Right-hander Marcus Walden [5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K] breezed through the first three innings while managing to keep his pitches low and prevent all but one Yankee hitter from airing the ball, allowing only two harmless singles. Things caught up to him in the fourth though, where his leadoff walk led to three consecutive hits by the Yankees' middle-of-the-order sluggers that put the Jays in a 2-1 deficit. Walden got lucky starting in the fifth when a grounder destined for up the middle ricocheted off him. He was able to get the out though and didn't appear hurt. The next batter then walked and a pitch nailed the following hitter, but Walden escaped without harm.
Right fielder Kenan Bailli began the eventual last inning by sending a long first-pitch double into the opposite gap in left and scored to knot the game at two apiece. But the Jays' weren't able to hold on as they fell to the Charleston Yankees 3-2 in a low-A matchup shortened by rain in the bottom of the sixth. Bailli (2-3, 2B, 2 R) was in the middle of the Jays' action all afternoon. He started a second inning rally with a single to right field in his first at-bat, scoring the Jays' only other run, courtesy of Ivan Contreras' (1-3, RBI) poke single past the first baseman. The only blemish for him on the day came he struck out on an off-speed pitch with a runner on second and two outs.
Dunedin Starting Lineup: Jonathan Jones, Ryan Schimpf, Marcus Knecht, Jon Talley, Kenan Bailli, Jack Murphy, Kevin Ahrens, Kevin Nolan, Ivan Contreras.
Left fielder Marcus Knecht (2-3, 2B) had the only other multi-hit performance of the day besides Bailli. He smashed two hard hit singles to left field, but struck out looking on a low inside fastball with a runner at second.
Third baseman Kevin Ahrens (1-3, RBI) looked disappointing in his first two plate appearances, grounding into a double play in the second with two men on and getting caught looking at an inside fastball in the fourth. He did rebound nicely in the sixth when he notched an RBI single to tie the game.
Rain was anticipated when right-hander John Stilson (2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) entered the game in the sixth after it caused a short delay in the top half of the inning. A pitch drilled the first batter he faced, but a 5-4-3 double play took care of the issue. Yankees' Neil Medchill came up next and clobbered a home run that ended the game once it appeared the rain was not letting up.
Second baseman Ryan Schimpf (0-1, 2B, BB) was on base twice in the game with a beautiful leadoff double in the gap that reached the wall in the third and later had a walk.
TAMPA, FL - Marcus Walden did what he does best lately, keep his teams in games. It wasn't enough though as the Dunedin Blue Jays fells to the Tampa Yankees 3-2 in a rain-shortened road affair on Saturday.
BJMLN - Walden's Effort Not Enough
Marcus Walden pitched well in his final spring tuneup but it wasn't enough to carry Dunedin.