Daytona and Tennessee won their first games of the season Friday night as the bats came alive for both squads.
Daytona 8, Brevard County 0
Daytona picked up their first win of the year as Starling Peralta and Ryan Searle combined for a three-hit shutout blanking the Manatees. Searle, a member of the Australian World Baseball Classic squad, got the win with five innings of scoreless relief, striking out six.
After striking out twice in the opener, Javier Baez had the green light on 3-0 pitch, taking a Drew Gagon offereing over the left-field fence for his first home run of the year, scoring Zeke DeVoss, who led off with a single for the second straight game. DeVoss, who played his high school ball at nearby Astronaut High School, put the Cubs up 4-0 with a two-run triple in the second. Catcher Chad Noble tripled off the top of the fence over 420 feet away to make it 5-0 in the third and the Cubs added two runs in the fifth for a 7-0 lead. The Manatees put runners on second and third with one out on the fifth chasing Peralta, but Ryan Searle ended the threat fanning the next two hitters. John Andreoli collected his second hit of the game, a RBI single in the sixth for a 8-0 Daytona lead.
"I came here as a kid and its awesome to be a player on this field," DeVoss said in a radio interview following the game. "Its nice to have some early season success." Devoss was a home run short of the cycle. Andreoli and Ben Carhart both had three hits as the Cubs pounded out 15 base knocks. Baez was 2-5 and Jorge Soler went 1-5.
The Arizona Diamondbacks thought enough of Starling Peratla's talents to select him in the 2012 Rule 5 draft. The right-hander appeared in four games in spring training allowing seven runs on five hits and three walks in three innings. The D-Backs returned Peralta on March 14. He was signed as a free agent by the Cubs in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic and is in his sixth season with Cubs after spending his first three in the DSL. He made 29 starts in two season in the MWL, pitching 156 innings with 147 hits, 48 BB, and 129 Ks. The MWL hit only .217 off Peralta last year. Peralta faced 16 hitters in his first start Friday night allowing two hits and two walks before being taken out with two runners on in the fifth. He fanned five and didn't allow a hit until the fifth.
Tennessee 8, Pensacola 2
Alberto Cabrera fanned nine in six innings and the offense pounded out 12 hits as Tennessee got their first win of the season.
The Smokies jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a first-inning RBI single by Christian Villanueva, scoring Matt Szczur, who walked. The Blue Wahoos used a leadoff bunt single to their advantage off Cabrera in the second as a RBI ground out and infield single gave them a 2-1 lead. Tennessee tied the game on back-to-back doubles by Jonathan Mota and Jair Fernandez and took the lead on a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of Matt Szczur. A RBI single by Jae Hoon Ha and run-scoring double from Justin Bour put the Smokies up 5-2 and then Villanueva kept the hits coming driving in Bour with a single. Villanueva wasn't done, ripping a two-run double down the line in the eighth for a 8-2 lead.
Cabrera is being moved back to a starting role after spending last year as a reliever, including 25 games for Chicago (1-1, 5.40 ERA). He's started 95 games in his seven year career for the Cubs. The right-hander worked six innings throwing 77 pitches, 54 strikes. Zac Rosscup made his first appearance of the season memorable as the lefty struck out the side in the seventh and added two more Ks in a scoreless eighth. Trey McNutt pitched a scoreless ninth
Albuquerque 10, Iowa 6
The Isotopes roughed up Cubs pitching for the second straight game with 15 hits as all four Iowa pitchers allowed runs.
Patience at the plate paid off for Iowa in the first inning seeing 29 pitches against Matt Magill, making his AAA debut for the Isotopes. After a leadoff single by Logan Watkins, Brian Bogusevic and Brad Nelson both drew walks to load the bases. Darnell McDonald delivered a two-run single up the middle and Luis Flores singled but Nelson was thrown out at home for the second straight game. (Note to the PCL...Isotopes RF Alex Castellanos has a gun). Nelson got his revenge on the Isotopes in the third, blasting a full-count Magill offering out of the park The Dodgers AAA team finally got on the board after a leadoff double as Carpenter walked three straight to force in a run. The Cubs right-hander ran out of gas in the fifth allowing three straight singles and a homer by Castellanos as the Isotopes jumped ahead 5-3, ending Carpenter's afternoon. Cubs reliever Jaye Chapman was greeted with a single, triple, and a double scoring two more runs. Albuquerque got a run off Iowa's Corey Wade in the sixth but the Cubs scored three runs in the seventh on a RBI single by Bogusuvic and Nelson smacked his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to trim the lead to 8-6. Cubs pitching was all treated the same as Blake Parker surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk in the eighth.
Drew Carpenter, 27, is looking for chance to prove he can start in the big leagues and he's hoping he gets it with Chicago after signing a free agent contract. The right-hander has pitched in 23 MLB games with Phillies, Padres and Blue Jays, but only one as a starter. After winning 17 games his first full season in 2007, Carpenter made the fast track to the majors in 2008 pitching at every level before making debut in late August, pitching just one inning before being sent back down. He made 52 starts the next two years in AAA and was then used out of the bullpen in 2011, before declaring for free agency and signing with Padres and Mets last year. Carpenter threw 77 pitches in his first start Friday night, 44 strikes, but had control problems in the third and didn't miss any bats in the fifth.
Iowa Cub Notes
* For the second straight game Iowa hit double figures in the hit column with 12. Watkins went 3-3 while Nelson (2 HR), Bogusevic, Luis Flores and Edwin Maysonet all had two hits.
* Brett Jackson has struckout four times in 9 at-bats
Quad City 4, Kane County 1
Two costly errors contributed to Kane County's second loss of the season as all four Quad Cities runs were unearned.
The River Bandits took advantage of a Daniel Vogelbach error in the third inning on a grounder, allowing a runner to score from second on the play. Kane County tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Jeimer Candelario singled and scored on a Rock Shoulders' double, who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. A Wes Darvill throwing error in the eighth led to three unearned runs off Jeff Antigua, who walked two and yielded a two-run double after the fielding miscue.
Taylor Scott, 20, had a great first outing of the year allowing just four hits and an unearned run in six innings. He faced 22 batters, retiring 10 on groundouts and six more on strikes. Antigua took the loss giving up three hits with two strikeouts in three innings.
Despite only scoring one run, Kane County had 10 hits in the game led by Wes Darvill with three. Catcher Chadd Krist, making his first start of the year, had two hits and threw out a runner.