Chip Ambres pounded out four hits on a night of perfection, doubling, driving in a run, scoring two and adding his first stolen base. He had just three hits in his first 17 at-bats coming into the game. Ambres hit .274 in 120 games for Triple-A New Orleans (Mets) in 2007 before collecting eight hits in 30 at-bats for the Padres this spring. The collected 23 doubles, 21 home runs, 71 RBI, 80 runs scored and 71 walks last season.
Kevin Cameron's only blemish over two innings was a leadoff walk in the eighth – quickly erased by a double play grounder. The right-hander has allowed two hits over 5.1 innings for Portland this year. His spring was limited after he fractured his left thumb. He appeared in more than an inning in 21 of his 48 appearances for San Diego as a rookie last season, giving up runs in just five of those outings.
Edgar Gonzalez pounded out two more hits in four at-bats, giving him a 9-for-18 start to the year and a six-game on base streak. While he has been on base 10 times over six games, he has scored just one run. Playing third base, Gonzalez has seen time at three different positions already this season. Just one of his hits has gone for extra bases after collecting 45 extra base hits a season ago.
San Antonio (4-3) won 7-1 over Northwest Arkansas (Royals)
Craig Cooper fell a homer shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored out of the two-hole. Batting cleanup in his previous five games, the outfielder was 4-for-21 without both an extra base hit and RBI. Cooper hit .317 with 46 extra base hits in 2007 for Lake Elsinore, collecting 32 doubles and four triples. He notched 14 games with three or more hits last season.
Will Inman improved on his first shutout outing, giving up just a single hit while walking three over five innings of scoreless ball. The right-hander tossed 78 pitches, striking out four, to pick up his second win in as many games. He has opened the year with 10 innings of shutout ball, yielding just four hits and holding the opposition to a .121 average. The opposition is 0-for-11 off him with runners in scoring position.
Seth Johnston hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot, and added a single while scoring two runs on Thursday to snap a 0-for-10 skid. Four of his six hits have come in the fourth inning this season, including the homer on Thursday. Johnston belted eight bombs a year ago for Lake Elsinore, hitting .292 while driving in 51 runs. He did not hit his first homer until May 1 last season.
Lake Elsinore (4-4) lost 14-5 to Lancaster (Red Sox)
Cory Luebke got his first taste of the bandbox they call Lancaster on Thursday – a place that last year saw the Storm put up 30 runs in a single game. The left-hander was hammered over three innings, allowing 11 runs, seven earned, on 11 hits – four for extra bases – and two walks. The hits and runs allowed both set career-highs, as his previous high was six runs allowed on nine hits in an August 26, 2007 start for Lake Elsinore.
Tom King had a day to forget on Thursday. After entering the game for an injured Keoni Ruth in the first inning and taking over at third base, King committed three errors – accounting for five unearned runs. He has five errors in five games in the field for the Storm this season – two coming in one game and three on Thursday. The infielder also went 0-for-3 at the dish and has four hits in his first 25 at-bats this year.
Dylan Axelrod surrendered three runs, two earned, on five hits over 3.2 innings, striking out four. The right-hander had not pitched more than three innings in any previous appearance during his career. His previous high was three frames, accomplished twice last year while pitching for Fort Wayne. Axelrod has given up nine runs on 10 hits over his last 5.2 innings with two balls leaving the yard, including one on Thursday.
Fort Wayne (1-7) lost 8-1 to Dayton (Reds)
Wynn Pelzer surrendered six runs, three earned, on six hits, a walk, and a hit batsman over 3.1 innings. He has given up 10 runs over 5.1 innings in his first two outings as a professional. After pitching for South Carolina, Pelzer was drafted by the Padres in the ninth-round. Rather than sign right away, Pelzer went out to the Cape Cod lead and took a liner off his leg, fracturing his kneecap. He signed late and this season is his first as a professional.
Derek McDaid worked an inning and two-thirds scoreless, but did allow one of two inherited runners to score. He gave up two hits and struck out one on the heels of giving up three runs, two earned, over two innings in his first appearance of the year. McDaid led all relievers within the system with 36 inherited runners last year for Fort Wayne – only 13 of those ended up scoring.
Brandon Gomes worked two frames, giving up one run on four hits and a walk. While the opposition is hitting .545 off him early in the year with the bases empty, he has kept hitters to a .231 average with runners on. Gomes pitched in 14 games for the Wizards a year ago, going 1-4 with a 4.68 ERA over 59.2 innings. Gomes worked in 6.1 innings for Eugene prior to joining Fort Wayne and allowed just a single hit during his time in the Northwest League.
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