Pete Laforest went yard for the seventh and eighth times in his last 10 games, smashing a solo shot and a ninth inning grand slam with two outs. All but two of his hits over that time have left the park. It was his third multi-homer game and second in the last three games. He has five ninth inning homers and two grand slams – both coming with two outs in the final frame. He has now scored a run in 10 consecutive games, touching home plate 13 times during that span. Laforest, who was behind the plate on Sunday after spending three or his last four games at third base, has an RBI in four straight, seven of the last nine, and 10 of the last 14.
Tim Stauffer went five innings, tossing 97 pitches while allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks. It is the third straight game he has allowed five or more runs and the right-hander has not made it into the sixth inning in any of his five starts. He has thrown 595 pitches this year, 357 for strikes – 60 percent. Stauffer has had just two stolen bases attempting against him with one being a successful steal. Stauffer also went 1-for-1 at the plate with a sacrifice.
Mike Sansoe batted eighth and went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice, a double, and three runs scored in his second game in Triple-A. The outfielder is 3-for-6 with a walk in his two games after hitting .258 in 31 games for Double-A San Antonio. Sansoe did hit .318 in day games with the Missions while batting .245 at night. Just three of his 31 hits in Double-A went for extra bases and he stole five bags in 10 attempts.
"There are a lot of outfielders and it seems like there are a lot of guys who are talented out there," said Sansoe. "You just have to wait your turn and take advantage."
San Antonio lost 3-2 to Arkansas (Angels)
Chase Headley hit a first inning homer off Nick Adenhart, his eighth bomb of the year. Unfortunately, it would be the only runs the Missions would score. Headley struck out in each of his other three at bats, breaking a string of 15 at bats without a whiff. It is just the second time this year he has whiffed three times in a game. He has 25 extra base hits on the year, accounting for 42.4 percent of his hits.
There were baserunners in every inning except the first off Josh Geer but he worked out of trouble most of the night to allow two runs on 10 hits and three walks over seven frames, striking out seven. The opposition went 1-for-4 off him with runners in scoring position but left seven men on base during his watch. It is the second time this year Geer has allowed 10 hits and he matched his season-high in strikeouts. The right-hander has allowed four runs over his last five starts, posting a 1.02 ERA over that span.
Jeremy Cleveland returned to the lineup after spending the first two months of the year rehabbing a hand injury he suffered while catching. He was a candidate to switch roles but after hurting his hand was returned to the outfield. Cleveland went 0-for-3 with a walk in his debut. He hit .278 with seven doubles and a homer over 37 Double-A games last year. He also spent 80 games with Lake Elsinore, hitting .275 with 18 doubles and 37 RBIs.
Sean Thompson threw a bullpen session to test an ailing back and reportedly went without discomfort and will make his scheduled start on Tuesday.
Lake Elsinore won 7-1 over Lancaster (Red Sox)
Wade LeBlanc pitched six strong innings, holding the top hitting team in the California League to two hits and a walk while striking out six, retiring the final seven batters he faced. It is the fifth time this year he has thrown shutout ball and the seventh time he has given up two runs or less, improving to 4-2. LeBlanc has posted a 0.98 ERA over his last eight starts, allowing five earned runs over 46 innings on 30 hits. Sunday also marked the fourth time this year he has given up three hits or less.
Chad Huffman recorded his first hit of the season with the bases loaded, hitting a grand slam in the seventh inning to give Lake Elsinore slams in successive games and eight for the year. He also doubled in a run and drew two walks. It is the fifth time this year he has notched three or more RBIs in a game. Huffman has seven doubles and seven homers in 24 May games, scoring 25 times and driving in 26. Sunday is the eighth time in his last 10 games that he has recorded a multi-hit game.
"Like Grady (Fuson) always talks about – and our hitting coaches – being patiently aggressive," said Huffman of his success. "Just concentrate and focus on one pitch and if it is where you want to hit it and when you get it capitalize on it – if it is the first pitch or the last pitch."
Juan Ciriaco went 1-for-3 with a walk, giving him a three game hitting streak since joining Lake Elsinore. The shortstop is one game shy of reaching his high for a hitting streak over 37 games with San Antonio. Ciriaco has also stole a base in three straight games, swiping two bags on Sunday. He had collected five steals in six attempts with the Missions and had not stolen a base in successive games all year.
Fort Wayne lost 10-2 to West Michigan (Tigers)
Nathan Culp surrendered five runs on six hits in the first inning and was on the hook for seven runs on a career-high 11 hits over six frames. West Michigan became the third team this year to collect 14 or more hits off Wizards pitching. It is the third time in four starts he has given up six or more runs and eight or more hits. He has a 6.95 ERA over his last four starts after posting a 1.45 ERA over his first six starts. He had held left-handers to a .149 average entering the game but southpaw hitters were 3-for-6 off him on Sunday.
Wilton Lopez made it through his first inning unscathed, giving up a single that was wiped away by a double play but surrendered three runs on five hits in his second inning of work. His six hits and three runs allowed were career-highs, as the right-hander came into the game with one run allowed over his previous nine innings on four hits. It is the third time in nine appearances that runs have crossed the dish.
Kyler Burke broke a shutout bid with two outs in the ninth, lacing a single to left with the bases loaded to score two. Burke, who was the first baserunner of the game for Fort Wayne when he drew a 3-2 walk, was one of two Wizards to reach base twice. Burke is 11-for-37 over his last 10 games, a .297 average. The outfielder has, however, struck out 52 times in 149 at bats this year, an average of one every 2.87 at bats.