Well the season finally opened at Pioneer Park. The Astros came in not having won yet and the Cardinals had not lost yet. Starter Richardo Batista did a nice job of pitching out of self imposed trouble. He only allowed two hits but he surrendered three walks and hit one batter. He also moved a runner from first to third with an poor pick-off throw. Yet none of those runners scored.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Astros put together a nice offensive inning. Josh Magee lined the first pitch in the center for a single. Alex Todd grounded to short but Magee was going on the play. So there was no chance for a double play. Chase Davidson then battled through several foul balls to hit a RBI single through the right side of the infield. Davidson also showed good speed stealing second and moving to third when the throw went into CF. He was stranded there to end the inning.
After Batista has retired the side in the 5th, the Astros added another run. With two outs, Jose Malzon worked a walk. He then stole second and scored when Jordan Scott singled to right field.
From that point forward, the wheels came off. Batista's shot for a win was lost after first baseman Ronald Sanchez let the ball drop out of his glove on what would have been the third out of the inning. The tying run scored on that error.
In the seventh, Ernesto Genoves, who replaced Sanchez at first in the top of the inning, tripled on a deep fly ball to right center. He scored on Jose Monzon's ground rule double. After a sharp line out by Scott, the Cards changed pitchers and that was the turning point in the game.
The brought in submariner Heath Wyatt who faced five batters and four of them fanned. Meanwhile a parade of closers by the Astros who helped the Cards by hitting three batters. There was one error and the another ball that was lost in the lights that extended innings and created a hole too deep to dig out of. The final was a 7-3 loss.
Ariel Ovando was sited in uniform in the dug out but was not in the line up. There was no information available as to his status.
Davidson continues to look good at the plate. I was also impressed by Manzon and Genoves. Rivera has a unique hitch in his swing that concerns me.
The crowd was solid at 1875 and were treated to a nice fireworks display after the game.