Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
APRIL 2012

It is intended that this page will maintain a historical record of previous news published on this site. From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages. It may interest some people to read the developments in chronological order right here.

ARCHIVED NEWS FROM APRIL 2012 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
APRIL
2012

To make things easier for our loyal subscribers we will adopt a new format of
providing news involving
AUSTRALIAN Players in yellow text, while 
news about former AMLB IMPORT Players will be in white text.

  30 APRIL 2012 - ROUGH DAY FOR BALFOUR & HUGHES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


Luke Hughes
It was a very rough day at the baseball office for Aussies GRANT BALFOUR and LUKE HUGHES who both struggled for the Oakland Athletics who were overrun 2-5 by the streaking Baltimore Orioles.

Balfour took a blown save and the loss while trying to preserve a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning with a rare and miserable stumble for 0.0ip 2h 3er 1bb 0k. Balfour was handed a tough situation when he was summoned to relieve veteran starter Bartolo Colon who had put two runners aboard with infield singles and he had just allowed them to advance to second and third bases on his own throwing error. Three pitches into his work Grant allowed Matt Weiters to spank a two RBI double into deep left centre to tie the game with still only one out in the inning. He was then instructed to issue an intentional walk to Chris Davis so that the double play would be a possibility to get out of the inning. The plan backfired when Wilson Betemit hammered a 3-1 pitch for a long home run over right field for a walkoff three run blast. Unfortunately that can be the life of a closer! Grant's record fell to 0-1, 3.46ERA.

Hughes was given another start at third base but he was unproductive again with 0-3 (.130) after batting in the #9 hole. It started poorly for Luke with his first at bat in the top of the third when his attempted bunt from the first pitch he saw was easily fielded by pitcher Tommy Hunter for the second out of the inning. In the top of the fifth Hunter had him struck out swinging and then again in the seventh, both for the third out. He was in the on deck circle for another plate appearance when the top of the ninth ended for the A's.
  29 APRIL 2012 - LUKE HUGHES HITS FOR OAKLAND!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Australia's LUKE HUGHES was given another start as #8 batter and third baseman for the Oakland Athletics who were dumped 1-10 by the surprise packet Baltimore Orioles. With one on and none out in the top of the second Luke was called out on strikes while facing Orioles' starter Wei-Yin Chen. In the top of the fourth Chen had him fly out to right field with one on and one out. He next set the table with a leadoff single into left field off Chen in the top of the seventh. Hughes' final at bat was in the top of the ninth when he was struck out swinging by Luis Ayala for the second last out of the game. He batted 1-4 (.150) as he has not yet shown the best of his offence since joining the A's.

Veteran journeyman KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997)  made another solid start for his latest team the Seattle Mariners and his 7.0ip 7h 1er 2bb 4k was worthy of more than the loss he took when his team was shut out 0-7 by the Toronto Blue Jays. Millwood's season record fell to 0-2, 5.24ERA.

  28 APRIL 2012 - GRANT BALFOUR SAVES HIS 6th v ORIOLES!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
GRANT BALFOUR racked up save number six for the 2012 season with a strong 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k (1.38ERA) to preserve a 5-2 win for the Oakland Athletics over the Baltimore Orioles. Balfour took very good care of the bottom of the ninth, even after Chris Davis waited him out for a seven pitch leadoff walk. He struck back decisively to have both Mark Reynolds and Ryan Flaherty struck out swinging. Davis took second base on defensive indifference, but it mattered not when Robert Andino grounded out to the second baseman. Grant hurled 12 of 19 pitches for strikes, yes even after that leadoff free pass!

One of the best backup catchers in major league baseball, DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001), contributed once again for the Atlanta Braves during their 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coming into the game as a pinch hitter, Ross walked and scored before taking over the gloves from All-Star Brian McCann.
  26 APRIL 2012 - HENDRIKS BATTLES v BOSTON!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks











