AAA Louisville Bats

Opening Day Roster: Pitchers: Jon Adkins, Jose Arredondo (DL), Bill Bray (DL), Jared Burton, Aroldis Chapman, Enerio Del Rosario, Carlos Fisher, Ben Jukich, Joseph Krebs, Sam LeCure, Justin Lehr, Matt Maloney, Chad Reineke, Lee Tabor, Pedro Viola, Travis Wood, Terrell Young
Catchers: Wilkin Castillo, Corky Miller
Infielders: Chris Burke, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier (wll play a lot of LF), Michael Griffin, Drew Sutton, Chris Valaika
Outfielders: Josh Anderson, Danny Dorn, Chris Heisey, Luis Terrero

Record this week: 3-4.

4/8: Bats kick off their 2010 season in Toledo to face the Mud Hens (DET)! Righty Sam Lecure (10-8, 4.46 in 25 GS in 2009) opposed righty and former Tampa Bay and Oakland reliever Ruddy Lugo (13-9, 4.07 in 25 GS in 2009). And the game was as even as that matchup through three- but with one out in the fourth, LF Todd Frazier singled and 1B Danny Dorn followed with a two-run homer! Lecure began the fourth by walking the leadoff man, but two quick outs followed by C Corky Miller gunning down the runner stealing ended that threat. 2B Chris Valaika led off the top of 5 with his second straight hit. Miller stepped up… and smashed a two-run homer to left-center! 4-0, Louisville. Two outs later RF Chris Heisey whacked a double off the LCF fence, chasing Lugo. Out came lefty Daniel Schlereth, who’d come over from Arizona in the trade that made Max Scherzer a Tiger and Edwin Jackson a Diamondback. Strange move, considering the right-handed Frazier was coming up- and Todd made the Hens pay with a line-drive double down the right-field line (5-0 Bats). Toledo put its first two batters aboard in their half of the fifth, but Sam bounced back to induce a fly to short right and a strikeout looking. An infield single loaded the bases with two out. But Lecure got out of the inning with shutout intact via a second-pitch flyout to left. The Hens finally dirtied Lecure’s line in the sixth, as LF Ryan Strieby and 1B Jeff Larish began that frame with back-to-back homers. On came Enerio Del Rosario, and he’d give up one more run on a double and a pair of groundouts. From there, though, the Bats ‘pen shut the bad guys down for the final three- Pedro Viola (1 IP, 1 K), Chad Reineke (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Jon Adkins (save #1, 1 IP, 1 K). Nice start for Heisey, Dorn, Frazier, and Valaika- each had a pair of hits. Lecure was excellent until hitting the sixth-inning wall (W 1-0, 3.60, 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR).

4/9: A familiar face opposing Travis Wood and the Bats tonight- ex-Red Phil Dumatrait. The lefty, now 28, scuffled to overcome arm injuries in 2009 after spending all of 2008 in the majors (3-4, 5.26, 21 G, 11 GS, 78.2 IP). He didn’t win a game all year last year- 0-4, 4.50 between several minor-league levels, 0-2, 6.92 in 13 big-league games in relief. Pittsburgh cut him loose and here he is in the Detroit system. The Bats couldn’t dent the plate against him in the first after he issued a pair of walks- but he came back to get SS Zach Cozart to ground into a double play. Wood began impressively by whiffing the first five Hens he faced (Sure, Clete Thomas, Brent Dlugach, Brennan Boesch, Ryan Streiby, and Jeff Larish are not Ruth-Gehrig-Foxx-Simmons-Cronin, but still.) 3B Drew Sutton scratched a infield single with two out in the second and Valaika followed with a grounder into left for another hit. But C Wilkin Castillo ended the inning with a forceout grounder. Finally the Bats cracked the scoreboard in the third on a Todd Frazier RBI groundout. Boesch/Bench got his revenge on Travis in the bottom of the inning by flaring a RBI single with two outs to tie the score (Wood still got two more Ks, piling up eight total after three.) Two more runs came in for Louisville in the fourth following back-to-back doubles by Sutton and Valaika and a subsequent double-play grounder by RF Chris Burke. Toledo broke through in the bottom of 4, though, after Sutton’s fielding error with one out. Four of the next five batters collected hits, scoring four runs to give the Hens a 5-3 lead. Wood was replaced by Lee Tabor for the fifth (L 0-1, 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K). After Dumatrait also exited, the Bats couldn’t get much off his relief help. They plated just one more run- DH Luis Terrero doubled in Danny Dorn- and fell, 7-4. Tabor pitched three (3 H, 2 ER) and Carlos Fisher threw a scoreless eighth. Sutton did go 3-for-4 with a run scored, although the error was quite costly.

