Paul McAnulty made his season debut with Portland after being sent down to Triple-A from San Diego. He went 1-for-8 with the Padres but his option down to Portland was based more on a tired pen than a slow start. McAnulty went 0-for-5 with an RBI. McAnulty hit .310 with 34 doubles, 19 homers and 79 RBIs over 125 games last year for Portland.
Justin Germano was on the hook for four runs on six hits and three walks on Thursday – contributing to Portland's 67 walks allowed on the year, the highest walk total in the Pacific Coast League. He had started the year with one earned run over his first 12 innings and had yet to walk a batter. Germano had previously not surrendered a hit when he was ahead in the count.
Craig Stansberry hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning to tie the game at 5-5. He is tied for the team lead in RBIs with 12 and sports a .370 average – not bad for Portland, a team that entered the game with a .219 team average, worst in the Pacific Coast League. Stansberry has five multi-hit games in his last seven and has been on base in all but one of his 14 games this year.
San Antonio lost 10-4 to Midland (A's)
The first six hitters reached base on Jose Oyervidez, collecting five hits and a walk while scoring four runs. A double play to the next batter settled him down and Oyervidez would allow two hits over the next four frames, ending his night with a no-decision after five innings, seven hits, and four walks. After pitching through six innings in his first outing of the year, Oyervidez has tossed just 10.1 innings over his last three and has issued a free pass to seven over his last nine frames. The right-hander walked four or more eight times last year.
Chase Headley hit a three-run bomb in the fourth inning, his lone hit in three at bats, while also drawing a walk. The homer was his second of the year - a feat that took 27 games to accomplish last year and happened in game 13 this time around. The walk was just his third of the year after drawing 74 a season ago. Headley's seven extra base hits lead the club while his 12 RBIs lead the Texas League – pending the rest of the Thursday night's action.
"I feel a lot stronger than I did last year," said Headley. "Everything feels great so far."
Jon Searles took the loss, despite an ERA that stayed the same at 0.00. He was rocked for four unearned runs on two hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning. He left the game with two runners still on base but both would be charged to the right-hander. It was a fielding error on Sean Kazmar that extended the inning. The right-hander has given up six hits in his last four innings and the opposition is 1-for-8 against him with runners in scoring position.
Lake Elsinore lost 4-2 to Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) Steve Delabar took the loss without allowing a hit – his third loss of the year. He walked one and struck out two but an error led to a run. In each of his three losses he has been charged with an unearned run and has only yielded one earned over those contests. The former starter has whiffed 12 in 8.2 innings this year and has held righties to a .100 average in 20 at bats.
Richie Daigle surrendered two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six, a new career-high. While he has only given up two hits in 22 at bats to right-handers early in the year, left-handed batters are hitting at a .387 clip with 12 hits in 31 at bats. The leadoff batter in an inning has a .143 on base percentage against him.
Dirk Hayhurst pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one. He has surrendered three runs over 9.1 innings to begin the year and has ten strikeouts. He has held right-handers to a .222 average while lefties are batting .313. Hayhurst posted a 3.97 ERA for the Storm last season – used primarily as a starter.
Fort Wayne won 6-4 over Burlington (Royals)
It was only a matter of time before he started heating up. Outfielder Cedric Hunter went 4-for-4 with a run scored to raise his average to .314 for the season. Hunter reached base four or more times in six games last year. He has a six-game hitting streak and is hitting .500 over that span (10-for-20) with three walks and two whiffs. Hunter is hitting .417 with the bases empty but has struggled with runners in scoring position, batting just .167.
Javis Diaz ignited the offense at the top of the order, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, a run scored and two RBIs. The outfielder has three multi-hit contests in four games and is hitting .429 when to lead off the game. He is also hitting .429 with runners in scoring position. He had four three-hit games in 27 contests for the Wizards last season. Diaz was, however, picked off first base.
Drew Miller got the start and earned a no-decision after being pulled in the fourth with a runner on. He went 3.2 innings and surrendered three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four. The leadoff runner has reached base in five of the nine innings he has begun this season but he has limited opponents to a .200 average with runners on base. All four of his walks this year have come in inning number three.
"Sometimes I over-think in a situation, and just my mechanics a little bit – a bit of faulty mechanics," Miller explained of his struggles finding the strike zone. "But mainly just over-thinking the situation."