Jace Jung clubs three homers in weekend action

Bless You Boys

St. Paul Saints 8, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (box)(Fri)

Toledo Mud Hens 7, St. Paul Saints 3 (box)(Sat)

St. Paul Saints 7, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (box)(Sun)

The Hens were down 2-1 coming into the weekend, and only managed to take down the Saints on Saturday, losing the series 4-2 overall.

On Friday, starter Sawyer Gipson-Long was staked to a one-run lead in the top of the third when Nick Solak walked and was singled to third by Justyn-Henry Malloy. A wild pitch from Dallas Keuchel scored him. However, Gipson-Long then allowed a two-run shot in the fourth. A Malloy homer, his 16th on the year, tied things up at 2-2 in the fifth. Unfortunately, Gipson-Long got in a little trouble in the sixth, and ultimately the Saints scored four and ran away with this one.

Malloy did make a pretty good diving catch as well on Friday, so there’s hope for his defense.

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

Gipson-Long: 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 SO

On Saturday, the Saints jumped out to a lead, scoring two off Ashton Goudeau in the first. Tyler Nevin led off the second with a single and later scored on a Donny Sands ground out to make it 2-1 St. Paul. The Saints got another run in the third, but Joe Rizzo’s two-run shot in the top of the fourth tied things at 3-3. It was all Toledo from there.

Nevin led off the sixth with a solo shot, his eighth for Toledo on the year. In the top of the eighth, one-out singles from Nevin and Wenceel Perez set the table and Sands and Rizzo came through with RBI knocks. A sac fly from Johan Camargo scored Sands to make it 7-3, where it ended.

Nevin: 4-5, 4 R, RBI, HR

Rizzo: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, HR, SO

Perez: 2-3, R, BB, SO

On Sunday, Bryan Sammons allowed three runs in the first, and he was lifted after two innings. Matt Wisler then got into trouble with the help of a Wenceel Perez throwing error that extended the third inning long enough for Wisler to allow a three-run shot.

Parker Meadows led off the fourth with a solo shot, but otherwise the Hens offense didn’t have much to offer. Joe Rizzo added a solo shot in the eighth to help things look slightly more respectable.

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

Rizzo: 1-3, R, RBI, HR, SO

Sammons (L, 0-3): 2.0 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 4 SO

Coming Up Next: The Hens now head to Des Moines to take on the Iowa Cubs starting Tuesday night at 7:38 p.m. ET. We’ll see who ends up starting the game for the Hens on trade deadline day.

Akron RubberDucks 5, Erie SeaWolves 3 (box)(Fri)

Akron RubberDucks 9, Erie SeaWolves 2 (F/10)(box)(Sat)

Erie SeaWolves 7, Akron RubberDucks 1 (box)(Sun)

After getting ahead 2-1 in the series, the SeaWolves lost on Friday and Saturday, salvaging a split with a good victory on Sunday.

Keider Montero was pretty good again on Friday, but the offense was pretty quiet and the bullpen lost a slim lead late. Montero struck out seven over five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks.

After Akron got ahead 1-0 in the first, Julio E. Rodriguez opened the bottom of the second with a solo shot that tied things up. Montero allowed another run in the third, but Danny Serretti singled with one out in the bottom half, and Jace Jung mashed his first Double-A home run to make it 3-2 Erie.

Blake Holub gave the SeaWolves two good innings of relief, but Andrew Magno and Tim Naughton each leaked runs to lose it.

Jung: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, SO

Rodriguez: 1-3, R, RBI, HR, BB, SO

Serretti: 2-4, R, 2B

Montero: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 SO

On Saturday, Ty Madden gave the SeaWolves a decent outing despite a tight strike zone and a bit of control trouble. Unfortunately, this went to extras where the RubberDucks destroyed the SeaWolves bullpen for a seven run 10th inning.

Madden allowed one run on four hits and four walks, striking out three. His offense scratched out two runs in the bottom of the second on walks to Chris Meyers and Jake Holton, followed by a balk and a pair of ground balls that made it 2-0 Erie. Akron got a run against Madden in the fifth, and tied it with a run off of Tyler Mattison, the first he’s allowed at the Double-A level.

The tenth was a disaster for Angel De Jesus, but it was even worse for Michael Bienlien, who allowed a grand slam in the inning as the RubberDucks ran away with this one.

Meyers: 1-3, R, BB, SO

Rodriguez: 1-3, BB, 2 SO

Cabrera: 2-4, RBI

Madden: 5.0 IP, ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 3 SO

Sunday’s contest seemed to follow the Tigers pattern of having some of their best pitching performances on bullpen days. Six relievers combined to allow just a run on six hits and six hits, with eight strikeouts.