4/10: Matt Maloney is back in the Louisville starting rotation despite talk of a move to the bullpen. Not sure what else he has to prove by starting in AAA, but I’m sure Rick Sweet’s happy to have him; witness Maloney’s 5.2 innings of eight-strikeout, one-run ball in Louisville’s 7-1 win. Matt also kept the ball down, collecting just one fly-ball out of 17. Chad Reineke swept up the final 3.1 innings (1 H, 3 K) to earn the long save. Sutton continues to scorch the ball in the early going, pacing the Bats attack with another 3-for-4 (one of which was a solo homer). Miller doubled twice and scored twice and Cozart hit a two-run homer and RBI single.

4/11: Make it three of four! Cuban sensation Aroldis Chapman racked up 85 pitches in 4.2 innings, but he struck out nine, made 55 of those 85 strikes, and limited the Hens to one walk and one unearned run. Enerio Del Rosario entered in the fifth with the bases loaded and ended the inning, then went two more to get the W (2.1 IP, 1 H, 4 K) in the eventual 2-1 Louisville victory. Fisher again turned in a scoreless inning and Adkins got save #2. Cozart smashed three doubles and drove in one; Heisey hit a first-inning solo shot.

4/12: Righty Justin Lehr back to Batland to begin the long climb back to the big leagues. He started off in fine form, shutting out Columbus (CLE) on four hits and two walks through five innings. Louisville got a single run in the first when Danny Dorn poked the first of a pair of doubles to score LF Juan Francisco, who’d walked (!!!!). Other than that, though, Clippers starter Scott Lewis struck out ten Bats in the first six. Lehr hit Shelley Duncan leading off the bottom of 6, bringing up uber-prospect C Carlos Santana (.444, 4 HR in 18 AB). He worked the count full, then slapped a ground single to right to move Duncan to second. DH Wes Hodges doubled, tying the score at 1. That brought out Rick Sweet (Lehr: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) and subsequently righty Federico Baez. Baez gave up a sacrifice fly (2-1 Columbus) and then a walk to the next man. The #9 hitter followed with a two-run double to make it 4-1. Lee Tabor eventually got out of the inning, but not before uncorking a wild pitch that made it 5-1 Clippers. Tabor did well (1.1 IP, 2 K) and Jesus Delgado turned in a scoreless inning, but Louisville couldn’t muster anything else until the ninth, when Dorn hit a two-run homer off ex-Red Mike Gosling. Columbus wins, 5-3, and the Bats are held to three hits- all three by Mr. Dorn.

4/13: Sam Lecure looking to stretch out a little as the Bats close out this two-game series against the Clippers. Opposing him is Carlos Carrasco, acquired from Philadelphia along with starting Clipper SS Jason Donald from the Phillies in last summer’s Cliff Lee trade. Carrasco blew through the first, whiffing Heisey and Francisco, while Lecure served up leadoff singles to the first two Columbus batters. But Santana grounded into a 3-6-3 double play started by Sutton, playing 1B in this one. Duncan and Hodges walked, however, to load the bases. Finally Brian Buscher grounded out to end a messy but scoreless first. Dorn, following up on the night before where he had all three Bats hits, led off the second with his third home run of the young season! Lecure then made mincemeat of the weak third of the Clipper lineup in the bottom of the second, striking out two and getting the third man trying to bunt his way aboard. He’d lose his control again over the next two, though, and even though Columbus didn’t get any more runs off him he still couldn’t finish five innings before he hit the 85-pitch mark (4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 44 strikes). Again Chad Reineke came on to do strong work in middle relief (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1-0 inherited runners scored). In the seventh, a Carrasco throwing error on Chris Valaika’s sac-bunt attempt scored two and gave the Bats a 3-2 lead! But with Valaika at third and one out, nobody could get the insurance run home. Carlos Fisher went 1-2-3 in the seventh (1 IP, 1 K, still 0.00) and Del Rosario got a double play to escape the eighth (1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K). Trouble brewed against Jon Adkins in the bottom of the ninth, though, as Duncan laced a bases-loaded single to tie it up! Jon came back to get Hodges to ground into a 5-3 double play, the fourth of the night turned by the Bats, and we went to the tenth. Ex-Nationals reliever Saul Rivera set Louisville down with only a walk to Dorn, then on came Jesus Delgado for the bottom of the inning. Two outs, nobody on… and Columbus’ Chris Gimenez slammed a game-winning homer. 4-3, the Clippers take the game and the series.

