Corey Joyce homers twice to power the Whitecaps in Lansing

Bless You Boys

Before we get to Thursday’s games, there were a couple of assignments for the 2022 draft class announced on Thursday. Infielder Jace Jung, the Tigers’ selection with the 12th overall pick, has been assigned to High-A West Michigan. The slugging second baseman should slot right into the lineup there.

Second round shortstop Peyton Graham has been assigned to Low-A Lakeland, along with sixth round infielder Danny Serretti. Presumably there are many more assignments soon to come, but Jung and Graham are the big ones, so it’ll be nice to see them in action in the coming days. Graham has the tools to play anywhere, but one assumes the Tigers want him to play shortstop full-time. We’ll see whether Graham and Serretti’s addition means Cristian Santana or possibly Manuel Sequera will be moving up to West Michigan shortly.

Iowa Cubs 6, Toledo Mud Hens 3 (box)

Chi Chi Gonzalez was knocked around by the Cubs in this one while the lineup had its chances and couldn’t convert seven hits and five walks into enough runs.

Things started well enough. Zack Short started the game with a double to left, moved to third on a Spencer Torkelson ground out, and scored on a Kerry Carpenter single. In the third inning it was Short again with a double to left with one out. He stole third and then scored on a Josh Lester single back up the middle. Toledo led 2-0.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez had no issues through the first two innings. He hit veteran shortstop Andrelton Simmons with one out in the first inning, but then picked him off. The wheels fell off in the third and fourth innings as Gonzalez allowed a pair of runs in each and struggled to locate anything. Jacob Barnes allowed two more runs in a shaky seventh inning, and the offense wasted a few chances to get a rally going. finally in the top of the ninth, catcher Ali Sanchez walked to lead off and later scored on a Josh Lester double. Spencer Torkelson struck out for the third time in an 0-for-5 day to end it.

Short: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B BB, SB

Carpenter: 2-3, RBI, 2B, BB, SO

Lester: 2-5, 2 RBI, 2B

Coming Up Next: Bryan Garcia has been recalled to start for the Tigers on Friday, so neither teams’ starter is known for their Friday night matchup.

Erie SeaWolves 3, Portland Sea Dogs 1 (box)

Adam Wolf manhandled the Sea Dogs in his outing, and the SeaWolves used three solo shot to win on Thursday.

Wolf threw 41 of 58 pitches for strikes, allowed just two singles in four innings of work, and struck out six. Andrew Navigato hit his 12th homer in the fifth inning. Quincy Nieporte mashed number 23 in the sixth, and Dane Myers added his 16th in the top of the ninth.

Navigato: 1-4, R, RBI, HR, SO

Nieporte: 1-3, R, RBI, HR, BB

Myers: 1-2, R, RBI, HR, BB

Wolf: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long will debut in the Tigers’ system on Friday night after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Michael Fulmer earlier this week.

West Michigan Whitecaps 5, Lansing Lugnuts 1 (box)

Corey Joyce had a big night and the Whitecaps bullpen was dominant in taking down the Lugnuts on Thursday.

Keider Montero got the start and spun an efficient five innings, scattering five hits and allowing just one unearned run in the first inning that was partly the result of his own throwing error. Joyce first homer of the night was a solo shot to left in the third inning that tied the game.

The Whitecaps’ offense struggled to get anything going offensively for most of the game, but a two-out solo shot by Jose King in the seventh inning sparked things and they were finally able to put up some runs against the Lugnuts’ bullpen. In the eighth, Bryant Packard drew a two-out walk and then stole second base. Back-to-back doubles from Josh Crouch and Trei Cruz followed, and it was 4-1. Joyce wasn’t quite done either, and went deep to right field this time in the top of the ninth.

Gabriel Sequeira, Dario Gardea, and Andrew Magno combined for four innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts out of the ‘Caps bullpen to put this one to bed.

Joyce: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR

Crouch: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, SO

Montero: 5.0 IP, R, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, SO

Coming Up Next: LHP Brant Hurter (4-0. 2.29 ERA) has been coming along very nicely this season. The Tigers seventh rounder in 2021 has 105 strikeouts and just 13 walks allowed in his 81.2 innings of work. The big lefty has been really locked in for the Whitecaps since his promotion from Lakeland in mid-June. RHP Jake Walkinshaw (2-0, 0.90 ERA) gets the start for Lansing.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 0 (Gm 1)(F/7)(box)

Dylan Smith on a rehab assignment and the Flying Tigers bullpen blanked the Jays in the first of two on Thursday. A big game from Roberto Campos did the rest.

Smith tossed 38 pitches with 31 strikes, blanking the Jays for three innings on two hits with one strikeout. He should be about ready to return to West Michigan.

The Flying Tigers’ offense finally got something going in the fourth with Campos doubled to lead off the inning. Justice Bigbie lined one into center field for a solid RBI single, and the eventual game winning run was already in the bag. Two batters later Jose De La Cruz ripped a two-out double to left to bring Bigbie all the way around from first. In the fifth, Austin Schultz was hit by a pitch and Cristian Santana drew a walk to start the bottom half of the inning. After Manuel Sequera popped out, Campos smoked a double to center to score them both.

Dunedin Blue Jays 3, Lakeland Flying Tigers 2 (Gm 2)(F/7)(box)

Garrett Burhenn pitched through some trouble early on and the Flying Tigers had the upper hand looking to sweep the doubleheader. In the end the Jays finally broke through for a couple runs to chase him in the fifth and held on to win in game two.

Burhenn racked up six strikeouts in this one, but dug himself out of some trouble in the first and third innings, allowing just one run. In the bottom of the fourth, Justice Bigbie tripled with one out, and jogged home on Jose De La Cruz’s ninth home run. Two straight singles from Adinso Reyes and Mike Rothenberg followed, but the Flygers couldn’t capitalize. They’d need those runs in the next half inning as Burhenn allowed a double and a two-run shot before being lifted for Carlos Marcano. The offense was held scoreless over the final three frames.

De La Cruz, J: 1-2, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB

Gonzalez: 1-2, BB, 2B

Burhenn (L, 4-5): 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: First pitch on Friday night in Lakeland is set for 6:30 p.m. EDT.

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