Padres Prospect Report: July 10, 2009

Joe Thatcher has been great in Portland. Nathan Culp gives up three homers for the second time this year. Sawyer Carroll has two RBI but a costly error. Michael Watt wins his second straight start. Al Angelucci is dynamite but the rest of the Emeralds aren't. Kurt Wideman hits a grand slam in a loss. Marlon Claveria gives up six, as the DSL Padres are shutout.

Portland (42-47) lost 3-1 to Tacoma (Mariners)

Jon Ellis came into the game with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth and worked out of the inning with a pair of fly outs. The right-hander has inherited 21 runners this season and has stranded 16 of them. Ellis has given up runs in 15 of his 33 appearances this season but has extended his scoreless streak to 5.1 innings. Two of his three double play grounders this season have come over his last six games.

Joe Thatcher worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit but facing the minimum after inducing a double play. The left-hander has allowed runs in two of his 16 outings in the Pacific Coast League, holding the opposition to three hits in 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Thatcher gave up runs in six of his 16 outings with the Padres, seeing the opposition hit .313 off him with runners in scoring position.

San Antonio (7-7, 46-38) lost 5-3 to NW Arkansas (Royals)

Nathan Culp suffered his sixth loss, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three in 6.2 innings. The left-hander gave up three homers, including back-to-back jacks in the seventh. The homers accounted for all the runs scored off Culp. The southpaw had surrendered two runs or less in five of his last six but this is the second time in four starts that he has given up three homers. Culp did get two double play grounders, giving him 14 on the year.

Carlos Guevara worked a scoreless inning but loaded the bases on a double, single and walk before getting out of the frame. The right-hander has given up runs in three of his seven outings this season and has already faced a bases loaded situation five times. He has given up multiple hits four times while going more than an inning and one-third just once.

Lake Elsinore (8-8, 47-39) lost 6-5 to Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)

Sawyer Carroll had a pair of RBI without the benefit of a hit. The outfielder went 0-for-3 but collected two sacrifice flies. He was, however, caught stealing and his error led to three unearned runs. Carroll has 15 RBI in 16 games with the Storm – giving him 55 for the year – and has five sacrifice flies on the season. The error was just his third in 82 games across two leagues.

Eric Gonzalez contributed an inning and two-thirds of scoreless ball. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out two, stranding an inherited runner. The 22-year-old has stranded both runners he has inherited in the California League and six of the eight he has inherited across two leagues. Gonzalez has held right-handed hitters to a .154 average and has limited the opposition to a .236 average over two leagues with runners in scoring position.

Fort Wayne (14-1, 59-26) won 5-2 over Cedar Rapids (Angels)

Michael Watt picked up his second straight win, giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits. He did not walk a batter, struck out two and notched seven ground ball outs but did commit his first error of the year. The TinCaps have won 10 games in a row and have 27 victories in their last 30 games. Watt has not allowed more than two earned runs in four straight starts.

Blake Tekotte's 18-game streak ended on Thursday but he came back with two hits in five trips on Friday, driving in two to push his RBI total to 42. The outfielder has an RBI in seven of his last nine games and 10 of his last 15. Tekotte is hitting .356 over his last 36 games with 29 RBI and 25 runs scored. He has secured 12 multi-hit games across his last 20. He is hitting .411 since the All-Star game.

Eugene (8-13) lost 5-1 to Spokane (Rangers)

Al Angelucci stranded a pair of inherited runners by inducing a double play grounder in the seventh – it was the fourth straight game that the relief pitcher has notched a rally killer. Angelucci had inherited just one runner all year prior to Friday and that run had scored. The right-hander has worked scoreless ball over his last 7.2 innings after giving up six runs across a four-inning span. Angelucci needed just 13 pitches to cruise through his outing.

"It felt good," Angelucci said. "The difference was the kind of mentality that I had. I had two things on my mind – pitch inside and throw strikes. The other times I was probably thinking about the score or giving up runs and all that stuff. Today, it was attack them.

