BLUE JAYS (9-13)
1 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
2 Jorge Vega-Rosado 2B
3 Santiago Nessy C
4 Art Charles 1B
5 Christian Lopes DH
6 Dickie Joe Thon SS
7 Eric Arce LF
8 Matt Dean 3B
9 Nico Taylor RF
RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski (0-0, 2.57)
1 Candido Pimentel 2B
2 Jorge Polanco SS
3 Max Kepler CF
4 Rory Rhodes DH
5 DJ Hicks 1B
6 Adam Walker RF
7 Travis Harrison 3B
7 Travis Harrison 3B
8 Bo Altobelli C
9 Romy Jimenez LF
LHP Taylor Rogers (1-0, 2.50)
BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:50. The games are also carried on local radio on WKEZ 1240 AM The Rooster Classic Country
WEATHER: 77 degrees...it rained earlier and we might have one system come through around 7:45.
UMPIRES: PLATE Troy Hodack FIELD Nick Garvey
ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: It was a long night at the ballpark, but the Blue Jays stuck it out through a long rain delay and pounded the Pulaski Mariners 12-3 at Calfee Park on Friday night to take two of three in the series. Eric Arce knocked his first homer of the year and drove in four to lead the offensive attack. Bluefield struck early and often in the rubber game, bouncing back from Thursday’s heartbreaking ten-inning loss. In the top of the second inning, steady rain caused the game to be put on hold. It would be two hours and 25 minutes before the game resumed at 10 p.m. The visitors showed no signs of rust in waiting out the delay. Dwight Smith drove in his second run on a groundout once the game started again and Christian Lopes knocked a two-run double to make it 4-0. The Jays kept it up in the third inning when Eric Arce drilled a two-run homer over the right field wall and onto Pierce Avenue. It was his first home run of the season and it busted open the lead to 6-0. Arce doubled home two more runs later to tie a Bluefield season high with four runs batted in. Lopes and Smith both drove in a pair as well. Jorge Vega-Rosado led the team with three hits and was joined by Lopes, Arce, Santiago Nessy and Nico Taylor among those with multiple hits. Coming in after the long delay, Les Williams was brilliant in three innings of relief of Norris. The righty went nine-up nine-down to get through the fourth and notch his first victory of 2012. Southpaws Shane Davis and Joe Spano were next out of the bullpen and both turned in two hitless frames. Colby Broussard pitched the ninth and allowed the three Mariners runs on a Phillips Castillo three-run homer. It was the first hit off Bluefield pitching since the first inning, a span of seven and two-thirds innings. Broussard recovered and ended the game at 12:12 a.m. as Friday turned to Saturday, five hours and seven minutes after first pitch.
VS. THE TWINS: The Blue Jays beat the Twins two games to one to win the first round of last year’s postseason and advance to the League Championship Series. In the regular season, they won the first two meetings in 2011, but the Twins won four straight to finish the regular season. The Jays won at Elizabethton on Opening Night in 13 innings on Art Charles’ game-winning double. Bluefield missed a chance at a road sweep when the Twins rallied for three runs in the ninth to win 6-5. They didn’t meet again until the final week of the season when the Twins swept three games at Bowen Field to almost ruin the Jays’ division-title hopes. Charles hit .360 with six RBIs in six games against the Twins in 2011.
- TONIGHT’S PITCHING PROBABLES -
RHP JEREMY GABRYSZWSKI: The 19-year-old righty out of Crosby, TX was great last Saturday in Burlington. He pitched four innings and allowed one hit, a Kenny Diekroeger home run. That the only mark against him and he stood to get the win before the Royals rallied in the bottom of the ninth against the bullpen. With only two walks in 14 innings, his 3.9% walk rate is seventh in the circuit among hurlers with at least 14 innings pitched. He was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, splitting time between the Gulf Coast League and Bluefield. After four and one-third scoreless innings in three GCL games, Gabryszwski moved up to the Appy League on August 29, turning in a shutout inning of relief at Danville. He relieved twice in the postseason for the Jays, allowing two runs in four and two-thirds innings. A graduate of Crosby High School, he had committed to play college ball at Lamar before signing with Toronto.
LHP TAYLOR ROGERS: Lefty Taylor Rogers makes his fifth start of his professional career tonight. Chosen by the Twins in the 11th round of last month’s draft out of the University of Kentucky, Rogers is coming off his longest outing and first loss. In Johnson City on Sunday, he went longer than four innings for the first time, tossing six frames. He allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits and took the loss despite striking out seven with no walks. A native of Littleton, CO, Taylor is tied for tenth in the league with 22 strikeouts and with only three walks allowed, he has the fifth-best K/BB ratio among pitchers with as many innings pitched as his 18. Chosen in the 37th round of the 2009 draft by the Orioles, Rogers elected to attend Kentucky and he took a perfect game into the seventh inning in his first start against West Virginia.
DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S AL-DWIGHT: Center fielder Dwight Smith Jr. has been heating up lately for the Blue Jays. The 2011 supplemental first-round pick is 8-for-17 in his last four games with a homer, three doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored. He was the hitting star for Bluefield last night with his first career three-hit game. His two doubles keyed the game-tying rally in the eighth inning and the one in the tenth that gave the Jays a lead. With only seven strikeouts in 76 plate appearances, he is the fourth-toughest hitter to strike out in the Appy League.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: The Elizabethton Twins are off to another great start in 2012. They are 16-8 and sit atop the West Division by a game and a half in front of Greeneville. Elizabethton is on a run of 23 consecutive winning seasons in which they’ve averaged a 42-26 seasonal mark. 1988 was their last losing season (33-37). The Twins lead the Appy League in batting average, on base percentage and slugging with a ridiculous .300/.389/.466 line as a team. Left fielder Romy Jimenez has destroyed opposing pitching, hitting .379 and leading the league in OBP (.447), SLG (.742), RBIs (21) and extra-base hits (13).
AND ON THE 90th DAY, HE RESTED: Art Charles is the only player in the Appy League to start every one of his team’s games in 2012. That streak ended in last night’s as he had the day off. His Appy League consecutive games streak was up to 89 as he and teammate Chris Hawkins were the only players in the league to play all 68 games in 2011.
THEY’RE TOO SIX-Y: Jorge Vega-Rosado is hitting .478 (11-for-23) with five RBIs in six games for Bluefield with a hit in each one, including three with multiple hits. Seth Conner singled in his last at bat Friday to extend his streak to six as well. He is 10-for-14 during the run.
Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 7-14
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