Ayala, Geer all about wins; Lopez first

Love continues to be denied to Ryan Ketchner. Josh Geer leads the Texas League in wins while Manny Ayala leads the minors in the same category. Jesus Lopez accomplished something he hadn't done all year. Danny Payne has been an on base machine and Mat Latos made his debut for the Eugene Emeralds.

Portland lost 3-1 to Colorado Springs (Rockies)

Ryan Ketchner continues to get squeezed. He dropped to 0-8 on the year, despite allowing two runs on eight hits over seven innings. Seventy of his 95 pitches went for strikes and he whiffed four. He allowed two runs or less in seven outings and has taken the loss in four of those contests. After not giving up a homer in eight consecutive starts, Ketchner has allowed a long ball in four straight.

Royce Huffman accounted for the lone Beavers run, hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning – his fourth of the season. He has reached base in all but one of his last 12 games, going 20-for-44 with five walks, four doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. He is also 32-for-87 over his last 22 games, a .368 average. Huffman has whiffed just three times in his last 14 games. He has seen his average go from .200 on May 19 to .263 after Saturday's game.

San Antonio won 6-1 over Midland (A's)

Sean Kazmar went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He has a modest four-game hitting streak, going 6-for-15, to snap a 3-for-38 slump that saw his average dip to .201. He has knocked in a run in three of his last four games and his .238 average in June is his best of any month. He is hitting .316 over 12 games when he hits ninth in the order, as he did on Saturday.

Josh Geer picked up the win, his eighth, after tossing seven innings of one run ball. He allowed seven hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out five. A runner reached base in every inning but the fifth against Geer, but he held the opposition hitless with runners in scoring position. While his last win came on May 16 – with a span of six games between – Geer leads the Texas League in victories. The right-hander is also in the top five in innings pitched and has gone seven or more innings in seven of his last 10 games.

Lake Elsinore won 8-3 over Inland Empire (Dodgers)

Manny Ayala picked up his fourth straight win and minor league leading 11th victory on Saturday. The right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits but was assisted by two double plays. He has given up two earned runs or less in eight straight starts and in 14 of his 16 total. Ayala has allowed six earned runs over his last eight starts, spanning 49 innings for a 1.10 ERA during that time.

Nic Crosta hit a three-run homer, his ninth dinger of the year. He also added a sacrifice fly to give him four RBIs on the night. Crosta did, however, make his second error of the year. The outfielder has reached base in eight straight games, going 10-for-26 with four walks, five doubles, two homers, and nine RBIs. Crosta is also hitting .340 over his last 15 games with 10 extra base hits. He had not hit over .200 during the first two months of the year.

Lake Elsinore Storm manager Carlos Lezcano was ejected in the sixth inning.

Fort Wayne won 8-4 over Lansing (Blue Jays)

While everyone in the lineup had a hit, Jesus Lopez led the charge, going 3-for-5 with a double, a solo homer, and two runs scored. The shortstop has a six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-19 over the stretch his average from .209 to .229. It is the first time this year he has collected to extra base hits in a game. Both of his homers have come in the eighth inning or beyond.

Cedric Hunter had two hits in three at bats, adding a walk, a sacrifice fly and two RBIs. The outfielder was, however, caught stealing twice on the day and has been snared five times this year. He became the first player on the Wizards to surpass the 30-RBI threshold. His .298 average in June is his best month to date and his four doubles tied the number he collected in May. He has a hit in 14 of his last 17 games.

Rayner Contreras collected three hits in five trips but did get caught stealing for the second time this year and committed his 24th error of the year. The infielder has collected five hits in his last nine at bats to raise his average from .266 to .280. Unlike last year when he hit over .400 with runners in scoring position, Contreras has hit .200 in such situations this year while hitting .340 with the bases empty.

Eugene lost 6-4 to Spokane (Rangers)

Danny Payne collected half of the Ems hits and half of their runs scored. He went 3-for-5 with two runs scored while also adding his third stole base of the season. Over five games, Payne has scored seven runs and been on base 16 times with nine walks and seven hits. Payne has reached base seven times in 10 plate appearances when hitting from the leadoff spot.

Mat Latos made his debut, working through 2.1 innings and was charged with two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out the side in the second inning – all three swinging. Latos went 10-3 with a 2.03 ERA (17 ER/75.1 IP) for Broward (FL) Community College in 2007. A 6-6, 216-pound freshman from Margate, Florida, he compiled 102 strikeouts compared to 17 walks over 75.1 innings, yielding 58 hits. Latos was originally selected by the Padres out of Coconut Creek (FL) High School and signed as a draft-and-follow.

Colt Hynes had an interesting night. After working a perfect inning in his debut, Hynes allowed two unearned runs on two walks and an error that he made trying to force out a runner at third base. A 31st-round draft pick this year, Hynes was a mainstay in the weekend rotation at Texas Tech and logged a 5.94 ERA through 83.1 innings of work while making 13 starts and recording a 3-6 record. He allowed 113 hits, walked 16 and struck out 55. Forty of those hits went for extra bases.

AZL Padres had a scheduled day off

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