Kyle Blanks bombing; Aaron Breit excites

Kyle Blanks hits two homers, including a grand slam. Aaron Breit showed the form that has many in the organization excited about his future potential. The struggles continue for Mike Thompson. The Missions bullpen blows a seven-run lead in the eighth and ninth innings.

Portland lost 6-0 to Round Rock (Astros)

Mike Thompson had another rocky start, allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks over 4.1 innings. The right-hander dropped to 0-3 on the year and his ERA remains a healthy 17.05 through four games. Thompson has allowed 24 runs this year on 32 hits and seven walks over 12.2 innings. The opposition is hitting .478 off him – the first time his average against has dropped under .500.

On a night that saw Portland have as many errors as hits, Royce Huffman went 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average to .111 in the month of May. Huffman is 4-for-36 over his last 10 games and 6-for-58 over his last 17, dropping his average from .258 to .185 on the year. Ironically, Huffman has reached base safely in eight straight games, thanks to five walks. Huffman has just four hits in 39 at bats when he plays third base, as he did on Saturday.

Kyle Stutes pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. The sidearming lefty rebounded from his last relief outing when he allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over 2.1 innings. Stutes has a 3.18 ERA in Triple-A and the opposition is hitting .143 off him when he is ahead in the count. Four of the seven hits he has allowed have gone for extra bases.

We incorrectly reported Andrew Brown picking up the save on Friday. It was actually Leo Rosales who earned his ninth save in as many opportunities.

San Antonio lost 9-8 to Midland (A's)

Armed with an 8-1 lead heading into the eighth inning, the bullpen found a way to blow certain victory. Jon Searles allowed four runs and closer Neil Jamison was charged with three, pulled in favor of Jon Ellis. With one on, Ellis walked the bases loaded with one out before a potential double-play grounder saw an error allow the winning run to score, giving Ellis his second loss of the year. Jamison came into the game with nine saves in ten chances but has not allowed runs in three straight games. Jamison allowed runs in three straight games once last year over 64 appearances.

Mike Ekstrom gave up a run in the first inning but that would be all he surrendered over 6.1 innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five, inducing 11 ground ball outs. The right-hander had allowed nine runs on 19 hits over his previous two outings but has limited the opposition to one run or less in three of his seven starts.

The last time Chase Headley failed to reach base safely came on April 17, a still running span of 23 games. The third baseman went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, a run scored and two RBIs. His current streak is second best in the league and just five short of matching the season-long. Over that span, Headley is hitting .416 with 20 runs scored, 13 extra base hits, and 18 walks. Headley now leads the Texas League in hits, one of several categories that he either leads or sits in the top five.

Lake Elsinore won 10-3 over Modesto (Rockies)

Kyle Blanks hit his second grand slam of the season and notched his first multi-homer game, driving in six runs. Blanks' last multi-homer game came on Opening Day last year with the Fort Wayne Wizards. His other six-RBI game? Opening Day in 2005 while with the Arizona Rookie League Padres. It is the fourth time in the last 11 games that Blanks has knocked in three runs or more. Blanks did not have a grand slam prior to this season – and he has gone yard six times in 31 games this year. He went 3-for-4 on Saturday and also drew a walk.

The Storm pulled off a double-steal in the second inning with the unlikeliest of players. While they collected 11 thefts last year, Craig Cooper and Nic Crosta came into the game with zero stolen bases between them. Crosta, who came off the disabled list earlier in the week, went 2-for-3 with a walk. Both of his hits were doubles. He was taken out of the game in the top of the eighth inning after his two-bagger the inning before. The outfielder came into the game with one double through his first 16 games and had been 1-for-15 over his previous four games.

Manny Ayala improved to 5-1 on the year, tossing 5.2 innings of three-run ball. The right-hander allowed seven hits and walked two while striking out four. After losing his first start against Bartolo Colon, Ayala has won five of his last six starts. He has allowed two runs or less in all but two of his eight outings. He has allowed just nine earned runs in his the six games he has pitched at night.

Fort Wayne won 1-0 over Dayton (Reds)

Aaron Breit had his finest outing of the year, pitching six brilliant inning of scoreless ball, yielding just two hits and two walks while striking out three. The only other scoreless start of his career came on August 21, 2006 while with the Eugene Emeralds when he allowed six hits and a walk over six scoreless. The right-hander is now 2-0 in day games this season with a 1.64 ERA. He is, however, 0-4 with an ERA of 9.00 in night games.

R.J. Rodriguez picked up his seventh save of the year in eight chances with a scoreless ninth to cap the shutout. While he has closed the door consistently, the right-hander has allowed at least one baserunner in every one of his 13 appearances. The opposition has a 1.60 WHIP off him but he has given up just four hits in 28 at bats with runners in scoring position, a .143 average.

Jodam Rivera was the only Fort Wayne player to reach base more than once, as they were held to four hits. He doubled, drew two walks and scored the only run of the contest. He was, however, picked off first base in the eighth inning after being intentionally walked with two outs and a runner on second to get to Cedric Hunter. It was the first time this year he has been intentionally walked and he has 11 walks to eight strikeouts on the year. He has not struck out over his last 27 at bats.


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