A Pair of Two Out of Threes

Tuesday, April 08 2008 @ 08:02 AM EDT

Contributed by: #2JBrumfield

Two out of the three farm teams in action used home field advantage to their advantage last night and two out of three major leaguers made encouraging rehab appearances in Dunedin.  Lansing joined Dunedin in the winners circle despite making a whopping five errors.  

Indianapolis 5 Syracuse 1

Syracuse, NY -  The tone was set early in this one as top Pirates prospect Andrew McCutchen greeted Chiefs lefty Bill Murphy with a leadoff homer to center to start the game.  Murphy was also nicked for another run in the 2nd on a single and double and it was 2-0 Indy.  Murphy held the Tribe off the scoreboard for the next three innings, getting help from Bubba Nelson, who picked up the final out of the 5th while stranding McCutchen at third base.   

Meantime, the Chiefs offence did next to nothing against Indy starter John Van BenschotenJoe Inglett drew a leadoff walk in the 1st but was caught stealing.  Syracuse didn't get another runner on until there were two out in the 4th.  Adam Lind got aboard on a fielding error by left fielder Matt Kata but was promptly thrown out by Kata as he tried to stretch his one-base error into two.  Matt Watson drew a two out walk against Van Benschoten in the 5th but that did not lead to a run.  It wasn't until there were two out in the 6th that the Chiefs finally broke up the no-hitter when Joe Inglett tripled with two out.  However, Inglett would remain 90 feet away from home plate when Jorge Velandia grounded to first to end the inning.

Bubba Nelson kept the Indy offence off the board with a pair of clean innings in the 5th and 6th, retiring all seven batters he faced to that point.  Finally, Syracuse got on the board when they loaded the bases with one out on a Adam Lind double, a Russ Adams walk, and a Matt Watson single.  Curtis Thigpen brought Lind home by really getting a hold of one.  Well, not really.  He hit a nubber in front of home plate off Indy reliever Jesse Chavez and was thrown out a first by another Chavez in Indy catcher Raul Chavez.   Sergio Santos had a chance to put the Chiefs ahead with a two out hit but he grounded out to third to kill the rally.

Bubba Nelson retired the first hitter he faced in the top of the 8th but a one out walk to Matt Kata led to his departure.  Tracy Thorpe came on in relief but he yielded a run scoring double to Steven Pearce to restore Indy's two run lead at 3-1.  The Chavez-Chavez battery set down the Chiefs in order in the 8th and the Tribe went back on offence.  A Josh Wilson homer and a run scoring double by Raul Chavez off Tracy Thorpe upped the Tribe's lead to 5-1.  Jordan De Jong came on in relief of Thorpe to get the final out of the frame.  Adam Lind got aboard on a leadoff single to start the 9th but Tribe closer Jonah Bayliss set down the next three hitters in order to nail down the save.

Boxscore Notes - Adam Lind had two of the Chiefs hits on the night and is batting a robust .412 in the early going....Bill Murphy had a nice K/BB ratio of 5-1 but did give up 5 hits in his 4 2/3 innings of work...Bubba Nelson only gave up one baserunner in 2 2/3 innings with a walk, which did come around to score after he left.


Dunedin 7 Fort Myers 4

Dunedin, FL - First off, I almost had a heart attack when I saw the linescore of the game.  The source of my near coronary was seeing "LP-A.Burnett (0-1)".  Thankfully, I discovered it was not A.J. Burnett who made an impromptu rehab start at Knology Park ahead of tonight's game at the Rogers Centre but it was Alex Burnett of the Fort Myers Miracle. 

However, the start for the D-Jays did go to rehabbing starter Gustavo Chacin.  The southpaw cologne pitch man did not exactly reek of excellence in this one.  Chacin gave up two singles, a double, uncorked a wild pitch, a walk and another single as the Twins farmhands broke out to a 3-0 lead.  Chacin settled down to get a strikeout and a double play to get out of the 1st.  Dunedin had a double, single and a walk in the home half of the 1st but Sean Shoffit was caught stealing at third after doubling with Travis Snider at the dish.  Snider drew a walk and Brian Dopirak singled but Cory Patton whiffed for out number three.

Chacin had two strikeouts in the top of the 2nd but a walk, a stolen base and a double produced another Fort Myers run.  The D-Jays offence came up with three singles by J.P. Arencibia, Brad Emaus and Luis Sanchez but Jesus Gonzalez grounded into a, ahem, Twin-killing to throw a wrench into their plans of getting on the board.  

After Chacin gave up back to back base knocks in the 3rd, Paul Phillips came on in relief of the beleaguered lefty and set down the side in order.  Dunedin got things going in the next half inning as J.P. Arencibia delivered a two-out, two RBI single to score Travis Snider and Brian Dopirak, who got aboard on a double.

