Game Recaps: 4/9

On another wonderful afternoon for baseball, the Tigers bats awoke and put up 11 runs (including 8 off all star starter Jake Westbrook). That charge was led by Marcus Thames and Carlos Pena, who both had home runs off Westbrook. Meanwhile, it was another mixed bag down on the farm, including a scare for one young Tiger prospect.

Detroit Tigers - 3-2, 2nd in AL Central
Just hours after being called up from Toledo, Marcus Thames made his presence known, blasting a grand slam into the stands in left center field, helping lead the Tigers to an 11-1 victory over Cleveland. The Tigers hit Jake Westbrook hard, tagging him for 8 runs in just 2-plus innings of work. Wilfredo Ledezma on the other hand had no such struggles, going 6 innings while allowing 1 run with 3 strikeouts to get his first win of the season. Ledezma was also helped by a pair of incredible catches in the 4th inning by his corner outfielders - a diving catch at the warning track by Thames, and a leaping grab to rob a home run from Ben Broussard. Among other notables at the plate, Carlos Pena launched a 2-run home run (his first), Craig Monroe drove in a pair of runs, and Brandon Inge had 3 hits and an RBI. The two teams undertake the rubber match on Sunday afternoon, with Jeremy Bonderman facing Jason Davis at 1:05pm.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 2-1, tied 3rd in West division
The Mud Hens lost their first game of the season Saturday, losing to the Durham Bulls 6-5. The Bulls jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after three innings and held the lead until 5th inning when the Hens were able to cut the lead to 4-3. One run in the 7th inning tied the game, and a run in the 9th gave the Hens their first lead of the game. The Bulls battled back in the bottom half of the final inning, and with the help of a Hens error and a walk, loaded the bases for Johnny Gomes, who hit a line drive off of the left field wall to score two runs and give Durham the win. Chris Shelton continued his hot start to the season going 2-2 with 2 RBI's and 2 walks. John Ennis, blew the save and took the loss for the Hens to start the season with an 0-1 record. Both teams were sloppy on the defensive side, committing three errors apiece. The Hens will finish the series with the Bulls on Sunday at 5 p.m. with Andrew Good taking the mound for the Hens.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - 1-2, tied 4th in Southern division
Erie bats were colder than the 55-degree game-time temperature tonight with a 2-1 loss to Trenton. Seawolves' hitters managed just two single hits after third baseman Don Kelly's lone home run in the bottom of the first inning, his third of the season. The additional hits came from first baseman Juan Tejeda and Kelly. Trenton tied the game with a run in the fifth inning and took the lead by one at the top of the eighth. Starting pitcher Jeremy Johnson pitched well, giving Trenton only one unearned run. Relief pitcher Matt Roney gave up the other run, resulting in Trenton's 2-1 series lead. The series concludes with Sunday afternoon's game at 1:05.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent

High-A Lakeland Tigers - 2-1, 3rd in West division
The Lakeland Tigers won their home opener, defeating the Tampa Yankees 8-2. Starting pitcher Nathan Bumstead (1-0 ) got the win, giving up only 2 runs on 4 hits while recording 5 strikeouts. Lakeland's Danilo Sanchez hit 2 homeruns and had 3 RBI, bringing his RBI total for the season up to a team-leading 7. Brent Clevlen went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI. The Tigers (2-1) have taken 2 of 3 against the Tampa Yankees. The two teams finish up their four game series today in Lakeland at 1:00 pm.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - 1-2, tied 4th in East division
The 8,239 fans who filled Fifth Third Ballpark for the Whitecaps home opener watched their 'Caps fall to Southwest Michigan 8-4. Justin Justice scored the first run of the game in the 2nd inning and finished the game 3-3 with 2 runs and 1 RBI. Southwest Michigan tied the game in the 3rd, 1-1. Second baseman Brooks Colvin sent the ball over the left field wall in the bottom of the 5th, his solo homer putting the 'Caps ahead for the last time. After a capable start by Andrew Kown, the right-hander left the game in the 3rd inning when a base hit off the bat of Devil Ray Fernando Perez bounced, glanced off Kown's glove, and struck him hard in the face. Kown left the field on a stretcher, attended by paramedics. Ian Ostlund recorded his second loss of the season, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) in a 7th inning rally by the Devil Rays. Closer Tony Peralta fared no better, allowing 3 earned runs in the 8th, 8-2 Rays. The 'Caps attempted a rally of their own in the bottom of the 9th, but managed only two runs. The teams meet again Sunday to play the last of a four-game series. The game starts at 2:00 p.m.
-Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent

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