Evan Meek dominant; Pete LaForest returns

Evan Meek had the finest outing of his season on Thursday. Jack Cassel struck out 12 but gave up seven runs. Jonathan Ellis and James Bullard returned. Will Venable broke up a no-hit bid in the seventh inning. Michael Campbell has hit in each of the three stops he has made. Pete Laforest is hitting in Arizona and Seth Johnston made another step in his recovery.

Portland had the night off

Mobile lost 7-3 to Montgomery (Devil Rays)

Jack Cassel struck out a career-high 12 but also surrendered seven runs, six earned, on ten hits and a walk. He served up two homers and hit two batters. The right-hander had not allowed more than two runs in any of his first seven starts in Mobile and even with the ten hits against he still has held the opposition to a .204 average. Cassel has allowed just five hits in 38 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Dustin Delucchi was 2-for-5 but was thrown out at third base trying to go from first to third on a single to centerfield in the first inning. The outfielder is hitting .308 over his last eight games and .281 over his last 26 contests after hitting .174 in his first nine games with the club back in June. Delucchi is hitting .346 when he leads off an inning but just .214 off left-handed pitching.

James Bullard and Jonathan Ellis each returned to Mobile and pitched a scoreless inning. Bullard returned from injury that had him sidelined for two weeks and Ellis from the suspended list after making one appearance in Peoria. Ellis last pitched in Mobile on June 10.

Lake Elsinore won 4-1 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

Evan Meek had his finest outing of the year on Thursday. The right-hander gave up just one hit, one walk, and one unearned run over six innings while striking out seven to even his record at 5-5. It marked the first time this year he has walked one or less in consecutive outings and the fifth time in 24 outings on the year. It is the 13th time he has given up two runs or less and second time he has had a one-hitter. He has held the opposition to four hits or less in 12 of his outings.

Josh Howard continues to rake, notching two more hits in five at bats with a run scored. Over his last 28 games, Howard is 37-for-104, a .356 average, with 16 walks, a .442 on base percentage, and 23 runs scored. Over his last 15 games he has amassed ten multi-hit games. He has smoked right-handed pitchers to the tune of a .360 average but has just four hits in 30 at bats off lefties. While he is smacking .351 with the bases empty, he has a .186 mark with runners in scoring position.

Fort Wayne lost 6-3 to Beloit (Twins)

The Wizards were without a baserunner until Will Venable singled with one out in the seventh inning and had fanned 11 times through the first six frames. They ended up with three knocks, including a run scoring double from catcher Brandon Gottier, the only player to have a hit and an RBI. He is five for his last 11 and has a hit in nine of his last 12 games, hitting .279 over that span. Gottier snagged the only baserunner attempting to steal off him and has caught 17-of-46 on the year.

Steve Delabar took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks over six innings while striking out five. It is the tenth time in 23 starts he has allowed three runs or more and the ninth consecutive game he has walked three or more – he has walked 30 over that span in 52.1 innings. Delabar also tossed a wild pitch, giving him 12 on the year and four in the last two games.

Eugene won 5-3 over Vancouver (A's)

Jesus Lopez drove in two with his first triple of the year and scored a run. It is the fifth time in 72 games that he has notched a multi-RBI game over two leagues. Lopez has an extra base hit in five of his last seven games after netting one in five of his previous 35 games between Eugene and Fort Wayne. It was his fifth hit with runners in scoring position since joining the Ems.

Michael Campbell went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. He is 28-for-87, a .322 average, over three different leagues this year. He is 13-for-37 with runners on base on the season, a .351 average. Campbell has played left field, centerfield and since joining the Ems right field. He was thrown out attempting to steal and is 1-for-2 on the year.

After not giving up an earned run all year, R.J. Rodriguez has surrendered one in each of his last two games. He allowed a run on two hits and a walk while striking out one, earning his eighth save but his ERA more than doubled to 1.04 from 0.55 with two runs yielded on four hits and two walks over his last three innings of work. Ironically, he earned the win on Tuesday night and the save this night. It is the second time this year he has given up multiple hits in successive outings.

Justin Mattison was given leave for the next few days to attend a wedding – his own. He is expected back after the weekend.

AZL Padres lost 6-5 to AZL Cubs

Felix Carrasco hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth inning but it wasn't enough this day. The third baseman went 2-for-5, adding a double and scoring two runs to push his average back over .300 after spending three days below. The switch-hitter has notched each of his four homers and 11 of his 15 extra base hits off right-handed pitching but has just 37 at bats off lefties. He did commit his 18th error of the year, which led to two unearned runs and his .805 fielding percentage entering the game was the worst mark among players who had seen time in more than eight games at the hot corner.

Seth Johnston saw action for the second straight day, his first action since injuring his leg on a single on July 22. Johnston went 1-for-5 with a run scored and two strikeouts. The second baseman had been hitting .304 over a 19-game span prior to the injury with 14 runs scored, five doubles, four homers and 12 RBI's. A .275 hitter with Fort Wayne, Johnston sports a .298 average with runners in scoring position and is hitting .293 against right-handed pitching.

Pete Laforest made his season debut as the designated hitter, going 0-for-3 and striking out twice. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the catcher went down with a lower abdominal strain near the end of spring training. In 25 games for Tampa Bay last year he hit .172 with 11 hits in 64 at bats. He had one hit in 12 at bats with the Padres in spring training, homering and driving in three.

Cedric Hunter went 4-for-5 to extend his on base streak to 37 games.

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