Columbus Clippers. Game 1. LHP, Brad Halsey got the ball against the Durham Bulls and was not quite as effective as Columbus might have wished. Halsey pitched 4 2/3, giving up 4 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 1 HBP while fanning 3. He received a no decision. John Rodriguez had an RBI triple in this one scoring Jeff Deardorff from second base. J-Rod had two hits in the game. Homer Bush added to singles and a run scored also. Red hot Felix Escalona had a two run double and a walk in this game as he refuses to cool off with the bat. Mike Kelly and David Parrish also picked up one single apiece on Friday. In AAA doubleheaders, they play 7 inning games and in the bottom of 7th with Columbus down by one, Brian Myrow stroked a triple. It should have been a single if not for a risky dive by the Durham centerfielder. Then Jeff Deardorff stroked the game tying hit with a bloop single to score Myrow. Deardorff has proved to be a clutch hitter early on for Columbus. Before this inning, Sam Marsonek had given up the go ahead run on a home run my DH Midre Cummings. Marsonek was unimpressive in his 2 innings of work. Steve Torrealba had the game winning hit for Columbus in the bottom of tenth inning when he roped an RBI single. Scott Proctor got the win.
Game 2. The second of two games saw just as much offense and even more from the Columbus Clippers but it did not translate into a victory. Ramon Ramirez was the starting pitcher for Columbus and he was smacked around by the Durham offense. Ramirez went 4 2/3, giving up six runs on six hits to take the loss. The young righty is expected to have a good season but has not gotten off to a strong start. The Clippers had a big day from Darren Bragg, who went 4-5 with a triple, 2 RBI and a run scored. Also swinging a good bat on this day was catcher, Steve Torrealba who in the first game had a game winning single. In the second of two, Torrealba crushed a pair of homers and had three RBI in the game. Also adding an RBI was Homer Bush, who drove in Jeff Deardorff in the first inning to get the offense going for the Clippers. Adding a single of his own was Caonabo Cosme. Remaining ice cold at the plate was OF, Mike Vento.
Trenton Thunder. Saturday was Sean Henn's much anticipated AA Eastern League debut and he was more than the up to the task. Henn pitched 5 strong innings, giving up only one run but only ended up receiving a no decision in this one. The young lefty made a fantastic impression in his first start. Mitch Jones had a monster game with two long home runs. One was a solo shot to tie the game at one and the other was a two run shot to give Trenton the lead. Jones led the team with 23 homers last year and leads the team early on this year with 3. He is also tied for the league lead in runs scored. Also putting up a huge offensive performance was 1b Aaron Rifkin. He had 3 hits which included two doubles and an RBI. Catcher, Dioner Navarro also added two hits of his own included a bunt single. Dioner also drew a walk in the game. Centerfielder, Kevin Reese was finally cooled off as he went hitless. The bullpen performance was what was the negative aspect of this game for Trenton. Juan Padilla came in for only one inning but had a rough outing. Padilla gave up three runs on three hits and allowed the Erie Seawolves to tie the game at 4 apiece. With the game tied at 4 in the bottom of the ninth, the biggest hit of Trenton's young season was crushed over the wall. Robinson Cano, hit a two run walk off two run home run to win it for Trenton. The closer David Shepard picked up the win.
Tampa Yankees. In his first start of the season, Jose Valdez was sub par and was unable to last 5 innings. Valdez went 4 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 5. Valdez took the loss in this one. Bronson Sardinha had a huge game for Tampa, going 3-5, including a walk, a double and 2 RBI. Also, Gabe Lopez picked up three hits as well. Lopez picked up an RBI to go along with his three hits. Tommy Winrow and Rudy Guillen also had two hits apiece and both also had an RBI each as well. Putting up a fence post was Shelly Duncan who hit a single. Jayson Drobiak has remained ice cold as he had yet another dismal night at the plate. He struck out 4 times on the night. Drobiak only has one hit on the young season with no RBI and 9 strikeouts. Rudy Guillen remains sizzling hot as he has started off 6-14. Gabe Lopez remained on fire and he is now 6-13 on the season. Jon-Mark Sprowl has emerged as the most productive hitter early on for the Tampa Yankees as he has compiled an amazing 1.333 slugging percentage! Matt Brumit pitched an inning of scoreless relief on Saturday as well.
Battle Creek Yankees. The Battle Creek Yankees were swept to open the season by the Lansing Lugnuts but it was to no fault of their pitching staff. Battle Creek starting pitcher for Saturday, Josh Smith allowed all four of his runs in the third inning. Besides that one inning, Smith was quite impressive in his first start of the season. He went 5 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 4. Battle Creek only managed to put up four hits on the day and a dismal 15 for the series. The worst part is that they struck out a ridiculous 28 times. The only major offense on this day was provided by an eight inning solo home run by first baseman John Urick. Urick had a very good day with two hits. His first hit broke up a no hitter in the sixth inning when he hit a single off Carlos Marmol. Eric Duncan and Melky Cabrera picked up the only other two hits. Both of which were doubles. Josh Smith took the loss in this game.