Jack Cassel was on the losing end after allowing three runs, two earned, on nine hits and two walks over a season-high seven innings. Cassel whiffed six and his ERA dropped to 3.08 but he was still tagged with his fourth loss. Cassel has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last five starts after allowing four or more in his first three. Cassel did help his cause at the dish, smashing a home run in third inning. It was his first hit of the season and the first homer of his career. He also laid down a sacrifice bunt, which led to the other Portland run.
Royce Huffman collected two hits in three at bats with a walk. He doubled and tripled but was thrown out at home trying to tag. Huffman is 5-for-9 over his last three games with three extra base hits and four RBIs. He had been hitting .133 over his previous 22 games. He has consecutive multi-hit games for the third time this year and is batting .333 when he hits cleanup, as he did on Tuesday.
Adam Shabala went 2-for-4 with an RBI to give him a season-high three-game hitting streak. He was, however, caught stealing for the second time this year. Shabala has four hits in his last 10 at bats and Tuesday was just the third time this year he has notched a multi-hit game. The RBI matched his output from the previous 14 games. His .161 average is the highest it has been all season.
San Antonio won 3-2 over Springfield (Cardinals)
Josh Geer was near flawless in his bid for win number eight - a win he would not receive. He was touched for two hits and walked two over seven scoreless innings, striking out four. He retired 10 in a row after a leadoff walk in the third inning and put down the last five batters he faced. The right-hander had been riding a four-game winning streak and had earned a decision in each of his first eight starts. Geer did stretch his scoreless streak to 20 innings and he has allowed two runs over his last 28.1 innings.
Jon Ellis allowed two hits and a walk while retiring just one batter in the eighth inning, but Frank Brooks stranded them all. The left-hander struck out the first batter he faced and induced an inning-ending ground out to preserve the shutout attempt. Brooks has inherited 10 runners this year and only one has scored. He has given up just two hits in 23 at bats with runners in scoring position, striking out 11.
Neil Jamison came in to work the ninth and allowed a one-out two-run homer that sent the game into extra innings. It was his third blown save of the year. Jamison has now allowed runs in five of his last seven games, seeing his ERA of 3.00 skyrocket to 7.71 in the process. The right-hander has allowed 13 runs, all earned, on 11 hits and 10 walks over his last 6.2 innings. Included in that span is three homers allowed. Jamison had surrendered just one homer and seven runs over his first ten outings. He did, however, net the win when Michael Wagner singled in a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Lake Elsinore lost 6-5 to High Desert (Mariners)
Wade LeBlanc's string of six straight starts allowing two runs and one earned or less was snapped on Tuesday when the left-hander surrendered four runs, three earned, on eight hits over 5.2 innings. After not allowing a homer over his first eight starts, he was tagged for two this day. The leadoff hitter in an inning is reaching base at a .420 clip off LeBlanc but he has given up just six hits in 41 at bats with runners in scoring position.
Steve Delabar took the loss, allowing a run on one hit in an inning and two-thirds. A solo homer in the bottom of the ninth sent Delabar to his California League leading fifth loss, tied with three other pitchers. He is, however, the only reliever on the list. The right-hander has given up two homers in his last three appearances. He has a 7.20 ERA in 11 road games – as he was on Tuesday – and a 1.59 ERA at home. Delabar is holding the opposition to a .213 average with runners on base.
Matt Bush returned to the field after spending two weeks on the disabled list. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored but did ground into a double play and commit his 12th error of the year – two shy of the league lead. His .914 fielding percentage is the worst for any shortstop who has played in six or more games in the California League. Bush has hits in five of his last six games.
Fort Wayne won 4-0 over Clinton (Rangers)
Nathan Culp picked up his fifth win against two losses with another solid outing. The left-hander went seven strong, scattering four hits and a walk while striking out three. It marked the fourth time in nine starts that he has not allowed an earned run and fifth time he has surrendered four hits or less. Culp lowered his ERA from 3.11 to 2.70 with the win. He had yielded 13 runs over his previous nine innings. Culp has given up just seven hits in 51 at bats to left-handed hitters.
Matt Stocco went a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk. He gave the team some breathing room in the ninth inning with a two-run blast and added a double, pushing his average up above .200 for the first time since he went 1-for-4 in his first game of the year. It was the first three-hit game of his career, and he more than doubled his RBI total from one to three. Stocco has just one other night on his resume that yielded multiple extra base hits - August 30, 2006 when he belted two homers while playing for the Eugene Emeralds.
Grant Varnell worked a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation, giving him a streak that has been stretched to 9.1 innings with an earned run allowed. He has given up just four hits in his last 7.1 frames and has only faced a situation where runners were in scoring position five times this year – and one of those situations came when he inherited runners. Right-handed hitters have amassed just six hits in 35 at bats off him.