Spring Training Notebook III

Peoria, AZ: The Low-A and High-A teams played in their first games on Friday against the Kansas City Royals – both winners. The Double-A and Triple-A teams were on the road and both lost.

  • On the road in Surprise, Simon Castro delivered a magnificent performance, striking out six batters in two innings of work. Word is Castro will begin the season in Double-A San Antonio.

    They touted a one-hitter into the seventh inning before the explosion occurred. Unfortunately, the Double-A team was scored upon nine times over the final three frames and lost 9-4.

    The Triple-A team saw a offensive battle, losting 10-8. Jeremy Hefner kept up his end of the bargain, tossing a pair of scoreless innings to begin the game.

    "Hefner pitched really well," outfielder Chad Huffman said. "He was really dominant."

  • The Low-A squad picked up a 6-4 win. Edinson Rincon paced the offense with two RBI on a 1-for-4 night. He had a bases loaded groundout that netted an RBI and connected on an RBI triple. He also scored a run.

    Cameron Monger had a pair of infield singles, scoring each time he reached base. Using his speed, he also added a stolen base – opening a hole on the left side for an Everett Williams single – Williams' lone hit in two trips.

    Rymer Liriano had a pair of hits, busting out an infield single and a base knock that netted an RBI. Joe Argeste also had two hits in four trips – the first of which scored a run in the second inning. Jeudy Valdez doubled and scored on the Argeste single and added a single later in the game to cap a 2-for-4 day.

    Corey Adamson hit a sacrifice fly in his first plate appearance to notch an RBI, drew a walk and scored and grounded out. Jhonaldo Pozo doubled and walked but did not figure into the scoring. Nate Freiman had an RBI sac fly while going hitless in three at-bats.

    Chris Tremblay missed on a single when the Royals made a diving stop and nice throw. He then had a sharp chopper towards short that went for a base hit. Dylan Tonneson went hitless in two trips. Donavan Tate was 0-for-1 while drawing a walk. Wande Olabisi had a single and a stolen base while grounding out twice. Jonathan Galvez was hitless in four at-bats.

  • On the mound for the Low-A squad, Adys Portillo got the start and pitched two scoreless frames. He struck out the side around a single in his second frame and needed 32 pitches to get through the day. He worked in the low-90s and showed a nice changeup, working around a Galvez error in the opening frame.

    Al Angelucci surrendered a run over two innings. He walked the first batter in his second frame. That runner moved to second on a stolen base and scored on a single. He threw 32 pitches. His fastball command was better than in the past.

    "One two-seam fastball got away," Angelluci said. "I felt good. I am only working out of the stretch so the comfort level has gone up."

    Matt Jackson worked into some long counts in each of his two innings but did not give up a run. The right-hander had base runners in each frame but battled back to stave off any damage. He needed 35 pitches to complete his two innings of work. He mixed his pitches well but didn't have one offering that really stood out.

    Luis De La Cruz was a bit shellshocked when he allowed a three-run homer in his first frame but was able to come back to pitch a scoreless second frame. He needed 37 pitches, giving up three hits and a walk. His fastball command was a bit erratic, as he appeared to be overthrowing at times.

    Juan Herrerra was impressive in his lone inning of work, picking up the save. He struck out two of the three batters he faced and used just 12 pitches, showing solid fastball command and a lot of maturity.

  • Drew Cumberland hit leadoff and received five plate appearances, going 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. He did commit an error.

    "I felt ok," Cumberland said. "There are still a few adjustments I have to make. I need to get my timing down on the off-speed pitch. I am having a little trouble with that right now. I am seeing the fastball really well right now.

    "Defensively, the first ground ball on a quick infield – I need to get back to remembering that."

    Cole Figueroa had two RBI, netting an RBI single early and getting thrown out at second base trying to stretch it into a double while adding a bases loaded walk. Vince Belnome followed the walk with a two-run single. He also walked and scored a run. Emmanuel Quiles had a pinch-hit RBI ground out.

    Yefri Carvajal and Chadd Hartman each had a single and scored once. Cody Decker was hitless in his first three trips before netting a single to the opposite field. Allan Dykstra and Jason Hagerty also went hitless, eash drawing a walk. Bo Davis went hitless in three trips. Kyle Loretelli and Matt Vern were also kept off the scoresheet in pinch-hit appearances.

    Dykstra also had a diving snare of a ball headed for the right field line, saving a potential double or triple in the opening frame.

  • Jerry Sullivan got the starting nod and worked a 1-2-3 opening frame. He walked the first hitter of the next inning but was rewarded when Jason Hagerty threw out the runner attempting to steal for the second out of the frame. He needed 29 pitches in working to the minimum. Sullivan's slider looks improved but the fastball is still his best weapon.

    Michael Watt showed more confidence in his repertoire, using the curveball more often even when he just missed a called strike on several borderline pitches. The outing could have blew up on him after an error to the first hitter he faced put a man on. A double play grounder followed. He walked two and four of his outs came via the ground ball. He threw just 23 pitches. Watt also commanded the fastball well and kept the ball down.

    Eduardo Perez saw the Royals get to him quickly with two base hits. A sacrifice bunt followed before a walk loaded the bases. A force out scored a run and a single plated a second. He got out of the inning with a double play grounder. His second inning was much crisper with a two-out single the only mar. He struck out the final hitter. His curveball looked good but overall fastball command wasn't great.

    "I left a changeup or two up in the zone," Perez said of his 31-pitch outing. "The second inning was better. I was able to command my fastball in and out, and my curveball was good."

    Jeff Ibarra made quick work of the opposition, needing 14 pitches to retire the side. He netted a strikeout and two groundouts with a solid display and sharp slider that was biting.

    Hayden Beard allowed two hits in his lone inning of work – the one that hurt was a solo homer hit to deep left-center. Beard, signed out of Australia after being released by the Mets, left two or three of his pitches up in the zone but also netted three ground outs. The biggest issue with the homer was that it came from the smallest guy on the other team, creating quite a stir on when the the Kansas City cooching staff commented about it to some Padres staff members. It took him 17 pitches to work through the frame.

    Rafeal Arias, nursing a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth gave up a single, walk, and single to open the frame. A bunt attempt followed but it went high into the air and was caught. After a pop out, Arias closed the door for the 5-4 victory. He caught too much of the plate with his fastball but showed a plus slider.

    "The whole team played well," Cumberland said. "We were aggressive on the bases and at the plate. It was a great team effort."

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