In the top of the 4th, another rehabbing lefty was on the hill for Dunedin.  It was none other than Robert Victor/ Bo Junior/B.J. Ryan!  I don't know if they had Slipknot cranked up at Knology park but B.J. had a three-up, three down frame by recording a punchout, a groundout and a flyout.  Nice of him to spread the ball around like that. 

Major leaguers rehab night continued in the top of the 5th as Armando Benitez took over for Ryan and he also polished off the Miracle in order with a pair of K's and a flyout.  Cory Patton drew the D-Jays even in the bottom of the 5th as his single plated home a Sean Shoffit single and a Travis Snider walk.  Anthony Slama (encouraging name for a pitcher, kinda like Grant Balfour!) relieved Alex Burnett and he was victimized by a run scoring single by J.P. Arencibia to score Brian Dopirak.  A Brad Emaus double play ball scored Patton to cap off the Dunedin four-run rally and it was 5-3 Dunedin. 

Chad Blackwell took over for Armando Benitez in the 6th and he gave up a leadoff single.  However, that was all he allowed as he set down the next half-dozen hitters in order.  Matthew Fox took over for Anthony Slama for the Miracle and much like his Hollywood counterpart, he looked totally lost out there as he was burned by a run scoring double by J.P. Arencibia and a run scoring triple by Jesus Gonzalez for a 7-3 Dunedin advantage.

Edward Rodriguez relieved Blackwell in the 8th and gave up two walks and a wild pitch but was bailed out by Zachary Dials, who got the next batter.  Dials finished up with a one-walk 9th to pick up the save and preserve the "W" for Armando Benitez.

Boxscore Notes - The Dunedin pen did a nice job in relief of Gustavo Chacin, who was torched for 7 hits and two walks in two-plus innings.  The pen gave up just one hit and three walks in 7 scoreless frames.....J.P. Arencibia had a perfect 4-for-4 night at the dish with 3 RBI and is now batting .400.

Lansing 12 South Bend 6

Lansing, MI - The D-Backs affiliates got the early jump in this one with two runs off Lugnuts starter Luis Perez. However, Lansing responded with four runs in the bottom of the 1st off South Bend starter Bryan Henry thanks to an RBI groundout from Darin Mastroianni and a three-run bomb off the bat of Manuel Rodriguez.

The Lugnuts would lose the lead as the Silver Hawks responded with single runs in the next three innings to go up 5-4. The lefty Perez was relieved by Randy Boone with one out and two men on in the fourth but Boone prevented any further damage with two groundball outs.

Lansing regained the lead in the bottom of the 4th on a two run single by Michael McDade to go up 6-5. South Bend almost knotted things up when Boone issued a leadoff walk and then plunked a batter. However, Michael Mee tried to pull an Aaron Hill and steal home but he was tagged out and Boone was able to get out of the inning unscathed. Boone continued to motor along as he struck out the side in the 7th. That inspired the Lugnut offence to produce another four-run outburst that came about on a two-run single by Jonathan Jaspe, an RBI single by John Tolisano and an RBI double by Man-Rod. South Bend got an unearned run off Boone in the 8th to make it 10-6 but a two run triple by Jaspe gave Lansing a 6 run cushion. Cody Crowell finished up with three K 9th around a walk and a single.

Boxscore Notes - Justin Jackson did a fine job in the leadoff spot for the Lugnuts, going 2-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base and 3 runs scored and is batting .368 for the year….Kevin Ahrens went 0-for-4 but did score twice and his average is at .409.….Jonathan Jaspe had 3 hits and 4 RBI and John Tolisano had 2 hits….However, Manuel Rodriguez swung the big twig with 3 hits, including a homer, and is now batting .611!!.…Not a great day for Lugnuts starter Luis Perez as he gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 4 walks and did not strike out a batter in 3 1/3 innings…..Winning pitcher Randy Boone allowed just one unearned run on 2 hits and 2 walks in 4 2/3 innings and his K/BB ratio was 4-0...The only negative was the Lansing defence committing 5 errors, which led to 3 unearned runs.


*** 3 Stars! ***

3. Randy Boone, Lansing - 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 4K

2. Manny Rodriguez, Lansing - 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, .611 BA

1. J.P. Arencibia, Dunedin - 4-for-4, 3 RBI, 2B, R, .400


Honourable mentions……

Syracuse - Adam Lind, Matt Watson, Bubba Nelson.

Dunedin - Sean Shoffit, Brian Dopirak, Cory Patton, Jesus Gonzalez, Paul Phillips, B.J. Ryan, Armando Benitez, Chad Blackwell, Zachary Dials.

Lansing - Justin Jackson, Jonathan Jaspe, John Tolisano, Cody Crowell.


Tonight’s Games…..

Indianapolis at Syracuse, 6:00 p.m.

South Bend at Lansing, 6:05 p.m.

New Hampshire at New Britain, 6:35 p.m.

Dunedin at Tampa, 7:00 p.m.