Jace Jung led the offense with two home runs, tying him at 17 on the year with Colt Keith for most in the system. Parker Meadows and Justyn-Henry Malloy are right on their heels, however.

Trei Cruz got the scoring started with a two-run double in the bottom of the second. Jung led off the third with a solo shot. After getting hit in the face with a pitch earlier in the week, fortunately just a glancing blow, Justice Bigbie returned to the lineup in style, doubling home Ben Malgeri in the fourth to make it 4-1, and the SeaWolves kept pouring it on from there.

Jung: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2 SO

Bigbie: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B

Cruz: 1-4, 2 RBI, 2B, BB, SO

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves stay home to welcome in the Washington Nationals affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators starting Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. ET.

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

West Michigan Whitecaps 8, Fort Wayne TinCaps 5 (box)(Sat)

West Michigan Whitecaps 6, Fort Wayne TinCaps 5 (box)(Sun)

After taking a rough loss on Friday night, the West Michigan Whitecaps fought back with victories on Saturday and Sunday to split the six-game home series.

Williander Moreno was rocked for five runs in four innings of work on Friday. Conner Holden did no matter, giving up three runs in the fifth. But the offense managed just five hits overall, so it just wasn’t their day.

Campos: 1-3, 3B, BB, 2 SO

Allen: 1-3, 2B, SO

Pacheco: 1-3, BB

Moreno (L, 3-3): 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, BB, 2 SO

The Whitecaps got the bats loose on Saturday, coming back from an early deficit to put Fort Wayne away late with a four-run eighth inning.

The real attraction was the first High-A start of the year for top pitching prospect Jackson Jobe. The right-hander has recently started throwing his slider 4-5 mph harder, with the same 3000+ rpms on it, and the pitch was absolutely lethal in this one as Jobe struck out nine in five innings of work.

However, some flaws were still on display as he gave up three home runs, all to left-handers. One was on a bad changeup, but the others were decenly located fastballs that got teed off against. Overall Jobe threw 56 of 73 pitches for strikes, so he was in pretty good control all game long.

Jobe sometimes cuts off his stride a little bit and opens to the plate early. That may cost him some extension and some deception to the plate and explain why his 95-97 mph high-spin fastball gets hit a bit harder than the metrics would lead you to expect.

Jobe told our own Jay Markle as much this week. Working on getting out onto his front leg with better extension is something they’re working on.

Still, for the most part he was quite impressive, even overpowering. The tuned up, harder version of his slider made hitter after hitter look ridiculous. The swings at it were pretty atrocious, so he’s got that going for him. Mixed in a couple of good looking changeups and a couple that got away from him. Refining that pitch will help keep lefties honest along the way.

The Whitecaps got on the board in the bottom of the first when Brady Allen singled in Gage Workman. After Jobe surrendered the lead in the third and fourth, the offense fought back in the sixth. It was Allen again, tripling home Carlos Mendoza and Luke Gold, before riding home on an Eliezer Alfonzo single that made it 4-4.

Cristhian Tortosa allowed a run in the top of the eighth, but in the bottom half, Mendoza led off with a single and Gold walked. Allen singled to load the bases, and Alfonzo came up with an RBI single. Robert Campos followed with a two-run double, and a sac fly from Dillon Paulson allowed Alfonzo to tag and score from third with the game’s final run.

Allen: 4-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 3B

Gold: 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, SO

Alfonzo: 2-4, R, 2 RBI

Jobe: 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 SO

Spencer Turnbull made his second rehab appearance on Sunday. The right-hander allowed a two-run shot in the first inning, but settled in from there to record the last seven hitters he faced in order, with four strikeouts. Presumably he’s ready for a move to Toledo to stretch out more before returning to the Tigers’ rotation after the trade deadline.

The Whitecaps tied it up in the second. Allen and Pacheco led off with walks. With one out, Mendoza grounded into a force of Pacheco at second. Both Allen and Mendoza scored on an error by the TinCaps first baseman on a Dom Johnson ground ball.

Southpaw starter Carlos Pena took over for Turnbull and was strong for three innings before giving up a pair of runs in the seventh. Again, the Whitecaps fought right back. In the bottom of the eighth, Johnson and Gold walked with one out. A wild pitch advanced them 90 feet, and Johnson scored on a Workman ground out. Paulson doubled in Gold and was replaced by pinch runner Austin Murr, who scored on an Eliezer Alfonzo single. Allen and Pacheco followed with singles, scoring Alfonzo to make it 6-4 Whitecaps. Dario Gardea allowed a run in the ninth but held on for his fourth save.

