BARONS SPLIT 2 SQUEAKERS; FLOYD TAKES LOSS IN DEBUT
By VAN ROSE email@example.com
Friday, August 06, 2004 Page: 1B
MOOSIC - Despite a mild case of the jitters, pitching phenom Gavin Floyd made
an impressive Triple-A debut Thursday night. Unfortunately for the Red Barons,
he didn't pick up the win.
Buffalo took an early 1-0 lead and stretched it to 3-0 in the sixth inning
against Floyd, and held on for a 3-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the
second game of a doubleheader at Lackawanna County Stadium.
The Red Barons rallied for a 7-6 victory in the opener on J.P. Roberge's
two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. The split left
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (58-52) three games behind Buffalo (62-50) in the North
Division of the International League.
Floyd got off to a shaky start, giving up a double to leadoff hitter
Brandon Phillips to start the game. Phillips later scored from third on a wild
pitch by Floyd, giving the Bisons a 1-0 lead.
The 21-year-old right-hander settled down. He got into a couple of minor
jams, but didn't allow another run until Buffalo scored twice in the sixth on
RBI doubles by Chris Clapinski and Raul Gonzalez.
``I guess I was a little nervous at first, but I settled down. I thought I
pitched OK. I pitched out of a couple of jams, and then got back in one (in
``I had trouble getting ahead of hitters, but I made some good pitches. I'm
glad I was able to make my (Triple-A) debut for Scranton.''
Red Barons manager Marc Bombard said Floyd acquitted himself well. ``He
pitched good. He had men on third twice, and both times got out of the inning.
He probably had some butterflies in his stomach.''
Floyd gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings of work, and suffered
The Red Barons captured the opener in dramatic fashion. Buffalo, which
overcame an early 4-0 deficit, held a 6-5 lead entering the bottom of the
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre received a gift when leadoff batter Shawn Wooten
reached first on a fielding error by shortstop Brandon Phillips, who dropped a
routine ground ball.
Buzz Hannahan was inserted as a pinch runner for Wooten. The Bisons brought
in ace lefty Cliff Bartosh to face cleanup hitter Ryan Howard.
The Red Barons' first baseman delivered a clutch hit - a towering ground
rule double that bounced over the center field fence - that moved Hannahan to
Buffalo then intentionally walked Mark Smith, loading the bases. Jim
Rushford followed with a sharp ground ball to second, which resulted in
Hannahan being forced out at home.
That set the stage for Roberge, who blooped a single to shallow left field,
easily scoring Howard and Smith to secure the victory.
The Red Barons got off to a fast start, taking a 3-0 lead in the first
inning. Mark Budzinski led off with a triple, and promptly scored on Pablo
Ozuna's RBI single.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored two more runs on Smith's RBI single and an RBI
double by Rushford. They widened the margin to 4-0 on a solo homer by
Budzinski in the second.
The Red Barons appeared to be sailing along. Pitcher Vicente Padilla,
making a rehab start, struck out the first four batters he faced. Padilla
pitched three innings of no-hit ball, and seemed to be in full control.
However, Padilla was the victim of misfortune in the Buffalo fourth.
He retired the first two batters, but then walked Ryan Ludwick and Chris
Clapinski. The next batter, Raul Gonzalez, hit a ground ball to Roberge at
Roberge was forced to go to his right in the hole and fielded the ball
cleanly. He flipped the ball to shortstop Ozuna, who was covering second.
Clapinski beat the throw by a step - filling the bases with Bisons.
Brent Abernathy then belted a grand slam home run, tying the score at 4-4.
Dusty Wathan followed with a triple off reliever Spike Lundberg, and scored on
Jason Tyner's bunt single, giving the Bisons a 5-4 lead.
The Red Barons drew even at 5-5 on Howard's RBI single in the bottom of the
fourth. Buffalo regained the lead at 6-5 in the top of the seventh when
Phillips scored from third on a nifty squeeze bunt by Eric Crozier.
NOTES: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre left fielder Lou Collier joined the Phillies
in San Diego Thursday as a possible fill-in for outfielder Pat Burrell, who
was injured in Wednesday's win over the Padres. ... Philadelphia GM Ed Wade
was on hand at Lackawanna County Stadium for Floyd's Triple-A debut.
TIMES LEADER PHOTO/FRED ADAMS
Red Barons shortstop Pablo Ozuna leaps out of the way of a sliding Chris
Clapinski of Buffalo after getting the force at second base Thursday at
Lackawanna County Stadium.
TIMES LEADER PHOTO/FRED ADAMS
Vincente Padilla is on a rehab assignment with the Red Barons.