Wade LeBlanc was impressive in his Triple-A debut. His lone mistake – a second inning homer – was sandwiched inside the left-hander fanning the side. LeBlanc would end his night after six innings with 11 strikeouts dotting the ledger. He allowed four hits and walked one, tossing 88 pitches, 69.1 percent of them for strikes. LeBlanc went 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA over three Spring Training games for the Friars, allowing 11 hits in 6.2 innings. Last season, LeBlanc went 13-8 with a 2.95 ERA across two leagues.
Brian Myrow – the reigning Pacific Coast League batting champion – had one hit in his first 13 at-bats before hitting a three-run bomb in the seventh inning. The first baseman added a single and scored a second time one inning later. Myrow went 8-for-20 with eight walks and a .586 on-base percentage during camp for the Padres. Last season in Portland, Myrow batted .354 with 13 homers and 73 RBIs.
After striking out five times in his first nine at-bats, Will Venable went 3-for-5 – all singles – on Monday, singling in a pair to plate the first Portland runs. The outfielder went 6-for-18 during Spring Training with the Padres, belting two homers and driving in nine. Venable hit .278 last season for Double-A San Antonio, collecting three hits or more in 13 contests.
San Antonio (2-3) lost 1-0 to Tulsa (Rockies) in 12 innings
The battle of the bulge lasted until the 12th – neither team surrendered a run until the top half when Tulsa poked through with a single run against Neil Jamison in his second inning of work. Jamison had not allowed a run over his first two appearances of the year. The right-hander went 3-5 with a 4.32 ERA last season for San Antonio, giving up runs in 21 of his 53 outings.
Stephen Faris led off the zero-parade, tossing blanks over five innings. He allowed three hits and walked a pair while striking out five – needing 78 pitches to take care of business. Chad Huffman kept the game scoreless by throwing out a runner at home under Faris' watch. The right-hander went 9-7 with a 4.27 ERA across three leagues last season, allowing two runs or less in 11 of his 20 starts.
Marshall McDougall, in his first game since being sent down from Portland to San Antonio, accounted for half of the Missions four hits, including a double. McDougall had just one start for Portland but did come through with a pinch-hit double that plated three in the Portland opener. The infielder had 36 doubles a year ago across two leagues.
Lake Elsinore (3-2) won 8-6 over Visalia (Diamondbacks)
Mitch Canham launched his first homer of the year, a three-run shot with two outs in the opening frame. He also added a fourth RBI on a ground out. The backstop added a single later in the contest and scored two runs. Canham belted two homers a season ago with Eugene and had two games with three or more RBIs. Canham has three multi-hit games in his first four games.
Eric Sogard had three hits in four at-bats, belting his third double of the year and scoring three runs. The second baseman had just 11 doubles last year across three leagues a year ago. He also drew a walk and swiped his first bag of the year – stealing third base. Sogard was 6-for-10 in stolen base attempts during 2007. He had three games with three hits or more last season and already has two such games through five contests in '08.
Nathan Culp allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits and two walks over 4.1 innings in a no-decision. Culp started off slow in Lake Elsinore last year. The southpaw had a 7.11 ERA over his first five outings with the Storm before posting a 3.29 ERA over his final seven outings. The left-hander did allow eight or more hits in six of his 12 California League games a year ago.
Fort Wayne (1-4) lost 3-2 to Dayton (Reds)
Jeremy Hefner was tagged with the loss after a single run scored after he had left the ball game. After throwing blanks over five innings in his first outing, Hefner was charged with one fateful run over 3.1 innings on two hits and two walks while striking out seven to take the loss. It was the fourth time in 17 games that he has fanned seven or more. The right-hander has kept the opposition to a .161 average against early in the year.
Brad Chalk went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored from the leadoff spot – batting there for the first time this season. The outfielder also swiped his first base of the year. Chalk has a five-game hitting streak to open the year and a seven-game streak dating back to last season with 10 hits in his last 27 at-bats, a .370 average. Chalk was just 3-for-7 in his stolen base attempts last year.
Allen Harrington got the start after coming on in relief in the opener – the last game Fort Wayne won. The left-hander went three innings, allowing two runs – both coming on a homer – on three hits and a walk while striking out a career-high seven. Harrington has 13 strikeouts through his first seven innings of the year. The southpaw had never struck out more than four in a game prior to this year but did record 52 whiffs in 51.2 innings last year across two leagues.
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