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Morgan's Triple-A debut powers Indy

Leadoff hitter goes 4-for-5 on Opening Day
April 5, 2007
Nyjer Morgan collected four hits in his Triple-A debut as Indianapolis kicked off the 2007 Minor League season with a 6-1 victory over visiting Columbus on Thursday afternoon.

Morgan, the Pirates' 33rd-round draft pick in 2002, doubled and scored in the third inning, singled and scored in the fifth and delivered an RBI single in the eighth. The center fielder split the 2006 season between Class A Advanced Lynchburg and Double-A Altoona, batting a combined .304 in 117 games.

As for the rest of the Indians, every position player in the starting lineup hit safely and Indy was retired in order just twice in the contest.

Reigning National League batting champion Freddy Sanchez started at second base for Indianapolis and went 1-for-2 with a double, run scored and two walks. The 29-year-old Pittsburgh Pirate, who is rehabbing from a knee injury, was removed from the game at the start of the seventh inning. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday.

Sean Burnett (1-0) scattered six hits and a walk over five scoreless innings to earn the win. The 24-year-old, who made 13 starts for Pittsburgh in 2004, allowed at least one base runner in every inning he pitched.

Brian Rogers came on in relief of Burnett and yielded a run over one inning, while Franquelis Osoria and Jim Brower combined to toss three shutout frames.

Larry Broadway homered in the sixth inning for the Clippers, who lost their first game as a Washington Nationals affiliate after spending the past 28 seasons as the New York Yankees' Triple-A team. Michael Restovich went 3-for-4, while George Lombard collected a pair of singles.

Tim Redding (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on nine hits over four-plus innings. Chris Schroder followed with two scoreless frames, while Jermaine Van Buren surrendered three runs on three hits and three walks in just one inning.

Benjamin Hill is a contributor to