May 3rd Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 6, LEHIGH VALLEY 5 (10)
12-11, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 7, ALTOONA 3
14-8, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – BREVARD COUNTY 4, LAKELAND 1
9-14, t-5th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - BURLINGTON 1, WEST MICHIGAN 0 (10)
16-6, 2nd in Eastern Division
Toledo squeaked out a 6-5 win over Lehigh Valley on Sunday afternoon, once again needing to stretch things to ten innings. Eddie Bonine pitched well as the starter, allowing one unearned run on two hits in five innings of work. Unfortunately, Ron Chiavacci, coming out of the bullpen, couldn't hold the lead, allowing four runs in 2 1/3 innings, putting the Hens down a run again heading into the ninth. But Wilkin Ramirez reached on a single, and was driven home by Jeff Larish's double to tie things up. Then in the tenth, Dusty Ryan blasted a solo homer to take the lead for good. Larish also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, while Brent Dlugach had two hits, a run and an RBI.
It's been a rough start to the season for Jonah Nickerson, but on Sunday Nickerson finally turned in a quality start for the 'Wolves in their 7-3 triumph. Nickerson gave up three runs on six hits in six innings, with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. The offense however didn't turn it on until late, scoring all seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings, preventing Nickerson from earning a win. Brett Jensen pitched the final two innings to pick up his second win. Santo de Leon had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice. Scott Sizemore meanwhile added two hits and three RBI.
Once again, the Flying Tigers couldn't generate much offense at the plate as Brevard County topped Lakeland 4-1. Duane Below gave up just two hits, but his control was very wild, as he walked five in four innings of work. The only two hits he allowed were both home runs as well. He did however strike out eight. Jordan Newton had a pair of doubles at the plate for Lakeland, while Justin Henry drove in Chris Carlson for the team's only run for the day.
It was a pitchers' duel for the Whitecaps on Sunday, and the two clubs needed extra innings before a run even got on the board. Bad news for the 'Caps, it was Burlington that scored first, ending the game and sending the 'Caps back to second place in the division. Mauricio Robles turned in an outstanding start for West Michigan, tossing six shutout innings, giving up just two hits. It was Tyler Stohr that took the loss, allowing a double and a single to Burlington with two outs in the tenth to let the game winning run cross the plate. The 'Caps had multiple runners in scoring position in both the first and fourth innings, but in both cases, double plays ended the threat.
Posted by: Wez, 5/4
May 2nd Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 14, LEHIGH VALLEY 11 (10)
10-11, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 5, ALTOONA 2
13-8, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – BREVARD COUNTY 5, LAKELAND 1
9-13, t-4th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 8, BURLINGTON 2
16-5, 1st in Eastern Division
Toledo got back to .500 on Saturday, topping Lehigh Valley in a comeback 14-11 slugfest. Chris Lambert took a no decision as the starter, giving up six runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. Freddy Dolsi also had a very rough outing at the mound, giving up five runs, all earned while recording just one out. Matt Rusch earned the win in relief, tossing 2 2/3 shutout innings to close out the game after Toledo tied it up in the ninth, and then reclaimed the lead in the tenth. Toledo needed four runs in the ninth just to tie the game, and then took the lead with three runs in the 11th. Brent Clevlen ripped a solo shot to start the ninth, then Don Kelly's two run triple got them within a run, before coming home on a Dusty Ryan single. It was once again Kelly that made the big hit, with a bases clearing triple that won it for Toledo. Jeff Larish also had three hits and scored two runs.
Erie put up plenty of runs, and got excellent pitching to cruise to an easy 15-1 victory. Luis Marte tossed seven excellent innings, giving up a run on five hits with five strikeouts. But the offense was the real story of the day. Scott Sizemore was the only member of the lineup that didn't manage a hit, but he walked four times. Brennan Boesch had three hits and four RBI, including a two run home run, Ryan Strieby had three hits and scored three runs, Deik Scram had two hits, a run and two RBI, and Cale Iorg had two hits, a run and one RBI.
Lakeland couldn't get much more offense going on Saturday despite a strong start from Andrew Hess as Lakeland fell 5-1. Hess took the loss, giving up two runs in six innings of work. It was a two run game heading into the eighth inning, but Brett Jacobson gave up a three spot in the eighth to put a lot of distance between the two. Andy Dirks drove in Roger Tomas for the Flying Tigers' lone run of the game. Justin Henry did have a three-hit day for the club as well.
Luke Putkonen took a no-decision in West Michigan's 8-2 victory over Burlington. Putkonen didn't pitch poorly though, giving two runs (one earned) in four innings of work. Victor Larez though was outstanding in relief, tossing five innings of one-hit baseball, including eight strikeouts. Offensive production meanwhile came in abundance from the bottom half of the order. Billy Nowlin, hitting in his usual 5 slot, led the way, with three hits, three runs scored and an RBI, with Luis Palacios doing plenty of damage from the nine spot, with three hits and three RBI, including a solo home run. Jordan Lennerton and Joe Bowen each had two hits and an RBI as well.
