Padres Prospect Report: June 3, 2009

Wade LeBlanc seems to be getting stronger and stronger as the season progresses. Scott Rice makes his first appearance in the system and takes a loss. Jeremy Hefner has a solid outing for the Storm but little run support. Matt Clark leads the Midwest League in RBI and Brad Brach closes out another shutout. The DSL Padres get just two hits while three pitchers debut to varying degrees of success.

Portland (27-27) won 4-2 over Las Vegas (Dodgers)

Wade LeBlanc was strong over seven, yielding just three hits and a walk in a scoreless outing while fanning three. His best stretch came when he retired seven straight from the second through the fourth. It is the third time in four starts that have lasted five innings or more that he has given up two runs or less and the fifth time in 10 outings overall. LeBlanc has lowered his ERA from 6.12 to 4.29 over his last five outings.

Craig Stansberry went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI to pace the Portland offense. He doubled in a run in the top of the first and added a two-run single during a three-run fifth. Stansberry is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak. He has gone 20-for-46 over the stretch with six extra base hits, 10 runs scored and nine RBI. He has seven multi-hit games over that time and has upped his average 98 points.

Edwin Moreno picked up his fifth save in as many opportunities but not before seeing two men reach. A game-ending double play grounder ensured victory and the other out came via strikeout. Moreno has allowed runs in two of his nine appearances and has seen someone reach base in every outing thanks to 13 hits against and a walk across 10 innings.

San Antonio (25-26) lost 12-5 to Springfield (Cardinals)

Scott Rice, making his first appearance after being signed by the Padres as a free agent, gave up one run on one hit and a walk across two-thirds of an inning while striking out one to take the loss. A former first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles back ion 1999, Rice came into the season with a 27-42 minor league record with a 4.15 ERA. Last season, he was in the Independent League where he went 2-2 with a 15.68 ERA playing for Long Island of the Atlantic League.

Stephen Faris went five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out a season-high nine. Faris did add a single and an RBI. The right-hander has allowed five runs or more in four of his 11 starts, including two straight. His four walks also set a new season-high. The leadoff man of an inning sports a .385 average and .418 on-base percentage through 55 plate appearances.

Eric Sogard went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI but did commit his sixth error of the season. After suffering through a 2-for-20 stretch that dropped his average 45 points, Sogard is 12-for-40 with a hit in eight of his last nine games, including four multi-hit contests. He does have just two extra base hits over his last 16 games after leading the California League in doubles a season ago. Sogard sports a 23-to-15 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

Lake Elsinore (29-24) lost 1-0 to Rancho Cucamonga (Angels) in 10 innings

Jeremy Hefner posted zeroes across 6.2 innings, yielding just three hits and a walk while striking out eight in his first no-decision of the season. He pitched to just two over the minimum, thanks to two caught stealing. It was the fourth time in 11 starts that he has given up two runs or less and the first time he has yielded one or less. Hefner has struck out eight or more three times but has lost two of those decisions. He had allowed seven hits or more on six occasions.

Allen Harrington took the loss – his second – after not recording an out in the bottom of the 10th. He allowed three hits and a walk – the final single plating the winning run. It is the second time this season he has not recorded an out in an appearance. Harrington has allowed runs in nine of his 21 outings, including eight of his last 13. The opposition is sporting a .357 average off him and that number balloons to .439 with runners in scoring position.

Nick Vincent pushed the game into extras on a night that saw the Storm manage five hits and go 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. He tossed a scoreless inning, striking out one and walking two. Vincent has allowed one run on eight hits and four walks over his last 16 innings of work – a nifty 0.56 ERA. He has held the opposition to a .167 average with runners in scoring position.

Fort Wayne (32-20) won 3-0 to Lansing (Blue Jays)

Matt Clark had two of Fort Wayne's four hits, including his 18th double of the season in the eighth inning to score two and cap a three-run frame. His 18 doubles is tied for second in the circuit while his 43 RBI pace the Midwest League. Fourteen of his two-baggers have come with men on base. Clark has 29 RBI in his last 29 games and 25 extra base hits on the year – tied for fifth most.

Anthony Bass tossed blanks over five frames, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out three. He did toss a wild pitch and notched seven ground ball outs. Over his last four starts, Bass has allowed one earned run across a span of 21.2 innings, lowering his ERA from 3.86 to 2.48. It is the sixth time he has allowed one run or less and fourth time he has not allowed a single run in 11 overall.

Brad Brach completed the TinCaps Midwest League leading seventh shutout. Brach allowed one hit and struck out one – pushing his league leading save tally to 15 in 16 opportunities. The right-hander has not given up an earned run in 10.1 innings and sports a season strikeout per nine innings mark of 12.00. The reliever has not seen an ERA higher than 1.98 this year and has given up runs in three of his 24 appearances across 24 innings.

DSL Padres (3-1) lost 2-0 DSL Twins

Eugenio Reyes got the start and took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out one across three plus innings. The right-hander out of the Dominican Republic gave up three walks and two singles in the opening frame to account for both runs against. He netted a double play ground out in the third to get out of trouble and was lifted after seeing the first two men reach base in the fourth.

Uber Paz worked four scoreless frames to finish out the contest, allowing two hits – both singles – while striking out three. The right-hander did toss a wild pitch in facing three over the minimum. The 6-foot-4 Nicaragua native battled around a fielding error to open the seventh, stranding a runner in scoring position with nobody out.

On a night that saw the DSL Padres offense generate just two hits, Carlos Pimentel worked out of trouble in the fourth, coming in with two runners on and nobody out – stranding both. After tossing a wild pitch and issuing a walk, he induced a line out double play and got the last man on a fly out.

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