Game 1 – The first 3 Speakers hit safely in the 3rd as Andrelton Simmons doubles home a pair. Chris Archer’s version of “shutdown inning” includes retiring the first 2 Wahoos, and then coughing up 5 straight hits with a HBP and Nolan Arenado 3-run bomb mixed in.
While the Speakers fold, the Wahoos never look back, tacking on a Chris “Stiff” Colabello 2-run double and Jose Abreu RBI single in the 7th. Wahoos handily win their first of the season against the Speakers, 7-3.
W – Daniel Norris (CG); L – Archer (3-2)
Game 2- The Speakers bat around in the 2nd. Although red-hot Rajai Davis loses a homer, the Speakers score 4 on 4 hits. Carlos Martinez promptly surrenders another Colabello 2-run double and Abreu RBI single with 2 away in the 3rd.
This time the Speakers storm back to match those tallies as Anthony Rizzo detonates for a 3-run homer, his 9th and the Speakers’ only long ball of the series, to reduce long time Speaker, Justin Verlander. “Spanky” Eaton singles home an unearned run in the bottom half to keep it close, 7-4.
Verlander steals a homer from former teammate Carlos Gonzalez in the 6th, and he doesn’t score. Arenado greets Joe Blanton with a 55-7 2-out RBI single in the 7th to close the gap to 7-5.
The Wahoos threaten in the 8th with 2-on and 1-away, but Roberto Osuna wriggles out of the jam. Rizzo starts the top of the 9th with a triple, yet doesn’t score. Finally, Jeurys Familia retires the top of the Wahoos’ lineup in order in the 9th for his 6th save, 7-5.
W – Martinez (6-0); L – Verlander; S – Familia (6)
Game 3 – The Speakers greet Rasiel Iglesias with 2 2-out RBI singles in the 1st, thanks to Gonzalez and Mookie Betts. A pair of doubles by Travis d’Arnaud and Ben Zobrist get the Wahoos on the board in the 3rd, 2-1.
The Speakers answer in the 4th. Kyle Schwarber doubles. With 2-away, Rizzo singles him in and Manny Machado coaxes a walk, setting up Buster Posey’s RBI single.
While the Speakers squander 3 more in scoring position, including Eaton nailing Stephen Vogt at the plate in the 6th, the Wahoos chip away. Abreu crosses the plate after a 2-out double in the bottom of the 6th. Newly acquired Starling Marte singles him home.
In the bottom of the 8th, Colabello greets Tony Sipp with a 1-out solo shot. Fortunately for Sipp, neither team reaches base thereafter. Sipp retires the last 5 Wahoos in order to preserve the 4-3 squeaker for the Speakers.
W – Jesse Hahn (3-2); L – Iglesias; S – Sipp (2)