Grant Balfour


Josh Spence

Young Australian starting pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS took a rare hard hit loss with 4.0ip 9h 7er 2bb 3k for the Minnesota Twins who fell 6-7 to the visiting Boston Red Sox at Target Field. It started quite well for Liam even after he served a two out double to Dustin Pedroia in the top of the first when he eventually won a draining 15 pitch battle with hitting machine Adrian Gonzalez who grounded out to short to end the inning. Things got tough in the second when a leadoff walk to David Ortiz was followed by a single to Kevin Youkilis. Hendriks struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia but the in-form Cody Ross slapped a RBI single into left to break the ice. Just when he thought he may have worked out of the jam, Mike Aviles nailed him for a two out home run over left field that plated three more runs. It was a similar story in the top of the third inning when Pedroia reached via a leadoff infield single and this was immediately followed by a four pitch walk to Adrian Gonzalez. Once again he battled back for two outs before Saltalamacchia singled into right to score another pair. An infield single from Marlon Byrd with one out was the only action in a tidy top of the fourth, but the 'Bosox' struck again to knock Liam out of the game in the fifth. His nemesis for the day Dustin Pedroia raked a leadoff triple to set the table for Adrian Gonzalez' RBI single that concluded his game with all seven of Boston's runs on the scoreboard. It dented Hendriks' record to 0-1, 6.89ERA but, to be fair, those were some pretty tough hitters who damaged him on this occasion... It all adds to his experience file!

For all his success so far this season, Australia's GRANT BALFOUR finally hit an inevitable speed hump with a blown save while trying to close the ninth inning for the Oakland Athletics who rallied back to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 in the 14th inning. Grant pitched 1.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 1k (1.50ERA) while trying to protect a 2-1 advantage in the top of the ninth inning. Unfortunately his very first pitch to reliable veteran Paul Konerko was deposited over left field for a game tying home run. After that Balfour had A.J Pierzynski line out to left field, Alex Rios fly out to right and Kosuke Kukudome struck out swinging. The damage may have been done in terms of failing to preserve the win, but he did keep his team level and, in the end, he helped them to get the positive result.

Aussie compatriot JOSH SPENCE also ran into trouble when he failed to get an out while pitching relief for the San Diego Padres who were on their way to a 2-7 loss to the Washington Nationals. Josh pitched 0.0ip 1h 2er 1bb 0k (5.79ERA) while he threw only three of his eight pitches for strikes in an uncharacteristic wayward outing. With two runners on and one out in the top of the seventh Spence was called upon to pitch to pinch hitter Mark DeRosa but he could only manage to load the bags after issuing a five pitch walk. Three pitches later lefty Adam LaRoche singled into right field to plate a run and to reload the bases as the end of the day for our man.

After a relatively quiet season in 2011, veteran former ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) has recaptured his power stroke in 2012 with his fourth home run of the season coming as part of a 2-4 (.239) game for the Los Angeles Angels who were edged 2-3
by the Tampa Bay Rays.

  25 APRIL 2012 - BALFOUR, HUGHES & THOMPSON A's!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour



Luke Hughes

Aussies LUKE HUGHES and GRANT BALFOUR were team mates for the Oakland Athletics in their 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Grant pitched 1.0ip 1h oer obb 1k (0.82ERA) to scoop his fifth save of the year while Luke batted 0-3 (.125) as the starting third baseman and #8 slot hitter. Balfour closed the top of the ninth with Gordon Beckham grounding back to the mound and Alejandro De Aza grounding out to the short stop for two quick outs. Pinch hitter Kosuke Fukudome singled up the middle and stole his way to third base due to defensive indifference before Balfour struck out man mountain Adam Dunn for the final out. Hughes first at bat came in the bottom of the third when White Sox starter Gavin Floyd had him pop out to the first baseman for the second out. In the bottom of the fifth he left a man in scoring position when Floyd had him line out to left field for the third out of the frame. Facing Floyd again with a runner on first and none out in the eighth, Hughes was first asked to bunt but when that didn't work out he was eventually struck out swinging.

...and the previous day:

LUKE HUGHES and RICH THOMPSON made their debuts with new club Oakland Athletics as Luke had been with the Minnesota Twins and Richard had been with the Los Angeles Angels both for some years. Hughes started at third base and batted No.8 while Thompson closed the end of a losing cause as the A's were shut out 0-4 by the Chicago White Sox. Facing a really on-form Jake Peavy, Luke struck out swinging for the second out in the bottom of the third then Peavy had him fly out to centre field to end the fifth. He suffered a similar fate in the eighth when Peavy again had him fly out to centre field for the second out. That finished his Oakland debut with 0-3 on the day and he also had some adventures in the field with a couple of nervous throwing errors, although he did make up somewhat by initiating a neat double play immediately following one of those errors. He also be acquainted with the vast foul territory at his new home the Oakland Coliseum. Rich Thompson was handed the poisoned chalice with the bases juiced and two out in the top of the ninth and, in context he did about as much as he could do. He couldn't prevent one run from scoring on a rather unfortunate infield single to the second baseman but he prevented any further damage by getting the dangerous Alex Rios to foul out to the second baseman.

