Detroit Tigers - 37-39, 4th in AL Central
Friday night was the type of game the Tigers were hoping to see all the time. Prior to the game, not only was Magglio Ordonez brought back to the lineup after nearly three months on the disabled list (Alexis Gomez was sent down), but the Tigers also announced that Kirk Gibson and Bruce Fields were changing positions, as Kirk Gibson will take over as hitting coach, and Bruce Fields will move to bench coach (and while it's unlikely that actually had anything to do with the Tigers' offensive explosion, it's a nice thought). Back to the game, the Tigers came out swinging, and after a brief threat in the first inning by the Yankees, Jeremy Bonderman calmed down and kept the Yankees in check, as he went the distance, allowing two runs with five strikeouts to earn his 10th win of the season (one of just five pitchers in the AL to reach double digits in wins). The offense certainly had no problems, putting up ten runs, seven of them on Yankee starter Randy Johnson. Chris Shelton had a huge two run home run to straight away center field, and Magglio Ordonez made his return to Detroit official with his first hit as a Tiger, a two run blast to left center field. Placido Polanco also had a monster game, going 2-for-5 with a three run home run and an impressive five RBI. Hoping to use this game as a springboard, Sean Douglass will face Mike Mussina at 7:05pm at Comerica Park.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 48-32, 1st in West division
Norfolk topped the Mud Hens on Friday night by a score of 6-3. Andrew Good got a no decision as the starter, as he gave up two runs in 4 2/3 innings before being removed. Craig Dingman took the loss, giving up a pair of runs in relief. While the Toledo offense took an incredible nine walks for the game, they couldn't translate all those walks into many runs, as the team managed just seven hits and couldn't get many of those baserunners home. Gookie Dawkins helped provide most of the scoring, going 2-for-4 with two solo home runs. Gookie also scored the team's only other run when Sandy Martinez drove him in. Toledo now hosts Richmond for a brief two game weekend series, starting Saturday night at 7:05pm.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent
AA Erie SeaWolves - 43-37, 3rd in Southern division
Shed a tear for the SeaWolves who were handed a 6-4 home loss by the Reading Phillies on Friday night. A bright spot for Erie was RF Brian Gettis, who went 2 for 4, with a 2 run 2nd inning homer and an 8th inning RBI ground-out. Erie's other score came courtesy of LF Don Maples 8th inning double -- one of two doubles Maples had in the game. SS Tony Giarratano contributed 2 hits in 3 at-bats. Starter Justin Verlander pitched a scoreless 1st inning, then was relieved by Humberto Sanchez (Ed. Note: Verlander needed to get a bit of work in so as to not go over a week without pitching, he'll be promoted to Detroit on Monday to take one of the starts in their doubleheader with Cleveland). It was a rough outing for Sanchez, who gave up 6 runs (5 earned) in four innings of work. Mark Johnson came on in the 6th. Johnson was masterful, holding Reading hitless and scoreless over the next 3 innings, while striking out 5. Mike Bumatay was equally impressive as he struck out the side in the 9th and didn't give up a hit. The teams meet again in Erie on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent
High-A Lakeland Tigers - 4-4, 3rd in West division
Lakeland appears to be shaking off any rust that it had as they defeated Clearwater 5-4 on Friday night. Jordan Tata pitched strong through six, but struggled in the seventh and ended up giving up four runs in the seventh without ever recording an out. He also struck out eight. With the score tied, the two teams stayed knotted up at four until the bottom of the 9th, when a double, a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk a hit by pitch and an error all produced the game winning run for the L-Tigers. Kody Kirkland awoke from his slumber, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Brent Clevlen meanwhile might have had the stat of the night, playing the entire game while never recording an at bat in five plate appearances (he walked four times and laid down the sacrifice bunt in the 9th to advance Vincent Blue). Gilberto Mejia also went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Lakeland now travels to Tampa for a weekend series with the Tampa Yankees.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent
A West Mich. Whitecaps - 5-4, 3rd in East division
Andrew Kown had a spectacular outing en route to leading the Whitecaps to a 2-0 victory. Kown pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits with eight strikeouts. PJ Finigan and Anthony Tomey each pitched a perfect inning of relief to preserve the victory and put West Michigan over .500. Jeff Frazier went 2-for-4 including a triple, while Andrew Graham had the only RBI for the team, a double to right that scored Josh Lee. The other run came after a Matt Parrish doubled; Josh Lee hit a flyout, but Parrish was able to advance, then score all the way from second on a throwing error. West Michigan hosts Clinton again at 7pm.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent
SS-A Oneonta Tigers - 7-4, 1st in Stedler division
Lowell had a big six run inning in the sixth that seemingly put the game out of reach from Oneonta, and while they retaliated with a six run 8th inning of their own, it wouldn't be enough to overcome the nine run deficit as they lost 9-6. Guillermo Moscoso took the loss, but Collin Mahoney was the one that really got lit up, giving up six runs in just two thirds of an inning. Clete Thomas went 2-for-4 with a run, a double, and an RBI, and three other O-Tigers drove in a run. Oneonta faces Lowell again at 5:05pm on Saturday.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
R GCL Tigers - 4-2, 1st in North division
The GCL Tigers squeaked out a 4-3 victory over the GCL Phillies on Friday night. Orlando Perdomo got the win, giving up a run on three hits over five innings; he did walk five batters however. SS Audy Ciriaco went 2-for-4, while Casper Wells went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI. The GCL Tigers not play at the GCL Phillies home on Saturday at noon.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor