Standout rookie Scott Richmond, whose first three seasons were spent in Independent Baseball, threw another gem Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander blanked the Chicago White Sox on five hits for seven innings (one walk, seven strikeouts), but did not get the decision for American League East-leading Toronto because the bullpen gave up a two-run eighth inning homer to Jim Thome that tied the game at 2-2. The Jays eventually won, 3-2.
It still had to be a sweet feeling for Richmond because it was (Queen) Victoria Day, an annual Canadian celebration. He is from North Vancouver, British Columbia as well as a recent member of Team Canada. Perhaps even sweeter, the American League Rookie Pitcher of the Month for April had dropped his last two decisions, including a roughing up by the New York Yankees in his last start which did not go beyond the second inning.
Richmond, who spent his first three professional seasons in Western Canada with Edmonton (2005-07) before the Cracker-Cats left the Northern League and became the Capitals of the Golden League, has a 4-2 record. He lowered his earned run average from 4.28 to 3.64 during his 109-pitch performance Monday.
Independent Baseball's longest-tenured player, Kevin Millar, hit second home run of the season for Toronto. He played for the St. Paul (MN) Saints in 1993. In another note along the Indy trail, the winning run was scored by Jose Bautista whose brother Luis is with Pensacola, FL of the American Association this season.
3,000 FROM MILITARY FAMILIES AT ST. PAUL OPENER
Speaking of St. Paul, the Opening Night crowd Tuesday when the Saints host the Lincoln (NE) Saltdogs at Midway Stadium will include 3,000 Minnesota servicemen and women and their families, who will be guests of Cub Foods. Military people stationed around the globe will be able to tune in over the internet courtesy of iBN Sports.