  23 APRIL 2012 - BALFOUR STRONG IN NON-SAVE SITUATION!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
GRANT BALFOUR pitched another neat scoreless inning in a non-save situation with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.90ERA) for the Oakland Athletics at the end of the 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. In quick succession Balfour had Jose Lopez pop out on the infield to the short stop, Jack Hannahan fly out to centre and he finished the deal with an exclamation mark by striking out Jason Donald on four pitches. This time he threw nine of 15 pitches for strikes in another efficient effort.

Evergreen journeyman KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) was saddled with his first loss of the season after pitching 5.1ip 8h 5er 2bb 3k for the Seattle Mariners who went down 4-7 to the Chicago White Sox. 'Big Kev' now owns a season record of 0-1, 7.04ERA.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.233) for the Los Angeles Angels who were narrowly beaten 2-3 by the Baltimore Orioles.
  22 APRIL 2012 - LIAM HENDRIKS GOOD - JOSH SPENCE NOT SO!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks


Josh Spence

Australian big league starter LIAM HENDRIKS anchored his team to victory but he was deprived of the win after pitching a stout 5.2ip 5h 4er 2bb 1k (3.86ERA) for the Minnesota Twins in their 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. He started cleanly with a 1-2-3 first inning but then he needed to bear down in the second after he issued a leadoff walk to Evan Longoria but, thankfully for Liam, he was caught stealing before Matt Joyce singled into left field. Hendriks induced a vital ground ball out to end the inning with Joyce on third base. Three fly ball outs produced another neat third inning followed by three up and three down in the fourth as he maintained his 1-0 lead in the contest. In the bottom of the fifth Hendriks saw his 2-0 lead halved due to a Matt Joyce long ball to deep right centre. For only his second start after an illness Liam may have running short on gas into the sixth when Sean Rodriguez poked a leadoff single, followed by Desmond Jennings' bunt that could not produce an out. A walk to Ben Zobrist loaded the bags then, even though Liam summoned a terrific ground ball double play to the short stop, he lost his lead and his chance of a first big league win. You could question Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for leaving him in the game at the time, especially when Evan Longoria homered to left field for two runs that left him on the hook for the loss. Liam was relieved with two out in the sixth and it may have been some justice for him that Minnesota rallied to remove the "L" and to leave him with a no-decision.

Aussie left hander JOSH SPENCE hit some turbulent water yesterday with 0.1ip 4h 1er 0bb 0k (1.53ERA) for the San Diego Padres as they slipped to a 1-4 defeat by the Philadelphia Phillies. Spence took over to begin the top of the eighth and it started well for him with Hunter Pence flying out to left field. That proved to be the last bit of joy for Josh on the day as Shane Victorino followed with a full count home run over left field. Ty Wiggington singled to left, Freddy Galvis singled to centre and Brian Schneider singled into left field as the hook came out for our man.

  20 APRIL 2012 - GRANT BALFOUR ROMPS TO SAVE No.4!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour
Australian's GRANT BALFOUR continues to enjoy his new found status as the closer for the Oakland Athletics with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (1.00ERA) for his fourth save of the season as he locked down their 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. In rapid fire style he got Howie Kendrick to fly out to right ahead of a throwing error by the third baseman that allowed megastar Albert Pujols to reach first. His very next pitch caused Torii Hunter to ground into an inning ending double play to the second baseman. In all he romped through the bottom of the ninth with seven strikes from just nine pitches. VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.240) with one of the Angels' two RBIs.
  19 APRIL 2012 - JOSH SPENCE STRONG IN PADRES LOSS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Josh Spence

