It was a mostly positive day for Blue Jays fans on Saturday as the Big Boy Jays got a tremendous pitching performance from Drew Hutchison and each of the minor league teams got a great outing of their own . . . or is it the other way around? If you haven’t already, check out Jays Journal for their Minor League Report to get more details than I’m giving you here.
Liam Hendriks came out and pounded the strike zone, needing only 78 pitches to get through 5 1/2 innings of one-hit, no-walk, four-strikeout ball to pick up his second win of the season (in his first start). Rob Rasmussen threw an inning and a third of shutout ball while Chad Jenkins played closer by throwing a clean inning. Marcus Walden gave up the two Pawtucket runs (in the 3-2 victory), ballooning his ERA to 13.50. The offense had a quiet day with Juan Francisco taking an oh-fer. Kevin Pillar drove in a run with a triple but is still hitting .121 for the young season.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Liam Hendriks
Casey Lawrence helped the New Hampshire Fisher Cats end their losing streak with a 9-4 win by throwing six innings of one-run ball, giving up five hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Tyler Ybarra allowed a solo home run and John Anderson allowed two runs in two innings. There were several big days with the bat as the club rapped 15 hits. Andy Fermin had a single and a double in his first action of the season (playing third base) while Peter Mooney and Brad Glenn each had a pair of singles, giving Glenn an eight-game hitting streak to start the season. The big days were for Ryan Schimpf (3/5) and Kevin Nolan (4/4). Each hit a home run and scored twice while Nolan drove in three runs with his shot.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Kevin Nolan
In an evening game in Dunedin, Daniel Norris, one of the club’s top prospects, continues to impress at the next level up, earning the W in a 4-2 win over the Brevard County Manatees by throwing six shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Danny Barnes gave up both runs in the seventh inning while Efrain Nieves and Arik Sikula mopped up; Sikula earned his third save of the season. The offense wasn’t particularly powerful but managed to bang out four runs with some timely hitting. Dalton Pompey, K.C. Hobson and Marcus Knecht (two Canadians in there) had two hits each while Emilio Guerrero followed his home run on Friday with a double and an RBI.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Daniel Norris
While the higher three teams in the Blue Jays’ system capitalized on the strong pitching performance that they got, the Lansing Lugnuts wasted theirs. Kendall Graveman was outstanding, going seven innings and giving up just one run on three hits with seven strikeouts against Kohl Stewart for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Lugnuts got to Stewart for three runs in the third inning but the Kernels relievers shut the door the rest of the way. Griffin Murphy was tagged for the loss but three of his four runs allowed were unearned in two innings. Matt Dean and Mitch Nay lead the way offensively for the ‘Nuts: Dean went 2/4 with two RBI while Nay hit an RBI double in four at bats.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game: Kendall Graveman
April 13 Preview
Buffalo Bisons (6-2)
The charging Herd looks to complete a series win over the Pawtucket Red Sox by sending Sean Nolin (1-0, 1.59) against of the Red Sox’ top young pitching prospects, Allen Webster (1-1, 2.79). Nolin’s last outing was solid, giving up just one earned run in 5 1/2 innings while striking out seven Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The Buffalo Bisons have reported a roster move for today with Mickey Storey (RHP) coming off the DL and LHP Richard Bleier moving back down to Double-A New Hampshire. The game is on MiLB TV at 1:05 PM as well as on radio (internet and terrestrial).
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (3-6)
Off the schneid with a win yesterday, the Fisher Cats send their ace, young Aaron Sanchez to the hill against Hansel Robles and the Binghamton Mets. Robles struck out eight in his his one start this season against Akron and the Fisher Cats will need to bring their bats. Sanchez, on the other hand, has had one excellent start and one so-so start this season, the latter coming five days ago in Reading, Pennsylvania. Today marks his first home start of the season. The game is available on the radio with Tom Gauthier and Bob Lipman beginning at 1:35 PM.
Dunedin Blue Jays (7-2)
The D-Jays have Kramer Champlin on the mound to complete their series against the Brevard County Manatees. Champlin was very strong in 2013, spent mostly in Lansing, and has already mad two appearances for the D-Jays, giving up only one hit with four strikeouts in three innings. Since his last appearance was April 10, don’t expect him to go more than four or five innings. He’ll face Hobbs Johnson (yeah, I had to look at that name twice) who has six shutout innings under his belt this season against Lakeland on April 8. The game begins at 1 PM and you can hear Tyler Murray and Al Hernandez’s dulcet tones on the internet radio.
Lansing Lugnuts (3-6)
The Lugnuts have gotten off to a slow start but the starting pitching has been coming around lately. The ‘Nuts send B.C. boy Tom Robson to the hill. He’ll probably throw a better game than he did last time out but will be in tough against a patient-hitting Cedar Rapids team. Robson will face 20-year-old righty Felix Jorge who last started against the Great Lakes Loons on April 8 and was roughed up to the tune of four runs in just three innings. Catch Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Trey Wilson at 2:05 ET.
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All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.