Padres Prospect Report: May 23, 2009

Cesar Ramos continues to pitch well while Brett Dowdy drives them in from the leadoff spot. Mat Latos debuts in San Antonio but does not figure into the decision. Jeremy Hefner has another tough outing while Brad Chalk is the lone man on offense. Sawyer Carroll has been an RBI machine with men in scoring position but Michael Watt struggles mightily in his first Fort Wayne start.

Portland (22-21) won 6-4 over Nashville (Brewers)

Cesar Ramos allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks while striking out four across six innings. The southpaw notched nine ground ball outs in a 95-pitch effort that improved his record at 3-3. Ramos has given up two runs or less in four straight starts but is 2-2 over that span. On the season, the left-hander has allowed two runs or less in six of nine starts. Ramos has notched eight double play grounders this season, including one in five straight outings.

Brett Dowdy was responsible for four RBI out of the leadoff spot, hitting a two-run homer in the fifth – his first bomb of the year – and adding a bases loaded single in the eighth to plate another two. After netting just three hits in his first 31 at-bats, Dowdy has gone 28-for-84 – a .345 average. Dowdy had just five RBI coming into the game through his first 28 contests.

Kyle Blanks pounded out his ninth homer of the year in the sixth inning and added a walk and two runs scored. Blanks, who continues to split time between first base and left field, came into the game hitting .203 over his previous 21 games after hitting .307 over his first 21. Since seeing time in left field during a game, Blanks has just one multi-hit contest. He has seen his average drop from .318 on May 5 to .255.

San Antonio (22-20) won 9-3 over Frisco (Rangers)

Mat Latos threw 74 pitches across four innings of work in a game lengthened due to a rain delay. The right-hander – in his first outing above Low-A – yielded one run on one hit and three walks while striking out four. Latos went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA across 25.1 innings for the TinCaps. He allowed just 10 hits and three walks while striking out 27 – the lone rune yielded coming on a solo homer.

Mitch Canham posted three hits on the night, including a double, and drew a walk. He scored two runs and added his third stolen base of the season in five attempts. Canham is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak, notching four multi-hit games during that span. The double was just his eighth extra base hit of the season, accounting for 22.2 percent of his hit tally. Canham had not scored more than one run in a game through his first 33 contests.

Jesus Lopez reached base four times with two singles, a walk and a double, scoring a pair of runs and knocking in two. The shortstop came into the game with four multi-hit contests through his first 35 affairs. He was in a 2-for-17 slump and had scored more than once in a game in just one other game. Eight of his 15 RBI have come with two outs. Lopez is hitting .167 at his home park and .298 on the road.

Mike Adams pitched an inning of scoreless ball in his second rehab appearance, yielding a hit and striking out two. He picked up the win.

Lake Elsinore (23-20) lost 6-1 to Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

Jeremy Hefner was on the hook for four runs on seven hits, two hit batsman and two walks across five innings, striking out four and uncorking a wild pitch. Hefner has allowed four runs or more in six of his nine California League starts this season, giving up four or more in four straight. The right-hander is allowing 15.3 base runners per nine innings pitched with 61 hits allowed in 43.2 innings.

Brad Chalk extended his on base streak to 17 games with a ninth inning triple – his sixth of the season. The fourth and final hit of the game produced the lone run. The outfielder is hitting .377 over his streak. He is second in the California League in triples and leads the circuit with 15 stolen bases. The left-handed hitter is batting .429 against southpaws and .282 against right-handers.

Aaron Breit was victimized by two fielding errors that allowed an unearned run to cross. The right-hander did not allow a hit and struck out one in his lone inning of work. He has given up just two hits across his last 7.1 innings while striking out eight. Breit has held the leadoff hitter of an inning to a .192 on-base percentage. He has a 1.89 ERA in 12 night games while posting a 10.50 ERA during the day.

Fort Wayne (27-15) lost 9-6 Quad Cities (Cardinals)

Sawyer Carroll had three hits and all went for extra bases. The outfielder bumped his double total to 11 and his homer tally to two. Carroll drove in three and scored twice. Carroll is hitting .423 with runners in scoring position this season with 22 hits in 52 at-bats. By contrast, he is batting .212 with the bases empty. After netting 14 hits in his first 19 games, Carroll has collected 31 over his last 20.

Michael Watt, who moved into the rotation to replace the promoted Latos, lasted just 2.1 innings. He was on the hook for six runs – all earned – on one hit and five walks. The left-hander tossed three wild pitches – all during a six-run third. Watt had seven relief appearances that were longer than this start with the TinCaps this season. Watt had surrendered 10 runs all year and had only walked three coming into the appearance.

Nick Schumacher came in with a pair of inherited runners on and both would score. He wound up surrendering one run on four hits and a walk while striking out three across 2.2 innings. Schumacher had begun the season with three innings of scoreless ball, giving up three hits and a walk and keeping the opposition hitless with men in scoring position. Schumacher stranded six of the 10 runners he inherited a season ago in short-season Eugene.

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