Padres Prospect Report: May 20, 2009

Nathan Culp pitches well and is supported by Mike Baxter's three RBI. Jeremy McBryde was sharp but the Storm game went into 17 innings – long past McBryde – where Neil Jamison surrendered a solo homer. They Stormed back only to lose an inning later thanks to two Lake Elsinore errors. Six TinCaps errors leads to a rough night for the pitching staff.

Portland (20-20) had a scheduled day off

San Antonio (19-20) won 6-2 over Corpus Christi (Astros)

Nathan Culp moved to 2-3, giving up a single run on seven hits without a walk while striking out three in six innings of work. The left-hander tossed just 59 pitches, including 44 for strikes while netting 12 ground ball outs. Culp has allowed two runs or less in five of his eight starts, giving up five or more in his other three. This was the first time since his initial start that he has picked up a win while allowing two runs or less.

Mike Baxter paces the offense, moving his RBI total to 30 with three knocked in. After grounding into a double play in his first at-bat, the outfielder singled in a run in the third and added a bases loaded single to plate two in the fifth. Baxter also gunned down a runner at second base to end the fourth, as a runner tried to stretch a single into two. Baxter has collected multiple RBI in seven different games and is tied for fourth in the Texas League in the RBI category.

Tim Stauffer finished the game off with two scoreless innings. The right-hander yielded one hit and struck out one in a 17-pitch effort, netting four fly ball outs. The Richmond alumnus has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings and has not walked a batter over that span. The opposition has been limited to a .130 average and he has faced hitters with runners in scoring position just three times.

Lake Elsinore (22-18) lost 5-3 to Lancaster (Astros) in 17 innings

Jeremy McBryde retired the first 11 batters he faced and was on the hook for one run over seven, striking out six. Nursing a one-run lead in the seventh, McBryde gave up a solo homer to the first batter he faced – Jason Castro – to tie the score – just the third hit he allowed. McBryde did allow a season-high three walks. McBryde has allowed two runs or less in five of his seven outings, striking out at least six five times.

"That was a quick seven innings," hitting coach Shane Spencer said. "I couldn't believe we were taking him out and I said, ‘Did he throw a lot of pitches. Ninety-something? Oh, it's already seven innings.'"

"He was throwing the changeup and mixing his pitches," pitching coach Dave Rajsich said. "Lancaster is a good low ball hitting team, which is why they were able to lift some of his pitches but he attacked them inside to keep them from getting good pitches to hit."

The two teams combined to go 0-for-22 with runners in scoring position entering the bottom of the 15th – with the Storm claiming 12 of those failures to execute. Logan Forsythe broke that with a sharp single to left to load the bases with one out. The Storm would not score when Justin Baum tapped out to the pitcher and Robert Perry – with no hits in his previous 17 at-bats – grounded into a force out at third.

Forsythe broke a scoreless tie with a solo homer to right field on a 1-1 pitch with one out in the sixth. The third baseman had hits in each of his first three at-bats before flying out to left in the eighth. Forsythe came up in the 10th with a man on second and was intentionally walked. Forsythe ended up with four hits.

"Aaron Breit pitched a marvelous game," Rajsich said of the three innings Breit threw. "His curveball was outstanding."

Neil Jamison gave up a solo homer to the first batter he faced in the top of the 16th, Jon Gaston, on a 2-0 count, a ball that was smoked to right-center and cleared the wall with room to spare. Gaston has hit five homers versus the Storm this season. The right-hander has given up home runs in three of his last five contests. Jamison has allowed runs in five of his eight outings this season with the leadoff hitter of an inning reaching base six times in 10 innings.

Luis Martinez doubled with one out in the bottom of the 16th but was taken out of the game with an apparent leg injury, forcing the last man on the bench, Colt Morton, into the game. Angel Mercado grounded out and Brad Chalk lined a ball up the middle but manager Carlos Lezcano held Morton – who likely would have been gunned down on a strong throw from the center fielder. It gave the Storm two hits in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position – neither producing a run. Keoni Ruth came up and scorched a ball off the first baseman's glove and beat the throw to first, allowing Morton to cross and tie the game at 2-2. Ruth had four hits during this marathon.

"We couldn't get that big hit when we needed to," manager Carlos Lezcano said. "There is a reason that the people that get RBI make a lot of money.

"We battled and came back and tied the game. We just couldn't get that big hit. We had a lot of chances but couldn't get them in. They fight."

Matt Teague gave up a leadoff double to the first batter he faced. Ruth could not come up with a grounder to his left, putting runners on first and third with the error. A Forsythe error followed, allowing a run to score and putting Lancaster ahead 3-2. After loading the bases, Tegaue gave up a two-run single. Teague has allowed runs in seven of his last nine outings.

Robert Perry tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half.

"It wasn't meant to be ours," Lezcano added.

Fort Wayne (25-14) lost 14-8 to Beloit (Twins)

Rob Musgrave worked just three innings, giving up seven runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk. The left-hander gave up two home runs and committed a pair of errors.The four unearned runs came via a Drew Cumberland error in the first – after which Musgrave surrenderd a three-run bomb. Musgrave has not worked more than five innings in any start and has allowed five runs or more in three of eight overall. He has also allowed seven dingers on the season.

Six TinCaps errors led to five unearned runs. Fort Wayne entered the contest ranked second in the 14-team Midwest League with a .975 fielding percentage, making 36 errors in 38 games. Their error tally now ranks seventh, pending the night's action. No player leads his respective position in fielding percentage, although catcher Robert Lara has thrown out nine of the 19 runners attemptint to steal on him – a 47.4 caught stealing rate.

James Darnell pushed four across with a three-run homer in the fourth – his fifth bomb. He also singled in a run and added a walk in four plate appearances. The third baseman has a five-game hitting streak with a hit in nine of his last 10. Four of his five homers have come with men on base. Darnell has four multi-hit games in his last seven and has drawn a walk in 10 of his last 11.

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