The Twins got an excellent outing from free-agent pick-up Kevin Correia, who worked into the 8th
inning. Unfortunately, the Royals strung a few hits together and were able to chase Correia after taking a 3-1 lead. The Twins failed to rally in the 9th
and lost their 3rd
“Home Opener” of the season. (But remain undefeated in non-Home Openers.)
Three of the club’s affiliates were in action this evening. Let’s take a look…
Rochester Red Wings 2, Scranton/WB RailRiders 4
Congratulations to first baseman Chris Colabello, who was named International League Player of the Week for last week.
Andrew Albers was originally slated to begin the season in New Britain’s bullpen. A BJ Hermsen injury sent him to their rotation. After Alex Burnett was waived, a spot in Rochester’s bullpen opened up. Soon after that, Pedro Hernandez took Cole De Vries’ spot in Minnesota’s rotation. Albers, whose minor-league career has been a journey, has been on a mini-journey in just the last week. His ultimate destination, Rochester’s rotation, is where Albers made his season debut tonight.
Albers pitched very well before reaching his pitch limit with two outs in the fourth. He allowed a run on three hits and a walk. He struck out five, throwing 50 strikes on 76 pitches.
Luis Perdomo had another rough outing, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. He did strike out two, but used 32 pitches to record only four outs.
Daniel Turpen allowed a run. Tyler Robertson, back in AAA, walked a batter in an otherwise uneventful inning.
The bats didn’t offer much in terms of run support. Oswaldo Arcia, who, despite gaudy numbers, has avoided the prospect spotlight (thank Sano and Buxton for that), had another big game. His three singles led to him scoring both of Rochester’s runs. He also stole his first base of the year.
Clete Thomas and Rey Olmedo both added two hits. Thomas drove in both runs and now has seven on the young season.
Joe Benson, now batting .077, had his first double of the season.
New Britain Rock Cats 9, Harrisburg Senators 2
New Britain continues their season-opening road trip in Harrisburg tonight. After winning their season opener, the Rock Cats lost their next three games. A change of venue proved to be enough to end the losing streak.
The bats were alive for the Rock Cats.
Danny Ortiz (now batting .400) led the charge with a double and a home run. Josmil Pinto had a three-run triple. Harold Garcia hit his second home run of the season. Antoan Richardson had two hits and a walk in the leadoff position. Danny Santana had three hits (to improve his average to .273).
Blake Martin enters his 3rd
season making spot-starts for the Rock Cats. Tonight, he worked three innings (66 pitches, 34 strikes), allowing only one run. He avoided trouble despite yielding two hits and walking four. He struck out two and now has an ERA of 1.69.
Marty Popham (52 pitches, 28 strikes) walked two in three scoreless innings. He struck out four.
Edgar Ibarra walked and struck out one in an inning. Nelvin Fuentes gave up a run on two hits in the ninth to close out the victory.
Ft. Myers Miracle – DAY OFF after starting the season 4-0
D.J. Baxendale will make his season debut tomorrow night.
Cedar Rapids Kernels 10, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2
The story of the spring in the upper Midwest has been the cold weather. The Kernels opened in a cool, but seasonable, weekend in Cedar Rapids. Today, they headed north to Appleton, WI.
Early this afternoon, first baseman DJ Hicks tweeted, “You know it’s cold when teammates are buying gloves and head masks for a game.”
Shortstop Niko Goodrum later tweeted that on his way to the game he saw a frozen lake… for the first time in his life.
Once the game started, in mid-30s “heat”, the story, again, was the Kernels. After jumping out to a 6-0 lead, the Kernels were able to coast to a 10-2 win.
Another stellar pitching performance tonight, this time from David Hurlbut left Cedar Rapids in good shape. Hurlbut pitched six innings (70 pitches, 49 strikes) allowing three hits and two runs (a 2-run home run). He struck out five.
Tyler Jones pitched two innings out of the bullpen, striking out two. Jones has been phenomenal. In 5.1 innings this year, he’s struck out eight and allowed zero hits.
Chris Mazza closed out the game by striking out the side. He walked a batter and allowed an infield hit.
The lineup added plenty of run support. All of the starters (besides catcher Jairo Rodriguez) recorded a hit. Seven of the nine batters scored.
Byron Buxton hit his second home run of the season and drove in three runs, though he did prove human and strike out three times.
DJ Hicks improved to .389 with two hits (a double). Adam Walker, back in his home state, drove in four runs on two hits (including a double). Travis Harrison hit his first home run.
JD Williams showed his speed reaching base three times and stealing two bases. He was caught stealing once, but it brought Jake Mauer out to argue and sounded on the radio like it was a questionable call.
(If you haven’t, listen to a Kernels baseball game on kmryradio.com. It’s fantastic. Broadcaster Morgan Hawk does a great job.)
Tomorrow, Brett Lee will make his first start of the season. He picked up the win in Friday’s walk-off victory over Beloit. He wasn’t scheduled to pitch, but was needed due to the short bullpen that has since been added to.