Tarik Skubal rehabs in Lakeland as Jace Jung heats up for the Whitecaps

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Indianapolis Indians 11, Toledo Mud Hens 0 (Fri)(box)

Indianapolis Indians 10, Toledo Mud Hens 7 (Sat)(box)

Indianapolis Indians 7, Toledo Mud Hens 0 (Sun)(box)

With the Detroit Tigers rapidly gobbling up the better talent on the Mud Hens, it’s not so surprising that they went down 5-1 in this six-game set.

On Friday, lefty Jack O’Loughlin jumped up from High-A to take Reese Olson’s spot in the rotation. It’s wasn’t all bad, as the 23-year-old appears to be in the midst of a minor breakout on the back of a few extra ticks of velocity than he’s ever shown. Still, a pretty good Pirates Triple-A franchise ambushed him in the first inning. Nick Gonzales led off with a single, Travis Swaggerty walked, and Endy Rodriguez grounded one to third where Andre Lipcius fired home to cut down Gonzales for the first out. Unfortunately, O’Loughlin fell behind Miguel Andujar 2-1 and the next pitch was deposited over the wall in left center field. 3-0 Indy.

O’Loughlin bounced back though, pitching into the fifth and allowing just one more run with five strikeouts. It didn’t end up mattering much as Indy crushed the Hens bullpen while the offense managed just four hits.

On Saturday, lefty Zach Logue led a bullpen day for the Hens, and they again got pummeled for double-digit runs. Aneurys Zabala and Sam Clay took the brunt of the damage, though Logue allowed two runs in two innings as well. Kerry Carpenter was the designated hitter and went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout. Parker Meadows and Corey Joyce each had two hit games. The Hens entered the top of the ninth down 10-2, when Joyce and Malloy each homered to make the score more respectable.

Sunday was more of the same, as Indy crushed an assortment of bullpen arms while the Hens could only muster five hits. Malloy and Meadows went a combined 0-for-8 with two strikeouts for Malloy and one for Meadows. Andre Lipcius led the offense with a pair of singles.

Overall it was notable that Malloy played LF exclusively this weekend. We’ll see if that’s relatively permanent or not in the weeks ahead. Colt Keith has been playing some second base for Erie, which seemed like a potential move to fit he and Malloy both on Toledo’s infield soon, but in both cases they may just be trying to get them comfortable moving around more as neither is going to provide any defensive value at the major league level, and it will be a trick to fit both their bats in a major league lineup without compromising the defense too much.

Coming Up Next: The Hens welcome in the Buffalo Bisons on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Richmond Flying Squirrels 6, Erie SeaWolves 5 (Fri)(box)

Erie SeaWolves 5, Richmond Flying Squirrels 0 (Sat)(box)

Erie SeaWolves 6, Richmond Flying Squirrels (Sun)(box)

The Erie SeaWolves had a much better week than the Hens, taking down Richmond five games to one.

On Friday, the SeaWolves built an early lead but starter Ty Madden couldn’t hold it. Ben Malgeri singled in Julio E. Rodriguez in the second inning to give Erie the first lead, but Madden got in some trouble and allowed the tying run in the bottom half of the second.

In the fourth, with two outs, Andrew Navigato singled and Rodriguez followed with a two-run home run. 3-1 Erie.

That lead disappeared when Madden was rocked for four runs and knocked out of the game in the bottom of the fifth. A three-run shot from Richmond’s Andy Thomas was the dagger in that inning.

Trei Cruz singled with two outs in the seventh and rode home on Colt Keith’s 10th home run, but the comeback stalled out there.

On Saturday, the SeaWolves got a superb outing from Sawyer Gipson-Long and cruised to victory. The right-hander spun six innings of shut out ball with eight strikeouts to two hits and a walk allowed.

Meanwhile, the offense took advantage of some wildness from Richmond in the top of the first. Trei Cruz led off with a walk and Colt Keith and Wenceel Perez followed with singles to load the bases. Jake Holton struck out, but Andrew Navigato and Julio E. Rodriguez both walked to force in a run apiece. A sac fly from Gage Workman brought Perez home from third, and it was 3-0 Erie.

In the sixth, the SeaWolves added on two more runs. Keith reached on an error with two outs and Perez drew a walk. They both scored when Holton banged a double to right field, making it 5-0. R.J. Petit and Andrew Magno did a nice job in relief, particularly Magno, who spun two innings of one-hit ball with three strikeouts to lock this one down.

Sunday’s win came courtesy of a solid start from Wilmer Flores and three home runs, two of them from Gage Workman.

Flores start was pretty short, as he threw just 52 pitches, 36 of them for strikes. He allowed one run over four innings with just one hit allowed, no walks, and six punchouts. He appears to be settling in after a rough start to the year.

Workman’s fourth homer was a solo shot to lead off the third. Flores allowed a run in the bottom half as Richmond tied it up. Workman untied it when he led off the fifth with another solo shot. Workman led off yet again in the seventh, and this time Richmond realized their error and walked him instead. He promptly stole second base, and then Ben Malgeri cracked a two-run shot to left field. 4-1 Erie.

