Hamren debuts with Padres, Road Trip starter

One of the things I do weekly is scan the transaction wire on a nearly daily basis and look at Baseball America’s minor league wire to see the comings and goings of former Boise Hawks.  A name that caught my eye this year was Erik Hamren, who made six August appearances for the squad during the 2008 season.

After spending the 2009 season in Peoria, the Cubs released Hamren – as the righty found a job with the Kansas City T-Bones and the Joliet Jackhammers in the independent American Association of Professional Baseball.  Hamren pitched well enough in a San Diego Padres tryout in October, that he was signed to a minor league deal  and began 2011 with Lake Elsinore in the Cal League.  Since then, he made 48 appearances, going 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA – and with the deal that sent Mike Adams to Texas, earned a call-up by the big league team, becoming the 88th former Boise Hawk (and 6th new player this year) to make his debut.

RALLY WAS GREAT: Once again, the Saturday night national mascot group did not disappoint, as Rally! brought his unique show to Memorial Stadium – including skits involving a marriage proposal turned striptease, an on-field microphone that captured sounds of the game, a dance off with a Boise Hawks player, a skit involving a Salem-Keizer fan, and the never dull bucket of water vs. bucket of confetti toss.  Considering everything that was going on in the Treasure Valley yesterday, it was good, lively crowd at the ballpark.

TWILIGHT WOES: Not once, but twice last night, Salem-Keizer fielders lost balls in the twilight at Memorial Stadium in a key three-run seventh inning Hawks rally in the 10-5 Saturday night win.  A pop-up on the infield turned into a single for Rafael Lopez, when both Ben Thomas and John Eschleman both lost the same pop-up in the sky, while Jesus Galindo lost a deep fly ball by Reggie Golden that turned into a two-run triple, tying Golden for the league lead in the category.  Golden said to me today, “There is a time at night in which it is almost impossible to see the ball – I hope that we are at bat when it happens.”

EASY TRIP: When Salem-Keizer plays Eugene, Everett plays Vancouver, or Yakima plays Tri-City – it is a hop, skip, and jump and the team is at their destination.  For the Hawks, the four and a half hour trip to the Tri-Cities is the shortest trip of the season – and this morning it was a georgeous drive through the Grande Ronde Valley, over the Blue Mountains, and into the Columbia Basin.  Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s throughout the series.

ROOM PLEASE: When we arrived at the Red Lion Columbia Center, most people got their rooms immediately, however, others weren’t so lucky.  Charles Thomas and Kyler Burke, Paul Hoilman and Kenny Socorro, Blair Springfield and Reggie Golden, among others were sitting in the lobby of the hotel over 90 minute after the rest of the team checked in – still waiting for their rooms to be ready.  Luckily for the guys, they will get a bit of a reprieve, as on-field batting practice was cancelled by the Dust Devils, as an on-field promotion will be taking place, relagating the Hawks to the batting cages for their hacks.

BREAKING THE SKID: The Hawks will look tonight to end a four-game road losing streak – having dropped 13 of their last 15 games away from Memorial Stadium.

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