Durham Bulls 5, Norfolk Tides 3
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Notes: Durham starts the season 1-0... Jeremy Hellickson went 5 innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 runs(1 earned), walked 1, and struck out 6 to pick up the win. He threw 85 pitches... Joaquin Benoit allowed a hit and a walk over 2 scoreless innings, recording all six outs via strikeout... Winston Abreu pitched a scoreless 8th... Dale Thayer loaded the bases in the 9th and allowed a run, but used 2 strikeouts to pick up the save... Justin Ruggiano, Hank Blalock, and Joe Dillon had two hits apiece, with Ruggiano and Dillon each having a double... Matt Joyce, who was the Designated Hitter, walked twice... Dillon and John Jaso each drove in two runs... Fernando went 1-5 and was caught stealing...
Reaction: Joaquin Benoit really doesn't want to be in the minors. Since he went two innings, though, he won't be used on back-to-back days tomorrow. Jeremy Hellickson pitched very well, which is no surprise. He wasn't as flat-out dominant as he was often times last season for Durham, but his pitching line is definitely well above-average. Durham's line-up is loaded, and that's without Desmond Jennings setting the table.
Mobile BayBears 3, Montgomery Biscuits 2 (10 innings)
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Notes: Montgomery opens the season 0-1... Alex Torres started and pitched 4 innings, allowing only a 1st-inning run. He allowed 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2... Rayner Oliveros allowed a run over 2 innings of relief... Paul Phillips tossed two scoreless innings... Matt Gorgen struck out the side in the 9th but allowed the winning run in the 10th inning to take the loss... Cody Strait went 3-5, Matt Fields was 2-5, and Cody Cipriano went 2-3 including an RBI triple and a walk... Emeel Salem was 1-3 with an RBI, a stolen base, and two walks...
Reaction: I'd expect to see a lot of pitcher's duels like this game, given Montgomery's talented pitching staff and less stellar offense. Torres battled command and a tight strike zone early in the game, but settled down. He threw 65 pitches over his 4 innings of work. Matt Gorgen, the forgotten man, pitched a crisp 9th inning but got knocked around a bit in the 10th. A double play saved him from further damage.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 2
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Notes: Charlotte begins the year 1-0... Matt Moore started but only went 3 innings. He threw a scoreless 1st(three groundouts) and 2nd(three strikeouts), but allowed a run in the 3rd. He finished with 4 hits allowed, 4 strikeouts, and a walk... Marquis Fleming got the win in relief with two scoreless innings, striking out 4... Dane Delarosa allowed a run in his inning of work. Neil Schenk pitched a scoreless 7th... Zach Quate got the 6-out save, striking out two and inducing a game-ending double play... Matt Sweeney homered in his first at-bat of the season. He finished 2-3 with a walk... Kyeong Kang was 3-3 with three singles and a walk... Mike Sheridan had an RBI double...
Reaction: Matt Moore was probably dealing with a similar pitch limit as Alex Torres, somewhere around 60 pitches. He still needs to be more efficient, but we can give him a pass on the first game. All four of his strikeouts were of the swinging variety, and he only walked 1. Matt Sweeney, who I thought might be assigned to Montgomery, will make it there soon enough with more nights like this. Kyeong Kang picked up right where he left off at the end of 2009.
Fort Wayne TinCaps 7, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2
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Notes: Bowling Green drop to 0-1... Alex Colome allowed 6 runs on 6 hits over 3 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 1... Deivis Mavarez allowed 1 run over 4 innings of relief. Jake Sullivan pitched a scoreless frame... Mark Thomas provided the only offense with a 2-run homerun... Chris Murrill went 3-5... Thomas and Brett Nommensen each collected two hits...
Reaction: Colome's strikeout rate seems to indicate his stuff was sharp, and perhaps he just left a few too many pitches over the plate. The hits off of him weren't exactly cheapies, four of them went for extra bases. I'd expect a better outing in terms of hits and runs allowed next time out. The Hot Rods actually out-hit Fort Wayne 11 to 7, but their only two runs came on a homerun. Just seemed like they couldn't string hits together.