Luis Cruz accounted for the only offense of the game, hitting a solo homer. He also added a double in four trips – accounting for half of Portland's hits on the night. Cruz came into the night with three hits over his last 28 at bats before his breakout night. Twelve of Cruz' 22 hits this year have gone for extra bases, adding his eight double and third homer on Thursday.
Jack Cassel dropped to 3-3 on the year, allowing three runs, two earned, on a season-high eight hits and a walk while striking out a season-high eight over six frames. The right-hander had brought a 23-inning streak without allowing an earned run into the game. His ERA as a starter improved to 3.93 and he has a 0.00 ERA as a reliever. Cassel has a 2.25 ERA at home this year.
Aaron Rakers was on the hook for three runs on four hits, including a homer, over his two innings of work. The right-hander has allowed one run over his previous eight innings of work. Rakers has, however, allowed a baserunner in all but three of his 15 appearances this year. While he has posted a 1.35 ERA in day games, Rakers ERA in night games moved to 6.06. He has given up runs in six of his 15 outings.
San Antonio lost 6-5 to Frisco (Rangers)
Chase Headley smashed his sixth homer of the year in the fourth for the first hit of the night for the Missions – a two-run blast over the right field wall. Headley also drew a walk and scored two runs for the Missions. In 40 games, Headley has halved his homer total from last year over 129 contests. His 21 extra base hits are one shy of the Texas League lead and he leads the league in hits with 50, runs with 29, and on base percentage at .435.
Nick Hundley connected in the sixth, playing two with his long ball to score runs four and five on the night – just the third hit of the day for San Antonio. He also doubled on a 2-for-4 evening and caught one of two runners attempting to steal. Seven of Hundley's last 10 hits have gone for extra bases after netting six over his first 23 games. Hundley is 10-for-27 over his last seven games with four multi-hit games to raise his average from .177 to .226.
Neil Jamison came on in the ninth with a one-run lead and allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in suffering his second loss of the year and second blown save in 12 opportunities. The right-hander has allowed runs in four of his last five appearances, giving up 10 runs on eight hits and eight walks over a span of 4.2 innings. His ERA has skyrocketed from 3.00 to 7.56 in the process. Jamison has allowed runs in four of his first 12 appearances.
Lake Elsinore won 9-0 over Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)
Manny Ayala allowed just one hit and a walk over six innings, picking up his sixth win in the process. He struck out five and is tied atop the California League with victories – winning six straight decisions and six of his last seven starts. Ayala has allowed two runs or less in seven of his nine starts this year, holding the opposition to three hits or less on three occasions. He has held opponents to a .069 average with runners in scoring position.
Mike Baxter tripled twice – two of three hits he had on the day. The outfielder also drove in three from the leadoff spot. It is the first time in his career that he has notched two triples in one game after netting seven triples last year and the first time since August 30, 2006 that he collected multiple extra base hits in the same game. Baxter has knocked in three runs twice this year. He did, however, ground into his third double play of the season.
Ray Chang went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. He has a four-game hitting streak, with seven hits in 14 at bats to raise his average from .161 to .244. Chang had just five hits in his first 31 at bats on the year and had scored just three runs until Thursday's outburst. He had just one other multi-hit game – coming in his first game of the year. He is hitting .323 when he bats ninth, as he did on Thursday, but just .071 when he bats elsewhere in the lineup.
Fort Wayne won 7-6 over Cedar Rapids (Angels)
Daryl Jones singled in each of his first four at bats and added an RBI. Jones' last four-hit game came on April 9, 2006 while playing for Fort Wayne. The first baseman has hits in six of his last eight games, going 11-for-28 over that stretch, a .393 average, to raise his batting average from .213 to .262. He also has an RBI in six of his last eight games and has drawn five walks over the span.
Brian Hernandez went 2-for-4 at the dish with two runs scored and an RBI. He has hits in five of his last six games, going 8-for-19 over that stretch to raise his average from .128 to .212. The catcher entered the game having thrown out 6-of-33 baserunners this year, 18.2 percent, and was 0-for-6 throwing out runners on Thursday, dropping his caught stealing percent to 15.3 percent.
R.J. Rodriguez was the beneficiary of late offense, saving Nathan Culp from a loss. Rodriguez pitched two scoreless frames to pick up his first win of the year, as Fort Wayne scored three runs over the final two innings. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out three. It was the third time this year he has worked more than one inning and he has not allowed a run in any of those appearances. Rodriguez has yielded runs in four of his 14 appearances on the year.