Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Two wins and two postponements were the story on Monday. Great pitching and timely offence were the keys to victory.
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The Jays are visiting Minnesota for 3 games. Sadly, since it is weekdays I cannot get down there (5-6 hour drive). Sigh.
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The affiliates were 1-3 today, with the only win coming from Dunedin(8-2) as they continue to play well early in the season.  Aaron Sanchez, and Sean Nolin had disappointing starts in AA, and AAA respectively.

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All four starters had excellent starts but only three of them got a win. Liam Hendricks and Daniel Norris pitched shutout ball for 5.2 and 6 innings respectively. Casey Lawrence and Kendall Graveman each allowed just one run. Lawrence was helped by Kevin Nolan who was 4-4 with a home run. Graveman was let down by the Lansing bullpen who coughed up his lead.
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Anthony Gose and Juan Francisco each had a hit in the first and second innings to jump start the Bisons to a lead they never gave up. Kyle Drabek got the win although his numbers were only average. New Hampshire were soundly beaten as were Dunedin although Emilio Guerrero hit his first home run of the year. Dwight Smith was shut out. Lansing had a lead headed to the ninth but blew up good. Carlos Ramirez had three hits.
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The Jays have played ten games under the roof to start the season, that ends tonight with a trip into Baltimore. The Jays face Chris Tillman, Bud Norris and Ubaldo Jimenez. That is one tough match-up and two more favourable ones. Tillman was the O's opening day starter and pitched well last time out. Noriis and Jimenez have not pitched as well and Ubaldo has not lived up to his contract, yet.

The Jays counter with Dustin McGowan, Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle. Both McGowan and Hutchison are coming off poor starts and looking to right the ship before Happy Happ shows up.

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Dunedin saved the day by banging out eighteen hits. DJ Davis made an error that led to three unearned runs as Lansing lost. New Hampshire and Buffalo lost by a lot. JA Happ made a rehab start and pitched OK but did not dominate.
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The affiliates were 4-2 tonight, with double headers for Buffalo, and Dunedin making up postponed games.  Dwight Smith continued to be the best hitter for Dunedin with two more strong performances.  As well, former First Rounderís Ricky Romero and Deck McGuire each struggled in their starts tonight.

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The affiliates took two of out three Tuesday night. The highlight was a walk-off win, the lowlight was a walk-off loss. One of the games was a rainout. Enjoy the ride on the Tuesday MLU train!
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There were two games scheduled in the state of Pennsylvania and both of them were washed out.

The Buffalo Bisons were rained out in Lehigh Valley for the Iron Pigs home opener while the New Hampshire Fisher Cats saw their game scrubbed in Reading. The Herd will play a doubleheader in Lehigh Valley on Wednesday while the Fisher Cats game will be made up on May 19. 
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Hey, these guys lost 111 games last year! This will be a piece of cake! Right?

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Last Friday, just in time for the home opener, Ken Rosenthal broke the story that several Jays players were willing to defer salary so that the jays could sign Ubaldo Jimenez. AA and paul Beeston basically confirmed that in interviews. I wondered what impact that freeze had on the off-season. What transactions that we thought the Jays were in on, were they in fact no-where near? I assume AA became aware of his budget shortly after the season ended. As the season was coming to a close he was talking about adding starting pitching. By the winter meetings he was focused internally. But he never made that public, and all winter the fans thought that the Jays were all-in, and could add to the payroll for a playoff push. All off-season the Jays were thought to be waiting on Jimenez and Santana. Were they?

Remember that Rogers appointed a new CEO last year, one who has the reputation of a cost cutter. His arrival could easily have come with a directive, all budgets are frozen until I get to review the operations. I don't remember the exact date but the CEO did not meet with the Jays until early this year.

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The affiliates were 2-2 today, highlighted by an extra inning win by Buffalo.  Dwight Smith JR had a monster game against a rehabbing Cole Hamels in the FSL with Dunedin, to go along with a strong start by Daniel Norris.

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Dickie Thon hit a grand slam home run to give Lansing a 4-0 lead in the first game of a doubleheader. Later in that game, with the scores tied, Thon made an error that allowed the two winning runs to score. Lansing were shut out of the second game and were swept. Some of the young pitchers had tough days. New Hampshire also had a lead that the bullpen let slip away ruining an excellent start by Austin Bibbens-Dirkx. Buffalo were rained out.

The only win went to Dunedin. JA Happ started and was OK. The hitters exploded for 17 hits.

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After a perfect first night the Jays go 2-1 on Friday. Deck McGuire pitched well for New Hampshire and AJ Jimenez had three hits to lead the Fisher Cats to the win. Lansing got good pitching from three prospects plus good hitting from several hitters to win easily. Dunedin lost in extra innings despite excellent pitching by Taylor Cole. Buffalo were rained out.
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