Pudge Makes Run at HR Derby Crown (7/11 Recaps)

All the Tigers are now in the midst of enjoying a three day break for the All Star festivities; all but one that is. And that one put on a show in front of his home crowd on Monday night, as Pudge Rodriguez made a run for the Home Run derby crown.

Detroit Tigers - 42-44, 4th in AL Central
Ivan Rodriguez entered the Home Run derby as almost an afterthought, a likely inclusion because of his being from a yet-to-be represented nation (Puerto Rico) as well as being the sole member of the host Tigers. He may have started out as an after-thought, but he changed those thoughts throughout the course of the night as he made it all the way to the final round against Bobby Abreu. Abreu ended up coming out on top though, after a staggering 24 home runs in the first round, then six more in the second to advance him to the finals, where he put up 11, which more than doubled Rodriguez's five in the final frame. Nonetheless, a very good showing from Pudge in front of the home crowd. He'll hope to repeat the impressive showing on Tuesday in the actual All Star game at 8pm.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 57-32, 1st in West division
Like the Tigers, Toledo is on its All Star break, they'll return to action on Thursday after the game on Wednesday.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - 48-42, 2nd in Southern division
The SeaWolves parted with such sweet sorrow as they left Akron after losing 6-5. Erie 3B Scott Tousa revved up Erie's scoring engine with an RBI single in the 3rd. Two more runs in the inning came courtesy of 1B Juan Tejeda's RBI single. LF Kurt Airoso brought in Erie's 4th run in the 3rd with an RBI double. Airoso didn't stop there. He hit a homerun in the 8th to bring in Erie's 5th run. For the night, Airoso was Erie's leading hitter going 3-3. Starter Humberto Sanchez (3-3) took the loss after giving up 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings on the mound. Mike Bumatay came on in the 6th and pitched until relieved by Lee Rodney in the 9th. Both relievers kept Akron scoreless. The SeaWolves take off the next two days for the All-Star Game and return home Thursday night at 7:05 to face the Norwich Navigators. The Navigators stand 4th in the Northern Division of the Eastern League.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent

High-A Lakeland Tigers - 11-4, 1st in West division
The L-Tigers defeated the Mets 4-2. Lakeland starter Preston Larrison pitched four and a third and did not get the decision. Larrison struck out six while allowing two runs on five hits and one walk. Larrison was up 4-1 at the beginning of the fifth but got into trouble with a wild pitch that allowed the leadoff runner to get on base. The next batter hit a single but was thrown out at second from right field by Brent Clevlen. Larrison was pulled with one out and man on third. Brian Hensen came on. The Mets got a run to get within two, but the L-Tigers' relievers held them off the rest of the way. Brian Rogers pitched an inning. Felix Sanchez threw one and a third and was awarded his first win. Chris Homer came on late in the eighth and finished the game, recording his eighteenth save of the year. Gilberto Mejia finished two for four with a double and two RBI. Derek Nicholson went one for three with a double and a RBI. The Mets left eleven runners on base and lost despite out-hitting the L-Tigers 10-5. Lakeland and St. Lucie play again tomorrow in Lakeland.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - 10-9, 2nd in East division
West Michigan worked hard for their Monday victory over Clinton The 'Caps edged out the LumberKings 7-6 after 17 innings and nearly = five hours on the field. With a total of 24 hits for the game, every 'Caps slugger contributed to the hit column. Third baseman Brooks Colvin and catcher Christopher Robinson led the charge with four hits each. Robinson got his first home run with the 'Caps, sending a two-run blast to right field in the 8th. After six scoreless extra innings, Colvin put West Michigan in reach of the win when he scored on a single by Justin Justice. The 'Caps defense closed the deal by sending the 'Kings back to their dugout 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 17th. Reliever Kevin Ardoin, who came on in the bottom of the 14th, recorded the win (1-0, 3.68). Lavon Lewis took the mound for the final inning to record the save. West Michigan is off Tuesday, returning home to begin a three-day series with the Dayton Dragons. Game time Wednesday is 7:00 p.m.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent

SS-A Oneonta Tigers - 14-5, 1st in Stedler division
Oneonta got a win on Monday night, and they didn't even need 10-plus runs to get it done. Sendy Vasquez got the start, allowing two runs over four innings for a no decision. Kevin Whelan ended up getting the win in relief as the O-Tigers offense put up two runs in the 8th, then two more in the 9th to seal the 5-2 victory. Michael Holliman went 3-for-4 with two runs as the leadoff man, while Clete Thomas went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Ryan Roberson also opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 4th inning. Oneonta is off on Tuesday before traveling home to host Batavia on Wednesday.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

R GCL Tigers - 9-5, 1st in North division
After returning to action from Hurricane break, the GCL Tigers got right back into it, putting up 11 runs to beat the GCL Braves 11-2. Ramon Garcia got the start, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings to get the win and improve to 2-0. Rhiner Cruz pitched the final three innings to earn his first save. Audy Ciriaco went 2-for-5 with a run and three RBI and his up-the-middle mate Pedruin Bautista went 3-for-4 (two doubles and a triple) with two runs and four RBI. They travel to Orlando to face the GCL Braves once again on Tuesday.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

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