Cooper doubles up; Mayi extends game

Steve Watkins is hammered in a Portland loss. Mike Ekstrom suffered the defeat when things fall apart in the fifth. Craig Cooper hammered three doubles to lead Lake Elsinore. Javis Diaz homers but gets little support. Eric Sogard hits a grand slam while Luis Durango extends his hitting streak to 15. Jose Mayi delivers a last minute bomb, and Reggie Watson again plays a pivotal role.

Portland lost 15-4 to Oklahoma (Rangers)

Yordany Ramirez, hitting atop the order, went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, a walk and two runs scored. He also stole his third base since joining Triple-A. Over 82 games with Lake Elsinore, Ramirez had not batted higher than third, but he has hit leadoff in two straight games under the guidance of the familiar Rick Renteria. The outfielder has swiped 25 bags in 33 attempts this season, setting a new career-high for stolen bases in a season. His two RBIs on Thursday gave him 48 over two leagues, besting the 46 he had in 2005.

Steve Watkins (2-3) was tagged for eight runs on five hits and four walks over three innings. Four of the five hits went for extra bases, including three balls leaving the park. It was his worst start since allowing nine runs on August 23, 2006 while with Triple-A New Orleans. It is the second time this year he has given up three homers, the last time coming on April 23 during a relief appearance. He came into the game with a 2.92 ERA as a starter.

San Antonio lost 9-5 to Midland (A's)

Brett Dowdy doubled twice in four at bats and scored a run. He also collected an outfield assist, throwing out a runner at home plate by hitting cutoff man Chase Headley who fired it in to Nick Hundley. For Dowdy it was the first time all year over two leagues that he has collected multiple extra base hits in a game and doubled his two-bagger total since joining Double-A San Antonio. He has scored 12 runs over his last 15 games.

Mike Ekstrom (5-6) ran into trouble in the fifth, giving up five of the six runs he allowed on the day. He matched a season-high by surrendered 10 hits, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch in 4.2 innings. It is the 11th time in 20 starts that the right-hander has allowed four runs or more and the eighth time he has given up eight or more hits. While he has given up just three homers all year, Ekstrom has surrendered 27 doubles, including four on Thursday.

Lake Elsinore won 8-6 over Bakersfield (Rangers)

Keoni Ruth got just his second start since joining Lake Elsinore a week ago and his first since Sunday, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. The second baseman hit .439 over 19 games for the AZL Padres before being sent up, collecting 13 multi-hit games and recording a hit in all but one of his contests. He notched 10 extra base hits in his short time in the AZL and struck out just four times in 82 at bats. He has fanned twice in 10 at bats in the California League.

Craig Cooper drilled three doubled in five at bats, twice doubling in a pair to give him four RBIs. He did get thrown out trying to stretch one two-bagger into a triple. The first baseman/outfielder has notched an RBI in five straight games, playing 11 over that span. He has also scored 11 runs over his last seven games, despite not touching home on Thursday. Cooper has eight games with three or more RBIs on the season. He had four different multi-double games but never amassed more than two in a contest.

Fort Wayne lost 6-3 to Kane County (A's)

Javis Diaz opened the game with a homer in the top of the first and singled and scored in the eighth. All five of his homers have come with the bases empty and he has opened up two games with dingers. Diaz has reached base in 12 straight games, going 14-for-43 with five RBIs and 10 runs scored. He came into the game with a stolen base in three straight games and has swiped five straight to give him more steals (13) than caught stealing (11).

Steve Delabar gave four runs back in the bottom of the first and allowed five in the game, four earned thanks to an error he made on a pickoff attempt. The right-hander walked four, gave up six hits and tossed two wild pitches over four innings. Three of the six hits went for extra bases; eleven of the first 37 hits he allowed went for extras. It is the third time in four starts that Delabar has allowed five runs or more.

Eugene won 8-5 over Tri-City (Rockies)

Eric Sogard stole the show with a third inning grand slam, the second of its kind during the 2007 season for the Emeralds. After not homering all year, the second baseman has gone deep in two straight games and has seven RBIs over that span after netting six over his first 17 games. He had gone hitless in his previous at bats with the bases loaded and ended the day with two hits in five at bats. Sogard has seven multi-hit games in 19 games.

"He fell behind and I was sitting on a fastball," said Sogard of his second homer in as many nights. "It was middle-in, waist high and just a beautiful pitch to hit."

Luis Durango extended his hitting streak to 15 games and on base streak to 25 contests, going 3-for-5 with his sixth triple of the year and two RBIs. His 25-game on base streak is tied for the best mark in the league to date; he has a .421 on base percentage during the streak and .382 average during his current hitting streak. Durango leads the Northwest League in batting average (.372), hits (55), and triples. His 18 RBIs rank second on the team and his 12 extra base hits are tied for the team lead. Durango did commit his first error of the year.

Colt Hynes picked up his first save of the season, striking out the side around a single. It is the second time this year he has recorded all of his outs by way of the strikeout. Hynes has allowed one earned run over his first 19.1 innings professionally, giving up 13 hits. He has held the opposition to a .120 average with runners in scoring position and 14 of his strikeouts have come with runners on base. Hynes has given up two hits to left-handers all year.

AZL Padres won 6-5 over AZL A's in 11 innings

Jose Mayi delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at 5-5 before the Padres scored a run in the 11th to win it. It was the lone hit of the afternoon after coming on as a defensive replacement in the fifth. The first baseman, who injured his hand in extended spring, had just two RBIs over his previous 11 games and has been myriad in a 8-for-43 slump (.186) over his last 12 contests. He came into the game hitless in the ninth inning, going 0-for-8.

Reggie Watson scored the winning run in the 11th, walking, swiping second for his first stolen base of the year, and scoring on an Edgar Garzon double. Watson reached base five times in the game, going 4-for-5 with three singles and a solo homer. He also scored three runs and was on base when Mayi went yard. Watson has been on base 10 times over his first three games since being signed out of the Frontier League with seven hits and three walks. He has attempted a stolen base in each game but Thursday was the first time he has been successful.

Tyler Davis (3-0) picked up the victory with three innings of scoreless ball. He allowed three hits while striking out two. The right-hander has allowed one run over his last 12 innings of work on nine hits and three walks while striking out nine. Davis has given up three hits in 25 at bats with runners in scoring position. He has held right-handed hitters to .167 average on the year and has allowed just two extra base hits.

AZL Padres manager Tony Muser was ejected in the 11th inning for arguing a call that saw Garzon get called out trying to steal third.


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