Dillon Dingler led off the eighth with a double and was then wild pitched all the way to third base. Holton drew a walk and Navigato dumped a pop up, generously scored a single, into right field, scoring Dingler. Malgeri singled in Holton for the final run of the game. The SeaWolves bullpen did a nice job spinning five scoreless frames to lock this one up.

Coming Up Next: The Bowie Baysox come to town for six starting on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. ET.

Dayton Dragons 7, West Michigan Whitecaps 5 (Fri)(box)

Dayton Dragons 3, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (Sat)(box)

Dayton Dragons 12, West Michigan Whitecaps 5 (Sun)(box)

The Dragons held serve at home without too much trouble, taking five of six in this road series for the Whitecaps.

On Friday, the Whitecaps got off to an early lead but they couldn’t hold it. In the top of the first, a pair of walks set up Justice Bigbie, who cracked his sixth home run of the year to left, making it 3-0 before Dayton got the second out of the game.

The Dragons fought back, scoring two off of starter Williander Moreno in the bottom of the third. The Whitecaps got one back when Jace Jung singled to center, moved to second on an Izaac Pacheco groundout, and scored on a Brady Allen ground ball that Dayton’s shortstop threw away. In the sixth, Jung hit his seventh home run, a solo shot to right, to make it 5-2 ‘Caps, but it was all Dragons the rest of the way as they teed off on reliever Dario Gardea for five runs to take over the game.

On Saturday, Wilkel Hernandez gave the Whitecaps six scoreless innings of work, but they couldn’t win that one either, scoring just two runs despite nine hits and six walks drawn. Jung had three hits, including a double, and drew a walk to lead the way. Justice Bigbie and Chris Meyers each added two hits, as the top four in the lineup did their job. Roberto Campos and in particular another atrocious performance from Pacheco stranded runners left and right all game long.

Sunday’s contest featured Tarik Skubal’s first rehab start as a featured attraction. The lefty allowed just a single, striking out one over two scoreless innings of work, hitting 96 mph repeatedly. That’s a pretty good sign.

Danny Serretti led off the game with a single and took third on a Bigbie double. Serretti scored on a Chris Meyers ground out to make it 1-0. In the top of the second, a one-out single from Dillon Paulson was followed by Austin Murr getting hit by a pitch. Luis Garcia flew out, but Serretti reached on an error to load the bases. Jung dumped a blooper into center field for a two-run single as part of a three hit game.

That 3-0 lead didn’t last long as lefty Carlos Pena was rocked for six runs, five earned, in the fourth inning. Aaron Haase allowed two more, and Erick Pinales was torched for four runs in the sixth as Dayton ran away with this one.

Coming Up Next: The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers come to town on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. ET.

Jupiter Hammerheads 14, Lakeland Flying Tigers 5 (Sat)(Gm1)(box)

Jupiter Hammerheads 5, Lakeland Flying Tigers 4 (Sat)(Gm2)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Jupiter Hammerheads 2 (Sun)(box)

The Hammerheads came into Lakeland and took four of six this week. Friday’s game was postponed, turning into a Saturday doubleheader of seven inning games.

In game one on Saturday, reliever Elvis Alvarado gave up a run in the first in his rehab outing, but Lakeland fought back briefly. Luke Gold’s second home run of the year came with one aboard in the bottom of the second, briefly giving Lakeland a 2-1 lead.

It was all Jupiter from there as Chance Kirby gave up three runs in the top of the third. Lakeland was down a run going into the sixth, but Marco Jimenez was shelled for nine runs in the sixth and seventh to turn this into a laugher.

In game two, Joe Miller surrendered three runs in the top of the first. Dom Johnson returned fire with a two-run shot in the bottom half of the inning, his fourth on the year. In the bottom of the third, Seth Stephenson singled, stole second, and took third on a throwing error on the play. He scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. However, Jupiter got a run in each of the sixth and seventh to take a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

With one out, Stephenson reached on a dropped strike three and scored on Dom Johnson’s double. The Flying Tigers couldn’t get Stephenson in to tie the game as Jose De La Cruz watched strike three and Abel Bastidas grounded out to end the game.

On Sunday, the Flying Tigers got some better pitching performances and took advantage of an early lead. J.D. McLaughlin opened the bottom of the first with a single and then stole second base. He was balked to third and Carlos Mendoza walked. A Johnson ground out scored McLaughlin. A couple of Jupiter errors, two walks, and a hit batter scored two more for Lakeland in the second.

27-year-old Max Green’s 10.50 ERA took a hit when he allowed a pair of runs in his inning of work in the fifth. Fortunately the rest of the bullpen held on from there and the Flying Tigers got an insurance run in the seventh when Moises Valero led off with a double and took third on a pickoff throw gone wrong. A Mendoza sac fly scored him from third, and the Flying Tigers held on from there.

Coming Up Next: The Tampa Tarpons come to Lakeland for six starting Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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