Matt Varner returns; Brandon Gottier the hero

Dewon Brazelton was much better but still took the loss. Dirk Hayhurst will make a spot start in Portland for Cesar Carrillo. Luis Cruz has moved onto the Southern League leaderboard. Matt Varner returned to game action. Brandon Gottier's homer in the 15th inning lead to a win.

Portland lost 2-1 to Sacramento (A's)

Dirk Hayhurst has been moved up to Portland from Lake Elsinore to make a spot start for the club in place of Cesar Carrillo who will be held back for precautionary reasons. Hayhurst is not expected to return to the Storm afterwards, making the trek to Mobile instead. While Hayhurst had a 2-7 record, his 3.97 ERA was better than six of the ten California League teams.

Dewon Brazelton had his best start since a four-inning outing on May 20 but still picked up the loss, his third of the year. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits over 6.1 frames. He surrendered another homer, his sixth allowed over his last four starts. Twelve of his 33 hits against have gone for extra bases. While he hasn't allowed a first inning run, 11 of his 16 earned runs have come across in the second and third innings.

Erick Burke pitched an inning and two-thirds of scoreless ball, stranding two inherited runners. He has given up runs in just two of his last 12 appearances and seven of 24 overall. He did walk a batter, issuing a free pass to eight men over his last 6.2 innings. The opposition has eight hits in 42 at bats off Burke with runners in scoring position.

Two of Portland's four hits came off the bat of Paul McAnulty. It is the third straight game he has recorded a multi-hit game and the seventh time in his last 11 games. Over that span he is hitting .439 but despite reaching base 22 times over that span has scored just three runs and knocked in four. McAnulty has played in six games at third base this year and has a hit in each of those games, batting .423 at the hot corner.

Mobile won 6-3 over Tennessee (Diamondbacks)

Joey Gomes went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, his first three-hit game of the year and fourth multi-hit affair. He is 7-for-17 over his last four games and has an RBI in three of the four. Gomes has also scored a run in four of his last six games and is hitting .375 at Hank Aaron Stadium. Gomes did, however, get caught stealing in his first attempt of the year on Sunday.

Luis Cruz hit his seventh homer of the year and added a sacrifice fly to give him two RBI's. He has three homers over his last nine games with an RBI in seven of those contests. Since May 1, Cruz is hitting .316 with 23 extra base hits and 29 RBI's in 39 games. He is now third in the Southern League with 39 RBI's despite hitting .189 over 20 April games. He is hitting .313 with runners in scoring position.

Leo Rosales picked up the win, his first in Southern League play. The reliever allowed one hit and struck out two in his inning of work, lowering his ERA for the month to 1.29 with a .172 batting average against. Since his return from Lake Elsinore, Rosales has lowered his ERA from 6.92 to 4.62. He has kept the opposition to eight hits in 40 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Lake Elsinore lost 4-1 to High Desert (Royals)

Brett Dowdy will return to Mobile after providing a spark for Lake Elsinore over ten games. On Sunday, Dowdy went 2-for-4, his fifth multi-hit game in the last ten. He is hitting .375 over that span. In his ten games with the Storm, Dowdy had played four different positions: centerfield, third base, second base, and shortstop. Dowdy hit .258 over 27 games with the BayBears earlier in the year.

Matt Varner saw his first game action since coming back from the suspended list. He pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one. His last game had come on April 15 when he allowed three runs on two hits and two walks in a loss. Varner began the year as the closer for Lake Elsinore, saving his first three games before the loss and suspension, which cost him 50 games.

Manny Ayala has given up just one hit over his last 6.1 innings of work and that came on Sunday in a 2.1 inning performance. He stranded two inherited runners and has whiffed one, lowering his ERA to 1.84. The opposition has just one hit off him with runners in scoring position in California League play. He has given up runs in four of his ten appearances over three different leagues but in three of the four games he has given up a run he went a minimum of 3.1 innings.

Fort Wayne won 7-6 over Cedar Rapids (Angels) in 15 innings

The Wizards moved to 2-2 in extra innings games with their win on Sunday, receiving seven innings of scoreless relief after Jon Link blew his fourth game of the year. Nathan Staggs picked up his first win, tossing two innings, walking two and striking out three. It was his longest outing without allowing a run as the long reliever had given up runs in all five of his outings that went two or more innings. He had given up runs in four of his last five outings.

Starting in place of Fabian Jimenez and on three days rest after pitching four innings on June 7, Greg Burke allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over six frames. He had gone five outings without walking a batter, a span of 13.2 inning. The right-hander has made three starts for Fort Wayne, giving up four runs in 15 innings, a 2.40 ERA. He has given up five hits in 26 at bats to the leadoff man of an inning, a .192 on base percentage.

After an 0-for-6 mark through 14 innings and creaky knees to boot, catcher Brandon Gottier led off the 15th inning with a solo homer – his first of the year that ended up as the game-wunner. After netting two extra base hits over his first 18 games, Gottier has three in his last two games. He has also knocked in half of his eight RBI's over the last two. Two runners did successfully steal a bag off Gottier who now has thrown out 33 percent of the runners attempting thievery this year.


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