"I felt like I saved my arm a bit. It was encouraging. It was brought out by throwing it down the middle and letting my two-seam work to the side of the plate."

"He has pitched really well when we are out of it," manager Greg Riddoch said. "When we are on it – that is what I am waiting to see. If he can answer the same call there – than we are making progress. I got two four-pitch innings out of him, nobody does that – that is good."

"He is a guy that hasn't pitched much," pitching coach Bronswell Patrick said. "He threw strikes today. He was outstanding. He attacked the zone. He impressed me tonight. It was great to see that from him, especially with his curveball – it was outstanding tonight."

"I have been thinking too much out there," Angelucci said of past troubles. "I have been trying to prove something. I don't need to prove anything. I have to learn, teach myself things, listen to the coaches – throw strikes."

Dean Anna had three hits of the Emeralds seven hits, adding a double. He was on twice when Eugene grounded into double plays – a feat they accomplished four times on Friday. The infielder hit .200 with Fort Wayne but is hitting .304 across two leagues since beginning the season without a hit in his first 13 at-bats. He has a three-game hitting streak where he is 6-for-11 with two of his three doubles.

"I am feeling pretty comfortable out there," Anna said. "I wish we had gotten the win today – that is the bad part.

"I have been working on staying back and not lunging at the ball – using my backside. I have been working really hard to get it right and it is starting to come together for me."

Miles Mikolas took the loss, giving up two unearned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four and netting five ground ball outs across 3.2 innings. The right-hander had given up six runs on eight hits across his previous 2.2 innings. Left-handed hitters are batting .545 off him early in the year while righties are hitting .217. The opposition is hitting .364 with runners in scoring position.

"Mikolas was much better today," Patrick said. "The breaking ball and fastball were up in the zone but he made the adjustment today. He got the ball down in the zone later in the game. I thought he threw the ball real well compared to his last outing.

AZL Padres (7-9) lost 11-10 to AZL Dodgers in 10 innings

John Hussey was clobbered to the tune of seven runs on nine hits and two walks across 4.2 innings, striking out five and hitting a pair of batters. Five of the hits he allowed went for extra bases, including a pair of triples. The right-hander had given up just two earned runs on six hits through his first 10 innings of work in his return to action. Hussey has, however, walked 12 batters through 14.2 innings.

Kurt Wideman hit a grand slam in the sixth inning – one of three homers notched during the frame and the sixth straight hit. It was the lone hit of the day for the backstop who went 1-for-3 with a walk. Wideman had been hitless in 11 at-bats with Eugene and had one hit in four at-bats for the AZL Padres. In fact, he had more errors (2) and double play grounders (2) than hits entering play.

Cesar Ramos returned to the hill in a rehab assignment. The left-hander worked one inning, giving up two runs on three hits while fanning one. The left-hander was 3-4 with a 3.68 ERA across 10 starts with Portland, allowing two runs or less in six of those outings before suffering an injury during jis May 28 start. Ramos lasted just an inning and one-third in that outing, giving up four runs on three hits and two walks.

DSL Padres (14-20) lost 10-0 to DSL Cubs

Jairo Gomez had one of the two DSL Padres hits, drawing two walks but also getting caught stealing for the second time this season in six attempts. Gomez has drawn a walk in four straight games and has been issued 11 of his 15 walks during his last eight contests. The Dominican native has an on-base percentage of just .143 when he leads off an inning but is hitting .294 with runners in scoring position.

Marlon Claveria gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits and three walks across four-plus innings, suffering the loss. He worked to four batters in the fourth without recording an out. The right-hander out of Guatemala has given up 20 runs on 28 hits and 12 walks across 20.1 innings. Despite giving up so many hits, only one has gone for extra bases. The leadoff hitter of an inning sports a .435 on-base percentage.

Jean Corpas was on the hook for four runs on six hits and a pair of walks across three innings, striking out two. He also tossed four wild pitches. The right-hander has tossed 10 wild pitches on the season, including six in his last two outings. He has given up four or more runs three times in seven outings, going five innings just once over that span.

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