Cesar Ramos' first; Grant Varnell solid

Jack Cust and Paul McAnulty paced the Portland offense, as both homered. Juan Ciriaco has been scuffling this year but had two hits in a Mobile loss. Cesar Ramos gave up five runs for the first time this year. Grant Varnell pitched beautifully in relief and David Freese drove in five.

Portland won 9-4 over Omaha (Royals)

Jack Cust went 3-for-4, belting his 18 dinger of the season in the sixth inning, a three-run blast. It is the ninth homer he has hit with runners on base and the seventh three-hit game of his season. Cust, who leads all of baseball with 109 walks, also leads the Pacific Coast League in on base percentage and is second in the league in runs scored. Cust did get caught stealing for the third time this year in as many attempts.

Paul McAnulty fell a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with three RBI's. He has been on base in 14 straight games, going 22-for-62 with ten extra base hits, nine runs scored, and 12 RBI's. Since the start of June, McAnulty is 82-for-234, a .350 average. Forty-six of his 115 hits have gone for extra bases. The left-handed hitter is also batting .356 with runners in scoring position on the season.

Roger Deago got the win, his fourth, with seven innings of two-run ball. He allowed six hits and a walk while striking out two. Deago had given up ten runs in his last nine innings of work on 16 hits and eight walks. Wednesday was the first time in nine starts that he has walked less than two batters. It is the fourth time in Portland he has held the opposition to two runs or less and the 11th time in 19 starts over two leagues.

Mobile lost 7-4 to Jacksonville (Dodgers)

Juan Ciriaco homered for the first time since April 20, hitting a two-run shot as part of a 2-for-4 night. It is the second time in four games that he has notched a multi-RBI game. Prior to that, he had four RBI's in his previous 27 games. Ciriaco has raised his average from .210 on June 20 to .235 but has struggled at the plate in the nine games he has appeared at second base, batting just .154. All of his starts at second have come since July 13.

Matt Lauderdale went 1-for-3 with a solo homer, a walk, and two runs scored. The catcher improved his road batting average to .173 with his night, which pales in comparison to his .300 average in 21 home games. Wednesday marked the second time in a month that he logged two consecutive days of action. He snared one of two runners attempting to steal off him on Wednesday and has nailed 15-of-45 on the season, good for 33 percent.

Lake Elsinore lost 5-4 to Bakersfield (Rangers)

Cesar Ramos gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings of work to take the loss. It was the first time this season that he has given up more than four runs in a start, coming in outing number 22. The left-hander also plunked two batters and leads the team with nine hit batsmen on the year. Ramos came into the game with five runs allowed over his previous three games and winner of four straight decisions.

Josh Howard went 2-for-4 with a walk but was caught stealing and picked off second base. The outfielder has five multi-hit games in his last seven contests. Over his last 20 games, Howard is hitting .366, going 26-for-71 with ten walks and 15 runs scored. Howard has been snared six times in 21 stolen base attempts on the year. Howard is hitting .359 with the bases empty but has just six hits in 36 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Fort Wayne won 14-3 over Wisconsin (Mariners)

David Freese had a perfect night, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, two runs scored, and five RBI's. Fifteen of his 35 hits with Fort Wayne have now gone for extra bases, including 13 of his last 21. He extended his hitting streak to ten games and has an RBI in all but one of those games, knocking in 16 over that time. It is the third time in 43 games he has driven in four or more. He now has 52 RBI's over his 43 game span across two leagues. Had all his games come with Fort Wayne he would place second on the team to Will Venable who has a 53 game advantage and ten more RBI's.

Mike Sansoe, who missed some time during the month of July with a bruised hand, has a nine game hitting streak after collecting three hits in six trips with two runs scored and two RBI's. He also added his 17th stolen base of the year in 22 attempts. Sansoe is hitting 15-for-40 over the streak, a .375 average, and has scored a run in eight of those games, 11 total over that span. He has raised his average from .219 to .254. He has a .257 average on the season over two leagues.

While Wade LeBlanc notched his first in the Midwest League it was Grant Varnell who stole the show. The right-hander tossed four innings of scoreless ball to close out the game, allowing two hits and striking out three to earn his first save of the year. The former starter has a 2.89 ERA in 18.2 innings of relief work on the year after posting a 4.54 ERA and 2-8 mark as a starter. He has given up three runs in his last 12.1 innings of work, split between starting and the pen. The opposition is hitting .278 off him in relief after swatting .315 off him as a starter.

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