4/14: Travis Wood back to the hill; will he pace himself better and still miss the bats? He started off fine against Indianapolis (PIT); the Indians did get single runs in the third and seventh. Wood left after 6.2 innings having allowed just two hits (L 0-2, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 97 pitches, 63 strikes). He got the loss in a 3-0 shutout because his lineup was stymied by Indy’s Brad Lincoln and Kevin Hart on just four hits. Two of those hits? By Travis himself. Geez.

Transactions & Notes: 4/10: RHR Jared Burton placed on the 7-day DL retro to 4/8 (thyroid testing). RHR Federico Baez added to the roster. 4/11: 3B-LF Juan Francisco demoted from Cincinnati; LHR Pedro Viola designated for assignment. 4/12: RHR Jesus Delgado promoted from Carolina. UT Mike Griffin sent down to the Mudcats. 4/14: OF Wladimir Balentien cleared waivers and was outrighted to Louisville.

AA Carolina Mudcats

Record this week: 4-2.

Opening Day Roster: Pitchers: Dallas Buck, Tom Cochran, Jesus Delgado, Jerry Gil, Daryl Harang, Matt Klinker, Joseph Krebs, Ruben Medina, Alexander Smit, Jordan Smith, Daryl Thompson, Phillippe Valiquette
Catchers: Chris Denove, Brandon Yarbrough
Infielders: Yonder Alonso (will be playing LF), Jose Castro, Eric Eymann, Jake Kahaulelio, Kris Negron, Logan Parker
Outfielders: Sean Danielson, Sean Henry, Carson Kainer, Denis Phipps

4/8: Lakota West graduate Matt Klinker showed his distaste for being back in Double-A to start the year in the best possible way- by dominating the Birmingham Barons (CHW) for five innings in a 4-2 Mudcats win. Two hits, no walks, and three strikeouts in just 53 pitches got Klinker the W. Jesus Delgado allowed one run in two innings, lefty Phil Valiquette whiffed three Barons in a row in the eighth, and Jordan Smith got the save by getting the winning run to ground to second (1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). DH Sean Henry, another player affected by the Bats’ talent logjam, slammed a two-run homer in the second and added a RBI grounder in the sixth. CF Denis Phipps, in his AA debut, had a single, double, and RBI in four trips. LF Yonder Alonso looked good as well- doubling and walking in four trips, scoring two runs, and stealing third base in the sixth (!).

4/9: 25-year-old righty Dallas Buck, ace of the 2006 NCAA Champion Oregon State Beavers, returned with a bang after missing most of 2008 with arm trouble (just 40.1 poor innings). He whizzed through six innings of three-hit, one-run ball in just 65 pitches, walking none and whiffing three in Carolina’s 11-3 rout. 3B Eric Eymann was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI and six teammates had two more hits apiece- with a lineup very light on power outside of Alonso, this team needs to hit for a strong batting average to score runs. Jerry Gil, reupped as a free agent, gave up two runs in the seventh, but lefty Joe Krebs (1 IP, 2 K) and righty Rafael Medina (1 IP, 2 BB) closed it out.

4/10: Make it three straight wins- the Mudcats got all their runs in the seventh, erasing a 2-0 deficit. C Chris Denove, 3B Jake Kahauleilo and RF Sean Danielson each collected RBIs. Starter Tom Cochran permitted just three hits in six innings (W, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 83 pitches, 51 strikes). Gil threw a scoreless seventh this time and Jesus Delgado and Jordan Smith (save #2) each turned in some zeroes as well.

