Tekotte hits two; Minyeti mania

Enrique Gonzalez and Adam Bass are shelled. Kellen Kulbacki homers again but the Storm lose in extras. Luis Durango is hitting at an impressive clip of late. Blake Tekotte homers twice and Dan Robertson is a catalyst. Chris Wilkes impresses in an AZL Padres win. Jorge Minyeti continues to hit in the DSL.

Portland (54-49) lost 15-4 to Memphis (Cardinals)

Enrique Gonzalez was on the hook for six runs, five earned, on five hits and five walks over four innings. The right-hander is not 2-5 with a 6.57 ERA across 11 starts, allowing 59 hits and 30 walks in 49.1 innings. As a reliever, Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 3.16 ERA, allowing 25 hits and 14 walks in 25.2 frames. He has given up exactly six runs in three straight starts.

Adam Bass allowed a season-high six runs – all earned – on five hits and a pair of walks while fanning four over two innings. The right-hander has surrendered runs in 16 of his 36 appearances, giving up multiple runs on 12 occasions. The leadoff batter of an inning is reaching base at a .432 clip and his ERA has not been under 5.00 since his third game of the year.

San Antonio (18-14) vs Corpus Christi (Astros) postponed due to rain

Lake Elsinore (16-18) lost 5-4 to Lancaster (Red Sox) in 11 innings

Cesar Carrillo was lifted after 4.2 innings with three runs in on six hits and three walks while fanning four. Four of the hits he allowed went for extra bases and two left the yard. He exited with two men on but neither would score. The right-hander had allowed one homer over his first seven appearances this year. He has yet to pitch more than five innings in a start and has walked three batters three times.

Kellen Kulbacki took one out of the park for the third straight game, giving him 16 homers in the California League and 18 across two leagues – tops in the San Diego Padres minors. His last 15 bombs have come across a 56-game span. He extended his hitting streak to nine games and his on-base streak to 26. Kulbacki has a hit in all but one of those 26 contests. The outfielder has scored seven times over his last three games.

Fort Wayne (16-17) won 5-2 over Kane County (A's)

Luis Durango collected three hits in five at-bats out of the leadoff spot, notching his ninth double and an RBI. The outfielder is hitting .426 over his last 15 games with 23 hits in his last 54 at-bats and a .475 on-base percentage. He is now seventh in the Midwest League with his .308 average. Durango is hitting .414 with a .508 on-base percentage when he leads off an inning.

Corey Kluber moved to 1-0 with five innings of one-run ball. The lone run came on a solo homer in the fifth. He worked through five, giving up six hits and striking out seven, moving to 1-0. The right-hander has allowed four runs over 15.2 innings in the Midwest League, striking out 18 and walking one. He has kept right-handed hitters to a .160 average and has allowed one hit in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Eugene (16-21) won 6-3 over Tri-City (Rockies)

Blake Tekotte took a 2-1 fastball in the bottom of the third over the right field wall for a two-run homer – his first bomb of the season. The blast put the Emeralds up 3-0 at the time. In the eighth inning, Tekotte smashed a 2-0 pitch down the right field line for a three-run shot to pad the Emeralds lead to 6-2, giving him five RBIs on the day. Tekotte came into the game with two RBIs and three extra base hits on the season. He has reached base safely in nine of his 10 games.

"As soon as he swung the bat, we thought we could rack them," manager Greg Riddoch said. "Down and in fastballs – it ain't happening when you throw it there on him. That is his zone. Those were really helpful for us tonight."

"I had three in college but that was with the metal bat," Tekotte said. "It felt good to get two tonight. The first one was nice and the cherry on top with the second one. It was nice to do it at home. I am finally getting my timing back and trying to be aggressive."

Dan Robertson had another multi-hit game on Thursday and reached base four times thanks to a pair of walks. He also scored three times, pushing him into the top five in the league in runs scored with 25. The outfielder also added his 13th stolen base of the year in 15 attempts. Robertson has 19 multi-hit games in 35 overall and has walked more times (18) than he has struck out (12).

"We are part of something special right now," Robertson said. "We have put together some good wins. I am just trying to get on base for the guys behind me like Blake and Saw. Utilize my tools so we can score as many runs as we can. If I can do my job, than I know the guys behind me will do theirs."

"When we get this bunting thing down with the third baseman playing halfway to left field and now I got the two fastest guys on base with the three, four, five guys coming up – that is a crooked number," said Riddoch.

Pablo Menchaca fell an out shy of hitting five innings, giving up four hits and two walks while being on the hook for an unearned run and striking out two. He threw nine first-pitch strikes to 21 batters. The right-hander has allowed one earned run over his last 11.1 innings, giving up 10 hits and three walks while fanning eight. The Emeralds have won four straight – their longest winning streak of the season.

"He went back out and if that ball hadn't been a hanging one and had been down, he would have had the game," Riddoch said. "He left it up and was at 78 pitches – that was three beyond the limit – sorry."

"Pablo isn't using his changeup and the breaking ball isn't what it was," pitching coach Dave Rajsich said. "I don't know if he is afraid to throw or what but it is not the same pitcher as in the past. It frustrates me because I know it is there."

"You take it day to day – the numbers are what they are," Robertson said. "We get to play Yakima now. We are excited. We are here to make a statement with all of our players here."

"We have been playing great ball," Tekotte said. "We have to fight for wins. We are not giving up. That is what has started this whole winning streak. Everyone is relaxed and having fun.

"D-Rob is a heck of a player that is always on base. He makes my job a lot easier when he is on first base. I get to see a lot of fastballs."

AZL Padres (13-13) won 6-2 over AZL Royals

Matt Gaski delivered a single in four at-bats but led the team with his two RBIs. The third baseman did commit two errors but neither led to an unearned run. It was the second time this year he has notched two or more errors in a game. Gaski has four RBIs over his last five games and has a .375 average with runners in scoring position.

Chris Wilkes allowed one run over five innings, yielding seven hits, plunking a batter and striking out a career-high seven to move to 3-0 on the campaign. Wilkes has allowed four earned runs over his last 15 innings and his strikeouts have increased in each of his last five games. The right-hander is holding the opposition to a .212 average with runners in scoring position.

Steve Goins provided two innings of scoreless relief, giving up a single and two walks. The right-hander has given up runs in three of his eight relief appearances. He has held left-handed hitters to two hits in 14 at-bats early in the year and has not allowed a hit to leadoff the inning through 14 innings, walking two.

DSL Padres (20-26) lost 4-1 to DSL Tigers

Jorge Minyeti continued his hot hand with two hits in three trips with a walk. He was, however, caught stealing for the sixth time this season in 14 attempts. The infielder is hitting .431 with 22 hits in his last 51 at-bats over his last 16 games, posting 13 walks over that same span for a .547 on-base percentage. He has drawn a walk in six straight and has 15 more walks (34) than strikeouts (19).

Harlen Mozo surrendered four runs, two earned on three hits and a season-high five walks while hitting a batter and tossing a wild pitch, dropping to 1-4. Mozo has been on the wrong side of an unearned run in all but one of his nine appearances, seeing 14 unearned runs compared to 10 earned on the season. He is holding left-handed hitters to a .195 average on the year.

Guillermo Rodriguez tossed bullets over a pair of innings, giving up one hit and striking out one. The Mexico native had given up runs in his previous three outings and four of his last five. The leadoff batter of an inning is reaching base at a .625 on-base percentage clip and left-handed hitters are swatting .400 off him.

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