Pacheco: 1-3, RBI, BB, SO

Allen: 1-3, R, BB

Turnbull: 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 SO

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps will stay home this week, welcoming in the Lake County Captains on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. ET. No starters are announced yet.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 8, Daytona Tortugas 2 (box)(Fri)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 20, Daytona Tortugas 4 (box)(Sat)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 7, Daytona Tortugas 4 (box)(Sun)

After putting together a 12 game winning streak to begin the month of July, the Flying Tigers split six with Dunedin to run their record to 14-4 on the month coming into last weeks’ series at home against Daytona. The Flying Tigers stayed scorching hot, sweeping the Tortugas out of the Publix Field this weekend while scoring 35 runs combined from Friday to Sunday. Their season record now stands at 46-48 after a brutal start. More importantly, several of Lakeland’s best players are finally heating up after a rough first half, Cristian Santana first and foremost among them.

On Friday, Colin Fields got the start and showed off his high spin fourseam-cutter-curveball combination, striking out seven without a walk and holding Daytona to a run on two hits over five innings of work. His fourseamer only averages 91 mph, but every pitch he throws other than the changeup is 2600 rpms or higher. Plenty to work with if they can build up a little more velo in the 23-year-old right-hander.

Ryan Kreidler got the offensive party started with a three-run shot in the third. A leadoff single from Andrew Jenkins, and then a walk to Cristian Santana, set the stage in the fourth. Manuel Sequera and Carlos Pelegrin followed with RBI doubles, and Pelegrin eventually scored on a passed ball to make it 7-1. They cruised from there.

Pelegrin: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, BB

Kreidler: 1-3, R, 3 RBI, HR, BB, 2 SO

Santana: 0-1, 2 R, 3 BB

Fields (W, 3-0): 5.0 IP, ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 SO

On Saturday, things started innocously with a lead off bunt single from Seth Stephenson. Andrew Jenkins walked with one out, but Jose De La Cruz struck out. At that point, Stephenson stole third and then scored on a wild pitch, while Jenkins advanced to second. A Cristian Santana line drive single plated Jenkins, and it was 2-0 Lakeland.

Starter Garrett Apker ran into a wall in the top of the third, allowing four runs, including a pair of homers, but the Flying Tigers’ offense was just getting loose. In the bottom half, Jenkins reached on an error with one out and rode home on Jose De La Cruz’s sixth homer of the year. Santana walked, and Abel Bastidas doubled him to third. Manuel Sequera, also heating up in a big way, doubled them both home to make it 6-2 Lakeland, and Pelegrin doubled in Sequera before the inning ended.

Sequera launched a three-run shot, his fourth, in the bottom of the sixth with Santana and Bastidas aboard after drawing walks. De La Cruz and Sequera each had an RBI double in the seventh to make it 12-4. In the eighth, Lakeland just took batting practice, cranking out seven hits with a hit batter and a walk drawn to drop an eight-spot on Daytona and rub their face in the mud a bit.

Sequera: 4-6, 3 R, 6 RBI, HR, 2 2B

Pelegrin: 3-6, R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 2 SO

De La Cruz: 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR, 2B, BB, 2 SO

Santana: 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SO

Sunday’s finale saw Daytona jump out to an early lead as they tried to avoid the sweep. It didn’t work as the offense turned on the jets again and got a good day from the bullpen as well.

Lefty Jake Miller gave up four runs in the first, but settled down to pitch into the fourth without further issue. Tanner Kohlhepp took over and got them through the fifth without allowing a run. By then, the Flying Tigers were in control once again.

The Flying Tigers took advantage of walks to Cristian Santana and Jose De La Cruz, pushing across two in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit in half.

In the fourth, De La Cruz led off with a single, and Mike Rothenberg reached on an infield single. Sequera flew out, but Bastidas walked to load the bases, and Archer Brookman drew a walk to force in a run. J.D. McLaughlin singled in Rothenberg with a hard line drive to left, and Santana walked, forcing in another run. A Max Anderson sac fly scored Brookman, and it was 6-4 Lakeland.

Santana added a sac fly in the sixth after Daytona loaded the bases by issuing three walks.

De La Cruz: 1-3, 2 R, BB, SO

Santana: 0-1, 2 RBI, 3 BB

Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers look to keep it going as they head to Clearwater for a Tuesday 6:30 p.m. ET start against the Threshers.

Max Clark watch

The Tigers’ first rounder made his pro debut in the Florida Complex League. He tripled in a pair of runs, and struck out twice. Welcome to pro ball. Hopefully Clark gets off to a good start and we see him with the Flying Tigers in a few weeks.

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