Three of the Yankees' full season minor league affiliates go their first taste of action tonight. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre gave their home fans some extra baseball after spending last season on the road, however, they weren't able to open with a win. Trenton and Tampa came away victorious - and so begins the MiLB season... Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Pawtucket 8-4 (10 innings): Vidal Nuno got the start and worked a quick 1-2-3 top of the first, while the RailRiders put their bats to work. Corban Joseph lined a single to right and Zoilo Almonte drew a walk. With two outs, Melky Mesa grounded a single to left to score the RailRiders' first run. Cody Johnson drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch plated Almonte and Scranton took a 2-0 lead. The RailRiders had a chance to get some insurance when David Adams hit a two out double and moved to third on a single by Joseph. Nuno had looked good through the first four innings, but found himself in trouble quickly in the fifth. Bryce Brentz started the inning with a double to left and Brandon Snyder drove a two-run homer out of the park, tying the game. Nuno got the next two batters, but that was the end of his night as Sam Demel came out of the bullpen. He walked Jonathan Diaz, who stole second before scoring on a single by Brock Holt, giving Pawtucket a 3-2 edge.
Scranton tied things up in the seventh. Dan Johnson drew a leadoff walk and stole second. A single by Cody Johnson put runners on the corners and Austin Romine drew a walk to load the bases. Thomas Neal hit a sac fly to right and the game was tied 3-3. The Red Sox quickly took the lead back in the top of the tenth, as Jim Miller struggled on the mound. He gave up a one out solo shot to Jeremy Hazelbaker before walking Drew Sutton. A double by Ryan Lavarnway scored Sutton and Brentz doubled in another run. A two-run homer by Justin Henry put Pawtucket ahead 8-3, leaving the RailRiders with one last chance to pick up the W. Gil Velaquez lined a soft single to center and Adams followed with a single of his own. A walk by Joseph loaded the bases and a wild pitch to Almonte plated Velaquez with no outs. Almonte took a free pass, loading the bases again with no outs. Unfortunately, Dan Johnson, Melky Mesa and Cody Johnson each struck out, handing Scranton the 8-4 loss.
Adams went 2-5 with a double and a walk. Joseph also went 2-5, scoring once and walking once. Nuno lasted 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on three hits, no walks and six strike outs. Mark Montgomery threw a perfect inning of relief, picking up a K. Miller got lit up for five runs on four hits and a walk in one inning of work.
Trenton beat Portland 13-5: The Thunder got their 2013 off to a big start. Ramon Flores gave them their first baserunner of the day, hitting a one out single to right field. Tyler Austin struck out, but J.R. Murphy reached on an error by Portland pitcher, Drake Britton. With two on and two out, Kyle Roller drove the second pitch he saw over the wall in center, giving Trenton a 3-0 lead. Nik Turley struggled in the first, giving up a leadoff double to Shannon Wilkerson, who scored on a groundout by Stephen Drew. Tony Thomas followed with a two out single and moved to second on a balk. Murphy ended the threat, however, throwing out Thomas as he tried to take third base. Portland got one run back in the bottom of the first and took the lead on a three run homer by Heiker Meneses in the second. Trenton responded in the third. Flores reached on an error and Tyler Austin drew a walk. Murphy then knocked a three run homer of his own, putting the Thunder back in front. A solo shot by Rob Segedin put them in front 7-4. Portland plated another run, but that was all they could manage as Trenton continued to pour it on. Neil Medchill hit a two-run double to left in the fifth and then drove a two-run homer to center in the seventh. Austin doubled in Flores in the Eighth and scored on a sac fly by Segedin giving Trenton the 13-5 victory.
Slade Heathcott's first day in Double-A was rough, as he went 0-6, striking out once. Flores went 1-6 with three runs scored. Murphy went 1-4 with two runs scored, a homer and three RBIs, while Medchill was the player of the game with four RBIs, going 3-5 with a double and a homer. Turley didn't last long, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits, three walks and two Ks in 2.2 innings of work. The bullpen of Dan Burawa, Shaeffer Hall, Kelvin Perez and Branden Pinder kept the Sea Dogs guessing, giving up no hits and just one walk while striing out 12.
Tampa beat Lakeland 7-4: Angelo Gumbs started the Yankees offense by lining a single to right. He scored on a double by Ben Gamel, who came home when Gary Sanchez grounded a single to center. Zach Wilson drew a walk and Sanchez stole third, scoring on a throwing error by Lakeland catcher, John Murrian. The Flying Tigers got one run back in the top of the second. The Yankees threatened in the fourth but came up empty, holding onto their 3-1 lead. Lakeland chipped away, as Steven Moya scored on an error on Gumbs in the sixth. Aaron Westlake hit a two-run homer off Nick Goody in the top of the eighth, putting the Flying Tigers out front 4-3. The Yankees answered in the bottom of the inning. Gamel reached on an error and scored on a double by Sanchez. Wilson reached on a fielders choice and Sanchez scored on a throwing error by Eugenio Suarez. A single by Eduardo Sosa plated Wilson and Ali Castillo singled, putting runners on the corners. Mason Williams flew a single to left plating Sosa and the Yankees held on for the 7-4 victory.
Gary Sanchez went 2-4 with two runs scored, a double, two RBIs and a stolen base. Gamel, Sosa and Castillo all went 2-4 as well, while Gumbs and Williams each picked up one hit and struck out twice. Bryan Mitchell made the start, going five innings and allowing one run on four hits, three walks and five Ks.
Charleston RiverDogs v. Greenville Drive:
Charleston will have to wait another day for their season to start, as tonight's game was rained out. They will play a doubleheader on Saturday.