The Taiwanese Connection

Friday, April 07 2006 @ 11:55 AM EDT

Contributed by: Rob

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