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Josh Bell and David Smith hit walk-off homers on Saturday as the farm affiliates went 3-2.

Syracuse 2 @ Indianapolis 3

The Indians scored a run in the first with the aid of a David Purcey throwing error. The Sky Chiefs came back with a run in the 3rd on a Mike Mahoney single, a Wayne Lydon double and a Luis Figueroa sacrifice fly, and then went ahead in the 4th on John-Ford Griffin's second homer of the season, a solo job. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th, Purcey walked a batter and then gave up two successive doubles. That completed the scoring, although the Sky Chiefs went deep into counts late in the game, with a fighting 10 pitch at-bat from Rob Cosby especially notable. Purcey went 5 innings, and allowed 3 runs, 2 earned on 3 hits and 4 walks with 6 strikeouts. Brandon League again was impressive, going 3 innings and allowing 3 hits, but with no walks and 4 strikeouts. His line for the season- 8.2 innings, 7 hits, no homers, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. That is somewhat surprising, but excellent news.

New Britain 14-0 @ New Hampshire 5-1

Game 1 box

Game 2 box

In the opener, the Rock Cats tonged on Mike MacDonald for 9 earned runs in 1.2 innings. Ouch. Danny Hill and Rodney Ormond finished up the 7 inning game, but did not distinguish themselves. After the game was well out of hand, Chip Cannon hit his 2nd homer of the season, and Adam Lind hit 2 homers. Lind went 4-4 in the game. In the nightcap, Jamie Vermilyea was brilliant, throwing 6 shutout innings with 13 ground outs and 3 strikeouts. He allowed 3 hits and no walks, but the game was scoreless until the 7th. Jim Bullard allowed 2 baserunners in the top of the 7th, but got out of the jam, and with one out in the bottom of the inning, David Smith hit a walk-off homer to win it. Curtis Thigpen and Eric Arnold had the other 2 Fisher Cat base hits in the game.

Tampa 3 @ Dunedin 6

The D'Jays rolled a 6 spot in the first inning and coasted to the easy victory. The inning started innocently enough when a walk and an error had 2 runners on with 2 outs. The inning went from there: Josh Kreuzer double, Ryan Klosterman double, Scott Dragicevich single, Jason Armstrong double and David Corrente single. Orlando Trias had his 2nd successive fine start, allowing 1 unearned run in 6 innings on 4 hits and 4 walks with 5 strikeouts. Justin James and Milton Tavarez had some nervous moments in the 7th and 9th innings, but emerged relatively unscathed.

South Bend 2 @ Lansing 3

The Lugnut home faithful were given an Easter treat of a game. Trailing 2-0 after 5 innings, the Lugnuts rallied with single runs in the 6th and 8th innings. Each time, Sean Shoffit led off and reached base and was driven in by Brian Pettway, with a single and a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the ninth, with the game tied 2-2, Josh Bell led off with a walk-off homer, his second of the season. Aaron Wideman started and went 4 innings, allowing both South Bend runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. Po-Hsuan Keng followed with 3 scoreless frames; Keng gave up a solitary hit and no walks, and punched 2 tickets. Keng's line for the season: 10.2 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts. Nice. Paul Phillips allowed 5 baserunners in the last 2 innings, but got out of the jams for the win. Shoffit was 1-2 on the day with 2 walks. Shortstop Chris Gutierrez went 2-3 with a walk, while Big City Metropoulos and Bell each reached base twice.

3 star selection

3rd star-Sean Shoffit

2nd star-Jamie Vermilyea

1st star-David Smith, Josh Bell

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Mike Green - Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#145274) #
As Gerry said a couple of days ago, Romero's injury is said to be minor.  He will apparently return to action shortly.

Francisco Rosario and the Chiefs are in the middle of a pitcher's duel with Indianapolis.  They're scoreless through 4 innings.  Rosario has struck out 7.

timpinder - Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#145283) #

How about Rosario! 10 K's over 5 innings, another strong outing today.  Maybe it just took him a little longer to come back from TJ surgery.  The year is young, but if he's back to his dominating pre-TJ form, he'll be a nice addition to the rotation later in the season.  (Is it too early to say I told you so about Josh Towers?)

With Speier, Schoeneweis, Walker, Lilly and Downs possibly leaving after the season, it's nice to see some of their potential replacements, League, Rosario, McGowan, Gronk and even Purcey, pitching well to start the season. 

mcpherv - Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#145291) #
I listened and also watched a bit of the game (the video is archived at for anyone who wants to watch it - its free for the month of April), and Rosario was regularly hitting 94-96 with his fastball for all 5 innings. I've heard that his velocity was more around 90-93 or so last year, so maybe, as you suggest, timpinder, he's finally fully recovered from his TJ surgery. Also, he was apparently primarily fastball/slider today, so its possible that he's finally becoming more consistant with his slider - couple that with a mid 90s fastball, and his plus change, and he might be a very nice surprise for the Jays this year.
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