Offense sputters through the system

There was a lack of hitting by every team in the system on Thursday as the system suffered a sweep. Portland managed just two hits for the second day in a row. Luis Cruz was the offense for Mobile but zeroes were posted over nine. Manny Ayala makes his third debut. A three run ninth prevented Fort Wayne from joining the shutout column.

Portland lost 5-0 to Nashville (Brewers)

For the second day in a row, the Portland offense was held to just two hits. Dave Matranga was the only Beaver to reach base twice, doubling and adding a walk. He played just his second game at third base after logging most of his time at shortstop and second base. Besides his utility work on the infield, Matranga has batted in six different spots in the lineup

Taking his first loss since joining Portland, Dewon Brazelton gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. He entered the game without a run scored over his first seven innings of work in Triple-A. Despite giving up five runs, he allowed just one hit with runners in scoring position – getting out of a bases loaded one-out jam with just one run scoring.

Mario Ramos held two inherited runners from scoring and came away with 2.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three. It was his fourth relief appearance of the year after netting five starts. Despite his outing on Thursday, the opposition is hitting .435 off him in relief compared to his still-high .329 as a starter.

Mobile lost 4-0 to Montgomery (Devil Rays)

Three of Mobile's five hits came off the bat of Luis Cruz. It is the seventh time in 12 games that he has recorded a multi-hit game. He is 21-for-51 over that stretch of games, a .412 average, with 11 extra base hits. After hitting .189 in April, Cruz is batting .333 for the month of May with 17 RBI's in 21 games. He did, however, also commit two errors, one leading to an unearned run.

Roger Deago allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in 5.1 innings to take his fourth loss of the year, both runs coming across on a homer. It is the third game in a row he has surrendered a bomb and fourth time in five games. Deago has a 4.02 ERA over six starts compared to a 7.00 ERA in seven relief appearances. The opposition is hitting .209 off him from his starting spot.

Dale Thayer pitched an inning of scoreless relief, retiring the side in order. It was the fifth time this year the right-hander has pitched a perfect inning in 18 outings and 14th time he pitched a scoreless outing. Thayer has posted a 2.45 ERA over his last 11 frames after posting a 5.72 ERA over his first 11 innings.

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

Manny Ayala was put to work early upon his arrival to the Storm. The right-hander has already spent time with Fort Wayne and Portland this year before his call to Lake Elsinore. Over three and a third, Ayala allowed one hit and a walk while striking out one. Ayala pitched two scoreless innings for Portland after allowing seven runs in 8.1 innings for Fort Wayne.

Five runs crossed the plate on Evan Meek in 3.2 innings. He gave up eight hits and two walks while tossing two wild pitches and hitting two batters. It is the fifth time this year that he has not made it through five innings but just the second time he has given up more than two earned runs in a start. Meek has not given up a homer in 44.2 innings. The opposition has attempted 27 steals off Meek this year, tops in the California League.

Colt Morton returned to the lineup after spending three weeks on the shelf with a groin strain. He was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and two walks on Thursday. The catcher is 0-for-May over four games this month after hitting .289 in April. Morton has drawn six walks over his last six games. He threw out one of the three runners attempting to steal on him.

Fort Wayne lost 5-3 to Lansing (Blue Jays)

The Wizards avoided being the third team in the system to be shutout with three runs in the ninth inning, including a two-run blast from Daryl Jones, his ninth of the year, tied for third best in the Midwest League. For Jones, it was his third homer in as many games. Six of his last seven hits have gone for extra bases with four leaving the park. He now has six homers and 18 RBI's during the month of May.

For the third time in nine outings, Fabian Jimenez didn't make it out of the fourth inning, giving up four runs, three earned, on a season-high seven hits and four walks. It is no coincidence that those three starts were his only losses this year and the only games he gave up four runs or more. It is also the only time he has given up four or more walks in an outing. He surrendered his first two homers of the year as well.

Nathan Staggs pitched his longest out of the year, going 3.2 innings and allowing one run on a solo homer, two hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Although he has a 5.40 ERA for the year, Staggs has allowed just three hits in 18 at bats with runners in scoring position. The opposition is, however, hitting .400 off him with the bases empty.

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