Paint it aqua! The season debut of the Everett AquaSox came in Spokane Friday with an opening victory. I'll have a season preview up shortly.
AAA -- Tacoma 6, Sacramento 4 -- Box
And Justin Smoak reappeared (1-for-3, double), giving Tacoma three former Mariners regulars in the lineup. Dustin Ackley was in center field for the second time, and had a double, a single and a walk. And Franklin Gutierrez was there, too (as DH).
Brandon Bantz cleared waivers and was back behind the plate.
AA -- Birmingham 4, Jackson 1 -- Box
This was quite a pitchers' duel for six innings. Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) only gave up one hit in the first six frames, but his opponent Nick McCully had a no-hitter through six. McCully was lifted for a reliever, who kept the no-no going in the 7th, before Walker came back out for the bottom of the inning.
Taijuan gave up a single and then a bunt hit scored as a single before retiring to the showers with the score still 0-0. Unfortunately, Nick Hill (The [2nd] Best Story of the Year So Far) allowed both of Walker's baserunners to score, and also one of his own, before getting out of the inning.
Gabriel Noriega ended up breaking up the no-hitter, but the Generals couldn't catch up.
High-A -- Inland Empire 4, High Desert 3 -- Box
We've been waiting for it ... Blash Splash 14!
But Jabari Blash (Watch List) wasn't the only one splashing. Jordan Pries (26intheMix) had a good outing except for the three long flies the 66ers deposited over the fence in the 5th and 6th: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
Blash also had a double and a walk.
Low-A -- Clinton 9, Beloit 4 -- Box
The LumberKings finally had all their lumber producing, and they needed it:
- Jabari Henry (26intheMix): 3-for-6, double, steal
- Dario Pizzano (26intheMix) made Moe happy: 3-for-5, double
- Taylor Ard (Talk40 #32): also 3-fo-5, double
Short Season-A -- Everett 6, Spokane 4 -- Box
At one point, we were quite excited about Alfredo Morales in this space. At 18, he put up some nice numbers and earned a cameo at High Desert. We even dubbed him "Baby Rauuuul." But last year he took major steps backward, and we dropped him all the way out of the Spec66.
So maybe he'll prove us wrong, and Friday was a good start: 2-for-4, double, HR, walk. Morales had two of the team's three extra-base hits.
Righty Rigoberto Garcia got the opening-night nod, and did OK: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.