MiLB Recap Blog: 'Hens, Willis Keep Rolling

Each morning, check in for the Minor League Recap Blog. Get all of the results from the games, the latest standings and the daily blog recapping the previous day's action.

May 17th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 8, COLUMBUS 5
28-16, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – GM1: BINGHAMTON 2, ERIE 0
GM2: BINGHAMTON 7, ERIE 5
15-26, 6th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – DUNEDIN 4, LAKELAND 2
23-19, 3rd in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – LANSING 5, WEST MICH. 3
21-19, 2nd in Eastern division

R VSL Tigers – PHILLIES 2, TIGERS 1
0-6, 8th in VSL

Dontrelle Willis was the draw on Saturday, picking up his first rehab start victory. Willis battled his control a bit, but only surrendered one run on five hits in six innings of work. Willis also walked four and struck out four. Meanwhile, the power that the Tigers seem to be missing shows up daily in Toledo, with four more home runs, including two from Jeff Larish (he now has 14 on the year). Mike Hollimon and Brent Clevlen had the other two.

The SeaWolves dropped both games of a doubleheader, as they continue their recent tailspin. In the opener, starter Andrew Kown gave up two runs over 4 2/3 innings, but the offense managed just three singles. In the nightcap, the offense came to play, but Jon Connolly was hit hard, allowing all seven Binghamton runs. Danny Worth and Ryan Roberson each had a home run in the losing effort.

Duane Below took the loss for the Flying Tigers, but turned in a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings of work with five strikeouts. Four Flying Tigers each had multiple hit games, including Ryan Strieby blasting a solo home run.

Poor defense did in the Whitecaps, as three costly errors resulted in all five of Lansing's runs coming in as unearned. Rudy Darrow took the blown save and the loss for allowing a pair of unearned runs to cross the plate. Chris Carlson had two hits, including a double. Joe Tucker also had an RBI.

And the VSL Tigers still can't seem to break into the win column, falling 2-1 to the VSL Phillies, giving up two runs in the ninth to lose the lead and the game. Jose Diaz pitched seven innings of two-hit baseball, with no walks and six strikeouts before giving way to Frank Penalver who gave up the go-ahead runs in the nith. Alexander Moreno had two hits and brought home the team's lone run.

Posted by: Wez, 5/18


May 16th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – DURHAM 9, TOLEDO 3
27-16, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – PPD: RAIN (makeup: Saturday, May 17)
15-24, 6th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 4, DUNEDIN 1
23-18, 3rd in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – GM1: WEST MICH. 6, LANSING 3
GM2: LANSING 5, WEST MICH. 0

21-18, 2nd in Eastern division

R VSL Tigers – ASTROS 17, TIGERS 11
0-5, 8th in VSL

Among top pitching prospects, it was a mix for the day. Virgil Vasquez struggled for the Mud Hens, giving up six runs in just three innings of work before being removed. Rick Porcello on the other hand turned in another strong outing, but once again didn't see any run support, until of course he exited at which point the Flying Tigers put up a three run inning to give the team the lead. Porcello gave up a run in five innings of work, including five strikeouts.

The Whitecaps split their doubleheader with the Lansing Lugnuts. In the opener, Chris Carlson and Kody Kaiser each had a pair of RBI to help provide run support for Alfredo Figaro, who got his fifth win in the process. Joe Tucker also had three hits and an RBI in the game. But in the nightcap, the offense went to bed early, getting shut out. Starter Manny Miguelez didn't stick around long enough to see though, getting knocked out in the first inning, giving up four runs with just 2/3 of an inning of work.

And finally, the VSL Tigers are still the lone VSL club without a victory, falling in a high scoring affair to the VSL Astros. Bruce Rondon started things out farily well, giving up two earned runs (three total). But the bullpen then proceeded to give up 14 more, putting the game out of reach for even late inning push by the Tigers' offense. Avisail Garcia had three hits, two runs and four RBI, while Adolfo Reina had a home run and three RBI.

