On an off day for Toronto, the minor league clubs came through with three wins in four games. The bats did a lot of damage and while some of the pitchers had decent days, none of the starters were particularly stellar.
The Buffalo Bisons lost a tight game 4-3 to the Pawtucket Red Sox with Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks rehabbing and squandered a solid but unspectacular start by Marcus Stroman. Stroman threw 5 1/3 innings, giving up all four runs (three were earned) on 10 hits but no walks and he struck out five. He was supported by home runs by Steven Tolleson and Dan Johnson and Chris Getz had a pair of hits.
Player of the Game: Dan Johnson
It took 14 innings but the New Hampshire Fisher Cats got the job done against another “Cat,” the New Britain Rock Cats. Scott Copeland was on the mound to start and gave up four runs on nine hits (including a home run) and a walk over 4 2/3 innings. The bullpen had some yeoman’s work to do, holding the Rock Cats off the board for another 9 1/3 innings including 2 1/3 from John Anderson, two from Tyler Ybarra, three from Tony Davis and one each from Scott Gracey and Gregory Infante. The offense took advantage of some bad defense to score three runs in the top of the 14th and the two biggest stars were Brad Glenn who drove in three runs on two home runs and a single (and a sac fly) and Jon Berti who had four hits (including two doubles). Kenny Wilson went 2/7 with a double and a stolen base while Ryan Schimpf stays hot, going 2/5 with two doubles and two walks.
Player of the Game: Brad Glenn
The Dunedin Blue Jays picked up a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning and hung on to beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers 5-3. Taylor Cole had another strong start (6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 9 K) and the bullpen picked him up with four scoreless innings. Toronto’s Marcus Knecht drove in both Dwight Smith and Dalton Pompey with a double in the 10th inning to give the D-Jays their 14th victory of the year. Knecht added another hit while Smith and Emilio Guerrero (a double and a single) had two hits each. Dalton Pompey was on base four times with three hits and a walk and stole his ninth base of the season.
Player of the Game: Dalton Pompey and Marcus Knecht
The Lansing Lugnuts pulled out a 7-6 victory over the Lake County Captains, overcoming some pretty poor outings from their pitching tandem of Alberto Tirado and Jairo Labourt. Tirado allowed seven base runners in three innings but only two came in to score (one run was earned). Labourt started the fourth inning and was charged with four runs (two were unearned) but only pitched to five batters, surrendering two hits and two walks before he left the game. Roberto Espinosa allowed the two runners he inherited from Labourt to score but was good after that, striking out five in 2 2/3 innings. Griffin Murphy earned the win with two scoreless innings before Scott Silverstein picked up the save for one inning. The offense was clicking fairly well with two hits from Dickie Thon (1B, 2B), Matthew Dean (2B, 3B), Mitch Nay (1B, 2B, 3 RBI), Derrick Loveless (2 1B, RBI), Santiago Nessy (1B, 2B, 2 RBI) and Jason Leblebijian (2 2B, RBI). The only three players without hits are all struggling a bit: D.J. Davis was 0/5 (.250), Dawel Lugo (.184) and Carlos Ramirez (.154).
Player of the Game: Mitch Nay and Santiago Nessy
April 22 Preview
Buffalo Bisons (9-7)
The Buffalo Bisons’ road trip continues as they head to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to face the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate Rail Riders. Lefty Ricky Romero (0-0, 3.60 ERA) takes on 35-year-old Brian Gordon. Ricky’s respectable ERA doesn’t reflect the fact that he’s walked eight batters in 10 innings with just six strikeouts and so Romero looks to build on his last performance (6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 2K) and keep the Rail Riders at bay.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (6-9)
The Fisher Cats play game two of their series against Minnesota’s Double-A affiliate, the New Britain Rock Cats. They send Casey Lawrence (1-0, 1.72 ERA) against Virgin Vasquez (as was reported by the Rock Cats’ TV commentator) . Lawrence makes his second start for the Fisher Cats, and has thrown 15 2/3 innings with just three runs against (on 16 hits and 3 walks) with 10 strikeouts.
Dunedin Blue Jays (14-3)
The Dunedin club, now 11 games over .500 continue their series against Lakeland by sending Ben White up against 20-year-old Jake Thompson, the Tigers’ #4 prospect according to MLB.com. The Jays will have their work cut out for them as Thompson has been outstanding so far this season, allowing just one run in 18 2/3 innings with just 10 hits, five walks and 17 strikeouts. White has made two starts, throwing 9 2/3 innings with a 2.79 ERA, allowing three runs on 12 hits and four walks with five strikeouts.
Lansing Lugnuts (5-11)
Lansing remains at home to Lake County (Cleveland’s Class-A affiliate) and sends Jeremy Gabryszwski (0-2, 5.17 ERA) to the hill to face Caleb Hamrick. Hamrick has gotten shelled this year and Gabryszwski has fared somewhat better. The 21-year-old Lugnut has walked a few more than has been characteristic of his career and he’s been hit fairly hard but he could be in for better days against the Captains.
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