"You get a better view of their stuff from behind the plate," Black said. "You can see the mechanics better from the side."
LeBlanc had a good session in the bullpen before entering the game but things got off to a less than perfect start. The second pitch he delivered to Cedric Hunter – the first batter of the contest – was shipped over the left field wall for a solo homer.
It would be the only run LeBlanc would allow over four innings. He tossed 58 pitches, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out four – three coming on his dirty changeup.
Newcomer Marshall McDougall pounded a double to deep left center to drive home another newcomer, Edgar Gonzalez. Gonzalez had singled to open the frame. Peter Ciofrone belted a high fastball down the right field line for a stand up triple and would later score. The hits kept on coming before Ekstrom was relieved.
It didn't help when Kyle Blanks pounded a ball 104 MPH off Ekstrom's leg and Rayner Contreras called for the ball at third base, only to not get the runner. Contreras, however, made a beautiful pick on a hot shot down the line in the next inning to redeem himself.
"We talked about my glove because several guys in the big leagues have big gloves," Buschmann said. "I have a tendency to work very quickly in the pen and he said, ‘Slow down, you are making me nervous.'"
Buschmann was involved in the highlight of the game, but not quite how he hoped. After sailing a pitch up and in that brushed Daryl Jones off the plate, Jones came back and launched a no-doubter to right field – a boomer that threatened several cars in the players lot.
"It felt good," Jones said. "You can't scare me in the box."
When reminded about Shane Spencer knocking him out of the box and causing an ankle sprain, Jones reneged, "Except him."
Oyervidez flashed some of his dirty pitches but did give up a double after falling behind a hitter.
"If he can throw like he does in the bullpen, he would be in the big leagues," pitching coach Glenn Abbott said of Oyervidez.
"The outing wasn't a good as I wanted," Gwaltney said. "I gave up a hit, but I will take that."
Gabe DeHoyos worked quickly through his inning, flashing an above average curveball and spotting his pitches well.
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