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Minor league coverage returns to Batter's Box with our first of many daily updates on the news from the farm. The four full-season affiliates opened their seasons last night, and went 2-2.

Also, we have a very special appearance by Skeeter Barnes.

Rochester 5, Syracuse 3
Box score, Syracuse Post-Standard game story

The Chiefs ran into Boof Bonser last night, who led the International League in strikeouts in 2005, and recorded 8 in six innings last night. The weather might have had something to do with the fact that Syracuse went scoreless in 8 of the 9 innings they played, as it was just 43 degrees (or 6 if you prefer a temperature system that makes sense).

Casey Janssen made his AAA debut, and was okay, with five innings and four strikeouts, though he gave up seven hits for three runs. 50 of his 78 pitches were strikes, which is the main reason he did not walk anyone. Shaun Marcum struck out three batters in the sixth, but went single-double-double in the seventh to pad Rochester's lead.

Offensively, Syracuse's only runs came in the three-run seventh, in which they didn't even have an extra-base hit. Rob Cosby, Ryan Roberts, and Sergio Santos all had two hits, with Roberts and Cosby delivering doubles as well.

New Hampshire 5, New Britain 2
Box score

It was a 10:30 am start, which is always fun. Glen Perkins had a no-hitter for the Rock Cats through five, but the F-Cats struck for three in the sixth. Curtis Thigpen had a two-run double, and Adam Lind followed with another to score Thigpen.

Ismael Ramirez allowed just one run -- a leadoff homer in the first -- over five innings, and had 12 groundouts vs. just one fly out. Jamie Vermilyea made sure the three-run lead was safe by inducing five ground balls and one strikeout against the six batters he faced for the two-inning save.

There was also a rare 7-1-3 putout at second base to end the bottom of the seventh. Just thought I'd mention it.

Clearwater 3, Dunedin 1
Box score

Gregg Zaun and A.J. Burnett went 0-for-4 and gave up three hits in four innings, respectively, in their rehab stints in Florida. That lone run for the D-Jays came on a single by Jason Armstrong that scored Josh Kreuzer. Kreuzer, who I had never heard of until now, went 3-for-3 with two doubles. Bobby Ray took the loss, though he didn't appear to give up anything hard-hit.

Lansing 9, Southwest Michigan 3
Box score, Lansing State Journal game story

Chi-Hung Cheng got the start for the Lugnuts, with a line of 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO. Lugnuts manager Mike Joyce praised the lefty for his performance, but the opposing manager, Skeeter Barnes, wasn't as impressed: "He looked like he was just looking into the dugout and get his five innings and get out." Cheng was followed by fellow countryman Po-Hsuan Keng, who tossed three scoreless innings, striking out three.

The Lugnuts made three errors on the night, two by the shortstop Jesus Gonzalez, who still drove in a run. Sean Shoffit led off and knocked three hits, scoring twice. Cory Patton drove in two with a couple of hits, and Brian Pettway went 2-for-4 including a triple and two runs scored.

Three-Star Selection:
3. Sean Shoffit
2. Ismael Ramirez
1. Po-Hsuan Keng
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
zaptom - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#144639) #
Neat article about the Lansing Lugnuts stadium at, it seats 11,000, wow.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#144641) #
Skeeter may not have been impressed, but after watching Cheng all of last year, I have to say that I was very happy with the game that he threw.  He did start to lose a little bit of his command in the fifth, but I didn't see him staring in the dugout looking to be taken out of the game.
Mike Green - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#144645) #

Thanks, Rob, for filling in.  Skychiefs pitchers had 9 Ks, no walks and no home runs allowed, but were touched for a bunch of hits- there were a couple of "single on a fly ball" notations in the log.  It will be interesting to track the team DIPS ERA vs. team ERA as the season progresses.

Lugnut Fan reported yesterday that Cheng worked quickly and efficiently in his first 4 innings.  For a first start of the season, that's excellent news.


Admin - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#144649) #
The honour of hitting the first minor league home run of the season is still up for grabs.
Ducey - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#144651) #

Where's the love for Ramirez?  1 run in 5 IP in his first start is pretty nice.

As for Kreuzer, here are his stats via Baseball Cube:

He is huge!  So much so that his best skill seems to be getting beaned.  52 HBP in 323 games.  Ouch.

Sorry I missed it but have GQ or Perkins been picked up by anyone?

Rob - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#144655) #
Good catch on Ramirez. I've added him to the writeup and changed the Three Stars to reflect his performance.
Pistol - Friday, April 07 2006 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#144661) #
Quiroz is the Mariners backup catcher.  Gerry talked with Dick Scott a couple days ago and he said no one had claimed Perkins, although they apparently had to wait out a few more days.
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