The Iowa Cubs got another strong pitching performance from a starter named "Sean" and then held on for a 4-3 victory over the Round Rock Express.
Sean Gallagher wasn't quite as dominating as Sean Marshall was the night before, but he got the win by lasting five innings and giving up only one run on a solo home run. He gave up two hits total and only walked one while striking out five.
Neal Cotts surprised by throwing two perfect innings of relief while striking out three. But Jose Ascanio struggled in the ninth and almost blew the save before recording the final out (and getting the save). Ascanio threw two innings and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out two.
Second baseman Eric Patterson went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Jake Fox played first and chipped in a two-run home run. Right fielder Josh Kroeger also went 2 for 4 with a double and shortstop Andres Blanco went 2 for 3.
In the first game, Mitch Atkins started and went four innings. He gave up only the single run on five hits and a walk. He struck out six. Jesse Estrada got the win with an inning of scoreless work, allowing a double and a walk. Ed Campusano and Michael Cooper each threw a perfect inning of relief for a hold and a save.
The Smokies only had three hits, but one was a two-run home run by first baseman Matt Craig that won the game.
In the nightcap, the Smokies exploded for five runs in the first and that was all starter Jeff Samardzija needed. Samardzija threw five innings and gave up only the one run on three hits and a walk. He only struck out one batter, which is the only down note for the Shark. Greg Reinhard threw two perfect innings of relief for the save.
First baseman Issmael Salas went 2 for 4 with a double. Catcher Chris Robinson had an RBI double in three at bats.
The Vero Beach Devil Rays plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Daytona Cubs, 4-3.
James Russell had a strong start, going six innings and only giving up one run on a solo home run to Devil Ray prospect Ryan Royster. Please note that it's still OK to be a Devil Ray in Vero Beach. It's only in St. Petersburg that you have to be just a "Ray." Russell gave up five hits and a walk on the night. The only bad note is that he only struck out two.
Mike Phelps rebounded from his bad opening night by throwing 1.2 perfect innings of relief. He struck out four Devil Rays. But unfortunately, Casey Lambert and Ryan Meyers blew the game by combing to give up three runs in the ninth inning.
Second baseman Tony Thomas continued his torrid start to the season, going 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. A caught stealing was his only blemish on the night. Center fielder Jonathan Wyatt also went 2 for 4 with a caught stealing. (Memo: You might not want to try to steal on that Devil Ray catcher.) Right fielder Jim Adduci went 2 for 4 with a double.
The Chiefs lost to the Burlington Bees, 5-4 in 11 innings.
Maybe someone who lives in Peoria can shed more light on this, but the field must have been wet or something because the story of the game was the eight errors made by Peoria. That's more in one game than Manager Ryne Sandberg had in some seasons. Three were by pitchers, which indicates that it's time for some PFP. Second baseman Nate Sampson had two.
The Bees only had one error though. Maybe it was just the Chiefs.
Starter Chris Sigfried gave up two runs, one earned on three hits and two walks. He struck out one. Reliever Dustin Sasser took the loss after giving up an unearned run in 2.2 innings of work. But hey, it was his fracking error that led to the winning run.
The experiment to move Dylan Johnston to left field so he could concentrate on hitting might be working. Johnston hit a pair of two-run home runs that accounted for all of Peoria's scoring. Right fielder Kyler Burke and DH Blake Lalli also had two hits a piece.