Friday was a busy day for our boys, so I will start in the major leagues where, in Chicago, Gavin Floyd bounced back from a few sub-par games the throw a gem at the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gavin was masterful, tossing 8 shut out innings of 2-hit, 2-walk baseball, striking out 8 as the White Sox won, 2-0. One of the hits was by Jason Jaramillo (.259), as Floyd improved to 3-4 on the year.
In Houston, Michael Bourn had 3 singles, scored a run, stole his 14th base and knocked in his 11th runs of the year, but the Rangers topped the Astros 6-5 anyway. In New York, the Phillies paid their first visit to the new Yankee Stadium, and led by Carlos Ruiz' 3 hits (.271, 1st HR) Philadelphia picked up a 7-3 win. It was the first win in the Bronx since 2000 for the Phils. Raul Ibanez hit his 16th homer, driving in his 41st run, which leads the National League. Jay Happ (2-0) will make his first start of the year today against Andy Pettitte. R.J. Swindel, who was recalled by the Brewers the other day, threw an inning Friday in Minnesota's 11-3 pounding of the Brew Crew, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, but picking up 2 Ks.
In Louisville, Matt Maloney had his third consecutive strong outing. Matt went 7 innings, allowing just 1 unearned run on 6 hits and a walk. He left the game trailing 1-0, but the Bats won after he left, 2-1. Maloney (3-2, 2.28) has now thrown 21 innings his last 3 games, giving up just 1 earned run. Awesome!! In Allentown, Kyle Kendrick evened his record at 3-3 with 6 good innings against Durham. Kyle surrendered 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4 in Lehigh Valley's 5-3 win over the Bulls. Jeremy Slayden had a single and a double and drove in a run for the IronPigs. Jason Donald had an odd evening. Jason went to the plate 5 times, walked 3 times and was hit by a pitch twice. He also scored 2 runs. Antonio Bastardo will pitch Saturday night for the 'Pigs, making his AAA debut.
In Reno, The Aces survived a 4-run 9th inning rally by New Orleans to hold on for a 7-6 win over the Zephyrs. Bobby Korecky put out the fire, after allowing a 3-run home run to Michael Ryan which cut the lead to 1 run, picking up his 4th save. Chris Roberson (.257) was 0 for 2 for Reno. In Las Vegas, Randy Ruiz (.307) was 3 for 3, a double and 2 singles, and scored 3 runs in the 51s' 10-1 thrashing of the RedHawks. Greg Golson (.283) took an 0 for 3 for Oklahoma City. In Kodak, Tennessee, Brian Schlitter blew his second save this year, giving up 2 runs in 1 inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Birmingham. The runs were the first allowed by Schlitter in May. The Barons won, 3-2 in extra innings. Brian is 0-2 in 16 games for the Smokies, recording 5 saves so far. In Midland, Texas, Adrian Cardenas (.398) and Matt Spencer (.270) had 4 hits each, spearheading a 28-hit attack as the Rock Hounds annihilated the Corpus Cristi Hooks, 24-6. "AC" scored 5 runs and drove in 3, while "Spence" tallied twice and knocked in 4. Not Surprisingly, this was the greatest output in the 38-year history of the Midland franchise!
In Altoona, Brad Harman was 4 for 4 with a walk, scoring 2 runs to lift his average to .298, and Gus Milner (.212) had a single, a double, a triple and a walk, scoring a run and driving one in, but the Curve rallied from a 7-1 deficit in the final 2 innings to steal a game from the R-Phils 8-7. Michael Taylor added 2 hits, 2 steals, and 2 RBI (that's 27), as Reading wasted a good effort from Mike Stutes. Stutes gave up 1 run over the first 6, but tired in the 7th as the Curve put up 4 to get back in the game. Chance Chapman came in, walked 2, then gave up a double before recording the final out of the inning. Jason Anderson came in to start the 8th and gave up the tying and winning runs. The teams will play 2 tonight, starting at 5:00. Gustavo Chacin has been brought in from extended spring training to pitch the opener, with the nightcap assignment still undecided at this point. Reading has now dropped 5 straight to fall to 19-19.
The rain stopped long enough in Florida for the Threshers to lose in Tampa Friday night. Drew Naylor got the start, after the team had 4 days off due to the weather, and gave us 4.2 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. Chris Kissock came in, striking out the only hitter he faced, then Mike Cisco got 3 innings of work in, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, as the Yankees won, 7-1. Javis Diaz (.283)was the only Thresher with more than 1 hit. With the rotation completely in disarray, I have no clue who will start tonight, but my guess would be either Monasterios or Drabek.
In Lakewood, the Greensboro Grasshoppers inched to within a half game of the first place BlueClaws with a 7-4 victory. Jon Velasquez was roughed up, allowing 5 runs in just 3 innings, but the bullpen continues to do excellent work. Jacob Diekman came in for 4 good innings, allowing just 1 earned run, and Justin De Fratus and BJ Rosenberg threw a scoreless inning each. Jeremy Hamilton had a double and a triple (the triple may have been a home run, but a fan reached out and deflected the ball) driving in 2 runs, while Harold Garcia and Troy Hanzawa also had 2 hits each. Lakewood will try to hold on to first place tonight with Tyler Cloyd (4-2) getting the ball.