Tigers Split Pair with Twins (7/23 Recaps)

The Tigers went into Saturday with a chance to get back over the .500 mark, and doing so against the Wild Card leaders, the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, they were only able to split the two games as the Tigers remain a game below .500 and still five games behind Minnesota in the wild card race.

Detroit Tigers - 48-49, 4th in AL Central
With two games on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the Tigers had an opportunity to get back above .500. They were able to get back to the .500 mark, but that was short-lived as after winning the afternoon game 2-1, they lost the nightcap 5-2 to fall back to a game below. In the first game, Sean Douglass continued to impress, pitching seven solid innings to get his third win as a Tiger. Douglass allowed a run on five hits. Kyle Farnsworth, whose suspension is pending an appeal hearing, pitched a perfect 9th for his fourth save. Omar Infante had the first RBI for the Tigers that staked them a 1-0 lead. And when the Twins tied it up at a run apiece in the top of the 7th, the Tigers came back with a Curtis Granderson solo home run, his first big league home run and coincidentally, the game winner. The nightcap featured another Tiger top prospect, Justin Verlander, making his second start as a Tiger. Unfortunately the start went much the same way as his first did, with only a mediocre showing from the youngster who still has yet to accumulate 20 innings in AA ball. The game was tied at one, but a three run fourth helped get the Twins out in front, and a Justin Morneau solo home run gave them a four run cushion, one which the Tiger offense couldn't manage to help the team come back from. No Tiger had more than one hit. With the series at two games each, the rubber match takes place on Sunday afternoon, with Jeremy Bonderman facing Kyle Lohse.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 63-37, 1st in West division
Toledo dropped both games of their doubleheader to Louisville on Saturday. In the first, they took a 2-1 loss, with Joel Zumaya taking the loss. Zumaya fell to 0-2 but pitched well, giving up two runs on four hits in six innings, with seven strikeouts. Rather, it was the offense that didn't help out, as they managed just three hits, and none for extra base hits. In the second game, the Mud Hens lost 9-4. Andrew Good got hit real hard allowing five runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Good took the loss, but the other two relievers weren't able to show much better, as Steve Green and Mark Woodyard each allowed two more runs. The offense wasn't much better, managing just four hits in the second game. Carlos Pena drove in a pair of runs in the loss. They continue their series with Louisville on Sunday at 6:15pm.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - 52-47, 2nd in Southern division
A final score of 5-2 left the Reading fans feeling dazed as the SeaWolves defeated the Phillies on Saturday night. The SeaWolves staked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the fourth on DH Kurt Airoso's 2-run home run (his 18th) following a double by RF David Espinosa. Erie sealed the win in the eighth as two passed balls by Reading C Tim Gradonville allowed CF Mike Gettis and C Max St. Pierre to cross the plate and extend Erie's lead to 5-1. SeaWolves' starter and winning pitcher Preston Larrison (1-1) was impressive, holding Reading scoreless over six innings while giving up only 3 hits. Reliever Mike Bumatay picked up the save with three innings of scoreless relief to finish the game. The teams play again at 1:05 P.M. on Sunday.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent

High-A Lakeland Tigers - 17-9, 1st in West division
The L-Tigers and Yankees played a doubleheader to make up for a rainout yesterday. Lakeland took the first game 2-0. The game was shortened to seven innings. Jordan Tata pitched six shutout innings and struck out seven on the way to his ninth win of the year. Tata (9-2) gave up five walks and four hits and dropped his ERA to 2.44. Kody Kirkland provided the offense for Lakeland. Kirkland had the only two runs of the game on a homer in the second. Derek Nicholson, who had drawn a walk, scored as well. Eulogio De La Cruz pitched the final inning and recorded his second save. Lakeland won the second game 1-0. It was a hard-fought pitchers battle that lasted twelve innings. Both the L-Tigers and the Yankees went to the bullpen four times. There were a total of 30 strikeouts by both teams. The L-Tigers' pitchers recorded 13 and the Yankees had 17. Lakeland could not get a run across the plate until the top of the twelfth when Brent Clevlen walked and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Kelly Hunt. Lakeland's starter Jermy Rodriguez went three and two-thirds and struck out four. Following Rodriguez were Felix Sanchez, Brian Rogers, Ian Ostlund, and finally Chris Homer who got the win. Homer (5-4) worked three innings and struck out five while allowing one hit and one walk. Clevlen finished two for four with the winning run. Clevlen beat these same Yankees two nights ago with a walk off homerun. Kody Kirkland and Derek Nicholson were the only other L-Tigers with hits. The L-Tigers begin a four-game series with Brevard tomorrow.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - 16-13, 1st in East division
Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, West Michigan and Southwest Michigan got their game in between the rain drops. The 'Caps squeaked by the Devil Rays, winning 3-2. Shortstop Brent Dlugach led the charge at the plate with three hits. West Michigan put up the first run in the top of the 1st when DH Wilkin Ramirez, on first after a bunt single, hustled home on left fielder Jeffrey Frazier's right field double. Down by one, the 'Caps scored the tying and winning runs in the 8th inning with the assistance of the Devil Rays' defense. First, runners advanced when the Southwest Michigan pitcher threw a wild pitch to Ramirez. Ramirez was then hit by a pitch and took first to load the bases. Frazier grounded into a double play to score the tying run, and another wild pitch sent center fielder Clete Thomas home for the lead. On the mound for West Michigan, Edward Clelland recorded the win (5-2, 4.05). The teams close out this series on Sunday. Game time is 2:05 p.m.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent

SS-A Oneonta Tigers - 18-11, 1st in Stedler division
The O-Tigers took yet another loss, though this time it wasn't because of poor pitching as they dropped the game 3-2. Sendy Vasquez pitched well as the starter, getting a no decision as he allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings. Tim Robertson took the loss in relief for allowing a run in his two innings of work. The offense struggled along, managing just four singles in the game. They face Williamsport at 7pm on Sunday.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

R GCL Tigers - 11-15, 4th in North division
The losing ways continued for the GCL Tigers as they fell to the GCL Phillies 7-3. Luis Gil took the loss, allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings. At the plate, Miguel Linares had a solo home run, and Cole Miller (who played at first) had an RBI double. The team is off on Sunday before taking on the GCL Braves at noon. - Paul Wezner, Senior Editor

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