Left handed Australian reliever JOSH SPENCE was very strong in a losing cause with 1.2ip 1h 0er 1bb 3k (0.00ERA) for the San Diego Padres who were doubled 4-8 by the Colorado Rockies. Spence came into the game in the bottom of the sixth with one on and one out immediately after the 'Rox' had posted their eighth and final run on the scoreboard. He started a little shakily with a five pitch walk to veteran short stop Marco Scutaro but he left two runners stranded when he struck out Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez, both swinging, to end the threat. Back for the bottom of the seventh leadoff hitter Tyler Colvin reached on an infield single but he was erased caught stealing by Spence who then fanned veteran great Todd Helton. Josh faced the minimum in that inning when he had Wilin Rosario ground out to the short stop. He did all he could to keep his team in with a chance of a comeback that never eventuated.

  18 APRIL 2012 - BALFOUR SAVES 3rd - HUGHES STARTS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


Luke Hughes

Australia's major league closer GRANT BALFOUR allowed his first run of the season yet it did not stop him from earning his third save when he pitched 1.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 0k (1.13ERA) to help his Oakland Athletics to hold off the Los Angeles Angels 5-3. Balfour did what you would expect of him with a three run lead when he pounded the strike zone. He got Torii Hunter to ground out to the third baseman for the first out before the dangerous veteran Vernon Wells took him deep over left centre field for a solo homer. It made little difference when Grant then got Alberto Callaspo to foul out to right field and Chris Iannetta to ground out to the first baseman to end the game. As mentioned it was former ABL import and Sydney Storm club mate VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who blemished Balfour's scoreless record this season with his third long ball of the campaign while he batted 2-4 (.300).

Aussie LUKE HUGHES was given a spot start at first base for the Minnesota Twins in their 3-8 loss to the New York Yankees while he batted 0-3 (.200) in the #8 hole. Facing the Yanks No.1 starting pitcher C.C Sabathia, Luke made the first out in the top of the third when he fouled out to the first baseman after four pitches. He was up again to lead off the fifth and this time Sabathia had him struck out swinging on four nasty pitches. In the top of the seventh Hughes came to bat against Sabathia again with one on and two out and he was denied a hit when he reached on what was ruled an error by New York third baseman Alex Rodriguez. He was on deck to bat again in the ninth just when the last out of the game was made.

Another former ABL import, veteran KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997), didn't fare too well in his latest start for the Seattle Mariners when he pitched 4.0ip 9h 6er 1bb 1k (6.30ERA) for a no-decision in their tight 8-9 defeat by the Cleveland Indians. Remarkably the Mariners were enjoying an 8-1 lead until things fell apart for Millwood in the top of the fifth where 'The Tribe' rallied to score six runs without an out recorded before 'Big Kev' was lifted.

  16 APRIL 2012 - LIAM HENDRIKS STARTS STRONG!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Liam Hendriks

Australia's only big league starting pitcher LIAM HENDRIKS missed his first scheduled start for the Minnesota Twins this season after being hospitalised with a nasty bout of food poisoning, but he was back in action today. Liam made a terrific start for the Twins with 6.0ip 7h 1er 0bb 4k (1.50ERA) against a tough Texas Rangers lineup and he took a no-decision as his team was shaded 3-4 at Target Field.
Only a Josh Hamilton single prevented a clean first inning that he ended by striking out the dangerous Adrian Beltre. Michael Young then led off the second with a single but he advanced no further as Liam tidied up the frame. Hendriks next rattled off a quick 1-2-3 top of the third with a couple of ground balls and a fly ball. With the game still scoreless he kept it that way in the fourth when he was able to expunge a two out double for Michael Young by fanning Nelson Cruz to end the inning. The only scoring against Hendriks came in the fifth when hard hitting catcher Mike Napoli ripped a solo home run over left field with one out. Yorvit Torrealba followed with a single before Liam concluded the inning with a ground ball double play. The Aussie did get a bit of timely defensive help in the top of the sixth when Adrian Beltre punched a two out single before he was cut down at home plate while trying to score on Michael Young's double. That was all for Hendriks who left the game with his team leading 2-1 after the away half of the sixth, then 3-1 after Minnesota batted in the sixth. He threw 57 of 84 pitches for strikes as he was clearly tugged early after his illness and his first start for the season.

