Richmond's Wes Timmons makes it back to second safely after attempting to steal third during Thursday's game against the Rochester Red Wings at the Diamond. Rochester's Howie Clark missed the ball and Timmons stole third on the same play.
(Eva Russo / Times-Dispatch)
W: R. Barrett (1-0, 0.00); L: D. Moss (0-1, 20.25)
E: Perkins (1, pickoff).
From redwingsbaseball.com: Garrett Jones had three hits, scored three times and drove in a pair of runs, as the Red Wings came from behind three different times en route to an 9-5 Opening Day victory Thursday over the Richmond Braves. It was Rochester's fifth straight season with an Opening Day win, and it came at the expense of the defending Governors' Cup champion Braves - who were playing their final opener in Richmond.
The game started late due to wet weather in Richmond during the day, and it was 4:27 PM EDT when Denard Span took a called strike from Buddy Carlyle to officially open the 2008 season. Carlyle got three quick outs, then watched his teammates parlay a walk and two singles into a 1-0 Richmond lead against Rochester starter Glen Perkins.
The Wings quickly came back to tie the score in the top of the second. Jones doubled into the right field corner to open the frame, and moved to third on a ground ball out by Brian Buscher. Randy Ruiz followed with an RBI single to plate Jones and make it a 1-1 game.
Playing through light rain that seemed to affect the pitchers more than the fielders, the Braves regained the lead in the second inning. Perkins hurt his cause with a pair of walks, a throwing error and an balk which brought in Wes Timmons. In the third inning, Jason Pridie led off with a double, moved to third on a passed ball then scored to tie the score again when Carlyle was charged with a balk.
Ruiz put the Wings in front in the fourth, clubbing a double to bring in Jones after Jones walked, then stole second base.
Perkins' day was over after just three innings, after allowing four hits and two runs (one earned), while walking five and striking out four. Casey Daigle (1 2/3 innings) and Mariano Gomez followed Perkins on the mound for the Wings. Gomez struck out Joe Thorman to end the fifth inning, then gave way to Julio DePaula after walking J.C. Holt to start the sixth. Richmond worked an ineffective DePaula and put together a three-run rally, which included DePaula walking one batter, and hitting another. Heath Totten issued a game-tying, bases loaded walk to Brandon Jones; Barbaro Canizares then knocked in a pair with a hit off Totten, putting the R-Braves up 5-3.
Wings reliever Ricky Barrett was sharp, keeping the game close while stifling the Braves over two innings. Barrett (1-0), who allowed one hit and struck out two, got the win for his effort when Rochester made the most of a one-out, eighth inning rally against Damian Moss (0-1). Span started the rally with a single, his second of the day. Alexi Casilla followed with a hit, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Jose Morales drew a walk to load the bases, setting up an RBI single by Jones. Thorman's two-run throwing error on a ball hit by Buscher allowed the Wings to go ahead, and Howie Clark added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly that brought Jones home.
Rochester pieced together four more hits and took advantage of another Richmond error to add a pair in the ninth, highlighted by Jones' third hit and second RBI of the game.
Bobby Korecky, who led the league in saves with 35 while setting a team single season record in 2007, pitched the ninth inning in a non-save situation and faced three batters. Korecky struck out Canizares (three hits, three RBI) and allowed a single to Joe Borchard, then started a game-ending double play on a ball hit by Thorman.
NOTES: After allowing the fewest walks in the league (331) in 2007, Rochester pitchers issued eight walks in the 2008 season opener... The Atlanta Braves, owners of the Richmond franchise, are moving the club to the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett for 2009; Thursday was the start of the 43rd and final Triple-A season for the Braves in Richmond.... The winningest franchise in International League history, Rochester is now 8,841-8,401 since joining the league in 1885, the IL’s second season. Rochester played in the IL from 1885 through 1889 and in 1891 and 1892 before re-joining the league for good in 1895. Rochester’s 10 Governors’ Cup titles represent a league-record as well....14 of the 24 players on the Red Wings' Opening Day roster have appeared in the Major Leagues (9 position players and 5 pitchers). Eight of those players have enjoyed Big League time with the Twins......Rochester hasn’t spent a day under .500 the last two seasons. In fact, the Red Wings haven’t been below .500 since June 18, 2005 when they had a 34-35 record (span of 362 games) ....23 of the 24 players on the Red Wings 2008 Opening Day roster have Triple-A experience. Only Gomez had never played above Double-A before Thursday, and Gomez made his Triple-A debut in the game. In addition, 15 of the 24 players played for the Red Wings last season....The 2008 season is Clark’s fifth season with the Red Wings (1998-2000, 2002 & 2008). Clark joins outfielder Josh Rabe (2003-2007) as the only two players to play five seasons in a Red Wings uniform since catcher Floyd Rayford in 1980-84, 1986 & 1987....