Posted by: Wez, 5/3
May 1st Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – LEHIGH VALLEY 6, TOLEDO 5
10-11, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 5, ALTOONA 2
12-8, 3rd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – BREVARD COUNTY 2, LAKELAND 0
9-12, t-3rd in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 6, CEDAR RAPIDS 5 (15)
15-5, 1st in Eastern Division
With Dontrelle Willis on the mound, all eyes were on the vibrant right-hander and how he would look after a successful appearance in Double-A Erie. Willis wasn't outstanding, but was once again in control for the most part, walking two while allowing seven hits and three runs in five innings of work. Willis did however need 102 pitches to get through his five innings of work. Willis did however exit the game with a 5-3 lead and in line for a win. Unfortunately, Fu-Te Ni gave up the lead in the sixth inning, and Nick Regilio gave up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth to take the loss. Jeff Larish had a two run homer for the Hens, while Wilkin Ramirez added a hit, a stolen base and a pair of runs.
Brooks Brown's scoreless inning streak came to an end, but Brown still was outstanding as he improved to 3-0 for Erie in their 5-2 triumph over Altoona. Brown tossed seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. Cody Satterwhite pitched the final two innings to close the game out. Jeff Frazier was the big run producer of the night, driving in three runs for the 'Wolves. Max Leon, Deik Scram and Brennan Boesch also each added two hits apiece.
The Flying Tigers staff combined to allow just two runs to cross the plate, but with minimal support at the plate, it was still good for a loss. Lauren Gagnier earned the loss as the starter, allowing both runs in 4 1/3 innings of work. Trevor Feeney and Robbie Weinhardt combined for 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief, but it wasn't enough with the offense managing just four singles and only getting runners into scoring position three times during the game.
The West Michigan Whitecaps reclaimed first place with a marathon 15-inning game that ended in a 6-5 victory. It looked like things would come to an end when the 'Caps broke a six inning scoreless streak for both teams with a run in the 13th, but then Cedar Rapids came back for a run in the bottom half of the 13th, and if not for a double play ball, likely would have ended there. The 'Caps eventually claimed the lead for good in the 15th, when Gustavo Nunez led off the inning with a triple (his only hit in eight at-bats) and came home on a Brent Wyatt single. Tyler Conn got the win, but Matt Hoffman was the story on the mound, tossing eight shutout innings of relief, allowing just four hits (he relieved Casey Crosby, who gave up four runs in four innings). Joe Bowen went 3-for-7 with two RBI, and Bryan Pounds had two hits and two RBI.
Posted by: Wez, 5/2
April 30th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – LEHIGH VALLEY 4, TOLEDO 2
10-10, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - OFF DAY
11-8, 3rd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 4, TAMPA 2
9-11, t-3rd in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 2, CEDAR RAPIDS 1
14-5, 2nd in Eastern Division
Ruddy Lugo took his first loss of the year on Thursday as Toledo continues to struggle to regain their early season winning ways. Lugo allowed all four Lehigh Valley runs in six innings of work. Toledo couldn't get a run on the board until the ninth inning, when Clete Thomas singled home Wilkin Ramirez and Jeff Larish. Unfortunately, Ryan Roberson struck out to end the threat and the game. Thomas also had a double in the losing effort.
Lakeland pulled out another win over Tampa on Thursday, pulling out a 4-2 win with a run in the late innings. Charlie Furbush got the win, allowing two runs on three hits in five innings of work. Furbush also struck out two and walked two. Pat Stanley then tossed three shutout innings of relief, before handing the ball over to Scott Green, who got the outs in the ninth to record his third save. Michael Bertram had a big game, with two hits, including a two run home run, and three RBI. Andy Dirks also added two hits, a run and and an RBI.
A seventh inning rally for the Whitecaps gave the club a 2-1 lead, and the bullpen did an excellent job of closing things out from there. Brayan Villareal didn't factor into the decision but deserves mention - Villareal tossed four innings of one-hit baseball, walking one and striking out three. It was Anthony Shawler though that would earn the win, as he was the pitcher on record when Chao-Ting Tang ripped a triple that scored the tying run, and then scored the go-ahead run himself. Billy Nowlin scored the tying run, and also had two hits for the 'Caps.
Posted by: Wez, 5/1
April 29th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – OFF DAY
10-9, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - BOWIE 6, ERIE 1
11-8, 3rd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 5, TAMPA 0
8-11, 5th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps -CEDAR RAPIDS 3, WEST MICHIGAN 0
13-5, 2nd in Eastern Division
For the SeaWolves, Alfredo Figaro was a late scratch from his starting slot due to back spasms. Because of the inability to get a replacement called up, as well as longman Josh Rainwater going over four innings on Tuesday, Jay Sborz was pressed into duty. Sborz filled in as best he can, though he didn't get helped out by his defense. Sborz allowed four runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings, but just two runs were earned. Ramon Garcia allowed two runs in three innings of relief, but the highlight from the mound was utilityman Joe Tucker tossing a scoreless inning of relief when forced into duty. Scott Sizemore was responsible for Erie's only run with a solo blast. Alex Avila also had a pair of hits.
