Game slips away from Portland

In the first game of Portland's homestand against the Colorado Sky Sox, the Beavers let a 3-2 lead go, giving up three runs in the eighth inning to lose, 5-4.

Justin Leone (.421) continued his solid season of hitting going 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the fifth. He has hit and driven in at least one run in all five games this season.

"I've been getting the pitches I want," he said. "I was frustrated with my first two at bats tonight [fly out, strikeout], but I focussed after that and he [Colorado pitcher Mike Esposito] made a mistake on the third [at bat] and threw it over the plate."

In 2005 Leone racked up two or more hits 17 times and had an on-base streak of 10 consecutive games from June 19 to June 28.

Eric Valent, who's batting .294 and has made it to base at least once in each of the four games he's appeared this year, went 2-for-3 and reached via a base on balls once. Valent had two or more hits 18 times in 2005 and had consecutive hits in 13 games from July 15 to July 28, 2005.

"You try to get the best pitch you can until you've got two strikes," Valent said. "Then it's just a battle to put the ball in play."

Pitcher Ryan Meaux took the mound at the top of the eighth with a one run lead but gave up three hits, three runs and hit one batter before getting the hook. Last year, Meaux gave up three or more runs in under two innings twice (June 6, and August 12, 2005), both times vs. Montreal while playing with the Double-A Mobile BayBears.

The Beavers attempted to rally in the bottom of the eighth as Leone and Jason Hill both singled and then advanced when a wild pitch to Valent got by the catcher. Valent hit an RBI single with a grounder to third by just beating the throw to put the Beavs within one, but the inning ended after veteran shortstop Ricky Gutierrez (1-for-4, 1 RBI) struck out.

In the ninth, they had another opportunity with the tying run on third with one out after a sacrifice bunt by Freddy Guzman advanced Jon Knott, but both Bobby Hill and Jack Cust flew out to end the game.

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