Venable hits for cycle; Freese five spot

Clay Hensley gives up six runs but is excited about the way he pitched. Will Venable hits for the cycle – collecting his first homer in the process. David Freese has a night of perfection with three doubles. John Hussey drops his fourth straight start.

Portland lost 7-4 to Iowa (Cubs)

Clay Hensley was pummeled for six runs, four earned, on seven hits and five walks while uncorking two wild pitches. He threw 90 pitches, 49 for strikes and has now allowed 12 runs, 10 earned, over 12.1 innings in Triple-A ball. The right-hander has also walked nine over his last two outings. Still, Hensley was pleased with his performance.

"Everything felt pretty good," Hensley said. "I am focusing on having the ball where I want it to move and it did that tonight. The boxscore reads a little differently."

Josh Howard went 3-for-4 with a run scored to up his average to .190 on the year. It was his first three-hit night of the season but gave him three multi-hit games over his last six starts. He is 8-for-24 over his last nine games, pushing his average up from a season-low .088. He also has seven RBIs over that span and four walks for a .429 on base percentage. Howard is hitting .357 with runners in scoring position.

Steve Watkins worked 2.2 innings, allowing one of two inherited runners to score and giving up a run of his own on three hits. Working as the long man, Watkins has gone two or more innings in 11 of his 16 appearances, allowing runs in seven of those games. Only two of the seven runners he has inherited have scored. Watkins also laid down his third sacrifice bunt of the year.

San Antonio won 6-3 over Springfield (Cardinals)

Will Venable hit for the cycle, knocking in three runs and scoring twice. The homer, a three-run shot in the seventh inning, was his first blast of the year. He also singled in the third, tripled in the sixth and doubled in the ninth. Venable hit 11 homers last year but hit just one (May 4) over the first two months of the season, hitting his second (and third) on June 25. He has now collected 11 extra base hits over 51 games in San Antonio and this was the first time he notched multiple in the same game.

Peter Ciofrone went 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and two RBIs. It was his second straight three-hit night in a row and the sixth time he has accomplished the feat this year. The outfielder has knocked in a run in three straight games and has scored a run in five of his last six. He is hitting .300 in May after hitting .259 in April. Ciofrone is also batting .351 on the road but just .207 at home.

Dirk Hayhurst picked up the win, his second of the year, tossing a scoreless inning. The right-hander has allowed eight earned runs in 35 innings across two leagues for a 2.06 ERA. He has surrendered runs in seven of his 20 outings. The leadoff runner has reached base just six times in the 33 innings he has started, posting a .181 average. He has not given up a run on the road in Texas League play.

Lake Elsinore won 6-2 over Lancaster (Red Sox)

David Freese was fit for perfection on Wednesday, going 5-for-5 with three doubles and three runs scored. It is the second time this year he has notched three doubles in a game and put him in a tie for the California League lead with 17. His 26 extra base hits also sit fifth in the league. The third baseman has scored a run in five straight games, touching home nine times over that span.

Craig Cooper fell a homer shy of the cycle in a 3-for-5 night, scoring two runs and driving in three. He is second on the team with three triples. He has been on base in 32 of the last 33 games, going 43-for-112, a .384 average, with a .489 on base percentage. Cooper has knocked in 21 runs over his last 15 games with nine extra base hits. He has four three-hit nights this season.

Brent Carter picked up his sixth win, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk over seven frames. Both hits were solo homers, giving him nine bombs surrendered in his last three starts. His 10 homers allowed are the second most in the California League. Carter has allowed two runs or less in four starts – all wins – but has given up four runs or more in five outings for a 5.55 ERA. The last time he allowed two or fewer hits in an outing came on June 21 last year.

Fort Wayne lost 6-1 to South Bend (Diamondbacks)

John Hussey lost his fourth straight on the bump, giving up four runs on three hits, five walks and two hit batsmen. While he has held the opposition to a .279 average overall, Hussey has walked 12 batters this year. He has walked three or more in three straight games. Lefties are swatting .368 off him while he has kept righties to a .245 mark. Hussey, incidentally, led the Arizona Rookie League Padres in hit batsmen last year, plunking seven.

Grant Varnell worked three more scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out one. He also picked off a runner at first base, the second runner he has picked off this season. Varnell has not allowed a run in 14.1 innings and has gone 16.1 innings without surrendering an earned run. He has faced only 11 at bats with runners in scoring position on the year over 22.1 innings. More importantly, all 17 hits he has yielded have been singles.

Derek McDaid allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over two innings. The right-hander has allowed three runs on six hits over his last two outings, failing to record an out in his previous appearance. McDaid has given up runs in nine of his 19 appearances on the year. He has gone 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA over 11 outings in May after posting a 6.94 ERA in eight April appearances.


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