Latos lightning; Rivera rolling

Peter Ciofrone hits his 17th and Wade LeBlanc bounces back. Seth Johnston provides the offense as the Missions creep ahead. Jodam Rivera has put up silly numbers of late. Wynn Pelzer and Aaron Breit are both shelled. Mat Latos pitches the Emeralds to within a game. Eric Gonzalez nets the save in a close contest to keep the AZL Padres one-half back.

Portland (70-70) won 7-2 over Salt Lake (Angels)

Peter Ciofrone hit his 17th homer of the season in the opening frame, a solo shot and the tail end of back-to-back jacks. Thirteen of his homers this year have come with the bases empty, including five in the first inning. Ciofrone reached base three times and scored each time, netting a single and a walk. Ciofrone has been 2-for-22 over his last six games. The third baseman has collected 11 homers and 23 extra base hits over his last 51 games.

Brian Myrow had two hits, including his 23rd double in the Pacific Coast League and drove in two. Myrow had been two for his last 23 over his last nine games coming into Thursday but had reached base safely in eight of those contests. He had drawn a walk in seven straight and 10 of his last 11. Myrow leads the circuit with a .454 on-base percentage – 25 points better than the closest competitor.

Wade LeBlanc yielded one run on four hits over seven innings while striking out eight to move to 11-9. The lone error was a solo homer during a 100-pitch outing – his 21st homer allowed on the year. The southpaw has given up one run or less in six of his last eight starts. Yielding four hits or less four times over that span. It is the 14th time he has given up two runs or less in 26 outings.

San Antonio (33-32, 72-63) won 6-4 over Midland (A's)

The Missions took a half game lead over Midland with the win, pounding out 15 hits. Seth Johnston had three of the hits, belting his 25th double, scoring a run and driving in one. He also drew a walk. Johnston did, however, commit his 27th error of the year. The third baseman has a nine-game hitting streak working, notching an RBI in four straight and six of his last seven. He has seven multi-hit games over the streak, going 18-for-41 with eight runs scored and 10 RBIs.

Greg Burke earned his 21st save of the year in 24 opportunities, retiring the side in order in the ninth. After posting a 8.71 ERA during a tough month of July, Burke has rebounded to post a 1.84 ERA during August, allowing three runs over 14.2 innings. Burke has held the opposition to a .153 average across 59 at-bats with runners in scoring position and that number drops to .109 with runners on and two outs.

Brian Snyder went 1-for-3 with a walk, doubling n a pair of runs. Three of his four hits with the Missions have been doubles and the infielder has five RBIs across his last three games. Snyder is hitting .143 through 10 games but has a .314 on-base percentage. He has reached base safely in nine of his contests and has scored a run in three straight. Snyder, formerly of Midland, has 16 doubles on the year across 71 games.

Lake Elsinore (37-29, 69-67) won 5-1 over Inland Empire (Dodgers)

Brian Joynt pounded out a pair of extra base hits, notching a two-run homer – his 12th – and adding his 26th double of the season while scoring twice. Six of his bombs have come with runners on base. The third baseman/outfielder has 27 RBIs over his last 25 games and 50 over his last 51 with 29 extra base hits. He is hitting .296 with runners in scoring position.

Jodam Rivera had just one hit but his double drove in three runs in the second inning and proved to be the only knock they needed. Rivera stretched his hitting streak to a season best six games, going 8-for-17 with seven runs scored. He also has nine RBIs over his last five games after netting just seven over his first 73 contests in the California League. He is sporting a .411 on-base percentage over his last 22 games.

Rolando Valdez allowed one run over six innings, giving up five hits and a walk while striking out a half-dozen while notching seven ground ball outs to move to 8-5. Since giving up 10 runs on 14 hits in an outing, Valdez has allowed one run over his last 13 frames. The right-hander has given up two runs or less in six of his last seven and in nine of his 11 starts.

Fort Wayne (32-34, 69-67) lost 17-6 to South Bend (Diamondbacks)

Wynn Pelzer was charged with seven runs, six earned, on seven hits and a season-high four walks while fanning three over 4.1 innings. It is the fourth time this year he has allowed six or more runs but just the first time he has given up five earned runs or more. Pelzer had allowed two earned runs over his last 16 innings. Pelzer has allowed just eight extra base hits in 235 at-bats to right-handed hitters.

Aaron Breit was pounded for six runs on eight hits in two-thirds of an inning – leaving the game with two men on, both of which would be stranded. It is the second time this year he has given up six runs without making it through an inning and his eight hits were a season-high – including the five starts he made. Breit has given up eight runs on 11 hits over his last 1.2 innings after allowing one unearned run over the previous 11.

Anthony Contreras smacked three singles and scored a pair of runs. The infielder, playing third on Thursday, managed three hits in his previous 25 at-bats coming into play. He does, however, have five three-hit contests since joining the Wizards across 32 games. Contreras is hitting .379 with a .400 on-base percentage when he leads off an inning.

Eugene (37-33) won 6-4 over Salem-Keizer (Giants)

The Emeralds moved to within a game of Salem, as Mat Latos picked up his first Northwest League of the season. He allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out eight over 6.1 innings. The right-hander has allowed one earned run over his last 17.1 innings on seven hits while striking out 23. Latos has amassed a 2.65 ERA across three leagues this season and has worked six innings in successive starts for the first time this year.

Kyle Heyne provided 2.1 innings of relief, giving up one hit and plunking a batter while allowing two of his three inherited runners to score. The left-hander came into the game having stranded eight of the 11 runners he had inherited on the season. Heyne has kept the leadoff hitter of an inning to three hits in 29 at-bats and just one run has dotted his ledger over the last 9.1 innings.

Northwest League MVP Dan Robertson reached base three times, drawina a walk, smoking a pair of singles, scoring a run and plating one. The outfielder has reached base safely in 29 straight games while extending his hitting streak to 13. The 29-game streak is tied for the top mark in the league this season. Robertson's 104 hits put him six hits shy of the Eugene Emeralds record of 110 set last year by Durango and nine hits shy of the Northwest League record.

AZL Padres (19-7, 33-21) won 2-1 over AZL Cubs

Andrew Albers got the start and maintained his 0.00 ERA, helping to keep the AZL Padres a half game back with a game remaining against the leading AZL Giants. The left-hander allowed one hit and walked two while striking out three. The Canada native had allowed three base runners total over his first five innings of work. He has kept the opposition to a .136 average against.

Edgar Garzon logged the lone multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. The infielder has an RBI in three straight and four of his last five. Garzon is hitting .341 over his last 15 games with 12 RBIs after batting .179 in his previous 12 contests. Three of his last five hits have gone for extra bases.

Eric Gonzalez picked up his second save of the season, allowing one hit while striking out one. The right-hander has surrendered three earned runs across 20.1 innings this season and has allowed one run over his last 14.1 frames. Gonzalez has given up just one hit in 20 at-bats to the leadoff hitter of an inning. He has earned a win or save in four of his last five games, going 2-0 with a pair of saves.

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