Justyn-Henry Malloy remains red hot in weekend action

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 4, Columbus Clippers 0 (F/7)(Sat)(Gm 1)(box)

Toledo Mud Hens 7, Columbus Clippers 3 (F/7)(Sat)(Gm 2)(box)

Columbus Clippers 10, Toledo Mud Hens 3 (Sunday)(box)

The Hens came close to sweeping this six-game road series, but the Clippers’ offense woke up on Sunday to stave off the sweep.

After rain washed out Friday night’s contest, the Mud Hens took advantage on Saturday to win 4-0 in the first game of the doubleheader.

Lefty Zack Logue was wild, walking four, but he kept the Clippers off the board for 3 23 innings and the bullpen did the rest. Matt Wisler and Miguel Diaz combined for 3 13 no-hit innings of work to keep the door closed on Columbus. The Mud Hens got an RBI single from Brendon Davis to score Jonathan Davis in the second, and then home runs from Ryan Kreidler and Zack Short sealed the deal. Justyn-Henry Malloy had a single, and yes, a walk, in this one.

The night cap saw more superb work from the bullpen after a lackluster Garrett Hill outing marred by some shaky defense. Hill allowed three runs, two earned, in three innings of work, but Brendan White and Kervin Castro were perfect, each spinning a pair of innings to close the Clippers out and sweep the doubleheader.

The offense got it done with power once again. Parker Meadows launched his third homer of the year in the first inning, and Andrew Knapp later singled in Andre Lipcius to make it 2-0. Hill wasn’t able to hold the lead, but a two-run shot from Jonathan Davis in the fourth put them ahead for good. Kreidler singled in Malloy in the fifth, and Malloy crushed a two-run shot with Meadows aboard in the seventh.

On Sunday, Brenan Hanifee allowed a pair of runs in four innings of work, but the Hens fought back with three in the fourth to take the lead. Meadows led off with a single and Short followed with a walk. Malloy popped out, but Kreidler came through with his second long ball in as many days.

Unfortunately, Jace Fry and Aneurys Zabala got clobbered in relief, and this one was out of hand by the seventh inning.

The weekend games showed Malloy still scorching hot, with Parker Meadows warming up again and doing some damage against lefties. Ryan Kreidler’s bat has been very quiet to date, so good to see him with a pair of long home runs.

Coming Up Next: The Syracuse Mets come to Fifth Third on Tuesday night for the first of a six-game homestand for the Mud Hens.

Erie SeaWolves 4, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3 (Friday)(box)

Richmond Flying Squirrels 2, Erie SeaWolves 0 (Saturday)(box)

Erie SeaWolves 6, Richmond Flying Squirrels 5 (F/10)(Sunday)(box)

After dropping the first three games of the series, the SeaWolves fought back to take two of three over the weekend. Colt Keith remained the star of the show, but the Tigers got better outings from Ty Madden and Wilmer Flores as well.

On Friday they got a solid bounceback outing from Ty Madden that was marred by poor defense. A pair of singles to lead off the bottom of the first, and a throwing error from Grant Witherspoon allowed the first run to score, although the SeaWolves did a nice job cutting down the second runner at home later in the inning to prevent a second run.

The SeaWolves had staked Madden to a two-run lead in the top of the first on RBI singles from Mario Feliciano and Josh Crouch. They added two more in the top of the second when Wenceel Perez reached on an error and rode home on Colt Keith’s second homer of the season. Keith had a three hit game and is now red-hot.

Madden allowed another unearned run in the third but this one was more on him as he walked the leadoff hitter, saw him get picked off first by Crouch, and then gave up back to back singles, the former of which scored on a Perez throwing error. Fortunately the bullpen allowed a run in the fifth and no more as the SeaWolves held on to win 4-3.

Sawyer Gipson-Long was pretty good on Saturday, tossing five innings of one-run ball with one walk to four strikeouts. Adam Wolf allowed a run in 2 23 innings of relief, but it mattered not as the SeaWolves couldn’t muster a rally in this one. Keith and Perez had two hit games, as did Mario Feliciano who added a double to the mix.

On Sunday, Wilmer Flores bounced back with a better outing than his recent work, scattering two hits across four scoreless innings, though with only one strikeout.

Erie took an early lead in the fourth on a Diego Rincones RBI double to score Feliciano. The Squirrels got that run back with a solo shot against Dario Gardea in the bottom half of the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Wenceel Perez led off with a single, stole second, and took third on a Feliciano single. Perez then scored as Jake Holton bounced into a double play, and it was 2-1 SeaWolves. However, Jake Higginbotham allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, and then Riley Mahan’s second solo shot of the game. 4-2 Squirrels.

In the eighth, Colt Keith sparked things with a solo shot to right center field, his third on the year. Feliciano doubled with one out and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Rincones. The game was tied 4-4, but Layne Henderson allowed a run in the bottom of the eighth and the Flying Squirrels were back on top.

