TOLEDO, Ohio - The story going into Sunday's game with Toledo was LHP Aroldis Chapman's professional debut in American baseball. He did not disappoint. The lefty from Cuba often seemed overpowering and was clocked at 100-plus five times. He left the game in the middle of the fifth inning, after throwing 85 pitches, 55 were for strikes, and striking out nine.
In the first inning he retired the Hens in order, including a three-pitch strikeout of Brennan Boesch to end the inning. The last pitch to Boesch was clocked at 101-mph. Toledo threatened in the second with three singles, two of which were of the infield variety, but Chapman got Danny Worth to ground out to second to end the threat.
From that point Chapman went on to retire eight consecutive batters, five via the strikeout. A throwing error by Chris Valaika, who was making his first career start at third, ended the streak with one out in the fifth inning. Worth would follow with a single, and after a Jeff Frazier strikeout, Brent Dlugach walked to load the bases. Following a visit to the mound from Bats' pitching coach Ted Power, Chapman allowed Boesch to reach on an infield single after he failed to cover first on the soft ground ball, which scored Mike Rabelo.
In 4.2 innings of work, he allowed five hits and one unearned run, while walking one and striking out nine.
It wasn't all about Chapman on Sunday afternoon. Chris Heisey, who was named the 2009 Reds' Minor League Player of the Year, got the scoring started with a two-out solo shot to left field in the top half of the first inning.
The Bats would add one more run in the fifth, after Wilkin Castillo led off with a triple and later scored on a Zack Cozart double. Castillo also tripled on Saturday night, in all of 2009 he recorded just one triple.
With Chapman out of the contest the Bats' bullpen picked up right where he left off. Enerio Del Rosario entered in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and forced former UK standout Ryan Strieby into fly out to centerfield. He then pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning, while striking out four batters.
Carlos Fisher then pitched a perfect eighth and Jon Adkins put the Hens down in order in the ninth to preserve the 2-1 Bats' win. It was Adkins' second save of the season.
Del Rosario (1-0, 2.45) got the win for the Bats after throwing 2.1 innings and allowing only one hit. Enrique Gonzalez (0-1, 4.15) picked up the loss, going 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs. He walked one and struck out three.
After winning three of four in Toledo, the Bats now travel to Columbus to take on the Clippers in a quick two-game set. Justin Lehr, the 2009 International League Pitcher of the Year, get the ball for Louisville.
The Bats open the home portion of their schedule on Wednesday, April 14 versus the Indianapolis Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and all fans will receive a complimentary magnet schedule.