Manny Alexander reached base in each of his four plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two walks and scoring the lone run of the game for Portland. It was the second time this year he has reached base four times in a game and was also his sixth multi-hit game. The shortstop is hitting .229 for the month of May but has a .275 average on the road.
Dewon Brazelton made his first start since joining Portland, going four innings and allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six. The righty has not allowed a run in seven innings of work since joining Portland from San Diego. Brazelton went 2-2 as a starter last year with the Durham Bulls, allowing 12 earned runs over 29 innings for a 3.72 ERA in the International League.
Brian Sikorski took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in a third of an inning before the game ended with a two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth. He had a streak of seven appearances without a run scoring going before Saturday, which became his first appearance in 19 without whiffing a batter. He has now allowed runs in seven of his outings.
Mobile lost 1-0 to West Tenn (Cubs)
Last time out, John Hudgins threw a no-hitter over five innings before giving up a hit in the sixth. This time, Hudgins made it through six innings without surrendering a hit and was pulled with just one walk on his ledger and six strikeouts. Over his first two games with Mobile, Hudgins has given up just four hits, a .103 average against. He has yet to allow the leadoff hitter in an inning to reach base.
The no-hitter was broken up when a bunt made it past Paul Abraham for a single, and that runner eventually scored. West Tenn's only two hits came off Abraham in his inning of work. The right-hander has given up runs in seven of his 18 outings with the opposition hitting .314 off him with runners in scoring position.
George Kottaras pushed his average back over .300 after a five game sabbatical. He went 2-for-4 for his second straight multi-hit game. Kottaras has been the mark of consistency, hitting .303 in April and .305 in May. He is, however, hitting .250 with runners in scoring position and .176 with RISP and two outs, as opposed to his .328 mark with the bases empty.
How do you settle down a hitter who has been hot? Plunk him - not once but twice. That is what happened to Michael Johnson on Friday night. Before Saturday's game we had the pleasure of talking to him - or joking around with him, as the case were.
Most people are rusty when they come off the disabled list and see live pitching. "I was hitting a lot in Peoria as well as rehabbing my hamstring," Johnson countered.
Are they scared of you - you were hit by two pitches after knocking the ball around in your previous three games?
"Actually they hit me with breaking balls," said Johnson. "They were trying to make a good pitch and missed inside. That is all it is I am sure. Only three games into Double-A, nobody is scared of me."
While the bats in Mobile were quiet on Saturday, Johnson has provided the team with a spark. But the reserved and humble first baseman wasn't ready to take the praise. "I don't like to look at it like that. I don't see myself like that (as a spark). I feel like I can come back and help out and maybe it has made a little bit of a difference. It is a good team – when we all play together."
Lake Elsinore won 6-2 over High Desert (Royals)
Scoring four of the six Storm runs, Chase Headley sent two shots over the wall and was a perfect 4-for-4 on the night. It was the first multi-homer game of Headley's professional career. The third baseman has scored six of his 18 runs over the last two games and has been on base seven times over that span. He is now hitting .339 for the month of May and .364 when he bats fifth in the lineup.
After his 2-for-3 night with a walk, Joe Lobaton has extended his on base streak to 14 games. Filling in for Colt Morton, Lobaton has a six game hitting streak, going 9-for-20 with five RBI's. He is hitting .311 over his last 14 games after netting one hit over his first six. Lobaton has an RBI in four of his last six games, including one on Saturday.
Evan Meek earned his first win as a member of the Padres' system, giving up two runs - one earned - on three hits and two walks over five innings. Meek has given up two earned runs or less in eight of his nine starts and has kept the opposition to four hits or less in six outings. However he has pitched past the fifth inning in just one start. An unearned run has been scored on Meek in five of his last six starts.
Fort Wayne lost 11-1 to Lansing (Toronto)
Nathan Staggs was tagged for five runs, all earned, on four hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. He gave up his first homer of the year, a two-run blast. He came into the game with two runs allowed over his first seven innings, but after Saturday the opposition is hitting .308 off him. With runners in scoring position, opponents still have just three hits in 15 at-bats.
Grant Varnell lost his fourth straight game, giving up six runs - four earned - on a season-high ten hits. Varnell has posted a 6.43 ERA during his losing streak after a 2.49 ERA over his first five starts. Saturday was, however, just the second time he has given up more than two earned runs in a start and fourth time he has given up three or more runs. He has given up seven hits or more in five outings.
Chad Steiner went 1-for-4 and grounded into a double play for the second straight game. The third baseman has grounded into five double plays this year with his other three coming in three successive games. Steiner is two for his last 23 and seven for 45 over his last 13 games, a .156 average. His last extra base hit came on April 23.