TigsTown MLN: 'Hens .500, Top Prospect Out

The Toledo Mud Hens had another .500 week, seeing their lead over the Louisville Bats shrink to one game in the International League West Division. The bats continued to go from hot to cold from one game to the next, while the pitching was solid.

The Hens received three quality starts this week from their pitchers and they allowed more than four runs in only one game this week. RHP Eddie Bonine got himself back on track this week after two sub-par starts, improving his record to 9-1. Bonine pitched seven strong innings, allowing three earned runs on sevens hits while striking out four batters and issuing one walk.

RHP Virgil Vasquez continued his inconsistent play this week, this time having a strong start. Vasquez pitched seven innings of five hit ball which led to three earned runs while striking out three and walking a lone batter. Vasquez's problem so far this year has been his inability of putting together back to back solid starts, so in his next appearance it would be a much welcomed sign to see another quality start.

In his second week with the Mud Hens, since being sent down by the Tigers, RHP Denny Bautista has been a lock down force for the bullpen with three more appearances this week. Bautista did pick up the loss against Indianapolis on May 30, pitching two solid innings allowing only one unearned run on one hit and one walk while striking out two. In his five appearances since being sent down to Toledo, Bautista has pitched 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball with a WHIP of 0.79 while striking out seven batters.

Some more good news for Tigers fans; RHP Fernando Rodney had his first rehab appearance with the Hens, in hopes that he could join the Tigers soon. Rodney picked up the win, pitching two solid innings allowing one hit and issuing two walks while striking out one batter. Rodney is expected to make a few more appearances with the Mud Hens before he is deemed ready to join the Tigers.

The Mud Hens were led offensively this week by Brent Clevlen. The right fielder was on fire this week batting 11-20 with eight extra-base hits including five home runs on his way to piling up 13 RBI. He also showed a great eye at the plate walking six times on his way to having a .654 on-base-percentage this week. Clevlen also had back-to-back five RBI nights on June 2-3, which in the last week gives him three 5-or-more RBI games.

No other Mud Hen positional player had the great whole week that Clevlen had, but there were stand out performances in single games. Centerfielder Matt Joyce re-joined the Mud Hens after spending almost a month with the big league team in Detroit, hitting homeruns on back to back days. Mike Hessman hit his 21st homerun of the year, while he still hasn't re-caught the fire he had earlier in the season. He seems to still be pressing at the plate, striking out 17 times in his last ten games while walking only four times in that same span.

On their way to crushing Indianapolis 17-3, DH Timo Perez and leftfielder Freddy Guzman each had four hits apiece, including a triple for each. Perez went 4-4 with two walks reaching base safely all six plate appearances, while gathering four RBI.

News and Notes: The Lakeland Flying Tigers will be without half of their talented up the middle duo for awhile. Scott Sizemore will be out four to six weeks with a wrist injury. For now, the Tigers are going to wait and see how things go, however, surgery at this point has not been ruled out. This injury has the potential to linger (and depress his power ability in the process) so the Tigers will want to be careful with him.

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