Opening Day has come and gone and the International League had a nearly full docket of games. Only Indianapolis and Toledo weren’t scheduled to play today and they will join the rest of the IL playing their first game of the season tomorrow night in Toledo. Below is a recap of the games that did take place today:
Rochester Red Wings 7 – Syracuse Chiefs 4
Game Recap: Lots of people who attended this game were surely there to see mega-prospect Bryce Harper who’s Triple-A career started off with a pair of hits, though he finished the game 2-4. Outside of Harper, this game was all Rochester, all the way. The Red Wings got the lead and stretched it as far as 7-0 after the top of the 7th before surrendering 4 runs to the Chiefs in the bottom of the same inning. Today was a day to forget for Syracuse’s pitching staff as they surrendered 11 hits and 10 free passes to the Red Wings. Syracuse’s starting pitcher Mitch Atkins was lucky to escape the game after 5 innings allowing 4 H, 5 BB, and 1 unearned run while striking out 6 batters. Rochester got a good outing from starter P.J. Walters, who enters his fifth year in Triple-A, went 4 innings allowing 2 H, 2 BB, and 0 runs while adding 4 Ks of his own. RF Matt Carson helped pace the Rochester offense going 4-5 with a double and a triple.
Prospect Performances: As mentioned above, the big prospect to watch in this game was Bryce Harper, who made his Triple-A debut today.It went fairly well, Harper went 2-4 with one strikeout and stole a base as well. On the Rochester side of the game SS Brian Dozier went 2-4 with a walk and a strikeout. CF Joe Benson, who was a candidate to make the Twins roster out of camp, went 0-3 with a strikeout and 2 walks.
Player of the Game: Drew Butera, C, Rochester 2-4 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Buffalo Bisons 2 – Pawtucket Red Sox 4
Game Recap: One of the Mets top prospects, Matt Harvey, started the game for the Bison and had a bit of a disappointing outing. Harvey 4 1/3 innings allowing 6 H, 4 BB, and 4 ER and only striking out three hitters. Pawtucket’s starter Justin Germano did much better going 5 innings allowing 3 H, 0 BB, and 2 ER from a pair of solo home-runs. Pawtucket got a nice outing from 25 year old Junichi Tazawa who went 2 innings, striking out four, while allowing only one hit and one walk. Pawtucket took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a Jason Repko single and added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Prospect Performances: Aside from Harvey this game also featured Red Sox farmhands Jose Iglesias, Ryan Lavarnway, and Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks did the best of the prospects in this game going 3-4 with 2 doubles and a run scored. Lavarnway went 0-3 with 2 walks and Iglesias finished the day 1-4, a line that seems below average, but is a good sign for the slick fielding shortstop.
Player of the Game: Pedro Ciriaco, 2B, Pawtucket 4-5 R, 2 RBI
Louisville Bats 5 – Columbus Clippers 4
Game Recap: Columbus trailed for a majority of the game and rallied to tie the game with a two run bottom of the 7th. Unfortunately for the Clippers former Orioles closer Chris Ray gave up the second of Paul Janish‘s two home-runs in the top of the ninth. Louisville received a quality start from Jeff Francis who went 6 IP allowing 7 H, 1 BB, 2 ER and striking out three players. Indians prospect Zach McAllister added a quality start of his own striking out 5 over 6 innings where he allowed 5 hits, 3 walks, and 3 earned runs. Ezequiel Carrera paved the way for Columbus going 2-4 2B , 2 RBI.
Prospect Performances: Lonnie Chisenhall helped the Columbus offense by going 2-4 with a RBI. Nothing much prospect wise outside of Chisenhall, the Bats’ third baseman Todd Frazier and Clippers’ second baseman Cord Phelps both went 1-4
Player of the Game: Paul Janish, SS, Louisville 2-4 2 HR, 2 RBI
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Empire State Yankees 0 – Lehigh Valley 3
Game Recap: Lehigh Valley starter Tyler Cloyd dominated this game. Cloyd left the game after six innings with a perfect game still intact. Phillippe Aumont gave up the only hit the Yankees would get on the day to the second batter he faced. There was little offense to be found in this game as Lehigh Valley scored their three runs via a bases loaded walk, and an error by shortstop Ramiro Pena. There were a total of 4 hits between the two teams with Lehigh Valley catcher Erik Kratz accounting for 2 of the 4 hits.
Prospect Performances: Not a lot of players that resemble prospects between these two squads. With Cloyd’s excellent performance already being discussed. that leaves Dominic Brown as the games only other prospect. As you can guess, it wasn’t a great game for Brown who went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts.
Player of the Game: Tyler Cloyd, RHP, Lehigh Valley 6 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 8 K
Gwinnett Braves 3 – Durham Bulls 4 (12 Innings)
Game Recap: A little free baseball between the Braves and Bulls on Opening Day led to a rally in the bottom of the 12th. Durham’s starter Alex Cobb went five innings garnering more than half of his outs via strikeouts. Catcher J.C. Boscan looked to have won the game for the Braves with a solo home-run in the top of the 12th, but the Bulls wouldn’t die and scored the game winning run on a throwing error by shortstop Greg Paiml (his second of the game). Gwinnett used 9 pitchers as not to overwork any of their staff so early in the season.
Prospect Performances: Durham SS Tim Beckham went 1-6 with 1 RBI and 1 strikeout and OF Brandon Guyer went 0-4 with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Gwinett’s relief pitcher Cody Gearrin had a ho-hum outing going 2 innings and striking out 2 hitters while allowing 3 hits.
Player of the Game: Alex Cobb, RHP, Durham 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 8 K
Norfolk Tides – Charlotte KnightsPostponed- Rai
Topics: Alex Cobb, Bryce Harper, Buffalo Bisons, Columbus Clippers, Durham Bulls, Gwinnett Braves, International League, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Louisville Bats, Matt Harvey, Opening Day, Pawtucket Red Sox, Rochester Red Wings, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Syracuse Chiefs, Tyler Cloyd, Will Middlebrooks