Gardner, Link throw one-hitter

Jarrett Gardner and Jon Link combine for a one-hit shutout for Fort Wayne. Three relievers work magic in Portland. Mobile gets a win for Dirk Hayhurst. Peter Ciofrone goes slamming for Lake Elsinore. Luke Cannon hits his first professional homer in Eugene. The AZL Padres are the only black mark on a day of winner's. A 17-year old outfielder has room to grown in the DSL.

Portland won 4-3 over Tacoma (Mariners)

Jim Brower worked two scoreless innings where he put down all six batters he faced, two by strikeout, to earn the win, his fourth with the Beavers. Over his last seven games, spanning 12 innings, he has given up one run on four hits. That is four hits in the last 38 at bats, a .105 average against. Brower had given up runs in eight of his first 11 appearances where he sported an 8.79 ERA. He has lowered it to 5.13 for the year and right-handers are batting .200 off him.

Scott Cassidy returned to the hill in Portland for the first time since September 2, 2005. He walked one and struck out one, earning the save. The right-hander went 5-4 for the Padres with a 2.79 ERA in 37 appearances. Over 38.1 innings he yielded 36 hits while walking 17 and striking out 42. Cassidy went 0-1 with 11 saves for Portland last year. He gave up five runs, four earned, in 19 innings on ten hits for a 1.79 ERA. He has converted ten straight saves in Portland dating back to last year.

Steve Andrade worked a perfect eighth inning, the seventh appearance in a row that he has not yielded a run. The right-hander has tossed 11.2 scoreless innings, giving up five hits over that span. He has walked seven during that stretch but has also struck out 12. Left-handed hitters are batting just .121 off him and just one of 15 leadoff men in an inning has recorded a hit. Andrade has given up four hits in 19 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Mobile won 6-2 over West Tenn (Cubs)

Dirk Hayhurst gave up two runs in the first and that was all he would allow over six-plus frames. He surrendered six hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out seven for the win, his second in as many starts. His two walks were more than he had given up in his previous 16.2 innings in Double-A. The right-hander has given up two runs over his last 11 innings of work in Mobile. Five of the nine runs he has surrendered have come in the first or second inning and ten of 26 came in those frames while he was with Lake Elsinore.

Brett Dowdy went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. The utility player has drawn a walk in six straight games and has reached base two or more times over his last five. When he bats in the leadoff spot, he is sporting a .387 on base percentage. He also stole his eight base of the year in ten attempts and has been successful in snaring seven straight. Playing third base for the 36th time in Mobile, he owns a .931 fielding percentage. He is also hitting .311 when he mans the hot corner.

Lake Elsinore won 8-7 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

Peter Ciofrone hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. The outfielder's last homer came on June 13 but he has knocked in 22 runs over his last 16 games, including Sunday, and 35 in his last 29. He has more RBI's (52) than games played (50). Ciofrone has notched an RBI in eight of his last 11 games, 20 RBI's over that span. He is hitting .345 over his last 16 games and .386 over his last 39 contests. He would place second in the league in hitting if he qualified.

Cesar Ramos allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks over five in a no-decision. The left-hander has given up two runs or less in nine of his 18 starts and two earned runs or less in 11. After posting consecutive months with a sub-3.00 ERA, Ramos has a 3.52 ERA in four July starts and the opposition has hit .312 off him this month. Sunday was the fourth time this year he has walked three or more. Eighteen of the 36 earned runs he has allowed this year have come in the first or second inning.

Josh Howard went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. The leadoff hitter is hitting .333 when he starts an inning or the bases are empty but he has just four hits in 24 at bats with runners in scoring position. Howard has five multi-hit games in his last seven contests, including two three-hit nights, four doubles and nine runs scored. He is 12-for-26 over that span. While Howard did not steal a base on Sunday, he is 10-for-11 in thievery this season.

Fort Wayne won 5-0 over Burlington (Royals)

Jarrett Gardner and Jon Link pitched Fort Wayne to the third one-hitter in Wizards history on Sunday.

Gardner retired the first 11 batters he faced and allowed just three men to reach base over seven innings, including the only hit of the game in the fourth inning. Topping 100 pitches, he walked two and struck out five to get his first win in the Padres' system. The walks were his first of the year for Fort Wayne. The right-hander had given up 13 runs, five earned, on 18 hits in his previous two starts which spanned seven frames. Just three of 18 leadoff hitters in an inning have reached base.

