Tiger Minor League Notebook: 5/26

The Tigers minor league clubs had a rough night Tuesday night, just like the parent club, going 1-3 on the night - including a pair of extra inning losses from Lakeland and West Michigan. The lone winner was of course Erie, who continues to roll with the help of their incredible starting pitching.

AAA Toledo 22-24, 3rd place in West division
The Mudhens lost Tuesday night to the Ottawa Lynx 3-2, despite a solid pitching performance from Pat Ahearne, who went 7 innings with 2 earned runs. Unfortunately for Ahearne, the offensive support just wasn't there, with only OF Marcus Thames providing help at the plate - he went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

On a good note, Matt Anderson continues his rise back to respectability, as he pitched a scoreless inning of relief, dropping his ERA to 4.08. Anderson is slowly learning to pitch without his triple digit fastball, and while it is definitely a work in progress, progress is obviously being made. He's not destined for Detroit anytime soon, but the organization hasn't completely given up hope on their former closer.

AA Erie 25-16, First place in Southern division
Another solid pitching performance means another win for Seawolves, this time against the Akron Aeros. . Wil Ledezma gave the team 6 innings while allowing 3 runs (but only 1 earned) to go along with 4 strikeouts. DH Kurt Airoso launched a 3-run Home Run to provide offensive support. 1B Juan Tejada had a pair of hits and a pair of runs to go with his 11th Home Run of the season.

One other notable for the Seawolves; OF Neil Jenkins. Jenkins had 3 hits Tuesday night, raising his average to .261, continuing a steady improvement after an extremely slow start. The big-swinging Jenkins still could use some stronger power numbers (4 HR's, 17 RBI), but nevertheless he has become yet another prospect that warrants some consideration with Erie.

High-A Lakeland 20-27, Fifth place in West division
The L-Tigers lost a tough one Tuesday night to the Vero Beach Dodgers, despite an excellent outing from starter Matt Parris. Parris, who has gone unmentioned (largely due to the more high profile arms that accompany him in the rotation), has put together a pair of excellent outings, this time allowing 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings of work. Unfortunately, Parris's outing became a no-decision, as the game went to extra innings, and Jason Moates allowed the game-winning run in the 10th. SS Anderson Hernandez, back in Lakeland after a brief stint with the Seawolves, had 3 hits.

The game was tough, but not all news is bad out of Lakeland. The Tigers 2003 first round pick, Kyle Sleeth, hasn't pitched in almost 10 days due to a blister problem. However, he's improving rapidly and should be back in the rotation within a few days. Sleeth has been virtually dominating after a pair of mediocre starts to begin the season, and with a few more good starts could be packing his things to make a jump up in the near future - if a rotation spot ever opens up at Erie.

Low-A West Michigan 17-27, Sixth place in Eastern division
The Whitecaps lost in 11 innings to the Lansing Lugnuts, but considering who the team was facing, it can't be looked at as a terrible performance. Chicago Cubs star Mark Prior made his 2nd rehab appearance, this time against West Michigan. The Whitecaps struck out 8 times, but were able to get a run off the young stud. Brian Rogers, despite a mediocre repertoire continues to pitch well, going 7 innings while allowing 1 run. CF Vincent Blue, who hasn't quite had the start he had hoped for had 3 hits (2 doubles) as well as a pair of RBI.

The Whitecaps shouldn't have lost in extra innings, but have to take solace in the fact that they were able to get a run off one of the best pitchers in the game (Prior). Rogers continues to amaze as well, with very mediocre pitching he has no problem keeping the Whitecaps in every game - unfortunately, the bullpen blew the lead that the offense had provided.


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