Chip Ambres hit a three-run homer to close out the scoring in the ninth inning for Portland, capping a six-run inning. His homer wound up being the difference between a win and a loss, as the bullpen surrendered four runs in the ninth. He had two hits on the night and scored twice. Ambres is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak that has seen his average climb from .238 to .286. He is 13-for-35 over the streak with three homers and 12 RBIs. Ambres also added an outfield assist, throwing out a runner at second base.
Brian Myrow hit two solo homers – part of a six-homer game for Portland – with his second bomb to leadoff the eighth inning tying the game at 7-7. Myrow also drew a walk and scored a third time. His last multi-homer game came on June 26, 2007 for Portland – a night that also saw him hit two solo dingers. Myrow has collected an RBI in five straight games, plating 10 over that span with four multi-RBI games.
Matt Antonelli was dropped to the ninth spot in the order and responded with a sacrifice fly and a solo homer in three at-bats. His homer in the ninth came on the heels of Luke Carlin's bomb and put Portland ahead – a lead they would not relinquish, although things got tight. It was just the fourth game this season that he has batted somewhere other than out of the leadoff spot and he is 2-for-12 in those spots. While his average sits at .192, he has been on base in 10 of his last 11 games.
San Antonio (14-17) lost 6-5 to Corpus Christi (Astros)
Edwin Moreno suffered his first blown save of the year in nine chances when the right-hander two runs on three hits over two-thirds of an inning while protecting a one-run lead. Moreno had allowed runs in just one of his previous nine appearances, spanning 13.2 innings. He had surrendered just four hits over that span. He matched the amount of runners he had allowed in his previous 12 ninth innings.
Greg Burke zoomed through two innings on the strength of 17 strikes over 23 pitches thrown. He allowed one hit and fanned one to lower his ERA to 1.93 for the year while also committing his first error of the year. The right-hander has surrendered three earned runs over his last 20.1 innings of work. He has induced four double play grounders, including one on Tuesday, over 23.1 innings and has kept the opposition to four hits in 21 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Chad Huffman put the Missions up early with a two-run homer in the first inning – his third jack of the season. He ended the night with three hits and two runs scored to pace the offense. It was the sixth time in 30 games he has collected three or more hits and the fifth time in the last 13 contests. He has raised his average from a season low of .243 on April 22 to .328 by going 22-for-49 across his last 13.
Lake Elsinore (17-15) lost 8-0 to San Jose (Giants)
Corey Kluber allowed five runs in the first inning, which was capped by a three-run homer, and wound up yielding seven runs, six earned, on seven hits and two walks while striking out six over three innings. It is the third time in five starts he has given up five runs or more and comes on the heels of a five-inning stint of shutout ball. Eighteen of the 27 runs he has allowed this year have come over the first two innings, including six on Tuesday.
Ernesto Frieri provided three innings of scoreless relief, surrendering three hits, walking one and striking out two in his longest outing of the year. The right-hander has given up runs in four of his California League high 15 appearances (tied with two other Storm relievers), including two of his last 13. Frieri has not given up a homer this year but 11 of his 23 hits have gone for extra bases; all three hits on Tuesday were singles.
Kellen Kulbacki collected two of the Storm's five hits and reached base a third time via a walk. It was just his third multi-hit game over 22 games and two leagues. He came into the game with three hits over his last 31 at-bats between the Midwest and California Leagues but now has four hits in his last 11 at-bats with a pair of walks. Kulbacki had a .254 average through his first 33 games last season before ending the season with an average over .300.
Fort Wayne (14-17) lost 5-4 to Burlington (Royals)
Zachary Brown reached base three times with a pair of hits and a walk. He also drove in his fifth run of the year, all coming over his last three games. The first baseman did get caught stealing and is now 1-for-2 on stolen base attempts through five contests. He had just two stolen base attempts across 45 games last year. Brown has been on base nine times this season with five hits and four walks in 18 plate appearances.
Allen Harrington got the nod and allowed three runs on five hits across 4.2 innings while striking out two. The left-hander also hit a batter and picked off a runner at first base while giving up his second bomb of the season. Harrington has walked just two batters over his last 25.2 innings of work. He has held the opposition to a .218 average with runners on base while netting his first double play grounder of the year on Tuesday.
Three of the four hits Jeremy Hefner allowed went for extra bases and it was the two-run homer that accounted for all of the runs against over three innings in a loss that dropped him to 2-3 on the season. Hefner also walked one and struck out one. After not allowing a homer over his first six outings, Hefner has given up the long ball in successive games. Just seven of the 23 hits he had allowed entering the game had gone for extra bases.
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