San Diego Padres Minor League Report - July 12th
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PORTLAND BEAVERS - Portland was extremely impressive in its most recent outing, an 8-1 romp over an outstanding Sacramento squad. That triumph was the third in the last four games for the Beavers, who are currently 45-46 on the season and five games out of first place in the Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League. After a short break, they will open an eight-game homestand on July 15th. After first taking on lowly Las Vegas, Portland will battle Tacoma, the Northern Division's top team. The fact that the Beavers are within striking distance of Tacoma at this point is surprising considering that not a single active player for Portland ranks among the top 40 batters in the league with regard to average. MOBILE BAYBEARS - The BayBears put forth a tremendous effort on July 11th en route to a commanding 8-1 victory over Huntsville. That was the second straight win for Mobile, and perhaps the solid play these last couple of days will spark some renewed confidence in a team that has struggled mightily since the start of the second half of the season. The BayBears are just 7-11 despite the last two wins and are in a last-place tie in the Southern League's West Division. As hard as it is to believe, no regular player for Mobile is batting over .260 at present. One of the team's top pitchers is Chris Rojas, as the 6-2 righty is 7-4 with a 3.51 ERA. In his most recent outing, Rojas allowed only one earned run on five hits in seven innings en route to a victory. LAKE ELSINORE STORM - The Storm has split the 16 games that it has played since the start of the second half of the season, thanks in part to victories in the last three outings. The squad is only three games behind first-place Lancaster in the South Division of the California League, so there should be plenty of excitement and optimism among Lake Elsinore's players and fans alike. The Storm will benefit tremendously if Paul McAnulty is able to start hitting the ball with more consistency. A .300 hitter for much of the season, McAnulty has dipped to .283 and has gone hitless in four of the last six games. Starting pitcher Jon Huber has been extremely consistent for Lake Elsinore lately, as he has held teams to two earned runs in each of his last three starts. FT. WAYNE WIZARDS - Four of the six games that the Wizards played this past week resulted in victory, and their contest on July 11th against West Michigan was postponed. Currently, Ft. Wayne is 10-6 overall and alone in first place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League. The squad will next be in action on July 14th when it begins a string of six straight games on the road. It is important to point out that the Wizards will play only three home games from now until the end of the month. Fernando Valenzuela is not a star by any means, but it can be argued that he has been the most consistent offensive performer this season for the Wizards. Valenzuela has two RBI in each of the last two outings. EUGENE EMERALDS - The Emeralds were hammered in their most recent game, a 9-1 loss to Boise on July 11th. Considering that they suffered an 11-0 loss to the same Boise squad the day before, the last two outings have been nightmarish to say the least. The lack of offense comes on the heels of a 16-run outburst on July 9th, proving that a baseball team's fortunes can change drastically from day-to-day. At 10-14, the Emeralds are in last place in the West Division of the Northwest League. The fact that no everyday player for Eugene is batting over .273 this season is a major reason that the squad is currently residing in the basement. Clearly, the best player for the team has been hurler Mike Ekstrom, as he has yet to give up a run in 12 1/3 innings of action.