Detroit Tigers - 20-25, 4th in AL Central
Jeremy Bonderman battled his way in and out of trouble all evening long, but in the sixth inning it finally caught up with him, when Alex Rodriguez blasted a two run home run off Bonderman to deep left center field. The blast gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead, which would hold for the final three innings as the Yankees swept Detroit. Offensively, Brandon Inge, Rondell White and Ivan Rodriguez each had two hits apiece, but the offense did more to become known for the hits they didn't get rather than the hits that they did. On four different occasions the Tigers had runners in scoring position and failed to bring them in, including an inning ending double play by Rodriguez with runners at the corners and just one out, as well as Jason Smith being stranded at second to end the game. Suddenly five games under .500, the Tigers will look to get back on the winning side of things with a trip to Baltimore, where they split a short two game series earlier this year. Nate Robertson, with his strong ERA and poor won-loss record, takes on Sidney Ponson at 7:05pm.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 27-18, 2nd in West division
The Clippers shut out the Mud Hens on Thursday night 3-0. Nelson Cruz took the loss despite giving the Hens a quality start, pitching six innings, giving up three runs and striking out six. The Mud Hens didn't allow more than those three runs, but the Toledo offense couldn't generate much of anything, managing just four measly hits, none of them the extra base hit variety. Mike Hessman went 1-for-3 with a walk, and Curtis Granderson also had a hit atop the lineup. Toledo will try and get back at the Clippers on Friday night in Columbus at 7:05pm.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent
AA Erie SeaWolves - 27-20, 1st in Southern division
No hits - 14 strikeouts – 4 walks – 7 2/3 innings pitched -a stellar performance by Erie starter Joel Zumaya (3-3). Zumaya's near-perfect performance propelled Erie to a 4-0 victory against the Akron Aeros. Akron's only hit came on a 9th inning single against reliever Edwin Almonte, who collected his 16th save of the season. The power switch was on for Erie's batters too – especially when DH Kurt Airoso stepped to the plate in the 1st and hit a 3-run homer. In the 3rd, 3B Chris Maples drove in Erie's 4th and final run. Zumaya's overpowering pitching allowed Erie to reclaim 1st place in the Southern Division of the Eastern League. Erie travels to play the Harrisburg Senators Friday evening at 6:35. Harrisburg is currently in last place in the Southern Division of the Eastern League.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent
High-A Lakeland Tigers - 32-15, 1st in West division
Lakeland lost 4-2 to the Brevard County Manatees, who avoided a four-game sweep by the L-Tigers. Lakeland starter Preston Larrison pitched four and two thirds innings, gave up one earned run on seven hits and three walks. Kevin McDowell came on in relief and allowed two runs on two hits, one walk in his one and a third innings. Andy Baldwin pitched two innings and Brian Hensen came on for the ninth. The L-Tigers' pitchers gave up a total of ten hits and did not record any strikeouts in the game. Scott Tousa and Derek Nicholson combined to score both of Lakeland's runs. Derek Nicholson led off the fourth with a hit and came home on a RBI single by Scott Tousa. In the sixth, Nicholson led off the inning with a walk, and then scored on a double by Tousa. Nicholson finished one for three with two runs scored. Tousa was three for four with two RBI. The L-Tigers begin a four-game home series against the Jupiter Hammerheads, tomorrow, 7pm.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent
A West Mich. Whitecaps - 20-27, 5th in East division
The Whitecaps closed out their current series with a loss Thursday, falling to the Dayton Dragons 6-3. Most innings saw only three or four 'Caps at the plate with the Dragons pitchers making quick work of the West Michigan offense. In the 6th, the 'Caps rallied to get on the board for three. Singles from second baseman Stephen Young, left fielder Jeffrey Frazier, and third baseman Wilkin Ramirez followed by a double from right fielder Matt Parrish resulted in the three runs. Losing pitcher Daniel Konecny (1-4, 2.90) faced thirteen Dragons. In his time on the mound, Konecny gave up two hits, two runs, walked one and struck out two. West Michigan goes on the road Friday to meet the Fort Wayne Wizards for a four-game series. The 'Caps went 3-1 against the Wizards in a home series earlier this month. Game time Friday is 7:00 p.m.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent