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Updated: February 27, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo courtesy of Rome Braves)

Spring Training-debut Ray-Patrick Didder; Jonathan Schoop homers

FORT MYERS / LAKELAND / SARASOTA, Florida / GOODYEAR / SCOTTSDALE / SURPRISE / TEMPE, Arizona (USA) - Aruban-born infielder/outfielder Ray-Patrick Didder was assigned to be with the main-squad of the Atlanta Braves on Monday (February 27) for the game against Detroit Tigers. In the afternoon, Didder made his Spring Training-debut to become the tenth player with a Netherlands passport to have played in the current Spring Training. Later in the day, Juremi Profar played in his first game to bring the total to 11 players who have played so far.

Including Didder and Profar, seven Netherlands players got into action today. The others were Xander Bogaerts, Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons and Shawn Zarraga. Schoop homered for Baltimore Orioles.

(February 27)

Related Articles:
Jurickson Profar, Spencer Kieboom play first game; Juremi Profar added. (February 26)
Daniel Arribas & Chris Pieters make Spring Training-debut. (February 25)
Didi Gregorius homers in first Spring Training at bat. (February 24)
Xander Bogaerts first Dutch player in Spring Training-action. (February 23)

Detroit Tigers vs. Atlanta Braves
At Lakeland, the Braves and Tigers both scored one run in the first inning. In the next at bat, Detroit took a 2-1 lead, but from the third inning on, Atlanta appeared to turn the game its way. The Braves scored three runs in the third inning and added two more in the fourth.

In the third, with the bases loaded, Freddie Freeman delivered a 2-run single to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Hereafter, Adonis Garcia added a runscoring single to make it 4-2. In the fourth, with two outs, the runs were scored on a double by Dansby Swanson and another single by Freeman. But hereafter, Atlanta was kept scoreless.

...Ray-Patrick Didder...
(© Ph: Rome Braves)
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ray-Patrick Didder entered the game as new centerfielder for the Braves, replacing Emilio Bonifacio. In the top of the eighth inning, with one out, Didder got his first at bat. He then grounded out to third base.

In the bottom of the eighth, with Atlanta leading 6-2, the game completely turned around, as the Tigers rallied for eight runs to take a 10-6 lead. First, Alex Presley singled in a run, then the bases got loaded. Andrew Romine then doubled in two runs and Miguel Gonzalez followed with a 2-run single to give Detroit a 7-6 lead. After a pitching change, Atlanta turned a double play. An error then led to the next run. With runners on first and third base, Dominic Ficociello hit the ball towards Didder in centerfield for a 2-run double that lifted the lead to 10-6.

In the top of the ninth, Atlanta managed to score one more run. Micah Johnson led off with a walk, then scored on a triple by next batter Johan Camargo. Rio Ruiz then was hit by a pitch and two strikeouts followed. With two outs, Ruiz advanced to second base on defensive indifference, but pitcher Joe Jimenez then closed the game with his third strikeout in the inning. And with that, Detroit won the game with a 10-7 score.

The game was played at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. The stadium opened in 1966 and has been the Spring Training-home of the Detroit Tigers ever since. The stadium was named after Marcus 'Joker' Marchant, the former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director. After a big renovation, the site was renamed Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on the first day of this years Spring Training when it was announced that the Tigers had come to an agreement for the naming rights for a 20-year period. Publix is a supermarket chain based in Lakeland.

Ray-Patrick Didder was 0-for-1 in his Spring Training-debut. The 22-year old infielder/outfielder made his professional debut in 2013 when he played in the Rookie League-team of the Braves in the Dominican Republic. He then batted .259, scored 34 runs and batted in twelve.

Didder then also played in Rookie League in 2014 and 2015. Playing in the Florida-base team in 2014, he raised his batting average to .274. In his first two seasons, Didder primarily was a short stop. He then moved to the outfield in 2015 and became a prospect in the Atlanta-organization.

Last year, Didder promoted to Single-A and then had his best season, playing for Rome Braves. He then again finished with a .274 batting average, but had career-highs in games played (132), at bats (478), runs scored (95), basehits (131), doubles (15, triples (9), homeruns (6), runs batted in (35) and stolen bases (37), but also struckout 100 times.

In other games today...

At Sarasota, New York Yankees won 4-1 at Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees broke an 1-1 tie by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Didi Gregorius didn't play for the Yankees, but Jonathan Schoop was the starting second baseman for Baltimore, was 1-for-2 and accounted for the lone run the team scored. With the Yankees leading 1-0, Schoop led off the third inning with a homerun to to make it an 1-1 score. In the fifth inning, he struckout, then was replaced in the top of the sixth.

At Fort Myers, Boston Red Sox lost 7-2 to a split-squad of the St. Louis Cardinals. Xander Bogaerts started at short for Boston and was 2-for-3. He struckout in the first inning, then singled in the second at bat, but then was left behind. In the fifth, Bogaerts singled again, then was replaced by pinch-runner Tate Matheny. A double play followed.

At Tempe, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won 5-3 vs. San Diego Padres. Andrelton Simmons was the starting short stop for the Angels and was 0-for-2, but scored once. In the bottom of the third, trailing 1-0, Simmons reached on an error for the Angels with one out. He then advanced on a flyout and scored the tying run on a single by Kole Calhoun. The Angels added two runs in the fourth, but the Padres came alongside by scoring in the fifth and seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, the Angels scored twice to re-take the lead. Simmons flied out in the fifth and left the game in the top of the sixth.

At Scottsdale, Arizona Diamondbacks won 6-1 vs. Cincinnati Reds. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Shawn Zarraga took over behind the plate for Tucker Barnhart for the Reds. With a runner on first base in the eighth inning, he grounded out in this lone at bat in the game.

At Goodyear, Jurickson Profar was the starting short stop for a split-squad of the Texas Rangers in a 3-2 loss at Cleveland Indians. He was 1-for-3 and scored a run. With one out in the top of the first inning, Profar tripled, then scored when Nomar Mazara homered with two outs. It were to the lone runs Texas scored in this game. Cleveland scored once in the fourth, then added two runs in the fifth to turn the game its way.

At Surprise, Juremi Profar got into action for another split-squad of the Rangers, which was shutout 5-0 by Milwaukee Brewers. He entered the game in the top of the seventh, replacing Josh Morgan as third baseman. In the bottom of the eighth, Profar struckout in this lone at bat. On Sunday, the younger brother of Jurickson Profar already was assigned to the main-squad, but then didn't play. Last season, he played in three Spring Training-games for Texas and was 2-for-4.

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