Padres Prospect Report: August 28, 2009

Mike Ekstrom is making a play to return to San Diego. Anthony Contreras has the hot bat. Craig Italiano has been on point lately. Vince Belnome is a hit in his Midwest League debut. Jerry Sullivan strikes out eight but the offense is depleted.

Portland (55-77) lost 6-1 to Tacoma (Mariners)

Cesar Ramos suffered his fifth loss, giving up three runs on four hits and two walks across five innings while matching a season-high by striking out six. All three runs came across on solo homers and the left-hander tossed a pair of wild pitches. The southpaw had given up four homers in his first 60.1 innings in the Pacific Coast League.

Mike Ekstrom tossed two scoreless frames, giving up one hit while notching five ground ball outs, wiping away the lone hit with a double play grounder. Ekstrom extended his scoreless streak to 10 innings, going two frames in five straight outings. The right-hander has allowed two runs over his last 29.2 innings in Portland, lowering his season ERA from 3.04 to 1.76.

Portland manager Gary Jones was ejected in the seventh inning after Eliezer Alfonzo hit a ball that was initially ruled a home run but changed to a foul ball after a meeting between the umpires.

San Antonio (26-35, 65-65) lost 9-5 to Frisco (Rangers)

Anthony Contreras reached base in all four of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI –both coming during a five-run ninth. It was his first three-hit night since July 19. Contreras has notched eight RBI over his last nine games after netting 15 across his first 62 contests. He is 11-for-23 with three extra base hits and four runs scored over his last nine.

Corey Kluber suffered the loss, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks across three innings while striking out two. The right-hander tossed 68 pitches and surrendered a solo homer. Kluber had given up two runs or less in three straight starts and five of eight overall. He has issued 7.2 walks per nine innings pitched since joining the Texas League, walking at least three in six starts.

Lake Elsinore (30-31, 69-62) won 5-1 over Visalia (Diamondbacks)

Danny Payne went 1-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, scoring a pair of runs while hitting his eighth jack of the year. The center fielder also added his 18th stolen base in 27 attempts. Payne has notched an extra base hit in six of his last eight games, notching five doubles and a homer. He is hitting .169 this season when he bats first in the lineup.

Craig Italiano notched a pair of scoreless innings, giving up one hit while recording five of his six outs by way of the strikeout. The right-hander has not allowed a run over his last 9.1 innings and has not given up an earned run in his last 15.2 innings. Italiano has fanned 26 batters over that span while giving up 13 hits. Since coming to the Storm, he has registered a 1.61 ERA.

Fort Wayne (42-18, 87-44) lost 8-5 to West Michigan (Tigers)

Vince Belnome went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in his Midwest League debut. The infielder, named to the Northwest League All-Star game, hit .297 across 65 games with Eugene. Belnome notched a 24-game on base streak with the Emeralds and reached base in his final 11 games, going 11-for-35 with 12 walks, seven extra base hits and six RBI. He left with a .431 on-base percentage.

Michael Watt was on the hook for a season-high eight runs on 12 hits and two walks across five innings, striking out three in taking his third loss of the season. The left-hander's previous high for runs allowed was six in May 23 start. This is the fourth time he has given up eight or more hits but the first double-digit tally of the season. Watt came into the game with a 2.70 ERA across his last 11 games.

Eugene (30-37) lost 1-0 to Vancouver (A's)

Jerry Sullivan delivered four innings of scoreless ball, yielding one hit and four walks while striking out eight. It is the second time this year he has fanned eight or more. Sullivan has posted a 3.25 ERA across eight starts after notching a 5.91 mark in six relief outings. Eight of the 14 runs he has allowed as a starter came in one outing.

Miles Mikolas worked a pair of perfect relief innings, notching four ground outs and a pair of strikeouts. The right-hander has given up four earned runs over his last 16.2 innings of work. Mikolas had made 10 straight starts before moving back to the bullpen. He went 1-6 with a 6.86 ERA as a starter and has a 3.85 ERA in relief.

AZL Padres (14-13, 27-28) had a scheduled day off

The team will play its season finale on Saturday.

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