  15 APRIL 2012 - HUGHES HITS AGAIN - BALFOUR STILL 0.00ERA!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Grant Balfour

Versatile Aussie infielder LUKE HUGHES started at second base and he batted 1-3 (.286) in the #9 hole for the Minnesota Twins in their 1-4 loss to the Texas Rangers. His first at bat brought the final out in the bottom of the second when Matt Harrison fanned him with runners threatening in scoring position. He then made the second out in the bottom of the fifth when Harrison got him to ground out to the third baseman. Luke finally got the better of Harrison in the seventh when he reached on an infield single to the short stop with two team mates out in the inning.

Australian closer GRANT BALFOUR pitched a tidy scoreless ninth inning for the Oakland Athletics, but he was not in a save situation as the A's had one too many runs on the board in 4-0 shutout of the Seattle Mariners. Balfour hurled 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA) and he has still not yielded a run while locking down the combined shutout. Grant made short work of the tough part of the M's lineup with Ichiro Suzuki fouling out to the third baseman, Justin Smoak grounding out to second and Kyle Seager struck out swinging. One-two-three, over and out!

Former ABL import GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 0-3 (.000) but he did deliver a sacrifice fly RBI after starting at third base for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 6-7 defeat by the Colorado Rockies.

... and from today's MLB games:

Toronto's former No.1 overall draft selection VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) cranked his second home run of the young season while batting 2-4 (.233) with the RBI to help his Los Angeles Angels to swamp the New York Yankees 7-1.

  13 APRIL 2012 - HUGHES HITS - THOMPSON TORCHED!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes


Rich Thompson

Seasoned Australian right hander RICH THOMPSON was on the receiving end of a pounding and he also took the loss while trying to keep his Los Angeles Angels in contention with the Minnesota Twins who struck late for a 10-9 win. Thompson came into the game with one on and two out in the bottom of the seventh and he did his job to finish that inning by getting the pesky Jamie Carroll struck out swinging. Things quickly unravelled in the bottom of the next when he pitched to the meat of the Twins lineup, starting with Joe Mauer who rapped a leadoff single into right field to set the table for Justin Morneau's booming home run to right field. Josh Willingham reached on an infield single before our man secured his first out of the inning with Chris Parmelee struck out swinging. Danny Valencia drove in another run with his double to left field and he advanced to third on Ben Revere's ground out to the second baseman. With two outs Thompson had fellow Aussie LUKE HUGHES in the hole with an 0-2 count before he punched a RBI single into left field. It could have become even worse when Hughes stole second and Denard Span walked but he ended the agony by getting his seventh inning victim Jamie Carroll to ground out to the second baseman. Richard finished his day with an unflattering 1.1ip 5h 4er 1bb 2k to take his season record to 0-1,15.43ERA.
Aussie LUKE HUGHES came into the game to pinch hit for the Twins with runners on second and third with none out and he delivered immediately with a sacrifice fly to centre field off Scott Downs. As already mentioned Luke naield his second RBI from two plate appearances at the expense of his Australian colleague. Hughes finished a productive game with 1-1 (.250), the stolen base and those two valuable RBIs.
In the same game former ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 2-5 (.217) for the 'Halos', including a RBI double.

Aussie lefty JOSH SPENCE was called upon to get just one batter again while pitching for the San Diego Padres during their 1-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Josh needed just the one pitch to get Miguel Montero to fly out to left field to finish his very quick contribution with 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (0.00ERA).
  12 APRIL 2012 - BALFOUR SAVES HIS SECOND v ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour


Josh Spence

Australia's GRANT BALFOUR was deprived of another save when his Oakland Athletics had to battle through 12 innings to finally outlast the Kansas City Royals 5-4. Grant pitched the ninth and tenth innings to keep the score deadlocked on 3-3 with another most effective 2.0ip 1h 0er 1bb 2k (0.00ERA). 'Balf' made short work of the top of the ninth with Brayan Pena flying out to right field, Chris Getz flying out to left and Alex Gordon grounding out to the first baseman. He then showed some poise to work through the tenth after Alcides Escobar singled into right centre to lead off the frame. He responded by getting Eric Hosmer to fly out to centre field, followed by Billy Butler who struck out swinging. Jeff Francouer walked to push a runner into scoring position before Balfour terminated the inning with Mike Moustakas struck out swinging.

