Ernesto Frieri deals; Kyler Burke debut

Grady Fuson would like to stress winning in the second half and four of six complied on Thursday. Portland lost Dewon Brazelton after one batter. Mobile rides the hot bat of Vince Sinisi. Pitching rules in LE. Greg Burke - a solid start. Bill Gayton is excited about the kids in Eugene and Peoria. Ernesto Frieri is back. Kyler Burke makes his pro debut, as does draft-and follow Drew Miller.

With the second half now underway, Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development, expects some changes to take place within the system. Without a playoff berth among his long-season affiliates, he wants to see winning ball as much as development. "I want to do some things pitching-wise as we go forward at probably all the levels," Fuson said of what the second half holds. "I want to look at the second half and see how we (a) can get the right players to the right spot and then (b) what ways can we do to enhance, basically, our winning." Portland lost 3-2 to Tacoma (Mariners) in 12 innings

After a complete game one-hitter last time out, Dewon Brazelton did not record an out on Thursday, leaving the game with a strained oblique on his left side after facing one batter. Six relievers held steady through most of the night before taking the loss in extra innings. Jim Brower struck out four of the seven batters he faced but did allow a homer and has given up runs in six of his nine relief appearances.

Paul McAnulty, playing third base for the 11th time in his last 15 games, went 4-for-6, the second time in eight games he has netted four hits or more. McAnulty is hitting .407 when he plays third base with 24 hits in 59 at bats. He is also hitting .388 over his last 21 games with 11 walks. Despite reaching base 42 times, however, he has scored just ten runs over that span. He has eight multi-hit games over his last 15 games.

Mobile won 8-7 over Huntsville (Brewers) in ten innings

Dale Thayer pitched two scoreless innings, running his streak without allowing a run to 9.1 innings and picking up the win. The closer has given up runs in five of his 29 appearances this season. He has a 1.54 ERA over his last 19 innings and has given up one run over his last 14 appearances. He has limited the opposition to a .244 average with runners in scoring position.

For the second game in a row, Vince Sinisi had a multi-hit and multi-RBI game. It was the first time this year he has knocked in runs in successive games. Sinisi has knocked in five over that span with three doubles. Six of the outfielder's last ten hits have gone for extra bases. Sinisi is hitting .280 over the last twenty games and has reached base safely in his last eight games.

Matt Lauderdale homered for the second straight day, a pinch-hit walk-off blast. Stephen Smitherman came into the game with one error on his ledger but added three more on Thursday.

Lake Elsinore won 4-3 over Bakersfield (Rangers)

Cesar Ramos, an All-Star replacement for Mike Ekstrom, secured his fourth win of the season with 6.1 innings of work, stranding his first inherited runner of the season in relief of Doug Brocail and allowing three runs, one earned, on six hits. The lefty has won three of his last five starts and has a 2.61 ERA over that span. Thursday was the second time this year that he has not walked a batter in his outing.

Ryan Klatt earned his 15th hold of the year, tossing an inning of scoreless ball. After posting a 4.63 ERA in April, Klatt has a 2.35 mark over his last two months. He has given up earned runs in just one of his last 17 appearances and has given up runs in nine of 35 overall. Klatt leads the league in appearances, netting six more than his closest competition.

Fort Wayne won 3-2 over Cedar Rapids (Angels) in 12 innings

Greg Burke matched Nick Adenhart over seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out three. Burke, who has made four starts this year for Fort Wayne, has given up two runs or less in each of those, giving up five earned runs over 22 innings as a starter. He has limited the opposition to a .238 average as a starter. As a reliever, Burke has a .269 average against but has been equally effective with a 2.87 ERA.

Centerfielder Javis Diaz had three hits in five at bats, scoring two of the Wizards' three runs. His sacrifice bunt setup the game-winning run. Diaz also added his second stolen base of the year. The outfielder has reached base in all eight of his games and owns a six-game hitting streak. He matched his double total for the year with his second; Diaz had two triples with Lake Elsinore, hitting .262 over 31 games with the Storm.

The game-winning RBI came off the bat of Seth Johnston who ended his night 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI. Johnston, who has been playing third base since Chad Steiner retired, is hitting .324 with runners in scoring position – the top mark on the team. He has hits in seven of his last eight games but has hit just .240 over the last 19 games. He is hitting .235 when he plays third base as opposed to his .275 mark when he plays at second.

Eugene won 7-3 over Boise (Cubs)

"This could be an exciting group of kids," Bill "Chief" Gayton, the Padres director of scouting, said of his draft class. "If we can keep these kids healthy, there's a lot to work with."

Eugene moved to 4-0 for the first time since the team starting keeping track of day-to-day games in 1994, and got 3.2 innings scoreless out of Ernesto Frieri. The right-hander earned the save and allowed two hits and a walk while striking out four. He did allow an inherited runner to score. Frieri did make it into one game with the Wizards, allowing four runs, one earned, on a hit and five walks. Frieri had a 1.17 ERA over 46.1 innings for the AZL Padres and he held the opposition to a .137 average against.

Centerfielder Mike Epping hit his first professional homer, a two-run shot in the third inning, and scored two runs – going 1-for-2 with a walk. He has hits in each of his first four games and has scored four runs over his last three. The 13th round selection of the Padres hit .400 for the University of New Orleans and led the conference in stolen bases (42) and finished third in the nation in that category. He also led his team in RBI's with 58.

First round pick Matt Antonelli collected two hits in four at bats, knocking in a run and drawing a walk. He also stole two bases and has three thefts on the season. Antonelli hit .333 (73-for-219) with 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 55 games for the Demon Deacons. He led the team in runs scored (64), hits (73), doubles (18) and stolen bases (15). Antonelli, 21, started all 163 games the Demon Deacons played in his three seasons at Wake Forest, setting a school record with 128 walks and finished his career with a .324 batting average, 18 home runs, 110 RBI and 46 stolen bases. He has drawn a walk in four straight games to open the year.

AZL Padres lost 9-8 to the AZL Mariners

Kyler Burke opened up his season with the AZL Padres on Thursday, going 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly RBI, and two runs scored. He was also caught stealing. The outfielder, selected by the Padres in the supplemental first round, 35th overall, hit .459 (51-for-111) with 20 home runs and 58 RBI in 45 games for the Ooltewah (TN) High School Owls. He finished the season with 49 walks and continued to show that patience in his first professional game, drawing two free passes.

"To be able to get the kid (Burke) - the young hitter - in the comp round, I thought was an exciting moment," Fuson said on selecting Burke 35th overall.

Dominican prospect Felix Carrasco made his debut, collecting one hit in five trips, adding an RBI. The 19-year old prospect received $150K to sign with the team. A left-handed hitting third baseman, he is touted as having power potential and good agility for his frame. "A big, physical third baseman with raw, raw power," Fuson said when he signed. "He has life in his hitting hands and a good approach at the plate."

Drew Miller notched the start, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk in four innings of work. He surrendered a three-run homer in the fourth after allowing one baserunner through three. Miller was a draft-and-follow signee who received a six-figure contract from the club. He pitched for Seminole State College in Oklahoma for the last two years, posting great strikeout numbers. This past season, the righty whiffed 76 in 50.1 innings of work, putting up a 4.29 ERA along the way.

MadFriars Top Stories