Jon Knott tied an individual game-high when he knocked in five runs, going 2-for-5 with two doubles. The last time he drove in five was July 2, 2005 on a night that he hit two homers. It is the fifth time in his career that he has recorded five RBI's in one game. His three hits this year have all been for extra bases.
Seth Etherton made his first start in the Padres' system on Sunday, facing his former team. Etherton fell three innings shy of winning the Pacific Coast League ERA crown last year with Sacramento. The righty went four innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks in a no-decision. He held the opposition to 1-for-10 with runners on base, avoiding further damage.
The winning pitcher was Jack Cassel. Pitching in his first game since being re-signed – he was released by the Padres prior to the start of the season – Cassel went two innings, allowing a run on two hits and a walk. Cassel split time between Double-A and Triple-A and the right-hander also pitched in the Arizona Fall League. He went 3-2 with a 4.62 ERA for Portland last season.
Mobile lost 6-5 to Carolina (Marlins)
Chris O'Riordan left the game early after falling to the ground awkwardly on a throw that sailed over the first baseman's head. After meeting with the trainer, he completed the inning defensively before being pulled in favor of Luis Cruz. He is day-to-day.
Matt Hagen got his first start at Double-A after being moved up earlier this week. Playing first base against a left-handed pitcher, Hagen had some troubles reading the pickoff move of pitcher Sean Thompson, moving towards the bag when Thompson went through his delivery to the plate on one than one occasion after the team worked together to pick off a runner in the first inning. Hagen went 0-for-4 with two K's at the plate.
Thompson lasted just three innings in taking his first loss of the year, pulled after five runs crossed the plate, four earned. He surrendered seven hits, walked four and struck out three. In 20 starts for Mobile last year, Thompson walked three batters or more in 12 games. It is, however, only the third time in that span that he has walked more batters than he struck out. Last year, Thompson gave up five runs or more in eight of his starts.
Brett Bonvechio notched his first homer of the year, a three-run shot. The third baseman also added a double, his third of the year. All four of his hits have gone for extra bases this season. Last year, 38 percent of his hits went for extra bases.
Lake Elsinore lost 3-2 to Lancaster (D-Backs)
The Storm committed their first two errors of the year in the first inning and it led to an unearned run crossing the plate, the only run starter Cesar Ramos would allow in his first California League start. The lefty went five innings and was touched for four hits, walking one and striking out one. Ramos pitched in 13 games, 11 as a starter, between Eugene and Fort Wayne last season. In each of his initial outings with Eugene, Fort Wayne and now Lake Elsinore he has not allowed an earned run.
"I think Cesar has four pitches that he can throw for strikes," Storm pitching coach Steve Webber said. Webber was the pitching coach for Ramos when he was in Fort Wayne last year.
Peter Ciofrone went 4-for-5, including a homer over the 35-foot monster in left field. The new left fielder launched five out of the park in 2005 while playing in 104 games for the Wizards. He knocked in both runs for the Storm and has a hit in each of his first four games to open the year.
Jonathan Ellis faced four batters and struck each of them out, three of them swinging. The right-hander had whiffed one of the eight batters he faced entering the game but did strikeout 69 in 78.2 innings last year. Ellis is perfect through three appearances to open the year.
Fort Wayne won 11-3 over West Michigan (Tigers)
Daryl Jones provided the bulk of the offense for the Wizards, smashing a three run homer in the second inning, a single to score a run in the third and a bases loaded walk in the fifth to knock in a career high five. He now has six RBI's through three games; it took the first baseman 28 games to notch his sixth RBI last season. His previous high had been three RBI's in a game, recorded on July 2, 2004. Jones ended the night a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk, the second four-hit game of his career (July 22, 2004) and the first time he has reached base five times in a game.
"Things are going great right now," Jones said after the game. "I am getting better pitches to hit and not missing my pitch. You have to be more patient, see your pitch and make sure you hit it. That is what I am about this year."
Josh Geer pitched five innings of scoreless ball, yielding five hits and striking out six while not issuing a walk. A third round pick a year ago, Geer went 3-1 with a 3.69 ERA in seven games for Eugene and 1-1 with a 4.25 ERA over five starts with the Wizards last season. Dating back to last season, Geer has gone 11.1 innings without giving up a run in Midwest League play.
Shortstop Ray Chang hit his first homer as a professional on Sunday. With 52 at bats last year, Chang notched two extra base hits splitting time between Rookie League Peoria and Lake Elsinore.
Brandon Higelin came on in relief of Eddie Pena in the seventh with the two outs and the bases full. He struck out the lone batter he faced to end the inning and pitched a scoreless eighth. While Higelin did struggle with runners in scoring position, he was at his best in situations where he inherited runners. Officially he was credited with preventing 13 of 15 runners he inherited from scoring – although that number is slightly skewed because in two games he did not get credited with an out and still had officially tallied a stranded runner in his books.
Fort Wayne scored three runs on seven hits off former Padre prospect Ricky Steik.