The pregame big news was the fact that second baseman Rickie Weeks was going to lead off the order for the first time this year. Interim lead-off man Brady Clark was sent down to the eight spot in hopes of lightening any pressure that he may have expereinced so far in the early season. Both went hitless with Weeks going 0 for 4 and Brady 0 for 3. Being it was the first game in their new spots, I’m not too concerned about the results. According to manager Ned Yost, this won’t be a one time deal. Rickie can expect to play at least a week as the number one man. Being, easily, the fastest set of feet on the team he would be the ideal leadoff man, if not for his average.
Entering last night’s game with a ten game hitting streak, Rickie failed to get a hit, but seemed ready to jump back on track tonight. Not so was the case as he finished 0 for 4 with a strikeout and a reach on an error by Braves second baseman Marcus Giles. His woes continued definsively as he commited two errors, one on a throw to first, the other on a easily dropped catch from third baseman Corey Koskie trying to turn a double play.
The main story tonight, however, was another sort of firsts. Corey Koskie not only got his first home run and RBI of the season, but got them on a single swing of the bat. After rookie first baseman Prince Fielder singled to open up the seventh, Koskie sent a pitch to straight away right-center giving him his first home run and first, and second, RBI’s of the season. His average being .314 at game’s end, his drought wasn’t as significant as say, right fielder Geoff Jenkins, but must have felt good to finally break away as he’s capable of hitting many more.
Chris Capuano (3-2) solidified himself as a threatening picther in the league as he completed his fifth consecutive quality start giving up only a single run on 3 hits, 6 strikeouts and only a single walk. He entered play tied for second in the national league in strikeouts. Matt Wise felt a little bit of trouble as he gave up a leadoff single to pinch hitter Pete Orr to center field. After walking Giles, Wilson Betemit hit a shot ground ball to Koskie for what appeared to be a 5-4-3 double play. Weeks muffed the reception from the third baseman though and Giles and Betemit reached safely into second and first, leaving the bases loaded. After left fielder Matt Diaz grounded into a run scoring double play, All-Star center fielder Andrew Jones grounded to third and was thrown out to end the inning.
The top of the ninth featured lock-down specialist Derrick Turnbow a day after finally finding some throwing duty in the 11-0 rout delivered by the Reds. He shut down 1-2-3 including a strike out of Adam LaRoche and recorded his sixth save of the season.