Crosta continues in LE; Cruz cruising

Sean Thompson tossed seven shutout innings but did not figure into the decision. Luis Cruz continues with the hot bat. Nic Crosta debuts in similar fashion to how he left Fort Wayne, something Grady Fuson couldn't have predicted when he signed him and Dirk Hayhurst isn't as bad as his seven losses would indicate. Joel Santo was hammered in Fort Wayne.

Portland had the night off

Mobile won 3-0 over Tennessee (Diamondbacks)

Sean Thompson sparkled over seven frames, not allowing a run on five hits and two walks – not earning a decision to remain at 1-5 for the year. The lefty has given up two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts but has just one win to show for it. He broke a string of four straight games with a wild pitch. After posting a 4.87 ERA in April, Thompson has a 3.23 ERA from the start of May. Thompson also went 1-for-2 at the plate and has five hits this year in 18 at bats.

Paul Abraham added a win to his belt when the BayBears scored three in the bottom of the eighth. Abraham retired the side in order and has won two of his last four appearances. Sandwiched in between were two outings in which four runs crossed the plate. Abraham has given up runs in nine of his 23 appearances this season but he has been solid at Hank Aaron Stadium, giving up four of his 16 runs and boasting a 2.04 ERA.

For the third straight game, Luis Cruz had a multi-hit affair. He homered and drove in two runs, giving him an RBI in five straight games. He has also scored four runs over his last three games. Since May 1, Cruz is hitting .319 with six homers, 12 doubles, 25 runs scored, and 28 RBI's over 35 games. Cruz has hits in 12 of his last 14 hits and in 20 of his last 24, notching 11 multi-hit games over that span.

Lake Elsinore lost 6-4 to Stockton (A's)

Nic Crosta made his California League debut in right field, going 2-for-5 with a run scored. In 37 games with Fort Wayne, Crosta reached base 75 times, or more than twice per game. With an on base percentage of .497, Crosta led the Midwest League. He also hit an amazing .467 with runners on base and runners in scoring position.

"It's been fun to watch his progress," Grady Fuson, the Padres vice president of scouting and player development, admitted. "I'm actually amazed at this stage - what he's done. But I'm a realist. I know these things can happen from time-to-time. Obviously, the skills which he possessed have shown up. Now whether he continues to grow, that's another thing. Now, I was reluctant to do this because this kid has never had success like this in his life - not that he's been a failure, but to step out after missing half of his college season, and no baseball in the summer and no instructional league and nothing in the fall, to come and hit with me in the cage a little bit and all of a sudden, here he goes. . .I'm happy for the kid."

Jeremy Cleveland went 2-for-5 with a double to push his hitting streak to six games. Cleveland is 8-for-25 over the streak with two doubles and three RBI's. Cleveland has RBI's in just three games since May 11 despite a .367 average with runners in scoring position for the year. Cleveland has just eight hits in 49 at bats when he leads off an inning.

Dirk Hayhurst dropped his seventh game of the year to tie for the California League lead. The right-hander went five innings and gave up five runs, two earned, on six hits and a season-high six walks. The six walks matched his total over his previous five games and represent nearly a third of his total for the year. While Hayhurst has lost seven games, he has kept the opposition to two earned runs or less in seven of his 11 starts and hitters are batting .265 off him on the year.

Fort Wayne lost 8-4 to West Michigan (Devil Rays)

Joel Santo dropped his fourth game of the year, giving up a season-high six runs on a season-high nine hits and three walks. The right-hander has given up four runs or more in three of his last four starts, giving up three total in his other four games. He has a 4.25 ERA as a starter but has walked 20 in 36 innings – and that number is down from the 11 walks in eight innings he had in relief.

Back in the pen after a spot start, Greg Burke tossed the last four innings and was touched for two runs on four hits. Burke has an ERA of 4.88 as a reliever over stints with Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore this year and a 2.00 mark as a starter. After walking five batters in 18.2 innings with the Storm, Burke has just one free pass allowed over 21.2 innings with the Wizards. He did get charged with his first wild pitch of the year on Wednesday.

Notching his first multi-hit game since April 15, Brandon Gottier knocked in three runs with two doubles. He entered his 19th game of the season with two doubles on his resume and four RBI's, leaving a much happier man with a career-high in runs driven in for a single game. The catcher still has just two hits in 22 at bats with runners in scoring position. The opposition stole two bases off him and he has now thrown out six of 16 on the year.

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