Stockton Powers Way To 2-0 Start
Kala Ka'aihue homered twice, Jeremy Barfield went deep and Grant Green collected three hits as the Stockton Ports moved to 2-0 with a 7-4 win over the Visalia Rawhide. Murphy Smith picked up his first win of the season and Daniel Thomas picked up the save.
The Ports scored single runs in each of the first four innings and then tacked on three runs in the top of the sixth to put the game away. Stockton made the most of their seven hits and three walks. Michael Spina had an RBI double and a walk as the Ports' DH, while Stephen Parker, playing third base, had two RBIs.
Smith tossed five innings in his Stockton debut. He scattered six hits and three walks and allowed three runs and he struck-out one batter. All three runs Smith allowed came in the sixth inning, when he gave-up three hits and threw a wild pitch without recording an out. Paul Smyth took over for Smith in the sixth with a runner on third and no-outs. The runner came around to score with one-out on a sacrifice fly.
Smyth came into this season with a career ERA of 0.00 after tossing 36.1 scoreless innings last season. His scoreless streak would come to an end in the eighth inning. Smyth retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing a single. He would be lifted after the single in favor of Thomas, who allowed the inherited runner to score on a double, ending Smyth's streak at 38.2 innings. Thomas would recover to retire five of the last six batters he faced to record the save.
River Cats Flex Their Muscles Against The Beavers
Steven Tolleson's eighth inning grandslam broke a 5-5 tie and helped lift the Sacramento River Cats to a 10-5 win over the Portland Beavers. Dallas McPherson and Michael Taylor also added homeruns and the River Cats collected 12 hits in the victory. Sacramento is now 2-0.
The River Cats' 12-hit attack helped them overcome a sloppy day in the field. Sacramento committed four errors in the fifth inning that resulted in three runs. Corey Wimberly had two and Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard had one each.
Sacramento had built a 5-1 lead by the second inning thanks to a four-run first highlighted by McPherson's three-run homer and second inning run on Josh Donaldson's sacrifice fly. Graham Godfrey got the start for the River Cats. He allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits. The 2009 Texas League All-Star was uncharacteristically wild during his season debut, walking four batters and uncorking a wild pitch. He struck-out three.
Marcus McBeth took over for Godfrey in the sixth and he allowed a run in 1.1 innings of work despite not allowing a hit. He walked two in his 2010 debut. Cedrick Bowers came into the game in the seventh inning with a runner on second and one-out and the River Cats leading 5-4. Bowers would allow the runner to score on a two-out base hit and would then load the bases before striking out Josh Barfield to end the inning.
The tie wouldn't last for long, as Tolleson launched his grandslam with no-outs in the top of the eighth. The grandslam came on the heels of an error by Portland shortstop Lance Zawadzki on a play that could have resulted in a rally-killing double-play. Taylor's solo homerun came in the top of the ninth inning to give the River Cats a comfortable five-run lead. He is now 4-8 with a triple and a homer in his first two games with the River Cats. Fernando Hernandez pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the game.
Midland Holds On For Win Number Two
Beau Vaughan struck-out two batters to strand a runner on third and close out a 5-4 win for the Midland Rockhounds over the Arkansas Travelers. The Rockhounds are now 2-0 on the season, as well. Anthony Recker hit his first homerun of the season and he had three hits to lead the Rockhounds. Reliever Derrick Gordon picked up the win, his first as a Rockhound.
Jemile Weeks had two hits, including a double, to raise his two-game average to .556. He drove-in a run and scored a run. David Thomas drove-in two runs on a double. Thomas played in left a day after filling it at first base in Thursday's game. Every Rockhound starter reached base at least once except for Yusuf Carter, who was playing first base in the game.
Carlos Hernandez got the start for Midland. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. Gordon took over for Hernandez and he managed to throw 1.2 scoreless innings despite walking three. Justin Friend gave-up a run in the seventh to allow the Travelers to draw within one run. Jared Lansford tossed a scoreless eighth and Vaughan did his magician act in the ninth to seal the win.
Kane County Swept In Twin Bill
The Cougars had a day to forget on their delayed Opening Day, dropping both ends of a double-header against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to fall to 0-2 to start the season. The Cougars lost 3-2 on a walk-off infield single in game one and fell 6-3 in the second game.
In game one, the Cougars had the tough task of facing rehabbing major league starter Jeff Suppan. Kane County didn't make it easy for Suppan, collecting seven hits and three walks in 4.1 innings of work. The Cougars couldn't break through with the big hit against Suppan, however, as they managed only one run against him. Shortstop Michael Gilmartin had the RBI hit against Suppan.
Conner Crumbliss had the other RBI for Kane County in game one. He had two hits in the game. Rashun Dixon had a triple and a walk and every Kane County starter reached base at least once except for Leonardo Gil. The Cougars also stole three bases, with Crumbliss, Dixon and Anthony Aliotti doing the running.
Jonathan Joseph got the start for Kane County and he pitched well, allowing three hits and a run in three innings. The hard-throwing Dominican right-hander walked one and struck-out four in his Kane County debut. Eighteen-year-old Ian Krol was a tandem starter with Joseph in this game, taking over for Joseph in the fourth inning in a pre-determined move. Krol was hung with the loss in his Cougars' debut, although he pitched pretty well. In 3.2 innings, Krol allowed four hits and two runs on two walks (one was intentional) and three strike-outs. The winning run scored off of Krol in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out infield hit. (For minor league double-headers, the games are seven innings long).
Game two was not nearly as close. The Cougars briefly held a 2-0 lead in the second inning. They saw the lead trimmed to 2-1 in the bottom of the second and then lost the lead for good when they allowed four runs in the third.
Robert Gilliam struggled in his first start for Kane County. He allowed five runs on four hits and three walks in 2.2 innings. Connor Hoehn took over for Gilliam in the third inning. The right-hander allowed a run on two hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. He struck-out two. Hector Garcia finished the game with a scoreless inning. He walked one and struck-out one.
Dixon had another good game at the plate in game two. He went two-for-three with a double. He is three-for-his-first-five with two extra-base hits, a walk and a stolen base. Chris Affinito had a rough day behind the plate. Wisconsin stole four bases against him and he committed a throwing error. On the day, the Cougars allowed five stolen bases and Max Stassi, who caught in game one and DH'd in game two, also committed a throwing error in game one. He did pick-off a runner at first base, however.
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