Monday, February 15, 2010

The Champs and 15 others Start Their Season

Highlights from the other half of the league on Opening Day, including both World Series combatants from a season ago and four other defending division champs:

National League

We'll start in Salt Lake City with the champs, where the Shakers unveiled the championship banner and received their rings, but Vancouver's rookie shortstop Jim Gibson crashed the party. Gibson drove in 3 in his major league debut as the Golden Otters beat the Shakers 6-2.

In San Juan, the Austin City Limits opened their NL South defense with a resounding win over the hometown Dead Bunnies. LF David Cortes hit three homers to drive in 4 and SS William Satou scored twice and swiped two bases to help lead a 12-2 assault.

In Atlanta, opening day provided another NL East pitchers' duel. This time Santiago Perez and the hometown Bandits hooked up with David Dunwoody and the archrival Trenton Traffic, and the two combined for 15 scoreless innings (Dunwoody went 7 stellar innings; Perez was just as good over 8). The game stayed scoreless until the 11th, when Watty Miller hit a solo shot for the Traffic to provide the only offense in a 1-0 Traffic win.

In Kansas City, highly touted starter Ozzie Acker threw a complete game shutout for the Scouts against the visiting Pittsburgh Land Sharks. 2B Albert Castro had two hits and drove in a pair.

American League

In Seattle, the American League champion Killer Whales made it 0-2 for last season's World Series participants. They dropped a 10 inning 2-1 decision to their archrivals, the Las Vegas Sand Cats. Wally Harvey had the game winning hit in the 10th, a 2-out single. Bob Koplove homered in his first game as a member of the Sand Cats.

In St. Louis, River City Rage ace Yogi Anderson pitched a 2-hit shutout over seven innings and
Frank Pritchett drove in 3 to help lead the Rage over the Cincinnati Simpletons 11-1. Placido Sanchez and Rico Guevara each drove in 2 for St. Louis.

In Monterrey, the Sultans jumped out to a 8-0 lead on the Jackson Vipers and hung on for an 8-5 win. Albert Gonzalez pitched 5 scoreless innings for the win and CF Del Lopez drove in 3 runs. Rookie 3B Steve Lofton drove in 3 for the Vipers in the loss.

And finally, in New York, Boston's Tommy Jordan led the season off with a inside-the-park homer and went 3 for 4 in a 7-4 Boston win over the Knickerbockers. Daryl Cashman went 6 innings to grab the win for the Bambinos.

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