Pitching and defense win games. It turned out to be true on Thursday. Although he did ground into two double plays, Luke Carlin tossed out the sole runner attempting to steal. Freddy Guzman was credited with an outfield assist but it took a pickle and three more throws to get the out. Jack Cust also threw out a runner at third base in the fifth inning.
Seven scoreless innings for Eric Junge led to a Portland win. He gave up five hits and a walk and struck out five, earning his first win since joining Portland. He lowered his ERA from 8.49 to 5.30 with the scoreless outing. He also added a single and scored a run. He has two hits this year and two runs scored.
Jon Adkins returned to the Beavers from a tough go in San Diego and returned to form by striking out two of the three batters he faced to earn his third save of the year. Adkins made three appearances for the Padres, giving up three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. Adkins is perfect over six innings with Portland.
Mobile lost 1-0 to Mississippi (Braves)
Cesar Carrillo allowed just one run on six hits over six frames to take the loss. His one mistake left the park – and without any offense, he took the loss. Carrillo has given up two runs or less in four of his five starts but has just one win to his name. He has given up just three hits in 18 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Arturo Lopez pitched two scoreless innings of relief. The left-hander has given up runs in three of his nine appearances this year. Versus lefties, he has a .214 average against while righties have hit .257 off him. Lopez has given up just five hits in 24 at bats with runners on base.
A one out bases loaded grounder back to pitcher Paul Abraham led to him getting out his inning unscathed. The right-hander had given up two hits in his previous 6.1 innings of work at home. In his previous nine innings of work, Abraham had not allowed a leadoff man to get on base via a hit, until Thursday. He has given up just three hits with the bases empty.
Lake Elsinore won 6-3 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)
Drew Davidson went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI's, both coming with two outs. He also left two runners in scoring position with his lone out of the day. Davidson looked much more comfortable sitting back and waiting on pitches rather than forcing the issue on Thursday night, giving him as many hits in one night as he had in his previous 23 at bats over two leagues.
For the second time this year and second night in a row, a Storm starter went seven innings. Mike Ekstrom gave up two runs on eight hits while striking out a season-high nine. The right-hander has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his five starts. Ekstrom beamed the Quakes first baseman in the helmet in the sixth, which was a pitch that got away from him. It came after Colt Morton was tagged with a pitch in the fourth.
"Hayhurst threw 67 pitches and Eck had 83 tonight," pitching coach Steve Webber said of his pitchers hitting the seventh inning over the last two nights. "They were attacking the strike zone and they were able to pitch efficiently. We are looking to stretch them out but they got there because they worked effectively."
Tim Turner has reached base in nine of his ten games as a starter after going 1-for-6 on Thursday. He is hitting .300 from the leadoff position but has struck out 16 times in 37 at bats, including three times on Thursday. The problem was he went chasing three pitches out of the zone each time he whiffed.
"I had a lot of strikeouts," Turner admitted of last year and early this season before adding his fix, "Shorten my swing, make contact, and let my legs get working."
Fort Wayne lost 11-6 to Wisconsin (Mariners)
No one likes Ray Chang. At least Wisconsin didn't on Thursday. The shortstop was plunked by two pitches. He did not register an at bat in his first three times at the plate, walking once and getting tagged twice. He did, however, score two runs. Chang has hits in seven games and six of those contests have been multi-hit affairs. Chang did commit his seventh error of the year on Thursday.
Ben Krosschell was pegged for eight runs, six earned, on seven hits and three walks over 4.1 innings. It is the second time in four starts that he has given up seven runs or more and he has yet to go more than five innings in a start. The opposition has been stacking left-handed hitters against him and they are swatting .424 off him, compared to the .216 of righties.
Seth Johnston's 13-game hitting streak ended on Wednesday and a two-hit night on Thursday is the start of something new. He also plated three runs, giving him 12 RBI's over the last six games. It was the ninth multi-hit game of the year for Johnston. The second baseman has scored a run in seven of his last eight games.