Jon Link blew his first save of the year, giving up four straight hits in the ninth, including a three-run homer. The right-hander had given up three hits and zero runs over his last 12 appearances and had allowed five hits without a run since giving up a run on April 24. Link allowed more earned runs on Saturday than he had all season. He had given up just two runs over 23 innings with the Storm this year. His .138 batting average against shot up to .174.
The Storm hit three home runs in PETCO Park on Saturday. Matt Antonelli led off the game with a homer – his ninth of the year. He went 3-for-6 on the night with all three of his hits coming behind in the count. He homered and doubled in 1-2 counts and singled in an 0-1 count. Antonelli has a nine-game hitting streak going and has been on base in 22 straight games. Antonelli did commit his tenth error of the campaign, leading to an unearned run.
"They were all on sliders," Antonelli said of the three hits he banged out behind in the count. "It was one of those days. I got behind but they ended up making a mistake pitch when they got ahead of me. The slider was left up a little bit. I got lucky and put a good swing on it."
Yordany Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a walk a stolen base and two runs scored. He also stole two bases but was thrown out attempting his third in the bottom of the eighth. Kyle Blanks reached base five times with three walks, a double and a first inning homer. David Freese became the fourth member of the team to surpass the 40-RBI mark on the year with four, including a game-tying two-run shot in the bottom of the tenth. Mike Baxter went 2-for-2 with a single and double coming off the bench.
"I played last year and I think I went 0-for-4," said Ramirez. "I know I did not do very well with the bat but today was nice."
"Coming down the stretch here we have just a handful of games and have to win every single one," said Freese. "As a team we are doing a great job. They would get the lead and we would fight. Hopefully tomorrow we can pull it out."
Brent Carter was effective over seven innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits and a walk. He did, however, allow a home run for the fifth straight game. He has given up 11 bombs over that span and 12 on the year, tying him for the California League lead. The left-hander did rebound from his worst outing ever and has given up two earned runs or less in two of his last three. He pitched into the seventh inning for just the second time on the year.
Portland won 9-2 over Salt Lake (Angels)
After giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits in the first inning, Jack Cassel went on to toss a complete game, giving up six hits total, walking one and striking out seven. He accomplished the task with 97 pitches thrown, 64 for strikes. His last, and the only other, complete game came on August 26, 2006 while pitching for Double-A Mobile. It is the seventh time in his last eight starts that Cassel has allowed two earned runs or less. He has lowered his ERA from 8.76 to 2.93. It was the first complete game of the year for Portland.
Michael Johnson went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a homer, and four RBIs. It was just the second multi-hit game of the year for the first baseman. Johnson has homered in successive games and has a four game hitting streak, upping his average from .093 in Triple-A to .143 by going 5-for-16 with four runs scored and five RBI. Johnson entered play striking out once every 2.87 at bats with the Beavers.
Vince Sinisi collected three hits in five at bats, adding two doubles to give him 18 on the season. The outfielder now has a 17-game on base streak, going 23-for-65, a .354 average, with seven walks and 12 extra base hits. Sinisi has five multi-hit games over his last eight and his 28 extra base hits on the year sit inside the top ten of the Pacific Coast League. He has hit over .300 in each month this season. Sinisi did, however, commit his sixth error in the field.
San Antonio lost 5-0 to Corpus Christi (Astros)
The Missions had as many errors as hits on Saturday – two in each column. Will Venable and Peter Ciofrone each made their first errors of the campaign – with Ciofrone playing third base. It was the third time this year Ciofrone has migrated from left field to play the hot corner. The Missions came into the game with the best fielding percentage in the Texas League at .982. Venable had play error-free over his first 104 chances split between centerfield, left and right.
Mike Ekstrom took his third loss of the year, giving up five runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out three. The right-hander had gone without a loss since May 2, but he has given up four runs or more in six of his 12 starts. Ekstrom allowed three first inning runs on Saturday and has surrendered 12 first inning runs over 12 starts this year – the most runs he has given up in any inning.
Jon Searles pitched to the minimum over two innings, striking out three. It is the eighth time this year that the right-hander has worked two or more innings and he has not allowed any runs over those outings, giving up just eight hits over a span of 17 innings. This is, however, the first time all year he has not allowed a single baserunner in an outing. He has yielded runs in seven of his 20 appearances on the year and has given up multiple runs in five of those games (three runs or more each time).
Fort Wayne won 5-4 over Great Lakes (Dodgers)
Kyler Burke banged out his fifth double in the fifth inning to plate two, going 1-for-3 with a walk on the day. Burke has a modest three game hitting streak and has been on base in seven straight, going 6-for-24 with four walks with three of his five doubles coming over that span. While Burke did not strikeout on Saturday he has whiffed once every 2.88 at bats. The outfielder is hitting .288 with runners on but just .140 with the bases empty.
Steve Delabar got the start and was on the hook for three runs on three hits and four walks over 4.2 innings while fanning five. The right-hander had started the season in relief, making 22 appearances between the Storm and Wizards and compiling a 6.89 ERA. He has walked 25 batters in 37.1 innings across two leagues. Delabar was a starter for the Wizards last year, going 8-9 with a 3.41 ERA.
Derek McDaid got the win but did allow both of his inherited runners to score in the fifth. He came on with two on and two outs, allowing a single and a double before getting a strikeout to end the inning. McDaid worked an inning and a third, giving up three hits but no runs were charged to his ledger. He has allowed just four of the 11 runners he has inherited this season to score. McDaid came off a stretch of games where he allowed six runs in a span of six innings. He has given up 13 hits and two walks over his last 7.1 innings pitched.