Detroit Tigers - 51-55, 4th in AL Central
So the Tigers couldn't keep up the losing forever. They were finally able to change that on Wednesday evening, as they topped Seattle 10-7. The Tigers were led by a pair of big innings that produced nine of their ten runs, while a shaky bullpen didn't keep the Tigers from getting the victory. Mike Maroth got the win, though he wasn't dominant, as he gave up five runs in six innings. It was his 9th win of the year. After Maroth, Franklyn German pitched an inning but gave up another two runs in the 8th (earned by German, allowed by Chris Spurling). Luckily, Fernando Rodney came in and buckled down to retire the final two batters in the 8th, and then work out of a 9th inning jam to get his first save of the year (and first as the Tigers' closer). The Tigers top four hitters led the way on offense, with each getting two hits apiece. Placido Polanco had a run and an RBI, while Chris Shelton had two runs and three RBI (including a solo home run in the bottom of the 8th inning to help give the bullpen an extra run of comfort). Dmitri Young also chipped in with three hits, a run and an RBI. The rubber match between the two clubs takes place on Thursday afternoon, with Sean Douglass facing rookie Felix Hernandez. Hernandez as well as Tiger prospect Justin Verlander are widely regarded as the top two pitching prospects in all of baseball – so Thursday will be a good one.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 68-42, 1st in West division
The Hens almost gave one away on Wednesday night against the Richmond Braves, but despite their best efforts to put a tally in the loss column, Toledo came out on top to beat the Braves for the second night in a row by a final of 9-8. Richmond took the early 1-0 lead off of starter Andrew Good, but found themselves in what seemed to be an insurmountable hole after a six-run fifth inning by Toledo. But after Good exited the game, the floodgates opened and Richmond put a seven run inning on the board in the eighth to tie the game at eight apiece. The Hens hitters, however, were determined not to let the win slip away and Marcus Thames led off the bottom half of the eighth with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Pena. Jason Karnuth wouldn't allow the Richmond hitters to pick up where they left off in the eighth in the ninth inning, and closed the victory out for the Hens, marking his 16th save of the year. The triple for Thames was part of a 4-5 night that was just a double short of the cycle. The Hens look to make it three in a row on Thursday against Richmond at 7 p.m.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent
AA Erie SeaWolves - 57-53, 3rd in Southern division
Given a choice, some Altoona players might have preferred a drilling by the family dentist over the drilling that the SeaWolves administered in their 10-0 win over the Curve on Wednesday night in Erie. The SeaWolves started early, scoring once in the first, three times in the third, and twice more in the fourth. For good measure, Erie added two runs in the seventh and another two in the eighth. Riding the lead float in Erie's 12-hit parade were LF David Espinosa (2 for 5, with 3 runs scored), 2B Juan Francia (3 for 5, with a home run, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI's), and DH Mike Woods (2 for 3, including a home run and 2 runs scored). Erie starter Preston Larrison (2-1) earned the win with 5 2/3 innings of scoreless pitching. Reliever Coren Hamman kept Altoona's hitters off balance with 3 1/3 innings of scoreless pitching and earned his third save. The teams conclude their four game series with a 7:05 P.M. game on Thursday night.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent
High-A Lakeland Tigers - 22-14, 1st in West division
The L-Tigers blanked the Cardinals 3-0 and Jordan Tata got his eleventh win of the season. Tata (11-2) improved his ERA to 2.36. He pitched seven innings, allowing six hits, two walks, and striking out four. Brian Rogers came in and held the eight. Chris Homer pitched the ninth and got save number twenty. The game was scoreless until the fourth. Juan Gonzalez, Brent Clevlen, and Derek Nicholson singled one after another and drove Gonzalez across the plate for the lead. The L-Tigers added another in the fifth when Jason Knoedler scored from second after a wild pitch and errant throw from the catcher. Derek Nicholson hit his twelfth homer of the year in the fifth. The L-Tigers and Cardinals have split the first two games of their series. They play two more in Lakeland.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent
A West Mich. Whitecaps - 24-16, 1st in East division
The 'Caps are currently first in their division and Wednesday's game proved that they aren't ready to let anyone jeopardize their lead. West Michigan rallied in the 8th from a 6-2 deficit to shut down Beloit 8-6. Doubles from third baseman Brooks Colvin, catcher Christopher Robinson, and center fielder Clete Thomas were key to the 8th inning rally. Mixed with singles from right fielder Luis Sabino, first baseman Josh Lee, and shortstop Nick McIntyre, the steady stream of hits put runners on base and sent them home for a total of six runs. Interestingly, the other two 'Caps runs were both solo homers -- one from left fielder Jeff Frazier (10) and the other from McIntyre (6). The Snappers feasted on starting pitcher Lucas French who served up six hits, six runs, and two home runs during the six innings he was on the mound. Reliever P. J. Finigan (1-2, 1.74) took the win and Kevin Whelan (2) the save. Together Finigan and Whelan allowed just one hit from the 11 Beloit batters they faced. West Michigan continues this series in Beloit on Thursday. Game time is 8:00 p.m.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent
SS-A Oneonta Tigers - 24-16, 1st in Stedler division
Don't look now but Oneonta's losing streak (likely brought along by the organization they got a win back as the O-Tigers beat Hudson Valley 5-3 on Wednesday. Sendy Vasquez got the win as he improved to 3-0 with Oneonta – Vasquez allowed three runs over seven innings, including eight strikeouts. Anthony Claggett pitched a perfect 9th inning for his second save after Kevin Whelan was promoted to West Michigan. At the plate, Michael Holliman continues to hit the cover off the ball, as he went 2-for-4 including a home run and two RBI. Justin Justice also had a pair of hits and a run. On Thursday, Oneonta travels to Auburn to kick off a three game series there.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
R GCL Tigers - 13-22, 4th in North division
The GCL Tigers got hammered on Wednesday as they lost 12-1 to the GCL Yankees. Ramon Garcia got the loss, giving up six runs in just three innings of work, including two walks and eight hits. The bullpen fared no better obviously as they gave up another six runs. Meanwhile the position players managed almost as many errors (two) as runs (three). The lone run came from Agustin Guzman, who blasted a solo home run in the seventh inning. They host the GCL Yankees on Thursday at noon.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor