Contreras smoking; Smitherman grand

Seven runs in the first doomed Tim Stauffer, although Luke Carlin set a career high in RBI's. Stephen Smitherman is feeling grand for the BayBears. Nic Crosta is more than hot. Steve Delabar was firing on all cylinders. Brian Lauderdale did well subbing for an injured Matt Antonelli. Rayner Contreras led a 20-hit attack with four hits and five RBI's.

Portland lost 10-6 to Tucson (Diamondbacks)

Tucson pounced on Tim Stauffer early, scoring seven runs in the first inning, four unearned thanks to two errors by Dave Matranga. He settled down after the first, retiring nine in a row after a leadoff walk in the second and his night ended after five frames with the seven runs, three earned, coming on six hits and a season-high five walks. It is, however, the sixth time in his last seven starts he has given up four runs or more and marked his ninth loss of the season. The opposition is hitting .305 off him.

Luke Carlin went 2-for-5 with a double and collected a season-high and career-high in RBI's with four. His highest total previously was June 18 of this year when he amassed three. After hitting .300 during the month of June, Carlin has seen his average dip with nine hits in his last 45 at bats. He is hitting .277 with runners in scoring position for the year.

Mobile won 8-3 over Birmingham (White Sox)

Sean Thompson picked up win number four on Thursday. He surrendered three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks while striking out six. The left-hander hit a batter with Mobile up 6-0 and proceeded to jaw with the player as he went up the first base line, drawing the Birmingham players out of the dugout before cooler heads prevailed. Thompson has won three of his last four decisions and the three runs broke a streak of five straight where he surrendered two runs or less. He hadn't walked more than two batters in a game since May 23.

Stephen Smitherman hit a grand slam homer in the first inning and added a run scoring single to give him a season-high five RBI's. It was the second grand slam of the year for Mobile as they had plated four runs before recording an out. The first baseman last drove in five runs while playing for Chattanooga on August 16, 2005. Over the last eight games, Smitherman is 10-for-32 with 11 RBI's. He has raised his season average from .191 to .218 in that time.

Lake Elsinore lost 6-5 to Inland Empire (Mariners) in ten innings

Evan Meek allowed three runs, all in the fourth inning, on six hits and four walks while striking out four. He came into the game with 15 runs allowed over his previous five innings on 20 hits and the opposition was hitting .491 off him in his last 11 frames, but had won three of his last four decisions. Meek has walked three or more in eight of his 19 outings. Although he throws hard, just 17 of the 109 hits he has allowed have gone for extra bases.

Nic Crosta banged out four hits in five at bats, netting two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. He also stole his third bag with Lake Elsinore and fifth of the year and was credited with an outfield assist. He extended his hitting streak and run scored streak to seven and has an RBI in each of his last six games. Crosta is 15-for-31 over that span with five multi-hit games. Eighteen of his 41 hits in the California League have gone for extra bases.

Peter Ciofrone continues to light it up. The outfielder collected two more hits and scored two runs. Over his last eight games, Ciofrone has crossed the plate 12 times and has driven in ten. He is hitting .364 for the month of July with 23 RBI's and has 44 hits in 112 at bats over his last 32 games. Ciofrone's .347 average would lead the league in hitting if he had enough plate appearances to qualify and his 53 RBI's in 53 games are just 15 off the top ten leaderboard, despite missing 20+ games in the California League.

Fort Wayne won 5-1 over Southwest Michigan (Devil Rays)

Steve Delabar picked up win number seven with six innings of one run ball. He allowed four hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out seven. The lone run came on a solo homer. It is the third time this year he has whiffed seven but the fifth straight game he has walked three or more. Delabar has allowed one run or less in nine of his 19 starts and two runs or less in 12 outings. He has limited the opposition to 18 hits in 89 at bats with runners in scoring position. Opponents have been successful 19 times in stealing a base off the right-hander and were 3-for-4 on Thursday.

Kyle Blanks went 2-for-2 with a walk, a sacrifice fly and two RBI's, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Blanks has an RBI in eight of those nine games, including seven in a row at one point, and 11 overall in that stretch. Over his last 17 games he is hitting .339 and despite just three extra base hits he has 14 RBI's. He is hitting .300 on the year with runners in scoring position.

David Freese hit a two-run homer, his first in Midwest League play, to extend his on base streak to 21 games over two leagues. Freese, who hit five bombs with Eugene and netted 13 extra base hits, has just three extra base hits in 12 games with Fort Wayne. He did secure his fourth multi-RBI game since joining the team and has a hit in all but one game. Freese's fielding percentage is perfect since joining the Wizards.

Eugene lost 5-1 to Tri-City (Rockies)

With Matt Antonelli nursing a hand injury that may keep him out for a couple of days, Brian Lauderdale took the hot corner and went 2-for-4 at the dish with a double and a run scored. He also appeared to have scored another run but was ruled out, despite the catcher never applying a tag in a collision at the plate. Lauderdale came into the game with one hit in nine previous at bats in the Northwest League after going 5-for-12 in Peoria. He did strikeout twice and has whiffed six times in 13 at bats in Eugene.

Kody Valverde snapped an 0-for-16 skid with two hits, a walk, and an RBI. The catcher has drawn six walks in his last three games and has 14 to just five strikeouts on the season. Although he is hitting .208, he has a .387 on base percentage. Valverde picked off a runner at first base and snared one of two baserunners attempting to steal. Twenty-four of 31 have been successful in swiping a bag off the catcher.

Jackson Quezada was tagged for two runs on four hits and a walk in his lone inning of work. The right-hander has given up nine earned runs in his last 10.1 innings on 17 hits and six walks. For the season, the opposition is hitting .339 off him and that number jumps to .375 with runners in scoring position. As a reliever, Quezada has an ERA of 18.00 while he sports a 3.65 mark as a starter.

AZL Padres won 18-8 over AZL Giants

Rayner Contreras led the 20-hit attack with four hits in seven at bats and a career-high five RBI's. The second baseman hadn't collected more than two hits in any game until Thursday. He has knocked in a run in five of his last six games at the plate, collecting ten over that span. He also has a eight-game hitting streak, going 14-for-32 with 11 RBI's. He is hitting .450 with men in scoring position during his time in Peoria.

Extending his on base streak to 20 games, Felix Carrasco fell a double shy of the cycle. He belted his third homer of the year, tripled, walked, notched three RBI's and scored four runs. He sits in the top ten of the Arizona Rookie League in nearly every major offensive category, including average, hits, runs scored, extra base hits, doubles, and RBI's. He is hitting .636 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

A.J. Davidiuk went 2-for-3 and was hit by two pitches. He also doubled and drove in three. The baseball has found Davidiuk six times in 15 games this year while no one else on the team has been hit more than two times. Nine of his 11 RBI's have come in three games. He has six multi-hit games on the season and is hitting .318 over his last 11 games with ten RBI's and nine runs scored.

Vantroit Medina cruised through five innings to pick up his first win as a professional. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk, while hitting his team leading fourth batter. The right-hander gave up five runs in his last outing, coming out of the pen, and has a 10.29 ERA as a reliever compared to his 2.38 ERA in the starting role. Also, opponents are hitting .344 off him in relief and .217 when he starts.

MadFriars Top Stories