Thompson stifling; Crosta slamming

Portland can't muster any offense, as Luke Carlin prevents a shutout in the ninth. Sean Thompson is dominant in San Antonio's home opener. Lake Elsinore opens with a bang – a grand slam off the bat of Nic Crosta. Fort Wayne splits with Michael Campbell going yard in game one and Clayton Kershaw silencing their bats in game two.

Portland lost 3-1 to Sacramento (A's)

Vince Sinisi broke up the bid for a no-hitter in the sixth inning with a single and was promptly picked off. Sinisi has hits in six of his seven games to start the season. Luke Carlin's ninth inning single prevented a shutout and put the tying runs on base but Luis Cruz popped out to end the game.

Jared Wells allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings of work, dropping to 0-2 on the year. The right-hander has limited righties to a .188 average and has given up just two hits with runners in scoring position on the year but has been behind in the count early in the year.

Aaron Rakers pitched two perfect innings, striking out two. In seven innings this season, the right-hander has allowed just three hits while whiffing seven. Rakers made six relief appearances this spring and had a 2.70 ERA over 6.2 innings. Rakers missed the 2006 season after an MRI diagnosed a tear in his right labrum. Rakers went 6-5 with seven saves and a 2.57 ERA over 57 appearances for Triple-A Ottawa of the International League in 2005.

San Antonio won 2-0 over Tulsa (Rockies)

Sean Thompson went seven innings and surrendered just two hits and a walk while striking out six. Thompson retired the final 12 batters he faced to move to 2-0 on the year. The southpaw has given up one run on six hits over his first 12 innings to open the season. Thompson's best start record-wise was a 4-0 start back in 2005. Thompson also had a bunt base hit that he laid on the chalk of the first base line. The pitcher threw the ball away, allowing a run to score.

Neil Jamison pitched a perfect ninth to pick up the save, his third of the year. Jamison has not allowed an earned run in four appearances but did surrender a two-run homer – both runs unearned. Jamison saved 34 a year ago across two leagues, 31 coming with Lake Elsinore. His longest streak without an earned run last year was ten appearances.

Drew Macias was responsible for both runs scored. He doubled and came around on the error to plate the first run and notched an RBI groundout to score Chase Headley for the final run. The outfielder is five for his last 11 with four extra base hits. He is one shy of the team lead in extra base hits. Just 27.2 percent of his hits went for extra bases a year ago.

Lake Elsinore won 11-6 over High Desert (Mariners)

Nic Crosta hit a grand slam in the third inning – his first as a professional. He knocked in five runs, a career-high, on April 18, 2006 while with Fort Wayne. Crosta is now tied for the team lead in RBIs with six, despite having just two hits in 17 at bats. Both of his hits this year have left the yard.

"I got a little in front of that slider in the first at bat and kept telling myself to stay back, stay back," Crosta explained. "I was sitting on an inside fastball and he threw it there. Luckily, I got the bat head out and was able to get it out."

After tossing 3.2 shutout innings in his first outing, left-hander Brent Carter surrendered six runs, five earned on 10 hits in 5.2 innings of work – but still managed to secure the win. Five runs came across over the first two innings and the final run chased him in the sixth. Carter allowed six runs or more in three of his 12 starts last year for the Storm and eight hits or more in five.

"He is a control pitcher," pitching coach Steve Webber said of Carter before the game. "He has good command of his fastball. He has an average to an above average changeup and has developed a cutter that will help him against right-handers and left-handers. He had success here last year and we expect him to have success this year."

Yordany Ramirez received extra tutelage before the game on executing the squeeze bunt. During the situational portion of batting practice, Ramirez was squaring around to bunt instead of sliding his hand down the bat while maintaining a more traditional batting stance for the squeeze – essentially adding to its effectiveness. Manager Carlos Lezcano showed him the proper way to lay it down to maximize its effect.

Matt Antonelli, who doubled and come around to score in the first inning, left the game with an apparent groin injury going back to field a ball lined up the middle in the second inning. He was taken out afterwards for precautionary reasons. Seth Johnston replaced him in the lineup and hit a sharp single to center in his first at bat. Johnston went 3-for-4, extending his hitting streak to four games and giving him seven hits in 17 at bats to open the year.

"He has a left groin strain – two to three days," manager Carlos Lezcano said of Antonelli.

"You come to the park every day ready to play and I know that is a cliché but that is how you have to approach it," Johnston said. "I was talking to Max before the game about that. Every day is a new day and you have to be ready to play because you never know when you are going to get in there."

"Seth has been swinging the bat really well," Lezcano added. "I played him a couple of games in Lancaster and he is working a lot on his defense and quickening his feet. It was nice to see him get three hits. That was big for us."

Mike Baxter reached base four times on two hits and two walks and scored each time. The outfielder has been on base three or more times in three of his six games this year and has eight runs scored.

"I have a lot of great hitters behind me," said Baxter. "I like to get them the RBIs and I will take the runs scored. I will set the table for the guys behind me to do their job."

Fort Wayne won game one 9-3, lost 5-2 in game two to Great Lakes (Dodgers)

Every regular other than Jesus Lopez notched a hit in game one and six different Wizards scored a run.

Michael Campbell cleared the scoreboard in right-centerfield, a two-run bomb, in the bottom half of the third, his first homer of the season. The outfielder also added a double to begin a four-run rally in the fifth. Campbell got a late start to his professional debut last season, recovering from a broken hand. He did play 12 games for the Wizards in 2006, hitting .280 with four doubles and three RBIs. Thursday was the first time he has doubled and homered in the same game.

Javis Diaz went 2-for-5 with an infield single and a two-RBI triple in the fifth while also scoring twice. Diaz split the year between three clubs, seeing action in 27 games for the Wizards before a wrist injury sidelined him for much of the year. The outfielder reached base safely in 23 of those games with a hit in 21 contests for a .306 average. Diaz notched four triples last year over the three leagues but has already matched his total of multi-RBI games from last season - one in 59 contests.

Andy Underwood secured the win, giving up an unearned run on two hits, not walking a batter and striking out two. The right-hander also picked off a runner, facing one above the minimum. Underwood saw action in just seven games last season before being shutdown for the remainder of the year in mid-July. He went 0-2 with a 3.74 ERA over 21.2 innings, walking just three. He had never gone more than 4.2 innings prior to Thursday.

Orlando Lara was hit hard in his Midwest League debut. The left-hander allowed five runs on six hits and two walks over 3.2 innings, tossing a wild pitch and striking out two. Lara went 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA over 16 appearances, including ten starts, for the Eugene Emeralds. He did not allow more than three runs in any outing last year and never gave up more than five hits, holding the opposition to a .216 average.

The Wizards could manage little against Dodgers top prospect Clayton Kershaw. Rayner Contreras registered the only hit off the left-hander and three free passes accounted for the only other baserunners, but Kershaw picked off both Kyler Burke and Cedric Hunter in the second and fourth, respectively. Jeremy Hunt's first hit of the year, a two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning made it closer but it wasn't enough to close the gap.


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