Offense Puts Tigers Back at .500 (5/18 Recaps)

The Tigers used a strong start at the plate to catapult the team over the Devil Rays on their way back to .500, the first time they've been even since they were 12-12 on May 2nd after a win over the defending world champion Boston Red Sox.

Detroit Tigers - 19-19, 3rd in AL Central
The Tigers' offense started out hot, staking starter Wilfredo Ledezma to a 6-1 lead after the first three innings. Ledezma had his shaky moments though, marked by a two out, three run home run by Toby Hall that brought the Rays back within two. But Ledezma buckled down and got through the necessary five innings, and the bullpen took over from there, allowing just one hit over the final four innings to get Ledezma his second win of the year – Ugueth Urbina also recorded his 5th save after pitching a perfect 9th inning. Nook Logan got on the board first for the Tigers, with a base hit, then stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error by Tampa starter Doug Waechter, and scored on Brandon Inge's groundout. Two more runs came in the second, one via a solo home run by Dmitri Young, the other from an RBI double by Omar Infante. The Tigers then chased Waechter with three more in the third, which proved to be enough to get the win. The Tigers will try and get back above .500 now on Thursday afternoon, with Jeremy Bonderman facing Scott Kazmir at 1:05pm.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 23-15, 2nd in West division
The Mud Hens had to wake up early on Wednesday for an early game with the Syracuse Sky Chiefs, and their bats weren't far behind. The bottom of the first inning provided three of the four runs the Hens would need to take game two of their series with Syracuse 4-2. Curtis Granderson and Jack Hannahan crushed the homeruns in the first, a solo shot and a two-run blast respectively, that put the Hens up 3-0. The Chiefs put up one run in the fourth and one in the seventh, while Toledo plated their final run in the bottom of the fifth. Dewayne Wise extended his hitting streak to eight games going 1-4 with a single, but Chris Shelton's streak was stopped at seven as he went 0-2 on the day. Sean Douglass continued his strong start to the season, getting the win and improving to 5-1, by lasting six innings and only allowing three hits, and one Chief run. Jason Karnuth notched his seventh save of the year, pitching a perfect bottom of the ninth. The Hens will make another early start on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., with a crowd of over 10,000 expected at Fifth Third Field.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - 23-17, 2nd in Southern division
Beware of the SeaDogs – they bite. The SeaWolves discovered first hand as they lost 1-0 in the final game of their series. The SeaDogs took the series by storm and won all three games. In today's game, Erie's starting pitcher Nate Cornejo (3-4) held Portland to one run and was tagged with the loss. Adam Peterson relieved Cornejo in the 8th. The SeaWolves stranded 11 men on base during the game. Erie's leading hitters were 3B Don Kelly hitting 2-4 and CF Michael Woods hitting 2-3. The effort was not enough for the SeaWolves to defeat the Portland SeaDogs. The SeaWolves get Thursday off and return to the field Friday to play the New Britain Rock Cats at 6:35 p.m. The Rock Cats are in last place in the northern division.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent

High-A Lakeland Tigers - 28-11, 1st in West division
The L-Tigers lost to the Dodgers 5-4. Lakeland let a three-run lead slip away in the ninth. Chris Homer had his second blown save of the season, giving up four runs to Vero Beach in the last inning. Jordan Tata (3-0) was three outs away from a win. Tata gave up just one run on four hits in his seven innings. Tata issued one walk and struck out nine. Danilo Sanchez hit a two-RBI single in the first giving Lakeland an early lead that they held most of the game. Brian Rogers came in and pitched a hitless eighth and gave it over to Chris Homer in the ninth with a 3-1 lead. In the ninth, Homer gave up a leadoff walk and then a flurry of hits that totaled two singles, one double, one triple, and a sacrifice bunt. Lakeland scored one run in the bottom of the ninth. The L-Tigers had the tying run on third with two outs but couldn't get him home. The Dodgers take three of four from the L-Tigers who now turn ahead to a four-game series on the road against Palm Beach. The first game is tomorrow, 7pm.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - 19-20, 4th in East division
West Michigan was off Wednesday, enjoying the team's first break in twenty games. The 'Caps now travel to Iowa to begin a four-game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Game one gets underway Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent

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