For the second consecutive night, Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick fronted a Sting attack that tallied nine wins on the way to a victory. Kendrick did nothing to ruin his reputation as the best pure hitter in the minors, going three-for-four with a double and walk on the night. His double-play partner was two-for-five, scoring and driving in a pair of runs.
Centerfielder Tommy Murphy, one of nine members of the squad who finished last year in Arkansas, launched a three-run homer as part of a six-run attack in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach.
Dustin Moseley won his first start of the year, allowing two runs in his five innings of work, striking out four along the way.
Kevin Gregg, back in the Salt Lake bullpen again to start the year, threw two innings of hitless relief. Both Jonathan Rouwenhorst and Greg Jones each followed with a scoreless frame as well.
In the eighth, Dallas McPherson pulled a double into the right field corner. Thursday night, he bashed one to dead center.
Exactly one year ago, Steve Shell gave up four runs in six innings to open his season with a no-decision against Springfield. This year, the same match-up yielded better results, as Shell got the win in Arkansas’ 4-3 victory over the Cardinals. Although Shell surrendered a two-run homer to tie the score in the sixth, Aaron Peel walked, advanced on an error, and scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh to give Shell the win.
Rightfielder Jason Aspito, back in the Texas League for his third season, had four of the Travelers’ seven hits, including a double and a sixth-inning solo homer.
A night after his impressive Double-A debut, Brandon Wood had a less memorable performance in game two. In addition to an 0-for-2 at the plate – although Wood did have a sacrifice fly to plate the Trav’s first run - Wood booted two grounders by Cardinal prospect Nick Stavinoha.
The Quakes capitalized on a two-out error by Bakersfield in the sixth inning for four runs, taking a 4-3 victory over the Blaze. Nick Green, making his first start in the Cal League, earned the victory by allowing only one run in five innings, while striking out five. The only run Green allowed came on a homer by outfielder Steven Murphy.
Designated hitter Ben Johnson, who had two singles, was the only member of the Quakes squad with multiple hits. Leftfielder Drew Toussaint had a double and a walk in his first appearance of the year. Last year, Toussaint hit 45 points better when he was in the field than when he served as a designated hitter.
Nick Adenhart took a few batters to get settled in to full-season ball, allowing a leadoff walk and RBI double before he recorded his second out, but then he found his groove. Over the next 5.2 innings, he allowed only three more runners and struck out five, including retiring the side on strikes in his last inning of work.
Unfortunately, the 19-year-old’s teammates couldn’t come up with the offense to get him a win, and the Kernals fell to the Beloit Snappers for the second straight night, 2-1.
Travis Schlichting, the former fourth-round pick acquired from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in exchange for Josh Paul, went two-for-four with a double as the club’s DH. The third baseman is returning for his second campaign in the Midwest League.