In the top of the ninth, Gage Workman led off with a double, and with two outs, it was Keith again, lining a single to right to tie the game. Yaya Chentouf blanked the Squirrels in the bottom of the ninth, and we were on to extras.

In the tenth, with Perez starting on second base, Daniel Cabrera lined a single to leadoff the inning with an RBI. Holton grounded into another double play to clear the bases, and so it was a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the tenth. Chentouf had them covered, racking up a pair of outs in the air before striking out Tyler Fitzgerald to end it.

Another two-hit game for Keith, and over his last four he has a triple and a pair of homers. Wenceel Perez has continued to swing the bat well since his return from the injured list. Wilmer Flores still looks a little off, but he just pumped strikes in this one and had no issues.

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves welcome in the Portland Sea Dogs for six starting Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. ET. No starters are yet announced.

Dayton Dragons 7, West Michigan Whitecaps 3 (Friday)(box)

West Michigan Whitecaps 5, Dayton Dragons 4 (Saturday)(box)

Dayton Dragons 8, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (Sunday)(box)

The Whitecaps were out to a two games to one lead in the series, but the Dragons were able to win on Friday and Sunday to split the six-game set.

On Friday night, Garrett Burhenn gave the ‘Caps a decent start, allowing two runs in four innings of work. The offense just couldn’t get much going. Jace Jung mashed a solo shot as part of a two-run third that tied the game. Unfortunately, Angel Reyes was clobbered for five runs in the seventh inning. The Whitecaps got a run back in the bottom half of the seventh, but never threatened to make this close.

On Saturday, Jack O’Loughlin put together his best outing in a long time. The Australian lefty tossed four scoreless frames. He did allow four walks, but struck out six to help his own cause.

A Danny Serretti two-out double in the first led to their first run when Steele Walker singled Serretti home.

The Dragons took advantage of poor control from reliever Zack Hess in the fifth, scoring three, including a two-run homer.

In the sixth, Walker led off with a double and advanced and then scored on a pair of ground outs to make it 3-2 Dragons. Williander Moreno gave up another run in the seventh to make it 4-2 Dragons. However, in the seventh Eduardo Valencia reached on an error to start the inning. Izaac Pacheco singled, and Jung came through with an RBI double. Serretti walked to load the bases, and a Roberto Campos sacrifice fly scored Pacheco to tie the game.

Blake Holub came on and locked down the Dragons in the eighth and ninth innings to earn the win. The game winning run came in the eighth when Carlos Mendoza was hit by a pitch, took third on a Valencia single, and then scored on a Dragons’ balk.

On Sunday, the Dragons absolutely lit Wilkel Hernandez up, tagging him for six runs, including two home runs. A Chris Meyers two-run shot in the second inning was all the ‘Caps just manage offensively. Reliever Ty Mattison surrendered two more runs in the fifth, and the Whitecaps struck out 12 times, never really mustering a scoring threat after the second inning.

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps now head to Cedar Rapids to take on the Kernals. LHP Carlos Pena (0-0, 0.79 ERA) has been red hot to start the year, and he’ll get the ball in game one, set for a 7:35 p.m. ET start on Tuesday night.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 5, St. Lucie Mets 4 (Friday)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 6, St. Lucie Mets 1 (Saturday)(box)

St. Lucie Mets 4, Lakeland Flying Tigers 2 (Sunday)(box)

Victories on Friday and Saturday propelled the Flying Tigers to a 4-2 series win on the road against St. Lucie.

On Friday, Marco Jimenez gave Lakeland a decent outing, allowing a run in 3 23 innings of work. Meanwhile, they staked him to a slim early lead on a Mike Rothenberg RBI single in the second inning. The Mets fought back with four runs against the Flying Tigers’ bullpen, but in the sixth, Dillon Dingler, rehabbing from his knee injury, launched a solo shot. Peyton Graham followed with a walk and took advantage of a wild pickoff throw and then a wild pitch to score without a ball in ball.

That made it 4-3 St. Lucie, but the Flying Tigers weren’t done. Dingler and Graham each had an RBI in the seventh to put Lakeland up for good, and Trevin Michael locked down the save.

On Saturday, the Flying Tigers staked starter Ulices Campos to a three-run lead and Campos allowed just an unearned run in the fourth. St. Lucie walked the first three batters to start the game and Graham came up with an RBI single. An Andrew Jenkins sacrifice fly and then an Adinso Reyes ground ball each brought home a run and it was 3-0 Lakeland after one.

In the sixth, Manuel Sequera singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Dom Johnson’s line drive single to right field. A pair of errors gave the Flying Tigers two more runs in the eighth and then cruised into the house from there.

On Sunday, starter Carlos Marcano got knocked out with two runs against him in the third inning. Lakeland would only manage three hits, scoring a pair of runs in the eighth to make it close.

There isn’t a whole lot to like for the Flying Tigers, despite a winning record so far. Cristian Santana and Peyton Graham haven’t done anything at all of note. Troy Melton is the only standout among the pitching staff. Dillon Dingler’s rehab assignment may be the most excitement they get for a while.

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