Pacific Gets Much-Needed Lift

Although the Pacific Suns are mired in last place in the four-team Western League Southern Division with an 8-20 record, the situation is looking up because of the return of two starters from injuries.

Third baseman Frank Valdez, who began the season 11 for 17 before being sidelined with a leg injury, played Tuesday against the Bend Bandits. Center fielder Kadir Villalona, who missed the first 19 games because of a bone bruise on his right wrist, is rounding into form.

Valdez and Villalona must pump up an anemic Suns offense. The team batting average is .244 with only nine home runs. Designated hitter Bernie Nunez, who joined the team the second week of the season, leads the Suns with six home runs and 17 runs batted in.

Yuni Kanamori, an outfielder who hit 15 home runs and drove in 58 runs for the Class-A Lancaster JetHawks last season, was a disappointment for the Suns and was released after going two for 33.