Pitching ups and downs in Portland

Mike Thompson waiting for the call. Mario Ramos has a new delivery. Manny Ayala surprises. Dewon Brazelton under the tutelge of Gary Lance. Just another night in Portland.

All good things must come to an end. Thanks to a six run fifth inning, the Beavers streak of not having given up more than one run in an inning over 50 innings came to an abrupt end.

In his first relief outing since coming off disabled list on May 12 with a sprained left ankle, Left-hander Mario Ramos took the loss, pitching one inning of relief giving up six runs on five hits, two walks and a homerun to Round Rock shortstop Cody Ransom. He is 0-3 with a 9.58 ERA after today's game stands.

Pitching coach Gary Lance is working with Ramos to change his arm angle in hopes of Ramos throwing with more of a sidearm motion to increase his effectiveness. After today's outing, Ramos has a ways to go.

"Today was his initial foray into that and arm angle went back up," said Lance. "He was missing the location and late move."

Round Rock Express right-hander Chris Sampson, who originally came into the league as a short stop, picked up his league leading sixth win with seven innings of four hit ball with eight strikeouts. He gave up an unearned run in the sixth on an error by Ransom.

The Beavers threatened in the ninth after scoring two runs on a Jon Knott's 8th homerun and a bases loaded walk by David Delucchi driving in the third Beaver run. With the bases loaded, Manny Alexander and Jack Cust struck out to end the threat, and the game.

Mike Thompson pitched one inning of no run ball, pulled in hopes of getting the call up as a spot starter for the injured Woody Williams against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday in Phoenix.

Dewon Brazelton, who made the Padres in spring training and was sent down to the Beavers after going 0-2 as a starter with a 24.12 ERA, and seven relief appearances going 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA, made his first appearance as Beaver and pitched a solid three innings of one hit ball, striking out three and walking one.

"He's healthy. I saw a good change today," said Lance. "We need to get the body parts back to where they belong. He just needs to pitch. He just needs to throw."

Twenty-one year old righty Manny Ayala who came to the Beavers from extended spring training after having spent a brief time in Low-A with the Fort Wayne Wizards (three appearances) came to Portland to fill a spot with the promotion of Jon Adkins and Cla Meredith, opened some eyes by pitching two innings of two hit ball, striking out one and not issuing a walk.

"None of us here knew that Ayala could throw 91 miles an hour." Said Lance. "The thing that impressed me most about him is that he wasn't intimidated, and he threw strikes."


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