The Wings were bested by an old friend in their season opener, as former Red Wings pitcher Boof Bonser took the mound against Anthony Swarzak. Swarzak got off to a good start in the game, fanning the first two batters he faced, but finished the game allowing five earned runs in three innings of work. He struck out five, allowed four hits, and walked none. The bullpen also did not fare so well on this night, as Ryan Mullins allowed four earned in only 2.1 innings of relief. Tim Lahey got touched for two runs in his 1.2 innings of work, and allowed three hits. Former starter Kyle Waldrop was the only Rochester pitcher to not allow an earned run on this night, as the right-hander pitched an inning of one-hit ball.
Jacque Jones made memorable return to the Twins organization, blasting his first home run of the season. His home run was a solo shot in the second inning, coming with two outs. Brock Peterson was the offensive hero in the game for the Red Wings, as he was the only player with multiple hits in the contest. Peterson also hit his first home run of the season, showing his classic power stroke. Erik Lis had the only other run batted in for Rochester, and Danny Valencia and Luke Hughes each hit doubles. Hughes also stole his first base of the season, and walked. The team struggled with runners in scoring position, going 1-6 on the night, while stranding nine.
New Hampshire jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning, getting to Rockcats' starter Carlos Gutierrez early, and the team could not come back. The game ended in a 5-4 loss for New Britain, who got some great pitching from their bullpen. Gutierrez, who made six starts for New Britain in 2009, worked only four innings, striking out four, while allowing seven hits. Cole Devries took the loss out of the bullpen, as he struggled with his command all night. He walked two, allowed three hits, and struck out one. Spencer Steedley was very consistent in relief of Devries, tossing 2.1 innings of no-hit ball, striking out four. Santos Arias finished the game for New Britain, striking out one in his one inning of relief.
The Cats managed only four hits all night against the Fisher Cats, and some of their key batters got off to a rough start to their season. Leadoff hitter Ben Revere picked up a hit in four at-bats, but also struck out three times. Chris Parmelee, a top power prospect, went 0-4 with two strikeouts, and former top prospect Joe Benson also struck out twice. Juan Portes hit his first home run of the season, a two-run blast in the first inning, and Steven Singleton had a double. Dan Lehmann scored a run in the game, but the team went only 1-7 with runners in scoring position.
Fort Myers Miracle
The Miracle were pounded by Bradenton in their season opener on Thursday, falling 18-3. Bradenton blasted two home runs off of top prospect Kyle Gibson, and Shooter Hunt was pummeled in his first appearance of the season. Gibson allowed five runs, three earned, in 3.2 innings of work, and Hunt allowed five earned without recording an out. Blake Martin and Ron Mahay did a serviceable job in relief of Hunt, combining for 2.1 innings of one-run ball, but Henry Santos got blasted for seven runs in his one inning of relief. Michael Allen finished off the game for the Miracle, pitching a perfect inning. Overall, Bradenton was 8-14 with runners in scoring position, and combined for six extra-base hits.
The Miracle did get nine hits from their lineup in the game, with three Miracle getting multiple hits. Ramon Santana, making the move to the outfield, blasted his first home run of the season, and also doubled, en-route to a two hit night. He also picked up his first outfield assist of the season. Paul Kelly, the team's shortstop, went 2-3 with a run, and also walked. Chris Herrmann also had a good night at the dish, picking up two hits, including his first double of the season. Nicholas Romero also had two hits, serving as the team's Designated Hitter.
The Snappers broke a 0-0 tie in the top of the tenth inning in their opener, then held on, defeating Cedar Rapids 2-0. The team got a great starting effort from Liam Hendriks, the staff ace, who tossed five innings of one-hit ball. In the process, the right-hander struck out seven, and did not allow a walk. Highly-touted Tom Stuifbergen was lights out in his inning of relief, fanning the side, and Matt Tone struck out two in his 1.2 innings of shutout ball. Steve Blevins worked 1.1 innings of one-hit relief, earning the win, and Kane Holbrooks came in to finish the job in the tenth for his first save of the season. If the Snappers get pitching like they did Thursday all season, they will be very difficult to beat in 2010.
The Snappers broke the 0-0 tie in the tenth when Brian Dozier singled to open the inning. After Derek McCallum was plunked, Danny Rams was struck out, before Michael Gonzales singled in his first RBI of the season. Anderson Hidalgo and James Beresford then struck out to end the inning. Gonzales led the way with two hits in the contest, and McCallum and Angel Morales both doubled. Top prospect Aaron Hicks struggled in his 2010 debut, striking out twice, and Rams finished with three strikeouts. In total, the Snappers struck out 16 times in the contest.