Back in the big leagues already this season, Aussie JOSH SPENCE did all that was asked of him with 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA) to help his San Diego Padres to edge out the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1. Josh came into the game with two on and only one out in the top of the seventh inning and he required just three pitches to have Miguel Montero struck out swinging at all three of his offerings. Let's just say that it was a very efficient effort.

After spending his first six big league seasons with the Atlanta Braves, we would have to classify veteran pitcher KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) as a "journeyman" now that he has just started for his seventh different major league team. His latest outing with the Seattle Mariners brought a no-decision after he pitched a solid 6.0ip 4h 1er 3bb 7k (1.50ERA) in their 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers.

Backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted a productive 2-4 (.500) to help his Atlanta Braves to double the Houston Astros 6-3.

Veteran former ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-4 (.167) for the Los Angeles Angels during their 5-6 defeat by the Minnesota Twins.

  10 APRIL 2012 - BALFOUR SAVES HIS SECOND v ROYALS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

Australia's first ever regular big league closer GRANT BALFOUR locked down his second save of the season with a competent 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (0.00ERA) for the Oakland Athletics to help them preserve a narrow 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals. Pitching the top of the ninth, Grant started by getting pinch hitter Alex Gordon struck out swinging, but then he walked another pinch hitter Mitch Maier following an eight pitch full count. Maier moved no further than first base when Balfour got Eric Hosmer to ground out to the first baseman and Billy Butler to fly out to centre field on the first pitch he saw.

  9 APRIL 2012 - LUKE HUGHES STARTS FOR TWINS!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Luke Hughes

Versatile Aussie infielder LUKE HUGHES started at second base and moved to third base for the Minnesota Twins while batting 0-3 (.000) during their 1-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Hitting in the #8 slot Hughes first struck out swinging at Orioles' starter Jason Hammel in the top of the third inning. In the top of the sixth Hammels had him ground out to the third baseman, then he struck him out for the second time with a runner in scoring position in the eighth.

Old time ABL import VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) cashed in his first home run of the season with 1-5 (.154) and the RBI for the Los Angeles Angels who fell 3-7 to the Kansas City Royals.

  8 APRIL 2012 - RICH THOMPSON STARTS SEASON CLEAN!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Rich Thompson

Australian relief pitcher RICH THOMPSON pitched a neat scoreless inning for the Los Angeles Angels at the end of their 3-6 defeat at the hands of the visiting Kansas City Royals. Richard struck out Alex Gordon on three straight pitches to start the top of the ninth, then he followed this by getting Lorenzo Cain to fly out to right field on two pitches and Eric Hosmer to ground out to the second baseman on his third pitch. It was an effective way to open his season with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA).

Former ABL import GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) remains in the majors for another season as a backup player for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He struck out in his only at bat as a pinch hitter for the 'D-Backs' in their 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants yesterday.

  29 MARCH 2012 - OAKLAND CLOSER BALFOUR SAVES IN TOKYO!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:

Grant Balfour

It certainly didn't take long for Australia's hard throwing reliever GRANT BALFOUR to make his presence felt as the new closer for the Oakland Athletics in 2012. With the off season departure of 2011 closer Andrew Bailey to the Boston Red Sox, the A's anointed Balfour as the new man at the sharp end of the game for this season. With Oakland playing the Seattle Mariners in the now traditional season openers in Tokyo, Grant got his chance to make an early statement and he did just that. In the opening game of the season he pitched the ninth inning of what turned out to be a 1-3 loss to the Mariners after 11 innings. In this game he got Japanese legend Ichiro Suzuki to fly out to left field on his first pitch followed by Justin Smoak grounding out to second and Jesus Montero flying out to centre field.
In last night's game Oakland levelled the two-game series with a 4-1 win over Seattle and Balfour enjoyed his first of what we hope will be many saves this year. Pitching the top of the ninth he won a battle with Dustin Ackley who struck out swinging on a full count before a pair of ground outs with Ichiro Suzuki grounding to the first baseman and Justin Smoak grounding to the second baseman. His line from this game was 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k.

If anyone takes the trouble to contact us with any reasonably substantiated news of interest to AMLB supporters, we will publish this news on this site! Click these to contact Adrian Dunn or Peter Flintoff.