Friday, June 20, 2008

TWINs open 2008 season with a WIN

GCL Twins

GCL Pirates 2 at GCL Twins 3

W: S. Blevins (1-0, 0.00); L: J. Charry (0-1, 5.40)
HR: None.

There was lots of rain Thursday morning and their was lots of kitty litter tossed on the diamond to get it going. You know those big industrial sized bags of the stuff? The ones my cat dreams about late at night?

But the Miracle field crew is composed of a bunch of magicians and despite what looked like it was going to be unplayable field conditions, the game got underway and right on time.

Martire Garcia took the start for the GCL Twins, who saw the Pirates get on the board first. On a full count, Anderson Chourio hit a fly ball out to right to open the proceedings. Following a strike out to Edwin Roman, Chourio would steal 2nd. Edward Garcia singled to move Chourio to 3rd. Pirates 35th round draft pick Kyle Morgan would be taken out on strikes before Chourio would steal home.

The Twins tied up the game in the bottom of the third. Anderson Hidalgo would reach on a throwing error by the Pirates Carlos Silva. Lead off man Herbert Lara would ground into a force out that took Hidalgo out at 2nd. Following a ground out to Juan Sanchez, fourth round draftee Danny Ortiz would triple to drive in Lara.

The bottom of the 4th would see Tim Atherton reach on a fielding error by Chourio with 2 outs on the board. Reggie Williams then tripled out to right to plate him.

The Pirates would out hit the Twins 12-5 with Garcia allowing the one run on half that total - six hits - while fanning four over 4 innings.

Aussie Elliott Biddle would make his North American professional debut for the Twins in the fifth. The righty allowed a single to Chourio, but got Garcia and Morgan to ground out to retire the side.

He did not fare so well in the top of the sixth however, with Mendez opening with a double. Craig Parry would fly out before Andury Acevedo bunted Mendez to 3rd. Alex Vargas singled out to left to plate Mendez before Biddle could get Silva to fly out and Chourio to ground into a force out to send the Pirates back to the dugout.

Mauro Schiavoni would take over for the seventh inning on the mound and pitched quite well. In the eighth, Acevedo's ground ball single would slam into him, bowling him over on the mound. After a brief break during which he was checked, he'd be forced to leave the game with bruised right hand. Poor little Schia-pet! Steve Blevins, who had been warming up in the bullpen, would take over a little earlier than planned. He would allow a double to Vargas and and hit Silva with a pitch, but get both Chourio and Roman out on strikes to end the threat.

There was another break during the inning when a ball fouled back off the end of a Pirates bat and into the Miracle dugout, slamming into Javier Brown's face. The rookie infielder would be helped out to the dugout, according to later reports, he has a nice bloodmouse on the side of his face, but nothing is broken. He will miss several games, but is otherwise okay.

Pirate Jorge Cherry would allow a walk to Twins 2nd rounder Tyler Ladendorf in the bottom of the stanza. Blevins returned to the mound for the top of the 9th, going 3 up and 3 down.

Tim Atherton would ground out to start the bottom of the 9th, but Reggie Williams doubled. Twins field manager Jake Mauer would put Jakub Hajtmar in as a pinch runner for Williams. Hidalego would line out to right, which brought us back to the top of the order.

The Twins have had a lot of success with Latin American lead off men in the past with Jeanfred Brito in 2007 and Esterlin De Los Santos in 2006. This year's lead off man is no different. Lara hit a nice little fly ball over the head of Pirates' 1st baseman Alex Vargas to drive in Hajtmar, winning the opening game of the 2008 GCL Twins season!

Williams was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple and a run scored. Lara was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks, a run and a run scored. Ortiz would go 1-for-4 at the plate with a triple and a run batted in, while Aussie outfielder Atherton was 1-for-4 with a double and a run.

The Twins play their next two on the road in Sarasota, facing the Orioles on Friday at Noon and the Reds on Saturday at 10:00 AM. They return home on Sunday for a noon contest against the GCL Red Sox.

Pirates farm report
Herald Tribune
Sandlot Swashbucklers Blog
Josh's Thoughts Blog

As a matter of expediency, I have posted the 2008 roster as a .jpg and will put it into html as soon as I get a chance. There are also well over 100 pictures coming of the game, so hang tight.

The Twins got new unis - they were so new they still had the little holographic stickers on them. They look sharp!

DSL Indians 2 at DSL Twins 9

W: P. Guerra (2-0, 3.32); L: J. Campos (0-1, 6.35)
HR: None.

The DSL Twins love these big wins at home, this time blowing out the DSL Indians with a 3 runs 2nd inning and a 4 run 4th inning.

Willy Gil was 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple, a walk, and a pair of runs. Juan Blanco was 3-for-4 with a triple, a run, and 2 runs score while catcher Rafael Sanchez was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a pair of runs, plus a run batted in.

Pedro Guerra worked six innings for the DSL Twins, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4.


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