Padres Prospect Report: May 18, 2009

Matt Buschmann has a bounce-back performance and Eliezer Alfonzo provides the magic in the 12th. Cesar Carrillo puts together his finest start – ever – but is not rewarded with a ‘W'. Craig Cooper, however, hits a blast in inning 12 to break a scoreless tie. Jeremy Hefner had a rough outing – the shortest of his career. Mat Latos toys with the Midwest League again and Ali Solis provides the stick.

Portland (19-20) won 2-1 over New Orleans (Marlins) in 12 innings

Matt Buschmann yielded one run on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman over six, striking out a half-dozen in a no-decision. It is the first time since his initial Triple-A start that he has held the opposition to two runs or less. Buschmann came into the contest having allowed 20 runs on 36 hits in his previous 13.1 innings. He has given up five runs or more in four of his eight starts.

Reliever Jon Ellis picked up his fifth win of the year, tossing three innings of scoreless ball and working to the minimum while striking out one. He is tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in wins and has 15 victories to his credit over the 13 months. Ellis has a run of 9.2 scoreless innings and has worked to the minimum in two of his last three outings. The right-hander has given up runs in seven of his 18 appearances. His 18 outings are tied for the circuit lead.

Eliezer Alfonzo provided the margin for victory with a solo homer to open the 12th inning. It was part of a 2-for-5 night for the backstop. Four of his five bombs this year have been solo shots and all have led off an inning. Alfonzo has successive multi-hit games and has notched seven such contests in his last 14. Four of his bombs have come in his last 13.

San Antonio (18-20) won 1-0 over Corpus Christi (Astros) in 12 innings

Cesar Carrillo had his finest start since returning from Tommy John surgery – and of his career. The right-hander pitched to two above the minimum across seven innings, yielding a single and a walk while striking out five in a 93-pitch effort that included 10 ground ball outs. Unfortunately, he would not get the win, as San Antonio failed to score for him against rehabbing Houston pitcher Brandon Backe and his eight shutout innings. He had a one-hitter on April 18, 2007 but also issued five walks that day. His previous best was a three-hitter over seven scoreless on April 22, 2006 while with Double-A Mobile.

Craig Cooper broke a scoreless tie in the top of the 12th with his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot to open the frame. It was the lone hit of the day for Cooper in five at-bats and one of just seven for the Missions. The first baseman has hit three of his homers across his last 10 games after hitting one in his previous 27. Monday marks just the third time this season that Cooper has had five at-bats and has not registered a multi-hit game. He does have a hit each time he has received at least five at-bats.

John Hudgins provided two scoreless innings of relief for a bullpen that gave up just two hits and a walk over five frames, helping San Antonio earn its second straight shutout. Hudgins struck out one in a 22-pitch outing that saw a single and a walk. Hudgins has allowed one run on five hits across his last 10 innings of work, striking out 10. He has lowered his ERA from 5.84 to 3.63 in the process. Hudgins had given up runs in five of his first nine outings but has allowed runs in one of his last eight.

Lake Elsinore (21-17) lost 8-3 to Inland Empire (Dodgers)

Jeremy Hefner lasted just an inning and one-third, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits while fanning three. Four of the hits went for extra bases and the right-hander left with two men on – neither of which would score. The outing was his shortest since his initial game as a professional when he pitched one inning on June 24, 2007. Hefner has given up five runs in two straight outings; he surrendered five or more runs in two starts all last year, spanning 30 outings.

Allen Harrington came on in relief and surrendered two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two in 3.2 innings. He stranded both runners he inherited and notched nine ground ball outs. He did, however, see the opposition steal four bases off him, including three steals of third. The southpaw had not seen anyone try and attempt a steal on him all season until Monday. He has given up 10 runs on 13 hits and three walks over his last 4.2 innings.

Brad Chalk had three hits in five trips, scoring a run and driving in one. The outfielder has been on base in 11 straight games with five three-hit games over that span. Chalk has notched 35 hits in his last 88 at-bats, a .398 average. He has scored eight runs over his last seven games. The left-handed hitter is batting .436 off southpaws.

Fort Wayne (24-13) won 9-0 over South Bend (Diamondbacks)

Mat Latos continued his dominance, lowering his season ERA to 0.36 with 6.2 innings of three-hit ball – all doubles. The right-hander did not walk a batter and struck out eight to move to 3-0. Latos has given up just 10 hits in 25.1 innings, never allowing more than three hits in each of his four outings. He has held the opposition to a .120 average and has not yielded a hit in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Latos also sports a 27-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Ali Solis had a pair in scoring position in the third but failed to come through. The backstop made up for it when he recorded a pair of extra base hits, smoking a three-run homer in the seventh inning and doubling in a run in the fifth for a four-RBI night. Solis has homered twice in his last three games – across two leagues – and has four extra base hits and six RBI over that span. Seven of his 12 hits have gone for extra bases.

Michael Watt finished off the TinCaps Midwest League leading sixth shutout of the season with two innings of run-free ball. He struck out two and allowed one hit. The left-hander had worked at least 2.2 innings in seven straight outings before Monday. He has held right-handed hitters to a .226 average while lefties have managed to hit .323. Watt has walked just three on the season while fanning 23 in 24.2 frames.

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