4/11: This time the ‘cats built the early lead (three in the first, one in the second) and clung to it, running their record to 4-0 with a 4-1 victory. Daryl Thompson (4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 75 pitches, 45 strikes), Daryl Harang (3.2 IP, 0 H, 2 K) and Phil Valiquette (save #1, 1 IP) combined on a two-hitter. CF Denis Phipps drove in two of those three in the first with a bases-loaded single as Carolina got the job done on only six hits.

4/12: Lefty Alex Smit, resigned as a free agent in the offseason, made his 2010 debut as Carolina goes for the season-opening five-game sweep! He looked great in putting up zeroes through the first four as his teammates got an Eric Eymann RBI single in the first and a Phipps two-run double in the third. But it slowly unraveled from there. The Barons got single runs in the fifth and sixth, chasing Smit in favor of Krebs with one down in the 6th (5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 68 pitches, 45 strikes). Krebs and Medina were then popped for five more runs over the next two as Birmingham rallied to take it, 7-3. That’s the first loss of the year for the Mudcats.

4/13: Travel day. Remember the Southern League keeps its teams in lockstep five-game series to reduce travel expenses, so the entire league was off.

4/14: Second loss, as the Mudcats’ suspect lineup is whitewashed on three hits, 3-0, by Montgomery (TB). Matt Klinker fell to 1-1 through little fault of his own (5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 85 pitches, 55 strikes).

Transactions & Notes: Surprisingly, RHRs Ramon Geronimo and Josh Beal were let go just prior to Opening Day- along with RHR Zach Ward and RHS Luis Montano. 4/12: RHR Jesus Delgado up to Louisville; UT Mike Griffin down. 4/15: OF Carson Kainer released; RHR Sean Watson activated from the DL.

High-A Lynchburg Hillcats

Record this week: 3-3.

Opening Day Roster: Pitchers: Andrew Bowman, Bradley Boxberger, Matt Fairel, Justin Freeman, Scott Gaffney, Aguido Gonzalez, Jeremy Horst, Jordan Hotchkiss, Lance Janke, Jeff Jeffords, Curtis Partch, Mark Serrano (DL), Mace Thurman, Travis Webb
Catchers: Chris McMurray, Devin Mesoraco
Infielders: Alex Buchholz, Jose Gualdron, Carlos Mendez, Cody Puckett, Miguel Rojas, Neftali Soto
Outfielders: Kyle Day, Josh Fellhauer, Justin Reed, Dave Sappelt

4/8: Opening Day in Lynchburg kicked off with… a rainout. Blast!

4/9: Lefty Matt Fairel picked up where he left off in 2009 (dominating the MWL, then finishing in High-A), throwing 5.1 shutout innings (3 H, 3 BB, 2 K) in Lynchburg’s 3-1 win over Frederick (BAL). Mace Thurman worked the seventh for the save. C Devin Mesoraco was 2-for-2 with a walk, run scored, and RBI.

4/10: MAKEUP MADNESS! Thurman picked up his second save in as many games, getting a lineout to 1B Neftali Soto to end the seventh and strand two. Hillcats hang on, 4-3. They got all four of their runs in the third, one on LF Josh Fellhauer’s solo homer (he also went 2-for-3 with an assist at home in the second). Mesoraco (1-for-2, BB, R), Soto, and DH Kyle Day each drove in runs as well. Curtis Partch scattered seven hits over five (1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) to collect the win.

Game two saw a 1-1 deadlock going to extras (i.e. the eighth). Then this:

Frederick Top 8th
Pitcher Change: Aguido Gonzalez replaces Andrew Bowman.
Brian Ward pops out to second baseman Jose Gualdron.
Xavier Avery hit by pitch.
Kyle Hudson doubles (1) on a ground ball to left fielder Justin Reed. Xavier Avery to 3rd.
Aguido Gonzalez intentionally walks Jerome Hoes.
Joseph Mahoney doubles (1) on a fly ball to left fielder Justin Reed. Xavier Avery scores. Kyle Hudson scores. Jerome Hoes scores.
Bobby Stevens singles on a line drive to right fielder Josh Fellhauer. Joseph Mahoney scores.
Greg Miclat doubles (2) on a fly ball to left fielder Justin Reed. Bobby Stevens to 3rd.
Pitcher Change: Jeff Jeffords replaces Aguido Gonzalez.
Buck Britton out on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Josh Fellhauer. Bobby Stevens scores. Greg Miclat to 3rd.
Jason White walks.
Brian Ward doubles (1) on a fly ball to right fielder Josh Fellhauer. Greg Miclat scores. Jason White scores.
Xavier Avery doubles (1) on a line drive to left fielder Justin Reed. Brian Ward scores.
Kyle Hudson walks.
Jerome Hoes walks. Xavier Avery to 3rd. Kyle Hudson to 2nd.
Pitcher Change: Jordan Hotchkiss replaces Jeff Jeffords.
Joseph Mahoney grounds into a force out, fielded by third baseman Alex Buchholz. Kyle Hudson out at 3rd.

