Matt Manning bitten by home runs in his 2021 debut

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 8, Nashville Sounds 6 (box)

Things started off pretty well in this one. Matt Manning was commanding his fastball beautifully and ran through the Sounds for two innings with three punchouts. However, the fastball was about all he had, as the curveball was scarcely used and regularly spiked into the dirt when he did throw it. He did pick up a couple of whiffs on the changeup along the way, but those were very few and far between, and there was no evidence of his new sliderish curveball he worked on in spring camp.

Former Tiger Dustin Peterson made Manning pay for this in the third. A single and a two-out walk put two on for Peterson, and he smoked a Manning heater the opposite way for a three-run shot. Manning gave up solo shots in the fourth and fifth as well, the latter coming on what looked like a changeup to Derek Fisher left up in the zone. The ball was flying all night, but Manning was too predictable. The fastball was effective, and he punched out six in five innings of work, but he’s still throwing too many fastballs.

The Mud Hens offense did get things going in the fourth inning and ultimately poured on the power to pull this one out. Nomar Mazara started his rehab assignment off right with a deep solo shot to center field to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Two batters later, Renato Nuñez crushed a solo shot to left. Kody Clemens followed with a triple off the center field wall, and scampered home on a wild pitch. They really lit up the Sounds in the sixth, scoring five runs with the big blow coming via right-fielder—Eric Haase got the start in left field—Christin Stewart, who ripped a three-run shot to make it 8-5 Hens.

Erasmo Ramirez came on in relief of Manning and tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh inning with two punchouts, while hard-throwing Jason Foley punched out the side in the eighth. Joe Jiménez gave up a solo shot, as is his custom, on his first pitch in the ninth before putting this one to bed and collecting the save.

Coming Up Next: The two clubs will get back to work at 6:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Erie SeaWolves 12, Reading Fightin Phils 4 (box)

Like Manning, SeaWolves starter Paul Richan was done in by the long ball as well. He gave up three solo shots in four innings of work. Fortunately his offense had his back. Down a run in the second inning, OF Jacob Robson smacked a two-run shot to left to re-take the lead. After the Phils took the lead back, the SeaWolves came back again, pushing across two runs in the fifth on a walk to Juan Centeno, a single from Cole Peterson, a Riley Greene ground out to move both runners up a spot, and then an error on a Ryan Kreidler fly ball to left field that scored them both.

They weren’t done either. Lefty Max Green spun a scoreless fifth and sixth to give the SeaWolves some breathing room, and they took advantage, ultimately earning Green the win. Dylan Rosa cracked a three-run shot in the sixth as the SeaWolves scored four in the frame, and then an RBI double from Jacob Robson in the seventh made it 9-3. The Phils got one back against reliever Angel De Jesus in the bottom half of the frame, but the SeaWolves were not to be denied.

A two-out Riley Greene single, his second of the game from the leadoff spot, and then a walk to SS Ryan Kreidler set the stage for designated hitter Yariel Gonzalez. Gonzalez hammered a three-run shot to right field, and this one entered rout territory.

Rosa and Robson each doubled and homered to earn co-Player of the Game honors in this one.

Coming Up Next: First pitch between these two is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Fort Wayne TinCaps 8, West Michigan Whitecaps 0 (box)

Keider Montero’s season debut did not go well. The good stuff was on display, including some seriously fearsome breaking balls, but he lost his fastball up and to his arm side throughout the outing, and ultimately allowed four walks. He allowed two runs in the second inning without even a hit recorded, walking three in the frame. In the third, he was knocked from the game by a line drive, three-run shot to right-center field off the bat of Justin Lopez.

Jesus Rodriguez tossed 2 13 scoreless ball with four punchouts to give the Whitecaps a chance to get back in it, but the offense just couldn’t get anything going. Reliever Zac Shepherd loaded the bases on a single and two walks and was lifted for Ruben Garcia. When the smoke cleared the TinCaps had scored three to make it 8-0.

As for the 2020 draft class, catcher Dillon Dingler chipped in a single, while Spencer Torkelson and Daniel Cabrera each drew a walk in their pro debuts. Trei Cruz struck out twice and didn’t reach base from the leadoff slot. 2018 second round pick Parker Meadows struck out three times on the night, as did Torkelson as the Whitecaps struck out 16 times on the night. Not a good start for the team most loaded with the Tigers best prospects.

Coming Up Next: It’s a 7:05 p.m. ET start on Wednesday.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 8, Clearwater Threshers 2 (box)

The Wenceel Perez show was the marquee performance in this one. Perez played second base while racking up four hits and three RBI, complete with a two-run shot as part of a six-run fourth inning for the Flying Tigers. They took advantage of two hit batsmen and three walks in blowing up the Threshers in the frame.

2020 fourth round pick Gage Workman got the start at shortstop and had two singles in the contest. Jose De La Cruz struck out three times in his Class-A debut. Nick Quintana walked and was also hit by a pitch in the contest. Catcher Cooper Johnson added a double, while Sam McMillan was in the designated hitter slot and walked twice. Austin Bergner got the victory with two scoreless innings of relief of starter Cleiverth Perez.

Coming Up Next: A 7:00 p.m. ET start is set for these two in Clearwater on Wednesday.

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