Jay Blue: Guerrero, Hissey, Leblebijian, Lopes, Loveless

All Photos: Jay Blue

All Photos: Jay Blue

By: Jay Blue

Blue Jays From Away

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats won their first game on Sunday, taking the final game of their series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies while both the Buffalo Bisons and Lansing Lugnuts are undefeated through the first weekend of baseball in the season.

Buffalo Bisons 4, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders 3

In the first half of their doubleheader on Sunday, the Buffalo Bisons defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders by a 4-3 score, getting a two-run home run from Christian Lopes in the bottom of the seventh for a walk-off victory. Lopes’s late heroics bailed out the Bisons’ defense which committed three errors. Gregorio Petit made an error at shortstop in the first inning, allowing Clint Frazier to reach base and starter Mat Latos was ultimately charged with two unearned runs but he finished strong, allowing three hits and three walks over four innings with two strikeouts.

Manager Bobby Meacham shuffled his defense in the third inning, pulling Petit from the game, bringing the versatile Chris Coghlan in to play second base, moving second baseman Jake Elmore over to shortstop while Ian Parmley went out to left field. John Stilson allowed an unearned run over two innings thanks to an error by Ian Parmley that allowed Dustin Fowler to reach. Stilson induced a ground ball from the next batter but a run eventually scored on a single. Wil Browning earned the win with a scoreless ninth which was only marred by a hit batter.

The offense was quiet but Lopes’s blast drove in a pair while Mike Ohlman and Rowdy Tellez were each 1/2 with a walk. Dwight Smith, Jr. drove in two with a single in the second inning but was thrown out at second on the play.

Player of the Game: Christian Lopes

Roster Notes: Dominic Leone was recalled to the Toronto Blue Jays after J.P. Howell was put on the 10-day DL. Alex Monsalve was placed on the 7-day DL and Luke Maile was activated for the Bisons.

Buffalo Bisons 9, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders 6

Despite getting down early to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in the first inning, the Bisons came back, scoring six runs in the fourth on their way a sweep of the doubleheader with a 9-6 win. The offense came alive with 14 hits, including three from Dwight Smith, Jr., who was 3/4 with a double, an RBI and a run, and three from center fielder Ian Parmley who went 3/3 in his first start of the year, driving in a run and scoring twice. Jason Leblebijian had the club’s only home run, going deep in the fifth inning and going 2/3 with three RBI and two runs overall. Rowdy Tellez had a rough day, going 0/4 with three strikeouts but Chris Coghlan was 2/4 with a double, an RBI and a run. Luke Maile, in his Buffalo debut was 2/4 with a run.

For the pitchers, it was always going to be a “bullpen” game (which manager Bobby Meacham had mentioned in his press conference after Saturday’s game) with Matt Dermody getting the start. Dermody allowed three runs in three innings, giving up four hits (including a home run) and a walk with two strikeouts. Jeff Beliveau picked up the win but allowed three runs in his two innings, giving up a home run among three hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Chris Smith got the save, allowing just one hit over two innings with two strikeouts.

Player of the Game: Jason Leblebijian

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 8, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 3

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (1-2) won their first game of the year, getting on the board with four runs in the first and never looking back in an 8-3 win over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Ryan McBroom started the scoring with a two-run double while a two-run single by Emilio Guerrero capped the inning. Anthony Alford, who singled in the first, went 3/5 with two runs while Harold Ramirez was 2/4 and Emilio Guerrero was 2/4 with three RBI. Catcher Reese McGuire hit a fourth-inning solo home run and Jonathan Diaz hit his first of the year in the sixth inning.

Francisco Rios made his Double-A debut with the Fisher Cats, picking up the win and allowing just one run on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts in five innings. Lefty Jose Fernandez (whom we’ve been talking about as a player to watch) was dominant, striking out five batters in two innings, giving up just a hit and a walk. Alonzo Gonzalez allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the final two innings, striking out one.

Players of the Game: Emilio Guerrero and Francisco Rios

Dunedin Blue Jays 2, Clearwater Threshers 4

The Dunedin Blue Jays (2-2) squared their record after falling to the Clearwater Threshers 4-2 on Sunday. Starting pitcher Angel Perdomo couldn’t keep the ball in the park, giving up four solo home runs among eight hits in 5 2/3 innings while also walking four and striking out two. Danny Young had a strong relief appearance, tossing two innings and giving up two hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Canadian Andrew Case went the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up a hit but nothing more and striking out one.

The Blue Jays had just five hits including an RBI double by Derrick Loveless. Max Pentecost was 1/4 with a walk and a run.

Players of the Game: Danny Young and Derrick Loveless

Roster Notes: Danny Young was assigned to the D-Jays from extended spring training while Jared Carkuff was sent back to extended.

Lansing Lugnuts 10, Great Lakes Loons 9

In their second consecutive high-scoring, one-run game, the Lansing Lugnuts (4-0) scored two to regain the lead and defeat the Great Lakes Loons 10-9. The Lugnuts’ night was punctuated by a pair of home runs, with Nick Sinay hitting a solo shot in the third and Ryan Hissey hitting a grand slam in the fifth.

Hissey was 2/4 with six RBI on the night as well as a walk and two runs scored. Christian Williams had three hits including a double and two runs while Bo Bichette hit two doubles, going 2/4 with a walk and three runs. Sinay added a walk and stole a base while Jake Thomas walked twice and went 1/3 with a triple.

The pitchers did not have a great night, as starter Mike Ellenbest allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in four innings. Griffin Glaude allowed two more runs in two innings and Philip Walby blew a save, giving up two home runs and four runs in his 1 2/3 innings. Lefty Kirby Snead got the win after throwing 1 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out two.

Player of the Game: Ryan Hissey

Jay Blue

A lifelong Toronto Blue Jays fan, Jay Blue started blogging about the Jays when he was living in Berlin, Germany. He founded his own blog, Blue Jays from Away, to write about developments with his home town team, focusing on the Jays' minor league system. When he's not watching baseball, he is usually on the diamond umpiring or he's pursuing his research interests in the field of ethnomusicology.