Castillo rocked as Thunder drop opener
TRENTON — Starter Lance Pendleton and the first two pitchers out of the Thunder bullpen dodged traffic for more than six innings tonight against Portland at Waterfront Park, only to have Lars Anderson and Ray Chang go deep back-to-back in the seventh to give the Seadogs a 3-2 win.
Castillo worked out of a big jam with a key strikeout in the seventh with runners at second and third, but he could not keep the ball down in the eighth inning and the middle of the Portland lineup made him pay.
Trenton third baseman Brandon Laird absolutely crushed a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the ninth for his second home run to get the Thunder within a run, but Damon Sublett grounded weakly to second base against Bryce Cox to end the game.
Tomorrow’s pitching matchup is as good as it gets for April, as Portland sends stud prospect Casey Kelly – the 30th pick overall in the 2008 draft – to the bump against Thunder right-hander D.J. Mitchell, who is among the Yankees’ top 20 prospects, according to Baseball America.
Drafted as a pitcher/shortstop hybrid, Kelly turned down a scholarship to play baseball and football at the University of Tennessee and is listed by BA as the Boston Red Sox’s No. 2 prospect.
Portland 3, Thunder 2 (F)
Coello W, 2-0
Castillo L, 1-1
HR: Portland: Anderson, Chang; Trenton: Laird