Fresno Grizzlies 11, Las Vegas 51s 7
In the 51s home opener, Brett Lawrie hit a double and two singles while scoring three runs — including one on a fielding error in the 3rd inning — upping his average to .462 on the season. Outfielder Eric Thames looked great yet again; going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a HBP, and David Cooper added a pair of RBI singles and a walk. It was also a nice day for Canadian Adam Loewen, who went 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks.
Starter Willie Collazo was effective on the mound, allowing just six hits and 2 runs, both of which were earned, in five innings of work to go along with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. His only real bad inning was the third where, after getting the first two batters out, the next four batters went walk, single, walk, single before a caught stealing ended the inning.
Like the Jays the other night in Seattle, the bullpen was the issue on this night, where Josh Roenicke, Winston Abreu, and Mike Hinckley all allowed at least one earned run in their appearances. The real story of the night was Rommie Lewis, who came into the 9th inning with the 51s clinging to a 7-6 lead, who was charged with four earned runs on one hit and three walks.
- Collazo managed to pick off Emmanuel Burriss in the first inning, erasing Buriss’ leadoff single to start the game
- Lawrie committed a fielding error in the 4th inning, bringing his total to 5 in 9 games with the 51s this season
- Thames’ work on outfield defense with Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo in Spring Training showed, as he logged his second outfield assist of the season, throwing out Brett Pill in the 4th trying to extend a single into a double
There wasn’t a lot of offense from either team in this tilt, and the Fisher Cats were held scoreless for eight innings until Adam Calderone – after the Mets scored the only run of the game to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 8th – hit a 2-run home run to put the Fisher Cats up 2-1 in the top of the 9th. Moises Sierra went 2-for-4, and Adeiny Hechavarria, Jonathan Diaz, and Mike McDade each added a hit.
Fisher Cats starter Chad Beck was absolutely fantastic in this game, allowing just two hits: a leadoff single in the 1st inning and a solo home run in the 8th. Beck’s line of 8IP, 2H, 1 ER, and 5 K helped lower his season ERA to a tidy 1.13.
- Catcher Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a walk, bringing his season average down to .077, and did not hit a ball out of the infield, as he popped out twice and grounded out. D’Arnaud now has just two hits — a single and a double — in 26 at-bats this season.
- Anthony Gose, hitting third, was also held hitless with one walk. Through 9 games with the Fisher Cats, Gose is hitting .194/.237/.194.
- Moises Sierra swiped second base in the 5th inning, his third stolen base of the season
Outfielder Kevin Glenn continued his hot start to the season, going 2-for-4 in the cleanup spot with a double and 2 RBIs. Shortstop Ryan Goins had almost an identical line, also going 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Kenny Wilson did a good job in this game too, getting hit by a pitch in the 3rd inning, stealing second, and eventually scoring. Wilson also singled in the 6th and later stole his second base of the game.
Compensation first-round pick Asher Wojciechowski made his second start of the season and allowed only 4 hits, but was charged with 4 runs. Only 1 of these was earned, though, as a result of Wojo’s throwing error in the 4th inning. He also walked 2, struck out 4, and allowed 2 home runs. Rehabbing righty Frank Francisco pitched his first scoreless outing, striking out 3 and walking one in 1.1 innings of work. Organizational Reliever of the Year Frank Gailey took the loss in this one, allowing 2 earned runs – despite 3 strikeouts – also in 1.1 innings of work. Wes Etheridge came in to get the last two outs of the game.
- The D-Jays could have been better on the base paths in this one, getting caught twice in their four attempts
- Leadoff hitter Brad McElroy was a great table setter, drawing four walks at the top of the lineup
After their season-opening series was postponed due to unplayable conditions at their stadium, the Lugnuts finally got to play their home opener and made the most of it, downing the Dayton Dragons 8-6.
Oliver Dominguez went 3-for-4 with a double, which was actually the Lugnuts’ only extra base hit of the game, and Carlos Perez continued to rake, also going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Jake Marisnick hit a two-run single in the 4th, and Michael Crouse had an efficient night at the plate going 1-for-2 with 2 walks. Leadoff man Markus Brisker went 2-for-4 with a walk, and K.C. Hobson and Canadian Marcus Knecht each added a single.
With Gustavo Pierre, Balbino Fuenmayor, and Dominguez all making fielding errors in the game, starter Misaul Diaz was charged with 6 runs in 4.1 innings, but only 2 were earned. He struck out five but struggled with his command, walking four. The bullpen did very well, as Sam Strickland — who allowed 2 of his 3 inherited runners to score — came in and pitched 2.2 shutout innings, Clint Barnes came in and struck out the side in the 8th, and Steve Turnbull pitched a perfect 9th to notch his fourth consecutive save.
- Carlos Perez didn’t just do it at the plate in this game, as his defense was stellar as well. On top of throwing out Jefry Sierra trying to steal in the 3rd, Perez was actually able to pick off Devin Lohman at second base in the 2nd inning as well
- Michael Crouse doubled his stolen base season total in this one, swiping second base twice after his walks in the 3rd and 5th. Crouse hasn’t been caught stealing yet this season.
- Not only did the Lugnuts go 8-for-15 with runners in scoring position, but 5 of the 8 runs they cashed in came with 2 outs. Good stuff.
Overall, there are so many exciting story lines in the Jays’ minor league system this year, that I encourage everyone to start keeping tabs on the minor league affiliates if they’re not already, and keep it locked on Jays Journal for all updates on the future Jays!