With another excellent start from Thad Weber the Flying Tigers put together a 5-0 shutout of Tampa. Weber tossed seven innings of shut out, two-hit baseball, walking three and striking out six. With a comfortable 5-0 lead after two more runs in the bottom half of the seventh, Weber handed the ball over to Lester Oliveros, who no-hit the Yankees over the final two innings. Audy Ciriaco had two hits and two RBI for Lakeland at the plate, with Kyle Peter adding a pair of hits and scoring twice. Andy Dirks also crossed the plate a pair of times.
While the Flying Tigers were able to toss a shutout, the Whitecaps got shut out themselves on Wednesday, falling to Cedar Rapids 3-0. Victor Larez took the loss, giving up a pair of runs, one earned, in three innings of work. Tyler Stohr also gave up a run in 1 2/3 innings of relief work. At the plate, the offense managed just three singles for the game, and their best offensive threat came via a single, a walk, and a balk that put two runners in scoring position.
Posted by: Wez, 4/30
April 28th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – COLUMBUS 5, TOLEDO 3
10-9, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 5, BOWIE 4 (11)
11-7, 3rd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – TAMPA 3, LAKELAND 1
7-11, t-5th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - LANSING 5, WEST MICHIGAN 2
13-4, 2nd in Eastern Division
Toledo couldn't complete a two game sweep of Columbus, falling 5-3 on Tuesday. Luke French took the loss but two of the three runs he allowed were unearned. French did strike out seven in his five innings of work. Wilkin Ramirez had a big game at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and scoring a run. Ryan Roberson drove in a pair of runs for the club.
The 'Wolves got some extra inning heroics from a number of players as Deik Scram hit a sacrifice fly that scored Cale Iorg (who pinch ran for Alex Avila after a leadoff double). Brett Jensen got the win in relief, but Josh Rainwater deserves some credit for his appearance, tossing 4 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Jon Kibler started, giving up four runs over six innings. Scram was the star - besides his sacrifice fly, he went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two other runs driven in. Shawn Roof also had two hits and two runs scored.
Duane Below has been outstanding so far this season, but he wasn't as sharp on Tuesday night as Tampa topped Lakeland 3-1. Below, who was pitching under the weather, took the loss, giving up two runs in 3 2/3 innings. Below's control was shaky however, walking four while striking out just one. The bullpen pitched well (with Brett Jacobson and Robbie Weinhardt combining for three shutout innings) but the Flying Tigers' offense couldn't get the team back in the game. Lakeland's lone run came via a solo home run from Kody Kaiser - besides that, the team managed just four hits.
Mauricio Robles had pitched very well for the 'Caps so far, but had one bad inning on Tuesday result in his first loss of the season as West Michigan fell 5-2. Robles gave up four runs, all four in the second inning, in 4 2/3 innings of work. Bryan Pounds drove in both West Michigan runs for the club, while Luis Salas had three hits and Brandon Douglas had two and a run scored.
Posted by: Wez, 4/29
April 27th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 9, COLUMBUS 6
10-8, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - BOWIE 9, ERIE 7
10-7, 3rd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – TAMPA 6, LAKELAND 0
7-10, 5th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 5, LANSING 1
13-3, 1st in Eastern Division
The Mud Hens snapped their losing streak with a 9-6 victory over Columbus on Monday evening. Eddie Bonine, who was optioned down to Toledo over the weekend, got the start, allowing two runs on five hits in three innings. Ron Chiavacci though got the win, tossing five innings of relief, also allowing two runs. Clete Thomas led the way at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a solo home run. Mike Hessman also drove in three runs, while Don Kelly added three hits.
While both Erie and Bowie managed 13 hits, Bowie emerged victorious with a 9-7 win over Erie. Jonah Nickerson got a no decision for his work, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings of work. Josh Kite took the loss (and also a blown save), allowing two runs in 2 2/3 innings of work. Jeff Frazier led the way with three hits and three RBI, while Alex Avila had two hits and two runs.
The Flying Tigers were blanked by Tampa on Monday evening, getting shut out 6-0. Andrew Hess took the loss, giving up four runs in five innings, but was plagued by poor defense, as just one of the four runs he allowed was earned. Lakeland committed four errors in the field. At the plate, the team scattered five hits, including two from the recently-promoted Jordan Newton, but they weren't able to generate any runs for support.
Wrapping up with the Whitecaps, the team maintained its half game hold of first place with a 5-1 win over Lansing. Luke Putkonen earned his first win for the 'Caps this year, tossing six shutout innings. He also struck out four. Anthony Shawler pitched two innings of scoreless relief as well. Eight of the nine members of the lineup got a hit in a team effort at the plate - Brent Wyatt and Joe Bowen each had a pair of hits though, with Ronnie Bourquin adding a pair of RBI.
Posted by: Wez, 4/28