Steve Delabar shutout; Cesar Ramos struggles

Portland gets solid pitching from Seth Etherton and backs him up with seven runs. The relievers in Lake Elsinore have been fantastic but Cesar Ramos has his shortest outing of the year. Steve Delabar paces the shutout trail and gets help from Kyle Blanks and Nick Hundley.

Portland won 7-2 over Nashville (Brewers)

Ben Johnson reached base four times without the benefit of a hit. He drew four walks, scoring a run. He has reached base in each of his seven Portland games, hitting .391 with six walks. He has, however, struck out once in every game with the Triple-A club. Five of his nine hits have come with runners on base and he is 9-for-20 against right-handed pitching.

Manny Alexander went 2-for-5 with two RBI's, matching his RBI output from the previous 15 games. After the game, he is hitting .208 with runners in scoring position. He has notched a multi-hit game in successive games for just the second time this year. Monday was the first time Alexander has been in the leadoff spot after hitting .232 from the two-hole.

Seth Etherton improved to 2-2 on the year, pitching effectively over 5.2 innings. He surrendered two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out seven. Etherton has whiffed 21 over his last three starts but has given up four homers over that span and eight on the year. The right-hander has given up three runs or less in each of his last seven starts. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a sacrifice.

Mobile had the night off

Fresh off California League Pitcher of the Week honors, Leo Rosales is expected to join the Mobile BayBears on Tuesday. He appeared five times in an eight-day span, earned a win and allowed no runs. In 6.1 innings, the 2003 draftee surrendered just one hit while striking out seven.

Lake Elsinore lost 5-3 to Inland Empire (Mariners)

Cesar Ramos was pulled with two outs in the fourth as he gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks. It was the first time this year that he did not go five innings in a start. Monday's outing marks the third time he has given up four runs in a start and comes on the heels of one earned run over his last 18 innings. The opposition has hit .304 off him with runners in scoring position and lefties are batting .302 off the southpaw.

Kyle Stutes pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief, dropping his average against to .203 on the year. Stutes has given up 15 hits in 19 innings and has walked just one batter for a WHIP of 0.84. Lake Elsinore, incidentally, came into the game with the fewest walks allowed in the California League. He has not given up a singe hit with runners in scoring position with all five runs scoring upon him by way of the homer. Stutes has given up four of the Storm's league-best 18 homers. The opposition has just one hit off him with runners on base in 25 at bats.

For the fourth time this year, Jonathan Ellis recorded all of his outs by way of the strikeout. In those four games, he has whiffed 15 batters and the right-hander has struck out 34 in 25 innings. Ellis has given up runs in three of his league-leading 21 outings (he is tied with teammate Ryan Klatt). The opposition is hitting .228 off him.

Lake Elsinore welcomed back Peter Ciofrone to take the spot vacated by Rosales. Several other players are expected back from injury Colt Morton and Josh Howard are all reportedly close to rejoining the lineup.

Fort Wayne won 5-0 over Lansing (Blue Jays)

Steve Delabar pitched 6.1 innings of scoreless ball to pick up his third win in a row. He allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out four. The righty has given up three runs over his last three starts, a span of 16.1 innings and has given up 12 hits over that timeframe. It is the sixth time in nine starts that he has surrendered two runs or less. Delabar has given up nine hits in 41 at bats with runners in scoring position.

A ninth inning two-run blast in the ninth capped a 2-for-4 night for Kyle Blanks. It was his first homer since April 25 but gave him an RBI in three straight games played. A pitch also hit the designated hitter, the third time he has been plunked this year. Blanks is hitting .378 during the month of May with eight walks and nine K's. Blanks has also batted .363 off right-handed pitching.

Nick Hundley followed up a two-hit performance in his last game with another multi-hit affair, smacking a pair of doubles and scoring a run. It was his ninth double in his last 14 games after he netted three over his first 17. The run scored was just his 14th of the year despite reaching base 45 times. Hundley is batting .326 since being dropped to seventh in the order.

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