Posted by: Wez, 5/17


May 15th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 6, DURHAM 5
27-15, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – BOWIE 2, ERIE 0
15-24, 6th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 8, DUNEDIN 7
22-18, 3rd in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – FT. WAYNE 7, WEST MICH. 5
20-17, 2nd in Eastern division

R VSL Tigers – CARDINALS 5, TIGERS 4
0-4, 8th in VSL

Eddie Bonine improved to 8-0 with the help of some more long balls from the 'Hens offense. Jeff Larish, Mike Hollimon and Clete Thomas all had home runs, with a four run sixth inning giving the 'Hens the lead for good. Bonine gave up three runs over seven innings of work, with Preston Larrison and Blaine Neal closing things out.

The SeaWolves continues its slumber, as they were shut out by Bowie on Thursday afternoon, losing their 10th straight despite back to back quality starts. Luke French gave up two runs in seven innings as the losing pitcher. The 'Wolves offense managed just three hits, all singles.

The Flying Tigers took sole possession of third place, squeaking out an 8-7 victory. Ramon Garcia struggled in his Lakeland debut, giving up six runs over 5 1/3 innings, but got enough run support late in the game to walk away with a no decision. Michael Bertram, Ryan Strieby and Brennan Boesch each had two RBI, Strieby and Boesch each with a home run as well. Jay Sborz picked up his first save, pitching 2 2/3 innings of shutout baseball.

West Michigan's score was a mirror of last game's, once again falling to Fort Wayne 7-5. The 'Caps got out to an early four run lead, but watched it slowly disappear, capped by a three run eighth inning by Fort Wayne against Wilton Garcia. Kody Kaiser had three hits, while Chris Carlson had a pair of RBI for the 'Caps.

And the VSL Tigers are still searching for their first win, after suffering an extra inning loss to the VSL Cardinals. Josue Carreno pitched five innings, allowing just one run, but Carlos Alvarez quickly lost the lead Carreno left with. Wondy de los Santos had two hits at the top of the order, and Avisail Garcia added a solo home run.

Posted by: Wez, 5/16


May 14th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – DURHAM 14, TOLEDO 4
26-15, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – BOWIE 2, ERIE 1
15-23, 5th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 1, TAMPA 0
21-18, t-3rd in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – FT. WAYNE 7, WEST MICH. 5
20-16, 2nd in Eastern division

R VSL Tigers – PIRATES 9, TIGERS 8
0-3, 8th in VSL

It wasn't a pretty day down on the farm, once again following the Tigers' lead. Only Lakeland was able to pull out a win, squeaking out a 1-0 shutout victory. Matt O'Brien pitched six no-hit innings, before giving way to the bullpen. Jordan Tata got the win in relief when Scott Sizemore brought home Shawn Roof on a sacrifice fly.

Luis Marte had an excellent debut for the SeaWolves, unfortunately, he received little as far as run support was concerned. Marte gave up one run on four hits in seven innings of work, only to see the tie broken in relief. Wilkin Ramirez provided the only run - a solo shot, his ninth.

The Mud Hens had an off night, with every reliever that went to the mound getting clubbed by Durham - starter Chris Lambert gave up just two runs over six innings, but things went downhill quickly from there. Of course, it wouldn't have been a Mud Hens game without Mike Hessman hitting a home run, which he got out of the way early in the first inning.

The Whitecaps had one of the more interesting box scores of the '08 season, giving up seven runs, but allowing just three hits. Four 'Caps pitchers combined for 11 walks. Brandon Hamilton made his West Michigan debut, not allowing a run or a hit in four innings, but walking four.

And finally, the VSL Tigers are still looking for their first win, losing a nailbiter to the VSL Pirates. Clemente Mendoza took the blown save and the loss, giving up the winning run in the 10th inning. Hernan Perez had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI for the VSL Tigers.

