Portland pitching coach Gary Lance realizes his team won't make the playoffs this year but remains happy with the results of his pitching staff.
"Just keeping guys ready and able to go to the next level, which is the major leagues, and having them able to be effective up there – the Jon Adkins' of the world and there were a bunch of guys we sent up there this season, Sweeney and Stauffer. That is what I was put here to do. To get these guys ready. Not to get people out in the PCL but to get people ready to pitch in the major leagues. To see them go up there and do well – Cla Meredith – it has been fun to see those kind of things."
The Terrmel Sledge blitz continues. He set a new Portland franchise record with a hitting streak of 18 games when he smashed a two run homer in the seventh inning. He also added a sacrifice fly to give him three RBI's. It is the fourth straight game that he has homered – the second time this year he has accomplished the feat. He now has 11 homers and 21 extra base hits over his last 25 games to go with 29 RBI's and a .396 average.
Jack Cust went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI's and two walks. Cust has three homers in his last four games and 11 during the month of August to match Sledge. He has driven in 21 over his last 28 games and has drawn a walk in eight straight games. Cust has drawn 30 walks for the second month in a row and the third time this year. He leads all of baseball with 137 free passes. The outfielder was also credited with an outfield assist, pitching a bullet to Luke Carlin in the fourth inning. It is his tenth outfield assist on the year.
Mobile won 3-1 over West Tenn (Cubs)
Jonathan Ellis made his second spot start, tossing blanks over four innings on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Ellis has surrendered one earned run in seven innings as a starter and has a 0.75 ERA over seven appearances in August. In ten appearances out of the pen the right-hander posted a 3.12 ERA for Mobile. Right-handed hitters are batting .342 off him in Double-A.
Jeremy Cleveland went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI from the leadoff spot. The outfielder is batting .345 in the seven games he has been slotted first in the order. Over his last 20 games he is hitting .340, notching a hit in 11 of his past 13 games. Cleveland began his Double-A stint with a .143 average over 15 games and he has collected five doubles in his last 11 games.
Lake Elsinore lost 8-4 to Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)
Nic Crosta went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI's. The outfielder has five RBI's in his last three games and nine over his last seven. Crosta has collected four multi-hit games in his last five and is batting .270 with runners in scoring position with Fort Wayne. He has, however, struck out in 13 straight games, fanning 20 times over that span. He also committed his seventh error of the year.
Chris Jaile evened up his record at 6-6 after surrendering seven runs on eight hits and two talks over 4.1 innings. The right-hander also hit a batter and served up two home runs. It is the second game in a row he has given up six runs or more and the third time in four games. He has a 6.49 ERA over his last six games. The right-hander has a 5.44 ERA as a starter after posting a 4.97 mark in relief.
Fort Wayne won 11-8 over Clinton in game one, won 4-1 in game two
Four players had two RBI's in the opening game of the doubleheader while four players scored twice. Six players recorded multi-hit games with Seth Johnston leading the way with three. Every player reached base safely in game one.
Craig Cooper came through in a big way in his Midwest League debut in game one, going 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBI's and two runs scored. It was his run scored in the top of the fifth that tied the game at 8-8, capping a three-run rally. In 60 games with the Eugene Emeralds Cooper hit .320 with 18 doubles, one triple, six homers and 46 RBI's. He also scored 45 runs, drew 32 walks and whiffed 44 times. He had a hit in 11 of his last 12 games with the Ems, totaling 20 over that span.
Nathan Culp, who had seven days off between outings, was hammered for eight runs, five earned, on eight hits and three walks over 3.2 innings. The left-hander has allowed 15 runs over his last 11 innings on 20 hits and nine walks with ten days off between his previous two starts. He had given up five runs over his first 17 frames on 13 hits. Lefties are slugging .323 off him while ten of right-handed hitters 23 hits have gone for extra bases. The opposition is also hitting .333 off him with runners in scoring position.
Will Venable went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI's in the nightcap after going 2-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer in the front half of the doubleheader. He is hitting .314 over his last 25 games with 27 RBI's over that span, despite coming into the game in a 0-for-17 funk, the third time all year that he had gone four days without a hit – he has not gone five without a knock. Venable has five homers in his last 13 games with 19 RBI's.
Eugene versus Everett was postponed due to rain
AZL Padres won 3-2 over AZL Giants
With the AZL Padres winning on Tuesday and the AZL Angels losing the Padres can win the League Championship outright by beating the Angels on Wednesday. If they lose on Wednesday they will have to play the Angels on Thursday.
Geoff Vandel tossed shutout ball over six innings, allowing three hits on a walk while striking out seven, finding a rhythm since returning to the rotation. The left-hander has allowed one earned run over his last 16 innings with 23 strikeouts – all from the starting rotation. He has given up six hits in the last 55 at bats, a .109 average. Vandel had posted a 6.60 ERA and a .353 average against in ten relief appearances. Vandel also picked off a runner on Tuesday.
Matt Handley struck out four of the five batters he faced and collected the win. With three men on base and one out in the eighth, Handley whiffed the final two batters to get out of the inning. The left-hander has given up three hits in 24 at bats with runners in scoring position this year and has a .163 average against for the year. Handley has given up runs in two of his 20 outings this year.