Minor League Notebook's and expect many updates throughout the season!"> Minor League Notebook's and expect many updates throughout the season!">

Padres Minor League Notebook 04/09/04

The San Diego Padres minor league affiliates began their seasons of promise on Thursday as Petco Park opened in downtown San Diego. Unfortunately only one team came away with a win on opening night and they did it in the strangest fashion.<br><br> Check out the rest of our <a href="http://padres.theinsiders.com/3/MinorNotebook.html">Minor League Notebook's</a> and expect many updates throughout the season!

Portland lost its opener for the fourth straight year, but this time it is hard to find fault. They faced Dodger phenom Edwin Jackson and came away with just two runs off him. Bernie Castro knocked in both runs, knocking in Ben Risinger and Humberto Quintero. Castro had two hits on the day.

Dennis Tankersley pitched six innings of three run ball. He let up five hits and walked three while striking out six.

Right-handed pitcher Marty McLeary is expected to join the team on Friday. McLeary was acquired in a trade with the Marlins.

The BayBears played the Carolina Mudcats and what was once a close game, at 4-2 and 5-3, became a 11-3 loss. Josh Barfield went 0-for-4 in his Mobile debut.

Ben Johnson tripled in the first BayBear run of the year in the fourth, scoring Jesse Roman. Johnson had fouled off pitch after pitch before hitting a laser off the centerfield wall, fighting back to a full count in the process and really working the count, something he had not done in the past.

Jake Guatreau followed with a double off the fence to score Johnson. Josh Carter delivered the only other RBI of the night.

Todd Donovan, Gautreau, and Johnson each had two hits. Donovan was caught stealing.

Speaking of Donovan, one scout told us, "He plays very hard, hustles, and is fun to watch, although he thinks every umpire is against him and is always convinced that somehow he got cheated out of something he earned. Defensively, in center field, he improved as much from 2002 to 2003 as any player I can remember. He was almost gold glove quality in '03 after looking like a natural designated hitter the year before."

Justin Germano took the loss, allowing four runs in five innings. He allowed seven hits and walked two. He also hit a double in the loss.

Jack Cassel gave up six runs, all earned, on four hits and two walks.

Lake Elsinore came away with a 1-0 win on Thursday, getting a run in the top of the ninth to win it. Amazingly the run scored on a balk.

Brian Whitaker pitched a gem in his Elsinore debut against Inland Empire. No runs three hits, five strikeouts in six innings.

Andres Pagan threw out a runner in the eighth inning.

Highly regarded shortstop Luis Cruz hit a double in the top of the ninth to open the inning. Pagan pushed him over with a bunt. A balk on Cesar Jimenez pushed Cruz across the plate without a hit and gave the Storm a 1-0 advantage. It appeared that Jimenez did not have a pause in his delivery when he came to the plate.

Justin Craker got the win and Mike Wodnicki earned a tough save in the ninth when he gave up a double and threw a wild pitch.

Marcus Nettles and Paul McAnulty were the only other Storm batters with hits.

"They are all going to get an opportunity to play," Fort Wayne Manager Randy Ready said to Terry Byrom before the game began. His reference was to making sure each player sees the field and gets reps.

In Fort Wayne, Colt Morton had a terrible opening to the season. He went 0-for-3 and struck out each time he came to the plate. Juan Ciriaco was the only Wizard to have two hits, but his play in the field was less than stellar (despite the stats showing only one error next to his name). Skip Adams was even worse and had three errors on the day.

Eddie Bonine, a highly regarded prospect, got the start. He was a closer with Eugene last year, going 1-2, with a 3.38 ERA and 14 saves. Bonine was trying to make a jump similar to what Gabe Ribas made, going from closer to starter.

Seven runs came across the plate in the second off Bonine. Skip Adams short hopped a ball to first, resulting in an error and Ciriaco could not come up with a ball up the middle. Ciriaco also missed a barehand chance later in the inning; a very tough play and it resulted in the eighth hit of the inning before finally Bonine got out of the frame. In total, the duo of Adams and Ciriaco combined for three errors in the inning and a blowout.

Fort Wayne finally came through with three runs in the eighth to avoid being shut out on opening night. The final score, 12-3.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

MadFriars Top Stories