Posted by: Wez, 5/15


May 13th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – DURHAM 5, TOLEDO 3
26-14, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – BOWIE 5, ERIE 3
15-22, 5th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – TAMPA 3, LAKELAND 1
20-18, t-4th in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – WEST MICH. 11, FT. WAYNE 3
20-15, 2nd in Eastern division

R VSL Tigers – METS 5, TIGERS 0
0-2, 8th in VSL

Things weren't pretty from Toledo down through Lakeland, as all three teams fell by a two run margin. The teams hit for plenty of power - Toledo had one home run, and Erie had three - but all of those were of the solo variety. Jeremy Johnson took the loss for Toledo, while Anthony Tomey got the 'L' for the 'Wolves working in the tenth inning. Jonah Nickerson was probably the most letdown of all, giving up three runs in seven innings of work.

Things went better in West Michigan, where the Whitecaps offense exploded for 11 runs, even though Jon Kibler didn't need it. Kibler gave up just one unearned run in seven innings of work. The 'Caps got three home runs, including two from Casper Wells, who now has seven for the year. Audy Ciriaco also had four hits from the bottom of the order, as the 'Caps combined for 20 hits.

Finally, the VSL Tigers still weren't able to get a run on the board, but at least the bats started to awaken, managing 10 hits. Alexander Moreno had three of those hits, while Francisco Martinez had a pair. Eduardo Gonzalez took the loss as the starter, giving up three runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Posted by: Wez, 5/14


May 12th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 6, CHARLOTTE 5
26-13, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – OFF DAY
15-21, 5th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 6, TAMPA 2
20-17, t-4th in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – FT. WAYNE 2, WEST MICH. 1
0-1, t-6th in VSL

R VSL Tigers – RAYS 6, TIGERS 0
0-1, 2nd in Eastern division

The Mud Hens got out-powered on Sunday - that wasn't going to happen again, and every power hitter in the lineup made sure of it. Jeff Larish, Mike Hollimon, Mike Hessman and Dane Sardinha each homered, with Sardinha's being the game winner in the ninth. Dontrelle Willis made his second rehab stint but was still a bit shaky, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings. Willis also walked three and struck out three. Preston Larrison relieved Willis and picked up the win, pitching 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief.

The Flying Tigers picked up another win but weren't able to pick up any ground in the standings. Duane Below has faded back a bit with Rick Porcello and Luis Marte taking the spotlight, but Below turned in a good start on Monday, striking out 10 over 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, just one earned. Unfortunately for Below, the offense didn't surge ahead until the 11th inning, when Cale Iorg took a bases loaded walk to bring home the go-ahead run.

The Whitecaps couldn't generate much offense on Monday, and fell 2-1 because of it. The only offense came from a solo home run from Adrian Casanova, leaving Lauren Gagnier hanging. Gagnier gave up two runs in seven innings of work, but took the loss to fall to 1-4 on the year.

And finally, the VSL Tigers got their season off on a low note, getting shut out by the VSL Rays 6-0. Jose Diaz took the loss, giving up three runs (though just one earned) in 3 2/3 innings. The offense managed just one hit though - a single by Wondy De Los Santos.

Posted by: Wez, 5/13


May 11th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – CHARLOTTE 10, TOLEDO 6
25-13, 1st in West division

AA Erie SeaWolves – HARRISBURG 7, ERIE 6
15-21, 5th in West division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – OFF DAY
19-17, t-4th in West division

A West Mich. Whitecaps – PPD: RAIN
19-13, 2nd in Eastern division

Only two teams were in action on Sunday, starting with Toledo, who fell in a slugfest to Charlotte, giving up five home runs. Yorman Bazardo got a no decision, giving up four runs in five innings of work. Mike Hollimon and Brent Clevlen each had a home run, but it wasn't enough.

Meanwhile, the SeaWolves lost their seventh straight game, falling by a run to Harrisburg. After falling behind 7-3, the SeaWolves mounted a comeback, scoring three runs in the eighth, but coming up a run short. Jon Connolly gave up all seven Senator runs. Wilkin Ramirez blasted his eighth home run, while Will Rhymes had a pair of RBI's for Erie.

Lakeland was off on Sunday, and West Michigan's game with Lansing was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Friday.

Posted by: Wez, 5/12



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