Josh Geer leads league; Wilton Lopez debuts

Shutouts for Portland are becoming commonplace as Jack Cassel does the majority of the work. Josh Geer notched his Texas League leading fifth win. Chad Huffman has three RBIs in a Storm loss. Wilton Lopez made his season debut in the Midwest League.

Portland won 2-0 over Colorado Springs (Rockies)

For the fourth time in their last eight, the Beavers have shutout the opposition. Jack Cassel led the charge and picked up his third win, allowing two hits over five innings, walking one and striking out three. He threw just 70 pitches – 53 strikes. Cassel has not allowed an earned run over his last 13.1 innings and has allowed just one earned over his last 18.1. After posting a 0.00 ERA in relief, Cassel returned to the rotation and lowered his ERA from 6.75 to 5.24.

Aaron Rakers struck out three over two scoreless frames. The right-hander has given up seven runs over eight innings since returning to Triple-A after a one run outing with San Diego. The leadoff man has reached base in just two of the 16 innings he has started. Rakers has gone two innings in seven of his 11 outings with Portland, allowing runs just twice in those games.

Luis Cruz notched a sacrifice fly to score the game winner and went 1-for-2 with a walk. The infielder came into the game with five hits in his previous 34 at bats, although he does have an RBI in four of his last six games. The sacrifice fly was his first of the year; he led Double-A Mobile in the category with four last year. Cruz has just one multi-hit game on the year.

San Antonio won 10-3 over Corpus Christi (Astros)

Josh Geer improved to 5-1, rebounding from a nine inning stretch over two games where he allowed 13 runs on 17 hits to give up just one run on two hits over seven. He walked one and hit a batter with the lone run coming on a solo homer. It is the fourth time in six starts he has allowed two runs or less. Geer also went 1-for-4 at the plate, his first hit of the year and in his career.

Chase Headley reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with two walks and a sacrifice fly. He also scored two runs and drove in two – extending his hitting streak to eight in the process. It is the fourth time this year he has reached base four times in a contest and the third baseman upped his extra base hit total to 16 with a double. Headley's 22 runs scored lead the Texas League, pending the night's action.

Tim Brown went 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and three RBIs. He has three three-hit nights on the year and has notched a multi-hit game in four of his last seven games. Brown also has seven multi-RBI games and has 19 RBIs on the year – one of four Missions players who have 18 or more and all are in the top ten in the league in that category.

Lake Elsinore lost 9-8 to Stockton (A's)

Manny Ayala gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks over five innings. Two balls left the yard off the righty, accounting for all the runs against. It is the first time this year in seven starts that Ayala has allowed more than two runs in a start. Ayala has, however, given up six homers on the season but the previous four had been solo shots. He gave up eight over 91 innings last year with the Storm.

Chad Huffman went 2-for-3, knocking in three runs with a sacrifice fly, a solo homer, and a single. He also scored two runs and was credited with an outfield assist. Huffman is second on the team in RBIs with 22 and one of six players with 15 or more RBIs. It is his sixth multi-RBI game. He has also scored 20 runs, one of two players on the team to establish the feat. He has a hit in 17 of his last 19 games.

Michael Wagner had just one hit – a two-out, three-run dinger in the third. It was his first bomb since joining the system. He has as many hits as RBI on the season (four). The outfielder hit eight homers last year in the California League and had 42 RBIs in 76 games. He hit .313 with runners in scoring position a year ago but has struck out seven times in 17 games after whiffing 81 times a year ago.

Fort Wayne won 6-4 over Peoria (Cubs)

For the fifth time in six starts, Nathan Culp allowed one run or less. He went 5.2 innings, allowing one run on six hits and a walk while striking out two. He picked off a runner but did commit two errors and toss a wild pitch. Culp has allowed four runs, two earned, over his last four starts – spanning 26.2 innings. The right-hander has won three straight starts.

Wilton Lopez made his system debut, coming in with two men on and two outs in the sixth inning. He stranded both runners by inducing a ground out and pitches a scoreless seventh, giving up one hit and striking out one. It was his first action professionally since 2004. He came into the year with a career record of 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA over nine games in the New York Yankees system.

Jeremy Hunt hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning, his second of the year. He did, however, whiff in each of his other three at bats. The first baseman had not struck out more than twice in any game prior to Sunday. While Hunt is hitting .300 over 14 games, he has just three extra base hits so far. But – Hunt is 11-for-25 with runners on base, a robust .440 average.

MadFriars Top Stories