Ramos battles; Rodriguez falters

Cesar Ramos battled through his outing and Josh Banks debuted, but Mike Megrew could not hold it together. Brett Dowdy tied it in the ninth with a solo homer but the first batter Jon Ellis faced took him yard. R.J. Rodriguez came in looking for the save but took the loss an inning later. Eric Sogard had half the team's hits.

Portland (7-11) lost 8-1 to Las Vegas (Dodgers)

Cesar Ramos allowed just two runs but labored through five innings, tossing 92 pitches while allowing five hits and four walks while fanning a half-dozen. It was the second time this year he has issued a free pass to four, but the southpaw had walked one over his last two games. While he walked three in a contest six times a year ago, he did not walk more than three in any contest.

Michael Megrew pitched to five batters in the sixth but would not record an out, giving up as many hits as the Portland offense throughout the nine-inning game. The left-hander was charged with four runs on three hits and a walk, tossing 21 pitches. Two of the three hits went for extra bases. He entered the game with one run allowed over his first 4.2 innings. Megrew, a starter last year, came into the year with just 13 relief appearances over a minor league career that began in 2002.

Josh Banks made his system debut, inducing a fly out to end the seventh inning and stranding two inherited runners in the process. Banks made three starts for Syracuse of the International League, going 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA this season. In 16.2 innings, he allowed 21 hits and walked five. Coming into the season, Banks had posted a 50-42 record with a 4.19 ERA over 126 starts. Prior to Thursday, he had just one relief appearance to his credit over a minor league career that begin in 2003. He also went 0-0 with a 7.36 ERA over 7.1 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays last year.

San Antonio (9-10) lost 7-6 to Frisco (Rangers) in 10 innings

Brett Dowdy's ninth inning homer tied the game at 6-6 and sent the game into extra frames. The hit also extended his hitting streak to 17 games, dating back to last season. Dowdy went 1-for-4 but did draw a walk and score twice. Both of his RBIs have come on solo homers and he has hit four bombs over his last nine games dating back to last year. Also, each of his homers have come in the ninth inning, and the infielder has four hits in five at-bats in the ninth while netting one hit in innings one through eight.

The first batter to face Jon Ellis was also the last. He surrendered an opening inning homer in the bottom of the 10th to take the loss, dropping to 3-2 on the year. The reliever has been in on more decisions than any other pitcher on the roster and had won his last two decisions. The right-hander has given up nine runs, eight earned, in 10.1 innings, although six of the runs came over one-third of an inning. Also, all six runners he has inherited have scored on the year.

Chad Huffman collected three hits in five at-bats, hitting a solo homer – his second in as many games – and scoring twice. Huffman has an RBI in four straight games but had been in a 3-for-28 slump over his previous six games. The outfielder is hitting .571 off left-handed pitching with zero strikeouts and came into the game with a .161 average off righties before upping that to .197 by the end of the game.

Lake Elsinore (11-10) lost 7-4 to High Desert (Mariners) in 10 innings

Brooks Dunn put together a quality outing, giving up one run on three hits and three walks while fanning seven. It was the first time this year he has gone at least five innings and allowed less than three runs. His seven strikeouts amount to the second highest total in his career; he whiffed eight on August 30, 2006 with Eugene. The southpaw has given up three or more walks in three of his last four starts.

The Storm had just one hit over the first six frames and ended the game with four, although they were productive. Eric Sogard added two more hits to his season's resume, hitting his California League leading 12th double, drawing a walk and adding an RBI. The second baseman has reached base safely in 20 of his 21 games with hits in 18 of those contests. He now has 10 multi-hit games on the season while collecting an RBI in four straight and five of the last six.

After taking the blown save in the top of the ninth when he allowed a run, R.J. Rodriguez would suffer the loss after giving up three in the tenth. The right-handed closer gave up a career-high six hits with those four runs over two innings with three of the hits going for extra bases. Rodriguez has had just three save opportunities this season and has blown two of those. He has given up runs in three of his 10 appearances this season and has allowed at least three runs in each of those games.

Fort Wayne (7-13) had a scheduled day off

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