Triple-A Tucson downs Fresno 4-3
After a strong spring in the big league camp, Casey Kelly’s Triple-A debut was solid. The righty gave up three runs over six innings, striking out five and avoiding any free passes. He yielded seven hits, but only one went for extra bases. He induced eight groundouts on the night as well. If he can keep the ball on the ground in the desert parks of the PCL, look for a strong year from the 22-year-old.
Yasmani Grandal and James Darnell each had a pair of hits to lead the Padres. Grandal had his second double in as many nights to drive in Tucson’s first run of the night, then came around one out later when Darnell lined a ball just out of the second baseman’s reach.
Double-A San Antonio beat Tulsa 5-1
In an abbreviated first appearance, MadFriars' 2011 pitcher of the year Keyvius Sampson worked four innings, giving up just one run while recording six strikeouts. Through his first three innings, Sampson allowed just one walk. All three hits came in his final frame, but a caught stealing helped him contain the damage to only one run on a double to left.
Reymond Fuentes led the Missions at the plate, going 3-for-3 and adding a walk. During the Missions’ four-run sixth, Fuentes capped the scoring, managing to knock in a pair with an infield single. The 21-year-old center fielder drew a walk in his first plate appearance, but was picked off first a night after he was caught stealing the first time he reached. Through two games, he has four singles in six at-bats.
After a stellar year in 2011, the Missions bullpen once again shut down the opposition Friday. Ryan Kelly, Erik Hamren and Miles Mikolas worked five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit between them.
Single-A Lake Elsinore tops Ports 5-1
Righty Matt Jackson picked up where he left off in Fort Wayne last year, giving up only one unearned run over five innings as he helped the Storm to their first win of the year. The 24-year-old emerged for the Tincaps last season after two fairly undistinguished seasons in the low minors as a 31st-round selection from South Alabama. In his first action of 2012, the big righty struck out eight and didn’t issue a walk, continuing the theme from last year.
The Storm offense only managed five singles against highly-regarded Oakland prospect A.J. Cole, but used some good situational hitting and a generous Ports defense to push five runs across in the second inning. Everett Williams and Rymer Liriano both had sacrifice flies, Cory Spangenberg had a sacrifice bunt and the Ports committed a pair of errors and allowed a flare to shortstop to drop in for a hit to help the Storm. The final run of the frame came on a single by Luis Domoromo, the only storm hitter who managed more than one hit on the night.
Reliever Kevin Quackenbush worked a scoreless ninth, but didn’t get a save because of the four run lead. The 23-year-old righty struck out one in his season debut.
Low-A Ft. Wayne defeated Lake County 9-3
The Tincaps rode a balanced offensive attack to a win in a sloppy early-season Midwest League game which featured seven errors, 13 walks, three wild pitches and a pair of hit batters.
Jace Peterson paced the offense with a 3-for-5 night that included a double and three runs scored. The 21-year-old 2011 supplemental pick led off for the second consecutive night, teaming with Donavane Tate to set the table at the top of the lineup. While he has consistently received plaudits for his quick development since signing last June and turning his attention full-time to baseball, the shortstop also committed an error for the second straight night.
Working in relief of Adys Portillo, who had a typical outing with four strikeouts and three walks in four innings, 2010 bonus baby John Barbato picked up the win. The righty struck out five hitters and gave up two free passes in his two innings of work, giving up one unearned run in the process. Still just 19 years old, the righty from Miami will have his workload managed through the season.
Casey McElroy, slotting in at third base for the night, had a creative line. Although he had five plate appearances, he collected only one official at-bat. He managed to log a walk, sacrifice fly, sac bunt and hit batter in his other chances. He had a rough debut at the hot corner. On his first chance, burner Francisco Lindor beat out a chopper to him for a single. When the next hitter came his way too, McElroy threw the ball away.