Castaldo Leads Hit Parade as Leafs Win Slugfest in Kitchener

by Ryan Eakin

KITCHENER -- That's more like it. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Kitchener Panthers 12-9 on Thursday evening to improve to 2-2 on the season.

The Panthers, with the loss, fall to 0-2.

Toronto starter Marek Deska took a no-decision in his second start of the season, allowing three earned runs on ten hits and no walks in four innings of work.

Maple Leafs reliever Zach Sloan continued his terrific start to his season, picking up the win in relief. 

The southpaw allowed one earned run on four hits, while striking out five batters.

Toronto first basemen Jordan Castaldo led the hit parade on Thursday, going two-for-three with three walks, with one of his two hits coming via the long ball in the top of the third inning when he hit a two-run home run to tie the ballgame at two runs apiece.

Kitchener starter Jorden Carthy took a no-decision just as his counterpart did, allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks.

Panthers reliever Luca Grisanti was handed the loss, allowing three runs (none earned) in one inning of work.

TORONTO - 12-13-4

KITCHENER - 9-15-3

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Tied at seven in the top of the seventh, Maple Leafs catcher Justin Marra came up with his biggest hit of the young season when he hit a two-run RBI single with the bases loaded to give the roadside a 9-7 lead.

BY THE NUMBERS...

0. Between Deska, Sloan, and Adam Marra, the Leafs walked zero batters on the night.

2. The Leafs hit multiple home runs for the first time this season, one coming from Castaldo in the top of the third inning and another coming from Dan Marra in the top of the fourth inning.

For Marra, it was his first home run since the 2017 regular season.

4. For as great as the bullpen and offence were on this night for the Leafs, the four errors are something the Leafs will want to clean up as the season continues on.

7. The Panthers threw seven different arms at the Leafs tonight, in a true "bullpen" game.

9. All nine hitters in the Leafs lineup recorded at least one hit on Thursday, with seven of the nine getting on base at least twice.

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs return to action on Saturday when they travel to Welland before returning home on Sunday to complete a home-and-home with the Jackfish.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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