Minor-league action in the Toronto system last night saw Pulaski playing their season opener and putting on a show, while Auburn won a close one in their home opener. Meanwhile, the Syracuse bats were anemic and the New Hampshire pitchers were flammable. Dunedin and Charleston rested on the laurels of their first-half division titles.
Columbus 4 @ Syracuse 0
A solid outing from David Bush wasn't enough as the SkyChiefs were shut out by lefty Alex Graman and the Columbus Clippers. Dave went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, striking out 6. All three runs off him came in the 7th, when Bush was whacked for a homer followed by three doubles. Talley Haines pitched the final 2 frames, allowing a solo home run and striking out 3.
RF Julius Matos was the only SkyChief with 2 hits, as the team tallied just 6 safeties and a solitary walk for the night. SS Russ Adams had a double to show for his 4 trips to the plate.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com. Recap - Post-Standard (AP)
New Hampshire 6 @ Bowie 9
The Fisher Cat bats were connecting with more authority than those of their AAA cousins, but 6 runs was not enough this night in Bowie. DH John-Ford Griffin launched a solo homer and also had a single in his four trips. 2B Dominic Rich recorded two base knocks; CF Justin Singleton had a double and a single; 3B Danny Solano had a double, a single, and a walk. SS Aaron Hill had a very rough night, going 0 for 5 and committing an error. He didn't strike out in any of his 5 plate appearances, the only Fisher Cat who didn't whiff.
The New Hampshire pitching was uniformly lousy. Ryan Houston, Andy Torres, and Brandon League were all roughed up, each allowing a homer and multiple earned runs.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com. Recap - Union-Leader
Dunedin - Off Day
Charleston - Off Day
Curveball2 tells us that Justin James, Shaun Marcum, Brian Reed, and Ryan Roberts have all been promoted to Dunedin. Congratulations!
Mahoning Valley 6 @ Auburn 7
Playing their home opener, the Doubledays battled it out with Mahoning Valley and held on for the win. Unfortunately, all we have at this writing is a line score. Auburn got off to a 2-0 lead with runs in the 1st and 3rd, but the Scrappers scored 5 times in the top of the 4th. Undeterred, the Doubledays fought back with 2 of their own in the bottom of the fourth, and went ahead with 3 runs in the 6th. Mahoning Valley made it tight by pushing a run across in the top of the 9th, but the home crowd went home happy. Each team totaled 10 hits on the night, and there were no errors in the game.
Update: The boxscore is now posted on the Doubledays website. 2B Mike Macaluso and RF Jarad Mangioni each reached base 3 times on 2 hits and a walk, with one of Macaluso's hits a triple. CF Aaron Mathews added 2 singles from the leadoff spot, and C David Corrente a single and a double. 2004 8th-rounder Chip Cannon went 0 for 3 as the DH, but he did reach base on a hit-by-pitch. 9th-rounder Joey Metropoulos played first base and went oh-fer, including 3 strikeouts.
Jordan Timm got the start for Auburn and went 3 scoreless innings, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts, no walks. Kristian Bell relieved in the 4th and was lit up for 5 runs, including a grand slam, while retiring just 2 batters. Jayson Rodriguez pitched an effective 2-2/3, and Chris Leonard made an encouraging appearance with 2-2/3 himself. Leonard allowed a run on 2 hits and 2 walks, but struck out 5.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com
Bristol 3 @ Pulaski 11
The P-Jays opened the Low-A season with a bang, taking it to the Bristol White Sox 11-3 despite being out-hit 10 to 9. This sort of thing happens when you draw 7 walks. The biggest bats were those of CF Yuber Rodriguez (2 singles), DH Jon Chappell (single and double), and my pick for best name on the team, SS Eugenio Vancamper (2 doubles and a walk). RF Junior Chourio put an exclamation mark on the bat-around bottom of the first with a grand salami.
Yesson Berroa got the opening day start and was brilliant through 5 innings, conceding a single run on 5 hits and no walks while striking out 6. Raymon Sanchez, Adrian Martin, and Michael Rider each contributed a scoreless inning of relief. Derek Tate was nicked for 2 runs, 1 unearned, in his frame.
Boxscore - MinorLeagueBaseball.com.
The Third Star: Junior Chourio, Pulaski. Gotta respect the Slam.
The Second Star: Dave Bush, Syracuse. 7 innings, 6 Ks against 1 walk.
The First Star: John-Ford Griffin, New Hampshire. 2 hits including a homer.