Ex-Detroit Tiger outfielder Steven Moya clubbed two longballs in the Gastonia Honey Hunters’ 8-6 victory over the Fredrick Question Marks (temporary name) last night at CaroMount Park. Moya now has three home runs in the Honey Hunters’ first two games of the young Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) season.
In addition to the two homers and four-RBI performance, Moya walked in each of his other two plate appearances, reaching base safely every time he came up to bat in Game 2 of the three-game series.
Ex-New York Met farmhand and Gastonia manager Mauro “Goose” Gozzo said that Moya is “on fire,” as he has three two-run dingers before the conclusion of the first series of the year.
Moya’s approach at the dish in the weeks leading up to opening weekend has impressed Gozzo.
“[Moya was] so balanced when he was swinging during spring training,” Gozzo said in a press release. “You could just see that he has a balance there. It’s just going to be a timing thing. But he’s not afraid to go the other way… and he’s got plenty of juice to do that.”
Zach Jarrett and J.C. Escarra, former 2021 Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles Triple-A affiliate) teammates, went back-to-back in the first inning to give Gastonia an early 3-0 lead.
Although Honey Hunters pitching struggled a bit, southpaw Gunnar Kines, who picked up the win in Game 3 of the Atlantic League South Division Championship Series last year, tossed three scoreless innings as the first man out of the bullpen.
“It was mostly just trying to get the fastball across early, and then work off of the changeup as well to be able to go up in the zone,” Kines said. “I didn’t throw any off-speed pitches today, just because I was trying to make sure my fastball location was there.”
Returner Zack Godley is scheduled to c limb the bump for the Honey Hunters in the last contest of the series, looking to help them sweep the Question Marks. First pitch is today at 3:35 p.m.
— Jerry Del Priore