Blanks' blast; Clark provides walk-off

Kyle Blanks goes yard, Chad Gaudin debuts, and Jon Ellis picks up a win. Luis Durango has three hits but commits a costly error in a San Antonio loss. Wynn Pelzer posts a quality start and Lance Zawadzki is back in the starting lineup. Fort Wayne has another walk-off win when Matt Clark delivers the go-ahead single in the ninth.

Portland (6-4) won 4-3 over Fresno (Giants)

Four batters into the bottom of the first, Kyle Blanks provided the Beavers with a 3-0 lead by hitting his second homer of the year. Blanks was the lone Portland hitter to notch a multi-hit game. The first baseman has four straight multi-hit games, extending his on-base streak to nine games. He is 8-for-15 in his last four with five RBI and five runs scored. Blanks is 7-for-13 to begin the year with runners in scoring position.

Chad Gaudin got the start in Portland but was on a strict pitch count that limited him to 3.2 innings. The right-hander did not allow a run on two hits and two walks while striking out three. Thirty-seven of his 60 pitches went for strikes. Gaudin, who was released by the Chicago Cubs this spring after amassing a 2-1 record with a 10.26 ERA across 10 appearances. He allowed 20 runs on 26 hits and 10 walks across 16.2 innings. Gaudin is 28-25 with a 4.45 ERA over 185 games in his major league career.

Jon Ellis picked up the victory, going an inning and one-third and pitching to the minimum over that span. The right-hander stranded a pair of inherited runners and whiffed one. Ellis, who walked 4.8 batters per nine innings a season ago, has yet to issue a free pass through five appearances and 6.2 innings. Seven of the 17 runners Ellis inherited a season ago with San Antonio came around to score, as he went 9-6 with a 3.19 ERA.

San Antonio (4-5) lost 5-2 to NW Arkansas (Royals)

Luis Durango had three hits in five at-bats out of the leadoff spot and added his fourth stolen base of the season. Durango, however, had an error in the sixth that led to three unearned runs. Durango has been on base in all but one of his eight games and has four multi-hit affairs. Durango committed five errors across two leagues a season ago. He had 11 multi-hit games in 17 overall in the California League.

Nathan Culp lasted 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out three. He was taken out of the game following a rain delay. Culp tossed 65 percent of his pitches for strikes in his shortened effort. Culp only had two outings all of last season that didn't last five full, including his first start of the season. The left-hander has not issued a walk this season, matching his longest stretch without a walk in the last year.

John Hudgins was the hard luck loser. The right-hander worked an inning and one-third, giving up three runs – none earned – on one hit, a hit batsman, and two walks while fanning two. He stranded an inherited runner as well. Hudgins has not pitched much competitively over the last two seasons. He worked just two innings in the Arizona Rookie League in 2008 and 12.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2007.

Lake Elsinore (4-6) won 5-2 over Bakersfield (Rangers)

Wynn Pelzer rebounded from a four-run effort in his first start to yield just one in round two. He went five innings, yielding seven hits without a walk and five strikeouts. Pelzer did, however, plunk two batters and retired the side in order just once. The right-hander hit 15 batters last season, plunking two or more in a game four times. Pelzer

Lance Zawadzki returned to the starting lineup as the designated hitter on Saturday after notching a pinch-hit single two days before. The infielder went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. He was thrown out trying to steal a base. He was caught just three times in 31 stolen base attempts last year. Zawadzki missed the start to the season after suffering a strained oblique injury during the early hitter's camp. Zawadzki hit .273 last year in Fort Wayne, batting .292 with 24 extra base hits after the All-Star break.

Felix Carrasco had three hits in five at-bats, scoring a run and driving in the fifth and final run in the ninth. Carrasco came into the game with four hits in his first 27 at-bats. He has struck out seven times compared to six walks and has fanned twice in his last 22 at-bats after whiffing 41.8 percent of the time last year. Carrasco has seven games with three hits or more a season ago.

Fort Wayne (9-0) won 6-5 over Dayton in 10 innings

Matt Clark singled with the bases loaded in bottom of the 10th to provide the TinCaps with a walkoff win, extending their franchise best start to a season. Clark reached base safely five times, notching three hits. He also matched his walk output over his first eight games on Saturday with two. Clark scored a run, touching home in each of his past four games. The first baseman came into the game with a .143 average with runners in scoring position on 2-for-14 hitting before getting his opportunity in the final frame.

Zach Herr worked two scoreless innings, yielding his first two hits of the young season and striking out one. The left-hander had not allowed a hit in his first three outings. Herr has allowed one earned runs over his last 20.2 innings, spanning two seasons and two leagues. The southpaw went 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in nine outings a year ago. He allowed just a single hit to the leadoff batter of an inning in 16 frames a season ago with Eugene.

Jeudy Valdez had two hits in five at-bats, scoring a run and drawing his first walk of the season. It was the first multi-hit game of the season for the second baseman. Valdez has scored a run in three straight and is hitting .333 out of the two-hole in the lineup. Valdez hit .227 in 59 games last season in the Northwest League. He drew 18 walks and notched 12 multi-hit games a season ago.

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