Tim Brown plunked again; Antonelli on track

Erick Burke was crushed in his first start of the year. Jon Knott is simply crushing the ball, single-handedly leading Portland to a nightcap win. Colt Morton hit his first homer in Double-A. Tim Brown knocked in three and was hit by another pitch. Jose Lobaton knocked in both runs in a Fort Wayne loss. Matt Antonelli continues to be a catalyst for Eugene.

Portland lost 11-1 to Tucson (Diamondbacks) in game one, won 3-2 in game two

Erick Burke was pummeled in his first start of the year, allowing five runs on three hits and four walks. Two of the three hits he yielded left the park, the second time in four appearances he has surrendered multiple homers in a game. Burke came into the game with a 3.33 ERA as a reliever but had given up runs in four of his last five appearances. His ERA now stands at 3.99 and he has walked three or more in five outings – none of which has lasted more than 3.2 innings.

Aquilino Lopez served up two more homers to push the reliever's total to 16 for the year – his fourth multi-homer game – and the team allowed five bombs in game one, a seven inning contest. Tucson is second to Portland in homers on the season.

Paul McAnulty ended up with three of Portland's five hits in game one but went 0-for-3 in the nightcap. Jon Knott, on the other hand, was 0-fer in the front half of the doubleheader but delivered a three-run bomb in the sixth inning for the only runs of the game. He went 2-for-2, adding a double and a walk. His 42 extra base hits are third-most in the Pacific Coast League and he now leads the league in homers. Knott has 20 RBI's in his last 15 games.

Mobile lost 7-4 to Birmingham (White Sox)

Mike Ekstrom gave up five runs over 6.2 innings on seven hits to take his fourth loss of the year in Southern League play, snapping Mobile's six-game win streak. It is the second time in six starts he has given up five or more runs with his other four contests three or less and two earned or less. Ekstrom came into the game with a .211 average against and hadn't surrendered any runs in the first through fourth innings in his first five Double-A starts. He allowed all five of his runs in innings one through four on Tuesday.

Colt Morton hit his first homer in Double-A, smashing a solo shot in the seventh for his only hit of the day. His two hits in 14 at bats in Mobile have gone for extra bases and each has driven in a run. Twenty of Morton's 40 hits in Lake Elsinore went for extra bases. Morton failed to throw out three baserunners stealing and has nabbed 28 runners in 87 attempts, good for 32 percent.

Lake Elsinore won 7-3 over Inland Empire (Mariners)

Chase Headley knocked in two runs over the first two innings of the game without the benefit of a hit. He walked in a run in the opening frame and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second. He would end the day without a hit but his 50 RBI's rank second on the team with 13 coming over his last 16 games. The third baseman had a hit in 14 of his last 15 games coming in.

Tim Brown was just the opposite of Headley over the first two innings. He doubles in two runs in the first and added an RBI single in the second. Brown was plunked with a pitch for the 14th time this year in his next at bat. Over his last 15 games, Brown is hitting .326. He has knocked in eight over his last six contests.

"I think a lot of that is guys just trying to come inside and they just miss," Brown said of getting hit by so many pitches. "I don't stand extremely close to the plate. I am on it a little bit so I can cover that outside corner."

Fort Wayne lost 4-2 to Burlington (Royals)

Jose Lobaton drove in both runs with a single, his only hit of the game. He ended the night by going 1-for-2 with a sacrifice and a walk. Lobaton hit .213 over 42 games with Lake Elsinore, has reached base five times in 12 plate appearances with Fort Wayne. He has been on base in seven straight games with eight of his 18 RBI's on the season, over two leagues, coming in that span. Lobaton was 0-for-3 in throwing out runners attempting to steal.

Mike Baxter recorded the only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double. He was, however, caught stealing for the third time this year in 13 attempts – occurring right before a Will Venable double. Baxter has notched a multi-hit game in two straight and in five of his last eight games. After hitting .230 during the month of June, he has batted .266 over his last 15 games and is 16-for-53, a .302 average, over his last 12 contests.

Greg Burke allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over 6.2 innings in a losing effort. The right-hander struck out a season-high eight but served up a homer for the third straight game. Burke is 2-3 in nine starts with a 4.47 ERA after posting a 2.87 ERA over seven relief appearances. He has given up three runs or more in each of his last five starts after allowing two or less in his first four. Lefties are hitting .385 off him while righties are batting just .227.

Eugene won 5-2 over Tri-City (Rockies)

The Emeralds managed to score three runs in the first three innings on one hit, using two sacrifice flies and a double. Matt Antonelli logged the double and added two more hits to go with two RBI's on the day. The third baseman has three multi-hit games in his last four games and has knocked in a run in four of five and six of eight, ten total over that span. While he has hit .208 off left-handed pitching, he has batted .343 off right-handers. Antonelli added his seventh stolen base of the year.

"They are a good team," Antonelli said of Tri-City. "We have to bring our A-game to beat them and (continue to) build on our momentum.

Rolando Valdez picked up his fourth win of the year with two scoreless innings of work, walking two and striking out one. The right-hander has walked 15 in 18.1 innings with three coming over his last eight frames. His four wins have come over his last six outings and in his last seven he has a 0.71 ERA. He has held left-handers to three hits in 23 at bats. He has not given up a hit in his last five innings, striking out six.

"He throws strikes," Padres' minor league field coordinator Bill Bryk, said. "Good change, average fastball."

Mike Epping's hitting streak ended at nine games but he extended his on base streak to a league best 26 straight with two walks. He also scored two runs to push his Northwest League leading total to 28. He has scored a run in seven straight games and has crossed the dish seven times in his last four contests. Eeping has walked 13 times in his last 11 games and has an on base percentage of .462 over that span.

AZL Padres had the day off


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