The Keys take it, 9-1. A very fine pro debut for Reds 2009 supplemental-first-rounder Brad Boxberger (5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K). Lefty Drew Bowman contributed two scoreless in relief. Aguido Gonzalez was charged with six earned in 0.1 IP for the defeat.

4/11: Frederick again gets the big inning late, scoring four in the top of the eighth to turn a 1-0 deficit into an eventual 4-1 win. This time it was righties Scott Gaffney (0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 3 BB) and Justin Freeman (1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). Starter Travis Webb worked four scoreless (4 H, 3 BB, 6 K) and Jordan Hotchkiss followed him with 2.2 more (3 H, 2 BB, 1 K). 2B Cody Puckett’s solo homer was the only Hillcats run.

4/12: Off.

4/13: Lance Janke’s 2010 debut was quite solid (6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) but his bats got him just one run in a 2-1 loss to Salem (BOS). Drew Bowman struck out four in two innings of relief and Jeremy Horst pitched a scoreless ninth. Mesoraco doubled home RF Jeremy Reed for the lone Hillcat run; Lynchburg had baserunners in both the eighth and ninth but could not get them around the bases.

4/14: Matt Fairel was even better in his second start, no-hitting Salem for six innings (5 K) and running his record to 2-0 as Lynchburg took it, 5-3. Mace Thurman got save #3 despite giving up a ninth-inning run. 3B Jose Gualdron atoned for an error by smashing three doubles (and scoring each time) in three trips.

Transactions & Notes: C Jason Bour was cut loose just prior to Opening Day. 4/14: LHR Aguido Gonzalez placed on the 7-day DL, retro to 4/13.

Low-A Dayton Dragons

Record this week: 5-2.

Opening Day Roster: Pitchers: Nick Christiani, Ezequiel Infante, Jacob Johnson, Donnie Joseph (closer), Junior Martinez, Brian Pearl, Josh Ravin, Doug Salinas, J.C. Sulbaran, Pedro Villarreal, Justin Walker, Chase Ware
Catchers: Kevin Coddington, Mark Fleury, Jordan Wideman
Infielders: Shane Carlson (2B-3B), Kevyn Feiner (2B-3B-OF), Mariekson “Didi” Gregorius (SS), Frank Pfister (3B), Chris Richburg (1B), Henry Rodriguez (2B
Outfielders: Efrain Contreras, Andrew Means, Alex Oliveras, Byron Wiley.

4/8: Dayton kicked off another season hosting the Lansing Lugnuts (TOR) at One Point Six Six Six Repeating Field. Starter Josh Ravin missed a lot of bats in the early going, but also allowed a lot of baserunners (3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K). He departed in the fourth. Justin Walker took over and pitched very well until the seventh, when he served up a three-run homer that blew Dayton’s 5-2 lead. But he’d overcome that to put up three more scoreless innings (6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Donnie Joseph entered a tie game in the eleventh and registered three quick outs (W 1-0, 1 IP, 2 K). C Kevin Coddington, who’d homered in his first at-bat back in the second, led off with a single. 3B Frank Pfister grounded out to get him to second, then CF Alexis Oliveras did the same to move the 2009 MWL All-Star to third. SS DD Gregorius stepped in and lashed a game-winning single, his fourth hit in six trips (3B, R), to cap an excellent full-season debut. Dragons win, 6-5! 1B Chris Richburg drove in two runs with a pair of hits

4/9: The Dragons make game two another thriller! This time they win 4-3 in the bottom of the 12th inning, capitalizing on the seventh Lansing error of the game to cap a rally driven by 2B Henry Rodriguez’ bunt single, a stolen base, and a wild pitch. All those errors meant Dayton had only one actual run batted in- on Coddington’s second homer in as many games (this matches his total of two from last year). Righty Doug Salinas, picked up in the minor-league Rule 5 draft this offseason (Seattle), threw 4.2 innings of two-hit shutout ball for the win (0 BB, 5 K). Starter Pedro Villareal did well (5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K).

