Playoff Storm; Dunn, Kirby one-hitter

Luke Carlin, Luke Allen and Julius Matos collect 11 hits. Jon Knott ends the year leading the league in homers and RBI's. Nick Hundley goes yard as the Storm advance to the playoffs. Mike Sansoe continues to sizzle. Brooks Dunn combines with Jon Kirby to toss a one-hitter over the top team in the league.

Portland won 9-5 over Salt Lake (Angels)

Mike Thompson got into the action as the starter in place of Stauffer and needed just 30 pitches over three scoreless innings, allowing two hits. It was his first start in Triple-A since August 14. He pitched three times with San Diego between starts, allowing one run over 5.1 innings on four hits his last time out. He has allowed two runs over his last 10.2 innings in Portland and ended the year with a .212 average against to hitters leading off an inning.

Luke Allen went 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBI's and three runs scored. Allen also added a sacrifice fly. It was his third straight multi-hit game and his fifth in the last six. The homer was his fifth in 34 games with Portland and ninth overall over two leagues in two systems. Allen hit .378 off left-handed pitchers versus a .272 average against righties.

Luke Carlin was 4-for-5 with a double, a homer, two RBI's and three runs scored. It was his second four-hit night of the season but marked the first time this year he has registered two extra base hits in the same game. Carlin ended his year with a .353 average over his final 18 games. The homer was his first since July 3. He had eight multi-RBI games on the season, accounting for all but ten of his RBI's.

Tim Stauffer was poked for five runs on seven hits and a walk over three innings of relief but got the win, his seventh against 12 losses. He tossed 61 pitches in his three innings of work, 39 for strikes. The right-hander has given up 14 runs on 19 hits in the 11 innings of work since returning to Portland after a one-game masterpiece for San Diego. He has given up five runs or more in eight of his last ten games in Triple-A and four runs in the other two.

Julius Matos had a perfect night, going 4-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI's. He reached base in his final eight games. He is 11-for-26, all singles, with a walk and four RBI's over that stretch. Just one of his 29 hits over two leagues went for extra bases. After drawing nine walks in 21 games for Mobile he walked just once in 16 games for Portland.

Jon Knott didn't homer or drive in a run but ended the year with two parts of the Triple Crown. He became the first Beaver to lead the Pacific Coast League in homers (32) since 1991 and the first Portland batter to win the RBI (113) title in the league's modern era (1958-present).

Mobile finale rained out

Lake Elsinore won 9-5 over Inland Empire (Mariners)

A thriller between Rancho Cucamonga and Lancaster put the Storm in the playoffs. Down four runs in the bottom of the ninth, Lancaster, playing for their playoff lives, tied it up. Each team traded runs in the 11th inning before Rancho tacked on two in the 12th to win 16-14 – effectively putting the Storm in the playoffs, winners of their division. With the game already underway in Inland Empire, Lake Elsinore made sure of its fate with the win. It is their ninth post-season appearance in the franchise's 13-year history. Lake Elsinore will play at High Desert (Royals) on Wednesday in a best-of-three and return home Thursday and Friday (if necessary).

Josh Geer braved it through six innings to help preserve the pen, giving up five runs on a season-high 14 hits. Their were runners on in every inning except the third and he used three double play grounders to get out of further harm. Of the 15 balls that recorded outs, 14 went on the ground. It is the fourth time this year and second game in a row that he has allowed double-digit hits. Geer has given up 19 runs on 33 hits over his last three starts, spanning 16 innings.

Nick Hundley went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, a double, a sacrifice fly, two runs scored and two RBI's. Hundley has amassed 32 doubles, 11 homers and 67 RBI's over two leagues. While he had his ninth passed ball of the year, he also picked off a runner at first base with a runner in scoring position and one out in the sixth. He is hitting .309 on the road and .227 at the Diamond in Lake Elsinore.

Richie Daigle pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, a walk and hitting a batter while striking out two. Daigle has allowed one run over his last 15.1 innings and has held the opposition to a .221 average over his last 21.2 frames. He has allowed runs in 19 of his 53 appearances on the year. The right-hander has given up one hit in 11 at bats in bases loaded situations on the year.

Fort Wayne won 6-5 over South Bend (Diamondbacks)

The Wizards open up the playoffs at home on Wednesday versus West Michigan (Tigers).

Mike Sansoe was 2-for-4 with a walk – hitting his first homer of the year, a two-run shot in the second. It is his sixth multi-hit game in his last eight and he has four RBI's in his last two. Sansoe has also scored a run in six of his last seven, totaling eight over that span. The outfielder has hit .371 over his last 28 games and .357 in his last 39. Nineteen of Sansoe's 32 RBI's have come over his last 28 games.

Jarrett Gardner was delivered his fifth win with the Wizards, yielding three runs on four hits and a walk over six innings. The walk was just his fifth allowed in 68 innings with the Wizards. The opposition is hitting .360 off the right-hander over his last seven starts and he has posted a 5.95 ERA over that span. Left-handed hitters are swatting .368 off him and the opposition has a .392 average off him with runners in scoring position.

Craig Cooper went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. He was also hit by a pitch and grounded into a double play. The hit extended his hitting streak to six games with Fort Wayne and eight games over two leagues. He has been on base in 18 straight games. Over the last 18 he is 27-for-67 with 18 RBI's and 16 runs scored. He has scored a run in ten of his last 11 games. Cooper is 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position in Fort Wayne.

Eugene won 8-0 over Salem-Keizer (Giants)

Brooks Dunn and Jon Kirby combined on a one-hitter. Dunn pounded the zone over seven frames, allowing a single to open the game and not allowing a hit the rest of the way. Dunn retired 16 straight batters after plunking a hitter in the second inning and the Ems retired 19 in a row to end the game. Dunn has not allowed an earned run over his last 19 innings and one earned over his last 25. he has given up six earned runs over his last 45 innings of work, a 1.20 ERA. Despite a losing record at 5-6, he is fifth in the Northwest League in ERA at 2.41.

Kirby struck out two while retiring his six batters in order. Kirby has allowed one hit in his last five frames and has given up three runs over a 17.1 inning span, a 1.56 ERA. The right-hander has held left-handed hitters to a .196 average. Leadoff hitters have a .179 average against him to start an inning. Kirby lowered his home ERA to 2.04 on the year while his road mark is 4.80.

Casey Smith hit his first homer of the year in the fourth inning, a two-run liner that cleared the left field wall. He ended the night by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. It was his first extra base hit since July 19. Smith is 6-for-19 over his last five games to break out of a 0-for-19 slump. Monday was the fourth time in 28 games that he did not strikeout.

Jodam Rivera had a perfect evening, going 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBI's. It was his fourth multi-hit game in five contests and he has scored six runs over that time with three RBI's. Rivera is 5-for-11 when he leads off an inning. Rivera is 66-for-242 over five different leagues in the Padres' system, a .273 average. He is hitting .411 in short-season ball and .213 in three leagues of full season ball.


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