Hens win as Skubal rehabs; Malloy homers

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 5, St. Paul Saints 4 (box)

Tarik Skubal’s latest rehab start went off without a hitch and late heroics from the lineup pulled out a win on Wednesday.

Skubal threw 52 pitches this time as his progression continues from around 30 pitches last time, to the 50 level, and presumably he’ll have one more rehab start, probably next Wednesday, before returning to the Tigers if everything goes according to plan.

His command wasn’t particularly good in this one, but he cruised through the first two innings, allowing a single an no more. He walked Anthony Prato to start the third, struck out the next two hitters swinging, but then surrendered a two run shot to Andrew Stevenson, ending his outing. Skubal struck out four, mixed his pitches, and sat comfortably around 95-96 mph, touching 97 repeatedly. So despite the home run, things went off well.

Garrett Hill took over from Skubal, and he allowed a solo shot to open the fourth. Meanwhile the offense couldn’t get anything going. A couple of singles were all they had to show for themselves until Parker Meadows hammered a triple over the right fielder’s head and then scored on a Nick Solak sac fly in the sixth.

Sam Clay allowed a solo shot in the seventh and it was 4-1 Saints. The Hens got a one-out double from Andre Lipcius but couldn’t score him in the seventh, but finally in the eighth, Justyn-Henry Malloy mashed home run number 11 on the year with Corey Joyce and Solak aboard, tying the game.

Tied into the bottom of the ninth, Michael Papierski led off with a walk, and Grant Witherspoon singled back up the middle as Papierski went first to third. A Corey Joyce sac fly followed and Papierski tagged and scored the walkoff winner.

Malloy: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, HR

Meadows: 1-4, R, 3B, 2 SO

Joyce: 2-3, R, RBI, 2B

Skubal: 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 4 SO

Coming Up Next: The rehab tour continues on Thursday as RHP Matt Manning starts for the Hens. He threw 59 pitches in his last start, so this should be his final rehab outing. RHP Cody Laweryson (2-2, 4.32 ERA) throws for the Saints. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Erie SeaWolves 3, Hartford Yard Goats 2 (box)

Ty Madden struggled with his control again in this one, but the SeaWolves just outlasted Hartford in a tight, low scoring game on Wednesday.

Trei Cruz started the game with a single, and Colt Keith followed by drilling a double into the right field corner. An Andrew Navigato ground out scored Cruz, and it was 1-0 when Madden took the mound in the bottom half of the inning.

Madden gave up a double and a single to allow Hartford to tie the game, and then ripped off three smooth innings before allowing a walk and a pair of singles with two outs in the fifth. Hartford scored their second run, but that made it 3-2 Erie after the SeaWolves had scored two in the top half of the inning.

Dillon Dingler led off the fifth with a double to right. Ben Malgeri was back off the IL, and he was his by a pitch, while Luis Santana drew a walk to load the bases. The big hit never arrived, but Cruz singled in one run, and Keith grounded to shortstop, scoring the second run of the inning.

And that’s where the scoring ended. Austin Bergner and Angel De Jesus were good in relief, and then Blake Holub’s two strong innings finished this off, earning the big right-hander his first save.

Cruz: 2-4, R, RBI

Dingler: 2-3, R, 2 2B, SO

Madden: 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Wilmer Flores (4-3, 4.04 ERA) has been settling in after a rough start to the season. He’ll get the ball on Friday for the 7:10 p.m. ET start. Hartford hasn’t announced their starter yet.

Great Lakes Loons 8, West Michigan Whitecaps 3 (box)

Troy Melton was excellent yet again, and is now in buzz generation mode. Unfortunately the Loons beat up on the Whitecaps bullpen to win.

Melton shut out the Loons for five innings, allowing two hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. He threw 42 of 69 pitches for strikes, and still needs refinement of his secondary stuff and overall command. But he now holds a 0.92 ERA through 19 23 innings since his promotion to West Michigan. He may be a relief prospect ultimately, but the 22-year-old’s fastball and improved strike throwing continue to impress.

The offense had a few early chances to score wasted, and it wasn’t until the fifth that they broke through. Austin Murr led off with a single as the Loons went to their bullpen. They’d had little luck against starter Ronan Kopp. Carlos Mendoza dropped down a bunt to move Murr to second, and a pair of wild pitches allowed him to take third and score the first run of the game. Eliezer Alfonzo hit his second home run of the past week, a solo shot to right field, in the sixth.

Unfortunately, Cam Brown allowed two runs in the seventh as the Loons tied it up. Trevin Michael allowed two more in the eighth to make it 4-2 Loons.

In the bottom half, Jace Jung led off with a walk, and Robert Campos kept his hitting streak alive with a single through the box. Alfonzo flew out, but a wild pitch moved Jung to third. They just couldn’t take advantage as Josh Crouch struck out and Murr lined out to end the inning.

As it turned out, that was their last chance to seize control of this one. Bryce Tassin was rocked for four runs in the top of the ninth. Carlos Mendoza singled to lead off the bottom half, and later scored on a Jung sac fly, but the offense never got close to really threatening.

Mendoza: 3-3, R, SB

Alfonzo: 2-4, R, RBI, HR, 2B

Melton: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Williander Moreno (3-0, 3.06 ERA) takes on LHP Maddux Bruns (0-1, 3.04 ERA) on Friday night at LMCU Ballpark. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. ET.

Lakeland Flying Tigers vs. Bradenton Marauders (cancelled)

Rain washed this one out. They’ll try to play two over the weekend to make it up.

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