4/10: DH Byron Wiley homered, Gregorius picked up two more hits, and Oliveras plated two with a fourth-inning double as Dayton won another close one, 5-4. Joseph worked the final 1.1 innings for the save. Ezequiel Infante (3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) got the win in relief of starter Brian Pearl, a former college closer who juuuust ran out of steam (4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K).

4/11: A big five-spot in the first inning enabled the Dragons to hold off a Bowling Green (TB) comeback… for awhile. The Hot Rods tied the score at 6 with three in the sixth, but catcher’s interference (following singles by Gregorius and CF Andrew Means and an intentional walk) and a forceout grounder (gotta love A ball) provided Dayton with the two tiebreaking runs. Means finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI and Gregorius the same with three runs and a triple (.450 through four). Rodriguez added a pair of doubles and 3B Frank Pfister a solo home run. Starter JC Sulbaran was solid (5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), although Junior Martinez was hit hard in that sixth inning. Righty Nick Christiani, making his pro debut after signing late (13th round, Vanderbilt), came on to retire eight straight, four by strikeout (although he did get a somewhat unfair blown save for allowing one inherited runner to score). Joseph then worked the bottom of the ninth for save #2.

4/12: The Dragons stay perfect, running their record to 5-0 as they wipe out a 4-0 deficit with a run in the sixth and then six in the seventh. Rodriguez is taking to full-season ball quite nicely, thank you- in this one he slammed a solo homer to account for that single run in the sixth, then capped the big inning with a grand slam! These were only his second and third pro homers and came from opposite sides of the plate; incidentally, the kid’s listed at 5’10” and 150 lbs. Anyway, the bullpen picked up struggling starter Jake Johnson (4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) as Junior Martinez worked the fifth (1 BB), Chase Ware the next three (W 1-0, 3.38, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and Doug Salinas the ninth for the save.

4/13: Early game as the Dragons go for the sweep of the Hot Rods. Ravin started and improved upon his first outing, firing five shutout innings (5 H, 2 BB, 3 K). A pair of double plays helped him keep the scoreboard clean. But BG starter Alexander Colome (nephew of current Seattle reliever Jesus Colome), fresh off a 1.66 ERA in 15 starts in short-season ball last year, permitted the Dragons one hit (a Means double) and zero walks in six innings. Lefty Justin Walker (2.39 ERA and 27 K for Dayton last season over 26.1 IP) took over for Ravin in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings. The Dragons finally broke through against the BG bullpen in the seventh; Rodriguez (natch) doubled, moved to third on a Means single and scored on Wiley’s groundout. Coddington continued the inning by drawing a Rudy, but Mark Fleury hit into a force out and Frank Pfister was called out on pfstrikes. Walker went back out for the eighth and the Hot Rods struck- a leadoff bunt single, three grounded singles, a double steal. It all led to three runs. When Dayton went down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, so did their perfect record. Final score: 3-1.

4/14: Pedro Villareal against the Fort Wayne Tincaps (SD). He got popped for three early on, but put up zeroes the next four innings to exit with a quality start (6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Nick Christiani went the next three, allowing a run on two hits; 1B Chris Richburg’s grand-slam homer in the top of the seventh had given the Dragons a momentary 4-3 lead, but the run off Christiani in the seventh tied it. To extras we went, with Donnie Joseph setting down six straight Tincaps (3 K). In the top of the 12th, Jordan Wideman reached on a three-base error and scored on Shane Carlson’s sacrifice fly. But Doug Salinas couldn’t hold it in the bottom of the inning, giving up a one-out double. A throwing error on Gregorius tied it, then that man stole second and scored on a single to give Fort Wayne the 6-5 victory. Gregorius did lash three more hits, raising his average to .353.

Transactions & Notes: OF Tony Brown was surprisingly released just prior to Opening Day. He had a promising bat (it seemed). Another surprise cut: Taiwanese INF Yen-Wen Kuo.