One week to the day of their perfect game and on his 26th birthday, Dewon Brazelton, wearing number 26, took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before a pinch-hit single to right from Adam Shabala with two outs broke up his bid for history. It was the first complete game shutout of his professional career. It took 108 pitches for Brazelton to finish off his birthday one-hitter, a new franchise record for a complete game shutout. On July 15, 2004 Justin Germano pitched a two-hit complete game shutout, the previous best in team history. He had given up 18 runs over his previous 22 innings coming into the game. Brazelton had come within four outs of a no-hitter in the majors before giving up a double to Mike Lowell.
"I already knew a no-hitter was going," Brazelton told Portland broadcaster Rich Burke after the game. "Rather than worry about it I stayed relaxed. I felt good that I pitched a good game already. If they were going to get a hit tonight it wasn't going to be on a cookie."
Jack Cust crushed two James Garcia pitches, hitting a three-run blast in the second and adding a grand slam in the fifth to give him seven RBI's. His previous high in RBI's this season had been four. He knocked in five three times during the 2004 season, His career-high had been six RBI's on July 19, 1999. It was the second time this year Cust has gone deep twice in the same game.
Jon Knott added his 40th RBI of the year on a 1-for-2 night with two walks. The first baseman is now hitting .309 with runners in scoring position. He has not, however, hit a homer in 18 games after shipping ten over the wall in May. Knott is batting just .181 at PGE Park but has a .309 average in road games.
Mobile lost 1-0 to Montgomery (Devil Rays)
John Hudgins took the loss, his third in a row, despite giving up one run on five hits and a walk in six innings of work. The right-hander had given up nine runs in his previous ten frames but has given up two runs or less in five of his seven starts. Only eight of the 40 lead off men he has faced have reached base against him. He has not given up a first inning run since joining Mobile.
While he did draw a walk, Juan Ciriaco was 0-for-3 at the plate – and is now hitless in 22 straight at bats. In the leadoff spot of the lineup for the third time this season, Ciriaco has six hits in his last 50 at bats, a .120 average. The shortstop was also caught stealing for the first time in six stolen base attempts. He is batting .175 off right-handed pitching but .297 off lefties.
Luis Cruz was the only member of the team to reach base three times, a third of the total bases Mobile accounted for. He singled, doubled and added a walk. Cruz is hitting .300 when he hits sixth in the lineup, as he did on Friday. The second baseman is hitting .291 in June and has whiffed just two times in his last 13 games, including once on Friday. Since the start of May he is hitting .308.
Lake Elsinore won 8-0 over Modesto (Rockies)
Brent Carter added his first professional nine inning complete-game shutout on Friday, giving up five hits and striking out six. The lefty extended his scoreless streak to 15 innings in the process and it is the fourth time this year he has thrown blanks in a start. Carter had given up 15 runs in his previous three starts, spanning 13 innings.
It was the eighth shutout of the year for Lake Elsinore to lead the California League. The Storm lead the league in pitching with a 3.35 ERA, have allowed 42 fewer homers than the league leader - a California League best of 31 surrendered, and have walked the fewest batters. They are, however, last in the league in hitting, although they do lead the league in walks – drawing 11 on Friday.
Jeremy Cleveland connected with a bases loaded single to drive in two in the first inning, extending his on base streak to ten games. He is hitting .300 over the streak with four walks, going 12-for-40, but has scored just two runs and has not crossed the dish in eight games. Cleveland is hitting .359 with runners in scoring position and is now 2-for-6 with the bases loaded.
Fort Wayne lost 7-1 to West Michigan (Tigers)
For the fourth game in a row, catcher Nick Hundley crushed a homer, accounting for the only run of the night for the Wizards. He went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to nine games in the process. During that span, Hundley has hit all six of his homers. He is hitting .433 with 13 hits in 30 at bats and has an RBI in seven of his last eight games. Hundley has also scored six runs over his last four games. He did get caught stealing for the first time this year and grounded into a double play.
Grant Varnell dropped his seventh game of the year, tying the mark for most in the Midwest League. The right-hander surrendered six runs, two earned, on seven hits and two walks over five innings. Nine unearned runs have crossed the plate with Varnell on the mound over his last two starts. The opposition is hitting .307 off him and lefties are teeing off at a .367 clip.
Greg Burke was back in the pen on Friday, tossing three scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and struck out three. In 30.2 innings, Burke has walked just two men during Midwest League play and owns a 0.92 WHIP. Counting his time with Lake Elsinore, Burke has a WHIP of 1.20. Over seven relief appearances, the right-hander has a 2.87 ERA, spanning 15.2 innings of work.