Taillon strong in season debut; Class A teams remain winless

Jameson Taillon threw five shutout innings in his season debut and Vin Mazzaro got Indianapolis in the win column, but the two Class A teams both got swept in their opening series.

Saturday's action:

-- Indianapolis overcame a rough start by Kyle McPherson and got its first win, beating Columbus, 5-3. McPherson seemed fine until he had two outs in the 2nd, but he then loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman, followed by a two-run single. He allowed another run in the 3rd, then departed after the inning. His final line included four hits, two walks, two HBPs, a wild pitch, and only one strikeout. He threw just 31 of 56 pitches for strikes. Considering how poorly he pitched in the second half of spring training, it's hard not to wonder about his shoulder. Vin Mazzaro, forgetting that he's not supposed to be a prospect any more, followed with four shutout innings. He allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out six. He also had five groundouts with no fly outs, and he threw 40 of 55 pitches for strikes. Bryan Morris got the save with a 1-2-3 9th, getting two groundouts and a strikeout. Matt Hague had two doubles, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., had a triple, and Alex Presley and Jordy Mercer each drove in a run. Brandon Inge played second and went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts, leaving him still hitless in his rehab.

-- Jameson Taillon led the way as Altoona became the first team in the organization to win two games, taking a 6-3 decision from Erie. Taillon allowed four hits, all singles, and one walk while striking out four in five shutout innings. The bullpen followed with four shaky innings, but managed to hold the lead. Andrew Lambo, another guy trying to relocate his prospect status, led the offense along with Adalberto Santos. Lambo went 3-4 with a walk, a double and a HR. Santos went 3-5. After hitting .340 for Altoona last year, he's started off at .455 through the first series this year. The loser for Erie was longtime Curve pitcher Derek Hankins.

-- Bradenton got its offense going, but couldn't overcome bad pitching and defense, and lost, 10-6, to Fort Myers. Matt Benedict pitched the first three innings, allowing seven runs, only two of them earned as Bradenton committed four errors on the day, two each by Alen Hanson and Dan Gamache. Benedict allowed six hits and walked two, while striking out one. Benedict had an awful time in the FSL last year after getting a mid-season promotion. He put up an 8.08 ERA and peripherals to match, but the Pirates seem determined to keep trying him as a starter, a level of determination you don't typically see with 30th round draft picks. Zach Fuesser followed Benedict by allowing two runs in one inning. Zack von Rosenburg came on in the 4th. He gave up two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning, leaving with a run in and the bases loaded. Jhonathan Ramos got him out of that jam. Hanson finally got his bat going, picking up a single and a triple in five at-bats. Taylor Lewis went 2-4 with a double, and Elias Diaz 2-4 with two doubles.

-- West Virginia also got swept in its opening series, losing, 4-1, to Asheville. Orlando Castro started and pitched well, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and no walks in 6.1 IP. He fanned six. Stetson Allie went 2-4 with a double, but also committed two errors. Dilson Herrera went 2-3.

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