Pelzer rolling; Kulbacki streaking

Mike Ekstrom has turned into a stalwart in relief. Nathan Culp produces a solid effort and Kellen Kulbacki continues to streak. Wynn Pelzer does it again with shutout ball. Four errors and lack of execution lead to a Eugene loss. Seven errors eliminate the chance of the AZL Padres getting a win.

Portland (50-46) had a scheduled day off

San Antonio (14-12) won 8-2 over Frisco (Rangers)

Mike Ekstrom earned a well-deserved victory to move to 5-6 on the season, working 2.1 scoreless frames and pitching to one over the minimum due to a walk. He struck out four and stranded two inherited runners. The right-hander has stranded six of the nine runners he has inherited on the year. Ekstrom has given up six earned runs in 26.1 innings since moving into the relief role after surrendering 42 earned over 58 frames as a starter.

Mike Baxter was the only player to record a multi-hit game, as eight of the ninth batters scored a run and seven of the ninth had an RBI. The outfielder went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, notching his ninth double of the year. Baxter has 20 hits in 61 at-bats with runners in scoring position after going 2-for-2 in such situations on Thursday, a .328 average. He has not struck out in more than four straight games this year.

Lake Elsinore (12-15) won 4-3 over Inland Empire (Dodgers)

Nathan Culp gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out seven across 6.1 innings. Five of the six hits were singles while one left the yard. The southpaw has allowed three earned over his last three starts, spanning 18.1 innings of action. He has given up two runs or less in eight of his 19 starts overall. Culp has earned a decision in 11 straight, going 7-4 over that span.

Wilton Lopez picked up his sixth save in the California League, tossing an inning and one-third scoreless ball. He allowed one hit and struck out two while also stranding two inherited runners in the bottom of the eighth. The right-hander has tossed scoreless ball through his first 11.2 innings with the Storm this season and has stranded all four runners he has inherited.

Kellen Kulbacki went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, extending his on-base streak to 19 games. He has a hit in 18 of those contests and is batting .350 over his last 39 games with 12 homers, eight doubles and 31 RBIs. The outfielder did, however, commit his fifth fielding error of the campaign, which led to an unearned run.

Fort Wayne (11-16) won 7-0 over Clinton (Rangers)

Wynn Pelzer lowered his ERA to 3.14 with another six innings of scoreless ball. The right-hander allowed four hits, plunked a batter and walked one while fanning four, picking up his team-leading eighth win. It is the third time in five games he has not allowed a run during his start and fourth time in five that he has given up one run or less. Since opening the year with a 5.12 ERA in his first six outings, Pelzer has posted a 2.54 ERA.

Brad Chalk had two hits – both of the extra base variety – and drove in three runs while scoring once. The outfielder, batting leadoff, doubled in the third and cleared the bases with his eighth inning triple. Chalk has six hits over his last three games and a run scored in each. His three RBIs matched his total from the previous 16 contests. It was the first time this year he has recorded multiple extra base hits.

Aaron Breit worked two scoreless innings, teaming with one other reliever to complete the Wizards sixth shutout of the season. Breit allowed two hits and struck out three. The right-hander has kept the opposition off the scoreboard in all of his relief appearances, posting a 0.00 ERA across 10 innings and giving up just six hits while fanning 12. As a starter, Breit has secured a 6.86 ERA in 19.2 innings,

Eugene (11-19) lost 10-5 to Vancouver (A's)

"In the seventh inning I looked and saw we had given up eight walks and five of them had scored," manager Greg Riddoch said. "Look at the score on the board – you see what happens when you give up a walk."

Nick Vincent made his first start of the year and was charged with three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks while fanning four in three frames. Vincent had allowed seven runs, five earned, on nine hits in his first 8.2 innings – all in relief, allowing runs in two of his eight games. He had walked three all year coming into the game.

Tom Davis moved to the bullpen to accommodate Vincent and came on in relief in the fourth. The right-hander was on the hook for three runs, two earned, on four hits and a walk over an inning and two-thirds, dropping his record to 0-3 on the season. Davis has seen 40 base runners reach in his 21.2 innings of work this year, a WHIP of 1.85.

"It is the same team we beat 7-1 earlier in the year throwing fastballs and all of sudden they come here and we think they are a different team," Riddoch added. "My question is – is anyone paying attention?"

Blake Tekotte had three hits in five at-bats out of the leadoff spot. He drove in a run but was picked off first base after notching a single to open the game. The outfielder also committed his first error of the year, overrunning a ball and allowing a runner to advance unchecked. Tekotte has struck out eight times in his first 13 at-bats coming into the contest but did not whiff on Thursday.

"It is a little bit tough at first to take a couple of weeks off and see live pitching," Tekotte said. "It takes a couple of games to get used to it and get the feel of the wood bat during games."

AZL Padres (11-9) lost 20-8 to AZL Cubs

Wary Polanco got a chance to play on Thursday and went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. It was just the fourth game played for the backstop out of the Dominican Republic and the double was his first hit. Last year with the DSL Padres, Polanco hit .171 across 37 games with four doubles, 14 runs scored and nine RBIs. He also drew 23 walks compared to 34 strikeouts.

Seven AZL Padres errors led to 11 unearned runs, nine coming against Mario Tabachnik. The right-hander was charged with 11 runs, two earned, on eight hits over two innings, hitting a pair of batters and tossing a wild pitch. Tabachnik did strand two inherited runners prior to a 10-run frame. The Mexico native had given up two runs total over his previous nine innings of work. He has allowed eight hits twice this season and 17 of the 19 runs he has yielded have come over two games.

Al Angelucci was on the hook for five runs, four earned, on five hits and three walks over 2.1 frames. He also hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches. It is the second time this year he has given up five or more runs. Angelucci has hit three batters and tossed four wild pitches across 13.1 innings. The opposition is hitting .391 off him with runners in scoring position.

DSL Padres (19-22) lost 10-7 to DSL Tigers

Hans Wilson reached base all four times he came to the plate, drawing three walks and hitting a double. He scored twice and drove in two runs to pace the offense. Wilson did, however, commit his eighth error of the year. He had drawn just five walks through his first 25 games of the season but has had two games with multiple walks. Wilson's first seven errors came as a catcher.

Luis De La Cruz allowed just two hits but five runs, four earned, cross the dish against him. He walked three, hit another three and tossed a pair of wild pitches. It is the third time this year he has given four or more runs. De La Cruz has hit eight batters on the season, including one in each of his last four games. He has walked more batters than he has struck out.

Pedro Hernandez suffered his second loss of the season, giving up four runs, two earned, on three hits and a hit batsman while striking out six in four innings. It is the second time this year he has given up four or more runs but he has not allowed more than two earned in any outing. He has allowed two runs or less while going at least five innings five times on the year.

Talk about this story on our subscriber-only message boards

MadFriars Top Stories