Portland won 11-6 over Sacramento (A’s)
Last season, Mike Thompson debuted in Portland with a one-hitter over seven. This year, his debut was nearly as good. The righty, who allowed three hits and two walks over six shutout frames, was pulled after racking up 77 pitches. It is the third time in ten starts of Pacific Coast League (PCL) play that he has given up three hits or fewer.
Jack Cust homered for the second night in a row, his only hit of the day. This is the fourth year of PCL action for Cust and he has averaged 23 homers per season. He has hit 163 homers in 953 career minor league games.
Justin Leone had a perfect night – he went 3-for-3 with two walks, a double, homer and three RBI’s. Leone tore it up in spring training, hitting .333 with eight of his 15 hits going for extra bases.
Aquilino Lopez made his debut with the Portland squad after being acquired for Matt Thayer and Trey Johnston from the Phillies. Things didn’t go so well for the righty. He served up three bombs in a span of five batters. Although he has pitched in 250 major league games, it is a feat that had never happened before.
Mobile won 2-0 over Carolina (Marlins)
Jared Wells was lights-out over five frames on Friday, yielding just two hits and a walk while whiffing eight. Wells, the reigning San Diego Padres and MadFriars.com Pitcher of the Year, pitched in seven games for Mobile in 2005, allowing seven or more hits in all but one game as the opposition hit .307 off him. Wells did not have a great spring but was called a “big-game pitcher” by pitching coach Dave Rajsich.
Dale Thayer had 14 straight scoreless outings to end the 2005 season, a span of 15 innings, and he has added two more innings to that tally this season while notching saves in each of the first two games. Things have not been easy, however. Thayer, originally ticketed to Portland to begin the season, loaded the bases in his first outing and allowed an inherited runner to score before closing the game out on Friday. Thayer recorded 27 saves last year to lead the Southern League.
Luis Cruz went 1-for-3 with a walk, giving him three hits in two games. That matches his 13-game total to begin the 2005 season with Mobile, when he came out of the gate with three hits in his first 43 at bats. Cruz played shortstop last year for Mobile but moved to second base and even played some third base when he was loaned to Mexico for much of the year. He is the starting second baseman this season.
Lake Elsinore won 3-1 over Lancaster (D-Backs)
Evan Meek made his system debut on Friday, giving up one run on four hits and two walks while striking out five over five innings of work. Meek, who walked 36 batters in 18 frames last year before he was released from the Twins organization, did hit two batters and also added a balk, but it was the first time since 2004 that he struck out more batters than he walked.
Chase Headley’s double in the eighth inning, his first hit as a member of the Cal League, netted the first win of the season for the Storm. The third baseman played in just four games for the Wizards last year but did log 57 games with the Eugene Emeralds. He is 1-for-8 this year through two games and 1-for-6 with runners on base.
After leading the Midwest League in saves with 34, Matt Varner closed the door for the Storm on Friday for his first save of the year. He allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base – a rarity when Varner comes to the mound. Varner allowed just seven leadoff batters out of 48 to reach base at the start of an inning.
Fort Wayne’s game was postponed