Knott record setter; Manny Ayala back at it

Jon Knott set a Portland record and tied another while Matt Blank was dealing. Michael Johnson accounted for all of Mobile's offense. Manny Ayala got back on track with a solid outing. Steve Delabar took the loss in his worst outing in two months. Tom King handled the stick with authority and the team got contributions from the new.

Portland won 3-1 over Salt Lake (Angels)

Matt Blank pitched well over six innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out five. He threw 71 pitches with 47 strikes. After giving up seven runs in his first start with Portland, the left-hander has surrendered three runs over his last 11 innings, spanning two starts. After posting a .393 average against as a reliever, Blank has posted a .232 average against as a starter.

Jon Knott hit his 30th homer of the year on a 2-for-4 night while scoring two runs. He has hit safely in six straight games, going 13-for-24 with nine runs scored and ten RBI's. He has hit four homers over that span and three doubles. Knott leads the Pacific Coast League in homers and his 109 RBI's also lead the league. He stands second in the league in extra base hits and third in slugging percentage. Knott became the first Portland batter since 1972 to hit 30 home runs in a season. He tied a team record in the Pacific Coast League's modern era with his RBI. Dan Briggs had 109 RBIs for the Beavers in 1978.

Mobile lost 8-3 to Tennessee (Diamondbacks)

Michael Johnson accounted for all of the Mobile offense, hitting a three-run homer in the fourth inning. He ended the night by going 1-for-3 with a walk. It was his second home since returning to the lineup. Johnson is 9-for-24 over his last 12 games, a .375 average. He has been used as a pinch-hitter four times in that span, going 1-for-3 with a walk. He only had one pinch-hit chance over his first 50 games.

Jack Cassel was charged with seven runs, two earned, on ten hits and a walk while striking out five in four frames. It was the second time in 12 Mobile starts that he has given up double-digit hits and seven runs. It is also the tenth time he has allowed two earned runs or less with nine of those two runs or less. He has given up 13 hits in 65 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Lake Elsinore won 2-1 over Inland Empire (Mariners)

Manny Ayala picked up the win with one run allowed on four hits over six innings. The right-hander had given up ten runs over his last 12 innings and four runs or more in four of his last five. He has allowed two runs or less in seven of his 12 starts. He has whiffed just two in his last 12 innings after whiffing 25 over 25.1 innings leading into the recent stretch.

Chase Headley was the only Storm player to notch a multi-hit game. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, attempting two steals and successfully nabbing one. It is the first time in his professional career that he has attempted two steals in the same game and the third baseman is 4-for-9 on the season. His 72 walks rank fourth in the California League and his .389 on base percentage is in the top ten.

The Storm took a one game lead in the playoff race with the win and a Lancaster loss with three games to play.

Fort Wayne lost 6-3 to South Bend (Diamondbacks)

Steve Delabar cruised through four but gave up five runs over the fifth and sixth on a two-run homer and a three-run blast. He surrendered six hits and a walk while striking out six. It was the first time since July 3 that he has yielded five runs in a game and the sixth time in 27 starts. Delabar had allowed just six homers over his first 139 innings and never more than one in a game until Friday.

Brandon Higelin pitched a scoreless inning, retiring the side in order. Since posting a 4.40 ERA in June, Higelin has forged a 2.10 ERA. The left-hander has held left-handed batters to 17 hits in 92 at bats, a .185 average, while righties are batting .274 off him. He has given up ten hits in 69 at bats with runners in scoring position. Twelve of the 60 hits he has surrendered have gone for extra bases.

Eugene won 6-4 over Salem-Keizer (Giants)

Tom King pounded out three hits in four at bats and paced the club with four RBI's. He also drew a walk and scored a run. King hadn't driven in more than two runs in a game over his first 63 games – a feat he had accomplished twice – until Friday. The infielder improved his road average to .270 while he has a .208 mark at home. King entered the game hitting just .145 with runners in scoring position but went 3-for-3 this day.

Justin Mattison secured his second win of the year, coming in consecutive appearances, allowing a run on one hit and two walks over one-plus inning. He left the game without recording an out in the seventh and two on – and was eventually charged with one of those runs. The reliever has walked 26 in 26.1 innings this year while holding the opposition to a .228 average. He sports a WHIP of 1.79 but has given up just five hits in 34 at bats with runners in scoring position.

Sam Carter made his Northwest League debut, the only new addition to record the start. He went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double. He added an outfield assist, throwing out a runner at second base as a runner tried to stretch a single into a double. Carter hit .333 over his final 18 games in August for the AZL Padres with 14 RBI's and seven extra base hits. Friday was his 12th multi-hit game in 35 games over two leagues.

Cedric Hunter made an appearance as a pinch-hitter, striking out in the ninth. Jeremy Hunt also saw action, walking in the eighth as a pinch hitter and ending the night 0-for-1 with a run scored.

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