McAnulty mashes Portland to 3-0 win

Portland, OR-- In just his third game back with the Beavers after suffering Grade 1 quad strain in June, Paul McAnulty looked like a bear emerging from a long winter of hibernating—hungry.

After shaking off some cobwebs in his previous two games (going 1-for-8) the slugger returned to form, leading Portland to a 3-0 win over Sacramento in front of 10,560 at PGE Park Thursday night. McAnulty's offense, complimented by the stellar start of Tim Stauffer (7-4, 4.69), gave Portland their second straight win against the second best team in the league.

Tim Stauffer was sterling through 6.1 innings, allowing three hits and facing just three batters over the minimum. The win was Stauffer's fourth in his last six appearances and his third straight at home.

Making his first start since being sent down Tuesday, Dallas Braden (1-1, 3.18) showed improvement over his last outing. The tall lefty's performance sharply contrasted his last appearance before being shipped to Sacramento in which he surrendered eight runs in 1.2 innings for Oakland. Braden wiggled his way in and out of trouble over the first four innings, but got tagged by McAnulty in the fifth and seventh innings.

The Beavers struck first in the fifth, putting up two runs on four hits. Right fielder Mike Epping and catcher Luke Carlin were driven home on McAnulty's scorching single to center field. Portland's threat continued when Brian Myrow's double put two men in scoring position, but the Beavers could not capitalize.

McAnulty's power pushed the Beavers' lead to 3-0 in the seventh when he planted a bomb off Braden over the right field fence. The homer chased the Sacramento starter from the game. Braden was relieved by right hander Julio Manon who pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief for the River Cats.

Adrian Burnside and Scott Cassidy came in to relieve Tim Stauffer and also put up blanks. Jared Wells took the bump in the ninth inning and got the save... barely.

After serving up singles to former Beaver J.J. Furmaniak and Dee Brown, Portland second baseman Craig Stansberry booted a ground ball to load the bases. With two outs, Sacramento catcher J.D. Closser stepped to the plate and drove Wells' 3-1 offering deep to right field. Luckily for Wells, Mike Epping made a miraculous leaping catch to rob Closser of at least extra bases, and quite possibly a grand slam which would have put the River Cats ahead 4-3.

Game Notes:

- Yordany Ramirez returned to the lineup today, 10 days after suffering a left lung contusion.

- Matt Teague (1-0, 4.38 with Single-A Eugene) will return to Portland for a spot start against Sacramento tomorrow. In his only other appearance with Portland this year, Teague pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit.

- Braden has just two decisions after making eight starts for the River Cats this season.

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