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BLUE JAYS (3-4)
1 Jason Leblebijian 3B
2 Christian Lopes 2B
3 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
4 Art Charles 1B
5 Seth Conner C
6 Dickie Joe Thon SS
7 Eric Arce LF
8 Matt Dean DH
9 Carlos Ramirez CF
RHP Tom Robson (0-1, 6.75)
RHP Kevin Comer (0-1, 4.50) will piggyback
RHP Kevin Comer (0-1, 4.50) will piggyback
1Terrance Gore CF
2 Humberto Arteaga SS
3 Kenny Diekroeger 2B
4 Chris Elder LF
5 Fred Ford RF
6 Beau Maggi C
7 Mark Threlkeld 1B
8 Adrian Morales 3B
9 Jose Rodriguez DH
LHP Colin Rodgers (0-0, 0.00)
BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:45
WEATHER: A very pleasant 81 degrees with plenty of sunshine.
UMPIRES: PLATE Travis Godec FIELD Morgan Day
ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Jays began their six-game road trip on the right foot on Monday. Art Charles crushed two mammoth home runs to lead a 12-hit offensive attack as the Baby Jays beat the Burlington Royals at Burlington Athletic Stadium 10-5. Charles began the barrage early with a two-run blast in the first that was halfway up the batter’s eye in center field. His second shot in the third inning also plated two runs when it soared over the scoreboard in right-center field and landed on the roof of a neighboring building.
The third inning also featured a bizarre play that brought home a Bluefield tally. Jason Leblebijian was on second after the first of his three hits and Christian Lopes was at the plate. Lopes hit a bouncer in front of the plate that Royals catcher Beau Maggi caught with his facemask, thinking it was a foul ball. After the two umpires discussed the play, Lopes was awarded third base on an equipment-interference error and Leblebijian scored. Deivy Estrada allowed four runs in the fourth, but nothing more as he got the win with five innings. Griffin Murphy excelled out of the bullpen by pitching the sixth, seventh and eighth without allowing a run.
VS. THE ROYALS: The Royals struggled last year to a 24-44 finish in 2011 and the Jays feasted on Burlington throughout the summer, going 7-2 in the season series. Bluefield took two of three at home from July 18-20, with the only loss coming in 11 innings. They swept the Royals a week later on the road by a combined score of 22-3. They played again at Bowen Field from August 16-18 and won the series again, winning a rain-shortened rubber game. Returning reliever Les Williams pitched five scoreless innings against the Royals spanning two appearances.
ROBSON: A day before his 19th birthday, Canadian righty Tom Robson will start the middle game of this series. He was touched for four runs (three earned) in his four-inning debut at Bristol on June 21. He had faced the minimum through the first ten outs, before a four-run fourth inning. The native of Delta, British Columbia was chosen in the fourth round of last year’s draft. In 2011 he was ranked by Baseball America as the 72nd-best high-school prospect during his senior year at Delta Secondary School.
COMER: Baseball America’s 17th-ranked Blue Jays prospect will piggyback on Robson’s start. Kevin took a loss in his pro debut in Bristol on Thursday after allowing two runs in four innings of work. Like Robson, he got off to a great start, retiring the first eight batters before allowing single tallies in the third and fourth frames. He was a supplemental first-round pick (57th overall) in 2011 after Miguel Olivo signed with Seattle. After the Shamong, NJ native pitched his Seneca HS team to the Group 3 state championship, the Blue Jays bought Comer out of his commitment to Vanderbilt with a $1.65 million signing bonus. Baseball America says the right-hander has “a clean arm action and delivery, and he gets good angle to his pitches.” The publication adds that he has a “live fastball that generally sits around (91-93).” He also throws a curve that “some scouts think will be a plus pitch in time.”
RODGERS: 18-year-old lefty Colin Rodgers starts the series opener for the Royals. He was taken by Kansas City in the third round of this month’s draft out of Parkview Baptist High School in Baton Rouge, LA. Prior to the draft, Baseball America ranked him 207th on their top 500 list. He signed for $700,000 (476,500 over the suggested signing bonus). Armed with a low-90s fastball and plus-curveball, he had signed to play college ball with the Auburn Tigers before joining the Royals. In his pro debut on Wednesday, Colin worked around two walks and a single to post two scoreless innings in a start at Pulaski.
ACE OF BASE: With his two moonshots last night, Art Charles has now reached base in all seven Blue Jays games this season. He is one of only five Appy Leaguers to reach in all seven games thus far in 2012. The others are Patrick Leonard of Burlington, Elizabthton’s Rory Rhodes, Princeton’s John Alexander and Ariel Ovando of Greeneville.
GIMME FIVE: Carlos Ramirez is off to a great start for the Baby Jays, hitting .368 (7-for-19). Playing left field last night, he went 2-for-5 with an RBI double to run his hitting streak to five games, spanning each contest he’s played this year. Only Johnson City 2B Ildemaro Vargas (six) has a longer stretch while notching a hit in every game he’s played.
GIMME TEN: Bluefield exploded for ten runs in last night’s series opener, reaching double-digits in scoring for the first time in 2012. The Jays plated ten or more runs eight times last season, including three times against the Royals.
Pregame Audio: The man who hit two homers to the moon last night, 1B Art Charles
Plus the audio of both homers from last night's broadcast:
And a little bonus audio, here's Jacob Anderson's walk-off double from Saturday night (sorry that the recording skips at about the :20 mark):
Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 6-26