By: Jay Blue
Blue Jays From Away
The Blue Jays’ minor league system had another 3-2 day with wins in New Hampshire and Lansing and with the Dunedin Blue Jays splitting their doubleheader with the Jupiter Hammerheads.
Buffalo Bisons 1, Rochester Red Wings 2
It took an extra inning but the Rochester Red Wings cooled off the Buffalo Bisons with a 2-1 win in 10 innings. Jarrett Grube had another strong start for the Bisons but came away without a decision after six innings of one-run, two hit ball with just a walk and seven strikeouts. Jeff Beliveau relieved him with 2/3 of an inning before Danny Barnes took the loss, despite striking out five and not walking anyone in 2 2/3 innings.
Barnes gave up just after striking out the first batter in the 10th and came out of the game with runners on first and second. John Stilson relieved him and walked two batters before getting a double play on a fly ball to Ian Parmley to stop the bleeding at just one run.
Rowdy Tellez was 2/3 with a walk and a run while Juan Graterol was 2/4. Christian Lopes drove in the club’s only run with a sac fly in the fifth.
Player of the Game: Jarrett Grube
Roster Notes: Shane Opitz was sent back to extended spring training from the Bisons.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats 7, Hartford Yard Goats 2
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats won their second in a row, beating the Hartford Yard Goats 7-2 on Thursday. Conner Greene was on the hill for the Fisher Cats, getting improved results over his season opener from last week. Greene tossed five innings, walking four but striking out seven on his way to allowing just two runs on four hits. Carlos Ramirez continued his excellent start to the season, pitching two perfect innings in relief, striking out three. Murphy Smith followed with another two scoreless frames allowing a hit and striking out two.
Gunnar Heidt continues to power this New Hampshire offense, hitting his third home run of the year and taking the lead in the Blue Jays’ system up to this point. Heidt was 3/5 with a home run and two RBI while Tim Lopes was 2/5 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base. Emilio Guerrero was on base three times, going 2/4 with a walk and a stolen base while Anthony Alford was only on base once, stealing a base and scoring a run but striking out three times. Richard Urena was 0/4 with a walk and four strikeouts. Roemon Fields was 2/4 with a walk and a run.
Player of the Game: Gunnar Heidt
Dunedin Blue Jays 4, Jupiter Hammerheads 1
The Dunedin Blue Jays opened their double header with the Jupiter Hammerheads on the right note, getting an outstanding start from Josh DeGraaf and solid contributions up and down the lineup for a 4-1 win. DeGraaf went four innings in his spot start, allowing just one hit and striking out four but didn’t get the win since he didn’t complete five innings. Daniel Young got the “W” after two innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits and a walk with one strikeout. Kender Villegas allowed a run on two hits and two walks in his inning, striking out two.
Lane Thomas led the offense, getting on base four times with three hits and a walk, driving in a run. Juan Kelly and Derrick Loveless each hit a single and a double with Kelly scoring twice and Loveless driving in two runs. Andrew Guillotte was also on base twice, going 0/2 with two walks, two runs and two stolen bases.
Player of the Game: Josh DeGraaf and Lane Thomas
Dunedin Blue Jays 0, Jupiter Hammerheads 1
Game two of the Dunedin Blue Jays’ double header with the Jupiter Hammerheads turned out to be a pitching duel as the clubs went into extra innings tied at zero with the Hammerheads only coming out on top with a run in the bottom of the 11th (in a game that was supposed to go seven innings). Juan Kelly had two hits, going 2/5 with a double but just Matt Dean and Deiferson Barreto had singles.
Denis Diaz was brought in from extended spring training for a spot start and he tossed four scoreless innings despite struggling with his command, walking five batters but giving up just one hit with three strikeouts. Tom Robson followed with three one-hit innings, striking out four and Justin Shafer relieved him with another three innings of scoreless ball, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out three. Andrew Case took the loss allowing a run off of a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, a ground out and a walk-off single.
Player of the Game: Tom Robson and Juan Kelly
Roster Notes: Danny Young was assigned to extended spring training and Denis Diaz was promoted to the Dunedin Blue Jays from extended spring training.
Lansing Lugnuts 5, Lake County Captains 0
The Lansing Lugnuts returned home and beat up on the Lake County Captains, shutting them out in a 5-0 victory. Patrick Murphy had a much better start in his second outing of the year, going six strong innings and giving up four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Geno Encina, Jackson McClelland and Kirby Snead each threw scoreless innings to finish the game. McClelland was particularly strong, retiring the three batters he faced in order and striking out two of them while Encina walked one and gave up a hit, striking out one and Snead gave up a hit and struck out a batter.
The Lansing Lugnuts exploited the wildness of former #1 overall pick Brady Aiken*. Bo Bichette was on base four times, going 2/3 with two walks, an RBI and a run while Bradley Jones was on three times, going 2/3 with a walk, an RBI and a run. Edward Olivares went deep, going 1/5 with a two-run blast in the eighth inning and Michael De La Cruz had the only other extra-base hit, going 1/3 with a double and a walk.
*While he was the #1 pick in 2014, Aiken didn’t sign and went to the Indians at the 17th-overall pick in 2015.
Players of the Game: Bo Bichette and Patrick Murphy