Darnell homers twice; Inman strong

Josh Alley is on a hot streak but few others help, as Portland is swept. Mike Ekstrom gets a start and it is clear he should be in relief. Will Inman punches six shutout innings while Seth Johnston connects. Jeudy Valdez gets four hits, James Darnell has two homers and Matt Clark drives in four for Fort Wayne.

Portland (10-9) lost 4-3 to Salt Lake (Angels) in game one, lost 5-3 in game two

Josh Alley went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. The outfielder figured into all three game on runs, scoring twice and driving in one. He was also credited with an outfield assist, gunning down a runner at second as he tried to stretch a single. Alley also went 2-for-3 in the nightcap. Since going 0-for-5 to open the season, the outfielder has gone 7-for-12 with four walks for a .733 on-base percentage.

Matt Buschmann worked six innings in the opener in what will be a complete game, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out two. Four of the six hits left the park, including a homer, in a 91-pitch effort. Buschmann has seen 10 of the 19 hits he has allowed this year go for extra bases, including five homers in his last three starts. He has also walked three or more twice in four starts. Left-handed hitters have seven of the extra base hits while hitting .353 off him.

Mike Ekstrom got a spot start in game two and didn't do well. The right-hander gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in two innings of work. Ekstrom tossed 54 pitches in the losing effort – his first start since June 2, 2008. Ekstrom posted a 5.86 ERA last season in San Antonio as a starter while posting a 2.34 ERA in relief. He came into the game having allowed a single run in 11.1 innings of relief work, giving up just four hits.

San Antonio (7-10) won 4-0 over Frisco (Rangers)

The Missions notched their first shutout of the season behind Will Inman and his six frames of run-free ball. The right-hander yielded four hits and a walk while striking out seven in a 95-pitch effort. Inman walked 4.7 batters per nine innings last year in leading the Texas League in walks; this season he has walked 1.4 per nine. He pitched well around three successful stolen bases in as many attempts; Inman and his catchers are 0-for-7 in snaring base runners.

Seth Johnston got off the schnide with a pair of hits and a walk in four plate appearances. The infielder scored a pair of runs and connected on a two-run homer in the seventh. Johnston came into the contest with a .185 average and had just one walk in 55 plate appearances. Johnston entered play with four hits in 30 at-bats with runners on base before going 1-for-2 in such situations this day.

Evan Scribner struck out the side in his lone inning of work to complete the shutout with two other relievers. The right-hander has given up just three hits on the season, holding the opposition to a slim .120 average against. Scribner has recorded seven of his last nine outs by way of the strikeout and has fanned 11 in 7.2 innings. The closer has had just two save opportunities, saving them both.

Lake Elsinore (9-9) had a scheduled day off

Fort Wayne (13-4) won 15-8 over Great Lakes (Dodgers)

Jeudy Valdez pounded out four hits and added a walk in six plate appearances, tripling, scoring three times and adding an RBI. The infielder also added his third stolen base of the year. His four hits set a career-high, as did the five times he reached base. He has had eight three-hit games over the last two seasons. His three runs scored matched a career-high last accomplished on August 25, 2007.

James Darnell homered in consecutive innings, going yard with a solo shot in the fourth and adding a two-run blast in the fifth. He also drew a walk. His three homers this season surpassed the two he had in 16 games with Eugene a year ago. The third baseman has a 27-to-24 walk-to-strikeout ratio through his two-year career. Darnell is now 11-for-31 out of the six-hole in the lineup and 2-for-18 when he hits elsewhere.

Matt Clark went 3-for-5 with a walk, hitting his first homer of the year in the sixth – a three-run blast. He also scored three times and added a fourth RBI – a feat he notched twice last season. Clark smacked five homers a with Eugene a year ago. The first baseman is now hitting .360 with runners in scoring position. Clark has three three-hit nights through 17 games and has notched at least one knock in 13 contests.

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