-3 in those games.

"Watching the television was pretty scary," outfielder Steve Baker said regarding the hurricane force winds in Mobile. "I just think about the people I have met in Mobile and keep them in my prayers."

The BayBears have two home games remaining (8/31 and 9/1) and consideration has been given to canceling those dates, though no formal declaration has been made.

Lake Elsinore won 11-8

Michael Johnson went 3-for-5 with a double, two homers and six RBI's. It is his second two-homer game in the last ten – a span where he has launched seven homers. Johnson has had a curtain call ten times over the last 19 games. He has 17 RBI's over the last ten games and has reached base safely in 23 straight games with hits in 21 of those. His 72 RBI's in 66 games would put him on pace for over 140 had he been able to play the full season.

Colt Morton went 2-for-3 with two walks, a homer and three runs scored. The catcher has pounded eight balls over the fence since joining Lake Elsinore 21 games ago, five of those solo shots. Morton is hitting .338 since joining the Storm after batting .261 with ten homers in 63 games for Fort Wayne. Morton has struck out 24 times in California League play after averaging less than one K per game in the Midwest League.

"That is something that I have been a little bit disappointed in myself as I came here," Morton admitted. "I had a few home runs early but also had a few too many strikeouts."

Fort Wayne lost 4-1

Jonathan Ellis returned from the disabled list and tossed one inning of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and striking out two. Ellis, placed on the disabled list with stiffness in his shoulder, had been in the starting rotation for five turns but has been more comfortable in relief. He lowered his relief ERA to 2.63 while posting a 5.73 ERA as a starter. With Brent Carter expected to join the rotation, Ellis will likely stick to the pen for the remainder of the year and the playoffs.

Joel Santo took the hill on three day's rest and went four-plus innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on four hits and five walks. He pitched to five batters in the fifth and all reached base with four scoring. It was the eighth time this year that Santo has walked three or more and second time he has reached five free passes. The right-hander did complete his finest month of the season, going 2-3 with a 3.71 ERA.

Eugene lost 2-0

Grant Varnell made two mistakes over seven innings of ball – two solo homers – and it cost him the game. He allowed six hits on the evening, did not walk a batter, and struck out four. Varnell has posted a 1.93 ERA over 23.1 innings with the Ems and owns a 49-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio between the Arizona Rookie League and the Northwest League. The opposition is 9-for-49 against him with RISP over two leagues. He has gone 22.1 innings since issuing his last walk.

Since returning from a brief tour with Fort Wayne, Brian Cavanaugh has gone 6-for-39 in ten games for the Emeralds. The outfielder has been hitting .281 when he left for Fort Wayne but his .154 average since has dropped his stats down to .250 in Northwest League play. In those 39 at bats, Cavanaugh has whiffed 22 times – or 56 percent of his at bats. He has struck out 54 times in 160 at bats this year for the Ems.

AZL Padres won 9-6 on Sunday

Javis Diaz has another outpouring of hits, going 2-for-4 with another triple and three RBI's. He also stole three bases to bring his season total up to 17. Diaz has tripled in three straight games. Not to be just a one-trick pony, Diaz was credited with an outfield assist, tossing a runner out at third. He has a ten game hitting streak with 14 RBI's over that streak. He is hitting .410 with RISP.

Luany Sanchez went 1-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI's. He has knocked in a run in five straight games and added his first stolen base of the year on Sunday. Sanchez has, however, grounded into four double plays over the last four games, committed an error on Sunday for catcher's interference and was 0-for-3 in throwing out runners attempting to steal. Sanchez is hitting .312 on the year but has drawn just six walks in 41 games.

Willy Crafort went 1-for-2 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored to push his hitting streak to six games. He is 6-for-21 over the streak with a run scored in four straight games. He has upped his average from .224 to .234 over the six game span but is hitting .221 for the month of August. Crafort, a right-handed hitter, is batting just .175 off left-handed pitching. He has struck out in nine straight games and 27 times in 21 August games.

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