The Angels beat the Twins 5-4 at the Metrodome Thursday afternoon. Kevin Slowey left the game with a right biceps strain, and will be re-evaluated Friday...OF Carlos Gomez has hit safely in each of the Twins four games…he is hitting .375 (6-16) on the season thus far...Jason Kubel homered in the eighth inning, Minnesota's first home run of the young season...Other Opening Day starting pitchers for Twins farm clubs Thursday: Double-A New Britain, LHP Ryan Mullins...Class A Advanced Ft. Myers: LHP Francisco Liriano...Class A Beloit: RHP Mike McCardell...You can listen to Liriano's start for Ft. Myers at MiracleBaseball.com. Liriano is scheduled to start for the Red Wings Tuesday in Norfolk before rejoining the Twins, regardless of Slowey's status.
(Not what I heard. I heard if Slowey was put on the DL, Frankie would go directly to Minnesota.)
Portland 3 at New Britain 0
MATT MOSES squares up a pitch from Justin Masterson, lining a two-out double in the fourth inning. It was the Rock Cats' only hit off Masterson to reach the outfield.
(STEPHEN DUNN / April 3, 2008)
W: J. Vaquedano (1-0, 0.00); L: A. Gabino (0-1, 9.00); SV: B. Vaughan (1)
From rockcats.com: The season got off to an interesting start with a power failure that delayed the game. Once play resumed, it was the pitchers who threw lights out. Portland used a late-game surge to down the Rock Cats, 3-0 in the 2008 season opener at New Britain Stadium.
Rock Cats starter Ryan Mullins delivered five shutout innings. Mullins limited the Sea Dogs to two hits while striking out three. Zach Ward threw one scoreless inning in his Double-A debut and Jason Miller added another shutout inning of relief.
Justin Masterson, the Red Sox’ number four prospect, threw four shutout innings in his 2008 debut. Masterson allowed three hits while walking none and striking out three.
It wasn’t until the top of the eighth when Portland struck first with an RBI single by Sean Danielson that put the Sea Dogs ahead, 1-0. Rock Cats’ reliever Armando Gabino (0-1), who didn’t allow an earned run in his 16 innings of work with the Rock Cats last season, allowed the run.
The Sea Dogs added two more runs in the ninth. Jay Johnson had an RBI double and Iggy Suarez (3-for-4) knocked him in with a single. Ben Julianel allowed the runs in the ninth in his Rock Cats’ debut. Portland’s Jose Vaquedano (1-0) picked up the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Beau Vaughan notched the save.
For the Rock Cats, catcher Drew Butera had two hits.
Sarasota Reds 8 at Fort Myers Miracle 6
W: J. Smith (1-0, 3.60); L: F. Liriano (0-1, 6.75)
HR: SAR: C. Valaika (1). FTM: W. Ramos (1), D. Valencia (1).
E: Liriano (1, throw).
Francisco Liriano gave us a chance to win the game, but sloppy fielding by the Miracle and a poor performance by Cole Devries did the team in. Late in heroics by Danny Valencia made the score look a lot more respectable than it should have been.
Valencia took a two out walk in the first and then Wilson Ramos put one over the left field wall to give the Miracle an early lead. The Reds answered back though with Jan Francisco doubling, then coming home on a throwing error by Liriano. Drew Stubbs added a second after drawing a walk, then coming home on a sac-fly.
Yancarlos Ortiz walked, moved to second on a throwing error, then to 3rd on a Brian Dinkleman single. He'd come home on Valencia's sac-fly to give the Miracle the lead again, which would stand until a tired Lirano was pulled from the mound in the sixth.
Francisco doubled again in the sixth and Stubbs singled before Devries was brought in. With Chris Heisey at the plat, Francisco stole home after Ramos threw the ball to the left of second base, which also allowed Stubbs a steal. Much as I like Ramos power, his defensive skills leave something to be desired, even for the FSL level. Heisey singled in Stubs then stole 2nd, but Devries got Jason Louwsma to fly out to center to end the inning.
Chris Valaika homered in the 7th to add two more to the Sara total, before a Francisco double, a Stubbs walk and a Heisey double led to two more. Jose Lugo was finally brought in, as Devries confidence was shot at the point.
With most of the crowd gone, Whit Robbins drew a walk of Sean Watson, but Dinkleman hit into a ground out. With 2 outs Juan Portes drew another walk. Valencia then went yard over the left field wall.
Terry Ryan, Rob Antony, and Jim Rantz were all in attendance to watch Liriano throw. Antony said they were flying out today. Lots of injured guys in the stands including Kyle Waldrop, Errol Simonitsch, and Alejandro Machado.
The two teams rematch tomorrow for a Fireworks game. Tickets are available for free at Dunkin' Donuts.
Answers to questions that were plaguing us: Zack Ward is being used in a relief role in New Britain, which explains his promotion.
The Twins Released RHP Adam Hawes, Landon Jacobsen, Dan Leatherman, and Caleb Moore; LHP Kevin Fox, Sean Land and Randy Keisler; C David Hernandez, Korey Feiner and Kyle Geiger; and OF Kevin Harrington.
The new lighting is nice for picture taking, but it makes the scoreboard virtually unreadable.
Kane County at Beloit
Postponed - Rain
Tonight’s game between the Beloit Snappers and Kane County Cougars has been postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, April 5th at 2:00pm. Both games will be seven innings long with a half hour break in between.