AZL Padres are 2006 Champions

Pablo Menchaca, Felix Carrasco, Brian Hernandez and Matt Handley lead the Arizona Rookie League Champions of 2006 this day. Fort Wayne makes the postseason behind the bat of David Freese. Dewon Brazelton of old is not the good one. Colt Morton is revived in Mobile. Arturo Lopez brilliant in Lake Elsinore. Matt Stocco hits the second grand slam of the night in the San Diego Padres' system.

AZL Padres won 5-2 over AZL Angels in the Championship game

Pablo Menchaca was charged with two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over 5.1 innings, with both runners scoring on Matt Huff after Menchaca left the game, aided by a wild pitch. Menchaca came into the game with three earned runs allowed over his last 23.2 innings and a .193 average against over that span. He earned the win for his efforts and whiffed 31 over his final 29 frames.

Brian Hernandez went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt that led to two unearned runs when the pitcher threw the ball away. He had an RBI double in the fourth to push the Padres lead to 3-0. The catcher hit .296 on the year with runners in scoring position and .429 with RISP and two outs. He caught the only baserunner attempting to steal and nailed 15-of-40 on the year, including Thursday.

Felix Carrasco plated the first two runs of the game in the first inning with a single to right field that scored Luis Durango and Cedric Hunter. It would be the only hit of the day for the third baseman. Carrasco came into the game hitting just .207 in August after putting up a .303 average over his first 29 games in rookie ball. While it won't count in his season stats, it was his tenth multi-RBI game of the year.

Matt Handley picked up the save, striking out three of the five hitters he faced and giving up a single over an inning and a third. The left-hander whiffed 14 over his last seven innings of the season and held the opposition to a .163 average on the year. He allowed runs in two of his 21 appearances, including this game, and surrendered three hits in 24 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Portland lost 7-2 to Fresno (Giants)

Dewon Brazelton dropped his seventh game of the year, allowing all seven runs on 12 hits over 5.2 innings. While he threw 59 of his 82 pitches for strikes, three balls left the park during the outing and eight of the 12 hits went for extra bases. He has given up 16 runs on 23 hits over his last 10.2 innings with five homers. Brazelton has surrendered a homer in six straight and nine over that span. It is the fourth time in 17 starts he has allowed a multi-homer game.

Scott Cassidy struck out the side in his perfect inning of work. It is the second time in 17 appearances with Portland that he has fanned the side. Three of the 21 hits Cassidy has surrendered this year have gone for extra bases and he has allowed eight hits in 42 at bats with runners on base, a .190 average against. He has yielded runs in just two of his outings in Triple-A.

Mobile won 9-3 over Tennessee (Diamondbacks)

Colt Morton went 3-for-4 with three extra base hits, smashing two doubles and jacking a two-run shot over the wall. He plated three runs and scored two in the win. He is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak where he has gone 9-for-18 to raise his average in Double from .230 to .267. He now has 13 hits in 40 at bats with runners in scoring position, a .325 average, as opposed to his .200 mark with the bases empty.

Mike Ekstrom collected his third straight win, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk over eight innings while striking out five. The right-hander has allowed five earned runs over his last 30 innings of work, a 1.50 ERA, striking out 20 and lowering his ERA to 3.84 with Mobile. Twenty-four of the 87 hits he has allowed this year have gone for extra bases but just two have left the yard.

Lake Elsinore won 1-0 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

In his first start of the year for the Storm, Arturo Lopez was brilliant, allowing just one hit and a walk over six innings while striking out three but would not get the decision. The last time he didn't allow a run while pitching five innings or more came on June 1, 2005 with Lake Elsinore. Lopez began the year in Double-A before being sent down to Mexico, a place he didn't care too much for during the summer

"I didn't like it down there but knew I had to go – winter ball is so different because some of the cities don't get any crowds in summer. I thought they needed an arm but only pitched around 30 innings."

Chris O'Riordan drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a single to left field that scored pinch-runner Skip Adams. It is the fourth time in five games the infielder has notched an RBI and he has ten RBI's in his last 16 games. He is hitting 53 points higher than his average with runners in scoring position for the Storm. O'Riordan has a .260 average off right-handed pitching but is 3-for-21 off left-handers.

Fort Wayne won 6-5 over Clinton (Rangers)

David Freese hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to propel the Wizards into the playoffs. It was his 13th homer of the year over two leagues and first slammer. The four RBI night gave him 68 RBI's in 68 games over the two leagues and he has driven in 42 in 50 games for Fort Wayne, hitting .328 with runners in scoring position. He has drawn 15 walks over his last 25 games after drawing six over his first 25.

Matt Antonelli made his first contribution with Fort Wayne, going 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored – playing second base for the first time as a professional. He did commit an error at the new position but was also in on three double plays turned. Antonelli hit .286 with 46 walks in 55 games for the Eugene Emeralds before his promotion.

The Wizards have reached the postseason in each of the past four seasons, including this season, but have yet to win a playoff game – a feat they hope to change this year.

Eugene won 10-5 over Everett (Mariners)

Abraham Aguilar clubbed his first homer of the year in the fifth inning, a two-run blast. It was the first dinger for Aguilar since July 21 last year while playing with the AZL Padres squad. The infielder had gone without an extra base hit over his first 19 games with Eugene and had amassed just four doubles in 46 games for Fort Wayne. Aguilar went 4-for-5 with two runs scored, two RBI's and he was hit by a pitch.

Jodam Rivera came into the game with a 1-for-9 mark in Northwest League play but boosted the total with three hits in seven at bats, including two doubles, and knocking in a run. In 31 games for Fort Wayne encompassing 106 at bats Rivera had just one double. The infielder did hit .409 with the Arizona Rookie League Padres over 11 games and scored 16 runs while notching 18 hits in 44 at bats. Just one of those hits was a double – and thus Rivera "doubled" his two-bagger total for the year.

While Michael Campbell kicked the door open with his solo homer in the top of the 12th to give Eugene the advantage, Matt Stocco blew the doors off its hinges with a grand slam four batters later. All but one of their nine runs scored via the long ball. Campbell has four homers on the year with three coming while he has been in Eugene. He has knocked in a run in six of his last eight games, totaling nine over that span. Stocco has hit three homers over his last two games and has nine RBI's in his last four. Six of his last seven hits have gone for extra bases. Campbell also had an outfield assist while Stocco had a throwing error and went 0-for-3 nabbing base stealers.


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