Link made his 37th appearance out of the pen, one less than Brandon Higelin who leads the Midwest League. Link, who had been tagged for nine runs, three earned, over his last 1.2 innings, punched out the only six batters he faced, whiffing two. He has given up runs in 16 of his outings with seven of those resulting in multiple runs crossing the dish. Lefties are hitting .359 off him while right-handers are batting .236. He has a 8.10 ERA with a .375 average against in July.

David Freese extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a 3-for-5 night – with every Wizard recording a hit. He has a hit in each of his nine games with Fort Wayne and ended his campaign in Eugene with hits in eight straight. Freese connected on a 2-2 pitch in the first inning to single in two runs, his third multi-RBI game since joining the Wizards. He also notched his first triple as a professional – his second extra base hit in the Midwest League after collecting 13 in 18 games with Eugene. He is 27-for-68 over the streak, a .397 average, with 24 RBI's and 15 runs scored. He has scored just two runs since joining Fort Wayne.

Eugene won 10-4 over Yakima (Mariners)

Matt Antonelli came into the game as the Northwest League leader in fielding percentage amongst third basemen at .978 but committed two errors on Sunday. He did have two hits in four at bats, adding a sacrifice fly, two runs scored, and two RBI's. He ranks second on the team with three sacrifice flies on the year and has eight multi-hit games on the year. Antonelli has driven in a run in three straight games and five of his last six. In 26 games he has walked twice as many times as he has struck out, 22-to-11.

Luke Cannon just cleared the wall in right, banging a shot for a three-run homer, for his first of the year and as a professional. Cannon hit 18 homers this past season for Texas State. Cannon added a walk and a single, reaching base three times in five plate appearances. He came into the game in a 3-for-20 slump with seven strikeouts and had just one RBI in his first 11 games this year. He has, however, reached base in all but one of his 12 games this year thanks to nine walks. Cannon did commit his first error of the year.

Chad Huffman notched his team-leading fourth sacrifice fly on the year and added a two-run double, giving him three RBI's on the day. It is the third time this year he has knocked in three runs or more. He ended the day 2-for-4 and the double was his seventh. He had been hitting .224 over his previous 12 games after hitting .318 over his first six. His 11 extra base hits – and his 17 RBI's lead the current squad, despite a .259 average with runners in scoring position.

AZL Padres lost 5-2 to AZL Athletics

Geoff Vandel pitched to the minimum in his two innings of work, striking out one. It is his second appearance without allowing a run after giving up runs in five straight games over two leagues. Vandel has lowered his average against for the year from .388 to .344 over his last three games, all with the AZL Padres. The left-hander gave up 13 runs, 12 earned, on 19 hits and ten walks in 11 innings for Eugene. Eight of the 22 hits he has yielded have gone for extra bases.

Rayner Contreras went 2-for-4 with an RBI and extended his hitting streak to six games. The second baseman has an RBI in four straight and five of his last six. He also has three multi-hit games in his last four and is 9-for-22 in July. Seven of his ten hits have come with runners on base. He is now hitting .203 on the year between the rookie squad and Fort Wayne where he spent 12 games. Contreras did commit his third error of the year.

Rey Garramone pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. The right-hander has given up three runs over his last 15 innings and the opposition is hitting .212 off him during that span. Nine of 16 leadoff men have reached base on Garramone this year, a .563 on base percentage. With runners in scoring position he has surrendered six hits in 30 at bats.

DSL Padres Update

Joel Armstrong, a 17-year old outfielder, has been overwhelmed to start his career. In 20 games through July 11, the 6-foot-2 185-pounder is hitting .105 with six hits in 57 at bats. He has whiffed nearly 50 percent of the time, going down 24 times. Three times this year he has whiffed in every at bat in a game and has whiffed three or more times on four occasions. He has batted sixth through ninth in the order with his most success coming in the eight-hole where he is hitting .231.

Stiven Osuna, a 19-year old right-hander out of Venezuela, is 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA over seven appearances through July 11, including one start. Six of his 11 earned runs came in one outing, skewing his stats. He has a 2.94 ERA in his six other appearances and has given up one run over his last 6.2 innings. He has held left-handed batters to four hits in 21 at bats.

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